First a winner . . . and then a very fishy story!

THE WINNER:

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1

Timestamp: 2009-06-28 23:15:00 UTC

That means that Comment No. 1 is the winner of the cute little espresso coffee cups!  And that is Cammy.  Okay, Cammy, please email me your mailing address so Scott at Community Coffee can get these mailed to you this week!

Now, a fishy story.

It doesn’t happen every week, nor can I ever predict when it will, even though I’ve been fishing for a few years, keeping records, and studying tides, currents, winds, and water temps.  But once in a while, we hit it just right and the fish cooperate, and the action is non-stop.

This past week was just one of those weeks, at least for redfish (Sciaenops ocellatus) in one of my favorite spots to fish for them.  Before I go on with the story, how about a little redfish trivia?

A member of the drum family, the “red drum” range in color from a light golden color to a dark almost salmon color, depending on the water they inhabit.  Once considered a “trash” fish, and fished many years by commercial fishermen using gill nets, the redfish was fished almost to extinction as a result of a recipe created by Chef Paul Prudhomme called “blackened redfish”.  Now, gill nets have been banned and redfish have become one of the most sought-after Gulf Coast sport fishes around.  There is even a redfish circuit, much like the bass fishing circuit, and almost every fishing tournament has a redfish category.

And for those of you who watch Iron Chef America, redfish was a secret ingredient used by two of the competitors in an episode this past March.

It just so happens that the marshes here are teeming with the fantastically beautiful and strong fighting fish.  If you are vegan, please click away now, as the following photos may offend you.  If you are a sport fisher person, stay here, because the following photos are going to make you green with envy!

BB and sheephead

BB is one of the first women I had the honor of teaching to saltwater fish.  A trout was her first proud trophy several years ago.  But this time, I promised her she would catch a big red . . . but she got distracted by this big sheephead.  I’ve never heard anyone scream so loudly as she did when this fish took her bait.  I thought she was going to jump out of the boat with excitement!  This was the biggest fish she had ever caught in her life!

BB and her first red

but then she caught the promised big red . . .

BB and redand then she caught another . . .

BB and another redAs a matter of fact, on just two fishing trips, BB boated 10 keeper reds and left them biting each trip!  She will tell you it was worth every drop of sweat!

BB marsh fishingLater in the day, we tried a sunset trip.  We could see the fish swirling, but we could not get them to bite.  There were also five alligators in those waters near her.

Of course, she insisted on taking photos of me and my fish.  How do you think we got any fish caught with all these photos ops?

Little bassI caught this little bass early on . . . and I love how it blends with my shirt!

baby.speckAnd I caught an occassional unintentional baby trout.

BW and spotted redIn between, I caught some of these.  This one has 8 black spots rather than just the one on its tail.

BW reeling inBB insisted on taking this action shot . . .

BW big redwhich produced this nice red!

box.shotAnd what fishy story would be complete without the dreaded “box shot”?  That is what our ice chest looked like at the end of both mornings.  Even though we took photos, caught throw-backs, and changed lures, we managed to catch limits of reds in under two hours.  That, my friends, is what you call “red hot red fishing action”!

To be continued with Diane Huhn on board the Wetland Tooner!

Get your comments ready for this week’s Community Coffee prize!

Community CanisterComments from both days will be considered!

Until next time, I will be busy teaching teenagers about the wetlands and taking them out to tour!

BW

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Comments

First a winner . . . and then a very fishy story! — 28 Comments

  1. I hope y’all put some of those Reds on the grill. “On the Half Shell” is my favorite way to prepare Reds. BTW, I could really use a few of those for my freezer! I’d accept a Red as a prize substitution if you run low on Community Coffee products.

    P.S. I’m glad to see you look just as goofy as I do wearing your “sun” hat. LOL ! But Hey, I’d rather look goofy when fishing than end up with more scars from having to surgically remove more malignant skin cancers. We W,A.R.R. women will just have to make a different type of “Fashion statement”. Did you “lose” your long locks?

    • I think I look pretty “stylin” in my floppy ear hat! I just love the way it blows in the breeze when I’m running in the boat! No reds on the grill this week —- too **** hot! But it gave me great fulfillment to fillet them and share redfish fillets with 3 widow friends of mine. Just cleaned four more yesterday . . . and will freeze . . . you’re welcome to some!

  2. Would those teens be the from the same bunch you took out to plant grass in the marshes? I remember those poor, freezing, muddy and hapless kids but some wanted to do it again. Just wondering.

    You look like Steve Irwin in that hat. Would’ve been perfect if you’d been standing on the bank with BB and the 5 gators in the water where she was casting!

