Have had some good fishing the last few days and seen some cool stuff too.
First off, wanted to thank Kevin Desselle and the boys at Sport Trail for getting my trailer street legal. I have put some serious miles on my Sport Trail trailer this year, but never missed a day of work. All things break, but Kevin talked me into getting it serviced while I had some down time. All of our boats trailer every day we fish, and if our trailers don't work, we don't work. Just wanted to say thanks to Sports Trail for keeping all four of the Shore Thing boats safely working.
Thursday, took Steve Pahlman from Hattiesburg to the LA Marsh. Had room, and he did not mind, so we brought the mighty Capt Matt with us. Went deep into the marsh fishing ditches, canals, and ponds. The east wind had the water murky, so we did the stick and move. Capt Matt was chucking the tight lined soft plastics almost all day. In the deeper canals it was the ticket. I did the popping cork and Steve bounced back and forth between the two. Seemed the deeper we went into the marsh, the better the bite got. Worked hard for the 31 trout we caught but they were much appreciated. Even grabbed two reds from underneath the boat and released them to fight another day. Steve got a show weaving through the marsh. We literally saw thousands of ducks on Thursday. Matt an I have seen plenty out there over the years, but we had never seen that many in one day, it was pretty cool.
Had three boats out on Saturday, boy am I glad I got the trailer fixed. Shut out fog on the roads, and working trailer lights made driving through town a little less stressful. Since Capt Kyle is deer hunting in Illinois, and Capt Kenny is kicking it down in Disney with his family, we called in a hired gun. Capt Jimmy Ray took out Dr Juan and his wife Alex for her Birthday fishing trip. The happy couple wanted an easy near shore trip in the bay and Capt Jimmy Ray did not disappoint. Even in the fog, they did a number on the fish, catching 15 puppy drum, 5 sheepshead, and many many released rat redfish. Mrs Alex even caught a red fish with no spots. The duo did not keep any fish, as Dr Juan was taking his bride to the Jourdan River Steamers that night for her birthday dinner.
Capt Matt was with the David Cloud crew, also on a near shore trip. They were not far from Capt Jimmy, but they were keeping fish, lots of em. Matt said they were almost as thick as the early morning fog. I ran into him at the cleaning table, and he was working on a pile of fillets. The Mighty Capt Matt cleaned 28 sheepshead, and 7 puppy drum for the Cloud crew.
I had the Jeffcoat Group from Ocean Springs: Craig, Eric, Stephanie, Sergio and Reese(6). We were able to make it to the Marsh later in the morning and tried to get on some trout. Hit 5 go to spots and only boxed 12 keeper trout. We let young Reese reel in every fish we hooked, and he was jazzed up to help. Pushed our way back into one narrow ditch, leading to two small ponds. We were able to block the ditches with the boat and cast towards the ponds. The reds were pinned in the ditch and kept swimming back and forth from the ponds to the boat, it was awesome. Sergio hooked one that ran around a small point of marsh. The only way he could land it, was to pull it over the marsh(he got it). Eric was slinging popping corks and soft plastics tipped with shrimp. I was pitching a spinner bait, but the rat reds were all over it. When the smoke cleared, they put 9 slot reds and 1 sheepshead in the box, released countless rats, and missed who knows how many. Pretty cool having those reds blocked off and having them swim right up to the boat.
Very interesting day on the water Sunday. Capt Matt an I had two crews out for a calm, clear day in the marsh. He had the Cloud crew for day 2 and I had the Eastman father and son duo. Got to the marsh in no time and got to hunting. Think we hit 3 spots before we put the first fish in the boat. Grabbed a few school trout for the boys before we jumped back in our red fish spot from the day before. The reds were still there, but they were a little skittish. Micheal an I were on the bow pitching spinner baits and tight lined soft plastics tipped with shrimp. We had many of shots, the fish were still swimming right up to the boat. Water was a little lower, but we were able to grab a few big slot fish and several rat reds. Wildest thing of the day happened while we were crossing a shallow pond. We hit something hard, and it sounded pretty solid. Mike an I looked back and saw a big tail sticking out of the water. We doubled back and found a 4 foot alligator gar with a large portion of his head removed, but still wiggling. Mr Eastman an I made Mike hold it up for a photo, very sick, but he was a good sport. Donated the fish to the Crab Foundation, just sorry the fish did not get out of the way. Mike was very impressed I could catch fish with just a 250 Yamaha Four Stroke.
Talked to Capt Matt through out the day, and he was catching plenty of fish. He said they were doing well with the big bull reds, rat reds and small trout, just not getting many keepers. The Mighty Matt was able to drift a few banks and grab a quick 30 specks and some red fish before calling it a day.
As we were leaving the marsh we saw a boat in open water with the operator waving his hands. Tried to help the guy get his motor cranked, but it wasn't happening. Threw the man a line, and towed him and his young son back to Bayou Caddy. The Eastmans were very cool about the entire thing, they have towed and been towed in before. We took no money from the guy, just asked him to help out the next guy...
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