Saturday, April 16, 2011

One Fish Day

We hardly ever catch limits when we fish but most of the time we catch enough for dinner and to share with others. The Friday weather forecast looked good with cooler and drier temps prevailing after the little front that pushed through.

We arrived early enough for me to throw the cast net and I found some live shad in the river. We got an encouraging fishing report from Edie at Spoonbills. She said that the trout were in the river and were up under their lights on Thursday so we were hopeful for a repeat.

We got the light out before dark and I started fishing with the shad.

It wasn't too long before I found some "slimers" (gafftopsail catfish) like this bewhiskered one.

Tracy caught her share of hungry fish like this little red.

This "tater chip" flounder needs to grow up before he will fill a plate. I love the distinct mottled pattern of the Matagorda flounder.

We fished until nearly 11PM and even though the solunar data predicted a major feeding period I think the fish had other ideas. We put nothing in the box and had to settle for a nice cool evening on the river.

We got an early start on Saturday morning. The bait shops had no live shrimp for sale but we took some of the shad from the previous night and some fresh dead shrimp.

We got to the "Hole" early enough to get this nice sunrise shot across the channel. I rigged up a live shad and cast to the bank. The first bite I missed and quickly rigged up another shad and cast back to the same spot. I felt a tap-tap then set the hook.

What happened next can only be fully understood by someone who has had a similar experience. The fish I hooked came up to the surface but not out of the water. It was long and lean and seemed black as coal on it's back which was the only part visible to both Tracy and I. I thought it must be a mackerel or a shark the way it was streaking through the water on several blistering runs. This fish would change course and rush off in a new direction so fast I was struggling to keep up. I was fearful that I would lose it and never know what it was.

This big girl finally began to tire and we got to see a beautiful 23" trout come to the boat. Thanks to Tracy's expert net handling and photography I got to show off my best trout of 2011 (so far).

If you click this picture you will see the beautiful array colors in this saltwater superstar.

Here is the shot at the cleaning table. She makes my trout knife look small!

We came in for lunch then decided to head up river to see if we could find any fish near the nuke plant.

Fishing dead shrimp on the bottom predictable located some hungry reds. They were feisty but too small to keep.

The reds use their broad tail and beefy shoulders to great advantage.

In addition to supplying strength, the tail of these red drum can also be a beautiful blue adding contrast to the white and silver-gold color of the scales.

Not a bad adornment for a fish known as a "Mud Mule"!

The trout turned out to be the only fish we kept but we felt blessed to be able to have enough fish for a meal or two and to be able to be out enjoying God's creation.

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