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Chapter 12 "Going Home"

Dolphin, the air breathing mammal and not the pelagic offshore fish. There is a huge difference between these two like-named creatures. Man, those air breathing ones were a real pain in the ass for SS. They were big, fast, smart, and once they locked on to you there was no getting away from them as you could not outrun them and that damned clicking and squealing they did while they were chasing you drove the fish insane at times causing them to both into deeper water, instead of shallower water where they were safe. Crazy.. Many Dolphins are now teaching their young to hang around fishermen to eat fish hooked by them while they are still on the line because the fish are easier to catch. Guides hate the interference as well as many nice fish are killed while guides are showing their clients a good time. Those killed fish represent a future hook up for the guides as most guides fish catch and release these days, as they appreciate the value of this resource to them released instead of taken. By shadowing the fishing boats all day, the dolphins are simply waiting for dinner to be served up to them by the anglers. Reds, Trout, Snook, Ladyfish, anything and everything is on the menu for these Dolphin and they are serious about being fed. Many of them will wait and take the fish once it gets released too, as the stress of the fight makes the fish easy prey for any waiting Dolphin.

Super Snook was afraid of nothing, but the sight of a 400-pound male dolphin with dinner bells in his eyes blowing a smoke trail a few tail sweeps behind him is enough to generate fear in any fish. Even at 60 pounds, Super Snook presents a nice meal for any big dolphin. He knows this too, and gives these air- breathing creatures a wide berth at every chance. His last escape from a dolphin had him speeding up into a flat that was too shallow for the dolphin to get into and even then the big dolphin waited for the incoming tide outside that flat in the deeper water. The tide was fortunate for SS that day and took its time coming in and the dolphin simply lost interest and went elsewhere . Dolphins are very good at getting food, but somewhat lazy in its pursuit, and did not want to work that hard for a meal, so he left. Super Snook eased into deeper waters once he felt the coast had cleared.

Stoney yelled from outside the flat, ”Hey Super Chicken, the coast is clear!” Only then did SS breath a bit easier.

Forewarned was forearmed to SS.

Their exit from this river system, that was loaded with dolphins, was not happening fast enough for SS and they beat a hasty retreat south. Even then, SS swam with one eye looking behind him until he was well out of the Indian River area of his home state of Florida.

Stoney was once again missing, and yet, this did not worry SS, as it was simply his way and he knew this. No need to be alarmed, in fact, if he never saw Stoney again. it was OK with SS. That is how he rolled. The lone wolf hunts best and he was beholding to nothing in his travels. He needed to feel the open waters surging through his gills and to experience the afterburners he held in reserve along his line totting flanks of silvery gold. He cruised his usual depth and in his usual location as he smelled and tasted his way south towards the Sebastian Inlet. He had a standing date with a ladyfish in Sebastian and could always find her hanging outside the rock jetty at slack tide milling about with the saltwater gaff-topsail cats. These slimy creatures and their long sails really thought they were the catfish’s meow and had a huge ego. Funny how something that is a bottom feeder and has an Elvis hairdo shaped dorsal fin could think they were attractive.

Anyway, they always scattered like pilchards when SS blew into the group unannounced, and then, moaned and complained out of snapping range while SS chatted up the ladies. He never paid them any mind, they were always grumbling and kibitzing about something anyway. Sail tops were truly a bottom feeder in SS eyes and nothing more.

SS was headed south and had an easy meal of smallish flounder at the mouth of the inlet before he met the ladyfish and when they all asked what SS was doing for dinner.

He replied, “I had a snack on the way in here and was wondering if I could take you ladies out for dinner...?”

They all giggled and clamored about and then, after a whispered discussion replied in unison, ”Sure Super, we would love to got to dinner with you tonight.”

Smugly SS turned into the tide and using his best manners he gestured with his pectoral fins to “Follow me.” Super Snook took the small group of ladyfish to the backside of the Inlets rock scattering and listened carefully to the sand below.

After a few minutes he tensed up and dipped towards the bottom and in a puff of sand he emerged with a large shrimp in his jaws. Delicately he squeezed it to be incapacitated and then dropped it in front of the first ladyfish. He repeated this over and over again for the next 20 minutes or so then asked the ladyfish if they were full. They were full of their favorite meal and now it was time for dessert. Super snook headed into the beach and scattered a school of beach mullet until one strayed away and was quickly taken. With a swipe of his tail he knocked the roe out of the heavy bellied mullet and had it drift down into he water column and invited the ladyfish in for dessert.

”Nothing beats the sweet taste of mullet roe for dessert ladies. So, dig in!” exclaimed Super Snook.

They quickly had their fill of dessert and after dinner he bid then a farewell until next time and left them all whispering in the shallows. He was truly a ladies man and they both knew it. He faded into the distance as they blushed their way back to the Inlet as the tide had turned and it was time to return to their incoming stations near the inlet. Super Snook would be back and they knew it. He was wanderlust and a traveler of the oceans and river systems in search of adventures and righting wrongs wherever they may be. Using his knowledge and powers to do well and to teach others about the environment has always been his creed and life code. He truly was and is a very, very, special SUPER SNOOK.

THE END!