I’m back from my family visit to Maceio in Brazil. We were there for the whole of January so Richard (my son who lives there) and I had a few chances to explore the fishing. We were looking for spots that might produce better than average fish and I thought that you might be interested in how we fared in our attempts.
I have to keep weight down for the flight so my suitcase contained just my old ‘4Surespin’ and 8wt ‘Surefly’. The spinning rod was the one that had most use. It was fitted with my Shimano Stradic 4000 loaded with 20lb Nanofil. The normal set up was a trace consisting of few feet of clear, 20lb Amnesia tied with a surgeon’s knot to the braid, then a small (40lb) swivel and a short, anti-barracuda, trace of knottable 30lb American Fishing Wire. The lure was attached to the trace either by a little, strong clip or a tied loop in the wire. For lures armed with big single hooks I usually put a small, stainless split ring through the eye to make it easier to fix to the clip (they often don’t go through the small eyes and thick wire of these hooks). Apart from the wire trace this is more or less my normal bass gear.
Richard Ladle Mermaid Beach Brazil
Anyway, on my first morning I went out at first light (about 04:30) and to my surprise landed a snook of a couple of pounds on a 178mm, Pearl, Evo Redgill. I was surprised because these fish are fairly scarce on that particular beach. The fish took in only inches of water a couple of yards from the edge.
Small Snook on a Redgill Evo
Anyway, it seemed that Richard had other beaches in mind for us to fish later in the trip. We tried a few but the one that eventually produced the goods was called ‘Mermaid Beach’. In this spot the usual mile upon mile of golden sand was briefly interrupted by a short stretch of rocks and a small river. On our first visit, again at dawn, we found that the rocks were only fishable at low water but there was lots of weed and the sea was quite murky. We both thought that it looked really ‘snooky’. I decided to have a few casts using one of my Slandras in a shallow sandy bay with masses of loose weed while Rich pressed on a bit further to try from the rocks with a heavy ‘Binsky Blade’. We’d only been fishing for minutes when Richard hurried back to tell me that he’d had a bite. However, his lure with its two small trebles was gathering weed almost as it hit the water so it was practically useless.
He prompted me to have a go with the weedless, unweighted Slandra. Sure enough it easily slid through the crap and on only my second or third chuck it was grabbed a few yards from where I stood. The reel screamed and the fish ploughed off through the murk gathering strings of weed on the line as it went. After a fair old battle I was able to slide a snook of ten pounds, through a narrow gap in the rocks so that Rich could lift it out. Fantastic! We packed in and drove home for breakfast well pleased with our catch.
10lb Snook on a 'Slandra'
Of course we were keen to have another go but because of holiday/family commitments we had to wait for the next series of tides two weeks later. When the day arrived we were disappointed to find that the sea was rougher and even weedier than before. Richard’s rod was armed with a ‘Sluggill’ and I was using the biggest ‘Slandra’ from my box, again unweighted. At once Richard’s lure was picking up weed but I managed to steer mine through the salad without much trouble. After a couple of casts Richard decided to see if there was less weed a bit further along, so I took a couple of paces to the right into his position to get a better angle for my cast. Within seconds the soft plastic was monstered and I found myself playing a much bigger fish than before.
For fifteen minutes I the fish made run after run and gathered pounds of weed as it did so. It made several powerful surges against a tight clutch before we could even get a glimpse of it, then a big yellow tail waved above the surface. When I was eventually able to slide the fish onto the rocks for Richard to pick up we found that the body of lure had disappeared completely leaving only the hook. A small price to pay for a 22lb snook in mint condition.
Result! Cracking shore caught 22lb Snook
Even though we caught many more fish, had lots more exciting trips and visited some wonderful places, that fish really made my holiday!
Slandra a Slugo and a Sandra glued together