A Meeting with the Mullet man:
I’ve been offline a long time for a slew of reasons. Record cold weather, record hot, high winds, red tide, terrible fishing, house guests, and a fried laptop round out the list. Well, enough for the excuses. Yesterday, I got back on the water. The tides were weak, but the wind was down. Fair enough. Time to cross my fingers and check things out.
At the ramp I saw the mullet man pulling out his boat. He is a commercial fisherman and on the water constantly, and moreover, covers ten times the area I do. So he sees a lot, knows a lot. I figured it would be a good idea to get his slant on the fishing. Hey what did I have to lose?
“How’s the fishing been?” I asked. He looked up at me, scrunched up his face and remained silent. I dug further. “It’s been tough for me.” I offered.
“Same here.” he replied quietly. “I’m wondering if its going to turn around …. maybe in July or August?”
“See any redfish in your travels?” I added, with hope.
“Haven’t see one in over a month.” He shot back.
“Any idea why is the fishing so bad?” I inquired. ” Think there is still some red tide out there?”
“The damn red tide keeps hanging out at Sanibel, Bookeelia and Boca Grande. Its got the entire mouth of Charlotte Harbor blocked off ….so the fish are passing us by.” He said gruffly.
I was afraid he would say something like that. Hell, a week ago an entire school of spawning black drum was killed by red tide off Boca Grande. Bad news, an entire school of spawners wiped out. Crazy.
As he left, I wished him better luck. He did the same for me. But my day on the water proved fruitless.