As the day got closer though, the forecast for our charter date began to look better and better. For once the weatherman got it right, it was DEAD calm, and the Redfish took full advantage of the pristine conditions. The Laguna Madre was so alive this morning it really did appear to be a self-contained living organism all its own. And true to form, the natural order of the food chain was on full display for all to see.
Freddy and my 11-year-old son Jackson hatched a plan about 18 months ago to break as many of the youth fly caught state records as possible. Jackson has come close several times to breaking both the Redfish and Black Drum record, casting to and hooking several fish that would not only obliterate the current youth Redfish record but would have potentially pushed a couple of IGFA line class records as well. But, as he is finding out, chasing giants is a different game altogether, and requires a completely different level of patience, skill and mental discipline that can't be developed any other way than by putting in the hard mileage.Today was a huge step in his quest, as he cast to probably 10 fish in the 30lb plus class, which is well over double the size of the current State record. Two of those beasts actually ate the fly, but we're still refining the process and weren't able to stick 'em permanently.
Just seeing these giant Redfish on the feed is a sight to behold. It's one of those rare sights that while beautiful to watch, is also a reminder that the number of places where one can see this type of unadulterated interaction of predator and prey are dwindling fast. I am very thankful that one of those places is a mere two and a half hour drive from my office door, and that one of my best friends is probably the best in the State at chasing these beautiful behemoths. Nobody knows how many more generations will be privileged enough to get to experience such sights, so I am also thankful that Jackson is able to experience this and appreciate it in its undiluted glory.
Jackson ended up boating two on an 8wt. that went well past the 11 pound mark...barely three pounds shy of the current record. I believe it's just a matter of time before it happens, but in all honesty, I am really enjoying watching his skills as an angler and a waterman grow exponentially with every trip. More important than breaking records though are the peripheral skills he's developing through fishing that I know will serve him well in many other aspects of his life.
Hope you all have a great week,