Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Fishing in Mason Creek

We woke early and did our language lessons and ate the breakfast burritos that Mark made with eggs, boar sausage, onions, peppers and potatoes wrapped in flour tortillas and grilled.

I called Rex to wish him a happy birthday and update him on our trip. It is always good to chat with him.

Mark's shallow water kayak anchor

Mark and I ran into Strickland’s Convenient Store, a bait shop near the boat launch and bought three dozen live shrimp. The man at the shop warned to keep the shrimp in saltwater rather than the brackish water of the canals. Mary and Cindy walked the dogs in the neighborhood as we prepared a kayak for fishing. We left out in a kayak with Mark In the front and me in the back. We caught several fish, mostly catfish but one or two small redfish. I was impressed with the shallow water anchors that Mark had made for the kayaks. These poles were made of ¾ inch conduit with a metal spike to hold the kayak in the muddy bottom.

We came back to the house around noon and had sandwiches of deli ham and several varieties of corn, potato and plantain chips. We relaxed for a bit then prepared Mark’s boat for fishing.

Small Mangrove Snapper

We left the dock behind their house at 2 pm and started out toward the Gulf of Mexico. The tide was low, so we proceeded slowly in the shallow water. We hadn’t gone far when we felt that the boat had struck a rock. We knew that the prop had been damaged from the shaking that we felt. After we got in deeper water, we switched to the electric trolling motor and checked the prop on the 115-horsepower engine to find that large chunks of metal were missing from the aluminum propeller.

We fished in several areas and caught a number of fish including catfish, redfish, mangrove snappers and even a stingray. Although we sprayed with a natural insect repellent, we were bothered by biting flies, so we decided to end the trip.

Replacing the propeller

Before we started back, Mark backed the boat into a grassy. About the time we were backing into the spot, the trolling motor battery showed up as dead. We used a push pole to guide the boat to a spot where he could access the motor’s lower unit. Mark lowered the power poles which really helped to stabilize the boat while he worked on replacing the propeller.

Damaged propeller

Because Mark was prepared with all the tools and supplies needed for a propeller replacement the job was completed in just a few minutes. We continued to the house under power from the outboard motor and new propeller. We tied up at the dock and cleaned the boat from the fishing and prop replacement.

We came in for a dinner of pan-fried redfish with a garden salad that was excellent. Mark had caught the redfish before they came to Kentucky for the eclipse last week.

Cindy & Mary kayaking

After dinner, Mary and Cindy left in a kayak to watch the sunset from the bay. After we helped them launch, Mark and I walked the dogs through the neighborhood then came back to the house. As we waited for Mary and Cindy to return, Mark had a line in the canal with a live shrimp for bait. While the ladies were getting out of the kayak Mark briefly sat the fishing rod down and looked away. At that instant a fish got on the hook and pulled the fishing rod over a 4-foot-high railing and into the canal.

Once Mary and Cindy got the kayak unloaded and rinsed Mark and I threw a treble hook into the canal and snagged the line from his lost rod. We got the fishing rod out of the brackish canal water then started hand lining the end of the line. We pulled up a large tree branch with the line wrapped around and a catfish on the hook.

We released the catfish, untangled the lines and rinsed the saltwater from the fishing gear that had gone in the drink. We all had a good laugh over the incident then went in for showers and dessert of cake and ice cream.

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