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10K Islands August 15

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Launched at 0530 under a a little less than a quarter moon with Venus close by in the Eastern sky, God's little lanterns twinkling on and off overhead--beautiful morning! Low tide at 5:49 a.m. with the high at 11:35, so we planned to fish the beaches early and then the creek and river mouths later in the day. Beach fishing was really good--couple dozen snook, mostly smalls but a couple lower slot size; 4 reds; a bluefish (!); and a 5' shark that ate Mike's topwater lure and took off! Luckily, after a short run or two he spit the hook. The highlight of the day was a large school of black drum. When I first spotted them, I thought it was a small group of tarpon, lazily rolling and breaking the surface of the water. After poling closer, we realized they were black drum and there were probably hundreds of them! Mike hooked up first, but lost the fish shortly after the first run. I caught one on a white paddle tail, and then we proceeded to toss baits at them for 1/2 hour without much luck. As the tide started to fall, they started easing down the river and we followed close behind. I switched out to a small DOA crab, doused it with ProCure, and hooked up. The fish was so big I had trouble holding it, and lost it over the side before Mike could get a picture. I ended up with three more before they reached the Gulf. Here are a few pictures from the day. 





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