Pro Tip No. 128 is to always keep hair products on your boat. You never know when you may encounter the catch of a lifetime and you want to look your best in the selfie.
Case in point, a few evenings ago it was super windy and a bit cool. Not the best conditions for targeting trout with a top water lure. However, given the choice of doing yard work or going fishing, I selected the latter.
Without much preparation, I jumped in the boat and headed out. As I drove to my fishing spot, the sun was low on the horizon and I was struggling to see due to the glare on the water. About then I realized I had forgotten my hat. Shortly thereafter, I realized that I had left my top water lures at the dock.
Pro Tip No. 129 is to always prepare before going fishing. Pro Tip No. 130 is to always leave a bunch of stuff on the boat just in case you forget Pro Tip No. 129.
Pro Tip No. 130 saved the trip because I found a Zara Spook Junior (top water lure) in the Pathfinder’s tackle locker. After tying the lure on, I made a cast to a series of shallow oyster bars with deeper channels between them. Trout like to hang out in the channel and ambush baitfish that stray too far from the safety of the oyster bar.
Without a hat, the glare made it difficult to see the Zara Spook. Undeterred, I began a slow twitch, twitch, pause retrieve. When the lure hit the channel, I was startled by a huge explosion and dead weight at the end of my line. At first, I thought a trout had struck the lure and then gotten it stuck on the oyster bar. But then, my line started to move. Fish on and it was a big one. The battle was epic on 8-pound class spinning tackle. For several minutes, the outcome was in doubt. Eventually, a large redfish came to the boat.
After the hard-fought battle, the redfish was exhausted. So, I quickly took a selfie and began to revive it in the water. It took a few minutes for the big fish to regain its strength, but it healthily swam away.
For a few minutes, I just stood there and savored the moment. Then, it was time to look at the pictures.
Pro Tip No. 131 is to always look at the pictures before releasing the fish. Clearly, I had forgotten Pro Tip No. 128!