GOYEN FISHIN': Bays healthy, loaded with game fish
Fishing, or should I say catching, keepable sized speckled trout has been above average when fishing the numerous bays between Port O'Connor and Port Aransas the past two weeks.
The bays are especially full of trout between 12 1/2-14 1/2 inches. It's encouraging to see the bays so healthy and full of these game fish.
I still haven't returned to my normal April game plan and that's fishing the Baffin Bay arena. Fishing has been so good for me in Rockport that it is hard to go any further south than Aransas Bay.
I've mentioned in some of my articles over the past years that one day I was going to write a book of all my adventures on the water.
There will be the chapter of being caught in bad weather, the alligator chapter, the shark chapter, the dolphin chapter, women using the restroom on the boat chapter along with many others. One chapter that will be very interesting is getting hooks out of customers.
I've had several encounters where the barb has disappeared in someone's face and arm but most of the hooks end up in some part of the fingers or hand.
"It finally happened!"
For the past 25 years I have been hanging my top water baits on the metal steel pipe that goes around my console. I install -inch heavy wall copper tubing insulation onto the chrome pipe. You can then hang all your hooks, jig-heads or top water baits directly onto this insulation. You can quickly change your lures without having to dig in your tackle box to find them again.
A few months ago, on a trip out of Rockport, we began to head back to fish a shell reef in Carlos Bay. The day was almost over as we slowly worked our way back to the pier.
After a calm morning the wind decided to blow above 25 mph in the afternoon. The water was rough as we headed through the Carlos Bay channel and, for some reason, David Kasper and John Williford were trying to sit on a two man seat with me trying to drive the boat in the middle of them. I felt like a piece of meat on a sandwich.
With rough conditions I hit the edge of a reef which jarred the boat. John reached up to grab the console and when he did a portion of a rusty hook from one of my top water baits went into the back of his hand. I slowed the boat down to get a better look and realized that the barb was not visible (not good).
Jack Fields was also on the boat with us. These three guys have been fishing with me for over 23 years. They were not only customers but were my friends. The first thing I said was we needed to head back to the pier so that you can get the hook cut out from a doctor.
There's a clinic in downtown Rockport. John said he wanted the hook out now. Some customers are wimps and some are not.
John was definitely not in the wimp category. The first thing I looked for and could not find was my dikes. This is a set of wire cutters that is important to have on the boat. By this time John had pushed the hook through the skin so that you could see the barb (amazing).
I took the pliers and tried to cut the end of the barb off, which didn't work. The next thing I said was that we needed to go to the doctor.
He said to get his pocket knife out of his pocket. All this time we were drifting across Carlos Bay in three foot waves so we were not very comfortable. Jack got John's knife out of John's pocket and asked him what he wanted with the knife. He wanted someone to cut the hook out. All three of us looked at John like he was crazy. We all declined.
But then he said, "Give me the knife."
"Oh well," Jack said as he held the hook with the pliers and John cut the hook out of his hand himself.
He never even flinched. Can you even believe that?
As I washed the boat later that day I knew that some of the blood was not from the fish but from John's hand. We headed back to the pier and John went to Twin Fountains Walk-In Clinic in downtown Rockport.
He went there to get a tetanus shot because of the rusted hook. He was fine. I have now taken all my top water baits off my console.
Even though this was a painful day on the water for John Williford, It was still another great adventure on the water, and be safe!
Captain Danny Goyen
Danny Goyen is an outdoor writer and speaker. He has been guiding on the Texas Coast for more than 25 years.