Posts Tagged With: hook spit performance rods

JPI Invitational Day 1 Video

I put together a short highlight video of some of the fish from the first day of our annual camping trip down in Matagorda.  I fished an area that I’d never fished before and found plenty of schools and singles roaming the grass lines.  The bite was great on this day considering I only fished from about 11 to 1.  All fish were caught sight casting 4″ Bass Assassin Sea Shads in colors Fried Chicken and Candy Cane.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 Lone Star Kayak Series Event #4

img_1180-copy-2

Well, the 2016 season of the Lone Star Kayak Series has finally come to an end.  Going into the last event of the season I was in a 3 way tie for first, followed closely by two others that were behind us by 3 and 5 points.

I started the morning off by alternating between throwing a MirrOlure She Dog and popping cork with gulp.  I would throw the topwater along the shorelines the majority of the time with an occasional toss towards the middle of a lake and grab my cork rod anytime I approached a drain or pinch.  It took a while, but I finally had a 23″ red suck down my topwater near the back of a small cove.  Not quiet the fish I was looking for, but it gave me a fish on the stringer early with plenty of time to upgrade.  The next 5 hours were a grind.  I worked big lakes, small lakes, channels, back coves, and everything in between with only a rat red and dink trout to show for my efforts.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s to never give up on tournament day.  During the second event this year, my only fish of the day came with about 20 minutes of rising time left.  The same thing happened during the 3rd event.  I fished all morning without a single fish, only to find 15 lbs. right before making it to the truck and placing second.  I was hoping for another miracle on this day and kept moving around, hoping to find a second fish.

We were down to our final hour of fishing when I heard a large splash way back in the grass of a large lake I was in.  I stood up in my kayak to get a better view and noticed a really small marsh pond about 15 yards back in the grass.  The only way in was through a very small channel that was about the width of my kayak.  I thought to myself, “There’s no way a fish is back there”.  I forced my way down the channel, entered the small pond, and stood up for a better view.  At that point I spotted an upper slot red cruising the shoreline, reached down for my rod, and fired a Bass Assassin 4″ Sea Shad (Color: Fried Chicken) in his path and he jumped on it.  The pond was small and the fish went berserk, using ever square inch of the pond to try and escape before finally hitting the net.  It measured 27 1/4″ and was just what I was looking for.  I had about 45 minutes left to upgrade my last fish, but that fish never came.

img_1229-copy

I made it back to the truck, loaded up the kayak, and hauled butt to the weighin.  I knew I had a small chance for AOY, all depending on how the others did.  After arriving, I saw that Jared Esley had 14.06 pounds, which was going to make it close.  In the end I had 12.59 lbs with 4 anglers separating the two of us.  This caused me to end up 2 points behind him, finishing 6th place for the day and 2nd place for angler of the year.

screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-3-32-42-pm

It was another fun year of tournament fishing, and just like in previous years, I learned a lot and grew as an angler.  I’m already looking forward to next year where I’ll work on making another run at AOY.

As always, a big thanks goes out to all the companies out there that support me and help make all this possible.

| Werner Paddles | Hook Spit Performance Rods | Buggs Fishing Lures | Viking Kayaks |

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 Lone Star Kayak Series Event #3

IMG_0778

This past weekend I spent my Saturday fishing the 3rd event of the Lone Star Kayak Series.  After a rough outing during the last event, where I only caught one redfish thirty minutes before having to leave, I thought for sure that I had put myself out of the running for angler of the year. With that in mind, the plan was to go for two big bites and not play it safe.

I spent the majority of my summer chasing trout in Galveston bay instead of the marsh for redfish, so I basically had to gamble on where to fish.  We had about ten straight days of rain leading up to the event, so getting out to prefish was not an option.  I picked my location based on past results and arrived at the launch with a little less than ten minutes to unload my kayak and load up my gear.  By the time I finished situating my gear and parking my truck, it was 6 am and time to go.

