Wind: still from 6:30-8:00, then 10-15 mph E/NE later with gusts
Tide: no real tide change
Water Level: Very high, about 1.5 feet up in the shoreline grass
Water Temperature: ~ 84 F
Water Clarity: visibility about 1 foot
Water salinity: fresh
Weather/sky: mixed sun and overcast, with passing thunderstorms that missed me
Temperature: ~ 75-85 F
Moon: waning sliver
Solunar period: major period @ 1 pm
Time on the water: slid the Hobie Outback kayak in at 6:45 a.m., driving in at 5 p.m.
Water covered: ~ 7 miles
Other fishers: solo trip
Game Plan: Sight fishing would be difficult with these conditions. I was looking to find specks based on the fact that I caught a few by accident on the fly rod last week. I expected more to be showing up in the marsh based on the push of high water. If no specks, then reds would be the target.
Gear: went to conventional tackle today because of the wind and dirty high water forecast, with spinning and bait casting outfits rigged with jigs, spoon, and in line spinnerbait with a lemon Matrix Shad for dirty water.
I started out trolling since I had a considerable pedal/paddle out to the fishing area. The water in the canal was dirty and nothing hit the natural colored Vudu shrimp and lemon Martix shad.
I tried the mouth of a little bayou off the canal when I spotted some small shrimp fleeing from something. I threw the Vudu shrimp about 18” under a cork and found a bass and a 5+5 spot redfish of about 15” were the culprits. I threw a chartreuse Aquadream spoon and got another small bass. No specks here.
I was casting along a shoreline and spotted a feeding redfish. I was throwing straight into the wind at this point and the spoon was kinda out of control like a knuckleball. I couldn’t get it in front of the fish. The red went down and disappeared from all the commotion. Redfish that show themselves in such high water are not common, and I was disappointed to miss this chance.
I fished the mouth of a bayou where I expected to get some trout. There was good water movement here. Instead of trout there were bass hanging out along the flooded shoreline on this day. I missed a few strikes and then hooked into what I thought would be a redfish, but it was a fat 15” largemouth. These “marsh bass” do not get very big here, but they are built like fireplugs.
I went up the bayou and through a series of ponds. There did not seem to be much activity and no redfish were feeding along the shoreline. I rounded a bend in the bayou and spooked a redfish that gave several deep drums as it took off. Usually a redfish is “gone for good” when it does this behavior, but I always make a few casts in the general direction. This time casting at the spooked fish paid off and I got a nice red at the upper edge of the slot size (27”). I think it might have been over the slot by a quarter of an inch, and it went 8 lbs on the Boga grip. It bit the in line spinner with the lemon Matrix shad.
I fished another 20 yards and hooked a nice (for the table) 18” redfish on the in line spinner after missing a few hard strikes. Then I went another 30 yards further and missed a hammering strike from another larger sized redfish. I was surprised the fish hit that hard and didn’t get hooked. I could see it and its buddy as they shot by about 5 yards from me just below the surface. I cast to the spooked fish for a few minutes without success.
I saw a storm getting nearer so I turned back even though there was no way I could outrun it since it was an hour of traveling time back to the truck. Fortunately it did not get much closer and I continued to fish my way back in.
I fished up another little bayou, throwing into the backs of some pockets along the bank. I missed a couple of strikes – probably from small reds or bass. Then I saw it – another redfish with its back out of the water at the edge of a pocket. I put the in line spinner bait about a yard away and the 20” red smacked it as it went by.
It was about 4:30 and another dark cloud was getting closer so I trolled back in using the same lures as before. This time the rod with the Vudu shrimp started dancing and I reeled in an 11” speck. Too little and too late. Not much of trout day but I managed to get 7 redfish and 4 bass under unfavorable conditions. Tails on the redfish were blue today. I saw a big gator of about 10’ and an otter popped up by me along the way in.