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Final snook of 2013....my biggest yet!!!!!!!!!!

I treated myself to a half day charter with Captain Andy Lee of Grassroots Guiding
( http://www.evergladesflyfishingguides.com ) to see if I could get into some of these huge redfish schools I've heard rumor of or maybe a big backcountry ****. We loaded up everything into his Hells Bay and headed south deep into the Everglades in search of a winter time back country slam.

After about a 40 minute run we pull up to a long mangrove shoreline Andy says usually holds big snook which lay up about 20 ft off the bank. I get on the bow and start pitching my paddletail towards the shore and litterally drag/reel it across the bottom all the way back to the boat. I'm working this jig so slow it takes at least 2-3 mintues per cast until I can cast again. We work the shoreline for 40 mintues with just a couple small snook to show for it and as we're reaching the final 200 yrds of the bank Andy looks at me and says "I know the big ones are here, I know it! Maybe they're between us and the point". Just as those words finish coming out of Andy's mouth my rod doubles over and drag on my new Stradic 4000 is screaming towards the middle of the bay, FISH ON! FISH ON!!!!

At first we both thought it was a big redfish the way it ran towards open water and was bulldoging that drag but then the big girl came up for the first headshake and we knew we were in for a fight. I had to play this fish very gingerly because I only had 30# leader on the rod and big snook like this could easily slice through 60# with no problem. We felt confident we could land this fish since we had her in open water as long as the leader held. Andy told me to fight this fish just like a tarpon, bowing to the fish everytime she jumped so the leader would have slack and not rub through on the gill rackers. After a solid 20 minutes of back and forth, several jumps that would make a tarpon proud and some great coaching from Andy we had this big girl on the boat. After a couple quick pics, we measured and weighed her then sent her home to fight another day.

She weighed 20# on the Boga and measured 40 inches, by far my biggest snook yet! Not a bad fish to finish out the year with!!!!!!!!!!!!

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