I had spent the night before in the company of my lady, and the talk wasn't on taking the relationship to another level; it was on the coming morning's plans. The marsh was calling my name on the easternly winds that tapped upon the windowpane. I had to pop into work to finish one little job, then it was off home to grab the Heavy Metal Trailer, and head down to the PAC Wildlife Management Area. As she left my abode and I got my clothes together for the morning, I knew I would have a great time, that I would come home smelling like fish and not skunk.
And holy crap was I wrong. On ALL counts.
Forty minutes to work, fifteen minutes to put a nose on a reamer shoe. Objective complete. I put Fishing Florida Radio on my iPhone, listened as I drove down Highway 311, and decided to call in. Getting to talk to BooDreaux, Steve Chapman, Paul "Pro Staff" Riviera, and the one and only Mohgan Man Capt Blair Wiggens was an absolute pleasure and honor. My morning was looking as bright and beautiful as a super nova. I backed up to the trailer, began driving down the road, and something felt bad. Like, "A flat?! Are you f*c&in' kidding me?!" bad. I pulled an about face and put the trailer back in the drive way. The tire was as flat as an iced cake, and not as tasty or smile-iclicting. It was more like one of those moments where you just want to let out your inner Nic Cage and start screaming.
I got on my computer and started looking at tires. While doing so, I decided to post a picture to Fishing Florida Radio's BookFace page. It was my favorite picture of myself; a classic Bill Dance moment of a 25 plus inch red jumping from my hands like an Airborne Ranger. I captioned it as "My impression of BooDreaux handing a red." I had to do something to get the Grumpy Cat-esque scowl off my face. An hour and 130 dollars later, the new tires were on the trailer. The wind had picked up to fifteen or twenty, sending leaves and dust making little spin up dust devils on the street. But, stubborn ol' me, I just HAD to go out.
Crabbers adornded the road leading to the public launch at the WMA. I looked out over the water, seeing white caps, seeing all the signs that I should go home and play Contra. Well, as my dad has always told me, "You're as stubborn as your mother." The Ride 115 went in the water, the paddles dug in, and the adventure was go.
The first thing I noticed about the WMA was that there was algae and slime. Everywhere. Not just grass or hydrilla. Slime covered anything under the water. It covered my paddle, stuck to the bottom of the kayak. The wind was beating my boat to high hell. So, I decided to stick to the bank. I saw something that I thought would make good cover; a series of pillons driven into the muck. And sure enough, not twenty feet from the last one, a tail and fin was waving at me, like a Gypse dancer inticing me, beckoning me. I wanted a topwater bite. Badly. I wanted to see that red slam that TTF Dummy and run like the wind.
But, he wasn't interested in it. And that was ONLY when I could get the lure in a hole in the grass. When I missed the mark, the trebble hooks would get caught in grass and come back looking wilder than an 80's hair style. Even a weedless spoon was coming back looking green as a Koopa's shell. After an hour of watching this red tail from one area to another and ignore all my attempts at catching him, I decided to just conceede that today was not my day to fish.
I returned home smelling like skunk, but happy that I am learning how to find reds