I made the three mile paddle to the area I planned to fish and began working the shoreline, focusing on the various points, drains, and coves along the way.  I started off with a STX Tackle Popping Cork and Gulp Mantis Shrimp, but after an hour with no bites, I switched over to a Bone Skitterwalk for a while.  After an hour of continuous dog walking and no luck, I went back to my popping cork for a while.

TroutSupportAd2

I picked up a 17″ trout at one of the drains I was fishing, but that wasn’t the fish I was looking for.  I kept grinding it out with my cork, hoping that I would come across a hungry redfish, but a bite never came.  I finally circled back around and started the same drift again.  Without much action during the first few hours, I decided to drag my popping cork and gulp behind me while working my topwater in front of me.  I figured two lures in the water were better than one on a day like this.  Ten minutes into my drift, I hear my cork rod screaming and reach back to grab my rod.  I’m thinking that I have a lower slot red, before finally getting enough line in to see the slime near my cork.  It ended up being a 4 lb gaftop, which was way worse than the previous trout I’d caught.

At this point I’m running a little low on time and have to be back at the truck early anyways because of a previously planned event.  I finally decided to throw in the towel and head back to the truck.  After paddling about a mile back towards the launch, I decide to stop off at one last spot for a desperate shot at finding a couple of fish.  I pull out the Skitterwalk and make a long cast down the wind protected shoreline and start walking the dog back towards me.  Twenty seconds later, my lure gets clobbered by a solid redfish and I can’t believe it.  Five hours straight of non stop casting tops and corks with no fish, and on the very first cast on the way back to the truck, I’m on the board with a chunky 25.5″ red.

image1

I string the fish and continue working the area.  Two casts later, and I have another chunky red on my stringer at 26.25″.  A half a dozen more casts, and I stick a thick 26.75″ red, giving me what feels like 14+ lbs. between my two heaviest fish.  I work the area for another twenty minutes, hoping to find an upgrade for the smaller of my two fish, but time is not on my side and I still have a two mile paddle to reach the truck.  I want to take it nice and slow to keep my fish alive for the half pound bonus, so I head in a little earlier than I’d like.

2nd place LSKS _3 2016

Because of my previously planned event, I was forced to weigh my fish and immediately get back on the road.  I received a text message a few hours later informing me that I had finished in 2nd place out of 96 anglers with 15.02 pounds, which included my 1/2 lb. bonus.  This finish brought me back into the AOY race, by jumping into a three way tie for first, followed closely but two others.

AOY

The last event of the season is on October 8th, and will determine who takes angler of the year honors.  With that title on the line, it’s going to make it difficult to really enjoy the last event.

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blind Casting the Marsh with 20/20 Vision

As an avid shallow water angler, I enjoy spending the majority of my time sight casting to fish that I can see, instead of blind casting for the ones that I can’t. Since the first day I pitched my lure into the path of a visible fish, I have been hooked (pun intended). Being able to watch a large redfish as it slowly moves through the shallow water, seeing it pounce on my lure, and then getting to listen to the sweet music made by my line, as it gets ripped from my reel, is an experience that I never get tired of. When the tides are right, the water is clear, and the fish are cooperating, this is the style of fishing that I prefer over any other.

image1-3 copy 2

However, things don’t always work out the way you’d liked. Sometimes the tides are going to run a little higher than predicted, which makes spotting fish more difficult. You’ll also have to deal with dirty water, fish that are laid up and not feeding, and even ones that spook easily. The hard truth is that you’re not always going to be able to sight cast them. In the event that you’re forced to spend your day blind casting, make the most of each cast by putting your lure where the fish should be.

TroutSupportAd2

DSC_0118 copyPlenty of anglers out there view blind casting as a style of fishing that requires a little bit of skill and a whole lot of luck. In their mind, blind casting is about tossing your lure in every direction possible, with the only emphasis being, “cast as far as you can, to as many different spots as you can”. However, the more experienced angler knows better than to believe that. He doesn’t make a lot of “random” casts. Each cast he makes is to a targeted area for one specific reason or another. He doesn’t put a whole lot of stock in dumb luck, and instead believes that fish tend to hang out in certain areas for a number of reasons. With this in mind, you should constantly scan the water (and shoreline) for places that are more likely to hold fish than others, and make casting to those spots a priority.

