Steve Gibson is an avid angler, writer and photographer who lives in Sarasota, Fla. Follow his daily pursuits and thoughts through his blog.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Snook are plentiful in the surf, but you have to work for them
Snook (top photo) certainly are more plentiful in the surf than fans at a Tampa Bay Rays game.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that the tide sucks and the fish are tougher than cheap steak.
Recently, I had Jason Beary, a teacher from Warren, Pa., out for a couple of days of fly fishing. He caught snook, but it wasn't easy. In fact, he had shots at more than 500 snook each day, including a bunch of really big fish.
There are days when snook fishing is really easy. My personal best day was 41 snook caught and released. I've had many days of 20 more. In fact, I averaged 19 snook per trip last year.
This season, my numbers are down somewhat -- not because there are fewer snook. It's because of those unknown variable that strike the sport from time to time. Could be the tide. Could be the wind. Could be there's a bad karma in the air.
Doesn't matter; it's still a lot of fun.
I had a day earlier in the week when I landed 22 snook to 36 inches. The next day, I got 12 and could tell the conditions were a little tougher.
On Day One with Jason, things were extremely tough. It got better the second day and we actually had an hour feeding flurry.
None of the really big fish showed interest in the fly. That's they way with big snook.
The pig that I stuck earlier in the week was an exception. I put the fly in front of her and she gobbled it up like a kernel of popcorn.
Bait is plentiful in the surf. I think all it will take to spark a feeding frenzy is a good, strong incoming morning tide.