Mansfield, Fish, and Blue Hats......... Day One - 2CoolFishing
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:58 AM   #1
gatorbait
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Mansfield, Fish, and Blue Hats......... Day One

Finally got on the road with our much anticipated Mansfield trip with Capt. McBride. Mike and Trisha were kind enough to donate this trip for auction back in the summer and my buddies were kind enough to buy the auction and then invite me to go. For two weeks we have been buying, cleaning, and preparing like Jericho was just around the corner. And Sunday could not come soon enough for our coworkers and families. They were just plain sick of hearing about it. lol So sunday afternoon we loaded up a fine new '07 Z71 Subarban and headed south, with big fish on the brain.

Trip down was brutal, 4 guys in one vehicle makes for some serious smack. And there was no lack of it as I do believe we would have raised the ratings for Jerry Springer quicker than a trailer park full of crackhead little people with fetishes. I couldnt tell the difference 'tween a cow and a horse, Victoria or Refugio; Wishin4fishin became the self proclaimed master of smack, and lunchkit couldnt tie a knot or tell the difference between Sugarland and Robstown . lol Fishnut stayed quiet for a while but by Victoria he had joined in and we had to hurry up and arrive before someone had to pull the car over and a WWE Smackdown was gonna go down on the side of the road.

Pulled into Mansfield around dusk and made a beeline for Capt. Mike's place. We pulled in not sure if we were in Mansfield or the YO Ranch. Freakin deer all over the place. Ive seen the deer in Mansfield before but there seemed to be more now, and the bucks were none too shy. We had a beautiful young 8pt and 11pt lookin at us like we were invading their privacy. Made the traditional dinner at El Jefe's with Mike and Trish and discussed Mansfield politics, reports, and rumors for a few hours while we enjoyed the good food and better company. Hit the rack early for an early start and dreams of pigs crushing our baits.

Day one started off unexpectedly. We had prepared ourselves the night before for a gale as the weatherman predicted. And he was about as close to right as I am at guessing Anna Nicole's daughter's daddy. South 15-25 was more like a breeze from a dragon fly as it goes by. Not a breath of wind to start the day. We hit the first spot with great anticipation, after all we had been thinking of this first wade for about 6 months. So we all bailed as if the boat was on fire and we had gasoline skivvies on. Boy was it beautiful, something about slick calm water where you cant tell where it ends and the sky starts really warms your soul. Those first few breaths of salty air cured 6 months of stress, concrete and deadlines. The mullet were swirling around, pelicans were making bombing runs, and the graceful ospreys cirlced ahead. We were gonna put the hurt on em right out the gate. But someone forgot to tell the fish. lol We fished hard for about an hour and had a few swipes and near misses but nothing to show. So off we went, destinations unknown but optimism building. Pulled into the next spot, a place I remembered from a previous trip down there with the fine Capt and again we bailed. Our fearless leader made sure to give a brief sitrep before each excursion and we left knowing where to go and what to throw. The fish were here, had been, but it was our job to make em eat. We fanned out and made our charge, each watching our plugs and each other in anticipation of that first whip of a hookset. Low and behold it began, feeling that spine tingling thump of a fish who had been fooled, with escape on the mind. After that it was on, I believe we all began getting some action. We were so far apart it was hard to tell who was doing what but everyone seemed busy. I made a jaunt away froom the group after a discussion with the Capt. about a pair of ospreys working an area a few hundred yards away. I made a line for em and switched to my trusty Pearl Skitter, who had been so kind to me in the clear waters of Mansfield in the past. 2nd cast I just had a feeling when it hit the water, ever get that? Anyway, I gave it a twitch twitch and a swoosh swoosh and the tell tale toilet flush rang through the sky. Almost in disbelief I froze, and peered out to see my Skitter bobbing arround in a pool of foam. "Dang I missed!" was ringing through my ears along with a heartbeat that Im sure was heard in Padre. I waited a few seconds and then gave it another round of jingle jangle, and it was greeted with a silver specter on a drive by. My heart was poundng as I could see the silver beast swim by and almost snicker as she went by. Another twitch twitch and again she crossed by again just behind the bobbing plug, teasing my senses and giving me the shakes. With one last deep breath I gave it another twitch twitch and it was greeted with the bunker buster of all explosions. The water erupted in a spray of foam and Capt Mike let out an "Oh my God!" from his place 50 yds away. I almost fell over as she peeled drag and strained against my will. I had stood there so long waiting for this fish that I had sank to my shins in mud and as she pulled I almost went over into the drink. She did not fight long, she was a beautiful fish and I eased her back off to her home after a few pics and a kiss. She was a 26" 5.5 lber that was doing her best to look like a sand trout. Not very many spots at all, but beautiful none the less. Just a few hours into my trip I was complete. It wasnt a trophy, wasnt the prettiest fish, but she took more stress and fatigue out of me than a than a $2 dollar masseuse and a bottle of moonshine. After basking in the glow of the last moments events, making sure all saw what just happened, and consulting with our leader I went back at it. As our Capt walked away on my second cast it happened again, but this time there would be no fanfare or pre strikes. It was an all out assault and one of the biggest explosions I have ever seen or heard. I dont beleive Id be exaggerating if I said water spayed 3ft into the air. It stopped Capt Mike in his tracks as he whirled to watch. It was either a big red or the mother of all trout cause it was enormous and took off like a rocket. My record went to 1 and 1 as this time all I got was a bobbing skitter after a 5 second run. It came unbuttoned, and promised to haunt me for a very long time. We'll never know what it was but it sure cleaned the pipes out.

