Fly Fishing Forum - View Single Post - Belize in Late January
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:32 AM
figen figen is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Posts: 28
well, in the interest of generating some posts...

What's the deal with snook? I just don't get it.

Bonefish has the beauty and strong runs, and they are often caught sight fishing in picturesque flats, leaving the angler with memories that will last a lifetime. The first time experiencing a feeding frenzy of tailing bones, where the tails reflect the low afternoon sun and light up the entire flat like Chinese lanterns, is almost a life changing event. The bigger ones can easily take 150 yards of backing from your reel, and the whole fish is essentially one big muscle, having escaped evolution with pure speed, paranoia and the ability to change their reflective color earning the name grey ghost. The perfect entry point to any tropical fishing, and when beyond the mini/size of Belize/Mexico, it's really the perfect gamefish, easily DIY-ed, and many fly fishermen, myself included, are in no hurry to advance through the ranks of species, because bonefishing can be fantastic.

Then of course the Permit, the elusive and notoriously difficult jack derivative, causing grey hairs in fishermen for years, often regarded as the top prize for any fisherman with single-digit AFTM class rod. Still of course sight fishing, that makes every fish special, and in permit circles one counts the spottings and attempts, and not just the caught ones. Catching a permit is a big deal, and its reluctance to eat a fly just makes it more interesting to the circle of addicts. Again this truly is a game of skill as cast, presentation and fly must be perfect, conceptually it is very similar to nymphing for a very selective brown trout, it really is the fisherman outsmarting a fish in a very specific way. Catching a big permit would crown any fly fishing career.

And continuing, there is of course the tarpon, the giant herring that grows to ridiculous sizes for any sane person to attempt with a fly rod, but apparently that only makes it more addictive. The tarpon is infamous for wild jumping, in an attempt to lose the fly, it can dance across the surface like nothing else, an excellent showman that grow so large that if one should manage to land a big one, you need to wide-angle camera to fit the fish in a picture. Very addictive fishing, and mostly sight fishing at that.

And then, of course the barracuda. I am in complete awe of this fish, the speed and predatory instincts of this species are truely amazing. They can jump like tarpon, and they can snag any prey in two with the precision and speed unmatched in the flats environments, even by sharks. And you can find them pretty much anywhere. Not very easy to catch on a fly, unless you can make long casts, but stripping your line when you see big cuda racing after your fly is fantastic fun, and their take is often so hard that hook-shank, wired leader and any knot would be lucky to survive it. Not as well suited for fly fishing and not usually a whole-day thing, but still, yeah I love the cudas.

and so on...

But what about the snook? In my mind, it has has absolutely nothing to offer. No blistering runs. No predatory instinct and ability like the cuda. It does not have the size of permit and tarpon, and as far as I know you blind fish after it around mangroves, and 99% of the time from a boat. And when you get one on the line, it remains utterly unspectacular, a little splashing at best, no strong runs, it's not a fish made for high speed swimming or acrobatics, it's made to lurk around mangroves unwilling to explore the its surroundings full of adventure. It's a fish that has given up the moment it is born. And after an unspectacular fight, you can land the thing. And it looks like a cod, which also describes how it fights. At least you can eat the cod...

Surely the snook is nothing more than a bi-product from real fishing. It's the equivalent of hunting seagulls with a gun, it's just not something you do, except as a distraction when opportunity finds you, not the other way around.


Never fished for snook in my life, but I'm headed for Ascension Bay a little later this month, and after I fail to catch permit, I might go snook fishing. I do not expect to like it.
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