We always check two things before we go out for a day on the water, the tide forecasts and the weather. The tide forecast tells us when the water is moving, (fish usually don’t bite when there is no movement). It also helps us to understand the water levels which are also affected by strong fronts which push water in and out of the bays.
A cold front had just passed through and we knew the water levels would be low. Not surprisingly the water was too low to reach the area we wanted to fish. However we did notice large brown muddy swirls as we frightened fish while entering the bay.
Anchoring the boat we decided to fish the swirls and it wasn’t long before Dave hooked a huge black drum. The water was really shallow so the fish could only fight using long hard runs, but Dave knew the tricks to battle this fish’s tactics.
Skillfully working the fish it finally grew tired and I was able to try to net the fish. Now the problem was that the fish was too big for the net! I was barely able to net some of the fish, just enough that using both hands I was able to just hoist the fish aboard. Lifting the fish the net broke in two and Dave held the fish up for a quick picture before he released it back into the bay.
Such giant brood fish are the future of the fishery and are not legal to keep. Usually these giant fish contain parasites they have acquired and wouldn’t be any good to eat anyway. It was a good release and the fish quickly swam away unharmed!
Oh and the fish was forty inches long, about forty pounds! Clear skies