Last week I was lucky enough to get to run back home to visit family. It’d been a little while, the middle of July in fact, since I’d gotten to go home, and I was extremely excited to get out on the water.

So after taking care of some family business, I loaded up the truck, hitched the Gheenoe, and picked up a buddy to go inshore fish. We launched at an area where I usually catch fish, and took off across the grassflats in search of trout and reds.

The wind was, of course, blowing. But thanks to the Gheenoe having a trolling motor, it didn’t affect us nearly as bad as it would have had we been in kayaks. I love to paddle, but Lord is a motor nice sometimes.

I quickly discovered that the topwater lure I was using wasn’t going to work. Every cast brought back about 20 lbs of sea grass that was floating on the surface, most of which was assuredly from prop chop. I’m not really one to get on my soapbox about issues (the main problem being that I can’t be taken seriously…well…ever), but this really irks me. Only stupid people run their engines trimmed all the way down over grass flats, and I have zero tolerance for stupid people. Seriously. Just trim up and slow down. It’s not that hard.

Realizing that I’d be pulling grass off of my lure after every cast, I opted to run across the sound. The wind was coming out of the south, so it made sense to me that going the direction the wind was coming from would result in less floating grass. And for once, I was right. The south side of the sound had almost no floating grass. The issue here, was that I’d literally never fished this area. I spent 20+ years in Pensacola, and yet there are still plenty of places I’ve never even attempted to fish. And this was one of them. But as luck would have it, we almost immediately began spotting fish.

Redfish, mixed with mullet, began showing up along the broken sandy bottom and it wasn’t long before we had our first hook up. The screaming drag immediately told me that it wasn’t some trout that I’d hooked.

After a few more misses, we took off again to a different area; another place I’d never fished before. We scouted some promising looking spots, and it wasn’t until we were just about to give up that my buddy hooked into a fish.

The two Reds in the boat were near identical. Both right at 25 inches. Just before dark, I landed one little Speck on topwater, and the setting sun told us it was time to leave.

Aside from actually catching fish for a change, I really enjoyed myself on this particular trip. I’m not a huge fan of having “go-to” spots. Areas where I -know- I’m going to catch fish. I really like to explore. To learn new areas, and try different things. I feel like if you aren’t willing to switch your game up, you’re never going to improve as a fisherman. So striking out and having this new area produce fish simply tickled me pink. I can’t wait to get back and explore a bit more, hopefully landing some fish in the process.