This past Friday Joe and I head down into the Glades for the first time since May. A steady breeze kept the oppressive heat at bay, and made for a glorious late-summer trip. There were a number of memorable moments. A big gator tried to swallow a snook I was releasing, and had Joe not hollered he may have swallowed far more. Deep in a backwater creek Joe hooked a dark snook that had a large crawdad stuck in its, well, craw, and then it spit up half of a digested water moccasin along with his lure. But the story of the day was my lesson in humility. We’re seldom competitive, but we did spark up a good-humored competition to keep things interesting. He switched from plugs to a jig early, and I scoffed at his choice like a smug dry fly angler disdaining the use of a nymph. Wrong move. In fact, had it been a boxing match instead of a fishing trip, I’d still be punch drunk. Joe started off the day with a flurry of catches, including many small snook, a healthy redfish and even a chunky drum. I caught a number of under-slot snook and rallied around mid day with a couple of nice linesiders, but he countered with a 30+ inch, copper-colored redfish that took my heart, and then smashed me to the canvas down the stretch with an all-out clinic. We tallied over 50 snook, several nice reds, and even a lone black drum — all on artificials. It was one of our best outings ever…though for much of the day I was merely a frustrated spectator to angling greatness. Rest assured, I want a rematch.
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