    Fish are beauties especially the red with 8 spots. Glad to see you having fun Cuz. You need it. Worry about you in the heat tho. You know me.

    • No, Katy. These are all the way from Seattle! They’ve been down repairing houses for the past week and today I get to educate them about why we flood so easily now. 12 kids and 2 teachers. Can’t wait!

  3. I can’t believe I won those cute cups! Those will look great with my china. Thanks Capt. Wendy and Scott!

    Looks like a good haul to me. Never had Red Fish but I would certainly try them if ever given the opportunity. I remember the Iron Chef show with them too. I love that show. The were cooking fish tonight also. Something I had never heard of. Is there a story about the “eye” or “spot” on their tail??
    My mom and her friend spent last Sunday fishing at Lake Tawakoni and hauled in some stripers and catfish. I was given 4 of the catsfish and they are in the freezer. Those fresh from the lake taste a whole lot better than those from fish farms. I just wish I still had one of my cast iron dutch ovens to fry them in. I can’t lift them easily any more so, I gave them to my brother. Guess I can use my big chicken fryer.
    Diane, good luck on your trip too.

    • Cammy, I always fry in my black iron dutch oven. A native American woman taught me a secret, too. She taught me to put the lid on the fish while frying, and when the steam stops coming out of the lid, they are done. She was right, too. She passed in 1998, but I guarantee you I think of her every time I fry fish! I’m sorry you had to give yours away, but any fry pot will work! And yes, the “black spot” is supposed to look like and eye and fool predators (like gators) into thinking they are striking the head thereby giving the red a chance to swim away! Good question!

  4. I wish I could have been along to hear BB scream! What a riot. I love redfish. I think about them all the time. I even dream about them. Can’t wait to fry some up for the family up north! But I really can’t wait to get back on the tooner and load up the cooler with a limit and another and another…

  5. Those redfish look great! We spent the weekend at the lake and I think all the guys really managed to do was drown a bunch of worms and left the fish alone, lol. It was too hot and there was a couple big bass tournaments on the water so the fishing wasn’t so good.

  6. Is that your Kevin Ford hat?

    Nicely done. I might get seriously depressed mid July and call about a trip.
    Leopard reds are way cool but not way scarce.

    • So, Blu, where you getting your spotted red stats from way up there in Chicagoland? Make your trip during the new moon and you might catch some reds for a change! LOL! Oh, and use the right gear and lures! LOL again! Are you smiling yet? No, it’s my Steffi Newman Hat!!!

      • What do the reds taste like? Anything like buffalo, drum or trout? My mom is half Cherokee and she fishes for all types. She likes to can the buffalo and drum. They remind me of salmon when canned. So, we grew up on all types of fish, frog legs, turtles, etc. Even garr which I do not really care for.

        I do have a huge pan of just shelled purple hulls & black eyed peas to either can or freeze tomorrow. A mess of them would sure go good with some fresh fish. Also, about a peck of fresh picked okra I need to make okra/tomato/onion gumbo from. Granddaughter wants me to pickle the smaller pods and fry the rest. I think fried catfish, okra gumbo and fresh peas w/cornbread sounds right tasty.

          • Well, it was too hot to light the oven for cornbread but, the rest of the meal was good! I added some fresh cucumbers, sliced onions, sliced tomatos and peppers from the garden. Only about a quart of peas left over. Those will go on the table Friday night.

              • Hubby says 145 miles +/-. He goes to Rustin about once every 6-8 weeks to deliver and pickup rollers that have to recovered for use in the paper recycling mill where he works.

                I am pure country but, love to live in the city. Spent nearly every weekend fishing, hunting, camping, etc. during the summer while I was growing up.

  7. You are sure them reds don’t like blue moons better. My shore fish buddy off Hwy one caught 4 reds in April, one had 2 spots and others had more. gear?
    My Revo rocks….

    • Blufloyd, Revo’s do rock but you only catch leopard redfish “once in (or on) a blue moon”. Pan fried is my favorite way to prepare redfish fillets. There are no spots on the meat! A hot skillet with a little butter will do the trick. Prepare the fillets with a little of your favorite seasonings and dredge them in seasoned breadcrumbs. Let the hot pan sear and crisp the breadcrumbs. Don’t over cook the fish and it will melt in you mouth. Melt a little butter for dipping and you have a gourmet meal fit for a cajun!!

  8. Hi, while my husband was still in his working years we went all over the country.We needed to travel light and the jars was too heavy to take with us. We discovered that you can “put up” figs in zip lock bags. usualy they were still frozen when we got to our next job but sometimes they were not. you can refreeze them.

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