Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Birthday Fishin'

My sweet wife surprised me with a little fishing trip out to the Indian River. She didn't actually go fishing with me. She did, however, get some guys from work to plan a little excursion to selectively weed out the redfish population.

We went out to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and fished for Redfish and anything else that was unfortunate enough to snag our lines. This was my first time to Merritt Island. I've gone to the general area for an airshow and shuttle launches, but never to the Refuge. It was beautiful. There is a single-lane dirt road that snakes through the swampy areas. The water it is a large coastal swamp, so there are tons of wildlife. We saw some Rosetta spoonbills. There were tons of crabs and horseshoe crabs. We also saw a little gator. It was probably 5-6 feet long. Much smaller than the 11' 1" gator they trapped in the pond right next to Lake Hart. It's an occupational hazard.
We slowly worked our way down the road looking for tailing redfish. The water is very shallow, so when the redfish go after the bait fish, their tail fins often break the surface of the water. When we saw the bait fish moving, we got out, waded into the water and got our lines wet.

Mike was the first to catch a red. It was 25 inches and probably 7ish lbs.
I got in on the action by hooking a decent spotted sea trout.

Then, while Mike was helping me filet my little trout, I noticed his rod was walking towards the water. I went down and grabbed the pole. Fortunately for me there was a nice redfish on the other end of the line. These fish are a ton of fun to catch. They are hard swimmers and put up a pretty good fight. Despite his efforts, he succumbed to my superior strength and intellect...yep, I outwitted and outmuscled a little fish. Cheers all around!