Thrashing Away

Back when I was in college, between studying and work, my fishing time and trips were limited, but this particular Saturday in mid June, my dad, Dub Middleton and I were cruising along the Houston Ship Channel, out in the middle of Galveston Bay, hoping to spot a flock of sea gulls hovering and splashing down into the water, a sure sign of speckled trout feeding on shrimp.  The specs push the shrimp toward the surface, the birds spot the shrimp dimpling the water and sweep in to pick up an easy meal and us fishermen, then cast into the feeding frenzy and tie into some monster specs.  Easy fishing if you can find the birds!

All of us saw this cabin cruiser wallowing along the ship channel, we hadn’t found any birds so far that morning, but we saw what looked like a flock hitting the water behind the far off boat.  Full speed ahead, we rushed toward the birds, and to our surprise, they were working right behind the cruiser and the occupants were thrashing the water with cane poles.  Funniest thing we ever saw, but we assumed they were fishing?

We didn’t see them catching any fish, so casting among the birds we tied into three nice ones.  After several waltzes around Dub’s boat, we iced them down, at least two pounders.  The folks fishing on the big boat never said a word to us, if it’d been me, I would’ve tried to run us off!  Casting back out, more strikes, until we boated eighteen, nice specs, almost filling our cooler!

This old picture shows the day’s catch of specs and is one of the first ever taken of fish we had caught.

With a good mess of fish, we moved on, the cruiser people were still thrashing away, fishing I guessed, but I never saw them catch a fish!