It's been a while since Lurker Mike and I had a really good day, I mean sure we enjoy all our outings on the water, getting out is great,
beats work....(insert your favorite old saw about how good it is just to go), but it's been a while since the "Catching" was good. We caught a few last trip, but struggled with poor light and high wind, and that's been the theme of our trips for a while. Heading into this weekend we've been watching the forecast and holding our breath. The forecast looked good since early in the week, but often it will blow up by the time the weekend rolls around. Not this week.
We were making a long drive so I met Mike early. Well actually I showed up early, and a little puzzled by the lack of a text or phone call sent him a text "You up?" a couple of minutes later came the reply "Yes, sorry". His wife noticed the phone when the text came in and woke him up. About 40 minutes after we planned to meet he rolled up, I threw my gear in his truck and we hit the road for the long drive.
Because conditions were predicted to be clear and pretty calm all day we planned to make a very long run across a very large body of open water to explore some areas on the edge where neither of us has ever been. We got there and it was beautiful
The terrain looked great, the water was pretty clear and there was bait everywhere. Lots of bait. As much bait as I've ever seen anywhere,
everything was perfect for the party, except the guest of honor didn't get the invitation. We poled and idled about 3 miles of shoreline,
and in all of that only saw 1 redfish we spooked while idling, a huge redfish but only one. After making our way to the far end of the bank we decided to run in to more familiar territory where we were pretty sure we could catch fish. We ended up on an oyster flat that was already shallow and the tide was still dropping.
This is a spot where we can usually find seclusion in the winter, but being July 4th weekend there were 3 bay boats anchored up fishing bait under popping corks along the deeper edges. We poled our way in shallow.
Water was a little off color so you had to just look for the sparkle of a flash or the wiggle of a tail. Soon Mike spotted a fish near the boat, made a quick cast and landed a fish as the people in one of the bay boats watched mouths agape
We kept working our way through the shallow oysters picking up a few fish, dragging bottom and grinding oysters the whole way (that's when Poling turns into work)
Working our way North we were a couple of hundred feet south of a reef that runs east to west, the top of the reef was becoming exposed with the dropping tide. We saw a huge commotion on the North side of the reef, very tight to where it was exposed "was that a dolphin?" Mike asked, "I think it was a school of redfish that ran into the reef and freaked out" I told him. I've seen it before. We kept fishing our way around and about 30 or 40 minutes later we were up against the south side of that exposed reef. I looked across it and saw a fish working the north edge of the reef. I cast across the reef and got the eat. Even though the reef was exposed there was a small trough with water in it that creased the reef, so I was able to swim the fish across. While fighting that fish I saw a bunch of other fish working the north side of the reef. The school of redfish had settled in and were feasting on the bait that was getting pushed up against the reef by the falling tide. Mike staked out the boat and we both fished casting across the reef We were catching fish regularly without moving, but I was getting aggravated at how much time my weighted fly was spending hung up in oysters, and since the fish were being very active I tied on a topwater and started throwing, a few cast later I had a nice fish on
Redfish are a lot of fun on top. They really aren't built to eat that way so the takes are often explosive, may times their bow wake will push the fly out of their own way. I kept getting blowups, catching some missing many Mike kept catching fish on his streamer too
I'm not sure what the final tally was, but we caught a bunch of fish.
The tide kept falling and eventually reached a point where the fish no longer wanted to play. As we idled away from the flat, Mike pulled out a very late boat lunch for us, lamb lollipops It was a fucking good day, and just the medicine we both needed.