Without a doubt this will be the downfall for those looking for a quick fix to their fishing game, I make no guarantees to improve anyones skill however, I may be able to adjust your mindset to a parallel perspective. Let me preface this with the ugly truth of reality. Fishing will become what you make of it, it’s your life and you choose the path of your vessel.
Several days ago I was enjoying the audio of a podcast known as Fly Fishing After Dark. It was within episode (what I believe to be episode #31) they laid their ever thick, bulging wisdom upon my mind. They discussed four stages that anglers seem to evolve into and I’d have to say its a solid observation of the very people we see on the water and in social media.
The stages are as follows: I apologize if I somehow screw this up..
Stage 1: The angler that is focused on “whacking and stacking” fish. The angler that will use any method possible to catch any number of fish willing to fight. This angler generally just wants fish in the cooler and doesn’t care how.
Stage 2: The angler focused on quantity of fish (In this stage the angler craves a sense of accomplishment through greater numbers) and is often disappointed with what they have accomplished, unless it was the best day every trip out.
Stage 3: The angler looking for more of a difficult and competitive form of fishing. Looking for quality and beginning to see the horizon of “Stage 4”.
Stage4: The angler that has become happy with their environment, they begin to seek out new locations and branch away from their “go-to” spots. This angler has generally become pleased with even the worst of conditions and fish-less days on the water. They are generally more pleased with the often overlooked beauty and enjoyment of simply polling a boat or standing on the bow of a skiff. They find enjoyment of watching others catch fish.
-Thursday 4.19.2017 Conditions-
Wind: 10-12 MPH, Water Clarity – muddy deeper than 3″ and somewhat clear on leeward banks.
Tide: bottomed out almost slack Height 0.5 – 0.4
Moon Phase: Last Quarter 22 days old
With all intentions of working on my secret film, we began our normal route into the marsh. It was immediately apparent it was going to be a somewhat low tide and the usual spots would be shallow and tough. We searched along banks and in ponds and found large schools of mullet, few shrimp and muddy water. You wouldn’t know it unless you’ve fished with me however, I’m a master of finding mullet for reasons unknown. (ask any of my friends, Ive got mullet cred’s). If there were ever a need, lets just say “you know a guy” with a stellar mullet fishery. I’m talking big meaty bastards that would intimidate the North Korean navy on a good day. Now I’m just speculating this per-say but chalk this up to one of my hypothesis. I confidently believe the mullet are somewhat of a redfish spy, awkward I know.. but let me explain further. Generally the weaker species of any form of life find the need to become friends with the big, badass group on the block (in this example the redfish). The mullet have found a myriad of intelligent and mostly annoying way to ruin our presence on the water. Mullet move around like a bunch of sporadic idiots, at times even leaving their habitat to get a glimpse of the formidable enemy (the angler) and then relay information back to the king pins.
This day was no different although, I can’t even say with out a doubt I could confirm more than 3-4 redfish this day, and thats just a guess. We could have been seeing trout, possibly snook pushing off, but if you’ve ever watched a redfish swim off with the new intel from a pesky mullet spy, you’d know their swimming pattern. Large burst of power, a little glide action, random movement to the right or left and another large push until their out of sight or in deeper water.
After awhile we decided to simply poll around observing the surroundings while admiring the dedication and ferocity of the spy’s we decided to beach the skiff on a mud bar and just talk. We had several skiffs out in the ponds running around. We’re pretty sure one skiff was rocking around in the marsh as a couple peeked up above the mangroves and acted extremely suspicious. moments later an airboat blew past us (pun intended).. and hopped a bank into a secluded pond. With the days light fading we idled back to the ramp and relaxed enjoying the sun set from a skiff. I’m hoping this weekend we’ll search out new locations and assume our positions on the skiff as the apex predator amongst the marsh looking for a fight. In the end we’re just looking to release our opponent back to their corner for the next round and another “overtime story”.
Here’s to the weekend friends