Friday, April 19, 2013

Bay Fishing - Port Aransas, TX 4/16/13

Just to give you guys some background on this trip. I was invited to a VP meeting for my region. Two days of meetings! One day of fishing.  We headed out from Port A at about 7, drove on the boat for an hour up the intercoastal. Pretty cool the see "fishing camps" built right in the middle of the bay. Some were nice, some were scary.

These were the guys in my boat. Guide on the left was a true pro, me, then my Houston MVP David, and the vendor Eric. We fished live shrimp, except David fished plastics and killed us.

As you can see we did pretty well. I think I got 6 total, 5 trout and a skip jack. The boat mostly got trout, but we managed some skips, catfish, a redfish (8th from the left) and a huge amberjack.

This is the huge amber jack - David caught it on a plastic - this taped at 30 inches on the nose - it came in like a LOG!
This was Eric's biggest speckled trout - it taped at 27 inches and I think 6.5 lbs. I netted this bad boy and the guide said if he knew it was that big he would have done it himself. This was the "first" big'un of the day.

This is David's beast of a speck - it taped at 27.5 inches and 8.5 lbs. We let this hen go so she could have a few thousand more babies. Amazing fish.

This was my biggest fish - a 26.5 incher - and yes, we kept and ate her. She fought hard and was one of the heaviest fish I've ever caught. I forget how much she weighed in at.

Another smaller trout I caught.
We had sporadic fish in the morning, moved a couple times, hooked up a couple of times and finally at around 12:30 we found the spot. In about 1.5 hours we hooked and landed our 8 biggest fish. It was awesome.
The redfish was a cool fish - they are tough as nails and they fight like a carp - won't come off the bottom and are tough mf'ers. Skip jacks are trash fish, they'd eat anything and when you bring them in the boat they shit everywhere - we unhooked ours outside the boat. The amber was the coolest fish - huge girth, 30 inches long and fought like a tire. Seeing a catfish in saltwater that looks EXACTLY like a freshwater cat was funny.
I struggled in the morning casting the rig. The rig was basically a braided line, with a huge orange/green bobber at the end that had bb's in it, then a 2 foot section of leader a weight and a live shrimp. The issue with casting it was the weight, but also because the rod was set up with left hand retrieve. As soon as I switched to a right handed retrieve I casted fine and started setting the hook better/quicker. The hardest part about fishing was "how" you fished. You cast the rig to the grassline, then you jerked it to cause the bb's in the indicator to rattle - this imitates a shrimp clicking its tail to flee - the trout love that and crash the shrimp. It is the exact opposite of how we fish on freshwater, where any extra movements scare fish away.
At the end of the day we got back to the dock, the guide cleaned the fish and we headed next door for fresh fish (other boats got in earlier than us) - fried, blackened, baked - with tartar, cocktail, fried pickles, fried jalapenos and all the beer you could drink. Dude, that was livin'!
Texas is an interesting place. Saw a bunch of dolphins. It's not "pretty" down there, but very interesting. I'd take the family and camp down there if it wasn't a 16-18 hour drive.