This weekend I had an open schedule and no one to fill the empty spots on the boat. When I don't have a disabled veteran on board, I typically ask that whoever wants to go out at least help with gas and bait since trips for non-members come out of my pocket. I find this to be a bit of a deterrent for those just looking to get a free fishing trip. Don't get me wrong...I love taking people out, even when they can't assist, but if we stray too far from the path, it becomes a bad habit that will break the bank.
The morning started off really smooth. I'm not much for throwing a cast net, so I watched a few videos the previous night and decided I would give it my best shot, which resulted in about 15 finger mullets, 2 nice size shrimp and a baby croaker after about 10 casts. Obviously, I need more practice.
After heading towards the sound see if I could find some tarpon to feed my highly valued mullet to, the skies started to fill with ominous thunderheads and lightning could be see many miles off in the distance. Here I made the decision to fish a local creek known to produce trout and reds while throwing a few Berkley Gulp copper penny shrimp. As usual, the Berkley Gulp did not disappoint. Right away I picked off two puppy drums and a few speckled sea trout along an oyster bed.
Keeping an eye on the skies, I decided to relocate closer to the mouth of the river and hit a favorite trout spot. When I arrived, the tide had just started to come in, so I took it slowly as I traversed a shallow ledge to ensure I didn't push sand through the water pump on the lower unit. Once in the creek that I was headed for, I was able to set the spot lock on the Minn Kota Ulterra and sit in place while fishing the grassy edges on an increasing current. Unfortunately, the bite had shut off except for a few blue fish that would bite off the tails of my artificial baits. This led to a decision to fish the Salt Pond area along Wassabaw Island in search of a few reds. Still, the fish had no interest in what I was providing and the clouds offshore were rapidly heading southwest.
After checking to see if I should chance a trip across the sound to find some tarpon, my attention immediately went to a water spout that had quickly developed offshore. This was the first water spout I have ever seen and it lasted for quite a while. As I traversed the sound, I continued to watch the storm scene unfold to my right and saw two more funnel clouds develop. By the time I reached my destination, as you can tell by the photo, one of them had turned into a full blown water spout.
Confident I was out of harms way, I began to make my way up a creek known to harbor tarpon. I will say they did not disappoint and were putting on quite a show as they smashed bait along the edge to the creek. Unfortunately, they were not interested in the mullet that I was providing and I was unable to land one for photos.
The day provided a few fish for the dinner table, while I provided a free meal to many more smaller fish. I found a few more holes that I was not previously aware of and marked them for a future trip with clients. Although I did not have anyone on the boat, I was able to enjoy my favorite past time and spend time enjoying the beauty that God has provided us through our inshore rivers and creeks, but also his power through the storms that were passing through. This, more than anything else, puts my mind at ease and allows me to forget any stressors that I may be dealing with. Next time you need a mental getaway, look me up to schedule your inshore or near shore adventure.