Why You Should Keep Grinding For A Pattern | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
A speckled trout. Photo by Rob Choi

Find the fish and make your friends jealous.

After a month of all work and no play, my buddy liked to proke at my fishing withdraw by sending photos of his catches. After all, that’s what friends are for, right? 

Just as the load was easing up at the office, Steve invited me and my friend Jack on a hot speckled trout bite.

Like a couple of kids about to walk into an arcade, Jack and I excitedly grabbed our gear and hit the road. On the way, Steve dropped a text saying he already launched and things were looking good. When we arrived, the water was alive. Small swirls and big swirls taunted us as we unloaded and launched. No doubt the specks were chowing down.

I could see Steve in the distance. I didn’t bother to text, I was sure he was hooked up. We stopped at the first creek mouth. Surface activity all around pointed to topwater plugs. After a half hour without a blowup, we decided to switch it up. Jack broke out a crankbait and I rigged up a jig. Nothing. We emptied our tackle boxes into the water. Nothing. 

I was just about to call Steve to learn his secret when I saw him paddle up behind me. He looked apologetic with a dose of disappointment, disbelief and disgust. He had fished for hours. Nothing. His frustration got the best of him and decided he’d rather exercise his arms at the bar.

Since I hadn’t fished in a dog’s year, Jack and I decided to stay. After another half hour casting, we set our lures out and trolled down the salty river looking to explore new water. A few yards into our exploration and my rod bent double. I reeled in a big speck and Jack hooked into another. Excited that the bite finally turned on, we returned to casting and working our lures. Nothing. 

Ok, we went back to trolling. Double hook up. After releasing that fish, I tried to imitate the troll with a slow steady retrieve. No bites. Ok, back to trolling and back to hooking up. 

Trolling isn’t my favorite way to fish, but it worked and it was better than not catching at all. Jack and I wore them out until the tide went slack and it was time to pack it up. As I paddled back to the launch, I pictured Steve sulking into his beer and telling the bartender how life just didn’t make any sense. I sent a message. “Fan of the troll when nothing else is working.” And, just for good measure, I sent a photo. After all, that’s what friends are for.

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