I tried fishing two poles, one my usual slip bobber rig and the other a Carolina rig, (a slip sinker rig the same as used for walleye). However, the strong wind was blowing in one direction and the tide in another so all I ended up doing was getting both rigs crossed in the worst tangle I have had in quite a while.
Meanwhile Dave was adding to the fish on his stringer and they were bigger than my just legal black drum. Laying one pole aside and using the Carolina rig, I cast close to the oyster reef in really shallow water. Immediately I had a bite and missed it but on the next cast I hooked a nice keeper black drum. Another cast resulted in a missed fish and then I caught three redfish in a row. The last one was a twenty-two-inch fish and it was my first legal red of the year!
Dave had knocked on my door and asked if I wanted to go fishing. Even though there was a dense fog advisory, I said yes as I knew he would be cautious. After hooking up to his boat, we bought some live shrimp and discussed the options. Either we could launch by the bridge and fish the shoreline or we could go to the state park and try the old pier.
Either choice would let us stay in sight of land and so we first headed to Goose Island State Park, (Dave also has a good gps chart and fish finder). The good news was that the public fishing pier was being repaired, but the bad news was that the heavy equipment was pounding supports into place and the fish had disappeared. Still I managed to catch a legal black drum.
After an hour without any more bites, the fog lifted, and we were able to make a long run to one of Dave’s favorite spots. It’s a big oyster reef that sometimes holds fish and several years ago we had caught a nice limit of big legal-size black drum, (the black drum must be between fourteen and twenty-eight inches to keep). After anchoring the boat several times, we finally figured out where we could fish without being blown onto the reef.
He had made another wise decision and we spent the rest of the day adding to the stringer until we had our limit of ten black drum and on redfish. Now it was time to head back, show off the fish and clean them.
Black drum are ne of my favorite fish to eat and the white and brown pelicans swam below the cleaning station fighting for any scraps, (the white pelican will even swallow the whole carcass and will swim away with the tail sticking out of their big beaks!
A great blue heron and an egret stood by as gulls flew overhead. You have to watch the fillets carefully as gulls will swoop down and steal a fillet if they get a chance, while the others will walk over and steal one from your cooler.
It is always a good day, whether or not you catch fish and, on the way, back we were rewarded with the sight of a pair of whooper cranes on the Blackjack Peninsula. So, the question now was black drum in a lemon/caper cream sauce, or parmesan crusted and lemon panko baked fillets?
Thanks Dave for the great day!