Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Castnetting at Fish Pass

The afternoon seemed like it would never get there. We had the canoe loaded and were waiting for the wind to go down and the temperature to warm up. Finally, about 1 pm the conditions were good so we drove to Fish Pass, (maybe a mile),
The east side road started out good, but quickly became a series of ruts and mud traps. Some seemed large enough to swallow our truck! Well maybe not swallow but perhaps high center. Another truck approached and we waited to watch his path, before negotiating the labyrinth.
Parking, we immediately saw a crested caracara, which posed for a picture. After putting on my waders I waded out in search of bait, saw some, and threw the net. It flew in a perfect circle, almost! Pulling the net in, we got nothing, as the bait were too small and escaped. Repeating the process, and getting nothing, we moved and had better results. A blue crab, some cocahoes,(desired), and some small pinfish! After a few more throws we got the bait we needed so it was time to launch the canoe.
We waited as another man launched his kayak, and then launched ours. It took awhile, before I finally waded into the water and steadied the boat so Renita could get in. Starting to paddle we headed toward the bay, perhaps a mile in the distance.
The float went quickly as we skirted the edge, Renita pushing us away from shallow spots. We passed some waders, who were catching small redfish and finally reached the bay, where the expanse of water intimidated us so we stopped for a bit and then paddled back, looking for a spot to fish.
Now we had been fishing, but we had the wrong hooks and leaders, so our bait kept sinking to the bottom and weeding up. As we passed the waders, we watched their technique, and moved father up the pass to imitate it.
Casting out the poles the canoe kept drifting away. How I wished for a cajun anchor!
Finally grounding the canoe, we cast out two poles and waited as the late afternoon sun neared the horizon. A bite and then another, both missed. One pole was jerked almost out of the canoe as a redfish grabbed the minnow and swam away. Missed it, damn!
Although we wanted to stay longer we paddled back to the truck. We were rewarded as we passed a rosette spoonbill, feeding too greedily to notice us. Renita pointed out the iridescent sheen of its pink feathers, as the setting sun reflected off its side. Tired, we loaded the boat and returned home. Clear skies.

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