I fish everyday this time of the busy season. Sometimes I fish twice a day when I book a morning and afternoon charter. I fished 32 trips in June and it is looking like I will be comparably busy this July. I did have a day off this week. An unexpected cancellation came up and I was thrilled about how I was just going to turn off my phone and alarm clock and just sleep in. I went to bed that night after a relaxing evening and drifted off into a deep sleep. I visualized tailing reds, big trout lying still in the shallow water and rooster tails behind my boat as I race into the weigh in of a big tournament with the winning stringer. My mind stopped dreaming of my wild fish fantasies as I woke up and stretched my sun singed legs in my sheets. Half asleep, my hand reached aimlessly around in my bed searching for my phone so I could see what time it was. It must be 8 or 9 in the morning...I sure do feel refreshed. 4:30 AM is what my phone read! I guess my body is programmed to get up before the sun right now. So, instead of rolling over and gliding back into fish dreams I just got up and went fishing...on my day off! There are not too many jobs where a guy goes back to the office on his day off. I was actually excited to just get out there by myself and do a little pre-fishing for the upcoming August tournaments. I get excited about tournament fishing. I guess I just like the competition, and the camaraderie that local tournaments offer. So much for sleeping in.
The skies were still dark with a half bright moon and clusters of stars beaming down as I idled my boat out of the Port Isabel fingers. I was trying to decide on a good spot to go wade fishing, or maybe just go see how many flounder I can catch. I was really excited about spending a morning on my boat and casting into the shallow waters of the Laguna. It is not too often that I get to do this. When I have clients on board, I am fixated on putting them on some fish, helping them with their fishing skills and just making sure everything is running smoothly. I get satisfaction by watching people on my boat smile and enjoy a good fishing day out on the water. I rarely fish when I am out on a charter. I do fish occasionally if everything is under control, but my main job is to provide a service to my clients. I don't think they would be too happy if I just took them out so they could watch me fish. By going out fishing on my own the other day it reminded me how my clients must feel when they get to go fishing with me or any fishing guide. It reminded me that every charter of every day, is a special moment and memory for somebody.
The rain has gone away and this past week was sunny and bright. Calm waters greeted my clients and I every morning on our boat ride out to the fishing hole. Trout fishing has been fairly easy in the ICW this week. Almost anywhere along the ICW from Marker 67 to Peyton's is full of fish. You just need to find the right current. As long as the current is not too fast the trout will be on the edge. Some anglers might not enjoy fishing the ICW for trout during the hot months, but if you want a lot of action with some solid trout, this is the best way to do it. If you are not interested in numbers of fish and want to catch a wall hanger, the best places are shallow. You can sight cast these big trout during the summer months in a foot or less of water. However, the ICW has produced probably a dozen or so trout over 25 inches, up to 29 inches the last couple of weeks. As the water gets hot in the flats, the fish move to this fresh, cooler water of the ICW. There is also an abundance of flounder being caught right now. It is really nice to see so many flounder being caught as compared to last season's flounder-less fishing trips. I have been averaging 3 to 5 flounder on every charter, with a couple of banner days with over 10 flounder in the boat. I am using a white 3 inch Gulp shrimp on a 1/4 ounce jig head to fish for these flounder. We are just casting on channel edges, potholes near channels and around structure (shacks) near the ICW. I did not bring in a whole lot of redfish to the dock this week. There are some small schools East of the first and second Drum boat every morning. You will notice their wakes in the slick water if you get there early. Stopping on them and catching them is a different story. The best thing to do, if there are not a lot of boats running around, is to find these fish and then go somewhere else. Once the sun comes up, go back to them and fish for them by strictly sight casting. It is tough for me to do this on charters sometimes when I have 3 or 4 people on board, so I have been sticking with trout and flounder. Redfish are really all over the Gas Well flats and Three Islands area, but they are just not concentrated. I even went up the Saucer area in Mansfield one morning a caught a few. Some of you may have seen my Jalapeno Redfish video on You Tube. I had a sportswriter, David Sikes, come down to Padre to see what jalapeno fishing was all about and I caught some reds with jalapenos again. Pretty funny. You can view this article and photos by going to this link.
Our lives sometimes get routine and we may forget how special each day is from time to time. I am glad I had a chance to go fishing on my own and rekindle the real reason I have a love for the outdoors and fishing. It is my job, and I go fishing everyday, but I don't get to fish much by myself. That day I went out alone I felt like I did when I was a kid. I could never sleep the night before my dad would take me fishing. Every fish, no matter if it was a 12 inch trout, was a good time. I will always have my love for the outdoors. I have grown up out on the water and in the South Texas brush, and I am glad I can share my knowledge with people on my boat. I can't wait for my charter in the morning...
Copyright 2007 Richard Moore