Theo's was almost dead, and the wind had a little more life in it. A good 5 mph wind made the paddle fairly easy, but the challenge came from the low tide that made finding holes difficult. But a challenge is just that - something to take on headfirst!
I ventured toward the "Trout Cove", as I had dubbed the area where I caught my first-ever fish from the kayak. The depth there wasn't what I wanted, so I looked forward and saw a sign from the heavens: gulls and terns diving, dozens, feeding aggressively. I knew what I had to do. I put the paddle to the puddle, and dug in to get to their frenzy.
There weren't diving by the time I got to their position, but my eyes did see something that caused my mouth to salivate: a tail and dorsal fin. The redfish was feeding, half its back out of the water. It was the first tailing redfish I have ever seen. I reached into the crate, grabbed the Daiwa spinning rig with a “Rockport Rattler™” jig head and Texas Tackle Factory “Killer Flats Minnow” in Texas Shrimp, and casted…
I have never sight casted to a redfish before, and when I finally did it today, bam! She slammed the bait, took some drag, and then spit it out. And while I was growling like a feral pup at the fish for throwing the hook, on the inside I was thrilled. I had also never hooked anything on just a jighead and plastic, and for the first time in my life, I had!
Another splash at bearing three-four-zero caught my attention, and two casts later...
There have been only a few times in my life I have ever truly been proud of myself: when I caught my first red from the yak, when I was put in the Who's Who book for academic excellence, and now, that beautiful redfish. She measured 22”, and became my first submission to Kayak Wars!
The flats were quiet for the three hours I drifted and paddled around. Kildees and other fowl turned and whistled as their wings carried them to destinations no man could ever understand. A few fish fled my Ride 115, but aside from one or two little plumes of mud they never wanted to play. Finally seeing that the tide change was in full swing, I stopped at a cut between "Trout Cove" and another body of marsh. It was time for some live minnows and my new Ambassador 5500. the first cast produced a nice little rats nest. Two minutes later, I had it out... but my Marsh Works bobber was missing! A quick reel, a pull of the rod, and...
Gator mouths are so beautiful when they are legal, and this baby was fourteen inches long, and would make some awesome fillets. A few cast later, and nothing. I turned the crank on the reel, and I felt tauntness. Bam - another awesome toothy trout for dinner.
In the end, three fish might not be much. Three fish for some is nothing. But for me, the chance at seeing a fish, at capturing one, at seeing Neptune's beautiful creatures, it is all the experience of a lifetime.
And that is all I need.
About the Author: Some people live for their jobs. Others for their families. Dustin Schouest lives for the ocean, the marsh, Neptune's domain. His passion for the water comes out in his poetry, photography, and the occasional fish fry. He lives in Bourg, La, and wants to fish the entire state one day. Dustin plans to attend the February 2013 Boondoggle, and hopes to not get too drunk.....eh, like that'll happen!