When something is brought up in a conversation and that one event has never happened to you, sometimes the ole “Knock on Wood” trick does not work. I have spent countless hours on the water fishing and have had some close calls but I have never been hooked before. It is actually one of my worst fears, even though I surround myself with the hazard often. It all started with an early morning after a late night and I had wanted to try a new spot before a tournament on Saturday. Made my way to a flat and it looked good and was covered with lots of grass and structure. The first hour I had seen nothing, no blowups, no tails, or did not paddle over any fish. Started to have my doubts but then I found one take off. So I decided to throw on a topwater real quick and give it a try. Until this day I have only caught one red on a topwater, and he was in the middle of a school of trout. So never really had to much luck. Then I see a tail pop up, make a cast, and a huge blow up! He missed this time but I could see a wake still coming for my Skitter Walk. This red was relentless and wanted this topwater. After a short chase he catches up to it, swirls, and the fight is on. Now this is where the story changes. I get him to the boat and on the Boga Grips and he thrashes one good time. I feel a slight pinch and then some pressure and I know exactly what just happened. I freak out for a split second, put a death grip on the red with my left hand and try to do my best from keeping him from flopping. Get him in the kayak and notice that the bottom treble is in him and the top is in my right pointer finger.
What the hell do I do now? I go through my options and try to remove the hook out me before the fish, that did not work. So I pulled the hook out of the fish and released him and went back to the drawing board. I was by myself so I could not do the string trick and paddling back was not the best option because I was a few miles back. After 15 minutes or so I grab a pair of pliers, get a grip as close as I can to my finger, and begin to put some pressure on it. I mostly kept the pliers still and pushed my finger forward and after a few good pushes it popped out. Yes, literally could here it pop when it decided to exit. Well glad I got that out of the way, not the greatest experience, but whatever. I did redeem myself by catching several redfish on the same lure. The redfish were killing it! Had several come out of the water chasing it. Next time I go I will be there with my camera watching my friends catch fish and hope I can capture the moment of impact.
While catching fish around this flat I found a few otters swimming around and thankfully I had my camera ready.
I found this guy chasing something around this small island and at the time was not sure what it was. After I got home and cropped the picture down I noticed he had caught a crab! By far one of the coolest experiences I have witnessed on the water. This is exactly what gets me up in the morning no matter how tired or bad I feel. You never know exactly what you will see in nature and getting to share this with everyone is why I carry my camera around and write this blog. Absolutely amazing in my opinion.
The crab may have lost the battle but he did not go down without a fight. If you look the claw is still latched on the his chin.
Caught several fish at my new spot but not to many good ones. By that I mean tournament winners. Me and my brother decide to fish there the next day and catch several more fish just no solid ones. Actually I had one that was a nice fish, got him in the yak, unhooked because I was still a little timid of the topwater attached to his face, and as soon as I turn around he flops one time and is swimming again. That is a first for me and still can not believe I done that, especially on tournament day. Needless to say we did not place and was not to happy how the outcome was, but did have a great time smashing the redfish with my brother.
Thursday came around and I loaded everything I had and headed to Port Aransas for the weekend. Time for a guys weekend fishing, relaxing, and doing whatever else may come to mind. While on the road we turn on the radio and find the U.S. Soccer game against Germany. We of course was routing for them but the radio was just not cutting it. So we stopped in Victoria at a bar to finish watching the game. Joined up with a few hooligans and cheered for our country to advance, and so they did. Already a good start. As soon as we get there we notice the wind is terrible. Like 25-30 MPH wind. The wind never gave up all weekend so it kind of put a damper on our fishing but it did not stop us from having a good time. Caught a few fish but still loved being by the clearwater. That is something that we do not get around here at Sabine and SETX.
This is what you do when it is to windy to fish. You sit on the porch, drink a few cold ones and talk about fishing along with a few other lies.
I have a few days off for the holiday weekend and I have got to find some trout. The Saltwater Boys are having a trout tournament and usually this is my main targeted fish. I have not tried to catch trout since March but I do have a few spots that I know should be holding some. Im pretty excited to finally catch a few, it has been to long.
Plenty of first for me lately, all of them left me in awe, good and bad ways. Remember what this holiday weekend is about, Independence Day. Spend time with family and friends and be thankful that we live in a country where we have the ability and freedom to follow something that we appreciate and take pleasure in. I hope everyone has a “first” happen for them, but may it be in your best interest.