I ran 2 days for Fish On Guide Service. We had 3 boats and talked over what we were going to do. One boat wanted to go for Bull reds and 2 of us were going for a regular redfish trip. The wind conditions were up to 25 knots and besides being rough as heck everything was stirred up. Last minute My customers changed their minds and insist on going for BIG bull reds. I changed my plans and ran with Captain Shawn. We ran to the only place that was some what protected. It was a bouncy ride but a lot less than I had expected in those wind conditions. As soon as we get there we find pelicans diving on bait. I only have 1 rod set up for this fishing so I get one started and another guy throwing one that is close to what we need that can get bull reds also Captain Shawn hooks up at once and gets a second one right after. I now have all three guys in the action and 2 of them are not casting as aggressively or working the baits much so I work with them to get them to "Cast past the shadow of the boat" and work the bait. Right after the second fish was caught the birds scattered and we hunted the rest of the day with nothing but sail cats to show for our efforts. I switched to looking for slot reds but every place I went on that side had no water moving and dirty water. We ran to another area 20 miles away and found another boat searching for bulls. I threw a cast net and got shrimp and a small croaker so the bait was there but no fish feeding in the chocolate water. Only found one rat red, a lot of sail catfish, and hard heads. I was bummed and insisted they were not doing that tomorrow. I was doing what I wanted.
Day 2 same conditions. I had 2 new guys and 1 from the day before. We were looking for a limit of redfish and what ever else comes our way. First stop nothing. Second place same for a while. One of the guys had one come up and strike at his cork. I have him work his bait more and it gets the fish's attention. This baby is not a slot size fish. I had to lift the trolling motor to clear the front of the boat of things this hog could use for his advantage. Another epic battle between man and beast eventually comes to an end. We are now 100% better than yesterday. This guy went 31 1/2 inches. Did not weigh it.
Although things were good in that place nothing much else was going on so I went to another place nearby. We found some rats and suddenly a cast close to the rozos gets the water boiling. These fish go in and out of the canes looking for food. We only get the ones that come out on the edges. This guy got his food and ran back deep into the canes. I had the customer keep steady pressure on the fish but not enough to break it off. In doing this we have control of the front of the fish and hopefully it will go to the place of least resistance. It went about 15 feet in so chances were in the fishes favor at that point. This method worked and we soon found this fish working back out into open water. We caught and released 1 other rat redfish while this scene unfolded. Our efforts were rewarded with a very nice redfish. This guy made the slot and also the highlight of the day
With the tide at almost high and water not moving much our bite was slow. It was going to be another 2 hours before it would start falling so we just picked away at a slow bite. One of my 3 guys was watching the other 2 catch and he was not having much luck. I tried to get him to work the bait a bit more and he did not seem to quite get into the program, As I was getting ready to troll down a bit he still had his bait in the water. The movement of the bait with the trolling motor got the fishes attention and he hooks up to his first redfish ever. It made the cut and was a keeper.
At this time we have 4 in the box. It has already been a few hours of slow fishing. The other part of our group that did what we were doing only had 1 red and 1 flounder. He came around to our cove and joined us. This move was a godsend because my boat needed a beer refill. Seems the guy in charge of the liquid supplies for the boats had figured my boat had enough. Wrong with my crew. A chilled 12 pack made my crew a bit more at ease. Just before noon I had 7 redfish in the box and 2 sheepshead. I told the other boat I was rolling across the bay to another place all together. He was thinking the same. We were hesitant due to the direction of the wind. I could get there and find conditions not right and the ride back would not be nice. I gave it a shot anyway. That move was to pay off for me.
I went to one place and had a hard time setting the boat right. We were now putting fish in the box while I moved with the trolling motor about 4 times before I was satisfied. There were a lot of shorts, some slot sized keepers, and also some picture worthy beauties.
Even my guy having trouble all day found a very good one at this spot.
The other boat was still struggling so I called him in. He had no power pole so I had him bow into the point where we were casting.
This messed up our casting a bit but it gave them a chance to find some fish. At this point I had 3 shy of my limit. We could not cast where we had previously and we watched them land a few very nice redfish. We patiently picked away and limited out anyway. Just glad these guys finally got on some fish.
Back at the barn we put the fish together for a picture of the meat haul.
They even insisted I get in a picture with my guys and some of our fish.
Life is Good!
Fishing is not a matter of life or death. It's more important than that.
CAPT HOOP -- OUR FREEDOM