"Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster"
Hell I don't even know where to start.... The past few months I have been stuck working 7-12's with only a handful of days off. I have become the oyster and the gates of the refinery are my shell; they have kept me enclosed for sometime now but when I get a chance to bust out, I take full advantage of it!
That being said, I have been fishing only a few times which has made it slightly difficult to keep a consistent pattern on the fish. Also, no matter the conditions of the day- wind, rain, slack tides, whichever it may of been, I was still going fishing. The only advantage to working was that I knew exactly what day I was going to be off and I had a full 2 weeks to watch the weather play out. At this point, I was more acceptable of the conditions because I knew I was going to make a trip.
It is no secret that we have had record rainfall this year and the water has been much more fresh than what it typically is. One of the benefits for rain is that the widgeon grass starts to grow. You find the grass and you will find the fish! I have hit several ponds in the past few months and the vegetation is completely different from last years crop. In turn, the fish are not in the same pattern they were last summer (from what I have found). Of course, they are oblivious of the change; all they know is that where there is grass, there is food and that is all they care about.
My first few trips to the marsh were slightly productive and a good learning experience. I found that the bigger, wide open ponds were not holding any fish. This time last year, you could cast a popping cork in the middle, pop it once and watch the wakes come towards it. This year, nada! Not just here, but in Louisiana too. I went with a buddy in his skiff to the Sabine Wildlife refuge and we covered a vast amount of open marsh and we never spooked the first fish; that is unreal! My opinion of why they are not holding there (yet) is because there is not much grass growing along the bank and in the middle.
They have to be somewhere right? Of course, they did not just disappear, so the hunt was on. I started waking up early and launching in the dark and paddling to new places that were DEEP in the marsh. I finally ended up finding a good congregation of fish hanging out- I just had to beat the boats there. After a trip or 2, I started to pick up on their pattern for following trips and it was simple; find the grass. The grass though has been growing in smaller ponds and back pockets. I ended up pulling out this pretty gal at the Sabine Refuge in a smaller pond that Elite Pro Rob Ferris fished on the first day. He had it figured out 2 months ago- hit the smaller ponds and not the bigger, open water.
We pulled 3 more fish out of that same pond and missed a few others; they liked it for some reason. I took that pattern and brought it to our Texas marsh. So the next trip me and Chad fished the Galveston Grass Root Series in search of a paycheck. We started early and went deep once again. I only had 2 bites with both of my fish being over but we had seen plenty and had our opportunity. Chad had a nice fish on the stringer but we never could find a match with it; I guess that is tournament fishing at its finest.
Over slot fish won't get you a paycheck but are still fun to catch, even on tourney day! Lately that seems to be what I have been finding but that is a hell of a problem to have. For Memorial day, I decided to hop in a boat with Nate and meet a group of guys out on the water.
We all traveled together and once we got to our pond, we were stuck fishing the middle. Nate and I decided to head to the back of it and I knew there was a bayou coming out there and was hopeful to pick up a fish. As we approached, I heard a familiar popping sound and I knew exactly what we found! A school of 20+ redfish where piled up at the mouth and well, we attempted to try and double up. We gave it the ole 1...2...3!
Nate hooks up before me but it's all good, fish on! He lands it and it is a stud fish!
Seeing that school of redfish was enough to to satisfy my itch of fishing for that one day. I then began planning my next outing 2 weeks from then. Stu wanted to come with me on this trip and I told him to come on but we are leaving early. Once again we headed a few miles back before we even started to fish. Once we did, I caught a nice 23" fish and we continued back. I then made a corner and seen a few tails pop up at casting distance. I wanted to get a few pictures but the water was so high they disappeared quickly. I threw a Gold spoon in the mix and it was on. As I landed my fish I heard Stu yell "Over here!" I turned to look at him and there was 7-10 tails flailing above the waters surface. He made a precise cast and pulled out a solid fish!
We caught a few more fish that morning and got out of there quick before it got to hot. It was a beautiful day on the water and I was not at work, which made it that much better.
I believe I have only fished 5 days out of the past 2 months which is not my typical fishing habit but what do you do? No matter what day I was on the water, I took it as an opportunity to put a pattern on the fish. I made the most out of my trips and progressively worked towards finding them. After every trip I would go back to the drawing board and scratch off where the fish were not. Eventually it would point me to the last option and of course, it had to pay off.
When it comes down to it, in order to seek results you have to take action. That form may come in many ways but as long as you are making headway you are doing okay. The more I think about it I believe ole Teddy was right. We were not meant to be stuck inside of a shell all of our lives. When getting the opportunity to do something we should seek action and learn from our progress. Take advantage of the moment, embrace the uncertainty, and live every day to the fullest.