Thinking back, I think about 3 of my top 5 fishing trips were in really bad weather, usually rain. Hard rain. Back when I used to fish bait occasionally, I had a day in June when the weatherman had it a little wrong and it started raining cats and dogs. Buckets of water were spilling off my bimini top and the bilge was pumping constantly. But the bite was off the hook. I recall being at the front of the Whaler trying to release a 30-ish inch red and hearing two rods in back peeling drag. It was a fire drill and at one point I tripped over the middle bench as I’m holding a bent rod.
Another day I had two good friends with me and a line of T storms filled in around us. We took cover in a covered dock pier (and almost got struck by lightning. The strike was about 200 feet away, bark landed near us and we could smell burning wood – yikes!). Since we knew it was going to be a while before it ended, we made a run back to the boat for beer and fishing rods while waiting it out. Well, we caught fish after fish, it was great. There is more to the story, but I will leave it at that. I will never forget that day!
This was another of those days. We have three days of rain forecast, and Christmas a few days away. My sister arrives from out of town tomorrow and I knew I would not be able to get out until at earliest next weekend. Forecast was light winds and steady rain. So, I layered up, put the rain suit on and hit the water. I’m not bothered by rain too much if dressed for it, but I don’t like lightning. Little chance of that this time of year. This time of year, when fishing solo, you should always wear a life jacket and use your kill switch lanyard. There are so many stories of fisherman drowning in the cold water when wearing a life jacket could have saved their life. Don’t be proud, do it for your family if for no other reason.
So anyway, I hit a few spots I haven’t fished in a while and caught two small trout and one decent one about 16 in. Then I decided to do some scouting. I tried a new creek and fished structure similar to other areas in other creeks that are productive. Things like: undercut banks, fallen trees, creek mouths, points, rocks, eddies. I did lose quite a few jigs in structure, not having the benefit of low-tide scouting this area, but the trout were there, and heavy trout at that! All of the trout I caught were over 15 in and I had three over 2.5 lbs. Mixed in the batch were several decent upper slot reds, one of which was leopard spotted.
The tide today was huge. The heavy north winds had pushed an extra foot of water inshore, and the predicted 6.5 high was really 7.5. Needless to say when the tide started out it was like whitewater rafting. This killed the bite so I left to seek fish elsewhere. When the tides are this strong, you will generally only catch fish when the water slows around high and low tide. I had a few cutoffs and a few fish here and there and the rain started getting heavier and heavier. I started to think about heading in when I saw a flash and rumble of thunder. On Dec 22nd! That sealed the deal, and I high-tailed it back to the landing. All fish were released. Water temp was 49-52F. Another great foul weather day of fishing! – Dave