Well, today was a day that went off script. I followed up a tough day with a tougher day. Not sure what happened, but the wheels came off.
We found fish, Doug Ellis and guide Champ and me. Doug even got a couple to hand. I struggled and struggled and it just didn’t happen.
Fishing the ocean side flats I see some tailing fish about 120 yards away. I make may way slowly and stealthily in that direction, careful not to spook the fish. About a minute before I’m in casting range a shark or cuda hits a school of bones 50 yards away and the school I’m focused on panics and splits.
Guide Champ tells me to go down one side of a cut and then keep going. What I think he says is to go down the side of the cut and hook around the little sand bar. The bottom on this route is too soft. Almost every step sends me knee deep in mud. I keep going thinking it must get better if this is where Champ sent me, except it wasn’t where we sent me and it didn’t get better. I then realized I had to slog my way BACK OUT!
I suggest trolling the cuda popper on the fly rod at the end of the day. Champ agrees. One cuda explodes on the fly and, inexplicably, misses it. Another hits and stays on for about 5 seconds and then comes unbuttoned. Another misses the popper in the last 15 yards of the canal. Zero cudas on the fly today.
That’s just how it goes sometimes. That’s why they play the game.
Good news was conch fritters when we got back to the lodge and a trip to Deans Blue Hole, which was cool to see.
My fishing partner was great. Champ worked hard for us today. The fish just didn’t cooperate. I’m hoping for a better day tomorrow, our last full day here on Long Island.