I have been involved with the capture of some very big marlin in the heydays of Madeira but I think that apart from the two 1200 pound plus fish we had there in 1997, this fish is the best since then.

I have guided in Canada, Alaska and Russia for salmon and had them up to 52 pounds, which is not uncommon. Stumbled around the rivers of New Zealand, caught browns up to12 pounds, careened down the rivers of Vancouver Island BC and had steelhead to 23 pounds. But over the years fish like the snook have avoided me like the plague. I have seen them in Costa Rica’s Golfito and in the Panama Canal area. Cabo San Lucas Marina has some big ones that reside under the docks. My biggest to date has been a 3 pounder and my first snook was a very small one and I mean very small, caught under the lights on the dock we were tied to in Golfito.

The snook has always held an attraction for me - along with the Mahseer of India, the Nile perch, the Baramundi of Australia and the fresh water Dorado of Argentina and Brazil. All have evaded me to date except the Dorado, due to the fact that I have not made it to India and Egypt yet; spent time in Oz but to no avail.

I was commercial fishing up in the Gulf of Carpenteria, saw many Baramundi in the nets but caught none on rod and line. I fished for them a little in Florida with no success. Sure, if I hired a guide he would take me to them, but I am a guide and, of course, I like to work it out for myself.

Mexico’s West Coast has always had its snook. All avid snook fishermen know the legends of the Mulege Monsters the world over.

So this is my story and I am sticking to it. Hurricane Adolf was doing his thing while I was working with Allessandro Giangio’s Marlin VIP Fleet down in Huatulco. Our fishing had been slow for most of the season and the sailfish were few and far between. When Adolf got into high gear we had some of the most rain the area had seen in quite a few years. Fishing conditions deteriorated so much that it made it very uncomfortable for the clients. A pity because we had seen a bump of sails come into the area prior to his arrival. So inevitably, we got blown of the water.

We were then reduced to trolling the bays looking for whatever, we soon found out that whatever was not there. So I decided to take a shot at the Boccana of the Rio Copalita. We pounded our way down with the swell and dreaded coming back. The river was in full flood and the dirty water line was well out, about a mile into the bay. We rigged a couple of Shimano rods with TLD two speeds and 20 pound Suffix high vis line. Then we commenced to troll a magnum red and white rapala and a rapala needlefish along the mix line with the clearer water. Conditions were worsening and it was very hard going.

Up in the tower of the 29 Luhrs I had a good view of the mix line; it was full of debris washed down from the upper river. Along the way I saw some fish show under some branches. They just seemed to pop out for a minute and then disappear, it was hard to see because I had one hand on the wheel and the other on the throttles, waves were coming from all directions and I was being flipped around up there.

My next move was to call to my mate Maximo, who is Allessandro’s brother, to get a live bait hooked up and wind the other lines in. After a few minutes I was ready to take a shot at the fish under the debris. I spun around as best I could and called for Max to flip the bait again on another 20-pound outfit. Our clients were novice anglers and even under ideal conditions, not good at this sort of thing! Sure enough, we were bit the moment the bait hit the water. Max handed off to the nearest available victim, most were hiding out in the shade of the cabin roof; although the rough conditions still prevailed, it was still very hot and the sun was bearing down.

So the next thing we know we have snook doing its thing. This fish weighed out at 28 pounds. This had made everyone’s day so far and got the enthusiasm level up. I must say they were troopers, I had offered to take them in many times that day but they wanted to stick it out. So after some photos we set ourselves up for another pass at the debris.

Nothing happened for an hour, although I saw more fish. We were just about to call it a day, not relishing the ride back home into that wind fetch combined with swell. I had just called out for Maximo to wind in when he was bit again. He handed it off and unbelievably, up jumped the biggest snook I had ever seen! We boated the fish in about ten minutes, amid frantic explanations of how to play a fish in a mix of French, Spanish and English. For the record, this was a French family and understood very little of the latter two. So there we have it. The fish weighed out at 46 pounds dead on. No chance at any record because of the hand offs but still a good fish in anybody’s book as far as I am concerned.

Conditions improved the next day and we managed to catch some sails. Went back in for a shot at the snook again and got one around 15 pounds which we returned. The next day the dirty water line had receded very close to the surf line and we had a double hook up on rapalas. Got one of them around 10 pounds - the other jumped a few times and fell off. Pity, because it was up there in the thirties and we had gotten the guests trained a bit better by then.

The next couple of days I fished the Boccana hard and got the big 0. The rains had stopped and conditions got better. I guess they like it bad.

Every morning I check the gill net fishermen and they have yet to come in with any snook, although they say they do get them from time to time. I guess we just got lucky. But the next heavy rains we have, if we get them, I know where I will be.