The first area we headed had nothing going on, so we move on. Mike is testing out some equipment mods along the way. We came to a set of lights that normally has some fish visible, but this night there was nothing. Then I noticed a shadow from the light and a few casts later I landed a rat red. So at least we know now that there are some fish present.
It was still a while before the tide should be moving so we moved off to another area. At the first light we do finally see a few fish swimming around and we both land a rat red. At the next light I see no fish, until a nice red comes up from below to snag my lure – I have a nice 21” red in the boat. This action has all been on a swim mullet on a small jig head.
The water was still calm and we still saw no obvious water movement of the dropping tide but there are some areas affected by wind. As we move along the canals I switch to a small jerk shad lure in Arkansas Shiner color. I do not normally throw a jerk shad in the lights but was curious how this would do in the darker color. I came upon a light where there were a couple of nice sized reds just sitting near the surface right above the light – not swimming around. I made a cast just to their left with the lure landing beyond the lighted area, planning to bring it past the these two. I let the lure sink a bit before retrieving, then – bam – a fish is on. After a bit of a battle I have a 22.5” red in the boat.
A short time later I landed another 21” red! But then the action slowed for a spell.
Moving along the canals we begin to see some schools of fish swimming around the lights. Mike ID’d these as mullet. They were fairly large, 7”-10” perhaps. At a location with a closely spaced pair of lights, a school was slowly circling the pair. I began to cast into and around the school to see how they would react. If I swam the lure through them they would just go around it, if I landed it on them they would scatter some but soon regroup. On the 3rd or 4th cast I get a strike and have a fish on! - soon getting a nice 19” spec in the boat. Mike said that he thought he had seen some specs swimming with the mullet, plus we have heard that specs may swim with mullet schools at times. I will certainly target these again in the future if they are there. I do not recall schools of fish this large in the lights.
Has anyone else seen specs associating with schools of mullet?
So, the dawn was soon upon us and we spent a bit of time fishing a cut and flats area outside the canal area to catch a morning bite. I landed a couple of small specs. Mike had caught a flounder while in the lights and got a couple more in the cut. He used the trip to evaluate some equipment issues and he also earned a big gold star during the trip! He can fill in the details.