One Last Hurrah on the Peace

Pat (pflacon) met me at the house at 6am yesterday and we hit the road to give the Peace River another shot. As we cross the Manatee River, the sun is coming up. Crap! Had wanted to be there at first light, but forgot about the time change. So we launched just before 8am. Water temp was the low 80s and it had cleared up from the last time. It was to be a slow incoming tide all day, which is good for probing docks. Winds were pretty good all day and thankfully we had lots of cloud cover. It was hot.

We started working docks going towards 75. Me with the 4" mullet in shadflash and Pat with a Z-man paddlerz. Reeling in around 8:20am and a big fish came out of nowhere and crushed it. Line begins peeling off the reel and he begins to circle the boat. Turned out to be a big jack that swallowed my bait as I was trying to get it out of his mouth.

Wanted to make sure I worked all water columns on the docks to maximize my chances of catching any fish on it. Was hopping my lure off the bottom and picked up a 15" trout at 8:39pm. Pat got on the board with a 22" snook on the Z-Man at 8:50am. I hooked up with a rat red at 9:01am. We were getting some action, which was a lot better than when we were here last month. Pat caught a small snook at 9:30am. He hooked up with a 20" snook a few minutes later and then he boated a 24" snook at 10:10am. He was on a role. Four minutes later I caught a 17" trout. I finally hooked into a snooklet at 10:24am.

Tried to lift a snook into the boat at 10:30am, but the line was frayed and got broken off. She was around 26". Fifteen minutes later Pat landed a 22" snook. Where were the big boys? We worked the docks till the end and then hit the 75 bridge. Nothing happening there. Wanted to check out some new waters so we took a ride. Went west and worked the bridge pilings of the 41 bridge. Nada. Went into Charlotte Harbor and worked a few docks on the northern side going towards Alligator Bay.

Water was pretty skinny over there. We worked what docks were over there. Had worked a dock and was reeling in to cast again and my lure got blasted near the boat. It was a solid snook that gave me a great fight. Pat slipped the net under her at 12:33pm. She measured 28".

No more docks so we went towards AB to check the area out. Very skinny with more sand than grass. As we were trolling, I looked down and saw about a 5' sawfish just sitting in two feet of water. You should have seen the toothy snout on that joker. He could do some serious damage with that. We worked topwater and jigs for a while. Nothing other than a lady fish that Pat caught on the ssj. We got out of there and went back under 41 to the north side docks that always seem to pay off.

I picked up a 16" trout under a dock at 2:10pm. Pat caught an 18" snook at 2:36pm. We came up on the dock where I caught my pb snook. Let Pat have first shot under it and he made the most of it. He set the hook on a solid snook that fought him hard. I slipped her in the net at 2:40pm. She measured 26 1/4".

I missed one on the last dock down and we headed back under 75 to work all those docks again that we had worked in the morning. Switched to the smoke/gold halo color and was slowly swimming my lure near the bottom in the front of a dock at 3:45pm. Iit got blasted. Set the hook on a solid fish. Got it away from the dock. After a nice aerial display and some good runs, Pat got her in the net. She measured 28".

Working the docks was slow going and like my batteries, I was running out of juice. Got another good strike in deep water out in front of a dock at 4:29pm. Had forgot to re-adjust my drag and she wrapped me around a post. Held steady and trolled over. She finally came back around and after a nice fight, Pat slipped a nice snook in the net. She measured 27". Caught a 16" trout under a dock at 4:45pm. Hooked into a 23" snook at 5:03pm. Pat caught a 22" snook at 5:32pm.

We ran out of docks on the main river so we headed into Whiddon Bay to work Pat's red bank and the docks in there. Other than a dink snook I caught on a dock at 6:52pm, it was a complete bust. We worked a bit of topwater, but had no luck and I was spent. We headed for the ramp.

We must have worked over 100 docks. We had a fair day and both missed a number of strikes. I lost a number of snook that came unbuttoned and felt like I caught more snook than I really did. It was a lot of fun Pat. Thanks for making the trip with me.

Snook - 6 (2 snooklets, a 23"er, a 27"er and two 28"ers)
Trout - 4 (15"-17")
Red - 1 rat
Jack - A pretty big one

Snook - 8 (18"-26 1/4")
Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release


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