Hunt for Red October
After a fun-filled Saturday replete with college football and backyard burgers, how does one spend a crisp, sunshiny October Sunday afternoon? Looking for redfish in the Mississippi marshes.
The Professor has been doctoring up his skiff recently, adding latch systems in the front and back so he can use coolers as casting and poling platforms.
We cruised around for a couple of hours, ever stealth and vigilant, but the only thing we saw were sting ray and some blue stone crabs. Hmmm….this was starting to feel like our last Mississippi redfish outing, sans the flounder and spanish mackerel.
Just when we were thinking of picking up and running to a new area, the Professor spotted a wake and poled me closer. For the first time all day I felt a little bumpety-bump-bump tugging on my fly. A fish was following it, but we never connected. Nonetheless it was just the bumpety-bump-bump we needed to reinvigorate our focus. And in a flash I saw what we were really looking for – a tail. A sure enough redfish tail. Now I have been known to “see” things on the water when I am really looking. I can turn birds into tarpon and leaves into trout and dandelion puffs into PMDs. But there was absolutely no doubt in my mind. I saw a redfish tail.
The Professor did not see it but luckily he believed me and poled me over there while I organized my fly line which seemed to have a magnetic attraction to every hook and buckle in the vicinity of my casting deck. No more tails, no wakes. The redfish must have sunk below the surface but we were convinced he was still in the vicinity. I sent a few depth charging blind casts in and Wodka! Hooked up with this little guy.
So fun. We persevered and spotted some big reds crashing on bait fish way up in some narrow finger inlets, but they shot out of there like torpedos faster than I could put a cast on them. Pretty cool nonetheless.
It was a gorgeous day and all-in-all a great success. The new casting/poling platforms worked out perfectly. I took my hand at the push pole for a bit and have confirmed that I want to learn how to pole a skiff (seems like a good skill to have when I defect to the Keys.) We also got the stink off my new Hatch reel and the Professor’s TFO 8-weight. Breaking new ground left and right.
A very good way to spend a beautiful autumn Sunday.