Summer is here so fishing most Tuesdays and Thursdays will be the norm for the next two and half months for me. The first Tuesday of my summer break was almost canceled due to heavy rain in the early morning. Jared and I arrived our launch sight a little after 5:30 am only to sit in the truck for a while as the rain came down along with a little thunder and lightning. I’ve never been too thrilled about fishing the marsh after a bad storm rolls through. With the water so shallow, it seems to stir up the fish and send them running for cover until everything blows over. Once the rain stopped we checked the radar to make sure we were in the clear and would be for the rest of the day. First light had already broken the horizon so we quickly unloaded the kayaks and headed for the marsh. Although the rain had passed, the 20 mph west wind was still around and we had to paddle directly into it for a little over a mile. We reached the marsh and headed straight for a small lake covered with shell. The tide was running really high this morning so we stuck with throwing topwaters over the top of the shell with hopes that the fish would be feeding and not too scattered. We spent a good thirty minutes fan casting the small lake without a single blow up or sign of fish. We decided to try another small lake less than a 1/2 a mile away with the same results. No redfish around but plenty of big black drum. We decided to head back to the first lake to see if the fish had returned. On the way there, Jared spotted a 40+ inch black drum swimming in about a foot of water. He decided to pitch his Chicken Boy Shrimp at it to see if it would actually take the bait. I fish this marsh often and will throw at these big fish on occasion but have never had one eat. Jared convinced this one to eat on his first try and the battle was on. It headed straight for the bottom of a small channel in about 2 feet of water and just sat there. To keep this from becoming an hour long ordeal I waded out to the fishes general area with my net. Jared convinced it to come up from the bottom just far enough for me to see the direction its head was facing. I took my net and slammed it down in front of the fish in hopes that I would spook it right into the net. The plan worked and the fish was landed in under 10 minutes.
After a few photos the fish was released to roam the marsh once again. We headed back to the first lake and repeated the previous process as before. Jared finally had a blow up on his Skitterwalk that didn’t connect. I quickly threw my She Pup in behind him and had a monster red crush my lure. I immediately got my rod tip as high as I could but after 5 seconds the fish broke me off on the shell. About a minute later the fish exploded on the surface of the water trying to throw the lure and did. We found it a few minutes later on our way to the third lake. After speaking with a friend I decided that I will up my floro to 40 lb test to help keep from losing so many fish and lures.
We fished the third lake without much success until I spotted a little reef near the shoreline. I pitched my Pink She Pup towards the reef and had a blowup. I immediately dropped my stakeout stick and made a 2nd cast at the reef. This time I had two blowups that looked like a flounder trying to hit my topwater. I told Jared to watch because I was sure the fish hitting my lure was a flounder and I was about to make another casts. On this cast, I hooked up and quickly realized it couldn’t be a flounder. A few minutes later I had a nice red that went 26″ with a pinch of the tail. I decided to string this fish and bring it home since I had been craving a little fried redfish burger.
We had reached the halfway point of this lake and had to make a decision. Head back to the truck earlier than predicted since the fish weren’t around or try the first lake one more time. We decided to give the first lake one more try. If it produced nothing after about 30 minutes we would head in for the day. We reached the drain and started throwing topwaters along the shell near the edges of the drain leading into the lake. Jared had a nice blowup on his Skitterwalk and the fight was on. After about 30 seconds the fish hit the surface and we could see lots of silver flashing. What we thought was a nice red turned out to be a really nice trout. I dropped my net off for Jared and backed away while he landed the fish. Soon as the fish hit the net his lure popped out. The Trout went 26″ and weighted right at 6 lbs. on the boga. After a few pictures we released that fish to be caught another day.
We finished off the day with another couple blowups on the shell lake but the action that day was really slow. We headed back to the vehicles, loaded up, and headed back home. The amount of fish was disappointing, however, the quality made up for it. All three fish were of good size and helped salvage a tough day.
The shirt you see Jared wearing in both photos is from a company called FishHide Sportswear. The shirt is made of a quick dry material with two chest pockets and thumbholes on the sleeves to act as gloves. It also comes with a built in sun collar that will protect your neck or can be used as a buff. You’ll also see a large bright orange stripe down the back and on the sleeves which is great for getting boaters attention while wade fishing or kayaking. You can check out there gear at http://www.fishhidesportswear.com