Monday, July 18, 2011

sweet sunrise and some trout

 Pretty good day on Sunday. Early in the am we spooked about a three foot shark sitting in a foot of water as we waded onto the point of sand we usually stand in before the sun comes up. Its only ankle deep, but sometimes that seems too damn deep if there are a lot of huge thrashing sounds and epic mullet rafts fleeing in the dark! The big fish I landed were 23" and a 24" and dad caught a five pounder weighed on the boga that slurped his topwater before first light. The fish are mostly skinny and you could probably add at least 30% to their body weight in the fall when they are eating good. The hot topwater was yet again the baby super spook. I caught a few on the bone/pearl color at twilight but when the sun came up(and I switch to it every time it does around 9 am) was the clown colored baby ss. I don't think I can go anywhere in the summer without two of them! Or at least one and a chrome blue back. Also 2 weeks ago when we went (and I didn't bring a camera) I caught several good trout on the clown. I suspect that the metallic flash and perfect profile definitely set you up with a huge advantage. Most of the fish that I caught were in water rushing over a sandbar that was ankle to shin deep, dropping into about 20-25" of water, or in wader terms, knee to thigh deep.

The sand has really started to shift since last summer. The year before last was pretty epic. With sharp defined edges on the main gut and a shallow sandbar running the length of the deep water north and south and a small swale depression that broke through running east that had a gradual depth change eventually bowling out far to the east. Back then, it payed to hoof it 100 yards or more to the east after the sun was high enough because there were large trout and redfish sitting on the knee to thigh deep flat waiting for the ebbing flow to carry them an easy meal. You could follow the secondary gut or walk north 50 yards and fan cast back. Typically if the fish were there you would get 3-4 or more good blowups in your fan casting radius and then it would slow down. All you had to do then was push up 30 yards or so and you could expect more bites. I lost the biggest trout I had ever hooked that summer. On the clown. The heavy current coupled with the weight and strength of the late May-early June fish was too much for those little size 4 trebles. Being a fisherman I'm going to say that it would have gone at least eight pounds. But that's coming from a fisherman! Anyhow, it was good to fish there because the flow of the tide rippled over the sandbar out of the deep gut at a real good clip on a good incoming and flowed ESE allowing the fish to (I'm guessing) sit on the bottom or suspended right off the bottom and wait for an unsuspecting mullet or shrimp to be swept into their strike zone. My deductions are supported by the fact that after you got a couple quality fish to bite you had to move foreword before you would be in a real hot zone again. You might continue to cast without walking but usually only 16-18" fish would randomly bite every 10-15 minutes and with the tide constantly getting weaker I didn't have the balls to wait it out and prove myself wrong.

Getting back on the subject before my reminiscing of old times, the bars are different. Last year was a transition year with everything being more or less a sloppy and undefined version of the year before. This year there seems to have been a major tidal hydraulic change spurring this new major flow from north to south over a long east to west running bar north of the old secondary gut, pouring over into the old killing field which has shifted closer making it pretty easy to swing your plug in the zone and also easier to fight fish because now you can fight them in a sideways current and not a flow moving away from you. This year looks to be making up for the lackluster summer last.

Sorry you had to read through that relative mumbo jumbo about bars and guts and tidal flow. I just write as if I'm talking to someone who knows how to think like a wadefisherman(or just a regular seriously obsessed normal one). I also write that stuff because if you walk out there and explore and find those sweet spots, set up early and wait for the right time and execute a plan it's pretty FUKIng satisfying. you just have to put together a mental picture of the surrounding depth changes. Hell draw a map if you have to and laminate it at kinkos. I did this as a kid when I bass fished slot and it was a great mental exercise for remembering small details that meant big dividends on the hook end.

             Also, I got my fly tying desk primed and ready to pump out some flys for winter swinging and the house I recently moved into has a pond in the backyard thats loaded with carp. I caught about a 3 pounder the other day on my 5wt and a wooly bugger and lost about a 15 pounder I hooked on a black bunny leach. I have a peacock duster I bought just for those big uglys.

In closing this retarded fishing essay, make your time on the water count. When the moon and tide are right, you need to be where your going to be. Plenty of time to drink at about 10 am when the bite is over. If you catch some fish, after your through sit back and think about it for 5 minutes and ask yourself some questions. When did I catch the(time of day, tide,) how did I catch them(lure,presentation, color) where(where on the structure or cover...reef or sandbar make note of your surroundings) this will help with the question of why(did I get lucky today)

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