Went out Saturday with friends Austin (fish4reds) and Tammy for a little recon during this "Brown Tide" craze everyone is talking about. Indeed, the water clarity is poor, and the water quality is suffering as well. But Mother Nature will always find a way to adapt.
I split up from the pack for a little while to explore some territory I haven't fished in a few years. Saw a few tails here and there, but many would pop up for a few seconds, vanish, and then re-appear far away from where it was. Had 0 takers, even on live shrimp for the first few hours!
The wind kept switching directions: South to South East to South West. Then all of a sudden, the wind stopped. Tons of mullet appeared, and more tails started popping up. Then I noticed these tails had spots all over them. These aren't Reds, they are GIANT Trout! With slick glass calm conditions and within 40' from these tails, I grabbed my Slayer Lure SSB with a little Pro Cure Ladyfish Scent and pitched it past a few tails. Of course, the minute I stop paying attention I get thumped. Set the hook into what felt like a solid brick wall.
Then I see the Demonic Headshakes from this beast. Slow motion, the fish continued to shake it's head and swim right towards my yak. This wasn't a Red. It wasn't a Trout. It wasn't even a Gator Trout. This "thing" was an absolute Gorilla! With acrobatics like a Snook and unpredicatble direction changes, this fish had the skills to test even the most experienced anglers.
Measured 31" and prob close to 10lbs. A Trout of a Lifetime. However, as many of you know, reviving such a beast is no easy task. I snapped a few pictures, thanks to the help of a nearby boat, kept the fish underwater in between pictures, and attempted to release her with the utmost care. After several releases, it broke my heart to see this Big Momma surface belly up. I was placed with two options: release her and hope the lactic acid finds its way out of her system, risking other anglers to witness a giant trout floating throughout our lagoons, or keep the withering fish for a proper burial at the dinner table. I understood that other anglers on the water would jump to conclusions about seeing such a large trout floating in the lagoon, so I decided to share my prize with my friends. It was the lesser of two evils :-(
After a short prayer, Tammy agreed to take the trout and give it a good home. At the end of the day, we know we will NEVER forget such a beautiful behemoth.
No worries, there are still PLENTY more out there, trust me. It's just up to you to bring them boatside