Grass Reds

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I’ve had the opportunity to fish during the week the past couple of weeks and with the lack of rain, I’d been taking advantage of it. It’s the time of year when the grass flats start showing up in the marsh again, often times cleaning up the water clarity, making sight-fishing possible, so I decided to head down and see what the fish where doing.

The first trip was about two weeks ago. The details escape me now, but at the first spot I saw activity in a small cove. After casting a few times, I turned my attention toward a down tree in the water, pitching a gold spoon. The top of the grass was only a few inches under the water’s surface, but the reds were hunkered down in it. I bounced the spoon just a few times and felt a fish take it. After a short fight, I pulled a nice mid-slot red aboard the kayak.

I cruised the south bank of the lake I was in, finding some relatively pristine water. In some areas it was several feet deep, and I could clearly see the water bottom. I saw several thirty plus inch reds cruising by, but they weren’t interested in my offering at all. Eventually, I spotted another “spot-tail” swimming out in front of me. He swam completely around my kayak before I made a cast. The lure landed past him, and crossed perfectly in front of him and he slurped it up! Another fight ended in the 27″ being netted.

My main mission that day was to take a fish or two home for the grill, and I ended up giving the larger red away to a guy that I met.

If we fast-forward to Memorial Day. I headed back out early. I told my wife, Tracey, that I’d leave early with hopes of getting home right at noon. IMG_3593

I was on the water by 6:30, and immediately started throwing a topwater plug. Casting towards a thin line of marsh grass, into the wind, and “walking the dog” back. It didn’t take long to see a few blow ups just short of the lure. Keeping the rhythm going, eventually the blow up was dead on, and the fight was on. It was a little guy though, maybe just breaking 16″. I would’ve brought him home but he shook loose right on side of the boat. I tried the topwater at a few more locations. It got their attention, but no other fish connected with it.

Not long after, I was in a duck pond and there was some surface activity. Though I figure a lot of it was bait, I saw the back of a red out of the water. I was able to get pretty close to him and passed a spoon just in front of him. As I set the hook, it seems that several other reds took off from around him. He kept making a run for the shore and I kept turning him around. I did eventually net him, but as i pulled him up via fish grips, he wiggled loose and bounced back into the water! That was the first time the fish grips failed me. I threw them down in frustration… then I realized that the hook was probably still in the side of his mouth. I felt around for the line and quickly grabbed the rod and pulled him up from the grass where he had sunken belly-up. When I got him to the board, he measured 27.5″. I tagged and revived him and he swam away calmly.IMG_3594 IMG_3597 IMG_3596

As you can see, it looks like he got in a fight with something. Rough life. He’s lucky I wasn’t the one to do him in!

The day calmed down after that. As the sun got higher, the tide got higher and sight-fishing became less possible in many areas. The only other reds I saw where a small school that swam right in front of my boat and as I tried to stop, they all but ran into me and took off!

After loading up, I headed into town and had lunch with Tracey and my Mother-in-law at Copeland’s. I have to admit, I did feel a little out of place being dirty and fishy!

I was able to quickly put together a video from the day. Hope you enjoy!

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