GOYEN' FISHIN': Another wild adventure on the water
It's good to be back talking about what I love to do most and that's fishing up and down the Texas Coast.
The last over-the-top good fishing along the Coastal Bend area was the week of the Offshore and Bay Division of the Poco Bueno Tournament.
That was the week that we had several days of rain, low pressure and high tides.
With several weeks of south and southwest winds, tides have been lower than normal, water clarity in many areas are muddy, and the barometer levels (high pressure) have been through the roof.
These conditions have made fishing inconsistent and tough. Being at the right place at the right time is crucial when these conditions are present.
High pressure makes the fish feel full even when they have an empty stomach.
Being at your favorite spot during a major feeding time will help you catch keepable fish when high pressure is upon us.
The only problem is this may be only 2-3 hours out of 24.
But things are looking up.
As you read this article, tides should be back up and winds should be down and out of the right direction.
I was fortunate to be on the water several days during the third week of July and experienced some of the best fishing since spring because of the extremely abnormal July high tides.
I would like to share a story about a trip taken on the last day of the July high tides.
My party and I had walked into a nice sized group of redfish on a protected shoreline the day before Dr. Curtis Krueger, Jeff Cano and John Gibbs were going to be on my boat.
That Friday night after my trip, I texted Curtis and asked him if he wouldn't mind wade fishing. I told him how we caught some nice redfish and trout on topwaters that morning and the only way to get to them was by wading.
He said what I hoped he would say.
"Whatever it takes, we can all wade."
I told him we needed to be on our pier early so that we could leave at dark.
The water was dead calm as they made it to my boat that was tied off at the end of my dad's well-lit pier.
They were surprisingly "frisky" after attending their 40th class reunion the night before.
Curtis, Jeff and John all graduated from Stroman High School 40 years ago and had continued to spend time together on different outings.
Today was no exception.
I handed each one of them a pink and chrome Super Spook Jr. For some reason, the color pink on any topwater had by far been the most effective color the past few weeks.
I made them tie the lure onto the end of their poles before we left the pier. I wanted all of us to be able to jump into the water as soon as possible once our boat reached the "Glory Hole" and not spend time rigging up.
After about a 22 minute boat ride we slowed down and idled up to the shoreline. The water was still slick and nervous mullet were jumping everywhere.
I pointed to a slough that fed into a lake and told them the target area was in front of that slough.
The power pole was finally down and the look on everyone's face looked like they were a kid fixing to enter a candy store with a pocket full of money.
I gave everyone a bait bucket and filled them full of croakers. We were going to throw topwaters first and then change to croakers after the sun came up.
We all got out of the boat and slowly waded toward the mouth of the slough. Dragging a bait bucket we could see redfish in front of us tailing and busting mullet.
It wasn't long before the topwater bait fooled a couple of undersized redfish. We were all lined up only about 20 yards apart when I noticed "something" heading towards Jeff.
That "something" was about a seven foot alligator.
This alligator was on a mission and that mission apparently was to have Jeff for breakfast.
I didn't take this alligator seriously at first. After fishing around the Aransas Wildlife Refuge most of my life, I see alligators all the time while wading, but they usually always swim away from you not towards you.
Alligators are usually aggressive in April but not July.
Jeff began hollering at the alligator but it kept coming. As it got closer the alligator raised its tail out of the water and actually started hissing.
We were all now within 25 yards of the gator but she still had her eyes on Jeff since he was the closest. The alligator just happened to be between us and the boat so we couldn't head to the boat.
We were blocked.
I began beating the water and started throwing croakers at it but could not distract it.
Finally I told Jeff to grab a hold of his bait bucket and put it in front of him so that the gator would bite the bait bucket instead of him. (Can you believe this?)
Then all of a sudden the alligator went under. The nightmare just got worse.
I wish I could have taken a picture of everyone's face when this happened.
Here we were standing in the water not knowing where this adamant beast was.
I said, "Get to the boat, now!" You can't run in knee deep
water because you might step on a stingaree but we made it faster than normal. We looked back and the alligator had come back up right where it had gone down.
I refused to let this gator win so we idled a good distance on the other side of the slough.
This time we were going from another direction. You could see the fish.
We knew they were there and started another wade.
Jeff hooked up first with a nice 23-inch redfish and Curtis followed with one just under 20 inches.
It was starting to happen until the alligator started coming at us from the other direction.
I gave in and let the gator have his slough.
We never made it to the Glory Hole because of the gator.
We then headed to several shell reefs that had been holding solid trout a few weeks earlier.
By about 2:00 p.m., we had 19 trout with several well over 20-inches.
By the way, I have been back to the same area where the alligator was and could not find her.
It was another great adventure on the water.
Danny Goyen is an outdoor writer and speaker. He has been guiding on the Texas Coast for over 26 years.