Group: Super Administrators
Joined: Jan. 2004
||Posted: Dec. 01 2007,21:58
Sue Sea and I hadn't been to John Pennekamp for awhile and it was sure nice to be back. We launched by the site of the Yak-In's, over by the Snook pavillion. Then off across Largo Sound to the east shore of the Sound.
There are really three areas that tend to offer larger cuda: Near the large mangrove key (roughly north east from the channel), then heading south along the shore there are two smallish keys, and finally the area maybe a quarter mile east of the channel, where the shore turns south to form a bay at the sound end of the Sound.
All three areas were good for action. I had a HUGE strike on a topwater by the large mangrove key - either a cuda in the 3 to 4 foot range or a smaller shark. In either case an immediate cut off.
Then on to the two smaller humps. Large cuda lie in wait in deeper water, medium to small around the humps, usually in the lee. Caught 3 or 4 decent cuda, had a couple more on. Not the big cuda I was after.
The last stop was by the aforementioned turn at the south end, my last chance for a couple quick casts as the sun was headin down and the Park closing. On the second cast - boom! A very, very serious fish.
Immediately ran line and the fight was on. One projectile leap and both Sue Sea and I knew I was into a good one. A bulky fish which did not appear to be a cuda. After about 15 minutes and several runs, I finally worked the fish close to the yak to discover what appeared to be at least a four foot cuda.
At this point I had serious reservations bout landing it, but while thinking about it, managed to work him down and was pretty sure there wasn't much left. This is a very serious decision as more than one cuda has surprised me with a burst of meanness near the kayak.
Fortunately I was right.
The cuda was worn and I got his huge head out of the water and held it there at arms length just to be sure. Then carefully affixed my lip grips, then detached my topwater. Lifted it carefully and this cuda was at least four feet, maybe another half. Too long for me to get it fully out of the water. Then, insertion into the water facing AWAY from me, with a gentle push to cause some water flow, and it lumbered away.
Fantastic. A personal record.
I've always said that, for me, fishing is best when I'm dealing with a fish that scares me as much as I scare it. An even matchup.
Our day ended at Gilbert's where we caught Joey and his group "Member's Only" - a great retro rock band. Doing some great covers from Santana, Allmans, Beatles, and many more - all outdoors under the big Tiki bar.
It doesn't get any better than that....
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