Saturday, January 06, 2007

To Be or Not To Be

You've heard it all before:

Git While the Gittin's Good

Know when to Hold Em'

Strike While the Iron's Hot

When applied to fishing that usually translates into getting home later than you expected. There are also corresponding adages like these:

Enough is Enough

Know when to Let Go

Leave Some For the Rest of Us

Returning to work after a week off for the holidays was as busy as expected. In addition to lots of traffic, meetings, and e-mail to catch up on, I had a late elder's meeting on Tuesday and Bible study on Wednesday.

Just for fun I worked late on Thursday to boot!

I was watching the weather to see what was going to happen on Friday night as I was looking for some stress relief. The last few fishing outings had been less than productive and I was thinking it was time to hit a good night.

A nasty little storm system was due to hit our area mid-week and promised to drop up to 3 inches of rain on Thursday. The good news was that by Friday the air would clear out, the temps would rise to the mid 70's and the wind would switch to the Southwest.

Exactly what that would mean to the fishing was anybodies guess. I have read that an influx of fresh water can drive the bait deep. I have seen less activity when the North wind has been blowing strong and long enough to push the water out of the bay so the prediction of an incoming breeze was a positive and hopeful sign.

The prediction was that another front was headed in on Saturday so this all may mean that the fishing will be good - or not. There is only one way to find out....

I arrived at Palacios at 8:30PM and it was foggy and by the looks of the puddles they received the full measure of rain and then some.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This picture shows how foggy it was.
The flash picked up the fog as I was trying to get a shot of the "lake" sized puddle.

I got my rod strung up and started casting off the 1st Street Pier. There were several folks out fishing and they reported catching a few small specks but no keepers. I caught three specks on the pier, all about 13", and headed to the seawall.

I didn't catch any casting in the dark but when I reached the light past the big curve I hit the Honey Hole. I found a spot just outside the light where the fish were stacking up and if I could hit the spot, I got a hit.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Lil' Speck Killer

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Puzzler Worm

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
One More

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Two for One

Within an hour, I had landed 10 fish. By 11:30PM I was up to 80. This is when the dilemma comes in. Do you just quit and call it a night? The fish were still active and hungry! I had caught a couple that were just 15" but the rest were just under legal size.

I heard from one local guy, Tony, that his neighbor had caught a limit of keepers off the seawall between the 1st Street Pier and the Pavilion Pier and took a stroll down there to see if I could find the bigger fish. I didn't find them but I did pick up a couple more schoolies off the short jetties.

In addition to the specks and the fun I had with them, there were a couple of dolphins working the area. They were both interesting and frustrating at the same time. They figured out where dinner was and would cruise along through the shallows and when they got to the Honey Hole they would swim in a circle "corralling" the fish and would catch one and chase the rest away. Shortly after the dolphin would leave, the trout would return and I would begin catching them again but by that time, "Flipper" had completed his circuit and was returning for another round.

It ended up that all the other fishermen were gone and it was just me and Flipper duking it out.

"One for Flipper - Two for Me".

I won't say how late I stayed out or what the total number of fish I landed.

I quit counting. Lets just say that if I would have been in Louisiana, where the daily bag limit is 25 and minimum length is 12", I could have counted more than 4 limits!


eatmorefish said...

I am thinking about my decision to "go or not go"
You sure make it hard with that count!

Bawana said...

Hey brother sounds like you had a great time. Don't forget to retie that terminal tackle, it must need it after catching all those fish. Thanks for the Grit!