One Of Those Days

Up well before the sun, I loaded up my 13’ Boston Whaler, putted around to Louis’ Bait Camp And Caf, and bought me a pint of shrimp. Using the moonlight, 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.

Here, I’m going wading on another day for Specks. Note the stringer looped on my belt and my “sting ray protector” boots.

Anchoring the Whaler and slipping into the water, it’s always cool even in the middle of the summer, I looped the stringer on to a belt loop on my jeans, let out a lot of line on the stringer so my bait box, tied at the end of the line, 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 (I hoped), on it and 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 sand/shell bottom, I let fly with a long cast. I was using a standard popping cork rig, a live shrimp, a 7’ popping rod, with 15 pound, line on my Shimano. Popping the cork once I was rewarded with a solid hit and the fight was on. The Speck wallowed at the surface, made several short runs and soon, I grabbed it behind the gills, put my rod under my arm and added number one, a nice 3 pounder, to my stringer.

Before the sun was up and over the horizon, I had 5 Specks strung, when I noticed two teenagers wading out close to me. They knew what they were doing and quickly caught a Speck and because the fish were keeping me busy, I wasn’t paying attention to them. My last fish, number 10, the limit at the time, was another solid one and the splashing fight put on by the fish, caused the boys to stop and watch.

As I shuffled back to my boat, pulling the heavy stringer, I heard one of them say, “That old guy can really catch Specks!” I thought to myself, “Old, I’m barely 50!”