Points

PointAny and all points along a shoreline are worth casting to. By points, I am referring to parts of the shoreline that extend out towards the open water or a sharp bend in the shoreline. A good point provides redfish with a great place to ambush bait as it passes by. While some points are better formed than others, all deserve a cast or two as you paddle/drift by them. As you approach the point, be sure to cast several yards past it and work your lure back across the tip. I normally try to make at least three cast at each point. One where my lure passes within a few yards off the point, one where it is 5-10 yards away, and another that is 10-15 yards off.

Coves

While points protrude out toward open water, coves do the exact opposite. They dip inland, forming small half circle pools along the shoreline that are normally a little shallower than the surrounding area. The combination of the shallow water and ability to trap bait makes a good cove the perfect spot for a group of redfish to feed. They can corral the bait towards the back of the cove, or slowly roam the area looking for something to munch on. These coves also provide redfish with a great place to hide from strong winds and choppy water as well.

Windblown Shorelines

DSC_0153 copyMany anglers overlook a good windblown shoreline because the location of it changes as the direction of the wind shifts. These shorelines are also difficult to fish since the wind is constantly pushing you towards the bank. However, a shoreline that is being repeatedly pounded by waves as a result of the wind, provides redfish with a great place to feed.   Baitfish and shrimp that are seeking shelter along the shoreline get pushed up against the bank, where they become disoriented as the waves crash down on them. As they struggle to regain their sense of direction, redfish are able to grab an easy meal. If you’ve ever wondered why a specific shoreline only holds fish on certain days, pay attention to the direction of the wind and see if a pattern develops.

Wind Protected Shorelines

While windblown shorelines have been known to produce a solid bite on many days, sometimes fish like to go the opposite route and hideout against the wind protected shoreline. These areas offer calmer water that will be much cleaner than the windblown side. The fact that the water near these shorelines has less chop and current, allows redfish to remain stationary and conserve energy. Windblown shorelines are great places to start when you get on the water. However, if you aren’t having much luck, don’t be afraid to change things up and give the wind protected side a try. 

Drains

image2Drains within a marsh are created when a channel connects one body of water to another or when a narrow portion of the water branches off of a main lake, only to eventually come to an end a short distance later. Depending on whether the tide is outgoing or incoming, current will flow through these areas. Redfish, trout, and flounder all take advantage of the bait that gets caught in the current, which makes a drain an outstanding place to fish. I like to start by fan casting the area about thirty yards before I reach the actual channel. As I enter the channel, I’ll fish it as well, often times bouncing a soft plastic along the bottom. Since water is constantly being forced through these channels, you can expect the majority of them to be a little deeper than the surrounding areas. As I exit the channel and enter the lake it connects to, I like to work the area about thirty yards out once again. 

Shell

shellOne of the most productive types structure to fish around along the upper Texas coast is a good patch of shell. Baitfish and shrimp love hanging around shell for the protection and food it supplies them with, which of course, makes it a great place for redfish to feed. One of the main things to keep in mind when fishing around shell, is that size is not always the most important thing. A small patch of shell the size of your kitchen table can sometimes hold fish just as well as a patch that’s the size of your house. A good pair of polarized sunglasses will allow you to see the shell, and where to cast without getting your lure hung up. Cast along the edge of the shell and try to keep your lure running parallel to it. Often time’s redfish will roam the edges where the drop off from the shell to the soft mud occurs.

The next time you’re faced with unfavorable conditions on the water, spend the day making the most of each cast by tossing your lure into high traffic areas. You might realize that a little bit of knowledge plays a key role in what was once referred to as “a lucky cast”.

If you’d like more detailed knowledge of the information listed above, Tobin’s DVD (Shallow Redfish) is a great resource to consider.  It’s about 2 hours in length and covers everything listed above, plus more.  I picked it up a few years ago and still pop it in every now and then to review things.  If you decide to purchase one of the DVDs, be sure to use the code “TAILTAILSIGNS” at checkout to save 10% off your total purchase.

