Sunday, April 03, 2011


Every fishing trip needs a good fish story. Although some fishermen are accused of stretching the truth or exagerrating to senesationalize their tale, most of the time the what we experience on a typical outing needs no embelishment.

This time we were fishing in our usual spot, "The Redfish Hole" in the Diversion Channel of the Colorado River not far from where it empties into West Matagorda Bay.

We were out a little later than usual but the weather was beautiful and the fishing had already proven to be better than average. We both had fish in the box and I was looking for more.

We were fishing with live shrimp which usually means that you could catch a wide variety of fish from speckled trout to redfish or from gafftop to whiting.

There was a pretty stiff wind blowing from the SSE and I was trying to cast across the wind and upstream with my rig. I like to try different configurations but this time I was using the old standard - a live shrimp on a #8 treble hook suspended about 20" below a cork. We like to use the cigar style sliding cork with the weighted bead on the bottom.

I was twitching and popping the cork as it drifteds bacck towards the boat when the cork disappeared. I gave it a second before setting the hook and immediately knew I had a big fish on. The fish headed straight for the middle of the channel and was taking drag. I like to keep our drags set pretty light as most of the time we can fight our fish to the boat fairly quickly without risking breaking off or bending our small hooks.

This time though the game was slightly different. I kept waiting for the fish to stop and shake or to change direction but it never did. I tried putting pressure on the rod and after half of my line was gone I began increasing the pressure on my drag. I had a lot of confidence on my knots and in the line as I had just last week spooled up a new batch of 14lb Berkley Fireline - my weapon of choice.

Well to make a long story short I got spooled! Whatever I hooked never slowed down, changed direction, or looked back. Tracy estimated that the whole event took less than a minute and that even if we had the idea of chasing the screaming run with the boat, we likely wouldn't have even got the anchor pulled in time.

I wonder if I were in the kayak instead of the boat if I would still be on the sleigh ride. There were several big gar in the river near where we were fishing and I think that is the likely culprit. It is fun to consider though that it might have been a big jack or a king mackerel. Whatever it was it was fast and steady and likely still has a lot of line trailing behind it.

Keep your eyes peeled for a green cork that may show up somewhere in the Matagorda Bay system. It may still have something attached!

Quart of Shrimp - $20
Gas for Boat - $10
Snacks & Drinks - $5
125 yards of Fireline - $15

Getting spooled in less than 1 minute - Priceless

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