Monday, August 27, 2012

One fine weekend

I don't get to see Henry Bone these days, because he's a father of three young kids, and they're more important than a few redfish. But this past weekend, Henry brought a friend, Patrick, who was interested in spending some time aboard a NewWater Stilt before purchasing one.

Julie and I went down the Arroyo early Friday evening to launch the boat and get read for the next two days. I picked the guys up well before daybreak, and headed to one of Henry's old haunts. We planed back into the farthest reaches of navigable water and shut down in water that was far less than we needed to get back up in. I was a bit sheepish to have done that our first morning out, but fortunaately, they were eager to wade, so I walked the boat downwind to deeper water while they explored the areas east and west of the boat. Henry missed one red, but it only took 30 minutes to ascertain that the fish were elsewhere, as we should be. So I got the Stilt up and we headed south into a lagoon that is as pretty as it gets, but often too shallow to hold fish, much less to float a boat. But a combination of moon phase, tropical systems in the Gulf, and the shifting solar tide effect that produces higher tides after early September made for fall-level tides. So we were able to wade into the grassy, clear water that stretched out ahead of us for about 1 1/2 miles. Not a boat interrupted the surface of the shallow expanse.

Wading downwind, Henry encountered only a single red, and promptly caught it, while Patrick had hiked way east into water that I rarely fish. He was clearly onto fish, as evidenced by his body language. When Henry and I went back to the boat, Patrick ignored us for a while, choosing instead to chase several reds that had left the shoal-grass filled waters of the central lagoon and began feeding head-down on a vegetation free bottom where Patrick could see them 50 yards away.

He finally hiked back to the boat and told us what he's seen.

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