Getting Windy…Going Deep — March 12, 2008
With Teddy, dad, and the rest of the old farts out of town and trying to commit international incidents in Brazil, I was left in charge of the guiding duties and to keep our crew on the fish. My charters and I all think I accomplished said goal….at least for them.
Saturday night, I got the call from my Galveston crew, Brandon, Jeremy, Rusty, and new member, Cody.
“Hey, man. Were here come get a beer.”
Future and current obligations made me forego the beer but I pormised to take them up on the offer Sunday night after we fished. As I got off the phone, I flipped the TV to the weather channel to do a little weather reconaissance. Crap, TWC was predicting 35 to 40 sustained winds for McAllen. When mother nature throws us that curve that far inland, rest assured the coast is probably gonna get it 10 to 15 mile per hour faster. I tugged on my smiley face and looked in the mirror for a few minutes practicing my guide's speil.
“Yeah, they gotta eat some time.” or “I don't think the hard stuff will start blowing for a while, yet.” All the while saying this, my voice flys listlessly on the wind through the air to the spooked whitetails on the beach four hundred yards downwind.
Sunday morning arrived and we loaded the boat up. As I stepped down the three feet to boat from the dock, I suddenly realized something was missing….about three feet of water. Wind…missing water…and Jeremy forgetting his tackle box back on the dock…things looked bleak.
We started our first wade and caught a couple of reds and a few dink trout. Then all of a sudden Cody yanks back and sets the hook. We all turn his direction to give encouragement and he gives us the thumbs down. “No fish. Just bottom.” He reels and tugs for a few seconds and then, “Dood, I gotta a tackle box.” Lo and behold, he lifted a perfectly intact tackle box from the water with a few Corky's, some Spooks, Top-Dogs, and some Redfish Magics. Needless to say, although we only caught 9 fish before finally gettitng blown off the water on Sunday, the day was not a total lost. We estimated Cody's catch to be around 40 to 60 dollars. Not a bad day on the water.
Monday started off with forecasts saying more of the same. However, as we left the dock, the step down into the boat was about a foot higher and the wind was not even ruffling the flags. Could TWC be, as they most often are, wrong? We motored north into a windless morning and we all grew all little more excited as we approached “dad's bowl.” With what little wind we had due east, we waded toward the shore after starting in mid stomach deep water. Throwing the gamut, Corky's, Catches, and topwaters we all, well they all, caught fish. Every color, every type of bait, and every retrieve. An approaching front and quickly rising water had the fish feeding and we were wading ground zero.
We fished the 'bowl' for a few hours and then made a move to one of my favorite, unnamed to protect the innocent, spots. The entire four hour wade produced fish. The fish were still holding fairly deep, three to four foot of water, but they were just exploding top-waters. Jermey caught a great oversized red and all four of them caught trout from 17 to mid-twenties. Although we were looking for the big girls, and I did hook one in the 28 to 30 inch range, but with my amateur hat on, I missed ten fish on Monday after reeling and fighting them all the way in, we had to be happy with them catching about 50 fish between themselves. A pretty fun and productive day. We caught fish throughout and the lack of wind actually even made conversation possible making the day even that more enjoyable.
Even though they were deep, the fish did take tops but we worked them hard over deeper pockets. The rapidly fluctuating barometer and water movement had the fish hunkered down. Pink catches, tops, and corkys were the ticket. I caught, should I say hooked, a few on bone and day-glo. With water and weather stabilizing, now is the time to be on the water. Old Mother Nature is gonna turn on the wind tunnel any day. Get on the water as soon as you can. We are in the heart of the trophy season and the summer doldrums are right around the corner.
Enjoy the Laguna and check out my new monthly Column in Slatwater Texas and in Lonestar Outdoor News. And until you get here, think fishy thoughts.