I made it! Hooray! I survived the semester from hell and made it back to Pensacola Saturday afternoon. As usual, the weather is awful and the wind refuses to lay down. Sunday I just wanted to relax, and Monday was too windy. By today, however, I couldn’t stand it any longer and decided to face the gale and go fishing.

Not wishing to take the kayak out for a sailing trip, I opted to wade fish some grass flats near Gulf Breeze. Sunrise was at 6:00am so I set my alarm for 4:45. I was rather displeased when I woke up at 5:20 to find that my alarm hadn’t gone off. I quickly threw on some clothes, grabbed my gear (always glad when you pack the night before) and headed out.

Luckily, the horrible weather brought in some clouds and even though sunrise was supposed to be at 6:00, it was still pretty dark when I arrived at the grass flats. I waded out into the sound and started casting my topwater lure in all directions. The wind was already blowing at least 15 mph out of the southwest and the sound was beginning to get a chop to it. I worked my way east and at least got to see a good looking sunrise.

Shortly after snapping some pictures, I had my lure blown out of the water by a trout. A few minutes and several casts later, I hooked and landed a 20 inch Speckled Trout.

The rest of the morning was slow. The wind picked up to 20-25mph and made casting to the southwest almost impossible. I started working my way back to shore where the waves weren’t quite as choppy and as soon as I had begun casting into the shallows, I got another strike. This one was from a fish much larger than my first trout. The strike sent water splashing at least ten feet from where the lure was, but the fish missed and I continued to work the lure towards me. Another strike, this time the fish came out of the water. It was a BIG gator trout, easily went over 24 inches. As my luck would have it, he missed it on the second strike. A third strike, this time the lure was sent flying into the air as the fish missed yet again. A fourth strike…the fish still missed. The lure was now chugging its way closer to me and as it got within 10 feet from me, a fifth and final strike hit and missed the lure again. I could have screamed. Unfortunately, topwater fishing is like that most of the time. Huge strikes and low hook up percentages. The increased wave action definitely played a role this morning on my hook up rates as well. Even though I missed the fish, it was exciting to see it and I managed to end the morning with one last, 17 inch trout.

I figured it was about time to call it quits when I was getting hit with white-caps in the chest. It also looked like some storms moving in. Walking back to the Jeep, I managed to find two weighted fishing corks, a hookless topwater lure in perfect condition, and a Pensacola Beach beery coozy with pictures of snapper all over it. It too was in good condition. All of these things had just washed up on the shore.

The kayak fishing tournament is Saturday. I still haven’t registered because I’m worried about the weather. I also need to check the tides. I’m afraid it may be on a neap tide and if it is, I won’t even bother launching the yak. If the weather clears up in the next few days, I’ll probably start kayak fishing some. I’d really like to land a king in the boat with me.