Winds 3-5, temps low 70's to mid 80's, water temp high 70ish, 7 snook-lets, 1 red (kinda). Trout trout where are you?
Having a hard time sleeping I found myself up at 5am and looking out the sliding glass door - "Wow that's a lot of light. Hmmm....full moon. That ain't gonna be good." 1 hour of "Hey I can do that P90X" - the coffeer make went off. After some reviewing of work I grabbed the big boy eco-tour camera and loaded up the truck. Yup...gonna be that kinda day.
Pushing out through the creek I found myself with a fellow angler pushing in. "Biting?" "Yup." It was a verbose conversation. We both kept on moving.
Tide was pushing out at a good clip, and I barely made it out over the muck flat. Eventually I found myself in about 6-8" of water and decided I would head up a deep water creek that I suspected held some snook. This was a creek that few anglers head up (not sure why they bypass it) and had the looks of a great place that you hear "Angler finds body - details at 11."
I was in about 2' of water maybe a touch more, and I opted to go with a white topwater plug. Sure enough on the first cast I brought in a small snook. Next cast - blow up. Next cast snook. This went on for about 15 min, but I suspect I could have caught snook after snook all morning, but these guys were tykes - all below 15". I pretty much stopped counting after 5, call it 7.
Here's what I was throwing...
I had bought the spook (and about 8 others) at Walmart last year for about $2. "Such a deal."
I kept pushing up the 10-15' wide creek and saw a virtual ton of mullet. With the water so low they were stacked up thicker than thick. After a while I gave up on the big snook and decided I better get out while I can still get to the flats. I'm not a fan of the haul out.
Making it to "deeper" water I just tried to find fish, but it was the tough go I had envisioned. Big goose eggs. Eventually the tide switched and I pushed back into shallower water. I found bunches of fry and switched to a white riptide paddle tail, but it was more of the same. So...I figured I would try a darker color - rootbeer.
Pushing in tighter I went to a point where I had caught some nice snook and a red or two last year; coming in I saw a bobber and figured I would just pick it up and throw it away as I got home. I thought to myself "Self - winds must be picking up, I'm not making any progress getting to this bobber." About 10' away it went under. Not seeing a boat/kayak around for about 1/2 mile and with some slow fishing I figured I would try and land this fish. It took a bunch of tries - we were doing the cat and mouse thing and the fish certainly knew I was there. I would cast he would run. Bobber pops up, chase, cast...about the 5th cast I managed to get the paddletail hooked up and pretty solidly. The fish put up a much better fight than anticipated and peeled drag 2-3 times.
Eventually I managed to get the fish boatside and seeing that the paddletail had securely hooked the bobber, I snapped a couple shots. Figuring this guy was pretty worn out I moved quicker than normal. Here's my "best" shot.
There was a ton of braid on the other end, and the fish was gut hooked with a solo hook. There was a rub where the fishing line was meeting the mouth, but other than that he had plenty of energy. I would say he had been on the bobber a couple days. I cut the 30-40# mono as close as possible to the hook, revived the fish, and was rewarded with a good splash.
After more of a lotta nothing I called it a day. I was hoping that I would get some good Karma, but Poseidon decided differently.
Moving the truck I ran over a big ol' bump and figured I would see what that was. Some one had dumped a 24 oz bottle of beer and I had run right over it without breaking the bottle. Hey...I'll take that kind of Karma.
Too bad GA, FL, LSU, and SC couldn't say the same. Welcome to "The Vortex of Suckdom." Go find you some bobbers. FSU didn't need any bobbers - they just slapped Clemson silly, back handed, ring out at that.
Seems the fishing season is wide open now.
Editorial : It is highly frowned upon and not within the rules of a tournament to catch a fish, hook it up with a bobber, and then release it so you can find schools of reds. Anglers caught doing so will be publicly flogged then quartered - worse yet be forced to go to all Bucs games.