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Caxambas Snook & a Sleigh Ride!

Launched Saturday @ 6;55am. Water temp a balmy 86.5f.
Went to the beach with a guy I had not fished with since Dec 12th. (check my report on that date for background info).
Went to the beach with topwaters. Fish cast, blow-up and a miss. 3 minutes later, partner nets a 31" snook which took a magnum Pop-R. A few minutes later, I net his 27-inch snook taken on a Spook. We caught some jacks and lady fish (1 retained for chunking). I did hook a better snook (overslot) but did not re-tie from the 31" and he broke me off after a couple jumps. Lesson learned! Bite slows down and we run to the Morgan river. Did catch a few jacks and small mangos. Out to a point near Cape Romano. Set out 1 rod with the lady fish while throwing jigs and swim-baits. Chunk rod bends really well, I set the hook, feel some REALLY good weight and then nothing.

I reel it in and still have 5/0 hook, check the leader (see, lesson learned) it's fine, re-bait and toss it out. Minutes later, a 30" blacktip shark to the boat. After 20 minutes, bite fades and we're off to this island with a 8-fot channel and mud flats on 2 sides. (Dec 12th location). We went here for trout and my buddy quickly pulls in a 14-3/4" trout and quickly returns it.

And as Paul Harvey would say.........the rest of the story...........
Background: 7-foot Bass Pro Gold Cup Med action rod. Penn SSG4300 with 200 yards of 20 pound power pro and a 2-foot 30 pound mono-leader and a popping cork 4-feet about the newly impaled shrimp on a Gamagatsu 1/0 circle hook.
I toss the shrimp into the 8-foot water, lay the rod down and 3 seconds later, drag screams, rod begins its way to the water, I grab the rod and this fish screams off 100 yards. I really press the fish cupping the spool as I'm thinking shark or huge jack. Fish turns and jumps. 6-foot tarpon estimated at 100 pounds! Fish runs over a mud flat and partner asks "Chase with trolling or big motor"? I say "big motor"! He picks up the anchor fires the Yammy and off we go. Up and around a marker over another mud flat and then the sleigh ride begins. He/she takes us out to the gulf through the cut south of Dickmans Point. Out further into the gulf. Fish gulps about every minute. With 20-pound test/30-pound leader, cannot press to much. Now out 1/2 mile in the gulf, fish want to go shallow and takes us to Black Beach and then south. Pressure, chase, pressure chase, etc.

After 90-minutes and the fish 10-feet from the boat, line above the leader frays and pops! Estimate the sleigh ride was about 2 miles total. It was a BLAST with sore arms and hands. Cannot believe that line/hook/leader combo lasted that long.

Final Tally:
4 snook
2 short trout
2 short mango's
Jacks, lady fish and the shark
And 1 memorable ride around the Gulf!

Question for the experienced tarpon anglers:
Was it best to chase the fish, stop, pressure and when his run ends, chase again? And again?
or,
Just press the fish? Again, this a trout rig?

Might be out next weekend for more of the same!!!
Be Safe and Happy 4th of July!
Polar 1900 Yamaha 115

Replies

  • snookaffinitysnookaffinity Naples, FLPosts: 1,298 Officer
    Great report. That had to be a blast. I am no tarpon expert but I don't see how you could have done any better that you did. Too much pressure and he would have been off a lot earlier in the fight. Happy 4th of July!
    "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." - Mark Twain
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