My wife, Kristen and I fished the latest leg of the LSKS (Lone Star Kayak Series) redfish tournament. I haven’t really spent much time in the marsh this summer chasing reds so we decided to hit one of our favorite places, Keith Lake, near Port Arthur.
The day started with a number of unfortunate events. First, I was just returning from a two day fishing trip in the PINS beach area. This left me exhausted so we got off to a bit of a late start. Second, along the way the road was closed so we got stuck in traffic. We were finally able to make a U-turn and look for a new route. Third, once we arrived we were greeted by an estimated 30 mph north wind (The forecast called for southern winds in the single digits) and a nasty lingering storm cloud. We sat in the truck and waited it out. Finally, around 7:15 we launched. This would not be the end of our unlucky events.
We fished the shoreline and then ran into a huge school of mullet and shad. The bait was being chased by predators of many species, but we weren’t able to entice a bite. There was one 3-4′ shark and a number of large alligator gar causing a major ruckus.
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We worked our way back into the marsh. I tried throwing a gulp swimming mullet along the grass and then switched to gulp shrimp under a popping cork neither seemed to work. I just wasn’t having any luck so I finally switched to my favorite top-water bait, a Pink Rapala Skitterwalk and this landed my first red of the day.
I continued working the grass-line with the Skitterwalk when the wind began to gust again and I saw a wall of rain heading our way. I worked my way out into the middle of a lake and staked out with the ease and remote ability of the Power Pole Micro Anchor. (I love this unit in the bay.) My wife huddled up in a feeble attempt to keep warm and dry. I sat the storm out and fan casted and immediately landed my second red.
I now had my two fish, all I had to do was upgrade. I continued working the grass-line until I found another area where the bait was school up and being harassed by predators. I worked this area for while and finally enticed a bit from these two guys.
Since these fish were about the same size I decided to move on looking for something a bit larger. Across the lake I heard and spotted what appeared to be a fish along the shoreline. I quickly pedaled over and began casting. It wasn’t long before I landed this nice fish.
This was a quality tournament fish. I needed another like it and time was running out.
I continued working the grass and landed two more slot reds. Neither would be upgrades.
Time ran out so I told my wife we had to head back. She was a bit disgruntled and maybe a bit angry as she didn’t catch any fish. I’m sure my friendly-good natured bantering probably didn’t help matters.
We quickly loaded up. I gave each fish it’s own cooler filled with water. Each cooler was supplied an conditioning oxygen tablet as well as their own aerator. We stopped at a store and put a bag of ice in each cooler, but the fish did not survive. (I would not be getting the half pound bonus.)
Along the way we were stuck in construction traffic. I thought for sure we would have plenty of time to spare but the clock was dwindling fast. I was becoming nervous. Finally, we popped out the other side of construction but the GPS said we would arrive two minutes after the deadline. There was no way I would miss the weigh-in by such a short margin. I may have broken a few traffic laws during the last few miles. I actually had lights and sirens flash me as I pulled into the parking lot (no ticket thank goodness). I stopped feet from the check in and made it to the table in the last possible second. (Whew!!!! Close one).
My two fish were a bit lighter than I had hoped only weighing a total of 11.6 lbs. This put me in 9th place (top 16 earning pay checks).
All in all it was a great day of fishing with my lovely wife. Plus, anytime you can get more than a double limit all on top water baits you should be happy.
Operationfish.com signing out,
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