The last few weeks or so I have been hitting up the beach after work to sight fish snook on fly. However, up until yesterday I wasn’t able to bring more than one fish to hand on any of the days I went out. The majority of fish not even being snook.
So yesterday I got off work around 1:30 and noticed as I was driving home over the bridge that the bay was fairly flat and there was only a light East wind. With this I knew the Gulf would be lake-like for the next few hours until the sea breeze kicks in. Ten minutes later I was making my way across the street, to the beach.
As I stepped onto the beach it was quiet. No wind blowing, no people, and no boat traffic. Just the mild sound of waves lapping the shoreline. It was perfect! I started walking north towards Point of Rocks. The water was a little cloudier than I would have liked for sight fishing, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. About a quarter mile north of where I started there was a crab trap bouy 50 feet off the beach, and the fish always seem to conjugate in that area. I’ve caught several fish in the vicinity, including the two pictured above, so I made a few blind casts out toward the bouy to see if anything was hanging around it. Nothing. So I kept walking. Five steps later I saw a small shadow right where the water met the sand. I made a cast about six inches off the shoreline and began to slowly strip the line back in. It started to follow my fly, I felt a little bump, but I knew it hadn’t taken it, so I kept stripping more line. A little faster the next time and boom! I saw the shadow rush the fly and felt a much heavier thud as I set the hook and my line came tight. A few moments later I had “sheepshead on fly” checked off my list. I was pretty stoked. Unfortunately, he was not hooked very well and flopped out of my hand into the water before I could get a good picture of his infamous smile.
I continue down the beach with no action for the next couple hundred feet until I saw a giant school of bait getting blasted from all directions. I made my way towards it and tossed my fly in the middle of the chaos. Instantly I hooked up with a small jack. Quickly, I released him and made another cast, and once again I instantly had a fish on the other end of my line. That time a ladyfish. It made a few jumps and spit the hook. Good… This happened a dozen more times before I finally gave in to the fact that there was nothing with any size harassing the school of bait.
There were a few smaller schools of bait down the beach I tried my hand at with just solely ladyfish around them. The worst part was seeing a bunch of tarpon rolling constantly about 300 feet off the beach (just out of my casting range….) while I was stuck playing with their annoying stunt double.
As I got closer to the rocks, the water cleaned up a bit and I started to see a lot more snook. I was about 75 feet away from the rocks when I saw two snook cruising the shoreline coming right at me. I quickly pulled out my line and made a cast right where I wanted it, but a wave crashed as my fly landed and washed it up onto the sand. By the time I was ready for another cast I was spotted and they spooked. Luckily, they had a fat friend who couldn’t keep up and I had another chance to get it right. This time my fly landed two feet to the left of the shoreline. A few strips later I was hooked up. It was nice to finally catch the species I was targeting.
As I made it to the rocks it was too deep to wade so I preceded to climb and walk across them. When I found a rock that my sand-filled, two-sizes-too-small, no-traction shoes could stand on without me taking a swim, I made some casts. A couple minutes later I was hooked up to my second snook.
I removed the all white megalolipop, snapped a few pics, and let him go on his way.
The next cast I got broken off on some rocks from another snook about the same size. After that, I decided to call it a day as the sea breeze started to pick up and the storm clouds were rolling in. Just as I arrived back to the beach access, a waterspout formed and lasted for 10 minutes. Excuse the horrible pic as we all know GoPro’s aren’t known for their exceptional zoom…
Thanks for reading!
– Devin Maggio