I took my brother out for a saltwater trip. He got really in to bass fishing while living in Korea and has kind of shyed away from saltwater fishing lately in favor of chasing largemouth in local lakes and ponds. He wanted to try and catch a few trout, snook or redfish to kind of mix things up.
We met up when I got off work Sunday morning at a launch in the Placida/Gasparilla sound area. I had success here early in the week so we figured it would be worth a shot. I tried to offer as much input and knowledge as possible... stuff like "I've caught a redfish on this dock using this bait..." "Snook like to hang out there..." "a faster retreive here gets more trout but if you slow it down..." It wound up paying off because within about an hour he had a decent slam including his biggest trout ever at 18 inches. My luck was almost non existent for most of the morning, as I caught a handful of trout with only one even being slot sized.
He hadn't gotten a photograph of his snook as it was his first fish of the morning, so he asked if there was anywhere close by we could specifically target snook. I have a shoreline I have had good success on that was close by so we paddled on over. I start explaining the layout of the shoreline, the way the grass is, how there's a bit of a drop off, why I think snook live there, etc. etc. etc. I hooked a jack almost immediately and had a decent fight but it wasn't what we were looking for. A few casts later and my brother is starting to think I'm talking out of my rear end about this being a snook spot. I switched over to a lil jon and started targeting a little deeper water around that drop off I was speaking of and almost immediately hooked up. I knew it was a snook right off the bat. It gave a nice headshake above the water and I realized it was a bit bigger fish. It was a perfect scenario, the fight started about 50 yards from the closest dock and about 25 yards from the closest submerged mangrove roots, so there wasn't much chance of the fish getting in to anything and breaking me off. After a lot of drag screaming I got the fish to the side of the boat and asked my brother to come over and get a picture as I knew it would at least be competing for my biggest snook ever. He snapped a quick picture and I took a measurement, 32" beating my old best by 1.5"
It's always nice when a plan comes together!