The Pumpkin Patch

By: Caitlyn Gatrell

Fishing down in the Ten Thousand Islands always calls for a good time, whether it’s the nice weather or the beautiful fish that we catch down here. I find that summer to fall, produces great fishing, especially for red fish, giving us a chance to get our hands on these beautiful creatures. Typically, we plan our trips looking for that higher outgoing tide on a warm clear day, usually always proving to be some of our best fishing trips. One of my favorite reds came on a day just as perfect as described. With the mid-morning sun and clear skies, we stopped by some local islands, cast netting schools of mullet that swam by. Size matters, as we usually look for the medium to larger ones to get those bigger fish on the line. After getting a good portion of bait, we made our way around some patches of mangroves, trolling around and throwing live mullet at every stump, branch, and structure we saw, just waiting for that perfect bite. I actually caught quite a few reds that day, but this one was the best for sure. After casting around a few spots, catching some smaller ones and letting them go back, I was able to get a bigger one on the line. It seemed within a few seconds my mullet that was sinking down near a large underwater tree branch must have been inhaled as my rod yanked down and my drag started screaming. I tightened down a bit and was able to pull it out enough to notice it was a red. As it came close to the boat it gave a strong tail whip and took off down the mangrove line. I continued to bring this fish in quickly due to the excitement but carefully to avoid any line tension. Once I got her in, we snapped a few pictures and gave a safe release, watching her swim back down into the murky waters, ready to grab the next mullet!

Caitlyn Gatrell

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