This post features three of the things I love (the first of whom I’ll meet this week in St. Paul): tiny little Georgia, Reid, and inland fishing from my kayak. If there was a photo or other mention of Ellen tucked in here, then you could round it up to four.
May 11, 2015
Ellen/Reid: Well, Reid, it looks like you’re going to have two adoring little nieces. But you’ve got to work on this infant holding thing. You didn’t look entirely comfortable. That’ll come with practice. Not that there’s a hint there.
I changed out the heavy brown comforter for a warm weather version last week and that’s when it dawned on me that I have no – zero – sense of style/decor. The lightweight one is robin egg blue and it clashes, to put it mildly, with the brown tones of the cherrywood bed and carpet. I need some guidance on such things. It kind of goes hand in hand with the utter lack of style in the first floor living room, and probably extends to my jeans and tees, too. But at this point what the hell. It is what it is.
I’m still sore this morning from a tough down-and-back day trip on Friday to fish near Charleston. I hit the road about 4 a.m. for the three hour-plus drive. The intent was to put in about 8 a.m. but got caught in some dead-stop traffic just north of Charleston which cost me most of an hour. A tropical storm loomed offshore and it pushed a heavy counterclockwise wind inland. It was very hard to paddle against, and a strong tide exacerbated things. It was everything I could do to make headway.
The guys at the put in point said the fishing would be slow, and they were right. Had a few bites early but then nothing for a few hours. So I roamed over to a huge grass flat that looked promising but didn’t see any tailing in a foot of water or so. Reid, I hit the barge about 2:30 and wasn’t there too long before a guy pulled up in his boat and anchored roughly where you sat when your big spot hit. Both of us were using cut mullet. His name was Jim, and he’s there with some frequency since he only lives a mile or so away and he had three lines in the water. He predicted we’d hit the fish quickly. But for the better part of another 60 minutes neither of us got anything other than a few nibbles, sheepshead most likely. He thought the pressure of the storm had an impact. When he learned I had some mud minnows, he suggested I ditch the mullet and hook the minnow through the upper lip about two feet below a bobber I had already rigged with a DOA shrimp and flip it toward shore in about a foot of water. Sure enough, the bobber went under and the line just stripped from the reel. What a sound/sensation that is. It felt like a spot from the get-go. About a 16 incher, just inside the slot. Onto the stringer it went although to be honest, there was a pang about letting it live. It was such a pretty fish. There were another couple strong strikes but nothing more came of it other than a minnow sacrificed for the sport. It wasn’t much later when a strong squall moved in and it rained like hell. It was a wrath of God rain and wind. Jim took off after offering to pull me in to the dock, but I declined to instead wait out the deluge. About 30 minutes later it stopped but there were no more fish. So I labored back to the marina, my fish in tow about 5 yards behind the boat. It takes about an hour to get the kayak back atop the car and everything hosed down with fresh water and stowed. The stringer was tied off to a rock as I prepped the boat for the car ride. The debate about a free/non-free fish didn’t last very long.
Since I’ve paid some pretty heavy dues on this and past trips, the red was hurriedly filleted it and frankly I didn’t do a very good job. But it went on ice and that was it. The little seedy restaurant next to the put in was open, and I changed clothes in the car and went up for a beer and some fried shrimp. The joint was packed with locals and was a lot of fun with good views of the waterway. If you guys ever come down this way, we’ll visit it. If you wear anything other than the aforementioned jeans and tees, you’ll be overdressed. But it made for a long, long day. I pulled into the garage about 12:45 a.m. and it took 30 minutes to unpack everything and stow the boat. I told myself this was the last time for such a jaunt. But the itch will return soon enough.