On this episode of Dockside TV, we headed East attempting to flee the wrath of Hurricane Harvey, but soon found out that the wind and rain wasn’t quite going to miss us. We arrived in Perdido in the afternoon on Monday morning, and were immediately greeted with some nasty storms and some of the strongest winds I’ve seen in a while. Not getting the chance to fish that afternoon, we were eager to get to bed and get after them in the morning. Around 5:30 the next morning, upon waking up, we noticed how dark it was and found that there would be no sunlight for a while due to the dark clouds and storms approaching. After watching storm after storm roll through, we decided to just get in the car and drive toward the Perdido bridge and get under it and see what we can catch. Finally after a few hours of waiting on the rain to stop, we got out made a few cast. With the stiff 30mph+ wind coming out of the Gulf and extremely hard falling tide, we hardly had a hope that we could be productive. After trying a few times, Chas had finally hit the bottom next to the bridge pylon and instantly set the hook on a decent mangrove. Just that sign was all we needed to set the tone for the next few days. We knew that even though the wind and weather is going to be fierce, that we could put some fish in the boat. Going back to that same spot that night, we were greeted with the same conditions and actually were able to stick some lady fish, mangroves, and Chas even missed a nice trout at the railing in which it broke his line before he could get it to his hand of course. It was pretty cool to see how nice that public area was with its lights and areas to cut bait and measure fish and sit down. One thing that we always love about Florida is how much effort they put into making fishing more accessible to everyone and providing its people with some of the nicest public launches, fishing areas, and piers around. If you are from South Louisiana, you would be in shock if you had seen some of these public places. Finally, the rain storms had spread apart enough the next day and gave us an opportunity to go look around in the boat. Being that wind had been blowing gale force all week, we knew we had to either find areas we can jig or calm areas we can throw the topwaters. On one particular small trout, we decided to get a picture with the topwater in his mouth while Chas was holding it as they do with walleye up north, with its belly flat on his hand. As many of you could already guess, the trout did not like that and flipped up in the air and brought the topwater and its treble hooks back down to Chas’s hand, sinking one of the treble hooks into his hand past the bard. Luckily, the extremely sharp hook on the Matrix Mullet, went all the way through and back out of his skin. I immediately grabbed a pair of dykes that I carry everywhere with me (which after reading this, you should remember to always have a pair of dyke pliers with you whenever you are around hooks), and I proceeded to clip the barb and point off of the treble hook and pull it out of his hand. After getting a few bites on topwaters and dealing with the hook in the hand, we headed to a few areas of deep water that we like to jig. With the swells on top of the water, it made for an interesting time out there. We were lucky enough to get a few bites from mangroves and even caught a few flounder which is always a pleasant by catch for us. After two days of this wind wearing on us, we decided to head back and hope that it would calm down for the morning. On the way back, we stopped to fish one bank and noticed that they’re was some nervous water coming down the bank, we couldn’t quite tell what it was until I seen the bright yellow sickle come out of the water. I immediately threw my Matrix Mullet toward them and in under a minute, the fish had devoured it and spooled my entire reel of all my line in seconds. The best part about it was that I had my jack rod sitting right next to my feet the whole time and would have taken just a second to grab and would have been able to land it easily. After two days of felling just defeated, we got back to the condo and relaxed and watched some Thursday night football. When we had awoken the next morning, it was as if the storm had never even happened. We were treated with clearing skies, slick calm winds, and what we were looking for, endless topwater blowups. Grinding some of Chas’s favorite docks and grass mats, the blow ups came steady and fierce. Each blow up was if the fish hadn’t seen food on days, which due to the winds, they might not have. Soon enough we got into one section where it was insane blow ups one after the other with redfish and big trout. As the sun got higher and the blow ups calmed down, we headed back to the condo to begin to make our trip back home to Louisiana. It’s always hard to leave the panhandle when you get to have the kind of days we did with the topwaters, even with the crazy wind from Harvey we experienced, but coming home to change up the scenery and get after some of our awesome Louisiana fall fishery isn’t something to complain about. Terrible to see what happened to our boys in Texas and then again with Irma heading toward Florida. As always Matrix Shad is here to support all pf our followers in every way we can. Be sure to check out the DocksideTV Episode “Escaping Harvey” to see more about how we are helping our friends in Texas that have lost so much.
Captain Ty Hibbs