I can’t feel my toes, but I have a fish!



I think I am ready to go o record and say that fishing in cold weather temps is my favorite type of fishing. I should preface this with cold to me, my not be cold to you. A friend posted recently that he was kayak fishing in 60 degree temps and he was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Um, no way. I am not going near my kayak until about 80 degrees, not putting my hiney in that water. I am also not wearing shorts for a few months from now. Maybe I didn’t realize that I really am a Florida girl. 60 degrees is COLD to me! That is jacket weather, ya’ll! We have been fishing the past few weekends and the high was about 50 – 60 degrees. The high. So, for most of the time is was colder than that and it always feels colder on the water.
I hit my personal best one of those weekends with number of fish caught on artificial lure. In the winter, the fish come up in the creeks and rivers. They are cold, too! They are all bunched up in close proximity, that makes it easier to find and then hook them! Speaking of hooking them….I hooked myself for the first time in 6 years of fishing. I was numb from the cold, so I really didn’t hurt quite as bad as I always thought it would. In my defense, it is a little more difficult to do things when you can’t feel your extremities! I had just caught an awesome redfish on twitch bait and when I was trying to get the hook out of it’s mouth, it thrashed at just the wrong time and somehow the hook ended up in my finger and the fish on the bottom of the boat. Really, it wasn’t a horrible outcome. It could’ve been much worse. The hook did go all the way through. I didn’t scream, cry, throw up or pass out, but I wanted to do all of those things. My captain stayed calm, mostly. He had to cut the hook and then pull it out the other side. I am thankful it went all the way through and didn’t have to come back with the hook side into my finger. I also feel a little bad for the fish, more than I did before. I am glad their skin isn’t like ours. I washed it out and he put a band aid on it. I did really wish I had my oils with me. You better believe that boat will be stocked with at least lavender and tea tree from now on! I cleaned it out when we got back and have been putting those oils on it, in addition to frankincense and it is almost completely healed not even a week later. I was really glad it was winter and I wouldn’t feel my hand, I am sure it could’ve been much worse!

A few weeks before that I had stuck my finger in the wrong place on a redfish and his gill plates ripped open my middle finger tip. I had blood running down my hand, but I still kept casting because the bite was too good to stop. Same thing with the hook in my hand. If anything fishing has made me tough! Freezing cold, still fishing. Blood everywhere, still fishing. Can’t feel my toes, still fishing. When you catch fish one after the other, you just have to go and keep casting no matter what.
One of the days we went, we started with trout back to back in the river. At first I thought we were only going to catch the little guys. Then we trolled a live target lure behind the boat down the river and sure enough, we got one of the bigger trout! I would have been pleased with all the action and then the bigger trout, but that was just the beginning. We took a ride to one of the creeks and found all the reds you could have ever imagined. I lost count of the fish we caught that day. We started to count and we both got a dozen reds in about 20 minutes. Amazing. Those are the days you remember forever. For me it isn’t really about quantity usually. I love the hunt. However, I don’t think any fisherman could deny that those days that you can’t keep your line in the water because there is always a fish on the other end, no matter the size, are really awesome days. To constantly feel that tug is just indescribable!

We spend these winter days, doubled up with fish. I love it. I love hearing, “I’m on,” and I get to reply, “me, too!” I don’t care that my fingers and toes hurt. I don’t care that I am not sure my face is still there from being frozen off. I don’t care that I can barely move because I have SO many layers on. It is all worth it for the feeling you get of that constant tight line!

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