It's been a bit since I posted anything, between the rain, a major database migration that I was leading, and a variety of other items it's been a while. For those in the techy world - 15TB, Oracle, 24x7, web centric, OLTP database, new hardware, new software, and it's the companies main revenue database. So mission critic stuff. This is one of those items you might do every 2-3 years.
So after a couple weeks of burning in the system and being in production mode, on Sat I decided I would hit some inshore action and see if the reports of schooling reds were true. Gotta get some of the poison (aka stress) outta my system.
At 5:30 am I'm up and about, I check work (all's well) and just to be safe I throw the laptop in the truck. 6:00 am I'm rolling down the highway when I get an automated alert that part of the system is down (not good). I pull into the nearest parking lot, fire up the phone as a hotspot, review the system (all appears well) and notify appropriate parties that all's well, and head back home. I spend the next 1.5 hours reviewing logs, diagnosing things...[more techy blah blah blah stuff here]...at 8:45 am I decide it's a one time hiccup, but also realize I better stick close to home. I abandon my hope for hitting my original spot on the Southshore and opt for something a bit closer. I figure the first light bite is toast, but I just need to get out.
Heading down the road again I come 41 where the railroad tracks are, and as luck would have it the train was coming - loaded up with what appeared to be one billion cars. [sigh] "Will I ever get to the water?" Fortunately there was some decent old school country playing so I waited 2-3 songs.
The train finishes and finishes it 5mph crawl and finally at 9:30am the kayak touches water. Based on the number of other vehicles already there I suspect that the good fishing is already toast.
The water temps feel hot, the air is hot, plenty of humidity, the no see 'ums were on me, no breeze, and the sun is already high in the sky. Confidence is low.
Regardless I paddle out a ways; I see my destination, but oddly don't see another boat/kayak; nor do I see any fish/bird activity. I take a deep breath of humid mangrove tainted air. I feel the sweat coming off my brow already, and feel the first part of poison leaving my body. Thank God for Florida. That's all I can say.
I stroke for a solid 15 minutes to get to my destination and finally started to see some fish activity. I toss a couple few times and see plenty mullet. I toss again and see a big bulge of water rushing to the the 3" rootbeer paddletail, but he decided against committing at the last minute. I see that these fish are extra spooky; maybe it's the lack of wind, but any noise scatters them. I let the outgoing tide take me closer to the mangrove and slowly place anchor. I toss 3 more times to where I though the fish were. Nothing.
I look right next to me and see a small indentation in the mangrove and using some old school Miami techniques I learned growing up, just flipped the lure in - call it a 5' cast. Bang...I was on. I was sure it was a Snook, and with the kayak being pulled in to the mangrove I just grabbed the spool. 10# test will be toast in there for sure. I manage to coax the fish into more open waters and let him run. Still full of fight I was thinking this was an upper 20's fish. After a couple head shakes and bulldog runs, I realize this is a Red. Subdued I measured him (26"), but fat. A healthy looking fish for sure.
I see his buddies still hanging about, and continue fishing. I'm schooled by a lower 20's Snook. Not seeing the hook on one of it's leaps I realized the 20# leader never had a chance deep down in the gullet. I swap out leaders and push over to a near by set of oysters. More reds...I get on 3 more healthy mid 20's fish and 5 more smaliish Snook. I bounce back and forth between the smallish island and oyster beds. The school of Reds bounces back and forth as well. I lose a Red in the oyster beds, but by now all the poison is exiting the body. That said the the mid-morning heat is really kicking in.
I relent and head back in; considering how bad the day started it finished up great. No fishing photos today - when fishing is that hot I don't take the photos. I did however send the photo below to get the spousal unit to come on over for some cold adult beverages...she was busy.
At my local watering hole (Fishhawk Pizza), I hydrate up on a couple Amber Bocks and 10 hot wings. Hour or so later I head home. Kayak cleaned up, I hop in the pool, float around, and feel much better. I take a knee for the rest of the day and wished for football, but that'll be here soon enough. So will more schooling Reds.