Sunday, August 11, 2013

Scratchin' the Itch

For those of you who are familiar with sight fishing for Redfish, the holiest time of the year starts in a little over a month.  Redfish will fill our bayou's to gorge themselves on the shrimp which are reaching their peak size and abundance.I can barely stand the wait.  Cooler temps coupled with active fish; it's a Redfish fanatic's dream. All the anticipation gave me the itch and I had to scratch it this morning.  In 90 degree temperatures (felt like 101 according to and after about a 4 mile paddle in my kayak, I sweat like crazy and dug the claws in to scratch.

 At about 5:45 am, I arose with the intention of, hopefully, avoiding the scorching temperatures.  That was quite a silly idea since there is no escape in South Mississippi this time of year.  The spot I decided to fish has remained relatively untouched this year compared to last year which gave me high hopes for the morning bite to be on. The weather has been downright terrible and afternoon thundershowers have thwarted a lot of my weekly fishing trips in the kayak.  The spot I fished was where I caught the fish for the Spankin' the Specks Tournament last year.  Despite the hot weather, it did produce and unfortunately, I botched several opportunities at tailing Redfish. Below is the only one I managed to land.  I hooked two other and broke one off. I also had a baby Alligator Gar on for a second before he spit the hook. The gar seemed to be as plentiful as the Redfish.

It was a bluebird sky day and I've noticed that causes the fish to spook particularly easy. When the reds at this spot are feeding, my friends and I have found that to get a fish to bite, you literally have to land the fly on their head.  Today wasn't that case.  The fish were finicky. I had one Red examine my offering and swim away. It makes me curious if the fish are "learning."  This wouldn't surprise me since we did catch and release many fish from this honey hole last year.

Another interesting observation I documented regarded fish color.  The fish I landed was darker than any other Redfish I'd ever seen. That phenomena is unique to this little bayou from what I've seen which has a substantial weeds and very dark copper to black water. While this isn't a particularly mind blowing observation, it makes these fish tougher to site cast to than your average run of the mill Redfish. While I don't think this is a ground breaking observation, I think its very cool that if you were to browse this blog, you might be able to determine where I caught the fish at based on how dark brown and copper the fish are. I've also observed similar tendencies in Largemouth Bass in Michigan. Pond caught fish will be darker than their stream or lake brethren. What is truly unique is that this phenomena happens in a continuous body of water.  If I had gone just 1 or 2 miles further up the bayou towards the Mississippi Sound, you'd get coloring much lighter than the fish I caught. See the example below. (Science!)

Two fish, one body of water.
Despite the finicky fish, it was still  a very enjoyable day.  These pictures today were taken with my GoPro. On top of being an excellent little camera, it is a 12 mp camera with wide view lens.  In my obsession to try and capture video, I've ignored taking as many photos and that has really begun to bother me.  After the bite died down and wind picked up, I tried some experimentation with the camera on this thing and I have to say, I'm pleased with it.  Here are few of the decent shots from today that I captured.
Anybody know what type of flower this is?  It grows on a vine that wraps around the Marsh Grass.

Today's trip definitely got me in fall fishing mode. I'm ready for it and the cooler weather.  I'm really hoping my camera skills will be ready by then too.  Until then, these spur of the moments trip will suffice.