Under The Lights

Continuing my initiation into the world of Speckled Trout fishing, a cold January afternoon, my Dad and I met Dave Miller, a good fishing friend, at a non descript, bait camp, near Matagorda, Texas, where the Colorado River empties into the Gulf of Mexico. We were going to fish for Specks at night under some bright flood lights.

This old picture shows some of the specs we caught that night

The principle was simple, the reflection of the lights on the water draws small fish and shrimp in to feed on the minute sea life and the abundance of small bait draws the larger predators, the Specks. The action can be fast and furious, and it was!

Starting about 8:30 PM, the three of us beat the water to a froth and to show for the effort, had only caught and released 4 small Specks. Dave and I choose to take a nap on the couches inside the bait camp and two hours later, my Dad woke both of us exclaiming, “Get up quick and come see all the fish!”

“All the fish” was right. The tide was coming in and with it, bringing in stained, almost sandy, water, and in the reflection of the large lights, the water was dimpled by hundreds of Specks slashing through the thousands of bait fish carried in with the tide!

Savoring the spectacle for maybe 5 seconds, our primal urges kicked in, and we began casting into the melee. Using a Tony Acetta #7, silver spoon, with a yellow buck tail attached, every one of my casts resulted in a solid strike and a spirited fight and a 1 to 2 pound Trout flopping on the dock.

This action continued for nearly 30 minutes. Then, the tide changed heading back out to the Gulf and with the water movement, the bait and predator fish followed. As hot as the action was, it was all over now. Nothing remained except for us to clean and ice down the fish, collect our tackle, bid adieu to the camp operator and start our two hour drive back to West University, a Houston suburb.

At the time, my family didn’t have a freezer, so all of our friends and relatives enjoyed the fish we happily gave to them