A New Opportunity

It was still dark when I got up, ate breakfast, loaded up my 13, foot Whaler, drove from my house in Bayou Vista around to Louis’ Bait Camp And Café, launched the boat and bought me a pint of shrimp. By the light of the moon, I cruised slowly down Highlands Bayou, across Jones Lake and followed the channel to the flats on the north side of Tiechman Point, near the mouth of Offats Bayou. Fishing around this spot in West Galveston Bay for over 30 years, navigating over in the dark wasn’t a problem.

Anchoring the Whaler, I slipped into the water, it’s always cool even in early summer, I looped the stringer on to the catch on my fishing belt letting out a lot of line on the stringer so my bait box, tied at the end, wouldn’t wrap around me and cause me to lose a good fish. The bait box would drift to my left, with the tide, that at the time was strong enough to keep the fish on it well away from me too!

The sun wasn’t up and with the light southeast wind to my back, waist deep and sliding my feet along the sandy, shell bottom, I let fly with a long cast, using a standard popping cork rig, a live shrimp, a 7’ popping rod, with 15 pound, line on my new, green reel. As the cast settled in, I popped the cork once and was rewarded with a solid hit and the fight was on. The speckled trout wallowed at the surface, made several short runs and soon I grabbed it behind the gills, put my rod under my arm and added my first trout, a nice 3 pounder, to my stringer.

Before the sun was up and over the horizon, I had 5 specs strung, when I noticed a couple of young fishermen wading out close to me. They knew what they were doing and quickly caught a trout, but because the fish were keeping me busy, I didn’t pay much attention to them. My last fish, number 10, the limit at the time, was another 3 pounder and the splashing fight put on by the fish, caused the boys to stop and watch.

As I shuffled back to the Whaler and pulled the heavy stringer up into the boat, I heard one of them say, “That old guy can really catch specs!” Thinking to myself, That’s the second time someone has said that about me! Perhaps my work is getting in the way of a new opportunity?