LS 6 Redfish resized

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2016 Lone Star Kayak Series Event #1

DSC_0058 copy

The first event of the 2016 Lone Star Kayak Series kicked off this past weekend, with the weigh-in held at the HarborWalk Marina in Hitchcock, TX. The last couple of April events have not been very kind to me, with only one fish to show for my efforts in both 2014 and 2015. I was determined to turn things around this year so I made sure that I was able to pre-fish before the actual event. After rummaging through some of my old fishing logs from past April trips, I took a day off from work and hit the water 10 days before the event.

TroutSupportAd2

I took my time that morning and didn’t get on the water till nearly 7 am. The wind on this day was non-existent, so I tied on a super spook jr. and an oval popping cork with gulp. I started off with the cork, giving it gentle pops across the glassy water. After a good 15 minutes with the cork and no bites, I made the switch over to the super spook jr in hopes of finding a few hungry topwater fish. On the very first cast, I watched as a 30” redfish appeared 5 yards behind my lure, pushing a large wake with its head as it made its approach. As excited as I was, (because I knew what was about to happen) I continued walking the dog as if I hadn’t seen a thing. The red inhaled my spook, and a few short minutes later I had the fish in my kayak. A 30” red was not what I was after, but it let me know that I was in the right spot for big fish. I decided to stick with the spook jr and had another red in the kayak 15 minutes later. This one measured 29”, so at least heading in the right direction. These two fish were followed by 28.5”, 23”, and 27 7/8” reds, not to mention a 4 foot gar also caught on topwater. I decided to explore a few different areas before heading home, but didn’t really fish much more after that. I had found the fish I was looking for, and even though I was 10 days out from the tournament, there was no reason to stick around and beat up on these fish.

IMG_8986

IMG_8992

IMG_8993

IMG_8995

IMG_8997

IMG_9015

I felt pretty confident that I could pull some good weight on tournament day from this spot, as long as nothing crazy happened between now and the 23rd. Of course, this being April an all, the weather went a little crazy. Lots and lots of rain flooded all of the rivers that lead to the gulf and we faced crazy high tides from the strong SE wind. As Saturday approached, I started second guessing myself and wondered if I should blindly fish a spot that would be less effected by the fresh water. Luckily, I decided to stick with my original plan.

On the day of the tournament, Johnathan and I launched our kayaks with half a dozen other anglers. We were all sitting around waiting for our clocks to say 6 am, and once they did, we were off and running. I reached the area I had pre-fished and immediately began throwing my Bone Super Spook Jr. I hadn’t made more than a dozen casts before a relish exploded on my lure. I fought the fish for a few minutes before finally getting a good luck at it. Its head came out of the water and I couldn’t see my spook Jr., so I knew I had a good hookup. After netting and stringing the fish, I laid it across the ruler and gave its tail a pinch and a swipe. 27 5/8” with plenty of time left to find my second fish. I felt great at this point and continued throwing the spook for another hour without any luck. I made the decision to switch over to my popping cork to see if it would produce. The winds were similar to my pre-fish day, but the tide was running nearly a foot and a half higher. So high in fact, that I was unable to crabwalk the area like I normally would.

I worked the shorelines, points, and pinches without a bite. I finally came across a decent sized drain where I immediately hooked up with something monstrous. My cork went under, drag started peeling off my reel, and all I could do was watch, as whatever had taken my gulp rounded a corner and finally broke me off. After a few choice cusswords, I thought about it and decided that it didn’t matter what I had just lost, because it wasn’t going to be a 20-28” red anyway. I tied a jighead back onto my cork and picked up a flounder a few casts later. I kept moving around, focusing on the points and grass lines without much luck. I approached another drain, and made a cast near it with my cork. Just like before, my cork disappeared after a few pops, and I had on another fish. It took a while to get a good look at the fish, which ended up being a 31” red. It was nearly 10 am at this point and that great feeling of having a solid fish at 7 am was starting to fade.

