An excellent fishing trip

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On Friday 17 Feb. 2006, Chris Kerr ( Dallas ), Xavier Cayol ( France ) and Ron Hensley ( Austin ) signed up with Captain Warren Allen's Fishing Guide Service to bag some big fish in the shallow water of Laguna Madre. After introducing Xavier to the fine dining of Whataburger breakfast tacos, we found the marina and our guide, loaded the boat and waited for it to get light enough to start our day's adventure. Rondo somehow managed to throw his prescription sunglasses into the water before the first signs of the grey light of dawn.
Once we had enough light to see, we headed straight for the land cut. The land cut is about 40 miles south of the marina. After showing off the speed of his new boat complete with the 200hp motor, Warren likes to strategically anchor the boat such that he is the only angler possessing the long casting skills necessary to actually get the bait in front of the fish. He seriously points to bubbles on the shore at a comfortably safe hunting distance from Cheney and indicates that we should cast to within inches of the dark line that defines the transition to deeper water. �The fish like to crowd against the edge.� Warren �s casts are accompanied by the high pitched whine of massive reams of line ripping off the spool with bait flying straight toward the intended target. The rest of us managed to cast far enough from the boat and to succeed and it was here on this day that Rondo caught his very firstist ever Redfish.
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Although too small to keep, it had to be documented. I hope that I didn�t frighten the poor thing. Xavier having never before that day even tasted the salinity of the Madre (even more salty than open ocean water) and not being easily intimidated by Warren�s casting superiority, quickly proved that he was such a great fisherman that he could catch much bigger fish than us, even where they are not supposed to be any fish.
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Not to be outdone Chris proved that he too could have his picture taken with Xavier�s fish.
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While at the same time, Rondo tried to keep his latest red from being photographed near Chris� trophy.
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Mamma Kerr, decided to exercise a life long developed skill of hiding the evidence.
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Meanwhile, Captain Warren was baiting hooks and casting lines, while landing more keepers than the other three fools combined. As he goes thru the alphabet of Laguna criters � T is for trout, B is for black drum. By the way, they do produce a nice tenor drum sound.
It was overcast and slightly cool, but everyone was comfortable and catching their fair share of future filets. Chis continued his strange behavior of having his picture taken with the fish Xavier caught.
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Try as I did, I couldn�t quite seem to catch a smaller fish than Chris�
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Then about 11AM a northern made an early debut (relative to the hippy dippy weather man�s previous day�s prediction)� We could see it coming (note the darkened sky line on the horizon in the picture above) and it is always interesting to become reacquainted with just how sharply defined a wind line can be and how instantaneously the temperature can drop behind a cold front. Being as we were south of the open waters of Baffin Bay , Captain Warren advocated a hasty retreat into the teeth of that wind. We had bagged a good deal of nice size Red and Black drum and the boat ride home could get very exciting if the wind continued to build. Notice that L-Capee-Tone had a nice jacket stored away up front for just such an occasion�
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After a short, comfortable, dry and warm ride across Baffin Bay , we arrived
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safely on the north side of Baffin Bay . With the brisk north wind feeling like 30mph but probably actually only around 20mph L-Capee-Tone decided treat the bay with a special Cajun mix. Rondo had plenty of incentive to keep the boat facing into the wind.
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As all the small fish had now surely been scared away, we decided to try our luck with the remaining biggun�s. We anchored to the north of a small island and with the aid of a big tailwind we were all casting a Warren approved distance. It was here that we landed the largest of our day�s fish. We caught 3 Reds over 28 inches, requiring each of us to use those special tags that come with our fishing licenses. You know, the ones many anglers never get to use�
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Note the look on Chris� face. Some sort of fever producing bug had attacked him and he was trying extremely hard to be a trouper. Luckily the bug hit him late into the trip and yy 1PM we were back at the dock and the net result was 130lbs of fish comprised of (left to right) 9 black drum, 11 redfish, one trout and one �goathead.� We also caught quite a few fish that were not large enough to keep as well as whiting and hardheads that didn�t deserve to be in the company of this catch.
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From the toasty warmth of the marina, we were treated to the spectacle of efficiency in cleaning fish that left us with a strong desire to be very polite around this man and his knifes�


The three largest reds were processed �on the half shell� and one of those big boys was grilled that evening. I wish we had taken a picture of a couple of those skin-on filets being grilled to perfection. Wow, what a great tasting fish and a fitting end to a memorable day.