I started to make my way in early when there was just a hint of light going through the opening in the mangroves. My incentive was finding some snook feeding at sunrise when I reached my destination. It was anything but easy getting there and I questioned my motives a few times. A lot of the waterway was too narrow to paddle and I had to pull myself through using the grass and mangrove branches along with at the same time brushing off the spider webs that crossed the trail most of the way. It was a relief when I made it to more open water. First thing was to clean off all my gear and get all the debris out of the boat including all the little critters and a few small tree frogs who were hitching a ride. I laugh to myself as to what I put myself through sometimes to get to some of these places to fish. Later in the cooler season this will all change and it will get easier to access.
There was a light rain but I could see some activity and started fishing throwing a top water plug. I’ve been in these kinds of areas a few times over the last couple weeks and hadn’t been able to locate some of the larger snook who usually will spend the cooler months in these areas. Today was not much different but I had a couple of nice follows by bigger fish who would not commit. It will probably take a good cold spell before more fish start to migrate to these areas. I caught a few smaller fish on the top water plug and a few fishing with a small swimbait. I had one nice unexpected hookup with a smaller tarpon on the top water plug along a shoreline.
I knew the tarpon were around as I would see them rolling here and there as I made my way through a couple of the different small lakes. After working my way back to the lake where I began I switched gears and got out the fly rod to see if I could have some fun with them. The fish I had been seeing were mostly smaller size around 5 to maybe 10 pounds. After setting up and anchoring around where I was seeing them I made a practice cast. Catching me off guard as I stripped appears a huge wake following my fly at around twenty feet away and then turns off near the boat making a good wake and disappears. In the excitement and the reflection from the water I couldn’t tell if it was a tarpon, I want to think that it was a large snook. It took me a few minutes to recompose myself... When getting back at it I made casts to the rollers and hooked up three different times but none to the boat but still lots of fun having these crazy fish on the end of your line. Before I called it a day I made some casts with a plug on the spinning rod and caught 2 nice fish both maybe around 7- 8lbs. It wasn't too bad getting back to where I launched. At least I could see what was ahead me.
Here's a couple examples of the unnamed fly's I used today tyed by a friend, Auston.