As I mentioned a little while back, August is a "big Trout" month for us historically. Big winds produce them here in August as they come around for the next round of spawning. Predation during this time period can be extremely visual with big explosions on unsuspecting surface baits as the big girls hunt for comfort food. There are a lot of "slicks" popping and that along with other keys like diving Pelicans can make for a great day. With big winds punctuating late week here, Saturday turned out to produce two fish in the 26" class for our guests. Young David L. posted a lofty personal best early in his fishing career with a 26", 6.25 pounder that will forever be a moment shared between father and son. Capt. Doug Russell shot me a text that a client had just landed a 26" fish also that weighed in at 5 Lbs and 13 oz which was also a personal best. Despite best efforts and best intentions, niether made it back in the water.
Come A Long Way Baby!
We've seen more than our fare share of fish over 25" this season. In a year dominated by a lot of small Trout and cookie cutter keepers in a narrow range of size among schoolies, the big girls are a marvel to behold. Regardless of "limit" regulations allowing for one fish over 25" to be retained, we always recommend releasing these fish given that they are in decent condition while doing our best at educating our guests and clients. There is certainly better table fare to be had. While CPR is something we certainly strive for in this class of fish, it's not always practical with poorly hooked or landed fish or other issues may arise that prevent release. It is certainly on our minds, however and I think that is a "statement to how far we've evolved as a fishery in a short period of time".
Sight Casting Reds
Despite softening wade fishing results approaching late week, Capt. Doug and the Seth R. group powered through "not much sleep, lots of pressure, and a whole lot of heat" with a solid box of fish for the effort. Working Trout over mud/grass in big winds will more often than not put you in proximity to foraging schools of solid Redfish. Sunday, Capt. Doug encountered a number of schools pushing 50 fish over the weekend that led to some explosive sight casting. Doug was working some tannin clear water riding the console using his Power Pole to allow for a "Swift, Silent, and Secure" delivery to unsuspecting Redfish in the middle slot.
There is a lot of great fishing ahead as we approach the last half of the month, stay safe out there!
Capt. Kris Kelley
Castaway Lodge, Inc.