The day I picked to fish, there wasn't much tidal movement and the weather was not ideal, scattered thunderstorms every morning. I kept it pretty casual, I ate breakfast, made coffee, packed a light lunch...that's casual by my standards! Didn't get moving until after I got the family set for hang'n on the beach while I was gone. When I made it to the water at 9, the weather was just getting kicked up. Clouds were building and the wind was swirling. Headed out...
An hour later, I was listening to ESPN on the radio waiting out the 1st round of storms. Everything was look'n good at 10:45, so back out I paddled. I must have had a big flashing sign on my head that read "this dude wants to cut you", b/c every red I saw spooked before I could lay the paddle down...seriously, reds that were 2 ponds over were bailing, like drunk drivers jumping from cars, at a sobriety check point. I started questioning everything I was doing, how I was fishing...what I needed to change. Redlining the brain function, it gave me my answer in one word, HAT!
|Today I ran across the Beach hat (left), fishing hat (right)|
I had left my fishing hat in the van! I'm not, or wasn't superstitious...I'm not sure now. I didn't head back right away, not wanting to believe it could be the big wide brim hat I was wearing. But another round of storms moved in. Having been in NWARK a few weeks prior, during this trip, when I guy was struck and killed by lightening on Beaver Lake.
|Got caught in the same lightening storms while I was in the Ozarks...it wasn't fun.|
I headed back to the van at the first sight of lightening. As it stood, I had caught exactly 2 reds. Easily my worst fishing trip in SELA. 30 minutes later, I headed back out for a 3rd time, armed with my fishing hat (not calling it lucky...just my fishing hat) and spinning gear. I decided to pack up the fly rod. With the wind, the clouds, and the schizophrenic reds, it just wasn't happening from a kayak.
|Tide is OUT!|
The little tidal fall that was going to happen, was due to arrive any minute. I had a feeling, that change would save the day, if anything could. I started to hear reds crashing bait...finally! The sweet sounds of feeding fish. It's amazing, I had crossed the same area 2 other times heading for refuge in the van, but on the 3rd trip back out...the fish had moved in.
At one point, I saw a group of reds swimming. Made a cast, hooked/netted a red. I watched as the group continued to circle the yak. So close, I could almost hear them hollering, "marco", waiting for the return "polo". Instead, I offered them the same gold spoon...near double on same bait. At times, it can be that good in SELA, especially if your wearing a fishing hat.
I fished the same area until 2, when I got the, "are you headed back yet", call from my wife. My response..."of course, I left 5 minutes ago" (what would you say). Dropped everything and started paddling! Make your own call about the hat...but I'm only fishing in my fishing hat. Lesson learned!