Snook Trip

By: Hunter Pence

Many coastal anglers living in Florida are in search of big snook. Joe, Trey Brooks and I, are no different. One Saturday morning we filled the skiff with the rods, bait and tackle needed to hook a 30+ inch snook. We drove down towards the ten thousand islands because in the past that’s where we’ve landed some large ones. After launching the boat, we motored over to a couple of oyster beds. Live shrimp were on the hook and we were using lighter tackle. The water had good visibility so our line, leader and hooks were all on the smaller side to ensure that if a snook saw our bait presentation it would be fooled into taking it.
After catching only ladyfish and snapper we moved around searching for what we came for: snook. After a quick 5-minute run on the boat I found a small school of snook at the edge of the mangroves. These snook were smaller, so not what we were looking for, but nonetheless it was still fun to reel in 14-inch snook cast after cast. Using light tackle and line paid off. It made catching a humble snook into a fun fight, but they still were not what we were looking for.
Around 4:00 we knew we had very little time left. We decided to troll along the mangroves. Using a bomber, “Long A Hard Bait” we trolled along the mangroves at a steady pace. Joe ended up hooking a snook while trolling on a spoon which was a nice, little fight but still wasn’t what we came for: a big, bucket mouth snook.
Finally, five minutes into trolling a Bomber we hooked one. A sizable snook saw our lure, committed to it, hooked up and the line started screaming. Trey Brooks was holding the rod when the snook hit and he fought the snook from the bow of the boat. The battle was long but after the snook peeled the line three or four times, it was evident whenever it got close to the boat it was tiring out. Eventually the snook gave us a window to lip it and grab it out of the water. A 15+ pounder.  Landing a big snook like that doesn’t happen every trip, so to say it was exciting is an understatement. It was a great day of fishing, and we can’t wait to go on the water again.

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