Sunday, July 7, 2013

An Evening Out

Its the wonderful time of year when as long as the tide isn't too high, you can successfully sightfish for reds pretty much every morning and evening if you look in the right places. I haven't been taking advantage of that as much as I'd like for one reason or another, but I did manage to take my friend Jason out on the boat recently after work. We headed into the Pascagoula River Marsh around 4:30 pm and immediately found redfish making wakes.

Why are you taking a picture of such a small fish?

Jason used a spinning rod, and it allowed me to really see the pros and cons of redfishing with a spinning rod vs a fly rod. There are a few obvious advantages to the spin fisher, particularly ease of fishing deep, and ease of casting. One fairly obvious fly rodding advantage is the fact that flies land more gently on the water, preventing fish from spooking. But the main fly rodding advantage that I finally realized on this trip is that a fly fisher can pick up a cast and immediately make another when necessary, but a spin fisher has to reel all the way in first. This was a big one on the day because Jason did a fair amount of blind casting (which was somewhat successful), and I kept calling out fish locations, expecting an immediate response from him, but forgetting that he had to reel in first. In sightfishing, it is sometimes crucially important to get a cast out quickly, particularly if the fish is close to the boat or moving toward the boat with pace.

Plans almost derailed by this thunderstorm
It was a different day than what I was used to, but still successful. We pulled a few fish out of the channels and a few off of mud flats that we knew held a fish or two but couldn't pin point their exact location. We found several crawlers, and Jason had 2 nice fish follow his jig up to the boat, but we couldn't seal the deal. I was disappointed about that, but overall I was glad we caught fish and glad we got to see some redfish doing their thing.

Another conclusion I drew from this trip is that sightfishing weeds out the little ones. Most of the fish I usually catch are in the low 20's (inches), but these were much smaller. I guess it makes sense that the big ones make the most commotion and therefore are easier to sightfish.

On a side note, Aaron was fishing out of his kayak in the same area, and it was fun to have all of us in the marsh at the same time. He one-upped Jason and me and found the biggest redfish of the evening.

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