Last minute decision to go fishing Sat morning and glad I did. Waited til daybreak to put in the water because I need a good horizon line to keep my tippy canoe balanced. Heading to the hunting grounds and seeing this almost made the nearly 2 hour trip worth it by itself:
Water is really high which has allowed a couple of dolphin to work the very spot I had planned to so gotta improvise. Fortunately I'm not the only one they've displaced and immediately start seeing moving fish in my new location. I'm a meat fisherman first which means I usually start out with live bait until I've got one in the cooler but I think the sunrise has me feeling optimistic so I throw a fluke at the first fish I reach and without hesitation it grabs it and is hooked. The star of the show today would continue to be a small metal flake Zoom fluke accessorized with a VMC 3/0 EWG Texas rig hook. Short fight then on the boga. Feeling really optimistic because at the low low 20's, I think I can do better so back into the water it goes. By this time I can see that the water has cleared up some, though still dirty but not as much suspended algae. Next up is a long cast with a topwater towards some commotion. After a few feet it gets blown up on, but a clean miss. Now conditions are good for the flyrod which I've never caught a red on, so I cast to one of two fish and it is moving so quick it goes past the fly and leader and gets spooked by the line. On a whim I grab another pole and chuck a live bait ahead of its projected path, set the rod down and try to catch fish #2 with the fly. After several bungled presentations it moves off so it's time for me to do the same. I go to reel in the bait and shazaam! redfish on! Bring it to the boat and it's a little bigger than the first so I'm keeping it:
Conditions change so it's back to the fluke. A good presentation to a moving fish and it takes it! Set the hook and as I'm fighting it one of dolphin starts making its way in my direction about a cast length away. I'm not interested in getting bumped or donating to the cause, so with one hand I play the fish and the other I start back poling away to a safe distance for both of us. It works and red #3 is landed and safely released.
The action is starting to slow while the wind is picking up, and I've about reached the farthest distance that I want to exert myself for the hike back to the truck. I stake up for a few in a fishy looking spot and see something that may be predator or prey a good ways away. I fling the fluke :grin and after a few twitches on the line it gets hammered HARD. It was obvious when the 2 previous fish took the bait by the tap tap tap on the line, but this thing slammed it. No jumps but after a few seconds it came close enough to the surface that I knew I had hooked into the biggest trout I ever had on the line! I've never been impressed with anything about the trout that I've caught before, except for their eagerness to die even with careful handling, but I was awake now. Yes a red of equivalent size would've fought longer but the strike was worth it. It stays hooked all the way to the boat and I get it on the boga, break out the measuring stick and it tapes just over 25" but fat fat fat. In a rush to not kill it so I take a crappy pic not worth posting and then let it loose and it swims off strong.
It's 9 o'clock and time to make my way back hugging the shoreline to stay out of most of the wind that was supposed to be 3 mph. Not. Don't see another fish during the hour trip back to the launch and off the water by 10. You can't filet your fish oiut there anymore :rolleyes but that doesn't stop me from gutting it with my Becker BK5:
Yeah it's a little big for the job but I cut my fillets close so it makes short work of that nasty rib cage.
Spot a nude sunbather on the way out of the park in the classic pose:
Back on the expressway almost home and thought this deserved an honorable mention:
I don't know if the owner was going for that look but he pulled it off well nonetheless. My first vehicle was a canary yellow '64 F-100 with a 429/460. I still don't know how that thing didn't kill me in high school.