My boys have basically grown up on the forum, now they are 12/15. My youngest, Jack, in the last couple of months has been really into catching a snook, so much so that I've been told he HAS to catch one by his Birthday, end of Oct. We have gone to the beach looking for the mullet run, hit the inlet, tried some bridges but no luck. I've caught hundreds of snook down here but it has been 15-20 since I've done much of it and I didn't really have alot of confidence. I bought him a 4' cast net a couple of years ago that has been collecting dust, but last month he got interested in it again. He googled Jose Wejebe, watched him throw the net and went out and taught himself how to do it, all on his own. Before school in the morning he's throwing it in the pool, in the yard, practically everywhere. I was pretty pumped up about that effort and last week I took him out and he got his first mullet on his own, but still no snook.
So Sat night, I told him I would take him out in the whaler and give it a try. We got tied up at a dinner, didn't get to Port Everglades until 8:30pm, I figured I would just buy some pilchards and have at it, no luck, they were out. Now what, no live bait so off we went in search of some mullet. After an hour or so, I was able to catch 2 so off we went to start slow trolling them, hoping for a tarpon or snook but would have been happy with anything. Mine got cut in half by a cuda withing 15 minutes so we were down to one bait. He feels a tug, immediately drops back and sets the hook. No jumps, but it seems to be pulling hard. After a few minutes it starts to really dog and pulls him to the gunnel a few times. Had to spin the boat a couple of times to keep it out of the motor. Up pops a monster snook! We both couldn't believe it. He was so excited I'm surprised you couldn't hear him yourself. We scrambled for a camera but could only come up with my crappy blackberry. Took a few shots and measured him, 36", well above the slot. For a split second, the thought did cross my mind that we were only 1/4 mile from the ramp, it's 9:45pm on Sat night, we could keep it and nobody would know the difference but immediately I knew that is not the right thing. We revived it, he kissed it on the lips and sent it on it's way. He was still beaming when 3 minutes later, blue lights light us up! FWC must have seen the excitement and came over to check us out. We showed them the pics and told them the story and they were giving him high fives. Of course, it was a valuable teaching moment as well, always do the right thing! I'm not sure it could have gone any better. Us doing it on our own and him doing everything on his own made it that much sweeter.