Snookin'

Went out for a short trip to beat the heat with BigGary. We caught a few, but not what we were hoping for, and then this! Biggest since spring and a great battle. Took me all the way around the boat on the third run after jumping completely out of the water twice, which is rare for a fish this size. Had the whole lure in its mouth with one hook in the gill supports and the other partially swallowed. Working from behind the gills and then in that cavernous mouth with 2 tools a hand and the lure, we got him unhooked without damage and only a drop or two of blood. Quick pic and release with surprisingly short revival.

With Snook season approaching, this fish gives me an opportunity to get on my soapbox a little if you will indulge me. A slot Red here on the west coast is generally 2 years old, often even over slots can be 2. A slot Snook is between 8-12 years old and this one was probably 14, which is the life expectancy. There are a lot of juvenile Snook around, which is great to see, but it takes a long time for them to grow and all it takes is s bad cold snap to devastate the fishery. It's your fish, so do what you want, but consider releasing them due to the difficult growing cycle, fragile existence and value as a great inshore gamefish. On a good note, properly handled and revived, they may be the highest survival rate around. Large ones need a good revival. I hold them in front of the tail and move it side to side like a swimming motion until they kick out of my hand.

Replies

  • xmuskyguidexmuskyguide Beautiful HomosassaPosts: 1,722 Captain
    That's a beauty Ted! :thumbsup
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • gators7233gators7233 Posts: 32 Greenhorn
    Very nice fish! And well said about releasing them due to the difficult growing cycle.
  • BillyBilly ChassahowitzkaPosts: 2,727 Captain
    Although they taste great, so do many other fish that are more "expendable" like mullet for example, so I'm thinking about not taking my limit this year of one to eat. Ted has made me change my thinking, on why I release most of the eating size reds I catch (reds are a favorite of mine to eat), but would want to keep a snook or two.

    Nice catch as usual Ted, guess we need to get out sometime (I promise not to target reds), maybe take Gary as he has a package for me I believe. :)

    Bill
    "And the ocean is howling for the things that might have been..."
  • Gator4LifeGator4Life Gainesville,FlPosts: 576 Officer
    Good God that thing is huuuge!!! Nice Fish!!! I've been seeing more reports of them up here in CK this year. Maybe I'll get lucky before the end of the year and accidentally catch one.
    Grasshopper
  • YackedupYackedup Posts: 149 Deckhand
    :thumbsup
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Formally known as Anvil :spin
  • RedbonzRedbonz Posts: 4,538 Captain
    That's a beast Ted. How big was it beside wow....:grin
    If it don't fit force it. If it breaks it needed replace anyways. :banghead
  • HammerheadTedHammerheadTed Posts: 1,256 Officer
    I'm holding it out some, but it was about 40". Didn't take the time to measure it, wanted to get it back in the water after a difficult unhooking. This post spawn female was raggedy and not real fat, but the biggest mouth and one of the longest I've caught.
  • HammerheadTedHammerheadTed Posts: 1,256 Officer
    Billy wrote: »
    Although they taste great, so do many other fish that are more "expendable" like mullet for example, so I'm thinking about not taking my limit this year of one to eat. Ted has made me change my thinking, on why I release most of the eating size reds I catch (reds are a favorite of mine to eat), but would want to keep a snook or two.

    Nice catch as usual Ted, guess we need to get out sometime (I promise not to target reds), maybe take Gary as he has a package for me I believe. :)

    Bill

    We do need to get out. Been catching some nice Reds this year. Tried to call you a couple times and left a message.
  • AZ2FLAZ2FL Posts: 73 Greenhorn
    Impressive snook !
  • HARRYDHARRYD Posts: 208 Deckhand
    Only in my dreams the night before a trip or when I am telling friends about a trip.:rotflmao
  • Snook SpankerSnook Spanker Inglis / YankeetownPosts: 1,843 Captain
    Amazing fish Ted!! What a catch!! Thanks for education the guys and gals about how lucky we are to have this awesome fishery here in our area!! Personally I agree with you whole heartedly about not keeping slot snook!! Maybe the slot works well down south or on the east coast but here things are different!! Personally I haven't kept a snook for somewhere between 15~20 years and maybe more, just can't remember the last time I ate one???
    Unfortunately I haven't been able to target them in a while which may be a good thing for them since like Ted, they are my primary target when I do fish. Life has thrown me some wild pitches in the last couple years and I just haven't been able to get my old tub up and running, It's been a couple of years since she has seen the water but with God's blessing maybe that will change soon?? Now that I am living in Inglis and fairly close to the Gulf and very close to the lower Withlacoochee River it should make it's lot easier to get out there once the mess that is my life settles which it has been lately!!!
    Again great words Ted!! Thank you much old friend, keep on catchin Dem Snukez!~!!!! Oh, tell Gary I said Hey!!!
    I am'z what I am'z and that'z all that I am'z!! > Popeye!
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,132 Moderator
    Nice one Ted !
    "You'll get your weather"
  • BillyBilly ChassahowitzkaPosts: 2,727 Captain
    We do need to get out. Been catching some nice Reds this year. Tried to call you a couple times and left a message.

    I got one that wanted to meet at the Freezer but it was too late when I saw it. I'm almost always good for a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday outing.

    Bill
    "And the ocean is howling for the things that might have been..."
  • FS ShelbyFS Shelby Posts: 689 Admin
    Great report, thanks for sharing with the FS forum community!

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