One of the things that has been missing from our blog is a fishing story. That is no longer the case as the weather has finally cooperated. Wednesday the wind calmed down, the temperature warmed up, and it finally quit raining, so Renita and I decided to head out to one of our favorite spots.
As we reached the parking lot, we saw that the fishing pier was full of people! Not only that they were fishing where we liked to fish. Still, we were able to find a spot. Baiting our hooks with live shrimp, we watched as others caught fish after fish and soon Renita had a nice one on, a nineteen -inch sheepshead, (for our freshwater friends this is an ocean fish. It fights like a bluegill, but her fish was about four pounds).
It was my turn next but after netting the fish I goofed up and let the fish jump from the net into the water. I finally caught another one and added it to the stringer. Our stringer was away from everyone and so as I fumbled with the fish a fisherman ran over to me and said, “Your wife has a big fish on and needs help!”
It turns out she had yelled for help, but I had removed my hearing aids and didn’t hear her. The fish had made a run under the pier and was on the other side. Her drag was set light and she could not gain any line. Now I thought it was a big sheepshead but when she finally got it to the net it turned out to be a large black drum!
Measuring the large fish, it was 29.5 inches, we were able to keep it as the slot limit here is 20-30 inches in length. It is the largest black drum she has ever caught! She fought it expertly and managed to keep it from wrapping around the barnacle encrusted pilings. Well done!
We weren’t the only ones catching fish, others were also catching sheepshead, and speckled trout. One lady was catching trout on almost every cast. I put a jig on and caught several myself, but they were sixteen and a half inches in length, (the slot size here is seventeen to twenty-three inches) so we returned them to the water.
Meanwhile Renita caught another keeper sheepshead and missed several more. I also missed and lost fish, I think I had too large a hook. To add to our problems, I had left all the leaders I had tied up back at the rv park.
The fish finally quit biting, it was a good thing, as our bucket was barely large enough for our five keepers. It had been a crazy two hours and we were out of bait, (we had only bought a pint of live shrimp).
Not far from us another group caught and landed a forty plus inch black drum, (probably a forty five pound fish). It was a huge fish and they released it after they took pictures. The oversize fish are the spawing population and you can only keep one over fifty-four inches).
After cleaning our fish, the final question was how to cook them for dinner. Should we coat them with beer batter, sauté them in a lemon cream sauce, or bake them in a parmesan crusted coating?
This time beer batter won out. The fish were so large that we only cooked one sheepshead, two fillets, and we could barely eat all of that! Clear skies
She has caught larger redfish, a thirty inch walleye, and a forty inch northern, but this was her largest black drum. I can't wait to see what happens when she hooks into a giant black drum while in her kayak, (we always put out our anchors to keep from being drug out to sea!