A Red Christmas, A Good Christmas
The Saturday before Christmas, still had gifts to wrap, meals to buy, things to decorate; and my wife and I decided we should go on a couple-hour sunrise trip to start the day out right and to get my fix of fishing for the weekend. There is no way I will be able to get out on the water Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, plus the weatherman was calling for small craft and crazy winds.
We left the landing at 6:30 a.m. and arrived at the flats as the sun was rising over the trees. I was throwing top water with a Heddon Super Spook Jr., and my wife was throwing a Gulp! Shrimp on a 3/16 ounce Eye Strike red trout eye jighead. We drifted the flats for about an hour without a single strike on either bait. Standing on the Engel Cooler I have strapped to the bow, didn’t see bait, or fish. The wind was starting to pick up and the bay was starting to cap, so we headed for protection back in a bayou.
The bayou had mud flats and mixed bottom all throughout. I changed from the spook to a Blazing Hornet on a 3/32 owner twist lock Texas rig. I got back on the cooler and started surveying the area, I immediately noticed a school of five reds pushing the bank. My wife threw the Gulp, jigs once, gets hit, and misses the strike. The reds spooked, so we kept moving down the mud flats. Here comes another school of reds, we both cast, they swam to our baits, and swam off. That tells me they probably weren’t feeding on shrimp or white bait, so they were probably feeding mud worms and I didn’t want to re-rig. As we are pushing off the mud flats over a drop off, I hook up, a couple of head shakes, and it is a flounder. He measured 14 inches and lived to see another day. Catching a flounder in the back of East Bay in December in 63-degree water was weird, and lets me know the fish are still in between migration and confused with the constant weather change.
There is this point back in this bayou that my son and I stopped and fished a couple weeks ago and he was broken off on a big red. The point is on the way back to the landing so we stop just to see if it is holding or was a fluke. I casted my wife’s Gulp, jigged across a pothole, then jigged off the drop off, and the drag starts screaming. The fish hit like a train, he immediately heads for a crab trap. I turn his head, he heads directly back at the trap again, I turn his head again. Get him to the boat and land him. 25 inches at 6.04 pounds. It was the prettiest red I have caught all year. The way the gold faded to red, then faded to silver. The five spots on one side and the four on other.
It was a tournament red, if not for the weight, the spots more than likely would win some money with the calcuttas (buy in for most spots, biggest red, and/or biggest trout).
Happy New Year from my family to yours!