Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tailing Redfish

We had been fishing for several hours and not much was happening. Gary had caught a keeper flounder and we had both caught some hard head and gaff sail catfish. The day was wearing down and Gary suggested we head to another spot.
As we cruised out Gary pointed out the schools of bait fish. Looking toward shore he suddenly told me to look at the huge school of tailing redifsh! I couldn't see what he was talking about as all I saw was a patch of water that was being splashed about, kind of like a white water trout stream, but this was level ocean.
I watched some more in disbelief and soon even I could see the tails sticking up in the shallow water. We anchored the boat ahead of the school and watched as they passed out of casting distance. Gary was berating himself for not beaching the boat and following them on foot, when the school turned and headed our way.
He told me to wait until they were near enough for both of us to reach them with our casts. Saying now, we both cast into the golden colored water and large spotted tails. The fish were in an absolute feeding frenzy! There were over a hundred fish and everwhere we looked we saw more schools.
As soon as my jig hit the water a nice red inhaled it and then took off on a run for the Gulf. I looked towards Gary and saw that he was fighting his own bull red and so we jockeyed back and forth, trying to keep our lines from crossing.
We released both fish and cast to another school. They were so thick that they were actually forcing each other out of the water. Another double and another fight to the boat, This school was smaller so we keep two for a redfish on a halfshell barbecue, and then started the boat up to get ahead of the fish.
Gary expertly guided the boat and he cut the engine as he neared two more schools. Another double and then another! Every cast got a pickup and then the strong and powereful run for the open sea. Each fish was the same beautiful golden color.
Now I have been fishing for fifty plus years and I have had days that were truely amazing. Days that brought fish on every cast, but nothing like the bite we were in. The fish were almost all ten to twenty pounds and we both grew tired from the bite. We both caught over a hundred pounds of redfish, releasing all but the two we had keep for dinner. Dark storms clouds were approaching from the west but the dolphins and redifsh continued their feeding.
It was time to head in and so we made the short run back to the harbour. Gary explained how the fish had been running like that for most of the winter and I felt blessed to have seen over a thousand redfish tailing. Of course I didn't have my camera and so you can chalk it up to a fish story, but that's ok as I know its a true story of bull redfish on every cast. Clear skies

1 comment:

Jim & Nanc said...

Great story. It sounded like a lot of fun, ever fisherman's dream.