FISH CATCHING TRAVEL
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It is Thursday afternoon and I am about half way through the to-do list so while taking a break it was time to get this ready from the weekend. The it will be tackle prep, which should be quick as I am so ready do some wading. Todd and the boys will be down here around noon Friday and we should be fishing by 1:00. Then after what I am sure will be a great meal, we will be off Saturday at daylight and fish until dark.
Friday: 66/60 Clouds, periods of rain in afternoon. 50% chance. Wind ENE 5-10mph. Saturday: 70/53 Variable clouds/poss thunderstorms. 40% chance. Wind S 10-15mph. (Love the forecast, so lets see the other stuff.)
Friday: Low 7:21 am. -0.5 High 8:14 pm. +0.1 Saturday Low 8:09 am. -0.5 High 8:40 pm. +0.1. (Both day rising, not my strong suit, but at least at some point there should be some water movement.)
Friday: Good 11:33 am to 1:33 pm. Saturday Best 6:27 am to 8:27 am. (Only relevant periods either day.)
Zigged When We Should Have Zagged
One thing about doing a blog on my fishing extravaganzas is when it sucks I have to put it out there, and this trip hit a new low for me in my POC experiences. Where to start?
When we hit the bay at about 1:00 on Friday it was so freakin’ foggy it was not funny. So the best way to start 2 days of fishing? Slam into a reef and spend 20 minutes pushing and pulling Todd’s big Shallow Sport off, and it was work! Good thing there was 5 of us or we would still be t here. We finally got off the reef and hit a couple of places and nada, to make a long story short I did not have a bite that afternoon. There have been some tough days in the past, but this was something.
We met up with Ro and the boys in his boat, and while they caught around 30+ trout, they only had 2 that made the grade. We managed to catch a total of 1, for the whole boat! By 5:00 it was seriously foggy and time to head to the house and call it a day. So off we go and then wham, aground again! And I mean stuck. And out we go, heave ho, heave ho, to work we go. We finally got off the reef and made it back to Froggie’s no real worse for the wear. But all I can say is I have never been stuck like that, and I have never fished there without a bite. A couple of new personal “bests”.
Let me set the conditions for the whole weekend. Fog, fog, and more fog. It was either foggy or foggier than hell all weekend. While there was a tide it was basically low all weekend with very little water movement, at least where we were. It was not a complete deal breaker but it was accompanied by heavy cloud cover, drizzle, water temps in the mid 50’s everywhere. And talk about clear, the water was like drinking water. So the next day we decided to make a big run in the morning and fish The Twin Lakes area. But for some reason we did not actually drop the boat in the water until well after 9:00. It was one of those mornings where getting everyone going was like herding cats. So after the long run 2 of us wade the mouth of the pocket and 3 head to the back end. (Note: The only place we saw good mullet, most of the banks on both sides of the bay were barren.)
I caught 6 that wouldn’t make it on the Academy Hover Shad at the mouth. A “corky’ style twitch bait, I normally have no faith in Academy brand lures, but the trout like it and that is all the endorsement I need. It works well on light line and can be fished fast or slow. After no keepers we hopped back in the boat and headed to the back end of the lake where the boys found a few shallow.
There was lots of moss, slime, whatever you call that stuff, and basically a foot deep, so time for the Controlled Descent Paddle Shad. They did not want the Pink Limeade but once switching to the Pumpkinseed/Chartreuse Glitter I got some bites. I managed to catch 3, 1 keeper, and had one break my line. (That was clearly my fault as it was a good one doing the mouth open thing, like dragging in a bucket, and I put to much pressure, oh well.) I used it with a rattle and inserted a small weight so it just sllllowwllly sunk on the stop, necessary in a foot of water, and they plowed into it from behind slack lining me. John put a fat 25 1/2″ on the stringer on his topwater and he had several other blow ups, some from big fish, all on topwater.
We stayed there a little to long, and while we were there we talked to the other boat and they had their limit in the box, all on shell. So we headed towards some shell but before a long boat ride was over we were in Barroom and never did stop on shell. That had a lot to do with our fog episode the evening before and we did not want a 10 mile run if it got any foggier. On the way we started checking places in the boat, seeing absolutely nothing for miles, no bait, and with the tide not moving and the water cool, it did not seem to be happening. We should have gone directly to shell. To make matters even better, while idling in to check an area we grounded again! And for the third time in the weekend we had to push the boat off. Crazy! I have only been grounded like that one time in the 10 years I have been fishing there.
So we finish the day on Barroom and I put a nice one on the stringer with that twitch bait, the others struck out, and we called it a day. Then we spoke with the other boat, and they were back on them. From what Ro posted on Facebook over the day they caught a solid hundred on shell. Somehow we only managed to fish a grand total of 2 places Saturday. Not a guess how that happened.
So that was the fishing weekend. Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you, and this trip we continually zigged when we should have zagged. That has a lot to do with why I did not take picture one. I would have at least taken a pic of us pushing off the first grounding, but the camera was in the boat and I was pushing. And I never got it out again, which gives you the best clue how it went.
I saw a comment from an internet troll the other day that says it all about some “fishermen.” A guy posted he broke off a fish the other day and this knucklehead posted “I have not broke a fish off in 8 years”. All I have to say is he has not caught that many fish in the last 8 years. It happens to all of us but some folks feel compelled to show folks up for no good reason. Just like the guy who after viewing one of my videos where I wacked the reds posted he could get them in way faster. The point? So if you don’t have anything constructive to say, try not to say anything.
By time you read this on Monday morning I will be headed to Austin for a 9:30 cataract fix. My buddy Ro is one of the top eye guys around and I am fortunate to have him for a friend and a Doctor. (And he is also a hell of a fisherman and a great photographer.) Hey, so you can catch a bunch of fish, or you have the biggest boat, or the most sponsors, but you know what, Big Freakin’ Deal. Occasionally we all need to sit back and put things in perspective. Think about it, Ro returns sight! What a gift and a talent all packed in a great guy. If it were not for the first surgery, and now this one, I would be functionally blind, instead, I can see like I never have. So thanks Ro, I so appreciate it and can’t wait to get it done.
So while the fishing left something to be desired it was the usual good time with the boys. As I had not been out any I had nothing to add to the confusion, and we clearly fished like crap. But that is not all the weekend is to the boys. They work hard and their few trips to POC every year are not just fishing, but sharing time with friends, not to mention the occasional adult beverage. I am lucky to participate, and am already looking forward to the Port Mansfield trip in June. Recovery and return from Austin will have me back on the water by Thursday at the latest. If one thing came from the weekend, I am now mad at those trout and they are going to pay. So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.
Good Luck and Tight Lines