We deiced to leave this lake and try a few other spots out. Lucky for us, this move ended up paying off. Johnathan picked up a stout 24” red that weighed a little over 6 lbs. by tossing his cork into a drain. At this point I decided to move a little more and cast a little less. I worked my way around the lakes and only stopped to cast if I saw something to cast at or if I came to a drain. I ended up picking up a 25” red at the 3rd drain I came to, and that helped relieve some of the pressure of showing up with only one fish. At this point I decided to slowly fish my way back towards the truck. I had hoped to upgrade my smaller fish as I went that direction, but never had another bite.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I arrived at the weighin a little early, but that just gave me a little time to hang out with friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. When it was all said and done, I had placed 6th out of 147 anglers and finally broken my string of one fish April events.

IMG_0256

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

IMG_0559

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring Break Marsh Trip

LS 6 Redfish resized

One of the perks of being a teacher is having long breaks away from work throughout the year.  Spring break is one of those times, so David and I decided to squeeze in a midweek trip . Since we live pretty close to one another, we decided to meet up at his house and ride together. We made the traditional stop at Bucee’s to get a little breakfast before making it down to the coast.

image1-4

We ended up launching around 7:15 am and began the day throwing topwaters against the grasslines and over large patches of grass without much luck. We could see bait moving around, but none of it seemed to be fleeing for its life. Once we made it to the shallow stuff, we were blowing out redfish every 10 yards or so, but not one of them were interested in our lures.

Even though we weren’t getting any bites, there were fish in the area, so we decided to grind it out in hopes that we would eventually convince a few to eat or that they would all turn on and begin feeding. After two hours of throwing tops, plastics, spoons, buggs, and everything else on the kayak, David finally sight casted a redfish that was crawling along the grass lines with a Bugg. About 5 minutes later, I spotted one on the shoreline doing the same thing and made a cast at the fish. My Bugg landed on the edge of the grass, but came out and landed near the fish. He turned on my bugg, made me think that he ate it, but succeeded in fooling me.

While David and I were discussing our plan of attack, I picked up a 22″ marsh trout after seeing a small tern that was pretty interested in a certain section of the water. After a few pics, we continued working the shorelines and that turned out to be the trick. The fish that were 10+ yards off the shorelines were not interested in our lures at all, but the ones cruising along the grass were hungry enough for us to get a handful of bites. We decided to split up in order to maximize the amount of the grass lines we could work and meet back up later.

image1-3 copy 2

image2-3 copy

I sent David a text an hour later to let him know that I had caught my limit of reds. He said he was 1 fish short of a limit and had lost a couple that would have completed it. I worked my way back towards him and picked up a few more fish along with way by continuing to focus on the grass lines. When I finally caught back up with David, he had strung his 3rd red and had caught a few extra as well. We explored the area a bit more and finally decided to call it a day. We were still spooking fish that were laid up, but they just weren’t interested enough in eating for us to continue grinding it out.

image3-2

I caught my trout on a 1/4 oz. Curl Tail Bugg in Electric Chicken and the reds came off of a 1/4 oz. Curl Tail in Blue Crab (My all time favorite color). David caught a few of his on buggs and a few on paddle tails.

image2-5

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Long Time, No See

DSC03438

It’s been about 3 months since the last time my kayak touched water. Work, my kids, and other obligations kept me off the water during the really cold months, so I was badly needing a little saltwater therapy.

DSC_0118 copy

DSC_0124 copy

David and I met up at Bucee’s for breakfast before making it to the launch around 6:45. We unloaded quickly and made the short paddle to the spot we planned to fish. With the warmer weather and low tides, we had high hopes of spending the day sight casting our fish. The problem was, 99% of the fish we came across were laid up and not moving. The only way we knew they were around, was by the insane amount of mud boils that kept popping up in front of us. We took our time, fan casting the area near all the mud boils and caught a handful of fish. We only seemed to get bites when we made a lucky cast, that happened to land on the fishes head, causing a reaction strike out of fear.

dsc_0151-copy

 

DSC_0160 copy

After a while, we decided to cover some water, to see if we could find a few fish that were more active, since these were being stubborn. Later in the day, we ended up finding a few fish that were actively feeding along the shoreline, but the action didn’t last too long.

