Running of the Bulls — August 1, 2007

July is a special month for many reasons.  The dog days are just settling in, fishing patterns and approaches roil and broil through the lazy heat of summer, bluebird skies stretch on for miles, and the Bulls of Pamplona make their desperate tirade through the streets of Pamplona to the fighting ring.  When Papa Hemingway introduced the running of the bulls to the American public in his 1920’s epic, The Sun Also Rises, I am confident he did not realize, or ever dream, his, the consummate fisherman, dramatic prose would be used to describe a small writers conference in a small neck of the ocean he would have likely fallen in love with.

The lodge literally and figuratively hosted the annual Shakespeare/Pflueger/All-Star media event.  Every year we, through great cooperation and gratitude with the Shakespeare Marketing Department, host 30 of the most respected and biggest names in modern outdoor sports journalism.  All major magazines were represented, from Saltwater Sportsman, Shallow Water Angler, to the larger regional magazines such as Texas Sporting Journal and Texas Outdoors Journal.  We also filmed 5 incredible TV Shows: two for Shallow Water Angler TV, two for long time friend and adopted family member Keith Warren, and one for the upcoming Big Water Adventures with Mark Davis. 

Pradco, Stanley, and Strike King supplied the terminal tackle; S/P/A supplied the rods and guides Captains Bruce, Teddy, Steven Devries, Pete Martinez, Ray Rankin, John Autry and Eddie Curry supplied the fish.  I missed most of the event do to finishing up my little sickness with a couple of days at the local infirmed hotel and still ordered to ‘take it easy’ for the next few weeks.  However, the opportunity to actually get to talk to all of the writers, photographers, and participants as a whole as they came in gave me a great appreciation for all the happenings going on over the week.  With the Bull Stud writers, TV hosts, and tackle guys well taken care of, fed, and assigned to their respective boats the Sunday night they arrived it was time to introduce them to the fish.

With a dismal couple of weeks due to torrential rains and horrible weather, the fishing had been off and Dad, Teddy and I were concerned this could turn out to be a very difficult event to pull off.  As I lay in the hospital getting woken up to take my medication to put me back to sleep, Monday dawned with no winds, overcast sky, and a slightly falling barometer.  GAME ON!  For four days, the fish ate and ate well.  We had a number of 27+ inch trout caught, a true running of the Bulls in the surf with a couple of 42 and 44 inch reds taken, a 19 pound snapper on Keith Warren’s show, and a number between 12 and 15 pounds.  Boats were reporting numbers of reds in the upper slot to slightly oversized in the 20 + range per day and tons of trout.  Surprisingly, no tarpon spotted, but a few dorado and ling were saved for the dinner table.  All, while I sat licking my wounds and watching a TV that it’s remote only went one direction.  However, hospitals have some interesting how-to channels and I can now correctly give a breast exam and know how to breast feed.  Luckily for me, new tasks which should come in handy if I ever grow breasts.

We will keep you posted on when the shows air and, as always, post the magazines on our website.  We appreciate everyone’s efforts and patience for the event.  Our guides always enjoy the time and we get to fish some of the most knowledgeable and talented fisherman on the cutting edge of the sport. 

Fishing continues to thrive.  Red fish love…and I absolutely mean loving…the Strike King Redfish Magic.  I had been using it for the early part of the summer and it still continues to be a favorite; simply dress the hook as you would in normal water conditions…the magic is you are basically adding a spinning, wobbling, vibration making gold spoon to your already deadly plastic…words of advise: HANG ON!!!  Before I was forced of the water, I had a charter land a 28.5 inch trout on one…so maybe some trout magic there as well. 
As the air and water warm and salt back up, look for the schoolie trout to move back out over the deeper dropping grass lines.  Bull reds are back in the surf and really early this year…jump on them while you can.  Expect some Tuna and big fish reports next week as I pull back out on the water.

Until then…stay healthy