We decided to fish the high tide today; the tide was scheduled to be high around noon, so we departed around 9 am. The sun was brutal today; even early, I felt like I was sitting in a convection oven. We didn't even bother to stop at the bait store because we had intentions to stop and throw the net; we felt confident with the conditions that there wouldn't be an issue. Luckily for us, we arrived, and the bait was plentiful. Although they were hovering a little deeper than usual, it took a few cast of the ten-footer casts to get an adequate amount of bait. The seas were calm and with a light breeze that started from the east and eventually dissipated as the tide started to switch. We decided to try a couple of known spots, and instantly we hooked up, Vince caught, and nice 20-inch red and I caught a little snook and a nice little red quickly after. The bite slowed down so we hit a couple other spots pulling a few fish off each spot, (ranging from 18 to 26 inches). We then started searching new area that I have been eye balling via the aerial maps for some time. The current was now kicking out with a good flow. Once we arrived to this new area, I could instantly see the potential. It had all the ingredients to be a success, good current, depth, a food source and of course a great looking mangrove shore line littered with deep pockets. It almost looked like a pristine eco-system that modern man hadn't touched. There was no boat traffic just us and nature. We had to scout with urgency because we were in deep and quickly losing water.
Vince tosses his bait next to a shoreline that looked "fishy" and quickly connected. Out of desperation, the fish struggles to stay in the comfort of the mangrove roots and then the line goes slack. It was a toad of a fish, but he was the 2nd fish that got away on this day. Earlier I got my but handed to me by what I know to be a redfish's brute. I casted next to a shaded mangrove shoreline and the free-lined chunk of bait just hit the water…I pictured it slowly sinking when I felt a thump like know other. The Sustains drag is set at breaking; the St. Croix rod flexed as I applied heavy sidearm pressure; the fish shouldered its strength and cut me off on the roots. It has been a while since I had my butt handed to me like that but it was a good win for the other team. As the tide dropped and the showers arrived, we had to run from the storms but decided to scout the side of the shipping channel for potential new grouper and snapper hangouts. As we are patrolling, I see a nice ledge on the Lowrance and give the word to Vince to drop anchor. We rigged up and deployed the baits. We had a few nice hits but nothing concrete. As I am reeling in my bait I happen to look over to see Vince falling into the water, he says he slipped. I think he just wanted a closer look. He looked like Jesus of Nazareth when he hit the water, though. I must admit it was funny, but we couldn't laugh about it until we got him safely back into the boat. The unfortunate part is that he dunked his nice Shimano reel. Overall, everything was released today. We caught 12 nice reds, a couple of small snooks, and a mackerel. It was a gratifying and humorous couple of hours of being on the water. How did you do?