Safety is no laughing matter
It is important that you know that we laughed hysterically only after we were certain that the individual standing waist deep in the mud and water was safe and uninjured.Since there was nothing we could do to help ease his heightened level of embarrassment …….we piled on!
After the second or third time we heard him yell, we eased around the next bend in the bayou to see what was going on.Only because I had made the same mistake many years ago did I immediately know what had happened.He was standing waist deep in the cold water with his cast net in one hand pointing toward his boat with the other.
Aside from being soaking wet and embarrassed, his most pressing problem lie in the fact that his nineteen foot bay boat was a hundred yards away and still leaving at a substantial pace.It was obviously still under power, but the big engine was not running.
I know this individual and, while I won’t mention his name that made it perfectly okay to laugh and give him a thumbs down as we idled past him in pursuit of his boat.By the time we were in position to crawl over into his boat it had wedged into the side of the bank and the troll motor was blowing mud and grass straight up in the air.
We gave him a dry towel and a Frogg Togg rain suit to help him warm up, but neither I or my clients offered to clean the mud splattered all over the front deck of his boat.He was appreciative nonetheless and thanked us more than once for responding to his muffled cries for help.Knowing him like I do, I feel certain that asking anyone for help was the last thing he wanted to do!
The high water had covered a normally exposed post and he bumped it while chasing a school of shad with the troll motor.Since it takes two hands to throw a cast net there were no hands on the troll motor and it kept going after he unexpectedly exited his boat.It could have been a whole lot worse.
Many years back I had the same thing happen to me while netting shad in the Outfall canal.Because of the close quarters the boat just ran up against the screen and I don’t think I was in the water long enough to even get wet.I didn’t spend much time over board knowing the resident gators were just one hungry lunge away.
As a matter of fact, the following week I installed Sure-foot off/on switches on the deck of my boat and every boat since.I had always had one on my bass boats, but had never seen much need for one a bay boat.The fact that the motor stops the second you take your foot off the switch is your insurance that your boat will not leave without you.
“Ladies…both Mothers and wives” ask your husband, son, brother or Dad if he has one or two of these simple life saving devices on his boat.Twenty bucks and the twenty minutes spent installing the switch could save his life.If your hands aren’t on the speed control……you can ‘turn it off without one of these switches.If he doesn’t have one it will be the best Christmas gift you will give him this year!
Last week’s front did little more than cool the water down a little bit.The marshes are still water leveled and we have lots of redfish and shrimp that have no reason to move to deeper water.Easily the biggest improvement in the fishing was that in spite of the wind we caught a better percentage of keeper trout under the gulls.
There were also a few more reds starting to mix with the smaller specks and sand trout.I have no doubt that those smaller fish were also on the menu for the indiscriminate reds.We caught two over twenty pounds last week and reds that size have usually left for the gulf by now.The folks fishing live bait have also been catching some huge drum in the river as well.
I had a client catch a forty pound plus drum last week and I know of at least three more big drum caught by anglers fishing near the DuPont Outfall.Capt. Belcher fished Mike Trahan and his guests last week and he said they had a big one wear them out as well.
We continue to do well with the Vudu shrimp rigged under a Cork, but our largest trout seem to be hitting Mirrolure’s Lil John on a more frequent basis.We initially did well dipping the tail of an opening night color with chartreuse dye, but have since done equally well with golden bream and chicken on both the reds and trout.
Hopefully, the wind will give us a break as we move into the weekend and the catching will only get better.
Photo: Andrea Jordan made her first red ever a good one!