You can always tell when someone is cleaning fish. The American white pelicans come gliding in and dominate the space below the fish cleaning station as the smaller brown pelicans take up room on the edge. Some even land next to you on the railing in the hopes of a piece of fish. Meanwhile gulls hover overhead waiting to grab a fillet carelessly left unguarded.
The weather finally warmed and with low winds Renita and I decided to kayak and fish a favorite spot along the sailboat channel. Last year we had a great day catching beautiful black and red drum. Renita had out fished me then, but it hadn’t been a big deal as it’s always great to watch her set the hook and fight in a nice one.
Launching nearby, it was a short paddle and soon after we anchored I had a nineteen inch redfish, (an undersized fish called a rat red), on my line. Two more casts and two more small reds, fun to catch but we were hoping for at least one keeper for dinner.
Other fisherman arrived, a little blue heron, a white heron, dolphins, and another boat. Everyone was catching fish and the other boat put on a seminar as they caught four keepers in as many casts. Watching closely I saw that they were peeling their shrimp and when we did likewise the fish returned to our lines.
Renita soon hooked and landed a nice black drum and now with dinner assured it was time to relax. More rat reds bit and we had fun, even though we released them all. Too many people here think that fishing is only good when you catch a limit of keepers, killing every fish. For us catching any size fish is fun.
Don’t get me wrong as there is nothing wrong with catching and keeping a legal limit. It’s really the same thing as the salmon harvest that goes on each year in Alaska. In the summer we release all of the cutthroats we catch but defiantly keep the kokenee salmon.
The fish moved on and so we paddled back to the truck. There’s nothing like a day of fishing, birding, dolphin watching, and of course time together, as every day is a blessing. It’s why we winter on the Gulf Coast instead of in the desert. Clear skies