WOODS, WINGS & WATER: Too much time to think about so little time
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We hear so much about this tide and that tide, but does it really matter? We add, subtract and divide to figure when the best current will flow through our bays, then we have to figure out if we can fish during this prime time.
Truth of the matter is, yes, we guides look at the tides, but it is not the determining factor of when and where to fish. Sure, it matters, but if there was a sure-fire guarantee of fish eating at one place at the same time, there wouldn't be enough room for all of us to fish that spot.
Guys who do it for a living, fish when given the opportunity - we go when our clients call. Sometimes we catch piles of fish, sometimes not, but when we get off the water we usually know the reasoning why we catch or didn't catch, and why or why not the fish were at a certain spot at that particular time.
Now that is about as clear as a 20-knot southwest wind blowing down Trinity Bay.
What I am saying is: fish. Quit trying to psychoanalyze everything. If you looked at every negative that could go wrong in a day you might never fish. Heck, you probably wouldn't even get out of bed.
We worry about the wind, we worry about the right moon and we worry about the water temperature.
Back before we had the wind, weather and tides at our fingertips with one click, we spent the night before icing up, making sandwiches and watching the local news just to make sure a named storm hadn't slipped up on us in the Gulf.
Getting reading for the trip was half of the fun. Nearly 20 years ago a pair of my dear friends along with my dad made a trip to New Orleans to board a float plane and head to the Chandeleur Islands. When we arrived, the guy running the show said the trip was cancelled because of the high winds and that he tried to call us before we left Mont Belvieu (before cell phones). We were bummed to say the least. But, you know, we still talk about the stunts and funny times we had on the 12-hour round trip ride, and we never took the rods out of the truck.
Now, we read reports, try to decipher the hidden meaning of "big bull reds at the jetty," look at the posted photos and the backdrop to try and get a hint at where the big catch was caught. Instead, you should be enjoying the time off, enjoying the company of your friends and enjoying another opportunity in the wild.
I guess I can understand to a degree. We work so hard and spend so much time indoors on the concrete and rarely have time for fun. So, when we finally are able to break free and breath fresh, undomesticated air, we want to make the most of it.
While we are sitting at our desks, thinking, hoping, surfing, we scrutinize the day in question and try to find reasons not to go. I have seen it more and more this year, especially from fellow captains who get a call the week of, or most of the time a few days before, cancelling the guided trip because the weather looks bad.
This is Texas ladies and gentlemen. The weather changes daily - hourly really.
One day this week the forecast called for stiff southerly winds.
My phone rang.
"What do you think, captain?"
"I think we are going," I said.
"Good enough for me," the caller responded.
The next morning winds were northeast at five knots, and redfish boiled on the surface for most of the morning.
Now, I believe, if I had given the caller a hint of a reason not to fish, he would have gladly accepted.
What I am trying to say is this: load up and fish.
I got another call the other day from a client asking me what I thought the weather would be like in three weeks when his trip was scheduled, because he had a lot of work to do.
No, I am not kidding.
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain (email@example.com).