It was a windy day and many offshore trips canceled. I was called and asked if I was open for an inshore trip. I said yes, hooked up the boat, and headed for Venice Marina. On the way down the captain called and said they changed their mind about inshore. I had breakfast at Venice Marina and sat around there trying to decide weather to go fishing or go back to the house and mow the four acres I take care of. A little after 9:00 Mikee came by and made up my mind. The yard had to dry a bit more anyway. Fishing won the debate.
I stopped and checked some places in the passes that had cleaned up a bit. I did find a flounder amongst the many hardheads. I them moved across an open bay to another area south. The 20 kt. plus winds were whipping the water into a nasty chop. Once at the new area we had 2 hours for the tide to begin to fall. That would put us into the afternoon. The rising tide against the winds blowing water out made for almost nothing happening. I picked up a few shorts and a couple of keeper redfish. Mikee was having trouble getting into the program. It took a while before he got the presentation down. His first keeper was this nice 20 inch black drum.
We bounced around in the same area all day picking away. As the tide changed the fish got a bit more aggressive. With the falling tide the fish were moving around on the flats. The stingrays were everywhere. I could see an occasional red cruising and would place a cast in front of it hoping to get it's attention. On one such long cast it looked like the redfish hit the cork so I twitched the bait and the water boiled. I had no idea what was going on or if the fish had the bait. I could feel nothing and the cork just sat there with a big commotion and splashing muddying up the water. When I got a tight line I had a nice flounder coming to the boat. From what I could make of that scene the flounder and redfish were both after the bait shrimp. As the red went for the cork the flounder hit the shrimp. It looked like the redfish then tried to get the bait from the flounder and the flounder won the battle. Sight fishing is amazing.
Soon after that I saw a good sized alligator gar cruising the flats. I placed a cast out in front of it and much to my surprise I hooked it. Getting one on a hook like this and landing it is almost an impossible feat. The teeth will cut anything, The skin is and scales are rock hard and the roof of the mouth is solid bone. I had this guy on and it gave us an aerial display like a marlin or mako shark, or large mahi would do. These flats were only about a foot or 2 deep at the most. As luck would have it the hook went through the lower jaw which is the only soft spot on these fish. Landing this fish was a new first for me.
We were now putting some good fish in the box. I tried calling a friend that I had seen in the area earlier but no contact was made. Around 2 we had a limit of reds and headed to the barn.
Took a few pictures at the dock and Mikee cleaned the fish for me. This picture shows the roof of a gar's mouth rows of teeth and everything inside is solid like fiberglass or bone.
Thanks for running with me Mikee.
Life is Good!
Fishing is not a matter of life or death. It's more important than that.
CAPT HOOP -- OUR FREEDOM
Our Freedom Charters