Thanksgiving turned out to be just about my only chance to head home fall semester thanks to my terrible school schedule. I had an opportunity to turn my 5 day vacation into an 8 day vacation so I pounced all over it.

The following Monday I took the kayak out and launched at the Simpson River fishing pier off of Hwy 90. The water was chilly and I honestly wasn’t expecting to catch anything. That being said, I was shocked to find that my first cast had a strike. I fished around many of the points and only found fish balled up in two little spots. I think I would have had better success had it not been low tide, but since it was my first time fishing the area, I was rather pleased.

However, I was NOT pleased with the repeated meetings with an airboat. A fiberglass hulled airboat named ‘Mama Tried’ drove DIRECTLY over the point that I was fishing. The two men driving the boat then continued to drive up on me on two more occasions. All three times they showed up, the fish stopped biting as they were all spooked. Obviously ‘Mama Tried’, ‘Mama Failed’, and ‘Mama Should Stop Trying’ because they did nothing but ruin a good fishing trip.

Luckily the trip wasn’t a complete loss and I landed 7 specks to prove it. One speck was well over 22″ but was ‘released’ without a picture at the side of the boat when I went to pull him in.

The next day I took the kayak out to do some night fishing underneath the three-mile bridge. I had heard reports of people catching reds around the pilings so I headed out to give it a try. The wind was out of the south, so I launched the yak on the Gulf Breeze side of the bay. I paddled out to the bridge and began casting underneath the pilings. After catching nothing but white trout (on almost every cast) I turned around and headed back to the launch. Not wishing to end the trip on that note, I paddled up into a nearby bayou and fished under a few lights. I managed to pull one (very) small red out from under an dock and landed my first white trout on a fly.

Got back to the launch at around 9 pm and called it a night. Hopefully when it gets colder the fish will be a little more concentrated in the bayous.