Around Christmas time I got a call from a friend that I had lost touch with, Crawford P.. We talked about the upcoming fishing year and he extended an invitation for us to come up and fish with him.
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The plan was to explore waters that we normally could’t get into on a normal tide.
Water conditions were tough. High-off-color water all day with an incoming tide made it a challenge.
Clear skies would have made sight fishing easy, if the water wasn’t so cloudy.
We made it to the opening and it looked like we could make our way in. Getting into the area we wanted to explore turned out to be more of a challenge than we had anticipated. Both of us had to get out and guide the now super-shallow draft boat into the canal. After ¼ mile of this, with the help of the incoming tide, we were able to float again, and poled for a while.
½ mile later we were able to drop the motor and slowly make our way to the ponds that Lamar had map-spotted. After running the motor for 10-15 minutes the “overheat” warning sounded, and shut the motor down. We had run so shallow for so long that the water pick-up was not getting enough depth to supply the cooling.
Back to poling, and moving with the current, we made it closer to our goal.
Three flies chosen for today. Skinny crack, spoon fly, and Voodoo shrimp.
I had a 3+ foot long gar hit and hook-up, for a moment on the Voodoo shrimp. That kind of heart-stopping excitement is always worth a trip to the salt. 30 feet later he became unbuttoned.
The skinny crack take was almost as good. We were pushed up against the shore, watching the water around us for activity, when I see this nice red fish just the other side of the grass island we are against. He was almost 5 feet away from my rod tip when he took the fly. I completely lost my composure as I saw, then felt the take. He lasted for 15 feet before becoming unbuttoned.
The spoon fly never saw the water.
Coming back the motor fired right back up, and we still had to get out to push the boat against the incoming tide for that last stretch. A good day, but not one I’d recommend for somebody not in pretty good shape, as it took a bit of effort, and the fish just weren’t biting.
No tails, no concentrated bait, no birds.
Lamar’s boat (Redfish Hunters Guide) launched from Charlie’s Bait Camp, 4194 Lane Rd, Seadrift, TX 77983, at about 0730.
Layers was definitely the way to dress. It was 45° as we launched, but got up to the 70’s as the day progressed. Those windbreakers were needed for the first few hours, but not later.
A quick run across the intercoastal, and into Pringles. The entrance to this lake is extremely shallow. We started on the north shore hitting the pockets and seeing a few fish. Lamar had a feeling that the south lakes would produce better, so we motored over.
The water clarity in the main lake was better than it was in the canals and cuts coming from the marshes. The water is shallow in Pringles Lake. We were dragging bottom in a few spots, even in Lamar’s shallow running boat.
Water temperature was down from the last weeks, and there was no wind. This made the casting easy, but the fish spooky as there was no surface ripple to hide us from them.
We started the day out with clousers and a “skinny redfish crack”. Once we started getting bites on the SRC, we switched all rods to that fly.
Fishing was blind casting until we spotted fish, then it was pure sight casting. One pod of 20+ fish seemed to ignore us, even when one of the group was hooked up. That led to the double of the day.
10 redfish boated, with one double hookup.
2 Speckled trout came to hand, with one being larger than expected.
We had a few hits from flounder, but were unable to get them to commit. We know it was a flounder because we actually poled the boat over to where the hit occurred, just to spook the flounder out of hiding, in 2 cases.
We took a few pictures, and even some short videos:
This is the fly that worked for us:
Yes, I know that it was Friday the 13th, but the water was calling, and Lamar saved me a spot on his boat.
0630 we met up at the boat launch (29.430453, -94.709914) and fought with the vampires while getting the boat ready to launch and the gear stowed. As the sun wasn’t up yet the mosquitoes had not gone to bed yet. (more…)
Launched at San Luis Pass and drifted through some small schoolies until this one latched on to the fly. Redfish crack was the fly
Fish were caught, and the FOTHD (fly of the day) was the “Swamp Monster”: