AFTER a few months of not getting out to fish, I was really looking forward to getting out on the water this week. There's nothing like not being able to go to remind you how much you really love getting out on the water. In December I started a bathroom renovation that is just now wrapping up, and on top of that, my wife and I had our first child a little over three weeks ago, so fishing has been on the back burner. I was a bit in doubt about how the water clarity would turn out after the high winds and rain we've been having, but the weather was pretty perfect Tuesday and my wife signed off on a trip, so off I went to Delacroix. I got on the water right about 8:30am, said my hello's to the local alligator population, and started poling around, rigged with a dark color soft plastic rigged Texas style. I was immediately encouraged that the water wasn't very dirty; with the sun out for the whole day, I didn't need aquarium-clear water to sight fish. I knew, however, that the extremely high water from the strong S winds would let the fish spread out all over the place, and that finding them could be a bit of a challenge. In any case, it wasn't too long before I saw a couple of fish, and after spooking a few, I stuck my first fish. It was a little over slot, so it went back in the water, but I was encouraged.
FISH number 2 came along pretty soon after the first, but managed to spit the hook after a weak hookset. Don't let anyone tell you that taking a few months off won't make you rusty - I was definitely feeling a little off my casting/fishing game at first. I'm pretty familiar with the area I was fishing, and decided to head off to an area that almost always has clearer water due to what seems like constant vegetation, since I wasn't seeing a ton of fish in my first spot. As I made my way there, I kept an eye on the water clarity, and ended up coming across an area that couldn't have been more than a couple of football fields long that had much clearer water than everywhere surrounding it. Fish were easily visible as they stationed themselves close to the bank, and I picked up my 5 fish limit pretty quickly, all within that one small area. I wish I had a bit of a better idea about WHY that particular area was so much clearer, but it must have held the perfect combination of grass and angle to the wind. Once I had my limit, I decided to push on to the spot I had planned on fishing, to have a look at water there and hopefully keep brushing up on my sight casting. After having wiped out my stash of fish in the freezer, I was pretty happy to have 5 healthy reds in the bag early.
FROM there on out, the rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, with only two more fish coming in. The area I know to typically hold clearer water did have clearer water than most of the surrounding area, but the fish were spread out with the high water, and I missed quite a few casts. I made a long trek to check out an area I have noted in the past to contain big grass mats, but never seems to have any fish, and was once again greeted with the same scenario. Practically crystal clear water, seemingly totally devoid of redfish activity. Definitely a puzzler for me, must be something going on with the food chain that makes the redfish uninterested in that area. It's funny, because it's not far at all from areas that hold tons of fish, but I've never seen any reds there. I put the kayak back on the car around 2pm, called in a sandwich order at Last Stop and called it a day. Nothing earth shattering, but the weather was great, and I came home with plenty of fish, including one for the neighbor across the street. Sure wish I had brought the Fujifilm setup, but all I had with me on this trip was my iPhone.
TOTALLY unrelated to fishing, but the most enjoyable part of the process of creating a second bathroom for my house out of what was a storage/mudroom has been using some of the great old wood I salvaged from the windows for a sink top, window trim and (soon) mirror frame. There was a mix of old cypress and redwood in the 6 double hung windows and trim that I pulled out, and it looks great when sanded and finished. The redwood in particular has a deep hue that I like a lot. Should have enough wood for a few more projects, maybe to include some bookshelves for my son's room.
LASTLY, just a couple of photos of my son, because I'm crazy about the little guy. Can't wait for the day when we can make some fishing trips together.
Till next time! - Scott