It's finally about that time. The truck is gassed up and the big gal lures are tied on. From now until about march I'll be tripping down to baffin and fishing for that one good *Thump*.
This past thursday we had a solid prefront day. The cold front would hit around noon so I knew the early morning hours would have the big trout looking for a meal. We rolled up a little late but made the paddle out to one of my favorite haunts in Alazan. The west wind really helped for hauling it across the salada and getting out of boat traffic. It was only a 30 minute paddle/peddle as opposed to the 45 or sometimes a hour.
Almost immediately Duy hooks up onto a solid 25"-26" trout. She was splashing around, trying like hell to get that corkie out. He got her right up to the net but she went halfway in and then flipped right back out....without the lure. We were pretty bummed because baffin has a way of giving you very few chances all day and if you miss it then you're done. We regrouped and not even 2 casts later I hear more splashing coming from Duys direction. I paddle over just in time to see a big baffin trout on its side with a corkie barely hanging on. After a couple heart stopping moments I finally got Duy's new personal best trout in the net.
She hit a corkie and went 29.75". That's with significant tail damage from sitting on that mud/shell during the cold days.
We kept on fishing and booked it out of there before the front got to us. No other bigs wanted to play but we found plenty of smaller/lower slot trout to keep us entertained. It was good to see those lower slots showing back up that far into baffin.
The front passed through and I loaded back up to hit it again on the 25th.
We started the long paddle to Alazan. No west wind to help but the water glassed out which was definitely nice! From 7-11:30 we were nailing slot trout from 16-19". I tied on a corkie fatboy and started working slow over the rocks. Eventually I get a *THUMP*. I set the hook and its heeeavvyyyy! For all of 30 seconds I thought I had on a new state record trout. I get it right under my kayak and I hear *KOUM! KOUM! KOUM!". Of all the things that Baffin has done to me over the years, this had to be the meanest.
The drum went 37" long. It gave me first place in the big ugly for now but I would have much rather had the trout of a lifetime. =/
We paddled over to the east Alazan shoreline. I have a few spots from when I fished on the ranch back in the day. The low tides would make it tough for a big redfish to hide. I came up on a narrow deeper channel that lead to a maybe 20yard wide pond. There was only 4 or 5 inches of water in the pond with lots of grass and mullet. It was hard to miss all the commotion of redfish jumping up from the channel and blasting mullet. I walked over and started watching one after another pop up, attack, then sink back into the channel. One big decided to try its hand at it and jumped up in the inches of water. You would have to be completely blind to not see this redfish with half its body out of the water. Pitched my lure in front of it and *BAM* it was on! Trying to land this fish was a hassle and a half! It dove back into the deeper water and trying to turn it away from structure was a skill in itself. Maybe I shouldnt have hit it on the light action rod but thats not something you think about when a fish like that presents itself. After a couple falls in baffin mud and a lot of help from my buddy frank, we finally get her in the net. She was a solid 39" long. Not bad for a winter sightcasted redfish.
I've had a few trips in between these. Lots of trout in the laguna area over grass. Limits of them are easy to get with smaller orange paddle tails jigged just over the grass. If the cold front comes through then the window is pretty small. Maybe 30 minutes in the afternoon. I've gotten a lot of my trout on transitions to deep water. Look for a shallow sand flat that drops a foot to grass, and then that drops again into deeper water. They are all over the in between.
If you are brave enough to venture out into the fog then look on the shallow sand. I have encountered a LOT of BIG trout from 24"-30"+ sitting right on the edge of the sand where it drops off to the grass. I've never had luck creeping up on them when its not foggy. Even when I do find them they hardly eat anything. Its still worth a shot.
Till next time
Life is good