I would like to say 2022 flew by but being laid up with shoulder rehab made it seem especially slow this year. I guess I now know what to expect for the other side next summer. That being said 2022 was a very good fishing season and I am looking forward to all those fat fish we released this year to be a couple pounds bigger and even more theatrical at the end of our Seaguar Smackdown braided line in 2023.
December floods my brain with so many wonderful memories of special catches, days with clients, getting caught in fronts, and old Saint Nick keeping me on his list. Reminiscing of years gone by, I am reminded of two days in a row between Christmas and New Year when my ten best trout hovered around 85 pounds (all released).
Then there was a trip to the Cedar Bayou surf where Alex Lyerly and I were wet wading in December during an unprecedented warm trend, catching as many solid trout as any man could want in a day. On another trip to Cedar Bayou, but much colder, five of us put a beatdown on big trout with 51M MirrOlures. I got filled up with water and thought I would die of hypothermia that day.
And then there was the five day span I spent alone at my cabin, the first year I acquired it, in some cold December weather. Fishing was off the chain. I bet I didn’t see three boats in five days, and I was casting before the sun came up and getting back to my island in the dark every evening. I love replaying those days in my head, and could go on for days sharing stories about Decembers past.
December starts my fiscal year, so to speak. This is the time that my charter days are filled months in advance with complete focus on trophies through May. Things have changed a lot over the years, with more folks developing a passion for chasing trophy trout, but it is still relatively less crowded in the big scheme of things, or at least compared to February.
Honestly, there truly is enough water to accommodate all, but where many fall short is basic water sense, courtesy, and etiquette. That's another story for another day but, in the meantime, let's all just act like we have enough maturity to be running a boat, enough common sense to not burn shorelines, and enough ethic not to pull in right downwind of a guy already making a wade.
Now that we are fully established in the first quarter of the trophy season, the waters have cooled down and some healthy trout are starting to come together. It's time to start thinking like a fish. Besides big trout, another thing I love to hunt, since childhood, is arrowheads, or any other Native American artifacts.
Not bragging, but I'm pretty good at sizing up a piece of land and establishing the most likely areas that have the best potential to produce. Friends have asked me how I figure it out and I say, "It’s simple. Think like a band of Indians. What do they need to survive? Food, shelter, water, and a high vantage point to spot enemies."
Example; a south facing bluff that protects you during north wind, a creek within a relatively short distance, and a mix of game in the area. Trout seek out those similar things in their watery world and when they find them they will live there…until the food runs out, they feel threatened, or are killed!
It's our job to find them, catch (and release) them, and then move along to their next big encampment. Saying that, the "move along" part can sometimes be a little harder, 'cause we all know that trout can be as elusive as an Apache. Y'all just don't be going at them like Custer on the Cheyenne and it should all work out better for you than it did him.
In closing, I just want to say that times are truly changing before our eyes, and not so much in a positive light. Fishing should be a way for us all to get away from it and cleanse our souls while enjoying what God has given us through stretched lines, beautiful sunrises, and friends to enjoy it all with. Let's all be aware of others and, if need be, educate on the water versus retaliate. I've been practicing for some time now and can honestly say the end result is way more productive.
Remember the buffalo! -Capt David Rowsey