I was up to my chest in warm Caribbean water, about to recast my lure. I allowed myself a couple of seconds to calm myself, it was a matter of having to, I was shaking like a leaf, I looked over to the right and saw the beach security guard in his little hut, also a few holiday makers who had come down to the beach to see the beautiful sunrise were starting to make their way Back up to the resort to get breakfast, but breakfast was the last thing on my mind.
For the last ten minutes I had hooked and proceed to drop four fish that all hit my lure like a train and then jumped clear out of the water, in the process spitting the lure out. It was a magnificent sight but so frustrating that I couldn’t stay connected.
So I had to regain my focus, I had to get my heart rate down and I had to fish like I’ve never fished before. I would be sick if I had to walk off the beach defeated by these fish that by now had me totally addicted and curious to see what they were. I had an idea they were snook but I couldn’t be sure. So after a few seconds I lifted the bail arm of the reel and cast the plug in the direction of the fish. The fish were chasing bait fish on the surface and I could see their fins glistening in the morning sun as they worked the shoal giving me a target for my cast.
I started to retrieve, trying to mimic the action of the previous casts that had been hit so violently, my lure passed by the feeding fish and in my mind I was preparing for my next cast when the rod arched towards the sea and line peeled from my shimano exage, I got ready for the fish to jump, but this time it didn’t, instead it started running out to sea at a furious pace, and with my reel fizzing and my heart pumping I struck into the fish and for me then the fight began.
I could feel the power of the fish as soon as I started to put pressure on and then it was obvious this was a fish I couldn’t bully, I had to play this one or I would loose it. I eventually started getting some line back and moved back slighty, into more shallow water where I had a better footing, for the next 5 mins it was a ding dong battle of me gaining line and the fish taking even more, at this stage my mind was screaming “I hope your knots hold Shane” and “I hope the swivel you used is strong enough”. Eventually I got the fish close enough to see it and it was indeed a snook, I used the waves to help me get the fish close to shore, while it still led me a merry dance and gave me some heart stopping moments, and as soon as I got into the wash I dived on the fish and carried it onto the beach.
Relief was the first emotional that flooded my body followed by a massive shot of pure adrenaline, I was literally shaking. A couple walking on the beach had seen me playing the fish and had walked over, they were nearly as excited as I was, I must have looked hilarious, shaking, soaking wet and grinning like a loonie, but it was not over and now my attention turned to getting the hook out of the snooks mouth, then a quick picture and put the fish back.
Some of the fish I had caught before were given to the security guard but I don’t know what it was, maybe the epic fight or the size of the fish, I just knew I just had to release it back into the water. As I grabbed my phone out of my bag my smile vanished, the battery had died, for a horrible second I was in shock but luckily the quick thinking couple took a quick picture on their phone, then anxious not to stress the fish anymore I ran back into the surf and held the fish for a while, allowing the water to feed through the gills so some strength retuned to the fish and when I could feel the snook was ready I let the fish go, to my delight and with a massive flick of the tail the snook took off. I couldn’t fish anymore I was exhausted from the sheer adrenaline rush of it all, and so after giving my email details to the couple I went back to my room happy knowing I’d enjoy my holiday breakfast even more today.
I was on holiday In Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. The tackle I used was all stuff I use at home for bass fishing. After some research I found that there were reefs that had smaller fish but the larger species roamed the clean sand in deeper water. I decided to concentrate on the deeper water and had plenty of Spanish mackerel and some more tropical species also.