Clearwater Lake - Houston, Texas
Another morning at stupid a clock, we had just 3.5 hours sleep, as we had to check out of the hotel this morning. It was a 2 hour drive to Clear Lake Boat Ramp, Rob had to navigate from some written instructions, they got a little sketchy towards the end and we ended up on the wrong side of the bridge, but could see the guys on the other side of the water... we were an hour late, Rob had struggled to get packed and we ran out of petrol only 10 miles from the ramp, we also had the commuter traffic to contend with.
After going back over the bridge we drew up in the car park next to the ramp, Cameron and Marshall were there to greet us. Rob had decided not to come out with us, so Ian and I prepared our gear quickly and launched the Hobie Outbacks, I didn't take a lot of tackle, Keeton had very kindly given us a load of soft plastics for our outing, but Cameron had a bag of goodies as well, a spinner bait with a soft plastic shad on the bottom, we chucked the shad and replaced it with a Berkeley Gulp shad, that was one rod, the other we put a jig head with white shad with yellow tail.
Then we were off on our way to the flats.
There was a strong breeze blowing by the time we started our first drift down a tree and bush lined channel, Cameron went first and showed us the technique, throw, and jig quickly, whipping the rod, fine with his stubby little handled baitcasting rod, no good with my longer handle rod, I wasn't having fun.
Cameron hooked into a nice trout, he then lost a few, we were getting bites but not converting, these damn trout were a little pesky. Ian hooked in and was one trout up.
Cameron in his Hobie Revolution 11 and Marshall on his Hobie Pro Angler 12 were brilliant at lining up their drift and controlling the drift, Ian and I were all over the place.
After the first drift we headed over to another flat, didn't have much luck to start with, but moving over closer to a deep channel (waist deep) Ian hooked up into a very nice Red Fish, he was chuffed to bits. Then had some more trout. I was just getting loads of bites but finding the trout as tricky as mullet fishing.
The sun was up, it was hot but the wind was persistent and still causing us some issues on the drift. We headed over to the first channel and started to drift again, around half way down there was a drainage drift flowing into the channel, I cast to the middle of the concrete ditch, I let the bait lay there for a while then twitched it and let it lay, as I lifted the rod for the second time, bang, fish on, it put up a good battle and went under the Outback a couple of times, finally I got it to the net... at last!
Then it was back to the mouth of the channel, Marshall had been hammering the trout. He asked me if I'd had a trout yet, I said plenty of bites, but no hook up, he changed my lure to a Berkeley Bait, I've never believed in them before and told him so, he said it would work, first cast, a bite, then another and another, kept missing the hook up, bang finally, fishin on, it fought quite well, then to my surprise a catfish came to the surface, Marshall said not to handle it, he had a glove, thank god for that, I didn't fancy doing a Darnsarf and getting a spine through my finger.
The damn trout were being elusive. Lots more bites but still no hook up, the rod bent over and I had my first trout, it was a sand trout, same as the speckled but without the spots, same old fangs though and they like to grunt.
Marshall said the fish were starting to feed, how could he tell, sniff the air he said, the trout like to regurgitate the mullet they feed on and you can smell it in the air, trout puke, nice!
We carried on fishing, had a few more trout, Ian had a blue crab and a flounder for a couple of seconds.
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