Well I had finnaly had enough of this constant east wind 15-20kts, so i decided to make a move and try something new. Sat around and searched google earth a few times on Tuesday afternoon and decided on a Fort Pierce backcountry route through dense mangroves and narrow canals that would shelter me from this annoying wind. Loaded up the Slayer 14.5, swapped my 7' rods for 6.6's, and packed the bug spray that evening. Got up around 9 on Wednesday and looked outside only to see a monsoon out of my window. Checked the radar twice and called my friend who was lifeguarding at North beach park to see how conditions were in town. He said it looked good, so grabbed the rain coat and headed to my new spot. Get to US1 and its raining but i was gona tough it out, i needed to fish! Arrived at the launch point with rain still coming down so i wait in the truck for another 20 min till it stopped then unloaded the kayak, threw my gear on and set off down the canal. By now it was 12:30 which left me with only 3 hours to fish before i needed to be on the road to make it to dinner with the family that evening, which was completely doable on the little 2-3 mile track i had mapped out. 5 or so casts into the trip I hook a small snook who was hanging in a small canal outflow area. Caught him throwing a super spook jr that i had found up in a manrove limb a few trips back, good as new with some new VMC trebbles.
Nothin big but it made the trip worth it in my mind and got the skunk off the boat. Throw more around the area but no other fish to be caught. Move southward into the current, strong incoming tide, through a tiny channel with thick mangrove overhang forcing me to unconnect my 2 piece paddle and row with half of it. Kept paddling and fishing untill i found a small pond deep in the mangroves that was fed by a deep canal, deep enough for big fish to be in there. Began throwing the topwater and a small mirrodean c-eyes in the trout color. Had what i thought was a small tarpon pop the spook jr out of the water and about 4 ft in the air lol bummer. Throw a cast in tight to the mangroves and work it about 2ft out and then it gets absolutely nailed by a huge snook!! She takes off peeling drag of my little Stradic Ci4 with 10lb braid, keep in mind i wasn’t exactly expecting huge fish lol. She starts pulling me down a narrow canal with mangrove overhangs shooting down into the water. Im trying my best to keep almost all of my rod down in the water to avoid her catching the line on these overhangs. I managed to avoid about 6 or 7 of her attempts at this until finally my line got snagged on one big mass of roots. I begin untangling it while she continues to pull drag and thrash around out in the canal. After a min or 2 i get it undone only to find she had wrapped around another root, this time near the leader to where she was stuck to the root. Get up to her and get her head in the net, but that was it! Only 1/2 of this fish fit, so i grabbed her tail and gently placed her in the kayak, cut the line from her and the mangrove, then started breathing again lol! Probably my most epic battle ever in the kayak and one i will never forget. Put her on the measuring stick and she went right at 32'', an awesome backcountry beast! Grabbed the GoPro and began getting some killer pics and video...
Got her revived and kicking strong so i sent her on her way. Made my way out of the mangrove maze into the main river that was feeding these small cuts and canals. Felt like a river due to the 3-4kt current that was ripping through which made it really difficult to hold my position. Saw a few small snook chillin up under the mangrove overhangs so i figured it was a good time to break out the fly rod and give it a shot. Paddled up stream then drifted back down while casting up into the shodows of the bank. Came around one bend where i saw a snook hanging, made a decent cast and had 2 little guys fight over my fly until one was hooked, really cool to see. Landed him and took some pics, first snook i have ever LANDED on the fly rod, have had my a** handed to me by huge snook down in Stuart at night!
Kept casting the area only to pick up 2 small barracudas on fly before calling it a day. Over all an awsome day considering wind and rain conditions and time constraints. Hope u guys enjoy the story and pics...
Keeping busy while away from Florida