Saturday, September 27, 2008

"The Corners"

There's more than one way to follow a successful fishing trip.

For some it satisfies an itch and they are OK to return to normal life. For those of us with the OCF gene it creates a new desire and an expectation of similar success.

After the Team Slam on Friday, I immediately began scheming on how to squeeze another quick trip in on Saturday morning. We were fully booked up for later in the day but had a few hours in the morning.

"Let's see, we could pay bills, do laundry and yard work, or .... put all that off and go fishing!". Yeah I know...that other stuff needs to get done too but now that it is just the two of us we are finding it easier to take advantage of good weather and "run away from home" once in a while.

We arrived at the launch of McNab about mid-morning and the water level had dropped and was still on the way out. Tracy said it felt like we were going down the drain every time we would stop and try to fish. The current would pull on the boats and dislodge the stake out poles.

We fished the first few legs of the channel near the launch end but couldn't seem to find the fish. I tried crankbaits and topwaters and rigged Tracy up with a new offering that I had caught one of the trout on the previous day - Gulp Jerk Shad in neon chartreuse pepper.

I finally connected with a two-spot rat red. We were beginning to think it was just one of those days and finally decided to paddle in to the next fork for one last ditch effort.

Tracy got in position and attempted to make a cast to the deep part of the channel. Her finger hung on the line a split second longer than she planned and the errant cast sailed up the edge of the grass and landed just inches from the edge. She was about to start her retrieve in disgust when she realized that something had picked up the Gulp Jerk Shad and taken off!

She landed the 19 3/4" red with the help of her guide and continued to fish the fork while I tried a little around the bend.

The marsh grass is ripening and showing signs of going to seed. It provides a break from the wind and it's stems and roots are a great hiding place for fiddler crabs and small baitfish.

After I had made enough casts with the crankbait to satisfy myself that there were no takers, I switched to the flounder pounder. No luck there either so I turned back and paddled to meet up with Tracy. She had been fishing the fork area and as I pulled along side her I asked if she had thrown the Gulp up into the cove in front of the smaller fork.

She had but I decided to try anyway and threw the pounder to the back of the cove near the grass. As I began my retrieve, I felt a light strike and noticed that my line was coming towards me. I quickly took up the slack and felt the weight of the fish as I set the hook.

And what a fish it was! This 3.4lb 23-23/4" speck was a glorious fury of silver and foam as she fought against my 7' graphite rod. When I finally netted this beauty and put her on the stringer I got a close look at her colors.

These are truly magnificent fish and though they are voracious predators and toothy fighters, when they calm down and are swimming alongside the kayak it's impossible not to see them as beautiful creatures.

Now this is a handful of fish!

Here is another shot showing the silver and gold along with the characteristic yellow mouth.

Thanks once again to my excellent photographer for this portrait.

When we headed in to Stanleys for a bathroom and a cold drink, I got the idea to call our friend Edie at Spoonbills to see if she had time to turn the catch of the day into lunch. She had informed us that she could cook our B.Y.O.F. even if it was a variety of fish like speckled trout that she was not allowed to sell.

She out did herself and made each of us a beautiful plate of fire grilled asparagus, fresh green beans, baked fresh fillets of trout with a tomato basil topping that included sauteed onions and celery.

This was possibly the freshest trout I have ever eaten and was one of the most pleasing to the eye and the palate. Once again we were reminded who Spoonbills is an award winning restaurant. Thanks Edie!

"The Corners" have been good to us this weekend - especially to me. I caught my biggest ever flounder and my biggest ever speckled trout. It has been an education figuring out what to throw and how to fish the salt marsh.

Who knows what awaits around the next corner?


Paul Batchelder said...

Corners?? And to think I have been paddling over all these fish!
Great shots the trout need some company in the ice chest!

Bawana said...

I have to meet this lady that cleans, cooks and serves up the catch of the day!