So in between a few days off and bad weather forecasts I made it out to West Cove for the first time. My sleep deprived brain had me up and in the water well before 6am. Bad idea. The mosquitoes were horrendous and seemed to chuckle at my constant layering of Amber Romance. I wasn't able to stop paddling to make a cast without my eyelids getting ate up so I went back to my car to wait out the sunlight and for the bugs to get the hell out of town.
The forecast was decent and the weather was bipolar from the start of the day. Foggy, sunny, calm, windy. The morning hours passed while the gods of weather ran the gamut of combinations on the marsh. I paddled around the marsh areas and all the way through the canal prospecting blind for anything. The reds that were rolling on the surface didn't seem to want anything but to make a splash. The tide was coming up with a little help from the wind but I had hardly seen any signs of fish life until lunch time. I ate some snacks and tried to nap in the sun which is surprisingly comfortable in my cuda with the chair back and feet propped up on the center console.
I'm not sure if I did fall asleep but it was enough of a rest to recharge and get ready for round two. The sun was peaking out and I had drifted far enough down the marsh to get into some cleaner water. My morning doubt was broken when two reds were crashing a grassline eating small crabs or something. I threw them a LSU Hackberry Hustler and one took it right away. Skunk was off my back now.
The next bank I found was long, straight and completely sheltered. I saw some nervous water and a small school of redfish were crawling directly towards me. I put the hustler a few feet ahead of them and gave it a few bumps when they got to it and one of them smashed it right away. He ran like hell and spit the hook at me after about ten seconds. As I reeled it in another red came up and ate it then put the foot on the gas and proceeded to spit it out as well. Two lost fish in one cast is pretty impressive. It seemed like it was on for the next few hours. All my fish were sight casted and they were holding tight on the banks. I had a decent sized black drum getting lazy and swimming about 8 feet from my boat and he let me get a quick little flip to him and he ate. It's my first big ugly from my kayak and I was excited when I saw the take but only slightly disappointed in the fight. They would have you believe they are tough and strong but he laid up on his side or in neutral most of the time.
The only fish I didn't really mean to catch was my last red for the day and he came up and smashed my bait just a second before I picked it up out of the water to recast. He was a healthy red and opened up the hook on my rattler. All the fish today were caught on the same LSU plastic. Dark was the name of the game and topwaters, white plastic, and rat-l traps were all ineffective.
After this fish I moved out of the nice water I'd found inadvertently and got lost trying to find my way back to the hot spot. I was whooped and getting sloppy with my casts and decided to pack it in. 4 reds and a black drum saved my day and I paddled back. I'm a little short on pictures today but made up for it with some killer GoPro footage. West cove is a great fishery and much closer than a lot of my favorite places to the east. It will see me again soon.