As the time grew near we decided on a direction because fishing was sucking to the west. A couple of days before, Lurgee decided that he would drive over with his son Max to fish and hang out.
Lurgee and Max got an early start on Friday, and while I was trying to finish my work week, started getting reports of Max kicking ass
He sent pictures too, but I'll let Lurgee post those. On the drive down, Ben had to pass the place that makes the best pies in the state, so I told him his guide fee for the weekend was one lemon meringue pie
Ben showed up at the house and he, Marie and I went out to eat and we procured fried chicken. He crashed here and we were up at 3am and on the road. As we approached the launch, we saw that friends have been there before.
We met up with Lurgee, got skiffs in the water and were off. Ben and I made a relatively short run, looking for clean water, which was hard to find. Winds were blowing hard out of a bad direction and had been for a while. At our first spot, as soon as we stopped, we saw a fish destroying bait in the mouth of a small cut, I stuck the nose of the skiff in the grass, letting Ben cast over a strip of grass with the fish oblivious to our presence. Water was dirty so he had to cast at wakes and pushes, but after a few throws he got the eat and caught the fish.
We covered a lot of water on push pole, finding a lot of fish in very muddy water. With it being hard to see fish and obviously hard for the fish to see the fly, we weren't feeding any. Finally, poling through a narrow break in mangroves, barely wider than the boat, just as the nose of the boat went through the break Ben spotted a fish tight to the mangroves right by the boat, and after a little tenkara action he had another redfish on.
We were in an area that was real protected by mangroves so Ben took a turn on the push pole. It was tough, it was still windy and the bottom was super soft in this area, but he soldiered on and covered the rest of this system of creeks and a canal. I cranked up and we made a run to find cleaner water. Running further in, I entered a lake that had better water, ran to the lee side of the lake and the water was quite a bit better. We quickly started seeing fish. Lots of sheepshead and a a decent number of reds. Ben took a bunch of shots at the sheepies and they mocked him. I grabbed a rod and tied on a very small Alflexo crab, in the event another sheepshead showed up. Ben soon caught a couple of more redfish, then he got solidly hung up. As I was poling into the cove to get Ben to his fly, a nice redfish showed up I made a couple of throws at him, but with that tiny fly he wasn't seeing it, finally the fish was facing me so I dropped the fly right behind him, stripped the fly up over the fish and let it drop right in front of his nose and he crushed it, I fought it from the poling platform and let Ben land it for me.
We fished a bit longer and Ben picked up a couple of more fish before we stopped for lunch.
While eating we got another text from Justin
We made a quick run to where he was, tied up and towed him in
Fortunately Lurgee was able to give his motor an enima and was quickly back on the water. Ben and I ran back out and hit a couple more spots, no fish in the first spot, not enough water in the second, and by this point it was about 870 degrees outside, at about 3pm we decided to head in. We checked into our room and enjoyed air conditioning and a cold shower more than I ever have before. We met up with Lurgee and Max and had a great dinner The restaurant was stumbling distance from our room, and the evening was nice
Max is a great kid and I'm super fortunate that we got to meet and hang out with
Sunday we were up and on the water early. We made a long run together than spread out on the protected bank of a good sized bay. We started moving some fish, but the water was still a bit off and being early the light sucked so we weren't hooking up. We made a couple of moves, then Ben and I decided to make the long run to where we were on fish the day before.
When we got there Ben decided to try poling again. It was still a bit windy, but the bottom was much firmer here and Ben did great on the pole. We worked a stretch of bank, then Ben poled us into the small cove where I had caught a fish from the poling platform the day before. Ben spotted a fish and put me on it, after a couple of cast I got the fly in the right place and got the eat, fought the fish for a while and lost it at boat side. We switched off and kept working the area, Ben caught a few more fish. Eventually we got to the edge of a marsh drain that a lot of fish were moving through. Ben quickly hooked up, while he was fighting his fish, I threw at several more that were moving through but had several good presentations ignored. Finally I saw a slightly larger fish moving in the opposite direction of the rest, made a good throw and got the eat. We had seen a number of sharks Sunday, Ben had a couple of them eat, getting bitten off by one. We saw another small shark cruising, Ben threw at it and ass hooked it, and literally jumped the shark, it came out of the water like a baby tarpon. That shark eventually broke him off and on that note we called it a day.
It was a great weekend, not the most fish we've caught together, but I always enjoy time in the skiff with Ben.
"Put in the effort and good things happen"... Hogleg
"Salinity is proportional to sanity for sure" ..The Volfish