Sunday, February 20, 2011

His and Her Flounder

After our successful paddle last weekend, Tracy and I were ready to take advantage of the nice weather and decided to head up river in the Second Honeymoon to see if we could find some trout.

The long cold winter has finally come to an end (we think) and since Spoonbills is back open things are almost back to normal.

We lit a fire in the pit on Friday night and cooked some tasty marshmallows. We also set the light up at the river and caught several trout but alas they were all too small for the stringer. The fog was thick and there was plenty of tiny bait in the river but no big fish.

We launched about an hour later than we had planned in the morning due to the fog but had a nice quart of lively shrimp and the anticipation of finding some hungry fish upriver.

The fog got thicker the further upriver we went until we had to stop and fire up the running lights just to be on the safe side.

The fishing was pretty slow (understatement) even though Tracy managed to catch this 19" redfish that only an inch too short.

We gave up on our first spot and ran down to the Diversion Channel below the ICW.

Tracy found a keeper flounder and after some small black drum and jumbo sheepshead I managed one as well. These turned out to be our only two keepers of the day but will make the perfect Monday night meal.

Paul Sr. and Jr. had driven through the fog to paddle the marsh but after getting blown around and not finding the fish were ready to give up. I've been trying to get them out in the boat so Tracy and I came in and I took the Pauls upriver to see some scenery. We saw several Osprey (Paul had his long lens and got some shots) and four whitetail bucks running together up on the bluff above the riverbank.

On the way back we encountered a fellow captain whose twin 150's were dead in the water (turned out he had a load of bad fuel) and he was adrift and heading downstream.

We were able to tie on with our bowline and give him a tow back upriver to his dock.

The Second Honeymoon thought it was the Little Engine that Could.

After rescuing the disabled craft and crew, we headed down to a spot below the ICW and tried to get the boys on some fish. I managed a small red but that was it for this spot.

We crossed over to the other side near The Cove and Paul Jr. picked up a couple small fish before finally Paul Sr. connected with his first red of the day.

Paul Jr. went on to catch his personal best trout - a beautiful 20" speck.

Brother Paul matched him with a keeper flounder so they both had a fish in the box. It was a short trip but a successful one.

Tracy and I returned to this spot and to the redfish hole after lunch but the wind was up and the big fish were gone. We managed to catch several more flounder up to 13.5" which was encouraging. We used up the rest of the shrimp and headed for the cleaning table.

I had some company at the cleaning table when I was scaling the flounder.

The light was not the best but this guy had quite an attitude.

God's beauty is on display throughout his marvelous creation. All you have to do is look - it is everywhere.

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