A blue heron and a manatee watched us idle by. A cool breeze picked up as the sun crested the horizon. Blinking away tears as we reached the Indian River side, I realized how much I missed these flats. This is my favorite place on the planet.
We would “lazy” fish this morning, choosing to pitch crabs to some likely spots. Tom set the Rip Tide I-Pilot, to “Spot Lock”. This feature is like anchoring without the mess. The motor keeps you within a foot or so of the GPS position. We quickly chucked the baits and began to catch up. Tomis guiding more since he sold his Coastal Angler Magazine franchise. More time on the water is a good thing, especially as writer. He is also donating more time to Anglers for Conservation.
We were interrupted as the drag of a Daiwa spinning reel began to sing. The first run was surprisingly short. “Great…a dang sail cat,” I thought aloud as it began its second run. The red easily peeled off 75-yards of line. Three more runs and 10-minutes later, the fish was posing for photos.
The skies began to clear and the bite slowed. We decided to try the Mosquito Lagoon side of the canal. I could not help but admire the quality of his Maverick boat as we idled. Tom described the recent overhaul of his craft. The excellent workmanship showed from stem to stern. A Maverick, with a little love, can be the last boat you will need.
Fishing began again at a sandbar. There is something fishy about 18-inches of water falling off to 24-inches. On the flats, the subtle differences matter. Drags began to scream again. A long battle, photos, remove the Daiichi Circle Hook, and release, is a routine of love.A couple of redfish will turn your arms into “noodles”. How do you finish a morning like this? Lunch at Dixie Crossroads is a great idea. Succulent rock shrimp broiled to perfection, coleslaw, and cheese grits are “Wheaties” of tired anglers.
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