I normally avoid Memorial Day weekend boat traffic, but I hadn't run the boat in three weeks, and I wanted to give my boat and trailer a systems check before heading to the Keys next week. Ronnie and I launched at Christenson's Landing just before sunrise and headed south with big snook on our minds only to find the water completely wrecked with fresh water runoff from the Sebastian River. Oh well, plan B it is. We turned the boat around, ran a few miles, and decided to fish some backcountry mangrove areas that I like, but haven't fished since 2015. As we stealthily work a shore line, a loud explosion breaks the silence and the water erupts on a point behind us. Ronnie says "holy crap is that a porpoise?". I respond "no...that is a big snook terrorizing the local mullet population" as I put the trolling motor on hyper speed and loop us into position. Ronnie lobs a cast into the frothy water and immediately gets plowed, but misses the hook set. My cast lands in perfect position and I come tight to a nice fish. As 15lb braid screams off the spool of my Stradic CI4, I realize one of the 5000's would have been a smarter choice. Snook are still blasting mullet on the point as Ronnie fires another cast into the melee and bows up as a monster snook erupts from the water and gill plates his leader. My fish changes direction, I gain some line, before she turns again bulldogging me to the edge of the mangroves. I get lucky and turn her and then she starts peeling drag down the shoreline. Ronnie grabs a rigged rod, fires off a cast, comes tight with another slob, and now his fish is screaming drag in the opposite direction down the shore line on the other side of the point. We are doubled up for about 45 seconds before the hook pulls on Ronnie's fish. We chase my fish with the trolling motor to get a better angle and somehow I am able to keep her out of the mangroves. I get lucky and steer her towards open water. A few minutes later we are posing for a quick picture before reviving and releasing her. Plan B worked out pretty good with some quality snook landed, a couple mid twenties trout, and a few 5-8lb jack crevalles.
39 inches...extra thick!