|I'm the luckiest guy I know. Happy Family, Sanibel, FLA, 2013|
Then it got nice. As the storm moved inland, it rapidly got nice. 85-90 degrees and sunny all day. Kids had fun at the pool, on the beach and we spent some time sight seeing, doing what vacationers do. And lots of relaxing. Sanibel is probably one of the best family vactions for a fishing dad- The fishing happens early and late in the day. Spend the middle of the day laying around the beach and doing flips at the pool. Fish before breakfast and after dinner. In June it is off-peak vacationer season so rates are low and beaches are not crowded.
The fishing was not that great the first few days due to the aftermath of the storm. The gulf side beaches (where the snook are) were a mess. An algae bloom washed down from Lake Okeechobee and stayed on the beaches for a few days with the incoming tides. However, I fished a bunch on the backside, caught some fish- Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, sea trout and jacks. But no snook. I met several other flyfishers cruising the beach all reporting similar success- or lack of success. No snook. Everyone was extremely helpful, sharing tactics, where to fish and how approach snook when you find them.
|wind, dirty water, big waves- no good for snook or laying around the beach.|
I stopped in Norm's flyshop and bought his book- "Snook on a Fly." Norm must be a fortune teller or can look into the future, because he wrote in my book- "There will be many big snook in your future- Norm." The next day it happened.
|Lowest tide- note the trough- this is where the snook are.|
Finally, SNOOK! and big snook.
The algae cleared out on our fourth day and I had learned the tides, where the channels and troughs were. Time to catch snook. I saw them. lots of them. On the outgoing tide, on the beach. Started catching fish. I spotted a big cruising female with a couple of smaller males. I cast the fly in front of her, stripped it away, she charged it...BOOM! Snook over 30" are different than 24" snook. It is a whole level of fish fighting above. She took line into backing, jumped twice and dogged hard. Lots of side pressure and my 7wt Sage was folding in half like in one of those Ugly Stik commercials. Landed her and a passerby took my picture with my iphone. What a fish. 34" sight cast-fly-caught beach snook. The holy grail.
|34" beach snook|
I didn't get many pictures of the other snook and fish that I caught due to the fact that it was pretty hard to do walking by youself. I need someone to join me...next year.