Best. Day. Ever.

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By Capt. Dennis Voyles

Last week before the weather turned nasty, the full moon tides and calm winds set the stage for some very good afternoon and evening fishing trips. One trip was very special to me since I was able to take my mother and older sister out for a brief outing. And man, what an outing it turned out to be.

My mom just loves to catch redfish, but my sister is equally enthused to admire the playful actions of dolphins showing off around a boat. On this trip, both orders would be filled.

Just a couple of throws with the cast net on the flats gave us plenty of baits for the afternoon trip. About equal amounts of finger mullet and striped pinfish. Interestingly the pinfish had a beautiful purple hue to them.

I had cast-netted literally thousands of pinfish this summer and not seen this color pattern. I have no idea what or why this color happens. Is it a seasonal thing, a different species - I just don't know. What I do know is they were just the right size to cut into redfish snacks. Maybe someday I will show you the secret angles to preparing a pinfish-top-sirloin-snack-size-nugget A.K.A. "PTSSSN."

So we pull up to my super-secret spot (and I allow them to remove their blindfolds) just as the big full moon flood tide is starting to head back toward Texas. I chunk two "PTSSSN" out toward the oyster bar and before I can say, "get ready!" my mom's 7' Fin-nor powerlite rod is doubled over and the drag is screaming like a sixth grader going to lunch on pizza day.

We measure the brute, and gently release the 27-inch red back into the drink. I think to myself, "Self, your day is made, all fish henceforth will be bonuses." I haven't baited the hook back and my sister's reel starts screaming. After a good battle we release another upper slot redfish.

This goes on for several more fish. One fish has the hook down near the vomarine teeth so I just cut the line rather than injuring the fish lethally over a 20-cent hook. Five fish and 30 minutes later we catch that very same fish again but this time the hook is in the corner of the mouth.

While taking the hook out I see my 5/0 circle hook down in this fish's throat - evidently not altering its appetite or taste for "PTSSSN." Once again he was released, as a matter of fact we released all of the reds.

Toward the end of the bite the reds got bigger. We ended the trip with a 29 1/2 inch and a 30-incher. Great finish.

All in all they caught twelve reds between 25 and 30 inches.

To make the trip a complete success we stopped to watch a pod of dolphins show off around or boat.

Cost of dolphin show: zero dollars.

Cost of gas used: three dollars.

Total cost of bait: zero dollars.

Memory of Mom and sister experiencing redfish bonanza and releasing them all: priceless.