[u]Executive Summary[/b] Winds 2-15, Water Temps mid 70's, air temp upper 60's to lower 80's, 8 reds, 2 trout.
[u]Details[/b] With Wonderboy taking a knee I found myself considering going for poon alone i the stinkpot, but fighting an cold all week I took a knee. I didn't bother with an alarm and just rolled out of bed and found myself on the water around 7:00/7:30am. The morning bite was slow, but I was on patrol for snook using a new lure I happened to pick up at Walmart. It sure looked like a finger mullet and had that old school look of a Rapala I used to chunk at Bass. For $2.50 I figured I would give it a whirl. The hooks on the Bomber plug look flimsy, but we'll see.
The morning was pretty slow but when it turn on it really turned on. Hunting Snook I had switched over to a white 3" riptide paddle tail, and pulled in the first of many reds to come. You can see that the water was really clear, and with the water temperatures I pushed out a bit farther than I normally would have fished in the winter. I figured the snook were on the flats.
Most of these guys where in the mid to upper teens, but I pulled in about 3 lower 20's reds.
I like to drift fish and use the wind as much as possible. If it's blowing < 5 I like to stand; 5-12 it depends on what I want to do, but I might throw out the sea sock and stand, and about 15 it gets a bit dicey to stand so I tend to sit and have the sea sock out. This morning things were about 5 knots so I was able to stand. I looked for patchy areas like this with some dots in it.
Underwater were the dots and what I (and the fish) were interested in finding.
There was bunches of water without bait, but my drift line had me fairly constantly in it. With the water so clear and a reasonably sunny sky you could make out the bait and predators.
Seeing that the paddle tail was bringing 'em in, I stuck with it. I was fishing it with more of a snook action - tap tap sit, tap tap sit when I felt a solid thump. The fish came up straight to the top and judging by it's jumps and tail walking it was none to pleased with the situation. I figured I was on a mid 20's snook, but to my surprise I brought in my best trout. I'm not quite sure how big he was as I didn't boat him, but I'll give it mid 20's, perhaps more. I about filled my britches when I saw his companion right next to him. The bite was on and it was a competitive bite. I thought it was a big red, but 2' away from the boat I realize his companion was a upper 20's trout. Thick and healthy.
Here are a couple shots of the one I landed...
Still working the same line I landed another red but he was being followed up with a larger red. I placed the pole between my legs and was trying for a double, but once the red saw the boat he took off. Greed...
After about my fourth or fifth red fellow kayakers saw the line I was working and set themselves up in the same line. It was far enough to give me elbow room, but I figured that downwind they had fished the water hard so I pushed farther out and circled back to my original line.
With a red and trout in hand I was thinking I might be able to get a decent slam out of things, so I went back to my surface plug. The clouds kept coming and going and with enough shade I figured I would stick with it. I like this plug as it dives deep enough almost to act like a mirror-dine. On the surface if you thwack it it can give off a loud splash.
I was working it 1-2' below the surface when 5'-10' from the boat it was hammered by a mid-teens red who thought he was mid 20's. He fought hard but after a bit he calmed down. I think I'm going to take these treble hooks and replace them with singles. It's hard on the fish and a bunch of hook to avoid.
This would have been a good shot, but I don't like the lure on the side...
By 11 winds really started kicking up and I fished the leeward sides of the islands, but there was no snook brought boatside. Once I saw the whitecaps I called it a day and made my usual stop at Fishhawk Pizza for a killer Philly-Cheese, onion rings and a bunch of sweet tea. Overall a good day...based on the winds I was glad I didn't go bridge fishing. That would have been a ton of work.