[u]Executive Details[/b] Temps - lower 50's to lower 60's, water temp lower 60's, winds 0-26 (yes...26) 7 Reds, 3 Trout, 2 Snook, and one not so bright mullet
It was a pretty full week of work and Wonderboy pretty much had the truck all week, so the walls were really closing in this week.
After having discussed some lure details with fellow anglers my only complaint was that the plastic lure tore too easily. "Try the ZMann then." Capt Jason Prieto
had also recommended the use - so being a "bear of little mind" I figured I would give it a go. Couple weeks later I had a pack of jerk baits and paddle tails.
Armed and ready to tested them out I had managed to set the alarm a bit too early and found myself at dark thirty on the water. Wonderboy may have had the right idea as it was a bit cool, but with no winds (yet) it wasn't too bad. Frankly I wasn't very optimistic about the day so I was sporting the big boy camera. On Thurs/Fri we had a couple wicked fronts blow right through so I figured the gig was up. Regardless I pushed out.
It was nice to see that the water was really calm and it made spotting fish all the easier. It was nice to have the water to myself too. I had a sinking feeling that everyone figured that fishing sucked and stayed in bed, but what the heck...You can see some of the feeding mullet in the photo, but over the port side was a ton more fish. Using the Zmann paddle tail I quickly sniped one red out of the shallows; seeing more fish about 50 yards away I moved into into slightly deeper water. Call it three feet.
I tried fishing a top water, but all the sudden I found myself in a flurry of sea gulls. Birds in chase I abandoned that idea. Back to the paddle tail and I went - about 10 feet into the steady retrieve it was game on with a solid fish. He put up a good fight and pulled the boat around a bit. This boy wasn't quite a personal best, but he was in the mid to upper 20's range. I attempted a self portrait, but using that big ole camera is a major hassle. The fish came out quite nicely.
Couple shots later I figured out how to get myself in...not exactly a glamour shot but not bad for resting a camera on a Pelican case on a kayak. It was probably one slight breeze from going in for a swim.
Sticking with the out going tide I let myself drift and after a while managed to get on a couple few trout. The bigger camera/better lens takes better action shots up close. This guy went in the upper teens. I liked the shot at the header of this thread more. Course by day's end there was salt water all over the camera - not a good idea.
After catching a couple few reds I finally just simply dropped anchor. The fish were moving all around, so I just let them come to me. Top waters still continue to frustrate me - lots of follow ups and blow ups but no deal sealers. I switched to a gold spoon and on my second or third cast managed to get this guy in...almost a nice action shot, but it made the cut. Couple more reds cooperated on the Capt Mike spoon as well.
I kept waiting for the winds to really start picking up, and after a while about 4 of these guys came out. I was mesmerized by their antics and they put on quite a show. I probably should have kept fishing but I was so into what they were doing I just put the rods down and picked up the camera. I wished I had a longer lens, but you work with what you have.
Many times they abort bombing raids...perhaps they were just wanting to move the fish around or figured it wasn't going to work.
This guy took the plunge and I managed to get a couple shots off. Seems I need a faster card to get all the shots in, but I only get 4.5 fps. It's a pretty violent crash, and I would say that 8-9 times out of 10 they come up empty.
Winds started to really pick up and for a change the weather guys got it right. I would say that the winds were around 12-15. Water and photos make for lousy scale. I just let the winds push me in and casting straight up I got off some monster casts all of which resulted in zero.
By noon things were getting pretty sketchy and the winds were probably hitting 20 or so. I found some water that was not being blasted and managed to catch another 20ish snook. Funny how they just stare at you when you release them. I keep thinking one day some dolphin or shark is gonna thwack one right on the gunnel of the boat. Then what...
I tried for a triple slam, but Wonderboy still has me bested on that front (and size as well, but who's counting). I called into the wife letting her now I was off the water and grabbed some wings and brew at the local Buffalo's Wild wings. Considering I was expecting a decent eco-tour day it was pretty darn good fishing. The fish were cooperating all day and the birds did some pretty cool acrobatics. Temps really started to drop - perhaps that's why the fish were biting. On a plus note, I did use only one Zmann paddle tail all day. Thumbs up for the recommendation guys...