Gearing Up

Aaron Cisneros
Gearing Up
When the water is cold gearing up is part of the plan.

I recently completed my freshman football season, and I am proud to say we did really well. Playing linebacker gave me plenty of opportunities to put some punishing hits on my opponents, but I also endured some as well. Before every practice and game we had to strap on our gear. Gearing up with the right equipment such as padded pants, shoulder pads, and a helmet were requirements to lower the chance of an injury.

As winter looms all along the Texas Coast, most fishermen will have put their fishing gear away to collect dust somewhere in the garage. But for me and those that just can't stay away, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy some of the best fishing of the year.

Yes, the water temperature drops considerably during this time of year, so wearing the proper equipment is essential in having a comfortable day on the water. By now my waders have come down from the attic and have been put to use on several occasions. I remember last year we didn't start wearing our wading gear until the third week of November. This year it came a little earlier. By the first week of November, the wearing of waders was a necessity.

I am sure to say that cooler temperatures certainly bring anticipation in me to attaining some big fish days. I still remember not so long ago my dad commenting that it was too cold for me to join him on winter outings. Staying behind was bad enough, but hearing how successful the trips were just made me wish I was old enough to join the crowd. Who knows how many fishing shows I viewed during this time while wishing I was out doing the thing instead of watching someone else catching fish.

As I got older and the time came for me to be included on winter trips, I was more than eager to get out there and experience everything that I had missed. Getting out in the elements was certainly better than staying home and watching someone catch the fish. I now was doing the catching and enjoying every minute of it.

I can say that my biggest fish caught have come during the cooler months of the year. It's during this time of the year where my dad and I get to spend time and have the opportunity to fish with friends such as Capt. Mike McBride and Capt. Trisha. Also, other opportunities to fish other areas of the Laguna Madre such as Baffin Bay arise through invites from friends. Each time I fish new areas with people like Capt. Ram Rodriquez, Marcus Arredondo, and Ruben Pena to name a few, I gain so much from observing them fish.

I vividly remember my first trip to Baffin; the water was cold enough for us to wear our waders. There were five of us including my dad and his terrible tooth ache. I went with the expectation of Baffin being all that its reputation holds. I was not disappointed on that day.

The weather was not nice to us. It was windy as Baffin is known for. I got off the boat and headed down a shoreline with my dad in tow. The bite was near stagnant, and the water was in bad shape. I had a Baby Minus-1 tied on hoping a fish would hear the sound and vibration of the sub surface lure in the chocolate colored water. Walking and continually casting, I could hear my dad behind me complaining about his tooth ache. However, I kept walking while waiting for that one fish to come out of nowhere. And she did. I felt my line tighten up; about thirty yards out leaps this huge trout. She danced several times out of the water each time flaring her gills and splashing water everywhere. Talk about my dad's pain going away ever so quickly. After some exciting but nervous moments, she came to my grip. It was certainly the biggest trout I had ever caught. She weighed in a little over eight pounds. What a day to remember. This experience added to my willingness to get outdoors even on chilly and windy days.

Since that moment, I have enjoyed the winter months. They have truly been good to me. You too can experience what the cold season brings, but remember you must gear up with the right equipment before heading out. Always wear layers of clothing. If the day happens to warm up, you can always remove clothing. To you young folks like me if you don't own a pair of waders, then I suggest waders should be at the top of your Christmas list. It will certainly be a gift that will bring lasting memories. God Bless and Merry Christmas to all.