The last 4 months has been the most consistent fishing I’ve had in 30 plus years. Every trip has produced limits of quality fish, or we’ve left the fish biting because we had plenty.
It started in early December with a trip with Jonathan Allen, and his dad, Leonard. We limited on trout, caught 4 slot redfish, and I caught an over-slot redfish that was fatter than your average NFL nose tackle. It continued through Christmas break with an epic trip with my brother in law, Greg Dasher, and Captain Brent Lyons, where we caught over 200 trout to 27”, and several redfish – highlighted by a 40” tank that Brent caught in just two feet of water.
In January we were a fishing version of Dumb and Dumber. Nick Crawford, Wayne Thompson, Jonathan Allen and myself, fished a January day that started at 38 degrees, with a small craft advisory (25-30 MPH North winds), and a water temperature straight from Antarctica. Why would we fish on a day with such miserable conditions? I guess it was the challenge factor, and we succeeded. If you can catch fish when you’re drifting faster than Usain Bolt, then you’ve really accomplished something – at least that’s what we told ourselves after we finally thawed out.
February continued the pattern, and on my most recent March trip with Lee Black, and Captain Lyons, we went for the Triple Crown of March Big Bend near shore fishing. We caught sheepshead until we decided we had enough (up to 7.5lbs), left them biting, and went after trout. We caught trout to 6lbs (up to 25”), left them biting, and went after redfish. The water was finally warm enough for us to catch several, and Lee capped the day with a beautiful 24” redfish on a spoon.
Why have these last several months been so successful?
If you watch National Geographic’s Wicked Tuna, “information” was the theme on a recent episode. Who has the best contacts? Who do you trust? What do you do with that information?
In an ideal world, I’d have enough money where I could fish every day. Well, that won’t happen for another 28.7 years (by my latest calculation). I’ll probably be broke from paying for two weddings at that point anyways, so, we’ll go with 2050 to be safe.
So, until then, it’s all about information. The best fishermen didn’t all of a sudden turn into gurus overnight. They put crazy hours into their craft. They observe things weekend warriors would never see, they practice, they experiment, they take notes, and they study the fish.
I recently saw a special on the life of Jose Wejebe (host of the Spanish Fly). He died tragically last year in a plane crash. He had an infectious personality, loved his craft, and was incredible on television, but most importantly the man knew how to fish. It was like he had a sixth sense. There was a segment with his daughter, Krissy Wejebe, and she was going through his possessions. She showed his journal, and it was filled with so much detail it read like a George R. R. Martin novel.
What does this mean to those of that simply love to fish, and go when we can? It means, start keeping a journal, even if it’s basic and brief.
Note to self: Start a journal.
Here’s what I do before, and after every trip. I have a network of 5-6 fishermen I trust in our area, they’re in my “circle of trust”. How much do I trust them? I’ll actually text them GPS coordinates, and I know they won’t hit Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat within an hour. I tell them what I used, where I went, tides, observations, and they reciprocate.
I give them my information, they give me their information, and we all reap the rewards.
Tight lines and good information,
Rob Chapman IV