Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gator Central

Look closely
Saturday morning I got up early for a trip to Cat Island (a barrier island south of Gulfport, MS) only to find out that the trip had been cancelled due to weather.  I was all ready to go fishing, so I decided to make the most of the situation and do some kayak fishing in my favorite bayou for redfish.

I've been to this bayou several times before, and, as my friend Matt would say, its pretty much 'redfish central'.  Well, as it turns out, its also 'gator central'.  I'd only seen two or three alligators in Mississippi before this weekend, and on Saturday alone I saw at least eight alligators.  Eight alligators!  I don't know why I've never seen them there before; I guess they are just much more active now that the weather is warm.  If I'm honest, seeing a good sized alligator from the kayak gave this yankee the heebie jeebies.  But that didn't stop me from being interested.  Most of the alligators were sunning on the bank, and some would absolutely freak out when they saw me, diving into the water with a huge splash.  Completely distracted from fishing, I went about attempting to capture one of these monsters on my camera.  It was tough since they usually went under as soon as they saw me, but I eventually found one that was willing to pose for a little while, and the picture above is my best result.  My camera doesn't have very powerful zoom...

After I got my fill of alligators, I decided to paddle over to a section of the bayou I've been eyeing via google satellite images.  I could see on my computer that there was a large mud flat that might be covered at high tide and would encourage redfish to go shallow chasing crabs and other bait.  It looked like an ideal place for sightfishing.  It looked like 'redfish central'.

Redfish Central
Sure enough, almost immediately upon entering the area, I spotted a large, red shape in the water - they really do look quite red sometimes.  On my second cast, my fly landed right on top of his nose, and he ate it.  He then proceeded to take off on a run which quickly snapped my line.  It would've been my biggest redfish to date.  I was livid.  I never even got it on the reel!  It was pure operator error - I was holding the line like I had 20 lb test when I only had 12!  I quickly tied on another fly and continued to patrol the bayou.  Wouldn't you know, I only saw one more fish over the course of about 4 hours (and I didn't catch him).  So frustrating.  Eventually, I admitted defeat and decided to head home empty handed.  On the way back, I found some more alligators.  Hmmmm, first skunk at the bayou, first time seeing alligators...  Greedy alligators must've eaten all my fish!

Mating horseshoe crabs?

No comments:

Post a Comment