Thursday, March 03, 2011
A Day No Redfish Would Die
Color me happy.
Above, a likely redfish hangout. It has all the elements ... moving water, varying water depths, and oyster bars full of redfish prey.
Last week, Captain Denny and I went in search of new redfish spots. We took his backwater boat with it's welded metal hull and jetfoot outboard so we could scoot into the backcountry around Cedar Key.
It's like having an airboat without the annoying noise. This is a boat that is not afraid of oyster shells and skinny water.
Oyster bars attract reds because every oyster bar supports a huge population of small crabs which reds love to munch on.
Plus, there are usually small fish taking cover among the oysters too.
Here is just one of the many reds we landed that day. This one was caught by Denny and it has an unusual face for a red.
Here's a closer look.
That little dip in his profile is usually a symmetrical curve.
I don't know the reason for this, perhaps a reader does.
A few seatrout volunteered that day too. February is a closed season for seatrout here, so it was in no danger. We took a quick shot of it's working end before releasing it.
Now, you probably noticed the size difference between my young redfish and Denny's. I think he caught about two for every one I caught and all of his were bigger than mine.
This is our SOP.
He invites me to go fishing and then always outfishes me.
I hear the reverse is true for paying customers, so don't be afraid to hire him if you are planning to fish Cedar Key. You won't be sorry.
He is the fishiest guy I know ... if there are fish to be found, Denny can do it.
Legally, we could have each kept a red for the dinner table and they are pretty tasty, but it had been a spectacular day of wildly diverse marine habitats (this post is just the inshore bits), dolphins hunting, giant mixed flocks of white pelicans and cormorants, stingrays, trout, ospreys, and a bald eagle.
The day had been too perfect to end with cleaning a fish we didn't really need and the reds were so beautiful in the late afternoon light ... like burnished copper kettles.
It just wasn't the day for it and all of them were quickly released in good health.
Some days on the water, you are the predator and others, ... you just interact briefly and then go your separate ways.
It was that kind of day.