Thursday, November 10, 2011

Grand Bay NERR Expedition Report

Well, the kayaking expedition was a great success.  I kayaked about 3 miles from the boat launch at Grand Bay NERR through Heron Bayou out to Middle Bay, allowing me a beautiful view of the Chevron refinery in Pascagoula, which looks like it could be an evil city out of a Disney movie.

After kayaking around a point, I took a different route back up into Heron Bayou and back to the launch.  The weather and scenery were wonderful.  Besides the regular wading birds and pelicans, I saw a white ibis fly directly overhead and watched a northern harrier glide slowly across the marsh with its wings in a V.

Like I said, the kayaking expedition was a great success.  The fishing?  Not so much.  On the way out I searched in vain for signs of redfish feeding in the shallows and cast to known oyster beds with no success. Then I trolled over the grass beds in Middle Bay for a little while and didn't get so much as a bump.  The most exciting thing that happened was when I kayaked into a small creek and spooked two fairly big fish, one of which actually bumped my kayak as it escaped.  My first reaction was 'redfish!', but they actually looked more like mullet as they swam past.

To be honest, I wasn't that surprised.  I haven't been very successful on similar outings in the past.  There is so much hype around sight fishing for reds, I expected them to be easier to see.  The only fish I see on a regular basis are mullet, and they are everywhere!  I think I only saw one redfish all day.  I got out to wade at one point, and I saw an explosion in the shallows followed by a bulge in the water as a fish chased something around, but by the time I waded within casting range, it was gone.  Seeing that once in a day of fishing is not enough to make it worth targeting.  Maybe I would be able to see more fish from up on a flats boat.  Or maybe I just keep hitting the marsh on the wrong tide.  Anyways, I'm going to keep trying.  This weekend my buddy and I are headed to our hot spot - its as close to a sure thing as I know of around here.  So hopefully I'll get this skunk off my back...

A nice shot of the sun's rays poking through the clouds.  Taken right before I got attacked by the mother lode of all gnats!

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