NEW ORLEANS -- It was the kind of morning that puts a lie to one of angling's most famous slogans: "I don't have to catch fish to enjoy a trip." We were anchored off the eastern shoreline of Barataria Bay and floating fat, active live shrimp past cuts in the marsh that filled with clear, green water being pushed by a good falling tide -- and not catching fish. Beautiful day, beautiful weather. I could have enjoyed just being there except for this: About 150 yards west of us another angler was anchored in the open, featureless expanse of Barataria Bay, catching trout almost as fast as he could cast.
He wasn't surrounded by diving birds. There were no pilings signifying an old camp location, no PVC pipes marking oyster reefs -- in short, no reason to fish there. In fact, when I saw the guy cut his engine near that spot 20 minutes ago, I worried he was simply spying on us. Now I couldn't take my eyes off him.
Fifteen minutes later, we pulled the hook and motored off so we wouldn't have to watch any more. Turns out I should have eased past the other boat and marked his location on the GPS.