DSC03416

DSC_0170 copy

Soft mud and partially exposed patches of shell were the key to locating fish. The only lures we caught them on were the Buggs 1/4 oz. Beastie Bugg (New Penny) and Buggs 1/4 oz. Curl Tail (Black Gold). Later that evening, while cleaning fish, I found a few 1″ mud minnows in their stomachs, which explained why the Buggs worked so well, when the cork, topwater, spinner bait, and soft plastic didn’t.

DSC_0169 copy

Although I haven’t fished much over the last several months, I have stayed busy with fishing related activities.

FTU SWBKFC

Hook Spit

I spent one night speaking to the Houston chapter of the Saltwater Boys Kayak Fishing Club at the new Sugarland Fishing Tackle Unlimited. My speech was titled “Blind Casting the Marsh with 20/20 Vision”, which is an article that I have been working on for some time now. A few days later I had the opportunity to speak at the Hook Spit Junior Anglers Association Seminar in Seabrook about the joys of kayak fishing. We had great turnouts for both events and as always, I had a lot of fun.

LoneStarFishing

Last but not least, I am excited to join up with good friends Cameron Barghi and Justin Rich, as a member of the Lone Star Beer Fishing Team. Now that Spring is coming back around, I’m hoping to stay more active on the water and my blog. Here’s to a fun 2016.

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Putting in the Miles to Find the Fish

 

Photo Nov 15, 1 44 57 PM

On Saturday my little girl asked if she could stay the night at her Granny’s house, which gave me a chance to hit the water on Sunday morning.  The wind was predicted to be between 15 and 20 mph out of the east, but I decided to tough it out and see what I could find.

I launched just after first light and made my way into the marsh.  The water was high, red, and fresh, which had me a little worried about the location I had chosen.  I thought I might find a little cleaner/saltier water if I paddled deep enough into the marsh, but conditions never changed.  After paddling three miles without any signs of bait or predator, I decided to change directions and fish another spot.

Photo Nov 15, 11 57 19 AM

I paddled for several miles down narrow channels through several small lakes before the water turned it’s normal brown and I was able to taste a little salt.  At about that time I looked across the lake and saw a few birds hovering over the water.  My first cast produced a 33″ bull and my 2nd broke me off.  I have been using the same cork and leader for over a month now and I guess the leader finally wore down.  The school stayed together long enough for me to pull two more fish from it (a 18″ and 25″ red) before they broke apart for good.

Photo Nov 15, 10 52 53 AM

I spent the next 2 hours working the wind blown shoreline and caught another 15 reds. Bulls, slots, and rats were all mixed in together  having a feeding frenzy.  With the extra high tides the key was putting the cork a foot off the grassline of the windblown shoreline and giving several hard pops to get their attention.  It never took more than a few pops before it would go under and I’d have a fish on.  I even caught a small rat that took the gulp off the bow of my kayak while paddling.  The action never really died off, I just ran out of time and needed to get home.  Despite the 13.7 miles I covered in the nasty wind (Thank God for carbon fiber paddles), it was a productive day on the water.  I kept my first three reds of the day for redfish cakes. The link to the recipe is below.

https://tailtailsigns.com/recipes/redfish-cakes/

 

cakes

For those looking for a solid popping cork that will not only last, but creates a great chug when popped, check out the Bomber Paradise Popper.  By my estimate, I’ve landed more than 50 reds on it and the wire leader is still just as straight as the day I bought it.  It runs around $7 but you can use it seems like you can use it forever.

This was a solo trip and I left my Go Pros at work so the pics aren’t that great.

