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Carp Flats with Robert #14429282 07/25/22 04:05 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,317
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Capt. Mac Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,317

7/17/ '22

It was 9:15 in the morning and already hot. The wind was up but the forecast was for the wind to die down mid morning, which ment that it was going to get serious hot. The Weather Channel app was calling for a high of 108 with an "excessive heat warning" flashing - not sure exactly what that means but it sounded serious. I had the cooler topped off with ice and drinks - some healthy, some maybe not so healthy but the flavor was worth it. There was also apples and mango, anything wet and cold.
Robert Hunter climbed up onto the casting stool, his Brown Trout colored buff pulled up over his ears in defiance of the sun, six weight rod in his left hand, size six olive Brasshawk I tied pinched between the thumb and forefinger of his right. Robert is left handed and I cost us the first couple of fish because of this. I kept forgetting this fact and I would kick the boat in the wrong direction, making it an awkward cast for him. That and the fact that I was excited to finally have Robert on business end of my poling skiff and I would hurriedly moved the boat too close to the fish.

Robert Hunter belongs to an unofficial group I call "The Crew". These guys know how to fish and they keep each other informed on where the action is and how to approach it. I've been very fortunate that these guys let me hang around with them. Robert and I have fished together on and off for several years now and we've talked a lot about getting on the flats together. But our schedules and the distance we live apart always seemed to interfere. But we finally made it happen today and I knew it was going to be a fun day for me. Robert is well known for his ability to catch lots of fish and big fish, sometimes on the same trip, and he did not disappoint today.

After I almost threw Robert off the front of the boat a couple of times - the wind was blowing some decent sized waves over the flat and a rouge wave from a passing boat liked to have got us both - I poled the boat into a small bay that is protected from the wind. The shoreline has a very long, shallow taper and the back end of the bay is an almost perfectly flat eight to ten inches of water. If you were to paint a picture of the perfect water to sight cast to Carp, this would be it. I took a deep breath and told Robert that we could now get serious about the task at hand - and I kept wispering to myself, "he's left handed, he's left handed..."
The first fish we came to was too close to the boat when we spotted it. It didn't appear to be spooked but I figured it knew we were there and we probably didn't have a chance. Robert flipped the fly over about a foot in front of the fish and let it sink to the bottom. The fish spotted it, swam over and sipped the fly up. Robert set the hook and just like that, our shaky start didn't matter anymore. I took some pictures, Robert cut the fish loose and we were back on the prowl. back here, out of the wind, the heat really started getting oppressive. Robert caught another Carp, a thick shouldered fish about six or six and a half pounds. We released it and staked the boat out, digging into the cooler for some refreshments. I usually thoroughly enjoy break time back in this bay. There are always birds to watch and sometimes deer, wild pigs, turtles and the occasional beaver to watch. But, today it was just too hot so we got back after the fishing. Robert suggested that I get up on the front and "stick one" so, I did. Another fat Carp about the same weight as Robert's last fish. By now we had gotten to the back end of the bay and I was ready for Robert to get confused about which fish he should cast to. There are usually LOTS of fish back here and it can get crazy. But, for whatever reason, there was nothing today. No Carp, Gar, Drum, not even a Buffalo. Nothing. So we cranked up and run to my next favorite flat, releaved to be back out in the breeze. As forecasted, the wind was laying, making it easier to fish the open flats. It was good timing because that's were I was headed. My second favorite flat is a big, open, shallow flat with a fairly ferm bottom and just enough vegetation to keep the rough fish interested without being a hassel. The water is usually pretty clear but the wave action from the earlier wind had it chalky looking today. I don't know if that had anything to do with anything but we didn't see any fish there. One very small Gar, a couple of smaller Carp that we never really had a shot at and that was about it. I was pretty disappointed. This is one of my favorite places to fish and to, sometimes, just hang out. When I'm alone and the fishing is slow I'll grab a beverage out of the cooler, sit on the front of the boat with my legs hanging in the water and just watch the world go by - usually birds and clouds. I really wanted Robert to get into a bunch of fish here

By now the heat was on big time and I felt like a long boat ride with some wind in your face and a cold drink was in order and there was one more flat that I felt like we could get into some fish pretty quickly - or not at all. Either way, it wouldn't take long to figure it out, and it fit the bill for a ride long enough to cool off a little.

I eased off the throttle next to a small island where a deer was getting a big drink of water. I knew how she felt. I slid the pole out of the chocks and Robert drew his six weight out of the rod rack. The flat looked really good and Robert spotted a Carp almost immediately. He dropped the fly on it, the fish turned, ate and Robert was hooked up. Just as I started to celebrate and think to myself that we were set up for the rest of the day, the hook pulled out. After that, we saw a few more fish that were way to close to the boat and spooked, and then, nothing. The fish just were not there. We worked our way down to the back end of the bay were there is an old road bed. I wanted to work the far back end, past the road, but the vegetation was a lot thicker than I had hoped it would be. It didn't look to promising anyway. I didn't see any backs or tails out of the water or any mud plumes of feeding fish. It was looking kind of hopeless, and it was hot. I was about to ask Robert if he was ready to call it when a big catfish appeared on the far side of the road bed. It acted like it was on to us and was moving out but Robert was already casting at it. I figured Robert was wasting his time, no way a fish that size will eat a fly that small and besides, I was pretty sure it was spooked already. And then, Robert set the hook. Line started peeling off the deck, then off the reel. I asked Robert what he was going to do now. He smiled and pointed at the fish and said " I'm not doing anything, he is". I poled the boat out away from any hang ups and staked out to shoot some photos while Robert wrastled the fish boatside on his six weight. I handed him my Boga Grips and Robert hoisted his personal best Catfish on a fly into the boat. The Boga read just under 14 pounds but the fish was kicking around, making hard to read some i dug my digital scale out of the dry box and we took a more accurate read - 13.86 pounds. We set the fish loose and i recorded the catch in my boat log.

After that we decided that we had had enough and with cold drinks in hand, headed back for the ramp.



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Re: Carp Flats with Robert [Re: Capt. Mac] #14429486 07/25/22 02:10 PM
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USAF "Thunderbirds" Alumni 1985-1989

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