Howdy, friends and fellow anglers. We sure have had some nice weather here lately. The water temperature is up to 66 degrees at Gray’s reef, and the fish are biting.
One fellow who was using artificial bait caught 14 keeper trout and a couple of bass. My good friend, Neal Patterson, and his daughter, Catharine, landed some nice whiting, but they were all catch-and-release because Neal’s wife, Judy, said, “No more keepers until you fry the ones in the freezer.” That’s the name of that tune.
Note to whiting fishermen out there: There is no creel limit on whiting now, so go catch them. I also heard about some fisherman from Isle of Wight who caught a nice mess of trout.
Here is something you don’t hear every day. A friend of mine, K.M., went out on his dock with a trout rig and shrimp for bait. He said he was just passing some time but, to his surprise, he caught a squid on a hook and line. Now that’s one for the books.
Those of you who read Liberty Life magazine, be sure to check out the latest edition, which contains a great article about the folks who live on Colonels Island. Writer Patty Leon wrote a lot of good things in her story about my father, Allen Branch, and that was enough for me. She did a fine job. Thanks, Miss Leon, for an excellent tribute to Ol’ Tight Line — the first on the coast.
The water temperature is warming up, and the fish are starting to bite. I am looking forward to the next few weeks, when the bass and trout will be running good. A few years ago, I caught bass in the Half Moon River from February to November. Our surroundings change and we must adapt, so try different lures and different live baits. Fish in some new spots and try fishing deeper than usual.
Here a little something you might like to try on a Sunday afternoon. It’s straight out of “Living the Tight Line Life.”
Fried fish tacos
1 cup of dark beer (try Negro Modelo)
1 cup all purpose flour (add some salt and cracked black pepper)
1 ½ pounds of trout or spottail bass filets
1 quart of oil (your choice) for frying
20 corn tortillas
5 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup of Dukes mayo
¼ cup of Old El Paso salsa
1 lime cut in wedges
In a shallow bowl, whisk together beer, flour and ¼ cup salt to form a batter.
Rinse the fish and sprinkle it with a little Tabasco sauce.
In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of oil to about 360 degrees.
Coat the filets in batter and float each piece of fish in the hot oil.
Adjust heat to maintain oil temperature, and fry the fish until filets are golden brown or about 2 minutes.
Lift them out with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels.
On each tortilla, place a piece of fish and a half cup of cabbage. Garnish with mayo and lime wedges and — my personal favorite — fresh chopped jalapenos. Head to the cooler and get an ice-cold Negro Modelo. Now you are ready to kick back and relax.
Well, that’s it for this week. Until next time, live the Tight Line life on the coast. Oh, and Yellow Bluff has live shrimp, minnows and fiddlers. Sunbury Crab Company has live shrimp, and Half Moon has live shrimp.
Tight Line Jr.