Had this been tournament day, I would have kept fishing for flounder, but since we were scouting, we decided to have a look at the marsh. Up until that point, we had been fishing open areas with structure, and wanted to get an idea of how many fish we could find deeper in the marsh, and the water clarity. We ended up splitting up to cover more ground. I checked out a few ponds, which turned out to be duds, and Josh made his way into some more interior marsh and found slightly clearer water and some redfish. I decided I'd head his way after writing off the area I was looking at, and made the paddle his way. As I was standing in the kayak and paddling along, an enormously loud CRACK rang out, and my paddle was suddenly no longer a single entity. Boy, I wish I could have seen my face. The insert that joins the two pieces cracked pretty impressively. Luckily, by that point I was pretty close to Josh, and able to lamely paddle my way to him. Let me tell you, paddling with two halves of a kayak paddle SUCKS. He was able to let me borrow his spare paddle, since he has a pedal drive kayak. I will have to either start bringing a spare paddle or some serious reinforcing tape in the future, because that would have been a miserable paddle back with a broken paddle. By this point, Josh needed to head back, but I was a little irritated because of the paddle, and I decided to poke around a little bit and clear my head before heading in. I found a few concentrations of redfish, but they weren't playing ball at all - the water clarity was such that I would keep seeing them just as I paddled into the pod and spooked them. I did get off a couple of good shots at them, but the lures were either spooking them, or not being seen. I had an inline spinner with a dark body plastic on at first, then a dark blue crawfish plastic with no spinner. The clarity of the water was making it hard to let them see it in a natural way, and they were getting scared at the bait appearing out of nowhere. In retrospect, I think I should have used a more natural color plastic and slowed the bait down, or used a smaller lure. After poking around in the marsh a little longer with no luck, I put my head down and made the long paddle back - a solid hour of paddling at a steady pace. It was grueling, but the wind wasn't bad, and there wasn't any chop. As I got closer to the launch, I found quite a few redfish tailing in some structure, and picked off a few before heading in. I hadn't planned on keeping any redfish, but one of them had eaten the lure in a strange manner, and I wasn't too confident on his survival rate, so that one I kept. As I pulled in to the launch, a couple of boaters were loading up their boat, and asked how we had done. I remembered seeing them when we launched around 7am. Keep in mind, it is nearly 5pm by this point. They didn't catch a single fish. How 3 guys in a boat, loaded down with bait manage to not catch a fish is beyond me, but I gave them my redfish! I tried really hard not to rub it in, but I'm not sure I totally succeeded. That, and the guide at the launch in the morning telling us we wouldn't find any trout really made my day.
Now, where the hell is this mystery fish known as flounder??