How Not to Catch Redfish

How Not to Catch Redfish

Guest Blog by David Caprera

how not to catch redfish

Read this to learn how to avoid having to touch a slimy fish!

In the previous 588 chapters we looked at some of the more common ways to avoid catching redfish.  In this chapter we add several more unique and unusual approaches.

I kayaked five hours today in Mosquito Lagoon (starting at sunrise), eight yesterday, five hours the day before, and eight the day before that.  My body is whipped.  And stop me if you have heard this story, but three days ago I cut my finger on an oyster bar and today it is puffy, sore, and doesn’t have full mobility.  My doctor says I don’t have the marine bacteria thing, but I am taking no chances.  I plan to swig some bourbon later this evening and whack it off with a cleaver before it gives me any further problems.

The weatherman has no fucking clue.  Particularly when it comes to north versus south winds.  Answer: expect the wind to blow in the direction you plan to paddle – even if you plan to paddle in a figure 8!  But for the first time in the history of wind (see “The History of Wind, 1937, by John Blowme), I paddled out in a calm and came back with a quartering 10 knots.  Today was my lucky day.

So, how not to catch redfish.  One.  In dead calm with a tailing fish at 80 feet.  Fart.  No, not really.  But put down the paddle gently.  That was enough.  Blew him out of the ocean.

Two.  Set up on a tailer.  Look down for a second to pick up your rod.  Look up.  WHERE DO THEY GO? The SOB disappeared.

Three.  (Covered extensively in the first 588 chapters.) Paddle along slowly and watch carefully, in about a foot of water, until you run over a fish lying down in the grass and not moving. (In my best George C. Scott voice), “Gentlemen, you are redfish.  Honorable redfish do not hide down in the grass.  Honorable redfish get their butts up in the air like they are humping the Mona Lisa.  I expect you to be honorable at all times.  Dismissed.”

Where to fish?  First day I went up to the channels east of Oyster Bay.  They were damn near dry.  No water, no fish. Saw one in the bay – followed a black worm until he got to the boat.  Adios.

Second day I went to Orange Island.  There are creeks to the north that are good winter spots.  My honey hole had no less than three guides.  They were all staked out drowning bait.  Now understand, it took me about 80 minutes to paddle there from Cedar Island only to find I was fourth in line.  Gives “fishing with dynamite” a new name.  I did visit “the land of the giant rays.”  Won’t take a fly.  Need bait.  Next time they get served with butter, vinegar and capers. (Brine the wings for a day, then poach them to get rid of the skin and slime, then dust with flour and saute in butter.  Mmmmm good.)

Third day I did Cedar Island loop.  On the back side there was an oyster gatherer.  Talked to him.  And collected some oysters.  JB’s sell them shucked with hot sauce and lemon for $.50 each.  “Pay the man.”

Fourth day I went the reverse route to Orange Island.  When I got to the little channel, I was stuck again so I said “nuts” and turned around and went nature exploring.  But there were three guides in the same honey hole.  Water about three feet deep and off color.  They staked out and drowned bait.  Didn’t see any fish caught.

Dug for clams bare handed.  Got one big sea clam.  I was also attacked by the biggest blue crab on the planet. Previously starred in a Japanese nuclear sci-fi disaster movie.  Got two oysters and one common mud whelk.  Came back and made a tomato based chowder for one.  Flavorful but crunchy.  Also saw a weird fish on the flats – about a foot long and looked like a brown tadpole (big fat head and a tapering body.)  I snuck up behind it and tickled its belly.  It didn’t like that – or would not admit to liking it.  I am guessing a sea robin, but it was not a fish I could recognize.

So, in short, this is nirvana.  But we buy our dinner at Publix.


David Caprera is trying to adjust to life as a kayaking fly fisherman. He clearly misses Colorado.

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.

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