Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mid April

The fishing this week has been spectacular. High winds have devastated the clear water outside the main marsh. Gin clear water can still be found in small protected areas that are not well connected to the outside. These areas must also dead end which keeps tide flow minimal. Follow the crab trap strings until they end, find the snot grass and follow it as far back as you can. This is where you will discover bio masses of aggressive redfish.

The crystal clear water produces amazing colors on redfish. They have two basic shades, copper and dark brown with a deep red sheen. The dark brown redfish are so red they appear to blush.                                                                   The camera can barley do them justice. Spotting fish is easy because their pectorals actually glow with a orangey pink hue.

The fish have been extremely cooperative. It is not uncommon for them to surge at the fly and make crushing strikes. On this pattern even the most novice fly fisherman feels like superman. The redfish are practically jumping out of the water to inhale flies.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bonefish teaser

Early summer for me means that it is time for the annual mother ship Bahamas bonefishing trip. My memories recall beautiful images of the dancing nervous waters covering schools a 100 bonefish strong headed directly at me. I love stalk wading across conch laden turtle grass and coral sundrenched flats. Perhaps  a 15 pounder with it's tail glistening in the midmorning sunlight, will dare me to put a mantis shrimp fly anywhere close. Currently the departure date is May 4. Trust me when I say the trip is so much fun that my life as a fly fishing guide is absolutely mundane in comparison. We are talking truly  relaxgasmic.
The 64 foot Hatteras Angler Em motor Yacht/fish has too many amenities to list but for our purposes the highlights include:

A 16 foot Mitzi skiff with 70 hp Mercury cradled behind the fly bridge.

A 12 foot Carolina skiff with 20 hp Yamaha in tow.

Complete conventional fishing gear selection from deep sea to light tackle.

Complete spearfishing and scuba gear for 3 people.

Two sea kayaks.

Kite board gear.

Oh yea and the well stocked bar.

I had a 10 year culinary career, but we generally wind up eating freshly caught conch salad and grilled fish almost every meal. Uncork a bottle of good wine and Boom you are ready to sit on the bow cushions and do absolutely nothing all night long. As a change of pace we may stop at an outer island bar/restaurant for the amusing 20 dollar cheese burger. Each person of our 3 man crew has their own room with a head. I vote we sail to the Jolters and North Andros staying well out of the range of  any lodge skiffs. Let us now bow our heads and pray to the fishing gods for light morning ocean breezes and tight lines.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Early April

After a windy and cloudy March the weather finally cooperated. This brief break provided me a wonderful chance to run out to the Biloxi Marsh Triangle. Fueled the boat with 30 gallons then Adam and I setteled in for the 1 hour and 15 minuet boat ride. I did not find clean water at the first couple of stops but we saw a lot of redfish. Multiple shots produced several eats but few hookups. By mid-day Adam found his groove and started sticking fish. At one point I came off the polling platform, cranked the motor and scared a bruiser. Adam casted and the bull red spun around and ate with vigor even though the motor was running. Adam missed the hook set but a much smaller 12 pound redemption fish came right behind and got its moment of photographic glory.

I polled around a corner and spotted this massive black drum guarding the opening to a pond. A few shots later and Adam was hooked up with the biggest fish of his life. This narley looking creature fought for 30 minuets before I could grab that gigantic tail. At 42 pounds I had more than a little difficulty getting the big black drum into the boat. Good thing I have a 60 pound Boga grip because this guy was a beast.

Several fish later the day was coming to a close. I spotted a massive dorsal fin in a pond about 100 yards away. When we got to the opening the 20 + pound redfish was crawling the right hand bank. Multiple shots were taken but none found the sweet spot. The sun was now too low for sightfishing. I cranked the 90 hp Yamaha and headed the nose into a setting sun. It really felt great to get another day of fly fishing bull redfish in clean water before summer hits.

The next two days were spent with father and son team Craig and Drew.  Higher winds and less sun made for  much more difficult sightfising. Nevertheless I found good numbers in small bayous and openings. Most of the fish we spotted were crawling on banks laced with oyster clusters. Drew was on the platform when a pig was tailing one foot from the bank. His best shot was foiled when the fly hit him in the back of the head. The 20+ pound fish did not reappear until the boat was completely out of position. Still we caught some nice fish but it was not nearly as good as the day before.

Craig and Drew's final day had to be cut extremely short. The crew had tickets to the final four in Atlanta. Time was of the essence so I launched early at Delicroix and fished close to the dock. The sun was barley up and spincasting was the only option.
 We only fished maybe 3 hours but the team managed to wack 6 or 7 nice reds and one beautiful marsh bass. Today the clouds and wind have returned. I have already had to reschedule a trip. Soon the summer weather pattern will begin with afternoon thunderstorms. Freshwater reds swimming in grass will be the order of the day. If I am lucky I may make one more trip to the Triangle before the winter pattern ends.