• Rob Baker

Spotted seatrout pays a visit

"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot."

Steven Wright

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."

Henry David Thoreau

After a month of getting skunked on multiple freshwater bass trips (hence no blog posts about fishing since the manatee encounter), working my regular job, and cleaning up after hurricane Irma, I was able to enjoy a few angling hours on the saltwater in Mosquito Lagoon while my daughter was volunteering at the zoo.

With unwavering concentration and patient jigging skill, I managed to hook a very pretty 10-inch spotted seatrout. I had several bites and tugs throughout the day, but this one bit the head and therefore the hook. I think she (I have no idea if it was a girl fish, but she was small and pretty so I'm making that assumption) had mercy on me and decided to allow herself to be hooked so I would continue this struggle beyond today. I can't imagine that a fish her size would normally try to eat a fish the size of my lure?!?

Unlike Mr. Thoreau, I am in this for the fish. All of those intangibles y'all think he is referring to - I have had those without the fishing, and have had them for some time. I added the rod and reel for the sole purpose of catching fish. Mostly I sit in my kayak like an idiot, though.

The lure I used all day (3-4 good nibbles and tugs with the 1 fish catch) was a green shad with a trailing yellow tail. The action of this lure was very life like. I used a 30lb braided line with a 10lb clear monofilament leader, with the line-to-line and line-to-hook knots tied directly. I used two 1/64 split shot weights to take the lure deep, and Carolina-rigged the hook to be weedless.

Green shad caught the seatrout.

I did have a another catch for the day, although it was not of phylum Chordata but of phylum Anthropoda. Can you guess? Yes, a crab. I think it was a fiddler crab, about twice the size of my hand. I knew that my lure was near the bottom, and perhaps hitting a rough patch and therefore bouncing and tugging a bit on the obstructions. Then I felt a tug, like a fish strike, but the line wasn't moving. Whatever it was, it wasn't letting go, but it wasn't running. I reeled it in. Just as the leader came into view I saw that it was a crab. I lowered it back down assuming that somehow my hook was in the thing, and I'd have to get it out, and I needed a moment to plan. After it saw me, it let go, thank you very much! My lure was chopped to bits. I hope he didn't actually eat any of it, the bag says this plastic causes cancer in California.

Plastic shad lure chopped up by fiddler crab.

Lastly, I did paddle near some sweet docile manatees today. They came toward me, and I high-tailed it out of there. It only took one manatee experience to evolve me.

Tight lines!

#fishingtactics #seatrout #crab

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