"Smiles And Sunshine"
Updated: Feb 2, 2020
The morning of April 24, 2019 went the same as any other day. I woke up early, caught bait then gave thanks to the man up stairs for the beautiful weather. I in no way truly knew what was in store for that day but knew we would catch some fish. I did not know exactly the quantity or quality of the fish but hey that's fishing. We rode to the first spot with the sun high and the wind to our face with flat calm seas. This was the type of weather you dream about. As we approached the first fishing spot I turned off my Mercury outboard so that we would not spook any of the fish. I then deployed my Minn Kota trolling motor and quietly snuck within casting range as I anchored down with my Power Pole Shallow Water Anchor. Today was different because today was my first day to fun fishing for more then 4 months and the first day I got to fish with good buddies in what seemed like forever. I calmly walked to the livewell, grabbed a net full of bait, gave it a squeeze and loaded the bait in my chum bat then swung the chum in the beautiful blue skies. We watched the bait crash into the water and desperately try to swim away. Unfortunately for those little fellers they did not make it far. The first fish smacked the top of the water so hard it looked like an M80 firecracker had just exploded. Smiles and loud laughs echoed across the open water then we all looked at each other and said "SHHH" with big grins on our faces. The first cast was a redfish then the my buddy hooked a redfish. We both took a picture and released our redfish back into the water. as we were releasing our fish our other buddy hooked up with another beautiful redfish. I knew we were going to have a great day but I had no idea the bite was going to start off like this. We sat in that spot and caught a few more and decided to leave so that we would not sore lip them or put to much pressure on the fish because its a spot we love to fish.
As we got to the next spot we were a little worried the tide was to high and the fish might of scattered but that wasn't the case because my first cast "boom" another top slot redfish. If this was a fishing charter it would of been great because the redfish bite in Tampa Bay has declined over the past 6 years. we stayed in that spot and caught a few more fish then decided to try to catch a big snook a buddy has hooked lately but not lucky enough to land. As we set up in the spot our friend told us what to expect and where he has been hooking the fish. Once again my first cast was another beautiful redfish. We continued to catch Snook and a few redfish here and there for the next 30 minutes until we decided to put some cut bait on a rod while we took a lunch break. We sat back and was enjoying our firehouse subs over an ice cold adult beverage enjoying the beautiful weather we had when all of a sudden the rod that had the cut bait on it turnt completely over. My buddy Ashley jumped up like flash, grabbed the rod and the fight began. With the rod only having 20lb leader on it we knew it was going to take 10 percent skill and 90 percent luck to land this fish. My buddy Glenn quickly cranked up the outboard because within 5 seconds this fish had already took 25 yards on line and was heading to the mangroves. As the fish swim in the mangroves i then jumped into the water with the net to try to help land the fish if we get the chance. As i walked up to the mangrove the giant Snook got spooked and swam out to open water. We all were surprised and extremely lucky because now Ashley actually has a good chance to land this monster fish. After only another minute that felt like a lifetime we watched the fish surrender by turning over. I handed the net to Glenn as he landed one of the biggest snook we've ever seen to top off one of the best fishing experiences of my life.