"Mornin'... looks like we are going to have a clear day today." A rusty old man says to me at the convenient store, as I get a little coffee and Copenhagen. "Yes'ir...I have been fishing in this rain for about a week now. I am kind a gettin' tired of being wet and cold." "Well...good luck out there. Catch one for me." He said as I walked off to the rest of my morning. I touched my hand to the truck door handle and saw the old man walking out of the store towards his black Ford parked beside mine. "Do you ever get out on the water for a little fishing?" I asked him. "Naw...not as much as I wish a'could. I'm from Houston just visiting. I try to come down here as much as I can. I am in love with this place, but I just can't make my two worlds come together." He replied with a half a smile. "Yes'ir...this is a great place to visit. When you are in love with something though, you will find that all your different worlds of life will come together if you're livin' right. You can't really plan those types of things. It just happens one day." I continued. "You said it Cap'n, I think I'm on the right track...go give them fish hell now." He muttered with a shudder of hope in his step.
The rain has come down for several days without stopping and on Thursday it finally cleared up. I have never been so glad to see the hot sun baking my ears and hands. Although it has been raining quite a bit, the fishing has remained decent. I fished a couple of snook trips with some great top water action. Snook fishing is really good right now and it has been for years. A lot of anglers in this area and beyond do not realize the numbers of big snook that roam our bay. I find most of them around the Brownsville ship channel and South Bay. Structures like the old causeway and new causeway can hold snook on a slow current. I have even caught a few the last couple of years up on the spoil banks around marker 67, the Cullen and Gas well channels and the Arroyo. The turning basin in Port Isabel next to South point marina, the swing bridge and the Shrimp boat docks are all great places to find a funny looking snook. Snook fishing can be quite addictive once you start targeting them. When I started guiding, I didn't really know a whole lot about them. I had caught them on accident from time to time, but never really thought about just going out and catching one. Once I started catching more and more of them, I began to try and figure them out. I would go out by myself many mornings that I had off and afternoons after a charter just to study tides and baitfish, and to see if I could hook a big one. Over the years I still haven't figured them out, but I do have a pretty good idea of how to pattern these flashy fish. I have some great snook spots that I have stumbled up on over the years, and I have caught around 20 to 30 snook in one area several times...but one thing is for sure, they can disappear the next day. That is what keeps them interesting.
The current in the ICW is really strong right now. I have been fishing for trout in the deeper water between the spoil banks around marker 77 and the ICW. By getting out of the channel you can find slower currents where the trout move to. The water is a little warmer than the channel, but the trout are thick. We had several over 25 inches fishing this 3 and 4 foot water this week. Soon, the current will slow up in the mornings and the fish will move back onto the edge in search of cool water and food. The long bar still has good numbers of trout on it. Fishing the edges and the deeper water near the edges of the bar is good for a few trout. I don't fish there much, due to the popularity of this fishing spot and boat traffic, but it is always a great place to find some nice trout. Redfish have been a little bit scarce lately due to the hard rains and wind, but in when the sun comes out you can find them on the Gas well flats with these high morning tides. The best way to catch them is to sight cast. Just stand up high and pick them out. There are not enough of them roaming in these areas, (Gas wells / Three Islands) to blind cast right now. Save your energy. There are some groups of redfish and schools in the shallow water East of the drum boats and in the back bays, but I don't spend much time in those areas. I have been hitting a couple of good sized schools of oversized reds. There are about 200 fish in these schools and they are fairly easy to find in the afternoons. This past week one of my charters landed about 20 fish out of 1 school with the biggest measuring 36 inches.
Going out fishing in the Laguna right now is pleasant. The mornings are calm and people's summer attitudes are in high spirits. It is nice to be around cheerful people on a daily basis. Just like the man at the convenient store, looking to find the right place to settle, I often wonder if I should have ended up somewhere else doing something different. Who knows, I may be somewhere completely different in a few years. Wherever I end up, I really only have one major goal in my life right now. I want to be able to sit on my porch swing one day when I am old and gray and look back on the memories of my life...with a smile...and not regret the things that I didn't do.
Copyright 2007 Richard Moore