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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

Well, I had one last day to fish in Baffin before my long drive home. It'd been a great trip overall with me putting a buddy on a 9lb trout, another buddy loosing a personal best at his feet, and yet another friend loosing 2 topwater 8lbers, and I'd even caught an 8.5lb 28 incher... yet I hadn't caught what I was after.. a new personal best. I was feeling a little dejected and hopeless despite the success of the trip. ... feeling like I'd put everyone else on their PB.. but not me. Well, the last morning I decided to hit an area that I can fish with high winds happening. I'd checked the cove several times over the trip including the first day when I lost a nice fish. I'd checked it multiple times at mid day which seems to be when big fish pull into it. Nothing, nada, just a handful of dinks and rubber lips. But there had been bait there the night before so maybe a morning arrival would have some success. So I left the doc before anyone else and made my run across the bay in the dark and parked my rig a 100 yards down the shoreline. I grabbed an LED light for the bill of my cap and just as dawns silver light was just starting to break the eastern sky I grabbed my wade box and headed down the shoreline. Bobwhite quail called out at the sign of a new day was breaking. Unbelievably a doe was on the bank at the back of the cove as I approached quietly... the deer this time of year are much less skittish. She stood there as I turned on the GoPro and dropped the lure off the rod. As I pushed toward her fishing the back edge of the cove finger mullet scattered as prowling reds waked near them... it was quite literally 'perfect' it rarely goes off like this. I worked the back of the shallow cove with a whodini GrassWalker and the tide was out causing me not to reach the out edge of the grass even with long casts. I kept working small potholes and edges in the shallows and thought for sure I'd seen some tail popping up to my right.. I did. But what were they? Those were large tails. Tension build but cast after cast yielded only empty denied reel ins. I was almost through the cove and I saw a couple reds push and I cast to the area but they'd stopped and I'd lost site of their exact location, a mullet flicked by my lure, and my lure moved past a foot, another foot, then POP!!! sucked down in six inches of water she heads out toward deeper water. Fighting like a redfish she didn't peel drag fast but line was leaving the reel. The rod drummed back and forth with the pulsing of her tail; had to be a red... grass and moss hung from the line connecting us and that classic singing ensued as the line vibrated with the wind. As she neared me her tall dorsal raised and even in the early dawn light of amber and purples I could see a hint of gold in the clear water... yep, rubberlips. But she was nice at close to 28 inches and took a while to fight and it felt good to catch her on the GrassWalker, nothing else would have caught here in 6inches of water, half of that shoalgrass.

Surely there was more in the cove, everything was too perfect. It was still early and the sun wasnt up yet, I'd already worked the entire grass flat of the cove and thought I'd try a different offering along the edge of the grass as there really wasn't any floating. Tied on a FatBoy in coppertop that'd been good to me the day before with 8 keeper trout. My cast launched and arced throw the sky landing nearly 40 yards down just over the deeper part of the grass... I started a rhythmic walk of the FatBoy and slowly added a pause or two to make it a more enticing offering.. first cast nothing. Total blank.. "maybe that's all there was in the cove this morning was that one lousy redfish" I said to myself. Another cast launched outward, plop, twitch, twitch, pause, twitch, twitch, twitch, pause... thump... I rear back to set the hook and tightness formed a yearning line between us. Reel, Reel, Reel... and momentarily the line goes slack... my heart sink but I'm still reeling. Then heaviness again, and a wake, that was interrupted with a washtub foaming turn and lined sizzled from the reel much faster and more pronounced than the 28inch red that I'd just caught. Either a bigger red or a massive trout... but I still didn't know "Be a trout, be a trout, be trout' I whispered under my breath. She made several more runs each time peeling off 20 yards of line very fast and very strong, she swam differently than the red... so inside I was still hoping. She quartered toward the back of the cove and the shallow grass and the wake cut across the flat with only her black tail above and breaking the water... BLACK TAIL.. she's a TROUT!. The light was coming up now a bit more and I could see that there was no gold and it was a different set of fins on top. The first sight of spots I saw was along her dark olivegrey second dorsal fin. She was still not ready to come to hand. She hadn't jumped or tail walked like they usually do when the hooks find the back of the mouth. She turned on her side so I went for the mini boga I use... but she had other plans... she turned and headed away AGAIN with just shear strength. This time as she eased back to me I used the advantage of the shallow water to drag her up a little shallower where it gave me the advantage and she couldn't run again. miniboga jaws opened and clamped just inside the bottom lip I lifted her.. HEAVY... 9.25lbs @29 inches. Sorry for the crappy pictures but all I had was the Go Pro and I hate their photo taking ability. I'm buying a new camera for next year for individual big fish pics. Go Pro's shrink your catch.
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lastday redfish.jpg (31.44 KiB) Viewed 1408 times
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thanks for the report and photos Tobin
Congrats on your fine fish and personal best.

I think the TPWD big trout reg has made a big difference in the population of big sows, and it's only going to get better.
I think it also makes fishermen aware of the need to release those big girls.
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