Seesaw weather tougher on fishermen
While talking with Gary Stelly last week just before recording his weekly fishing show on KOGT, he asked how the recent “seesaw” weather conditions were affecting the local fishing. Other than the fact that temperatures below forty degrees usually make it more miserable for the fisherman than the fish, the answer was “Not much.”
Unwilling to deal with the cold the morning after Christmas, I spent the day cleaning up lures, changing hooks and prioritizing confidence baits for stalking finicky sow trout over the next two months. I was pleased that it turned out as cold as forecasted and even more pleased with the forecast for the following day. It was supposed to warm up throughout the day with scattered showers moving in during the late afternoon.
When my party met me at the landing at 6:45 Thursday morning, however, it was 31 degrees, the deck of the boat was iced over, and there was just enough water left in the bayou to launch .So much for the warming trend!
We found any number of good reasons not to get in a hurry and finally made our first frigid cast following a slow bone chilling ride an hour later. My first cast with a River 2 Sea Biggie crankbait was ambushed by a slot red that had apparently been awaiting our arrival. By the time I had some feeling in my finger tips, we were already limited and catching and releasing.
The larger trout were reluctant to do their thing, but my clients for the day were more than happy with the non-stop redfish action and there was no reason to look for anything better. By mid-morning it was indeed warming up as predicted, but the cloud cover started to thicken a little ahead of schedule.
Two hours later it was drizzling, the wind was howling and I kept thinking about Gary’s “seesaw” description of the recent weather patterns. Even as the wind whipped across the cleaning table at the end of the trip it was warmer and tomorrow promised more of the same.
Three o’clock the following morning I was awakened by the sound of thunder and a driving rain. Unable to go back to sleep I made a pot of coffee and listened to the rain pelt the patio door. I left the house in my Frogg Toggs, but didn’t launch the boat as I was sure we would cancel the trip.
Russell Harrison and his son and daughter were not going to allow a little precipitation to ruin their day, however, and we idled out of Adams bayou in a somewhat lighter, but steady rain. By the time we reached East Pass I had the hood on my jacket pulled down as tight as possible and the Harrisons were hiding behind anything big enough to deflect the stinging incoming pellets of rain.
The best part of running in a driving rain is finally stopping and this was no exception. I tied an H&H Swim Bait on William’s rod while Russell launched a Gulp shrimp that he already had tied on in the direction of the nearest shoreline. I was trying to find Leslie something warmer and at least a little drier than her poncho when Russell called for the net.
Two days in a row on opposite ends of the “seesaw” weather, the redfish were feeding like the end of time was near. While we caught fish after fish, Leslie only got wetter and wetter, but it was just warm enough to allow most of her body parts to partially function. She was enjoying the catching part, but it would only be a matter of time before soaking wet would lead to miserably cold.
She could not have been wetter had she fallen in by the time we discarded the useless poncho and I gave her two rain jackets that I found buried in a towel bag. She finally quit shaking and in spite of my warning that she wasn’t going to get a whole lot warmer, catching continued to take top priority.
Then, without warning, an already stiff west wind switched around to the north and just blasted its way through the Roseau cane lining the shore. I fought the troll motor as they continued to catch fish, but fish or no fish it was obvious that we had enjoyed all the fun we could stand….especially Leslie. We were on the wrong end of the “seesaw” and things were not going to change in our favor quickly enough.
I cleaned fish while the Harrison’s defrosted by the fireplace. Leslie had more clothes in the truck and eventually changed and warmed up, but had I been her I would have cried “Uncle” at some point much earlier!
It is more comfortable when you pick your days in “seesaw” weather, but above all else dress properly and respect the wind. The fish have to eat in even the worst of weather, but it’s hard to focus on the mission when your extremities are numb and you can’t stop shaking.
Remember……winter fishing is much more enjoyable when you’re not on the wrong end of the “seesaw!”
Pictured: Leslie earned this nice slot red!