Trip to Peace River

Got up early Friday morning to drive to the Peace River. Got to the Harbour Heights Boat Ramp around 7am, which was just over 90 miles from the house. This ramp was very easy to find and within a couple of miles of I-75. Great ramp for small to mid-size boats. Normally you pay per hour for parking there at $.75 per hour. The machine wasn't working and had a plastic bag around it so didn't have to pay. Sweet!

I launched around 7:15am and immediately headed over to a little reed patch at the mouth of Whidden Bay. I tossed out my Spook Jr. in bone and walked it right next to the point of this grass. A big fish swirled and began to follow the lure. A few more twitches and she sucked it under. I had her on for a second and it popped free. First cast! Had to be a good red. Tried again but nothing. Now working the small island near the ramp and a decent fish strikes my lure twice. I throw back and a good fish smacks the lure. It was a decent snook. Fight it all the way to the boat and she throws the lure. Finally, at 7:36am, I caught a 19 1/2" snook on the spook on this same little island. No more strikes there so I decide to keep working the shade and go across the river.

I head into what is called Shell Creek I believe and still working the shade with the spook. At 8:03 am, my lure gets slammed. Fight the fish and it becomes airborn. It is a good snook. Finally get the fish in the net and she measures 29". I came up on this point and walk my spook in front of it. A big snook rockets out of the water at least two feet and knocks my lure in the air at least four feet. Throw out again and the fish does the same thing. Throw out again and she strikes it but misses. I throw up on the bank near where she was. She sucked it under and I had her own for a second and the lure pops free. No more strikes after a while so I went over to work some docks on the north side of the river.

Working a rock wall, I picked up a 19" snook on the RT shadflash at 10:10am. All snook were caught on this lure, besides the spook. Ten minutes later I caught a 19 1/2" snook under a dock. At 10:25am, I caught a 17 1/4" snook under a dock. At 10:45am, a 17 3/4" snook succumbed to my offering. Caught a 20" snook at 10:51am under a dock. Lost two snook from under the next dock. Lost a snook under each of the next two docks. At 11:20 I caught a 24" snook under a dock. Three minutes later I caught a 17 3/4" snook under the same dock. I threw out in front of this same dock and set the hook on a good fish at 11:25am. A nice snook exploded from the water and gave me a great fight. Finally got her in the net and she measured 29 3/4". Three fish off this one dock.

Ran out of docks so I headed to the 75 bridge. Working the pilings on the north side. I was paralleling them and set the hook on a decent fish at 12:05pm. It was a snook. Got her in the net and she measured 22 1/4". No more strikes under the bridge so I headed back to work more docks. Must have worked 20 docks and only managed one 17 1/2" snook at 1:20pm.

Went inside Whidden Bay to see if I could muster up a redfish. It is maybe 4' deep at most in this entire bay. Threw a gold spoon and also worked about 15 docks in there but nothing for my efforts. Decided to head up river. Went a long ways. Worked a bunch of areas and managed a 13 1/2" redfish at 4:04pm on the RT rootbeer/gold. Came back down river and the wind was whipping. Decided to head through Shell Creek to the other side to work docks. Lost a decent snook under a dock. Worked topwater again around the ramp and had no luck. By now it is dark and time to go.

What a fantastic river. The snook were on fire early but then my boat dock bite died. The current moves pretty good in that river and the tides flip almost immediately. I will be going back to this place very soon.

PS - I also went out today to the LMR. I caught a couple of very small snook, three rat reds, a 21" red, a 26 1/4" red and a 15" trout. I also lost a very nice redfish on the spook at dark after I fought it all the way to the boat. The lure just popped out. Pics are of the two snook from the Peace River and the nice redfish I caught today.
Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release


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