Saturday, May 19, 2007

Big Mama

Friday turned out to be a blur.

I had a dental appointment mid morning so I spent the early part of the day at home on the computer trying to get caught up on e-mail.

After a little dental restoration I met Tracy and we ran a few errands before returning to Needville. I took some phone calls, finished some e-mails, and took care of some other business before retrieving the travel trailer from storage and getting it in the driveway and plugged into AC power. Once the fridge and air conditioner run overnight it will be ready to load for our trip to Matagorda next week.

Matt and I were scheduled to participate in a work day with the church on Saturday morning and as usual on a Friday evening I had fishing on the brain.

My compadre Mr. Huskins reported in from McNab lake that he had scored on a 27" redfish and a keeper trout. Two thirds of a Texas Slam!

Brother Paul was cooling his heels in New Caney and was supposed to get the yaks wet in the morning. The buzzbaits will be working overtime!

I was bound for Palacios and eager to see if the nice weather would bring the trout in under the lights.

I got off later than I expected and arrived at the pier at 9:30PM. Not much was happening unless you count the EAST wind blowing at a steady 5 knots. As usual when this phenomenon occurs the fishing is slow. I managed a few sand trout on the tiny shad rig and tried several other ideas including the Cubby jig and a Hackberry Hustler (a form of a sand eel).

I caught my first ribbon fish and it was pretty cool to see up close.

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Ribbon of Silver

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Toothy Critter

At midnight the wind started to lay down and some small specks started showing up. I began hearing sporadic "pops" and decided to stay a while and see if things improved.

I picked up a couple of undersized specks and several more sand trout and now it was 1AM and high time for me to head for home.

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Undersized Speck

As I was reeling in and hooking up, two guys got into some big trout off the seawall. I saw them pull in two that were close to 20" and decided to hang on for a little while more.

The specks were still there but they were few and far between and I could only seem to find those that were just a little undersized. By 2AM the bay was completely flat the wind was calm and the tide started coming in.

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Almost Legal

I made one last visit to the light in front of the Baptist Encampment and found some trout right up tight to the rocks in front of the seawall. I began casting parallel to the wall and got a solid hit and hookup. I applied gentle pressure as this fish felt like it might be a keeper and what happened next caught me totally off guard.

I've caught many doubles while fishing the tiny double shad rig - even several this night. Something hit my line and took off like a freight train. At first I thought it must have been a red but soon I saw in the placid pool of light two speckled trout on my line and one was a Big Mama.

The biggest trout I have landed off the wall was about 19" but I have seen bigger trout being caught and I couldn't help but wonder whether this was one of those.

The two trout mostly wanted to go in different directions and canceled out each other's runs. I think the smaller fish was scared of the larger one. Twice they both headed off in the same direction and they had their way with my light gear. I let them run until they started fighting against each other and then guided them back to the wall.

I began worrying about trying to lift them over the wall and didn't want to break off or straighten out the hook. When the time came I gave it a try and hoisted both fish in one smooth movement up to the sidewalk. YeHaw!

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Two For The Price of One

This fish was almost as long as my personal record but I think this one was larger overall. It was thick and fat and well represented it's kind.

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Big Mama

I continued to chase the "pops" and ended up with three more keepers.

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Another Keeper
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Size Comparison

I need to change my approach and start sleeping before I go to Palacios. This was a long night for the fisherman and for those at home concerned for my safe journey home.

Fishing at night is exciting and fun but it shouldn't be an excuse to be inconsiderate.