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Tuesday, 07 December 2010 13:31

Wilbur and the Redfish

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It’s been some time since I have had a chance to write anything, much less do any fishing, between work and life I just haven’t had the time. If you don’t read the forum, you might not have heard that my wife had a massive heart attack back in October. I’m happy to report that she is doing much better and her recovery looks good. Perhaps one day I will share the whole story, but not today. Today I want to tell you about Wilbur and the Redfish.
Not far from my home, there is a county park. It’s where I learned to fish. As a kid, I spent many a day down there, wading or fishing from shore. My wife Vicki and I used to sneak away when we dated, our families would picnic there, and it’s a pretty special place. I especially like to fish there in the winter. We get really good low tides, coupled with a north wind and the water empties out and the fish get stacked up.

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Now, the land between Simmons Park and my home in Apollo Beach is pretty much the way it’s been since I was a kid, with the exception of one housing development. The shore line has not changed one bit. So when we get these low tide conditions it’s not uncommon to see wild pigs out along the flats, or walking between points. I’ve even had a few charge me once or twice. No big deal as long as it’s not Wilbur. You see Wilbur is one very large and nasty pig, I had one encounter with him a long time ago. I walked up a feeder creek and when I came back, there he was standing next to my kayak. Wilbur didn’t like me standing there looking at him, and I can say the same thing of him. A tense standoff in sued, which he won. There was some yelling and screaming involved, we will just leave it at that.

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I asked my buddy Chris to join me as I returned to fishing, and we waded out on the shallow flats. As we passed a point close to the launch, there he was. Wilbur. We watched as he disappeared into the mangroves and shortly thereafter all hell broke loose. Have you ever seen the movie “Predator”?

The first one, not that crappy sequel. You know that scene when Arnold blasts the Predator and it screams in the jungle? That’s exactly what it sounded like, except ten time worse. I kept waiting for Dutch to come running out of the woods screaming, “Get to the chopper!!”.  Anyway, Chris and I laughed so hard my side was hurting, and by the sounds going on in those woods, we weren’t the only ones hurting.

On to the fishing. I love this time of year, I break out the ultra lite rod and go to work. It’s a great time for this; the water is cool with plenty of oxygen, so fighting a big redfish on lite tackle will not stress them out too much. Plus the fact there are tons of rat reds on the flats. Rats are redfish that are below the slot limit of 18 inches. This year there are bunches, which is a great statement on the health of the bay. In two years these redfish will be upper slot or over slot fish. (The upper slot here in Florida is 27 inches)

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We did find some slot fish mixed in, using small DOA Cal jerk baits in Golden Bream and New Penny rigged weedless and worked slowly amongst the mullet schools.

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I had planned to write about how bass worms can be used for redfish, I had some 10 inch curly tail worms all rigged up different ways and I was gonna explain how I have used these in the past, with great success I might add. Only one problem, the reds wouldn’t hit them. I could see the fish turn on the lure, chase it down and get right up to it, only to turn away. So switched to the trusty DOA and it was fish on.

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Not really sure why they wouldn”t take those worms, but I will try again. Until next time, have a great Christmas. Spend it with one you love, as you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Read 2422 times Last modified on Thursday, 09 December 2010 12:45

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