On this specific day, I had just gotten off of work and decided to hit the beach with my fly rod and my girlfriend. We got down to the sand and not even 100 ft away from all the sunbathers there was a giant pod of glass minnows. I knew it was game on so I stepped out into the water as the minnows swam through my legs. It was something a fly fisherman only dreams about and just like clockwork within minutes a pod of hungry tarpon came ripping thru the school thrashing and bashing baits, I had a few good shots at some silver but there was just to much bait to get ahead so I was unable to get an eat.
About 5 minutes, in the crystal clear water 6 ghostly shadows begin cruising right towards me and I knew it was game time. I took the fly and made a generous cast about 3 feet in front of them and watched it sink right before they were in range. I started stripping and the shadows dispersed and all of a sudden my line went tight. I gave it a couple of good strip sets to make sure she was hooked good and it was game on!
She took off down the beach peeling fly line thru my fingers, we battled she tail walked almost completely out of the water. After about 10 minutes I finally got the fish within 10 feet of me and noticed my fly line was under the gill plate and right then my rod snapped in 3 pieces so I grabbed the fly line and started pulling and by some miracle I was able to get the lip grab and after 3 years of persistence and getting skunked and broken off I finally did it a beautiful healthy snook in the surf.
Definitely the most rewarding moment of my fly fishing career to date and I’ve caught 100+lb tarpon but this catch was special all the days of walking miles in the heat finally paid off!!
Article by Peter D’Angelo, be sure to check him out on Instagram @sofloflyguy. Photos from @theseasonalgirl.