When you are as close as you safely dare, sardines are cast out and you wait until the next set builds, whether a fish is hooked or the baits are waiting to be bitten, when it's time to run, you run. Back off yoru drag or put it in freespool and you leave your baits.....or hooked fish behind. As much as 200 yards away you wait in deeper water, waiting for the next opportunity.
Whether a big boat or panga, you've got to time it just right. White water and boats of any size don't mix and more than one rig has been broken up on the beach, caught behind the bar of an exceptionally large set that starts to turn white further out than any of the rest.
side story.....About 12 years ago I convinced Danny, captain of the Spanish Fly, then on the Bob Cat a 32 blackfin, to anchor up at one of these river mouths and fish for snook by heavy chumming, dead and live chum, then catching them on live sardines......kind of like we would fish for drum in NC. These river mouths are THE river mouths where the world record snook come from and on two different occassions we have caught double header 30 pound snook. The potential was there for a "momickin".....that's Down East for an occassion when things are really messed up...... We were hoping for a momickin on the snook, but it turned out that we nearly got momicked. After about 15 minutes on anchor outside the breakers, chunking hard, we get a bite, then another, then Danny starts screaming in Spanish and the mates disappear, up on the bow getting that anchor up before a huge set starts to crest a hundred yards in front of us.
Yesterday at 4:30 am, Anna and I picked up Raul and headed to Parrita to fish from the beach with the locals.....who are taking their fair share of monster snook from the beach using handlines, twirling rapalas or bucktails around their heads to build up speed and launch them past the breakers, they retrieve and fight fish by wrapping the line on yoyo spools about as wide as your hand and the diameter of a 3 lit Coke bottle.
After stops to the bakery and pissbreaks we arrive at the beach just as the sun crests the mountains behind Quepos. About a dozen fishermen were chest deep in the water, half with yoyo's and half with long spinning outfits similar to mine....one of them was bowed over. Another fisherman was already packed up and heading home, walking towards us with 20 pound cubera snapper over his shoulder.
Snook fishermen are a lot like trout fishermen. Word about a really good bite gets out after it's all over with......which is what I found out yesterday. By the time I made it into the water, half the fishermen were out, reminiscing about how good it was last week and lamenting that they only got a few bites today..... at daylight.....while we were at the bakery.
No snook, but nice day at the beach......at least we didn't get eaten by a croc or bull shark.....the hazzards of fishing from the beach.