Author: Albert Acosta
Fishing in Paradise
Paradise...fishing paradise. It does exist...and its in the Florida Keys. I was born in Florida and I have had the privilege of living here my entire life and been blessed to be able to fish the magnificent waters in this state. When you mention the word fishing the Florida Keys needs to come up in that conversation. The Florida Keys chain of islands and tourquise blue waters hold some of the most sought after fish in the world...and they are everywhere waiting for a fight! My parents recently purchased a residence in Key Largo and after some painting, clean up and repairs it was time to bring down the Epic Tails for its maiden voyage from its Keys lair. It was a windy day so running far or going offshore was not an opinion, wind was blowing 18-20 mph so we hung around the creeks and channels looking for some snapper and jacks Fishing was slow in the morning nothing but small snappers and little jacks so we decided to try another location and fish close to some docks and pillings. We were using light to medium tackle, Quantum 40’s loaded with Bullbuster 30lb Braid and 40lb fluorocarbon.
My dad, little brother David and nephew Carlito were ready for some big fish! After fishing some pillings and docks my brother hooked up! We were using small jig heads with live shrimp and this fish enhaled it and was ripping some drag. My brother fought the fish and got him to the surface. Its was a nice black drum...I quickly grabbed the net and we scooped him up. After a few pics we put him on ice. The tide was still coming in so we positioned ourselves with he moving current and continued some drifts...it was not long until my brother David was on again but the fish was bigger...it was a huge jack crevalle and it was mad as hell! My brother set the hook and the fish began to go crazy pulling drag. But after a few seconds the behemoth jack just came off the hook. Before the fish got off I got a good look at him in the water and he was close to 20lbs. We kept fishing those spots and then my dad felt a thump fishing close to the bottom. My dad set the hook and he was on! The fish was pulling hard and headed for the pillings...
I Yelled STOP Him Don’t Let Him Get Away!
My dad fought him and reeled fast and the fish came to the surface it was a monster black drum. The fish would not give up and made another dash for the bottom and my dad’s rod bent again towards the water and the drag screamed...but he stopped him and we scooped him up in the net. It was a beast drum. Straight to the ice chest he went. After the 2 big fish we decided to call it a day and headed back to clean the fish. We were ecstatic with our catch and the good fish fry we were going to have.
Later in the day I talked to my brother and said we have to go back out there tonight and fish that area for snook...we were ready for some snook action. My brother David and little nephew Carlito headed out into the dark night. It was a dark night with no moon but the tide was going to be good...incoming. we had a live well loaded with nice shrimp and we headed out. Small jig heads with live shrimp was the bait for the nights snook hunt. We started our drifts with the slow moving current bouncing the jig heads near the pillings and rock structure and it was not long before my brother felt a thump...the snook thump. He set the hook and the fish made a few jumps. Not a big snook but it was the 1st of the night...we new the big mommas were around somewhere. We kept fishing and then my brother felt another thump...boom! He set the hook and the fish made a nasty run for the pillings! It was big!! I screamed at my brother to stop that fish! ...he yelled what is it? I said what do you think it is donkey!...its a pig snook! STOP her before she puts you in a clown suit! I call my brother donkey when were fishing ...its a term of endearment lol. The fish made a dash for the pillings and rocks and I could not follow her to stop her...she was smart...the big ones are always smart. I let the boat drift back with the current as my brother prayed to the snook gods for mercy and somehow the fish turned and came out of its snook lair... she was out! After a few more runs my brother got her to the surface...it was a beast! I scooped her up in the net making sure she was all in there. My brother gave out a primordial scream YES! And some other words I cant say here but it was a big girl...almost 35” his personal best snook!
After landing 2 snook I told my brother to take the helm of the Epic Tails...it was my turn to tangle with one of these big mommas. After a few drifts I got the thump I was waiting for and set the hook...immediately the fish ripped line out of my reel and headed for the pillings...I knew what I had on, another big snook and she new where she wanted to go to get herself free. I tightened the drag and palmed the spool on my reel to increase the stopping power...I had faith in my Bullbuster 30lb braid and 40lb floro that it would hold under that pressure...and it did, i was able to turn her and she came to the surface...I could see her glowing eyes in the dark waters as it was starting to rain, I kept fighting her until she was boatside and my brother scooped up my prize...a nice 33” snook!
After a few pics we set her free to fight again another day. We had a great night! There is something about the Florida Keys that’s special...until you have been there and fished those magical waters it cannot be explained...its paradise, plain and simple...fishing paradise. See you next time and Remember Spend More Time Fishing!
If you enjoy fishing for snook following articles on bullbuster.net:
5 Best Snook Fishing Lures - One of the most exciting ways to target snook is to target them with artificial lures. This article has a countdown of the top 5 lures for catching snook.
What Fishing Line Do I Need To Catch Snook? - Looking to spool your reels to fish specifically fo snook? We’ve got your back.
Do I Need Fluorocarbon To Catch Snook? - Snook can be notoriously picky eaters especially near major cities where they see lots of baits casted at them. Is fluorocarbon a must? This article goes in depth on this topic.
How To Catch More Snook At Night - Looking to target snook at night? This article has a few tips to help you be more successful in doing so.
Why You Should Use Yellow Braid For Snook - People ask us all the time is there a reason for having different colored fishing lines? In this case the answer is yes.
How To Rig To Catch Snook From A Pier - At the right time of the year Florida Piers can be loaded with snook. Learn how to rig for them.
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