Gregg and I arrived early to find the park gates still closed. We met only briefly at the Boondoggle while out on the water, so we got acquainted. We fidgeted around with our gear, talking over tactics, the area, and what to expect. We got out to the launch, unloaded everything and were just ready to get out when Greg and Robert arrived. We helped them unload, and headed out into a slight NE breeze. A negative tide coupled with that wind had blown the water out of the bay, leaving the level very low. “Very good for us,” I told Gregg . “The fish will be out on the flats, because there isn’t enough water in the backcountry for them.” I explained how we would be looking for the schools of mullet to show us where the fish were. I gave him one of my “go-to” lures for this time of year: a 1/8 oz 3/0 chartreuse Slayer “Predator” jig head with a D.O.A. Lures “C.A.L Shad tail” in either Golden Bream or Gold Rush/Black Back. The Gold Rush color has been doing really well this winter, so that what we were using. The lack of grass this time of year makes this setup very effective, as there is not as much grass to get hung up on the bare hook. In a few months we will have to switch to something weedless, but for now this combo is money. It didn’t take to long for me to key in and hook up with the day’s first.
Gregg quickly followed my lead and was hooked up with a not-so unusual “spotless” redfish.
Greg and Robert made it out and they got in on the action, which at one point was one after another.
As the action slowed a bit and the tide was still really low, I asked Gregg if he had ever caught any snook and if he would like to go see if we could find some. He told me that I would get a “big ol’ bear hug” if I could put him on a snook. What can you say to that? After a short paddle and a longer drag, we arrived at a small creek that has some really deep cuts along the banks. Snook stage by the dozens in these small creeks when the tide drops like it did that day, but they can be extremely hard to catch. I don’t know whether they are in survival mode or can sense your presence, but they seem to know something isn’t right. I’ve only been able to catch a few here, but that’s okay. It’s really cool just to be able to watch them sometimes.
Greg and Robert had to leave early, and Gregg and I stayed out later to catch the incoming tide. It was more of the same, redfish after redfish - pretty good, considering the day didn’t look like it was going to start out well. We had a mullet netter doing donuts on the flats nearby, a pod of dolphins chasing fish all around us and of course the ever present “Googan” that motored out in front of me while I was wading. I won’t tell you what was said. I lost count, but the total for the day was way over twenty redfish. This was one of the better days for redfish in a while. I was really glad I could show my home waters off again, and they didn’t disappoint.
Until next time…