Had a two boat charter today with Capt Bryan, and some fun guys from Jax. Port Authority. Had Mike, Dave & Dennis on my boat.
We left out at sun-up, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 7-8 dozen live "river crickets" (aka: Shrimp), more than plenty for a 1/2 day river trip...................SO I THOUGHT!
We pulled up on the spot, and I had "I.G." - Instantaneous Gratification, showing them what to do, catching a small trout. And then that was all she wrote. It was time to rumble. I could barely get them all ready to go with their rods before Trout were hooked up and coming to the boat.
We flew threw the shrimp, as the fish flew over the gunnel as floats were disappearing, as soon as they hit the water. The tide was the last few hours of the falling, it was calm with low winds and all was right in "Cappy Dave's World" again.
The catching was so fast and furious, I felt as if we were bailing schoolie Dolphin from under a mat of Sargasso weeds offshore.
And the guys were having a ball.
Then right as I turned and said we ought to get another species fired up with all this commotion, the hook was set in a Sheepheads mouth. It crushed the hook flat, be it made it to the net.
The Trout were big'ish and small'ish, we had to have caught 30 plus easily, and kept 20 of the largest. We were astonished, at least I was when Mike hooked a Trout and it took off like a Bat outa hell. Ripping drag like no Trout could. And then we thought it came off.....NOPE!
It came back crushed, ripped up and mutilated. Some MONSTER something came by and grabbed it, mauled it and then let it go. I'm scepticizing (fancy fishing word), that it was a huge Bluefish, a really big Bluefish like a 10 pounder that we "used" to get visits from around here, but haven't seen in many years.
Then, quickly we were down to just 2 shrimp left..and we were only 2.5 hours into the charter.
HOLY CRAP! I've never burned through that many shrimp in such a short time.....maybe I had but it's been a real long time.
That's when Dennis sets the hook on another Trout, and Dave sets the hook on a different fish. One that was clearly not a Trout.
"P-FISH"....I yelled. IT'S A POMPANO!
And I didn't even have to see it. I could just tell by watching the line in the water. It zipped around so fast, making 180's on a dime. There's only one fish that I know of that can turn from one direction to another in the length of it's own body, and that's a Pompano. And all during a high rate of speed. The last shrimp of the day caught a beautiful 3 pound Pomp, and the first one for the 2007 fishing year. And nice and early too, just like the 5 pound Jack Crevalle on Friday. I usually do not catch the first Pomp or 5 pound Jack until were into April a little ways.
So we hit the dock, snapped a few pics and then began the a long fish cleaning process. ( And I was happy) Between the two boats, these guys had some serious fish fry fixin's, make that 4 fish fry fixin's, for several people.
I may have to go hit the Trout myself tomorrow. I have a experimental plan, I'd like to try out.
Then next up is Mike a regular on Friday, and another regular Jeff and his dad on Saturday.
Hope the weather holds, (because it doesn't look that good for Friday, right now the NWS is calling for Friday to be 15-20 knots out of the N.E. and we all know, that means 20-25 knots out of the N.E. in reality! And Saturday is iffy'ish wind wise too.)
But the closer we get to the weekend the more people on the river "will" affect the fishing. It always does, that's why I hate weekends this time of year with a passion. Maybe the wind will keep people off the water???? But if it's sunny, I doubt it.
There's nothing like a Tuesday at sun-up on the St. Johns, except for someplace else where there's no one around.
Just remember.....you stand a whole lot better chance at catching a lot of or BIGGER Trout when there's less boat traffic.