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Crane Creek Snook

Today was supposed to be the day that three green Tarpon 120 owners got together to show the world how to fish from a kayak, but alas, Mother Nature was having none of that! The area we had arranged to fish (it's a secret!) was forecast to have 15-20 MPH winds and a 40% chance of rain.

So, to Crane Creek (map) I went on Dustin's suggestion. I launched from a wonderful grass/sand launch ramp (capable of handling around four simultaneous yak launches) into the intercoastal, paddled north and then west through a harbor, and then headed further west up Crane Creek.

The first thing I noticed: the vegetation along the sides of the creek are not mangroves. In fact, they look almost like cattails - big, thick grass bushes and some trees. I passed under two bridges and came to a flat (but reasonably deep) area before the creek narrowed. I had a red and white SS Minnow (the larger size) on, and it caught nothing but grass a few times.

I paddled further upstream, and in an attempt to "match the hatch" (as they say in flyfishing, anyway), I tied on a silver/black-back SS Minnow in the smaller size. The wind was picking up, so I figured I'd just paddle all the way up the creek, into the wind, and drift fish the entire length back, pausing if I found a good spot.

I got to the top of the creek and realized again that I had yet to see a mango. Tasting the water, I realized it was quite fresh. Mullet were jumping everywhere, though, so I said "what the heck?" I was up by the turn at "Roxy Ave." in the map linked above. I drifted for about 15 minutes and gave up on the SS Minnow. I put a 1/4 oz. weedless gold spoon on and began chucking that against the shorelines.

A few tosses in and I hooked into a smallish fish that immediately jumped. I saw flared gills, a paper mouth, and a big white belly. The freshwater in mind, I thought "bass?" Turns out it was a snook, about 12 inches long, and my smallest snook ever. I continued drifting down, occasionally tossing into the middle of the creek as well, and an hour or so later landed my second snook, about 18 inches. He put up a good fight, running me into some grasses and around a pole before yielding to the PowerPro.

A few minutes later, I reached big hole above the railroad tracks (see map above) and the wind began roaring. By roaring I mean:

  • I could not toss a 3/8 oz. bucktail jig into the wind. It never went further than about 10 feet from my kayak.
  • I was nearly literally blown out of my boat.
  • My GPS had me going 8 MPH. Without paddling.

Needless to say, that ended my trip. I stopped by the upper Hobe Sound on the way home and caught 10 trout or so in an hour wade fishing on the grass flats (none were of any appreciable size). There's no boat launch within striking range of this area, so that's a write-off. I stopped by the Jupiter inlet too and attempted to catch a Spanish Mackerel, but had no luck. The wind was just as bad 90 minutes south of Melbourne as it had been when I left Crane Creek.

FWIW, the HullRaisers worked nicely. I transported my yak on them this morning. In the wind on the way home, I opted to lay it down flat on my Mako Saddles and Hully Rollers lest my car be blown over.

That's the story.