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Florida SnookSince Thanksgiving there’s been a cold front a week here in South West Florida; bad news for beach goers, good news for big Snook hunters. For the last 4 weeks, my friend, John Stark and I have been a team with a goal; to sight-fish and land big Snook on the fly. Cold fronts have helped, because the bigger Snook that usually stay off shore move in to the shorelines to get warm and feed and when the sea water teperature plummets, the wind is off the land, and the sun is bright, that’s when we go. It was 48-degrees at the landing in Chocoloskee when John and I left the ramp in his small Hells Bay skiff and headed south.The full moon tide was super low as John navigated through the shallow channels then we were zooming across the huge bays, huddled low and shivering. The first shoreline we poled showed us Snook alright, but they were asleep in the mud and we didn’t see them until we were on top of them and they shot away in a cloud.So we took our time, we waited for the tide to start running and the sun to warm both us and the Snook. John decided on a location choice. All I can do is marvel at the number of shorelines and coves he knows and at which stage of the tide there’ll likely be fish prowling. He’s equally fascinated by the flies I design for each condition and water color we encounter. We constantly talk all the strategies out to the enth degree.This day our teamwork paid off. As we were poling a shoreline up tide, we had hooked several Snook in the mid-twenty range, when a big Snook snuck by us. I threw a wild shot at her when John spotted her but she just plain got by us. I was pissed I’d missed the shot. John wasn’t going to let her get by that easy either and said, “I’m going to cut her off at that point. We’ll get there ahead and be waiting.” So he poled the skiff a hundred yards leaving a wake while I tried to keep my balance. He turned the skiff to give me an angle and in less than 15 seconds we saw the fish. I dropped a cast short and to the left, recast and put the fly across her snout, began dragging it and she ran it down with a vengence and exploded into the air.She made three more jumps, one all the way out of the water. 36 inches and 16 pounds.As we talked over and over about the chase, the take, the positioning, the presentation, the fly pattern, we became even more concious of the roles we each play in the hunt and how the chemistry between us as hunters that has a lot to do with our success ratio…how you communicate, the pace at which you hunt, patience with the cast. It all matters.