Columnist thankful for many things this season

Exiting the marsh with strap of gadwalls is hard to beat for any waterfowler.

 

With Thanksgiving upon us, here are a few things that put a smile on my face:

Every sunrise and sunset…The magic of opening day…Speckled trout under birds…The hale call of a mallard hen…Redfish tailing in the shallows…Buddy Treybig’s Matagorda Bay oysters dusted and dropped in peanut oil…Port O’Connor redheads bombarding the decoys…Antlers outside the ears…A pageant of pintails over a coastal flat…Hearing you child say, “Daddy, I want to go.”…Autumn redfish under an autumn sunset…The slurp of a big speckled trout eating a Super Spook…Bluewings buzzing a freshly flooded field…A gobbler rocking the forest…Snow geese whiffling in an east wind…Pecan brittle on a scouting trip…Fall flounder on every cast on Calcasieu Lake…Specklebellies in a fresh cut rice field…Ranger cookies at Prasek’s…Winter trout trying to stay warm on the bottom of Red’s Bayou…Marsh gadwalls fooled by a jerk cord…Black bass crushing a frog on the edge of the grass…An afternoon in the boat with my wife… So shallow you can’t stop now…Whitewings over sunflowers in El Campo…BLTs from Guffey’s in Wadworth…The cobalt head of a Collegeport bluewing in January…Honkers as big as turkeys gliding over your spread… Offering a sand trout to a dolphin on the Hump… Tarpon rolling at Pass Cavallo… Black drum on the reefs at Shell Island… Naps under a camouflage comforter… Deer camp campfires…Chicken-fried elk…A dozen cans banking on Lake O’Pines…The whistling song of a wigeon…The right to own a shotgun, rifle or pistol… Baited catfish holes on Lake Conroe… Slinging mud on an ATV… Two-pound Gulf trout testing the drag in East Matagorda Bay…Thick wigeongrass blanketing a small marsh pothole... Red eyes lighting up the Trinity River... Slicks showing the way to big trout in West Cove… Double-digit tripletail sinking a cork as soon as it hits the water…A dog shaking in the blind after a solid retrieve… Rigging decoys on the living room floor… The high-pitched bark of a snow goose, signaling fall is here… Wide horns along a misty sendero Homemade tartar sauce with fresh trout fillets… Too many geese, not enough shells... A beautiful, patient, understanding woman in her 18th duck season with me... A full moon and a setting sun…North winds at 25 knots in the marsh... A slough full of red-legged greenhead...The smell of the marsh... The sound of redfish jaws rummaging through the grass on a swollen tide… A fresh slick… Turkey sandwiches on the boat the day after Thanksgiving… Knowing the Master of the Sea is still in control.

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