It was too windy to fish in the river so I stayed in the lagoon by where my friend lets me keep my “W” kayak on his floating dock. I had been out in the morning about 7:30 AM and caught a small snook about 14 inches – a beautiful fish and since I got him on a small foam rubber “gurgler” fly it was fun to see a fish take that surface fly less than a foot from the mangroves in about eight inches of water. It took a little while reviving him in the water before releasing him before I could go looking for his big brother.
Fished until about noon got a couple of hook ups but nothing came to the boat.
I went back just about 7 PM and staked out at the corner of a nice grass flat in the lagoon next to the mangrove creek that feeds in from the Indian River.
It was low incoming tide one of the best times for the bigger fish to get in close to the flat in about four to five feet of water, they slip up on the grass flat and raid the little mullet fingerlings and grass shrimp and can dash back into the deeper water for cover.
So I fished different flies and different sides of the flat for about an hour… fifteen minutes after sunset I was making my “last cast” for the night and bang a freight train hits my fly about thirty five feet from the kayak I am standing on my platform on top of the center tunnel and all the line starts to shoot out of my striping basket and (for once it is not tangled up) whiz all the line is out of the basket probably 125 feet or so and I am on the reel and it is buzzing. First time I am down to my backing line it is still going out to open water in the lagoon (not back to the mangroves like sneaky snook usually do). So I let him go I mean he is too big and hot to horse in with an eight weight and 10 lb tippet. Three good runs, a couple of tries for the mangroves and 15 minutes later I have him in the boat.
26″ snook WOW the first really nice fish I have ever caught out of the “W” and it was a beauty it took me almost 10 minutes to revive him pushing him through the water next to the boat. But finally he swam off before I was eaten to death by Florida mosquito’s it was almost dark but I was as high as a tree frog just paddling back to the dock whistling Dixie.
I have caught a few smallish fish in the lagoon but started to think that all the nice ones are in the river.
Oh yeah all you northern woodsman who are wondering why I released a five pound snook instead of eating him, there is a limit here we call “slot” fish, 28″ to 32″ inches if they are in the slot then they are keepers but he was a little shy of the slot. And after one of the best battles I have had on fly since my Trinity river steelhead days, I figured he deserved a second chance anyway.
I love my “W” fishing kayak … when that fish was on I was thinking he went 360 degrees around the boat did three really long runs and in general made 15 minutes feel like about three. I honestly don’t think there is any chance that this old man could have landed that fish in any other kayak but the Wavewalk. I mean I fish with a friend who has five kayaks SOT and Sit in type and he is an athlete, but I have seen how little room to move and how cramped it is and if your line snags on anything when you have a big fish on a fly (even just for a moment) it is good by fish.
OK the truth is my one man fishing machine is a blend of “W’ stability and flexibility and my friend Rick Rosenberg’s outriggers system, and I JUST LOVE IT.
Going back out now, back to the snook lagoon “Middleton Cove” named after my friend who lets me store my boat on his floating dock – just lift on the bow handles and slide it in the water and I am gone Fishing !
Thanks for listening,