Photo Nov 15, 3 34 39 PM

Conditions:

Wind: 15 – 20 mph from the east

Weather: Sunny skies with temps around 70 degrees

Tides: Outgoing

Bottom: Soft Mud

Depth: 2-4 feet deep in most areas

Lures: Bomber Paradise Popper with Gulp Pogy on a 1/8 oz. jighead

Rod and Reel: Daiwa Ballistic EX 2500 on a 7′ 2″ Hook Spit Zephyr Elite

Kayak: Jackson Cuda LT

Paddle: 250 cm Werner Cyrpus: Hooked

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hook Spit Lone Star Kayak Series #3 2015

Photo Credit: Jeff Herman

Photo Credit: Jeff Herman

I’ve often heard other tournament anglers say, “If you don’t have your fish by noon, odds are you’re probably not going to get them”. Although I would never give up while fishing a tournament, I have to admit that little saying had crossed my mind a couple times the other day during the Hook Spit Lone Star Kayak Series.

This was the third event of the season, and for the first time this year, I felt pretty good about my odds of doing well. The wind wasn’t bad, we had sunny skies, and I had been on some solid redfish over the last few weeks. Shallow patches of shell and soft mud bottoms had produced a good amount of redfish during the beginning of August, so I decided to stick with what had been working. The majority of my fish had come from a popping cork with gulp, with the rest coming off of a soft plastic that I would use to sight cast singles or pitch into a school.

Plan A was to locate the schools that had been roaming the area in recent weeks, but they were nowhere in sight. After spending a good hour trying to locate the school, I decided to head for shallower water with plenty of shell. I made a long drift across one of the larger lakes, staying within 30 yards of the shoreline, and on the edge of the large shell patches. I sight casted one small redfish along the shoreline before deciding to try the opposite side of the lake, which happened to be the wind protected shoreline.

Photo Credit: Aaron Ferguson

Photo Credit: Aaron Ferguson

As I approached the protected shoreline, I immediately noticed a few mud boils pop up, which was a good sign. I fan casted the area for a few minutes and hooked up with what felt like a solid fish. Five seconds into its first run, it spit the hook, leaving me with a sick feeling in my stomach. I decided to stay on the move, trying to spot more fish to cast at, but didn’t have any luck. I didn’t have much time left to fish, so I decided to work a small channel as a last ditch effort. I had one lower slot red on the stringer after seven hours of hard fishing, so the odds that I would pick up my second fish were looking pretty slim.

The channel only produced a few rat reds so I decided to fish my way back to the truck. I had only made it about 20 yards across the main lake when I spotted a group of birds hovering a few feet above the water about a half mile away. I knew these birds were on a school of fish, and that this was the best chance I’d have at picking up a much needed second fish. I caught up with the school after a five minute paddle and with one cast, I went from 41st to 9th place, thanks to the 26 1/4″ red that pounced on my soft plastic. The fish weighed in at 8.09 lbs. and ended up being the heaviest fish of the whole tournament. My two fish had a combined weight of 11.70 lbs. and helped me bring home a small amount of cash and a few prizes.

The fishing wasn’t hot and heavy on this day like it had been during my previous trips, but that’s how fishing goes. Still, I had a great time and enjoyed visiting with friends at the weighin. We have one event remaining this year in October and I’m looking forward to it.

Photo Credit: Aaron Ferguson

Photo Credit: Aaron Ferguson

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Marsh Reds and Flounder

image1

David​ and I hit the water yesterday morning and found the flounder going airborne on small baitfish in a foot of water.  They weren’t easily fooled by lures but we managed to string a few.  Mine came on Buggs 1/4 oz. Curl Tail jig (Black Gold) while David went with Chicken Boy Bubba Cluckers.

image2

After the flounder action died down, it was off to search for redfish.  The water was extremely dirty which meant gulp shrimp under a popping cork with the Hook Spit Zephyr Elite rod.  If you’re looking for a popping cork rod for a spinning reel that is designed for a cork, this one is worth checking out.  We focused our efforts on the edge of large patches of shell with a one foot drop off to a soft mud bottom.  Popping the cork parallel to the edge of the shell produced a little over a dozen reds for me along with a small black drum. David ended up with 3 flounder and about a dozen reds as well. It was a fun day on the water with a good friend.

Once I arrived back at the house, I decided to blacken the flounder instead of stuffing it.  I was amazed at how well it turned out.  Needless to say, it may be a while before I stuff one again.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.