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Had a terrific day in the 10K Islands yesterday with my buddy Mike. We launched at Outdoor Resorts around 6:30 a.m. and planned to fish close in to Chokoloskee in the backcountry. Wind was a bit more brisk than the weatherman predicted, imagine that! Initially overcast, the sky cleared and we had beautiful though cool weather. 9:07 a.m. low at Chokoloskee so we would have outgoing water for a couple of hours and then incoming for most of the day. Fishing live shrimp on jig heads, some plugs and soft plastics, we caught dozens of dink snook, 10-12 rat reds, a couple of slot reds, 1/2 dozen trout, couple of jacks and ladyfish. And then, to cap the day Mike brought this monster to the boat. I spotted a sheepshead against the mangroves and tossed a shrimp at it. The little convict didn't eat, but then we saw this big pectoral fin waving at us, in 2 feet of water at the edge of the mangroves. We both said "it's a grouper". My jig head had caught on a mangrove root, and all that was rigged was a Z-Man Trout Trick on a jig. Mike tossed that at the fish, and the race was on. Almost an hour later and several hundred yards from where we hooked it, Mike brought this monster to the skiff. There were 5 12" or bigger catfish inside including the one in the picture! It looked like one of the fish may have been caught in its throat. Perhaps it was laying on its side in shallow water waiting for it to decay?
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What an end to a great day!
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Believe it or not... I'm betting that goliath (jewfish for us old timers...) was simply looking for catfish number six - or a great big crab to add to his dinner... They're one of my favorites in the backcountry - tough as an old leather boot - they'll eat anything -livebait, lures, flies and just never give up on the hook...

More than one "monster snook" simply was a medium sized goliath grouper....

Great report!!
 

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I'm with Lemay! While in JR High and High School in Ft. Pierce, my brothers and I were permanent fixtures on the North and South bridges (the old wooden bridges). We always had a couple of jewfish lines out and the bait of choice was a hardhead catfish. We clipped the fins on them for our own safety but the jewfish didn't care; they'd eat them live or dead. Biggest I ever caught was 340 lbs. On nice summer days I would snorkel the length of the South Bridge; there were always 50-75 jewfish under that bridge, all sizes up to humongous!
 
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