Saturday, September 19, 2009

Seeing Red

Saturday is the day - West Matagorda Bay or bust!

We arrived on Friday to be greeted by "The Swarm". The recent rain had hatched a serious wave of the little bloodsuckers and had changed the mix of water in the river. I made a few casts with the fly rod upon arrival but couldn't raise a ripple.

After a nice dinner and visit with the Wilson's I decided that even if the fish were biting it wouldn't be possible to fish with all the mosquitoes trying to suck the life out of us. There were some folks fishing under the lights off the boat dock but I think they were wondering who was really "getting bites", them or the mosquitoes.

The hummingbirds we had enjoyed last week were also gone. They were apparently just passing through on the annual migration. I caught some nice video and posted it at Front Yard Films for your viewing enjoyment.

We got an early start on Saturday morning and followed the track from last week with no problems. Our first spot was almost fish free so we moved to where we could cast our live shrimp without staring into the morning sun. We finally found some reds that were just under the 20" minimum size limit like this pretty "two spot".

Tracy was catching more than her share but couldn't seem to find that keeper.

I, on the other hand, was going for variety. I caught some little reds, hardheads, lady fish, and even this small sting ray.

Some fish get a bad rap as being ugly, but even this little black drum showed off his silver and turquoise sheen in the morning sun.

Tracy fished hard off the front deck of the Second Honeymoon and her efforts finally paid off big time.

Click on this video above to see Tracy in action!

Here she is with the catch of the day - 26" and 7.5 lbs. A fine redfish!

We had a little trouble getting back due to my lack of experience at boating in shallow water and inadvertently upset a fishing party that thought we were getting too close. Sorry! From their actions I think they were "seeing red" in a different way than we were.

We decided to go out again after lunch and stayed in the deeper water of the Diversion Channel and the river. We each caught a keeper trout along with several small fish when I got the idea to head upriver to our spot near Selkirk.

After fishing unsuccessfully under a cork, I thought that maybe the fresh water from the recent rains had pushed the fish down low. I thought I would drop a shrimp down to the bottom to get below the fresh water. I caught several small bait stealers and finally connected with a nice 20" trout confirming my suspicion that the trout were there - they were just not up high in the water column.

On the way back home we saw a pair of bald eagles soaring overhead and at least six osprey. I hope they are stopping for the winter and not just passing through.

We still have a lot to learn about Matagorda fishing but for now we are enjoying the blessings associated with being outside in God's creation and the joy of hearing the drag scream once in a while.

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