Winds 5-8, picking up by noon to 10-12; water temps upper 70's lower 80's, 1 large flounder, couple nice reds.
Having been successfully targeting tarpon in yea ol' stink pot for the past few weeks and with my partner in crime taking a knee for the day, I opted to skip solo pooning and find some reds. I'm a huge poon fan, but one to the boat annually fulfills my need.
I wasn't sure of the day as a full moon would probably have the fish stuffed, but I decided to head out anyway.
For whatever reason I was a bit slow out of bed and found myself on the water at 7:00/7:15am. There was still a good bit of cloud cover so I wasn't exactly sure if I would get rained out or not. Regardless I paddled my mile or so to the preferred spots that had been successful in the past.
It had been pouring down more than our usual summer storms, so when I got to general area I was pleasantly surprised to see that although the water had a tanic look to it the water was relatively clear. In the morning hours I opted to go with a a dark rootbeer Riptide 3" mullet (paddletail). I found what many people call nervous water with a variety of mullet moving around, but not jumping. I meandered a bit looking for a red and soon found myself on some fish. Pulling drag, but not coming up I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. I figured I was on a ray, but on the third approach to the boat I saw that it was a nice flatty.
Successfully landed I decided to take this one home. I had never had fresh Flounder and figured that at 21/22" this one was big enough to take home.
Staying in the same general area I kept seeing fish. I even had 2-3 follow ups to the boat that peeled off at the last minute. Knowing that the paddletail was producing I changed retrieves from a straight retrieve to a jigging action - that seemed to be the ticket. Right lure - wrong presentation. Presentation corrected fish committed.
Normally I leave the fish in the water, but this guy had a different look and only being in the mid to upper teens in size I opted to take a quick picture before sending him home to grow up a bit more.
Figuring I spooked everything out taking photos and what not I moved farther down. With a crabber showing up off the port side I pretty much figured the fishing gig is up for the next 20-30 min.
Just as the crabber was resetting pots, I got on a solid fish and opted to let him pull me around. A couple circles in the kayak and some good drag pulled out I was hoping that the Green Aquadream hook would not break (we have a love/hate relationship)...this was a relatively new hook so I applied more heat. Eventually I got the Redfish in - call it mid 20's perhaps a bit more...I considered taking him home to supplement the Flounder, but figured I would adhere to the etiquette of "Limit your catch. Not catch your limit." This fish didn't like his picture taken too much and splashed around a bunch. No matter...back he went.
I pretty much took it easy for the day and the cloud cover provided a nice mid 80's morning and plenty of shade. I was confident that the fishing was up, and tried to get in a nap in the kayak, but with the Osprey overhead I picked up the rods again. Seems he was a better fisherman than I and it was a solid goose egg for the rest of the morning. Over the horizon I could see building clouds and the winds were picking up to a steady 8-10 knots. I decided to head in and took a photo of some more Ibis/Osprey. I probably should have kept paddling.
Just as I was complaining about the winds and dragging a fish, the bottom fell out of the tide. It made what should have been a leisurely paddle in to a huffing and puffing ordeal. I gave plenty of room to the guide boats which had me farther offshore than I wanted to be - more wind and tide out there.
Eventually I made it to the cut I was looking for. The tide really motored me in. Fast enough that I had to head at 30 degree to the launch site. Crazy high tide, crazy full moon tides...
At home I hydrated on some Summer Ale provided by Sam Adams - I'm not too big a fan, but if it's cold I'll drink it. Flounder filleted up the wife prepared an outstanding baked Flounder with Parmesan crumbs
, a side of creamed spinach, some pasta and more cold adult beverages.
Here's one half of the fillets...I left a couple bones in, but considering it was the first time I fillet a Flounder I thought I did OK. I let the meat firm up a bit in the cooler before filleting it.
It was spectacular and even some family members who are not fans of fish went back for more. Not to be outdone, on Father's Day it was Ropa Vieja, black beans and rice, some Cuban bread and fresh strawberry Mojitos. Now that's living high off the hog. A solid weekend for sure.