Happy Birthday Grandson

March 8, 2024 – The recent spell of unusual weather, culminating in the largest hailstorm I’ve ever seen in Almaden, left me eagerly anticipating the first ideal day for fishing. The solunar tables predicted a favorable day, and the weather resembled a typical spring day – warm and tranquil. Despite our plans to leave for Charleston in two weeks to witness the birth of our first grandchild, last night took an unexpected turn when my grandson decided to arrive three weeks early, sending my daughter into labor. Both Gina and I were on edge, staying in constant communication with her and my son-in-law. As the afternoon approached, and with my daughter’s delivery imminent, I decided to go fishing while staying connected through chat and FaceTime, hoping it would ease my nerves.

Setting out at 9:00, I aimed for the Upwelling near the Racks. Previous conversations with Vaughn, Steph, and Brian had pointed towards the Bay of Pigs as a promising spot but I knew it would be probably full and I would save it for later during the solonar peak.   Despite the pumping activity from the Racks, the Upwelling proved unproductive. However, using livescope, I spotted sizable schools of stripers and shad, though they proved elusive.  With Rod also having no luck, I altered my plan, deciding to fish along the Causeway towards the dam and then to Monument, timing my arrival at the Solonar peak at 11:00 AM before heading to the Bay of Pigs. I was becoming increasingly convinced of the effectiveness of fishing around Solonar Peaks, opting for targeted fishing rather than blind casting.   Even Rod managed to return to the upwelling during the Solonar peak and catch a few out of the upwelling after not catching any in the morning over the same schools.

Progress along the dam was slow until around 10:30, when I began catching fish consistently near the shore fishing downhill. Employing a methodical approach, I would motor back up the dam after each catch, successfully intercepting the moving schools with each pass. By the time I reached the rocks south of Monument, I had landed 23 fish.   I texted Vaughn as I had promised but they were also catching fish in the Bay of Pigs and decided to stay.

After cleaning some fish for dinner, I noticed one had been feeding on 2-inch shrimp. Most of the fish I hooked were close to the shoreline after a long count. Around 2:00, I decided to explore the Bay of Pigs. Before focusing on the dam, I attempted to lure the fish lurking in deeper waters with slow-moving flies, but to no avail.   There seems to be a resident school of fish that I always seem to see with the livescope right in the middle of the Bay of Pigs in 25 feet of water.   Sometime they eat but today they ignored me.  Moving towards the dam, I hooked my first fish on the Bay of Pigs side. Though less productive than the north dam, I managed to catch a few more fish along the shoreline before calling it a day at 3:00, content with my catch and excited about my new grandson.

Throughout the day, I juggled fishing with texting and calling Gina and Mia to monitor the delivery progress. Mia’s resilience was admirable, delivering a healthy baby naturally in less than 24 hours. Around 2:00 PM, when communication ceased, Gina and I feared the worst. However, just as I was struggling with concern for Mia, I hooked into a substantial fish, momentarily diverting my attention. When the text from my son-in-law arrived with a picture of the baby, relief flooded over me. The striper I caught turned out to be a hefty 8-pounder, matching the weight of my new grandson, who weighed in at 7lbs 15 ounces (95th percentile). It was a memorable catch, one I’ll cherish and look forward to recounting to my grandson during our future fishing expeditions together.   Even though my head was not in the game all day,   I was surprised by my luck.   I lost several fish today texting and playing a fish at the same time.   It was a slow day for many of the regulars and the park ranger told me even the trollers had an off day.   It often seems that success comes more naturally when one isn’t actively striving for it.


2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Grandson

  1. Congratulations buddy. I have 4 grand children Carol and I with 2 sons…I’m going over monday to Bass Pro to have 1 scope wire being replace, lunch if your available grandpa…call me…good review on Friday fishing…

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