So it’s been quite a while since anyone has heard from me I’m sure. Perhaps it was just because I didn’t have a good enough story to tell. That changed last weekend…
A buddy of mine called me one night last weekend, telling me that the Pass Crabs were starting to show up (for those who aren’t familiar, they float on the surface and wash out helplessly with the outgoing tide), and some big snook were starting to take notice. He lives right on the pass and had already landed a couple 30″+ fish on live bait right there in his backyard, so I got the invite to come over and check it out. Even though I knew it would be futile, I decided to tie up a couple of floating crab patterns and bring my 10wt flyrod. Who knows right? Stranger things have happened.
When I got there, the live bait fishermen had a good chuckle at the flyrod, though they did admit that the fly looked pretty similar to the real thing:
To make a long story shorter, I stood out there, drinking beers and casting into the dark abyss, dead-drifting my foam crab and letting the outgoing current swing it back to shore at the end. This continued for a couple hours until almost midnight without so much as a nudge. As my friends started to pack up, I made just a few more casts. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what happened next. I heard a BIG pop, my fingers felt hot (line burn) and then I was staggering back and trying not to fall off the seawall. It wasn’t until my reel started screaming drag that I realized I must have a fish. What followed was the most intense fight I’ve ever experienced on fly tackle (granted I’ve never caught a big tarpon). For a few minutes, it was all I could do to hold onto the rod. Still can’t believe I didn’t get broken off on the rocks below, or chewed through, or bend the hook, or whatever else.
I didn’t have a tape measure but I put the fish against my rod and it was past the first stripping guide, which is 33″ from the fighting butt. I know it weighed over 10 pounds, but not sure by how much. And yes, that’s an incredibly stupid look on my face, but I just couldn’t help it I was so freakn’ shocked. BTW – I’m now thoroughly convinced that the bigger dip you take before casting, the bigger fish you’re going to catch.