How To Stop A Red From Running?
You Take Away His Tennis Shoes!
Yeah, its that time of year again. The kids are back at school and the wife is slowly regaining her sanity! The Stros are making another pennant run. The damn air conditioner is only running ¾ quarters of the day instead of 24 hours. And youre able to go out to turn on the sprinklers without having to take a shower afterwards from the sweat dripping off your bud-lite body. The honey dos have been put off for another year. And like clockwork the Texas drought has been broken just before the farmers and ranchers were to receive their Government subsidies checks. In a few short weeks you should be able to put the lawnmower away for another year, and find some other chore your teenager is able to perform. The grass is stopped growing and the fire ants and weeds should be staking out their winter territories on your well-groomed lawn. Another football season should come and go without a local team to root for except the spiraling Dallas Cowboys. Another CCA tournament has come and gone without a trout or red being caught meeting the winner criteria.And as is the Texas fall tradition, the Redfish should be making their annual run to parts of the gulf unknown, or a least not well publicized.
So those anglers that are ahead of the game by now have called their long lost fishing buddies with beach house along of Texas beaches, preferably those near some of the many passes or jetties. They should have bought some new beach long rods and reels, with a few well-made lounge chair and rod holders as accessories. And long since scoped out some prime Redfish reality along our vast Texas beaches, those without buddies with condos at least put a deposit down for a weekend beach-house. Just like high school football players sweating on the practice field, the redfish are just waiting for temperatures to drop before making their migratory runs to the ocean. Anglers that salivate for this annually occurrence of spending their days fishing the passes and jetties, with nights spent sitting in lounge chairs with 15ft rods stuck in the sand, have been marking their calendars for the last couple of months. As the saying goes it doesnt get any better than catching reds all morning till your arms are about to fall off. Going to the house for a few brewskies and catching a couple of hours of football while frying up the days catch. Then only to sit out under a Texas starlit night and hang a few more bull reds just for good measure.
There is nothing quite like hearing that familiar spool of the line when something finally hits your pole. The feeling of the tug of a 30 pound test line that is stretched to it breaking point with the weight of a 40 inch plus red and an extra 20 pounds worth of lead streaking along the surf. The much anticipated feeling that you get when you finally get your quarry to within range of the 20 year old coleman lantern your father gave to you, only to realize if your fish has a distinctive spot on the tail or a mouth full of teeth. Those traditional antics of your fishing buddies that had a few beers too many when you came back from the jetties, now you must try and convince him that lippin a blacktip shark is how he lost his two fingers last year. And finally those traditional out of focus pictures of said fish and angler missing head photos that always seems to come back from the local drug store. Final proof to your love ones at home that you not only actually caught fish this fishing trip, but also polished off quite a few cases of beer in the process.
This is what fall fishing is all about. Good times with friends and a chance to hang a few bulls in the process on their way out to their winter grounds. A full moon on the horizon bouncing off a black mirror of water, with stars and oilrig lights sparkling in the distance. That old familiar sound of wave hitting the shoreline as your buddy upchucks behind the pickup. Those cool fall breezes that are almost but not quite forceful enough to keep those damn mosquitoes off you. The smell of croaker soaked hand with the faint hint of pork rinds and beer. The image of going forth into the moon light water to cast another bait with the theme of Jaws in the back of your mind. The sound of the reels as the line spools off the spindle only to realize your bait landed a hundred or so yards down the beach or as we like to refer to as another Budweiser cast. The old familiar feeling that you get as the water spills over your waders and you realize you are just a few feet too far to make that spectacular third sand bar cast. Where everything that you step on brings images of stingrays or sand sharks instead of the hermit crabs they truly are. And finally that old image of the sun on the horizon and children staring at you from a distance, realizing your fishing buddies and you all past out from too much surf fishing/ beer drinking the night before.
The fall Redfish run is all of this and more. Catching a 40 inch bull and fighting him for 20 minutes only to take his picture and return him to the surf to breed another generation is what makes this the ultimate fishing expedition. An arm weary and backbreaking fishing trip that once experienced will not be soon forgotten. Thus another Texas tradition that for those who have gone through will be passed down to future angler generations to come. Where like most fishing expeditions, timing and location plays a major part in the success. But when all the factors are in place, like they say it doesnt get any better than this!!!
So in the next couple of weeks do yourself a favor and head to a pass near you. Once the last of the trout have departed and hardhead and croaker become the catch of the day. When you break out the windbreakers instead of the sunscreen. When the spray from the boat gives your body a chill rather than stings your already blistered sunburn body. These will be some of the telltale signs that its time to put old Betsy up for another winter nap and dust off those old surf rods. Secure those lawn chairs in the shifting sands and bury those pvc pipes in the sand. Arm your line with lead weights embedded with octopus metal arms that will keep it in place during the strongest of tides. Cast your lines off onto the horizon and as that faint splash sounds off in the distance, settle back into your chair. Waiting for that familiar tug on the line as the fishing stories and cool ones are pasted around. Like many Texans know fall is for football and youll soon find out for Redfish also!!! Just remember to take pictures and enjoy the fight, then release them to spawn another generation for future anglers. After all that is their main purpose in life. Offering you a little enjoyment on a fall night is just their way of saying thanks!!!