I decided to take one of those rare “workday” fishing trips last Friday with my lead apprentice Lance. We were going to launch at the Texas City dyke before daylight. I had high hopes of catching limits because the winds were right and the water was getting back to somewhat normal after the flooding. When we got to the base of the dyke the bait camps were extremely busy with people lined up out of the door and the road looked like the freeway during rush hour. I looked at Lance and asked if he minded fishing with artificials. After the look I got, I said never mind I’ll teach you. I didn’t ask him if he knew how to fish. I just asked him if he wanted to go. I figured he knew by the enthusiastic response of “HELL YEAH!”. Well we waited in line at the ramp for 45 minutes to an hour before we could launch. Turns out there were 2 tournaments going on that day. I launched the boat and we were outta there but definitely not before daylight! Every oyster reef looked like a mall parking lot at Christmas time. Some parked with others drifting using their trolling motors to jockey around the anchored boats. It would have been almost comical if I wasn’t out there to catch some fish. I finally decided that there was no use in trying to find an uncrowded patch of shell so we joined in the circus. We made drift after drift picking up a fish here and there, nothing to get excited about for sure. Lance got the hang of working soft plastics pretty quick and he was focused on it the whole time. Around 11:30am I decided to drift off of the reef toss the anchor, drink some tea and have a snack. Lance opened the cooler lid noting that we have had a pretty decent day. I looked and saw 4 trout. What he saw was FOUR KEEPER TROUT! About that time about half of the boats on the reef cranked up and beelined it out of there. I told Lance that they must be headed to the weigh in for one of the tournaments. Belly full of snacks and an eyeful of open reef had given us a renewed hope! 10 minutes into that very next drift Lance had their ticket. He started catching a fish every 3-4 casts, but it was within a 75 yard stretch. We made that same 75 yard drift probably 6-7 more times and he was having a blast! Most of the fish were in the 14″ range but we did end up with 7 keepers total. I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I saw 4 trout in the cooler but that disappointment left in a hurry while I was watching Lance get into those fish the way he was and as happy as he was doing it!