I love taking kids fishing…and as a father of 3 daughters, everyone knows I have a special place in my heart for girls that catch fish, and love to fish with their dads. And when a kid catches a big snook, the trip becomes ideal!
Ian and Matilda have been fishing with me since she was a little bitty, and I watched her catch her first saltwater fish. Well, after several years, Tilda was ready for a long hot day in the 10,000 islands, and ready for some big fish. Specifically, a big snook. So off we went out of Goodland, deep down to the edge of the park, and started fishing our way back. The fish were eating, and we had caught quite a few, when we stopped at one of my big snook spots. Tilda tossed in her bait, and immediately felt a thump, and set that hook. The rod doubled down, the battle was on, but 15 minutes later when she finally got her beast boatside, the snook turned into a big ol jewfish! Her biggest, none the less, so we excitedly photographed, took tissue samples, and released.
Next stop, another high energy spot, but today, it became special! As the incoming tide boiled around the oysters, Tilda felt another thump. Drag screeched, we all squealed in excitement as the giant head of a giant snook exploded from the black water and shook its big ol head, flared gills and maw violently as it tried to shake the bait. Several big screaming runs, 3 more jumps, and she had the fish gliding to the boat, ready for the net, when it suddenly turned and went straight to the outboard motor, and wound the line in the propeller…snap. The brute was gone. We were all crushed. A huge over 40 inch snook, made a boat-side move and broke a little girls heart.
After we recovered from the nausea and disappointment, we baited back up, got our lines back out and started banging fun-sized snook. Lots of em. Probably caught a dozen from 24-28 inches, which would make anyone happy, but not this captain and dad and kid, not after that heartbreak. The pall of the lost giant sat on us like a thick fog in the bright hot July sun. Well, the Snook Gods must have been forgiving, because the next thump, on a big bait, in the deep water , the line stood still when Tilda set the hook. Are you on the bottom, I asked? Screaming drag, and another huge violently shaking head answered my question, and cranked up my excited blabbering. Anyone who fishes with me knows the sound of this blabber, and it always means we have a shot at a special beast.
This fish ran right to the and across the oyster, and as it crossed, Captain Blabber managed to get out ‘hold that rod high ad stay on those tippy toes’…as the big fish swung back around and into the deep water and currents, several more runs, but no more jumps. Suddenly as we had it 10 feet from the boat, the big fish decided it was time to jump, 3 explosive full body shakes clear of the water, and we were all squealing and blabbering. Somehow it was still hooked, and this time, she steered it right on into the net, and BOOM! Matilda was in the 40 inch club!
The summer is hot, but it is my favorite time of the year! I truly believe summertime is the best time o catch that fish of a lifetime. These fish always seem to make a kid or family’s day, and the fun is never ending. The magic of a big fish, especialy, when a kid catches a big snook, no school, and a hot summer day can bring us all back to those special memories that reside the nostalgia of our youth!Tags: big snook, charter fishing in naples, family fishing, familyfishingtrip, golaithgrouper, jewfish, kids fishing, marco island fishing charters, marcoinshorefishing, marcoislandfishing, naples fishing charters, naplescaptain, naplesfishing, naplesfishingguide, naplesinshorefishing, snook, snook fishing, takeakidfishing