Sunday, July 29, 2007

Chocolate Fish

The rain continues.

I had a plan to get the kayak in the salt water (if I could find any) but was surprised by an invitation to fish in West Bay with some friends from work.

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We met after work on Friday at Mark's bay house on Galveston Island just opposite Chocolate Bay. Our plan was to fish over the lights in the canal in the evening and if the weather held up we were going to go out in his boat in the morning for a few hours. I had to make a short trip of it as Tracy, Matt & I were bound for Tomball on Saturday.

Glenn showed up shortly after I did (we missed the lawn mowing) and began telling fish stories while we waited for darkness and green lights to attract the bait and hopefully the predators. One of Mark's neighbors was telling how the fish had been in the canal all week and we were getting hopeful.

Another neighbor came in from the bay with stories of catching some fish on live shrimp. One of his young boys stepped out on the dock with the last of the shrimp and caught a nice fat trout on the first cast. The adults all grabbed our rods and went to work but we only caught a few small sand trout and a few hardheads before the green lights came on. Young master Chance was king of the dock.

The folks across the canal were having a party complete with music and a good bit of activity and we were wondering whether that may be affecting the fishing. The tide had gone out about the time we arrived but with the nearly full moon we were hoping for a high tide before too long.

We watched and fished until pretty late. Some big trout moved in and were cruising the canal but weren't feeding. I must have tried everything I had at least twice including the tiny glow shad rigs, topwater, queen cocahoe minnows, rattle traps, mirrolures, and even the fly rod with glass minnows and shrimp patterns.

After finally giving up and catching a little sleep we were all up and ready to go well before first light. There were some clouds in the area and some far away storms so we decided to wait until we could see everything well before heading out.

Mark and Glenn went to the bait shop for some shrimp and I worked the canal to see if I could find a hungry trout. When they returned, I put on a live shrimp and caught a keeper to start the day.

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Mark & Glenn Putting In

We headed out into West Bay and toward the mouth of Chocolate Bay to Mark's spot. Chocolate Bay gets its name from the water color when it rains a lot so we weren't going to get too close.

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Sunrise over West Bay

The Texas Gulf Coast rivers and bayous flow through some heavy clay and alluvial soil as well as agricultural and industrial areas. Despite that and the huge volume of fresh water we have been receiving lately, West Bay was in pretty good shape and as we were to find out - salty enough for some good trout action.

When we got to the spot we were on the fish almost immediately.

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Glenn With a Keeper

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Small but Fun to Catch

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Mark With a Nice Trout

We fished until a storm appeared that looked like it was going to pass between us and Mark's house so we pulled anchor and began to head across the bay. When we were about half way back, the storm no longer threatened so we decided to fish some more. We had been seeing several flocks of gulls and pelicans working a rip so we moved in to see if they had any decent fish under them. An earlier report from some other fisherman had been that the birds were working over gafftop.

Our birds were over small trout and after catching and releasing a few fish (and a couple of birds), we decided to head back to the first spot. When we got close we noticed that someone else had moved in so Mark piloted us to an alternate spot. He was on fire and outfished us two to one with several trout, a couple of black drum, and two reds that were nearly "dock legal" but were returned to grow a little more.

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Mr. Redfish

I finally pulled the plug on the trip as I had to get back to Needville and as it turned out the weather was coming in anyway.

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Storm's a Coming

All in all it was a great trip. We boxed several trout and a small drum and everyone caught their share of fish. Even the bait stealers were fun to catch and seeing the bay in the early hours was worth getting up for.

Thanks Mark for a memorable fishing experience!

1 comment:

Bawana said...

"As time marches on it becomes clearer everyday.
It never was about the fish anyway "