Mansfield Report: October 2021

Mansfield Report: October 2021

Three fine young men. Andrew, Garret and Casey showed up with brand new FTU Green Rods, and they always participate in Empty Stringers.

Greetings from Port Mansfield! We are wrapping up a very busy summer, despite all the Covid issues. That said, fishing tournaments were conducted successfully and most went off without a hitch. Some tournaments in the LLM demonstrated good judgement (my opinion) by dropping trout from their formats while others followed TPWD regulations as a guide. My hat’s off to those who either removed trout all together, reduced the tournament weigh-strings and/or provided live-weigh incentives.   

I recently fished with longtime client Phillip Garcia (see photo) who also happens to be my financial advisor. A year ago he and I got together with the goal of managing my financial future. I’ve always been intrigued with the stock market, but have limited knowledge, except that an investor can have green days (positive) and also red days (negative). At the same time some stocks might be up, others are down. Unable to wrap my head around all of it I hired an SME (subject matter expert) in the field. I trust Phil to put me in the right place for success. At first, I would call him when my account fell and was mentally questioning my decision to put him in charge. He would tell me to be patient, assuring me he had me where I needed to be. Nervous, but still trustful, I would agree.

Now Phil is an easy-going angler but has expectations to catch fish; as he should if he is hiring a guide to put him in the best position for success. So, Phil and his group are fishing and he is on point, to the extent that he is out producing most in the group. It’s like he can’t make a bad cast. Redfish after redfish and, surprisingly, some snook hookups as well. We all switched to a solid white KWigglers 4-inch paddletail and things started picking up for everyone. Actually, it got downright good for everyone. It was a green day for sure. 

As we finished the trip I came up with an analogy: Not every fishing day can be green, in obvious reference to the stock market. Likewise, not every fishing day will be red. We have good days and bad days. And, like the stock market, while we were enjoying a very green day, somebody somewhere in the Laguna Madre could have been having a red day.

Taking the analogy farther; we had a crash in trout stocks this past February, similar to the stock market crash back in 2008. People took what they learned from the 2008 crash and are investing more wisely today. Lessons learned from that crash and recovery can be applied to our trout fishery following the February freeze. 

Being in the guide business nearly seventeen years, I’ve been both fortunate and proud to have been a positive influence on some anglers. Take Andrew, Casey, and Garrett for example (see photo). They are young anglers in their early 20s and I have been fishing them several years. Each trip they show up a little more prepared than the trip before. A few weeks ago they all showed up with the Fishing Tackle Unlimited Green Rod, two of which had the new G2 Green Rod, which by the way is definitely on point.  Between its weight, design, components, and durability it’s one of the best available. If you are in the market for a new rod, check out the G2 Green Rod. I am also very proud to say these young anglers have elected to participate in Empty Stringers every single trip they come to fish with me.   

Currently, fishing is good, especially for redfish. They are thick near the East Cut and we are seeing a few good schools elsewhere on the flats. Flounder are fair to good along sandy shorelines and we are picking up one or two nearly every trip. The tide level has stabilized and bait is plentiful. In some places we see literally hundreds of yards of mullet, and redfish, and even a few trout amongst them. Working these bait schools with small topwaters and plastics has been very productive. Fishing should only get better as we move closer to fall and I look forward to what’s in store with regards to all species of fish including snook and tarpon. The LLM has a lot to offer.  

Remember, not all days can be green and not all days will be red. You have to manage your expectations – don’t let the red days deter you and don’t let the green days cause you to become overly confident.

Phillip Garcia's "Green" day continued from his first cast to his last