Monday, July 30, 2007

South Texas Snook

For those of you that read Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine check out some of Ernest Cisneros' recent articles if you haven't already. Ernest is the Snook King of South Texas and has been bringing in some spectacular catches this year. Recently, one of his clients and a fellow customer of ours, Richie, pulled in a beautiful 39" 17+lb snook on our Amber Sea Devil. Ever since seeing this photo I've been begging Ernest to let me come down and fish with them. Last week I finally got my chance when Richie had him booked for 2 days and had a spot open up on the trip. I got in my truck at 6 am in Houston and by 1 pm we were on the boat looking for my first snook.
One thing I didn't realize beforehand is that this is some of the most difficult fishing you will ever encounter in Texas. The reward of hooking up with one of these incredible fish is worth it, but not everyone can handle the workload involved. 2 days of wading through thick, almost impassible mud on top of the heat and lack of sleep can definitely wear on you both mentally and physically. The first evening was a spectacular bite, at least for everyone but me. Both Aaron and Ernest Cisneros were pulling in nice reds and snook, and Richie must have hooked up with at least a dozen fish including some large snook. Meanwhile, I was struggling with my focus after the 6 hour drive so when I did get a blow up I wasn't hooking up very well. By the end of that day the jokes were pouring in as everyone else caught fish except me.
The next morning we were joined by Ruben Garza from Fishing Tackle Unlimited and Bret from Floyd's Cajun Seafood House (try the BBQ Crabs!). Right off the bat Ruben was pulling in reds right next to me and I thought I was going to be in for another long, snookless day. Fortunately for me no one else caught any snook that morning but it was far from uneventful. Right after stepping off the boat Richie broke one of his crowns while chewing gum, but fortunately for him Bret can not only cook but also do some field dentistry work. Just a few hours later Richie managed to hookup with a cow-nosed ray and ended up breaking his rod. So needless to say I wasn't having the worst day out of the group.

Heading out that evening I knew this was my last chance to catch a snook, probably for a long time unless they happen to show up in Galveston. Thankfully the bite was strong again in the evening and I was both more prepared and focused. First I hooked up with this 28" red on a topwater (video coming later) which definitely got my drive going again. Then, just before sunset, we stumbled across a large pocket of bait exploding like fireworks. I lost one snook right away who took my new Plumtreuse Devil Eye and ran away into some thick grass. To avoid the grass I switched over to another topwater and just a few casts later I landed my first snook. I believe this also would be the first snook ever caught on the new Laguna Devil Eye Rod. Having gotten my first one out of the way, I was deadset on catching one on a Devil Eye so I changed back to the Plumtreuse and kept plugging. I lost a couple more snook (did I mention they are hard to catch?) and pulled in one more nice red on that lure. We managed to all keep getting blowups until the sun went down and caught an assortment of trout, reds and snook.

In all it was a great trip and I had a blast not just while fishing but the whole time just hanging out with the group. Thanks to Ernest, Aaron and Richie for letting me join them, and thanks again to Ruben for giving me a couch to sleep on, my neck is still stiff but it was worth it. If you ever get a chance this is definitely a trip to take and Ernest is without a doubt the guy to go to if you can book him. Check out his website for more info if you are interested in a trip. Now I just have to be patient until the next trip somehow....

Jason Brown

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