Took my friend Annie Snyder out for a trip as a belated birthday present. Weather report was very promising and the week before I had found lots of keeper-sized trout in 3 to 4 feet of water. Tides were a challenge with a negative low tide around 9 with a rapidly rising superhigh tide through the afternoon. We left the Seahag around 8:30 and went to some flats a few miles north of the river. Last weekend the water had been very clear, but on this day it was not only stained, but also had suspended mud, probably related to a heavy storm two days before. After a short casting lesson, we fished with popping corks and topwaters and had a number of hits, but only scored one trout. Again as opposed to last week, there were few baitfish there on that dropping tide. We moved to some local bars that were shallow at the low tide so Annie could go for a quick swim while I kept an eye out for sharks (that was her idea!). There were building schools of baitfish near the offshore set of bars so we began fishing with jigs and suspending lures, which netted us a decent mixed bag of jacks, ladyfish and Spanish mackeral, which resulted in a number of cut-offs. Again, the trout were few and far between. On a higher tide we ran to several spots both north and south of the river with not much luck, until we found this nice redfish near a marshline.
After continuing to search for trout for a good while, we gave it up and headed back to town. We ended up with two reds, a few large Spanish and one nice trout. It turned out that most people had tough days as well. A Big Bend Redfish Club event had few good fish, and very few trout were caught. Why? Maybe the higher temperatures this week, or the water clarity, or just bad karma, but it was a fun day with good mixed bag of fish.
We decided to take our fish to Fiddler’s Restaurant in Steinhatchee. Jim Hunt suggested grilling the mackeral and blackening the redfish. The mackeral, despite the general avoidance of them as fine table fare, was absolutely excellent, as was the blackened redfish. I heartily recommend keeping a few fish and letting Jim prepare them to order for you…you won’t regret it.