We spent another hour or so working this spot over with a few fish to show. I stood in that same area and casted and casted that trusty skitter, and she was blown up time and time again. Mostly redfish but a few trout in the mix. We headed back for the boat and made a run for our next spot, some of us wetter than others. You see, one of us(ahem lunchkit) had a problem getting into the boat and in one of the most memorable moments in time our ol buddy did a face plant into the water and did his best to get a mouthful of that South Texas Sea Spinach. Good job Harry, I only regret not having the camera ready. I give you a 7 for performance, 5 for degree of difficulty, but a 10 on the landing. Good job my friend, the check is in the mail. lol

We moved several more times throughout the day looking and searching. By mid day the winds showed up and it began honking from the South. And with the wind the water began to turn over and the grass began to build. Made for tough fishing but we still managed to catch fish, well, some of us. lol Everywhere we went the signs of fish glared the obvious, they were there but they wernt eating. We finally began heading back towards the dock. Making one last stop on the way in at a place that the Capt said was holding fish. After our pre-assault brief we hopped out, tired from a day of grinding, but still enough in the tank for what this spot might offer. We didnt get out of range of the hull slap of the boat when the guys started hooking up, corkies and tails seemed to be the trick as the fish here had decided to sit on the bottom and no amount af rattle was gonna bring em up to the top. Here Fishnut made a run, he went into the zone and began rocking back time and time again. I hate being the guy who stands there and watches the guy next to him whack em but I wasnt alone as we all watched as he had found the nitch. I even saw one frusterated fisherman go so far as to walk over to a buddy and start digging in his tackle bag on his belt as he fished. Now is that the mother of all potlickers or what? lol Sorry Scott, been there, done that. As the other guys began whackin solid fish Capt Mike walks up beside me and we began discussing the days events and changes for tomorrow when he rocks back. Didnt appear to be a big fish, came pretty much right in and we assumed it was a small red. As the fish got closer, remember we are less than 10ft apart, his tone changed. This small fish was growing as the distance between them shortened. By the time she got close we were all speaking in tongues and drooling at the sight. This small tick on the end of his line a few minutes ago, was now a big sow trout. He barely felt the bite it was so subtle but there was nothing subtle about her stature. As he wheeled her around and settled her down she conceded to the Boga and emerged from the water as an 8lber with a belly that rivaled mine. A gorgeous fish that was just picked right out from under me. lol Thsts just how close I came to finally getting over the hump. I probably would have never caught that fish but just knowing she was right there waiting on me as he walked up sends shivers down my spine. After a few quick pics she swam away, tired but healthy. After that the sun seemed to speed up so we headed in. A great day on the water full of memories, slime, and laughter. Just what the doctor ordered.

Back at the dock we all began to compare notes of results, what worked, what didnt, and who was the daily winner or uhhhh loser. When we left Houston we had stopped at a convenience store, you know, the ones that have turned into mini-malls with everything from Preperation H to Valentine's cards. Our partner lunchkit got this wild idea to buy this obnoxious baby blue hat that said Playboy on the side and had a Playboy bunny on the front. Whomever caught the least each day had to wear it to dinner each night. It was out there, but we all agreed to the bet since we were all fisherman and with the egos to match. None of us expected to be the one to have to go through the humilty of being a Playboy at dinner. lol Well, Day One's winner was Wishin4fishin and although it was probably eating him up inside worse than the 3lbs of Buck Sticks we ate on the way down he wore it with grace and humilty. WTG Scott, it was your color. lol

The day ended with a meal at the Fishermans Inn and we were home for bed. No one seemed as interested in shooting the breeze or watching TV tonight, it was a quick lights out as 12 hours on the water had drained everyone. Lights went out with anticipation of what tomorrow might bring. Day 2 to follow.

Z
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Last edited by gatorbait; 02-15-2007 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:01 AM   #2
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more pics from Day 1

Z
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:03 AM   #3
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Day one, a few more.

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Old 02-15-2007, 07:31 AM   #4
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EPIC!

Keep it coming.

BTW thanks for a great read.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:48 AM   #5
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sum green 4 a Great report and pics. Looks like you worked on your literary skills while U were recuperating. U R ready to give Bountyhunter and Walking Jack sum competition when it comes to writing. Congrats on the trip.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:50 AM   #6
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That is some kind of descriptive writing form you have. I felt like I was there, Great pix too. I can't wait to read day 2.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:51 AM   #7
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Great trip!
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:01 AM   #8
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Texasflag4 Great report great photos...

Except for one... what in the gosh is a 6'4" man (WEHMAN) doing wearing a pastel blue PLAYBOY HAT in Mansfield??? BUUUWHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Jode-
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:29 AM   #9
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great write up Z.......

I too have been potlicked by McRubberlips......twenty feet away from where I was working my top water, he potlicked and caught a pig.....

don't you just hate it when the guide catches the big fish?

lol
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:32 AM   #10
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The hat rules, Scott. Bwahahhahahah!!!!
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