Fishing with Family
My father, oldest son and I had a guy’s trip. The goal was to have some bonding time and put my dad on some reds.
We headed to the flats where we have had some great success. We drifted the flats for a while and caught some small trout. We moved to try a spot we hadn’t fished in years, and was either hit or miss.
We got to the new spot and were checking the area. It’s a bayou hidden back in the reeds, bowl shaped, about 4 feet in the middle. It goes to about 2 feet deep, 50 feet from shore. It is a broken grass and mud bottom.
Looking around, I saw some small to medium glass minnows, pinfish and rain minnows. I didn’t see any shrimp, crabs, mud worms or mullet.
We decided to throw Matrix Shad. Jake threw the Spartacus on a red 1/8th-ounce jig head. I threw Blazing Hornet on a lead color ¼-ounce jig head, and my dad threw Avocado on a red 1/8th-ounce jig head. If it was only 2-inch minnows and I threw 5-inch Paddlerz, my chances of success were limited since the fish homed in on small silhouettes.
At Jake’s third cast, I heard him say “I caught grass.” He jerked a little and his drag took off. He bowed on a nice red. We went a couple hundred feet and I bowed up on a red, and then my dad hooked up.
We were retrieving with a double jig method. Usually within 10 feet of the cast, you would be hooked up. This continued for about two hours, catching a red every five minutes or so.
For whatever reason, a mess of reds was held up in this bayou from 12 inches to 26 inches, and they were hungry.
To fish with family is a great thing, to catch with family is that much sweeter. Even if we didn’t catch that day and didn’t have that success, to have three generations in that boat, drifting around the bayou, just talking and enjoying company was a memory that we’ll speak of for years to come.
When I get to a fishing area, I immediately look for signs to determine if I should be fishing there and what I should be using. I have a long list I go through in my mind upon arriving to decide whether to stay or go. I look at clarity — if it is muddy and not supposed to be, then I move. I look at the bottom for grass bottom or broken bottom. I look for signs of fish, like V’s or seeing the fish.
I also look for water birds of any type, not just seagulls and pelicans diving. If ospreys or herons are there, obviously fish are there for them to feed. I am looking at types of food and bait around to decide what I am going to throw. The fish are usually homed in on whatever bait or that type of silhouette that is in the area.
I look for top water action; if they are busting on top, I am not dragging the bottom.
Once I go through the list, I weigh the pros to cons and decide whether to stay or go. Just to be aware, sometimes it can be perfect conditions and have everything on the list and still have a skunk in the boat. The list helps me save time to try and get rid of the skunk instead of wasting time fishing a dead zone.