It’s not that i don’t get skunked from time to time, but in freshwater i’ve got enough tricks up my sleeve that i can usually save the day with a palm sized sunfish. The same can not be said for saltwater fishing. I can count the days that i’ve spent on the flats on one hand, and not suprisingly, can count the amount of total fish caught on one finger, and after all the futile hours spent catching next to nothing, you can probably guess which one that is.

After fishing a day recently with friends on Matagorda Bay and coming up empty, i wasn’t so much surprised by the skunk, as i was the Tyson like blow that it delivered squarely to my ego. Never the less it was nice to wander around on the paddle board in an environment that strips you of all perspective and keeps your hopes in check. It seems to be an innate human instinct to feel small when there is NOTHING around you to judge your size by, something we can all use every now and then. (Maybe we should send some CEO’s, Hollywood stars, and politicians out to the bay for a little soul searching, if for no other reason than to see if they can even find one.)

A freshwater fisher by trade, i don’t think i’ll ever get used to the sense of awe that these bays provide. Pelicans, dolphins, sting-rays, sea trout, reds, sheepshead, and sharks that try to block the path of your speeding boat, it’s all mystifying and sort of magical / scary for someone used to holding his catch in one palm. But if i had to pick one reason that it’s so enjoyable, i would have to say it’s time spent with friends, chatting about the day that hasn’t even past, and the one that’s right around the corner, both of them divas making grand entrances and exits in smoky robes of pink and orange, setting fire to the sky as they ebb and flow above a hapless fly fisherman getting skunked.

Hope that changes with time…