You Spin Me Right Round Baby

DSCN0825As I mentioned the other day I haven’t been fishing in awhile. The one exception? A couple of weeks ago I was in Alabama and got to venture out in the lower Mobile River Delta for speckled trout.

Unfortunately my trusty guide made the faulty assumption that I had previous experience with a spinning rod. Now why in the world would he think a girl with a tongue-in-cheek, self-penned moniker like “Fly Fish Chick” would know how to handle a spinning rod? We were a full hour into our adventure (setting up on some fish) when we mutually discovered this minor breakdown in communication.

From the look on his face I thought he was going to turn that boat right round baby right round and head for home.

DSCN0824 But hey, what I lack in skill I try and make up for with a positive attitude. And it was gorgeous out there! I was channeling my Inner Meat-Fishing-Mamacita, catching shrimp from the live well with my bare hands and hurling them out there best I could. So fun. And the fishing was much more strategic than I expected. Searching for birds hitting the water, using the tides to set up at just the right angle, picking the perfect shrimp (a big delicious feisty one!) when you know you’re really into some good fish.

The highlight for a first-time tourist like me was spotting a monster alligator. Of course I begged for a closer look so we buzzed up for a photo shoot. Suddenly I felt like I was the one bobbing inside a live well while the alligator was sizing me up. I made every effort not to come across as either delicious or feisty.


Once we interrupted his afternoon nap in the sunshine, that prehistoric lug submerged himself into the water with the unexpected grace and vertical control of a synchronized swimmer. Part dinosaur, part Esther Williams. It was wild. And we were outta there.


It was a wonderful day out on the water — despite the fact I ended up with zero fish to show for my big meat-fishing adventure. Unfortunately, I was decidedly inconsistent and awkward with a spinning rod. The most excitement we had was along the edge of this grassy spot. Shrimp were jumping everywhere and I had a few good shots and a few good bites. But I couldn’t set the hook. Yikes. Luckily, my trusty guide was super patient and quite skilled at the pep talks and ego-stroking.


By sharp contrast to my debut performance, about a week or so later Big R, Little R, and Little R’s friend proved that experience does pay off and that there is no such thing as beginner’s luck for me. They put me to shame in the very same grassy spot.

Fishin 003

Fishin 004

Well done boys! But now I want another shot. Truthfully I don’t think it was my ineptitude with a spinning rod that was holding me back. I think it was mental. My super-chill, fly-fishing, girlie-girl zen attitude simply didn’t work for this type of fishing. Next time, “Fly Fish Chick” is going to become “Bait Fish Chick”, and I am going hunt down those fish like a half-crazed vigilante.

Oh yeah baby, it is on! Wanted: Speckled Trout. Dead or Alive.

11 Responses to “You Spin Me Right Round Baby”
  1. Jim@FFO says:

    Any day out in weather like that is a good day.

    Something an old shop teacher told me years ago was “use the right tool for the right job…”. Went out on the Ohio this morning and I always take a surf casting spinner and a 10′ fly rod. I can get out maybe 70-80′ on the fly and probably three times that on the spinner. Have to hit those damn, dam gates to get into the stripuhs. If they’re in close(relatively speaking), I’m all about the double haul. Past that, gimme a 1 oz. Kastmaster and watch out. It should be noted that one of the reasons I like fly fishing is nobody ever poked a hole in a fiberglass boat with a size 16 Adams.

    I too suffer from terminal flycastonly-itis. Took me a while to get back in to spinning gear after not doing it since my zebco days, as a kid. Those big surf rigs can be dangerous if you don’t set up or use them properly. I still have a nasty stinging in my right index finger from not letting go of the mono at the right instant. Smarts like a mother.

  2. Pete says:

    I am now haunted by your cheezy 80′s song reference.

  3. Fat Guy Alex says:

    NO “Bait Fish Chick”! Just make it “Fly Fish Chick Who Also Kicks Ass Bait Fishing On Occasion.” Might not have the same ring to it, but NEVER forsake your self.

  4. At least you tried. Could you not fly fish for those fish? I am a spinning kinda guy and know nothing of fly fishing. But I think pretty much style for style as long as you are not bottom fishing.
    Tight lines and screaming drags

  5. Stiles says:

    The fly gods were cursing you for picking up that bait chucker. Seriously, getting skunked is way better with a fly rod that with a bait bucket. Those trout will hit a clouser, too.

  6. luke2luke says:

    These boys are idiots! Why kill all these fish? Big deal, Bubbas!

  7. Jimmy says:

    Luke- you must not have experienced the sheer joy of a fresh fried speckeld trout fillet …nothing like a good fish fry with your friends brother…….

  8. Big R says:

    Luke, I have fished Mobile Bay and the delta area for almost 50 years and that is the most Speckled Trout I have “killed”. I can assure you that none of the fish we caught that day were wasted and that the fond memories of a great day on the water with my son will outlast the memory of someone we don’t know calling us “idiots”. We have been and will be sharing those fish with family and friends over the coming months and I guarantee I’ll smile each time I think of that day when we caught the limit and released a bunch more. Those kinds of memories are “big deals” and if that makes me a “bubba” then I only hope that everyone gets a chance to be a “bubba” once in a while!

  9. HEAR HEAR Big R!! Clearly a special day you guys had out there. Hopefully I will get another shot at it — look forward to learning from the best.

    luke2luke — glad you found my blog. hopefully you will stick around and enjoy it! but if you don’t mind, let’s dial it down on the name calling.

    after all, anyone who’s been reading this blog for ANY period of time already knows the truth…..that The Bubbas hold a very special place in my heart — right along with the the Dirtbags, Hippies, Rednecks, Roughnecks, Outlaws, Troutlaws and Barflies.

    And speaking of Troutlaws and Barflies….I’m just back from a week in Montana. I’ll post pictures & stories after I get Little Chick to bed….Cheers All ~FFC

  10. Big R says:

    Thanks FFC. The love of fishing is something we all have in common. That is why we love reading your stories and seeing those great pictures! Next time you come through you are invited to use a flyrod, spinning rod, baitcasting rod, – even a cane pole, if you want. No promises that we will catch anything, but it is just being out there that really matters. (Looks like I have enough in the freezer to last for a while anyway!)

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