I had just finished watching a Reel Yakkers youtube video. Ben, Tim and I had plans to meet that weekend to chase springtime schooling redfish in the marsh. I have wanted fish with these guys for a long time, so I was pumped. I opened my facebook to check in with the guys and before I get to my messages, all I can see is “Tom Hanks has Coronavirus” and “NBA Cancelled”. What the hell was going on? I won’t dive into what everyone else has experienced the last 6 weeks, but that was the day “normal” started looking a lot different.
Being the obsessive fisherman that I am, I was consumed with finding out if fishing was still allowed. Over the next week I spent countless hours researching what boat ramps were open, what kayak launches were still accessible, and what areas were managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife. I am sure many of you can relate. I was thrilled when my states Governor characterized fishing as “essential exercise”, but that did not stop many boat ramps, lakes and beaches from closing or restrictions being placed. How dare they!
Six weeks into this deal, I have found my routine. I hit the lake, creek or river every couple days and have explored new areas. My yak and I must have been to every body of water within 100 miles. I usually focus on Largemouth Bass when freshwater fishing, but this time has allowed me to focus on other species as well. I will tell you the white bass run fell perfectly in line with this quarantine. My wife and I eat fish twice a week and have saved trips to the grocery store. It has been a blast targeting crappie and whites. I get to fill the freezer and watch my wife hone her fishing and kayaking skills.
I am a hand shaker. This social distancing stuff has been strange for me. One of the reasons I love kayaking is meeting new friends. Half the guys I fish with are guys I met on the water or at the ramp – but our current situation has forced a head nod or shouting across the way to suffice. I wait my turn at the launch and make sure I keep my distance from others. This is more for the people I don’t know than myself. I want to make sure others are comfortable and I am not giving anyone ANY excuses to close down the ramps/launches. We have all seen or experienced the recent horror stories of showing up to a ramp and seeing a “CLOSED DUE TO COVID-19” sign.
I am taking this time to get out on the water more and to appreciate the fact that my favorite hobby is widely still allowed during quarantine. ACK has kept me stocked up with online orders and I call ahead for curbside pickup at my local store. It has also been fun following the live video every Thursday @ 1 PM on the ACK Facebook page. I have been joking with the ACK General Manager Carlos that I am kidnapping him in the near future for an evening fishing adventure. Little does he know I am serious and it’s happening. I’m confident he will be more than ok with it…..
Tight lines and get out on the water!
ACK Fishing Team
YT: The Sober Fisherman