This past week, every day was a light North wind which made for calm seas. Every morning I would wake up and look at the surf camera at Crystal Beach, and every morning I would tell my boss he is lucky I am a faithful employee because the weather and beach were perfect! No worries though, Friday will be here soon enough for me to get out there and get on some of the action. I decide on where I wanted to pre-fish Friday for the Cops Helping Kids benefit tournament and had me a game plan. I am up early and get there at dark for just enough time for me to paddle back to my flat and be there at first light. Well, as soon as I arrive to my launch point there is lightning striking all around. Mother Nature sent me a little summer squall to sit through before I decided to launch. It passes over and I am on my way. I arrive and start throwing my Skitter Walk and after a few cast I hear a pop. No hook up but then I hear another, and another. The fish want it but are not being very aggressive when it comes to feeding. This scenario happens with 6 or 7 fish before I hook up and land a red. Anyways the day progresses and there are fish around busting bait all along the shoreline. I switch to a popping cork and make a few cast and not long after it disappears. I land a nice 26″ red which is a great tournament fish for tomorrow.
I get a quick picture and release him for another day. I keep fishing and then all of the sudden my cork disappears again. I set the hook and nothing, I thought I may have just pulled the hook out or something. Wrong, I broke off, so I retied and was back at it. The very next cast I see a swirl, I set the hook and the same thing, snapped my line. Terrible luck right? I switch baits and start throwing a Buggs Lure, now these are new to me but I was told to throw one because reds can not resist. A few short cast later I hang into one but he came off, I already like it. A few minutes later I make a cast, see a swirl, and set the hook and then nothing. My line broke again. This was brand new P-Line 15 lb. test, it has never failed me before. I literally broke off on more fish in one day than I have in the past 5 years. Not long after this I decide to call it a day and head back home and prepare for tomorrow. I tell my team, which consist of Chad Lyden, and Blaze my brother, that our spot is covered with reds. Which it was, I caught 2 nice fish, missed 7-8 on topwater, and broke off on 3. I would say thats a good day. So we plan on meeting at the launch and it is going to be early.
I am so excited about this tournament that I wake up 15 minutes before my alarm goes off. I just knew that we were going to be top competitors in this tournament. Well Mother Nature knew what my attitude was and obviously did not like it, so she decided to throw us a curve ball. The wind is out of the SW blowing 15-20 mph. and no one likes fishing in these conditions. We enter the first flat and scatter across it and my only action was one red barely trying to eat my topwater. I look around and can not see or hear any fish cornering shad on the bank and crashing in on them. Around 7 or so, Chad hangs into a solid red, fights it all the way to the boat until he goes to net the fish and the trebles get hung into his net. The fish thrashes a few times and he is back swimming free again. Bad luck? I guess thats part of the game. So about 9 or 10 we do not have a fish on the stringer and our chances of showing up with fish are looking grim. My team has been looking at me all day with the look of “I thought there were fish here.”.
Mid day my brother strings up a redfish going about 5 lbs. So we will not be getting skunked today. Not long after I see my cork start dancing and moving sideways and I know a fish is carrying it somewhere. I set the hook and snap, my line breaks again. The brand new spool of line I have is coming off my reels and into the garbage. Of all spools of line, I grab the only one in SETX that is bad. I finally hang into a red at 1 that afternoon and he only went 4 lbs. A very slow day of fishing and was the toughest day I have had on the water in a while. Go to the weigh in and realize we are not even in the picture, but we have fish to weigh!
Sometimes I wonder what I could of done different to produce a better outcome and at times I can find a solution. Times like what happened to me this past Saturday I have no answer for. So until I figure out what I did incorrectly to guide my team in the wrong direction, I will blame Mother Nature, the fishing gods, and just plane ole bad luck! Along with that lives the fisherman’s saying, “You should of been here yesterday!”