Another C’mon Man Article

Another C’mon Man Article
Very nice CPR red fish caught by Ray Boazman out of large school of oversized fish.

I have been thinking it might be time for another C'mon Man piece. I ran one several years ago and people on the boat still comment and laugh about it. The guiding business is a rich environment for providing me material in this respect. I want everyone to know that in this piece I am laughing with you way more than laughing at you (just in case the shoe happens to fit). And for the record, I have always believed laughter is life's best medicine.

More on best medicine, I don't think I ever laughed more than during the old TroutMaster days. There might be a funnier guy than Capt. Mickey Eastman but I have yet to meet him. Put us together with a beverage or two and get ready to laugh until you cry. That's Mickey. And he's great on the radio, isn't he? No formal broadcast training, he just sits down at the mic and does it.

Now before singling out C'mon Man-worthy actions of others, I need to say a few things about Jay Watkins.

Closing in on 60 I find myself more set in my ways than ever. Most of my clients, Jay Ray's too, understand that there are actually two of me Dock Jay and Bay Jay. Dock Jay can be short to the point of rudeness at times, especially if you show up poorly prepared. By this I mean tackle not rigged and not dressed to wade, among other things. It just starts me off wrong. I see it as not being excited to be going fishing. Get me a half mile from the dock and I calm down and start rattling about what I plan on doing that day and why. The teaching starts and teaching (for me) is truly just thinking out loud.

Maybe it's Little Man Syndrome that brings out Dock Jay. I never had that problem earlier in life; I used to think I could whip the world. Growing older, I guess maybe all the pounding from the boats and saltwater has drawn me up a little because I now look and feel much smaller than I ever remember being. Mike McBride saw me one day with a very large gentleman beside me at the console running across the bay. He said we looked like Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo. I laughed like hell but... C'mon Man!

There was a group that showed up after a half-dozen e-mails explaining exactly how I fish, wanted them to fish, and what I wanted them to bring. They showed up at the dock with only an 18-pack saying a guy at the bar told them they did not need to wade to catch fish. And guides usually supplied all the tackle. C'mon Man!

Or the group that showed up planning to wadefish in Frio River water sandals. C'mon Man.

How about the guy that brings a $400 rod and $500 reel, and a $29.95 combo with 40-pound mono he spied at the checkout counter at the grocery store, for his wife. Add to this his wish for her to land a trout of a lifetime. C'mon Man!

People that show up asking if we ever get checked by game wardens and then say they didn't think you need a license to fish with a guide in Texas. Some states you don't, (I think), but what kind of logic is that? C'mon Man!

The group that somehow always forgets the checkbook. C'mon Man!

The guy in the group that wants to wade out in front of everyone else. C'mon Man!

People that insist on using a net but, not one big enough to put a keeper fish in. C'mon Man!

The people that try to wade WITHOUT some type of spandex or bike short between their crotch and wading pants. OUCH, and C'mon Man!

Dipping your squeaking reel in the water to lubricate it and then complaining about the lack of durability after a few trips. C'mon Man!

How about the guy that shows up with his rod missing the tip. Yes, the tip. C'mon Man!

Wading WITHOUT wading boots, trampling oyster shell in only the neoprene booties of Simms breathables. REALLY? C'mon Man!

What about never learning just a couple basic fishing knots? Your line is the only link between you and the fish. C'mon Man!

What about me handing you a package of Bass Assassins and you taking out only two to make the wade. Thanks for the vote of confidence but... C'mon Man!

Even better is the guy with no spare jigheads on a long wade. C'mon Man!

The other side of this is the angler with ten bags of Assassins, eight Top Dogs, six Custom Corkys and a bucket of Gulp in a shoulder pack and wading belt that NASA designed to carry enough gear for a trip to Mars. Looks like a wading one man band and sounds worse. C'mon Man!

Running 60 mph in the dark staring at your GPS. Stupid! C'mon Man!

Leaving your head lights on when backing down the launch ramp. C'mon Man!

Leaving the dock with the hot horn just a buzzing. C'mon Man!

And this one really gripes me spending half your charter on social media. C'mon Man!

On a more serious note, let's stop treating people badly on the water or at the boat ramp. And discarding your used soft plastics in the water. Looking the other way when a boat in distress is waving you down. Not helping the older fisherman around the launch when you see that help is needed. Being upset with your child for a good fish that was lost. Not taking your children fishing whenever you can. Not setting good examples for the younger fishermen out there that are watching us. Finally, understanding that if everyone would simply treat one another in the manner they would like to be treated, this ol' world would be such a more pleasant place. To all of these–C'mon Man.

On a fishing note, it is still very hot but we have had a few days with NE wind that brought slightly lower humidity and cooler rides across the bay. Our water is in tremendous shape and the trout, redfish and flounder of all sizes seem to be flourishing here in Aransas Bay. Be thankful for several mild winters, two years of abundant rainfall and the much needed reopening of Cedar Bayou. Very nice trout still holding over shallow submerged grass beds along barrier islands and ICW spoils. I am still seeing a lot of slicks around areas where I have large schools of bait located. It seems that the bait for some reason is holding tight in certain areas, not moving for weeks, making the start to my morning much easier. Large schools of oversized reds are still along San Jose and Matagorda Islands.

May your fishing always be catching! -Guide Jay Watkins