2 Anglers; Weather - 50/55 degrees; winds 10-15; water temp 60ish; 10-12 decent sized trout.
Mr. Hoffman and myself traded thoughts on going out on Sat and eventually I ended up at Bullfrog Creek.
I had pretty much been sick all week with some type of gunk that limited my physical activities, and by Sat I was going nuts staring at the walls. Meanwhile Evan (aka. Wonderboy) was rounding out the exams. He probably wouldn't admit it, but he needed to get out too. I wouldn't call it a "forced march", but let's just say it was highly encouraged.
With the morning temps in the upper 30's and still feeling crappy I opted to wait for the warmer weather in the afternoon. Winds looked to be calming down and by 1pm the truck was loaded up and ready to go. Course Wonderboy was peeling himself out of bed at high noon.
We launched around 1:30 and with the sun shinning and winds seeming lower than expected we headed into the incoming tide towards the bay. We hit a couple holes on the way out and my skunk was off the boat in relatively quicker order. Wonderboy was wondering where the fish were. I was using the rootbeer Riptide 3" mullet and I had him on a 5" gold/apricot flats chub.
The day started with a bit of wading and fishing some known holes.
I didn't expect to see many reds on the open water, and as we hit the open water I was not surprised to see a whole lotta nothing going on. Regardless at the mouth of the creek I started to see some wildlife activity (rays, bait, mullet, birds). As things were just looking somewhat decent, the sun went away the winds picked up and any chance of any reds showing themselves pretty much disappeared. The day was shaping up to be a bad eco-tour day. I figured if there was any chance at all of any fish they would be stacked up in the channel about 1/2 mile out. Bundled up for the weather it wasn't too bad, but the windchill was probably in the 40's.
We made our way into the wind and when I started taking in a bit of water from the chop I figured it was a good time to head back. Winds now at our back we fished the channel and as expected came up with a whole lotta nothing.
Coming back into the creek we hit the same holes and I started getting more bites - there was a ton of algae floating on the top that at first I cursed, but then realized it was showing the way the water made it's way through the creek. Rather than fight it and cast through it we fished practically parallel to it. Wonderboy was on one side of the floating gunk, I was on the other - I was getting on more fish but, but he was still bringing home the goose egg. When the bite slowed I switched to a mullet colored flats chub and was rewarded with a couple more keeper trout. All released, but I did observe a stinkpotter keeping some fish - I'm not so sure I would keep fish from here as I've heard enough pollution stories to make me think more than twice about it.
We started heading back to the launch and I was promising him some fish. I think he was skeptical, but I did offer to swap him out to a 3" mullet like I had. As we approached the hole I recalled reading an article to slow the retrieve down, and I opted to change my retreive a bit. I knew the fish were there, but they just didn't like what we had or were presenting. This time I let the lure hit bottom and just sit; pulled on it slowly. On the second cast just outside the hole I managed to get on a decent fish that I thought was a red; this guy had plenty of fight, but was not coming up head shaking like the rest had. Near the boat the fish made a coupe decent runs, but eventually I managed to get a couple pics with the fish - a fat health 19" trout (probably more). Couple photos later he was released. Wonderboy still had the goose egg, but I had him swap to the 3" mullet. 75 yards down from me he landed a small trout but was struggling with the weeds again.
Knowing the fish were more than likely facing upstream we came back around, but inside the weedline. He hugged the weeds; I hugged the trees. And then it began...cast one, he's on; cast two, he's on; cast three, he's on. The schooling went on for about 10 more minutes and then the water stopped moving and the bite was done. I was fishing the exact same lure and was getting goose eggs now.
With the sun going down and the temps starting to really drop, we stroked it to the ramp loaded up and called it a day. We both had a good chill in us now. As we past the bank on Gibsonton Rd the temperature at the bank said 46 degrees. I suspect that the bite will be better on Sunday, but you fish when you can and we made the most of a not so ideal situation.
Remember not to "hassle the Hoff", but do heed his warnings about smoke at the stacks.