The longer version

The longer version


August usually doesn’t always allow for an extended fishing trip, but this August has a benefit along with the myth of the Blue Moon. I managed to work in two trips, one with Bubba at Elephant Butte NM.

The second was a weekend getaway in Port A.

We ran north along the InterCoastal, to San Antonio Bay, named for the river that drains into it. Recent rains have freshened up the bay systems, and as we were running north, a brief summer rain passed over us. I looked up at the clouds, the rain spattering on me, after two years’ drought, and I muttered to the odd gods of weather, “Really?”

No, I didn’t want to stop and put the top up. The rain was over before my shirt was soaked all the way through. All portents suggested a hot day.

It was.

The searing summer, I was prepared. I took a long dip in sunscreen, and I had the weird, lifeguard lip balm with me. I’ve no idea where it came from, must be three or four years old, and it still works better on the water, in the summer. Old school with the white lips. Even after a day in my pocket, in the sun, though, the stuff was still reasonably solid because regular chap stick turns to liquid in similar conditions.

There was a flurry of activity, early on, in one spot, then an airboat seemed to chase the fish away. There was much surface action, indicating the the spot was holding fish, but no bent rods.

It was, seemed like, a slow start to the day. However, fishing rewards patience, and hunting Redfish rewards stealth. And live bait.

Caught ten, eleven fish, had two medium size reds in the box, plus a trout, and the next red was barley legal, so we dropped him in the live well. Then came the big one, and she was fun. Tagged out at over 30 inches, and fat? Big shoulder on her. There was a commotion around one of the lines, looked like a big red had toyed with the bait, and moments later, the bow line bent over with the drag singing in pain.

She came up to the surface and stayed there, fighting with all of her might. Brawny, golden-colored big red. She made a run, stretching out the line, and then, I would get her turned around. That was a worthy fish. I peeled off my new license’s “over 28” tag, and she was in the box.

That was an epic fish.

big red

One filet fed five of us, that night, fresh red and trout. The big one, cut that big shoulder up into steak-like servings, and the trout, plus the tail-end of the filet got sprinkled on homemade fish tacos.