Recently, I was lucky enough to spend a few days on the always beautiful Lower Laguna Madre or (LLM). It had been quite some time since I found myself this far south and was anxious to see what all the mother lagoon had in store. However, this wasn't your average fishing trip. Recently one of my friends proposed marriage to his longtime girlfriend, which of course calls for a boy's weekend out. A bachelor party. The setting was all perfect except for the weather. The old saying that my uncle always told me "Port Mansfield is where God made wind" held certain truth. But this didn't slow down the crew of good Ol' Boys, the solid cloud cover and steady winds were only a minor speed bump in a long weekend of fishing and fellowship.
Day 1 ended rather quickly only after a few short hours to check some areas scouted by google earth weeks prior. I hadn't previously fished this far north in the LLM. Catching expectations were low for the first outing this was more of just "going to take a look see". The terrain was all I had hoped for and more. Beautiful grass beds and pot holes, with endless flats as far as the eye could see. The redfish although found immediately proved to be a challenge, which is typical in gin clear flats. This was nothing some minor tackle adjustments couldn't fix.
The next morning my fishing partner Justin and I were both a bit groggy from all the "excitement" the night before, what a great time for a long boat ride into the wind, Ha! After what seemed to be an hour we finally arrived. The only problem was so had four other boats, typical when fishing well known fishy areas on a Saturday. I look left, look right, and said nope, were moving. At this time I proceeded to go into one of my slow roll till something looks right maneuvers. Only a few short minutes of cruising the opposite direction of the crowd and bingo! A long line of small islands had all the right ingredients water flow, bait, and most importantly not a boat in sight. I jumped up to the poling platform push pole in hand to look over "the field" as would a quarterback coming out of huddle. This is gunna be good I thought to myself, and it was. The only difficulty was the 15 knot wind to my back causing my skiff to not want to track very straight. Once the boat control was better managed by shifting some cooler weight further aft things started to take shape. We began to spot redfish around every island we passed and developed a pattern rather quickly. These sand camo redfish were much more difficult to spot than their mid-coast brothers, but after being busted 3 or 4 times we got the hang of it. After making several short pitches and landing multiple fish, I spotted a wake. 12 O' clock 100 yards, do you see it? Now mind you that this was probably a bit exaggerated but this fish was a looong ways out. My buddy didn't see it and we were moving fast with this wind, so I decided to take the shot from the rear platform. 100 yards quickly became 50 and I let one rip. The 7'3" Down South Custom spinning rod with 10lb braid sent a missile so far that I actually over shot the fish. Once clicked into gear I began steering the bait towards the large wake. When the two met I felt that ever so welcomed sensation at my rod tip. "Holy crap what a shot," Justin exclaimed! Holy crap was right. This was hands down the furthest I had ever thrown to a fish. When we got the red boat side something was quickly noticeable. The fish only had one eye, so cool! I had never seen this in person only heard of tall tales. We let patchy swim free and cast our eyes to the horizon looking for our next set of fishing grounds...