The seasons are changing in the Everglades... Summer fishing season to Winter fishing season.
A photo of a very nice snook I caught late last November in Chokoloskee Bay, this one was around 38”. A somewhat of a rare catch and for many it would be a catch of a lifetime. Add to the scenario of catching a larger snook as this out of a kayak and well, it’s even more of a rare occurrence. For those who have fished for snook know what I’m talking about and for those who haven’t you will only know what I’m really talking about when you get the opportunity to experience it for yourself. With all the time I spend on the water I still only get the opportunity a few times a year. I’ll never forget catching this fish, using light tackle as I normally do standing drifting and fishing an oyster bed shore line in the shallows. I knew instantly when I hooked up with that fish that chances would be slim getting it in the boat. I had previously just caught a couple of other snook so my 30lb leader was somewhat worn and may be nicked along with only having 10lb power pro braided line, not a good scenario around the sharp oysters let alone the razor sharp gill plates of the fish (I’ve been cut off by snook even when using 50lb leader). Anyway, I got lucky, kept her away from the oysters and was able to turn the fish somehow as it freight trained away and worked it back to the boat.
I’ve missed a few larger snook over the last couple of weeks fishing the backwaters, the last a couple of days ago. I’ve been spending time up in the backcountry doing a lot of exploring and kayak fishing. Fishing an area I know fairly well I was looking for tarpon. It was pretty windy and there were no signs of them feeding or rolling so I was just making blind casts with a plug as I covered a large open area. This is the second or third time this has happened recently and around 10ft from the boat hooking up with a larger fish as I retrieved my plug. She never surfaced but I saw it was a large snook as it passed by the side of the boat. Thinking I had a good hook set the fish ran giving me a good (sleigh) ride only to throw the hook with a violent headshake. So be it... I will be back soon. This happened in the same place a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been spotting more larger fish in the backcountry but without a real cold front to cool the outer bays and gulf waters I don’t believe many fish have migrated yet still. I have been catching fish in the back, mostly smaller snook (up to around 22") and baby reds and an occasional juvenile tarpon. I got out and fished the bay (Choko) yesterday and when the tide changed to incoming the fish began feeding, I caught a few snook, a couple of trout and smaller redfish and also many ladyfish and a couple of gag groupers.