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ctcap2000

Strange Day In A Bay?

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Ok, so I had the strangest thing happen last weekend at one of my "go to" areas for winter time fishing. I asked a few of my teacher friends who were both fishing buddies of mine as well as science teachers. Neither of them could give me any reasonable answers. I figured since there were so many captains in the area and on this site, one may have had a similar experience.

 

So, I get to my spot early am Saturday morning. The tide was dead low and starting to turn. I begin to wade to an area I can usually target snook and or trout in a small bay. As I am walking I see numerous outlines of fish in front of me in about a foot of water. Initially, I thought they were mullet but they weren't moving, just laying relatively still facing the incoming current. As I approach closer, I could make out the outlines and realized they were some pretty good size trout. I throw my mirrodine in right over a few of their noses and the fish are simply ignoring the bait. I thought they weren't hungry and that the bite would turn on as the water  heated up. I continued to walk towards them and they didn't spook at all. I was able to walk within feet of these trout. I continued to walk the edge of the bay and noticed there were trout everywhere and all of them had the same lethargic reaction.

 

I get to the area I normally throw during a dead low tide that usually holds fish because it has a slight trough and hook up on my second cast. The fish has good weight and I knew it was a bigger fish but it had no fight to it. It is barely pulling even with my drag set light and realize it is foul hooked in the tail. It ended up being a 24" trout. I thought it was weird because it gave relatively no fight and even when I let it go it very slowly swam away. I proceed to make cast after cast for the next half hour and get no bites even though I continue to see trout everywhere.

 

So I decide to continue to walk the edge and out of curiosity, I decide I am going to try and pick one of the trout up by "hand." I slowly approach another trout in like a foot of water. I creep up to it, stand over and still the fish doesn't move. I reach my hand, slide it under the belly of the fish and lift it out of the water! At this point I am thinking, "what the hell is going on!" I was able to do that to like 4 other fish.

 

As I was ready to leave, a kayaker came into the bay and asked how the fishing was. I hesitated for a moment and thought about how exactly to answer that question. I told him that I did foul hook a 24 inch trout but the fish weren't really biting. I did tell him about my experience, and for good measure, told him I saw a trout right in front of me, and proceeded to pick it up right in front of him. He was amazed and asked "what is that?" I told him it was a trout, and a 20 incher at that! He said he had never seen anything like it before.

 

Everything about the situation felt wrong from the beginning and as I'm on my way out, I did see a good sized trout belly up on the shoreline along with some other dead minnows about an inch long. It was the strangest experience. The only thing I or my buddies could think was that there was a red tide outbreak in the area or possibly a post spawn reaction in the fish (not sure when trout actually spawn and if they go into shallow estuaries to do so).  Any ideas or similar experiences?

 

On a funny note, I told another one of my fishing buddies about my experience and he started calling me the trout whisperer! I simply replied, "hey, when you're as good a fisherman as I, you don't even really need a pole anymore!"

 

 

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ctcap2000, If you don't mind me asking, what general area were you fishing. I was out near FD Sunday and had similar luck. I didn't see trout sitting on the bottom, but there was no fish movement at all and I didn't see fish where I normal do.

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Behavior like that is either sick fish or fish that cannot breath. No doubt. Something that might have done is is the water getting really warm really fast, but even with the shifts in temps of late the weather has been more than normal.

 

Interesting. No report of fish kills in the area?

 

They may just have felt safe around you guys :)

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