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pickgrin

Back in action - and rewarded with a nice snook

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So I've been chasing an engine problem on my 88 Johnson SPL the last 6 weeks. It would bog down at mid-higher RMPs. Seemed almost for sure like a fuel problem of some sort. So with my friend Tom's help - I tried this and I replaced that and I tried another - basically wound up replacing the entire fuel system - new fuel lines, bulb, filter, rebuilt fuel pump - got rid of the male/female connectors at both the tank and the engine etc. Replaced the spark plugs and a couple other things I'm not thinking of. Replaced a bunch of stuff and still had the issue. So I had to bite the bullet and pay someone to tear apart, clean and rebuild the carb - which I had an idea was the issue the whole time - but was trying to avoid because that takes some time and good boat labor ain't cheap. Anyway - after being warned to make sure that who ever does the carb work knows exactly what they are doing - and talking to a few people - I decided I wanted Steve and John at Mayday Marine on Seminole (& 54th) to do the work for me and had to wait a couple weeks for them to be freed up enough from job commitments to do it. And then when the work was done and they were taking it out to test it - one of my hubs crapped out on the short ride to the lake they use - so they had to MacGiver a fix for it. So once I knew the engine was good - didn't want to wait another week for them to be able to get to the trailer and Steve said it would make it home - so I brought it home and Thursday morning Tom helped me redo the hubs as well... Whew. So I finally had my old whaler back running well and rolling well and was jonesing to fish. Asked Tom (easyrider) if he wanted to fish with me today (Saturday) - so we went out of Dunedin marina this morning. Went looking for Reds north of Dunedin Causeway - found some but couldn't get them to eat. Then we tried a snook spot but no dice there either. Tom caught a 3 ft blacktip and I caught a 14" trout - but that was it for the whole morning. We started to head back south and ran into Lloyd fishing alone in his boat (At Last) and stopped to talk to him for a couple minutes - then headed back south of the Causeway. We hit another snook spot and worked that mangrove line for awhile. At about 2:15 a big fish grabs my large grunt (about 6 1/2" freelined on a 2/0 Owner J Hook) and takes off. I knew it was a big snook right away and luckily she didn't try too hard to bulldog me into the mangroves. I kept the pressure on and backed out with the trolling motor and kept her away and out in the open. Fought her for about 4-5 minutes (finessing because I only had 10 lb line and 30 lb leader) and finally got her tired out enough to get her to the boat. 35 1/2" Snook. post-1149-1412122366142_thumb.jpgpost-1149-14121223662388_thumb.jpgAfter the release we kept trying but never got any more snook to bite. Headed back towards the marina and stopped off at 1 more spot to try and find reds because I was hoping to complete a slam. But I only caught 1 more 16" trout there (that was a very interesting yellowish color instead of silver) which Tom kept for dinner.post-1149-14121223663362_thumb.jpgSo it was a pretty slow day for fishing overall but 1 good fish for the day always makes me happy. And my boat runs great again - so thanks to Mayday Marine for the good work and thanks to Tom for helping me with all the other stuff we did. The good news is that most of the work we did probably needed to be done anyway - so hopefully I'm all done with issues and repairs for awhile and can concentrate on fishing again.

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Glad to hear you got all your boat woes sorted out Mike. That's a nice healthy snook to be welcomed back by lol. I agree with you on the one big fish making a day. Had a big girl bend some hooks on me this morning and shake free after a decent fight. I'd trade in all the snook I've caught this summer for a 40" slob.

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Oh - and I had a nice flounder (probably 17") on a Monster 3X shrimp - but lost it right at the boat - which was too bad because that would have gone home with me for dinner.

Did some one say flounder :smiley-shoc Pretty snook Mike. Almost time for beach flounder.

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Mike, Good story & congrats on the nice Snook. It only takes one nice fish as you know a lot of times to make a very memorable day.There is a trout that is caught further up the coast that prople call "Yellow Trout" and arent they sure pretty. I do not know if they are actually a different species. Capt.Skip

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And regarding the big snook - how could I have forgotten to mention about the 3 massive head shakes above the surface. She was too big to get airborne - but she was launching her front half straight up out of the water and then giving violent shakes back and forth trying to throw the hook or cut the leader. Luckily I had a very solid hook set in the corner of the mouth. It was an amazing and beautiful sight to see though. Really gets your adrenaline pumping in the heat of battle when you see that. But it's also a little concerning to see violent head shakes because a snook with this size and experience is fairly apt to cut you off with 30 lb leader doing this. They are very smart and know how to use those razor sharp gill plates to good advantage if they can't manage to drag you to structure. I've lost way more fish like this than I've landed over the years - that's for sure.So I guess it's appropriate for me to put a plug in for Ohero leader - because although my leader was definitely nicked and frayed kind of badly in a # of places up to about 8" from the hook - it held together strong and got her in. I've seen this happen quite a few times in similar circumstances and have to say I continue to be impressed with the durability of Ohero leader the more I use it.. I believe it is also the least expensive "good" leader on the market if you buy it at one of the Tampa/Tarpon Fishing Outfitter locations - so lower price and excellent performance under duress is a hard combination to beat.

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Nice snook Mike!!! Fat and healthy! Motor and trailer issues are no fun to deal with. Glad you got all of the problems worked out. Pretty trout too. Wondering if you caught that trout in dirty or very stained water. If so, it might have something to do with the color. Less sunlight penetration into the water could have caused the fish to be a lighter color. Definitely a cool looking trout.BTW...I really like that shirt you are wearing with the open mesh underneath. What brand of shirt is that?

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BA - there was nothing unusual about the flat - just the color of the trout. Skinny flat with a nice mix of grass and sand potholes. Perfect redfish territory -was fishing in about 18" and the water was moderately clear for this time of the year....The shirt is called Breathe Like A Fish. American made here in FL by Kent Hickman and for sure the best shirt I have for keeping cool in hot weather. It is surprising how well the venting mesh works to keep you from getting over heated. Try one - I think you will be impressed.

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