Welcome to Fly Fishing The Salt! If you are just discovering the joys of fly fishing the salt
(or salt chuck as some call it) here you will find information to steer you in the right
direction. Tips on what equipment to use, why, where and how to fish. And we will
try to include a little inspiration to get you going. For the experienced salt water angler,
there will be personal stories about real fishermen and their experiences, tips on what flies
for which fish and techniques that work. Your stories and articles are also most welcome.
Share the knowledge and adventure. Pass it on! This is for you.
Saltwater Fly Fishing For Inshore Game Fish:
A Huge Snook
By Capt. Douglas Sinclair
This was late September. I took a couple of days off from work to help my wife after the birth
of our new baby boy. The afternoons were just starting to cool off and you could feel a light breeze
blowing up the canal next to the trailer we rented. This was always my favorite time of the year.
Late afternoon and evening fishing was a real treat. With the days still longer and no change in
the clocks, it was nice for fishing.
Around 4:30, Roger called me to go fishing. A couple of the guys from the shop were going
out because the snook had started getting hot. Nothing finer than barbequed snook. I declined
because I thought I couldn't just leave Annie home alone. But, honestly, I was really getting bored.
My good intentions of helping didn't amount to squat, outside of keeping Annie company.
About 8:30 I heard a ruckus in the canal. Sure sounded like it could be a snook breaking
up some bait. My ears were peeled on the sound coming from the canal, as I half listened
to Annie talking about something. Then I heard a crash right near the coquina sea wall that
separated the lawn next to the trailer from the canal. I was sure it was a snook.
I got up slowly and walked over to the window and listened some more. Thrash,
God was I bored just sitting in that house. I turned to Annie, who had already read my mind.
She said, "Go ahead." So I grabbed the rod and a mirro-lure and headed out the door.
By now it was pitch-black out. I couldn't even see the other side of the canal. The was
once an old drainage ditch that the State built and it had since taken on a life of its own.
I got as close to the seawall as I could and did a kind of short cast, because, like I said,
I couldn't see the other side and I didn't want to cast there in the dark. A short 15 or
20-foot cast and the M52 hit the water. I let it settle a little, and then gave a quick
twitch to the left and another to the right. I did this for the full retrieve and I thought
I could hear something behind it. So, I reeled in and recast. This time a shorter cast
of about 10 feet. The lure hit the water and on my second twitch the snook hit it with
all the fury of a lion pulling down a water buffalo at about 30 mph.
ZING! 50 feet of line peeled off in about 2 seconds.
God, this guy was strong and pulled hard to what I thought was the other side of the
canal. I fought this snook for about 15 minutes and finally he started to give in.
I got him over to the seawall, and held the rod up high with my left hand as I reached
down with my right hand to grab his tail. I didn't want to risk getting my hand near the
gill-plates because they are sharp as razors. I didn't have anything to really pull him in
with since I walked out the door with just the rod and reel and the mirro-lure.
There was the slightest hint of light coming from a street lamp. So I could see the
reflection of the line in the water and this huge fish just below the surface that I was
now reeling towards my right hand. As I bent down to grab the snook I was mortified
at what came out of the water. A five-foot alligator had my mirro-lure stuck to his cheek
and eyelid. He wasn't very happy.
This gator was coming for me so I threw the rod and reel into the canal and walked briskly back
to the trailer.
I went immediately to the frig and pulled out a can of beer. Chugged it down and
grabbed for another one.
Annie came in and said,"What happened? You look white as a ghost."
I told her the story.
That was the last time I went snook fishing after dark in the canal.
Capt. Doug Sinclair has relocated from New Smyrna Beach, Florida to
Grantsboro, NC. He specializes in fly-fishing and light tackle charters.
Doug charters the Coastal Carolina area of New Bern or Oriental.
Catch him on the web at
www.flyfishacademy.net or call him at (252) 745-3500.
Doug is also a Sponsor here on FAOL.
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