In-laws, outlaws & birthdays

sub-title: Two Meat Tuesday: red and black drum
Took my requisite “birthday” fishing trip. No one seemed able to join, so fine, 30 days early, to all my fishing buddies? Screw you. Glad I’m not bitter about going alone. Or anything.

This poem was going through my head while I headed south.

Rockport Remainders
gun show
bay view
Bay View

On the road at zero dark thirty, on the water at 0935 hours, first cast, well, it was before 10 AM, and first fish? Look and see – from that first cast:


Good, old Ron. Not enough superlatives can describe the experience with almost every cast catching a fish. That first cast and a big red with it? And then, every cast after that? Cut bait, crab, live shrimp, dead shrimp, and one good for all the Black Drum?

“Here, put this on, HEB Shrimp. See; they’ve been shelled and de-veined; fish love ’em.”

We took one short run across the bay, passing one shrimp trawler with its nets in the water. So that HEB shrimp, it was dredged up from here, shipped to shore, treated, gutted, and shelled like a pecan, only to wind up in the same water again?

That grocery store shrimp? Worked rather well on rat reds (undersized) and black drums. The black drums were coming right at fifteen or sixteen inches in length. The first couple, we tossed them in the live well, with the shrimp. It was looking like there was going to be a limit on those fish early. I was just wondering, if they’re in the live well with the shrimp, and then they eat the shrimp, is that like a stuffed fish?

To be sure, within the first hour or so, I limited out on Redfish. Big ones. Over twenty-four inches, healthy and strapping. Monsters, and ever so much fun.

The Black Drum have a huge “shoulder,” and even the small ones can give a tremendous fight. Less of a runner and more like a “tugger” be my appellation. Huge, big fun. We drifted about 50 meters south and kept on hitting the big fish.

Probably had close to a dozen keeper Big Reds, a couple runners, and blue crab, catfish, the aforementioned black drum, and at least one lone (sea) speckled trout.

At least twice, that I can recall, there was that high keening of the fishing line, the drag on the reel screaming, and the pole bent over, while another big red made a run for it, still hooked and the struggle was magical. That keening, that sound of wind and taut fishing line, against the drag as the fish starts to wear out, it’s pure heaven.


Stringer

About the author: Born and raised in a small town in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel spent years honing his craft in trailer park in South Austin. He hates writing about himself in third person.

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