They say that the ability to recall memories from early childhood varies from person to person. Some are able to remember events from when they were three years old, while others do not. In many instances certain images of one’s childhood evoke memories that would have otherwise been forgotten. Personally I am not certain where the vague events of childhood have secured their roots in my memory. Unfortunately I do not seem to remember much before the age of 4 or 5.
Yet naturally, I do have quite fond memories of growing up fishing/boating. I am not sure where this fishing infatuation started for me, a box of squid and endless bent rods on patch reefs catching grunt after grunt? Maybe it was the mosquito ridden trips to the interior of the glades with a bucket of 10 dz. shrimp and a popping cork? Or possibly the first bonefish that melted the line off my reel like nothing I had ever seen before?
Nonetheless the memories are there, somewhere not easily evoked, however fishing with my daughter brings up a lot of them and as she gets older our explorations have grown as well. Back in late Fall we had quite a strong run of memorable fishing trips, each day seemingly better than the next. Many permit tagged for Bonefish Tarpon Trust, our first slam, some afternoons filling the cooler with snappers/lobsters, some journeying in the flooded cypress forests………….…we were sharing many good vibes which is easy to overlook with so much hustle and bustle going on around us.
The flooded cypress forest always brings some smiles for a lazy day in the sweetwater……………
Yet even at 3yrs old, her and I think a lot alike, and when the weekend rolls around she persistently requests to head out on the skiff in search of “fishies to kiss”. Who am I to deny a little girl? And on one notable late September day we set out to fulfill her wishes.
Despite the fact of working quite hard to find some fish, by mid-day we still were battling the ‘ol goose egg as no “fishies” were kissed and we almost threw in the towel. Convincingly I persuaded her to take a long swim then we could attempt the afternoon tide. As luck would have it over the course of a few hours we had many opportunities to fulfill her request………..
Tag # BTT05129
Tag # BTT05135
Tag # BTT05145
She was down with the plan…………….
Not all fish were greeted with kisses…………..
By late afternoon we had left them biting on the best day we have shared on the water yet, hooking 4 permit tagging 3, catching 3 tarpon jumping lots, and 2 bonefish losing our third and last fish next to skiff…………..our first double (almost triple) slam.
With little time for myself these days I am making due with my only alternative to getting out on the skiff. Unfortunately my requests to fish with the guys are getting more often denied as my wife reminds me I catch more fish with the kids, there are worse things to complain about I guess…………….
Good luck to everyone fishing the Salty Fly this coming weekend…………..Sam’s tireless efforts clearly produce a great event!
While I do not consider myself, by any stretch if the imagination, a “red fisherman”. There is a time and place during the year to yank on a few of these fish when the opportunity presents itself. I have minimal experience hunting these fish beyond the Florida Bay and over the last many years, for the most part, avoided fishing them religiously. Most of the “channel drum” in the Florida Bay take the fly with ease and then typically just roll in the mud. Hell if they even clear your stripping line it calls for a celebration. Probably a function of warmer water temps who knows they are simply lazy bastards. I would guess it to be comparable to snagging a nurse shark just ask Honson.
I would have liked to think that once you caught one redfish you have caught them all but with a range from Massachusetts to Northern Mehico redfish are simply not created equal. Even in the Glades they can simply just turn their nose on just about everything you put in front of them, I suppose this is fishing and to be expected but getting refusals from a fucking brainless redfish can perplex even the most seasoned of anglers.
Don’t get me wrong about these “spottail bass”, I do enjoy catching them, from aggressive bites, to occasional table fair, to sometimes forgiving the worst of casts, they are good fun to hunt. I am told that they can even live to be 60 years old……….pretty incredible if you ask me.
On a recent family adventure I had the chance to fish out of my old skiff (no floor original Hells Bay Waterman made when Tom Gordon had a full head of hair, simply a badass poling skiff) in the low country for the first time, not sure what I expected but I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of these grassy mud flats………………….
While I say the derogatory “blue-collar bonefish” stuff the fishery could not be farther from the truth. The Charleston fishery is legit and the numerous estuaries could keep the most local of folks hitting a new area every outing. Hell the 50 or so free local ramps in enough to make anyone happy. Needless to say the flooded spartina grass was a welcomed change of pace.
I can see how this wading to fish in the grass can get addicting………….
fish kept coming to hand……………….
And on the last afternoon with a long drive ahead of me with crying babies and all, we saw one last fish tailing hard in the grass, deep in the thick shit. Feeding them deep in the grass is not done with ease and definitely takes some experience but the fish came up and moved across some open water and I laid the fly out in front of her. It was a nice sized fish and as I stripped the fly in position the damn thing got stuck on a heavy blade of grass. In attempt to not spook the fish I lightly jiggled the fly when all of the sudden the 32inch fish blew up and ripped the fly from the grass…….I am told this is called the “dangler”
apparently this is all the rage in these parts (fish takes you into your backing)
one of the better reds I have seen in a long long time….
definitely hope to be back soon just not in the cold………………….