August 29, 2005 — Snakes, Sharks, and other Things that Bite

Raising parents is hard! Working and living with them is harder.  Luckily this week, we are taking a few days off to start preparations for the long hard Cast & Blast season and mom and dad have headed north to their grand baby and to Coushatta for some adult vices .  And in the true nature of demon offspring, these two weeks are mine to do with what I want.  For me and a couple of close friends, two weeks to do what we want means some hardcore, in your face, let's see what we can get ourselves hooked into action!

My vacation from the old parents started with a journey west to San Antonio for the First Annual San Antonio Hunting & Fishing Fiesta.  I really enjoy doing these shows to meet everyone and see old faces out of the water and catch up with our day to day lives.  Moreover, I find it very rewarding when folks that have never fished with us but simply follow our fishing reports and my Gulf Coast Connections articles let us know how much our conservation message means to them.  It means a lot to dad and me that our Keep Five Message is getting out there and making an impact.  I have noticed over the last two years at trade shows the negative comments on our croaker stance are abating and people are realizing the fragility of the speckled trout population needs not be assaulted by an unfair, non-conservation minded population.

My first exploit was with buddy Brant to get him his first red on fly.  But to make things interesting we started with a trip to get some snook.  However, I can remember once asking dad why Rattlesnake was named Rattlesnake.  Well no need to wonder anymore.  Fishing nearest the trees we could, a very nice and plump snake fell from a tree and decided to come 40 feet straight to the boat and promptly deciding to wrap all 4 feet of himself around the jackplate of my 90 Honda.  After numerous attempts to gently dislodge him from his new home, I some how managed to get him on the butt of my rod and toss him out into the deep. Determined not leave his new home, he made a b-line for the motor so we jetted and left him in the dust to find a new home.  We promptly hit my favorite 'secret' red flat and lo and behold.  Simply Magic!  I would conservatively estimate a very voracious and happy school of 200 reds were there for the taking.  Getting on two very happy and milling reds Brant launched about twenty casts to them but they were slightly to far ahead of his casting ability 60 to 70 feet into a coffee can can humble even the  best in a 25 mile an hour crosswind.  Being the wise acre I am, I said, “watch this!”  A 65 foot cast and 5 minutes later a beautiful 27 inch red made his appearance and was released to meet me another day.

Which leads me to say, reds and trout are still running their predictable summer patterns and along the first guts in the surf.  Look forward to bull action to start soon along with giant jacks in the surf.  Reds are hitting spoons and anything plastic you put in front of them.  Trout are devouring pumpkintruese and top waters along grass edges.  Snook are still holding in white sand pockets in greater numbers but remain very spooky and only the stealthiest need apply.

Now for the offshore shoulda been here to see this story!  My buddy Jesse and I love combat fishing!  Three to Five foot swells and cross chop are not hindrances but invitations.  In my little 18 foot Explorer we have landed fish that should be fought in 26 center consoles or better.  Soaked and slippery no fish or challenge can deter us.  Well with the welcomed swells of Katrina rocking and rolling us, Jesse and I did what any true crazy fanatics could ever do.  That's right…Shrimp boat season.  Check back next week for the photos for proof and validation but could you land a 150# Blacktip on Fly?  We did and have the photos to prove it.  However, in true large fish fashion, we pulled the ultimate in bone head moves.  We released a WORLD RECORD fish.  So, check back for photos next week and see if we land another one.  WE KNOW WHERE YOU ARE FISHY FISHY!

Offshore action has been spectacular.  Numbers of large kings, spanish, snapper, bonito, and tarpon abound but one hugely missing species has been an odd absence of jacks.  Hopefully they are making their return soon so we can hammer them on fly. 

Well, look forward to more misadventures next week and get ready for Cast & Blast.  We only have one more Monday Tuesday section available so call to book if you want to make it this year.  Also, The Costa Rica trip will be mailed out his week so get ready for big Tarpon/Snook and Sail./ Rooster action coming in March.  We have spots for 12 people left so let us know if you are up to the challenge.