Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Best Present

There is one principle which seems to be universal with everyone I know who loves to fish. Not only do you have fun catching fish yourself, but you derive just as much or even more enjoyment from watching others with whom you share the trip catch them as well.

I have been blessed to share the water this season with Tracy and have seen her catch some nice fish, but the last two trips have been tough and she was due for a good fishing and catching day.

Matagorda County is alive with birds this time of year.

These sandhill cranes were seen on the road to Oyster Lake across from Palacios.

Ibis and other shorebirds really stand out against the autumn colored grass.

We didn't try to beat the daylight this morning but instead got on the water after the early morning sun had burned off most of the fog. Our plan was simple and predictable. Fish the Oyster Reef Fork and The Corners thoroughly before moving in to McNab. With any success, we may not even make it to the lake before lunchtime.

Tracy was rigged up with a new secret weapons - a double load of three inch Sugar Spice Glow Gulp shrimp on her main rod and an H2O saltwater shallow running crankbait on her second rod. Yes reader - she is now using two rods and has rodholders and a net as well.

I had a topwater on one and a similar Gulp setup though one of my two baits was a four inch glow jerk shad and the other chartreuse neon pepper jerk shad.

We headed straight to the Fork and began casting. Tracy almost immediately reported a bite and on a subsequent cast hooked a little yellowtail (silver perch).

"Good bye skunk!"

We continued to work the reefs and I paddled down the right hand fork a ways to see if I could find a redfish. I didn't find any fish but I did get some nice closeups of this elusive rail.

After my unsuccessful side trip I returned to fish near Tracy. Before I got fully in position, she hooked and landed a nice 14" speckled trout. Bonus! Tracy caught a "pretty one" her pet name for specks.

After taking a position across the channel I began casting towards the corner.

Tracy was working her gulp along the side and toe of the middle reef when she thought her rig was hung up on an oyster shell. After pumping twice and feeling nothing but dead weight she was convinced that all she had was a clump of oysters when the "dead weight" came alive.

I deduced immediately that she had a flounder and began issuing orders like a drill Sargent. In my haste to come to her aid, I got my 14' boat crossways in the channel and lodged on the top of the reef. I was frantic to get off the reef and get over to net the fish and it surely would have made the top 10 America's Funniest Home Videos had we been able to capture it on video.

I finally got off the reef and positioned upstream of her as she heaved the mighty fish to the surface. Somehow I managed to net the beast without falling in or tipping us both over.

She had caught the biggest McNab flounder yet at 20" even and 3.7 lbs.

We continued to fish along to the next fork but didn't find any fish there.

I finally connected with a small tater chip flounder in Little Lake.

As midday was upon us we turned back and headed for the launch. There was time for a few casts around Oyster Reef Fork and low and behold I managed to catch one more flounder that was just big enough to keep.

Did you know that flounder have green eyes? Click on the picture for a close-up.

Watching the joy return to my fishing partner was the best present I could have asked for. Even though she likes to catch trout over flounder I was glad to relinquish the title of "Catcher of the Biggest Flounder" for now.

All I can say is watch out cuz I'm looking for next "saddle blanket".

After lunch we headed to the beach for some afternoon beachcombing. You can see the results of the sea bean search at my new blog - Beach Beans.

Tracy is searching the beach wrack after I discovered the red hamburger bean nearby.

More brush burning was occuring down the beach. Most likely the ranchers are getting ready for the cattle that will be grazing the peninsula this winter.

Until next time, Adios from Matagorda!

1 comment:

Bawana said...

I say is that a rail? It looked a bit like a blue bellied shoveler.