Where is everyone??
According to my logs, the last two years during this Memorial
day week I fished with customers every single day.
You can't say it's gas prices, or the war killing the economy.
Because back on Memorial Day weekend in 2005 gas was $3.00....
and of course George Dubbya had us "in War", then too. So what's the deal?
CHECK THIS OUT....Might this be a reason why one of the TOP fishing weekends of the whole year is such a dead one?
Bay reds, sheepshead; Reef Spanish, snapper-too much wind by Dave Hanson (5/26/2007)
Please - No More Wind by Dean Panos (5/26/2007)
Please - No More Wind by Dean Panos (5/26/2007)
THIS IS JUST A FEW OF THE REPORT TITLES FROM A WEB SITE THAT I DO REPORTS FOR....AND THE MENTIONING OF "WIND" AND TOO MUCH OF IT PERMEATES MANY OF THE FLORIDA EAST COAST REPORTS.
OFFSHORE FISHING IS LITERALLY ABOUT SHUT DOWN AROUND HERE, AND THAT'S WHY I DON'T DO IT. BUT NOTICE IN ALL MY REPORTS, WE CATCH FISH NO MATTER WHAT. LIKE LAST SATURDAY'S LATE NOTICE CHARTER. IT WAS GUSTING TOO 28 KNOTS FROM THE EAST, AND IN LESS THAN 2 HRS WE HAD 7 BIG BEAUTIFUL SPECKLED TROUT! AND LEFT THEM BITING, BECAUSE THE TRIP WAS SHORTENED BY A CHARTER MEMBER.
I just hope something turns around. Because if you'rE reading this and were thinking about taking the kids fishing, or even yourself fishing on a charter. You surely missed some reel fun.
I left the dock at 5:30am, was "bright eyed and bushy headed" at 4:00am! I had a plan. Head to certain area of the St. Johns River that's been producing for me lately. And as the sun pokes up, start pitching some top water lures. It's been forever and a day since I spent a quality morning doing something different.
The river was SLICK at 5:30am, and dark too. But I eased into my spot and started casting in the dark as the eastern horizon started to glow. There was no wind, the bugs were chewin' me up. But I didn't care. I made a few casts and immediately got short striked, as I twitched my favorite top water plug over a shell bottom. The trout would hit at my plug, but not really take it.
I was using a Luhr Jensen "Jerkin Sam". Almost a Peacock Bass plug, but still small enough for a BIG trout to inhale....and believe me they have. Easier than "walkin the dog" with a Zara Spook or MirrOlure Top Dog. But you can walk it if ya want. A real nice mullet imitator, with a unique swaying and rolling action with a prop on the tail end that makes a clatter along with a splash of water when ripped. Damn, I love that plug....it's always been my Gator Catcher!
But for some reason all these trout were far sighted. I threw and threw, and it got crashed time and time again with no hook ups. (and the hooks are sharp and brand new!) The sun was up now, and boats started to appear. A boat here, and boat there started to show up near me. And then I got crashed. I was twitchin' and dog walkin', and splashing that plug back to the boat when all you'd hear was a GU'LOOP! A Trout finally inhaled it.. And with a nice tussle, it was a fat 20 incher. Only 5 inches shy of being the GATOR I was looking for. OH WELL.
I kept at it and got some more half hearted hits on the plug. And then the tide went perfectly slack. I arrived and planned on arriving mind you, just before high tide. I like top waters at high tide in the morning, versus a falling tide that usually has to fast a current for my liking when tossing lures. And when there's ZERO water movement, the bites went to ZERO.
So I pitched a float-rig out and caught a small bluefish in deeper water.
Time to kick back and wait for the tide to turn now. And I sure could have went for 2- breakfast in a sacks!! And some hot Mocha-Java-whatever. The ride up river in the dark sure was kinda chilly. Again, this isn't the end of MAY!!!! It's the end of something, but that cold air sure didn't feel like May to me. What's up? Global Cooling? The water was a warm 76 degrees, and the air felt like 55 while running the 10 miles in the dark.
I poked around and worked a few other spots with no current, and caught nothing. While waiting for the falling water. And when I felt the turn of the tide, I headed straight back to the same spot. I'm that way, don't know if others are, but when ya know a spot like the back of your hand. I'll fish it on two tides. One tide for one procedure, the other tide for another.
It was "go time" for the float-rig as I arrived back at spot #1 for the second time. And instantly started on small Black Drum. Small like the one in my hand in the photo. One after another. But I soon figured out the bigger Drum were out deeper. And so were the Trout.
I caught 8 Speckled Trout....easily had my 4 more keepers, all 16-19". And one Yellowmouth Trout.
I caught 14 "pup" Drum, and my 5 keepers from 15" to 19".
Plus a 18" Flounder.
What surprised me was I had no junker fish at all. Not one ladyfish, jack or blue.
I mixed it up also. I'd throw 3/8th oz. jig with a shrimp on it, stick it in the rod holder, pitch out and run the float-rig and sometimes have two fish on at once. As in the photo.
Keeper Drum or not they sure are some lil' scrappers. And give it their all when hooked.
When it comes too eatin'...and I like to do that. I'll take a 18" Black Drum over a 18" Redfish or a 10 pound Black Drum any day. They clean easy, and have a perfect size fillet for the pan of all nice white meat. They're not all bloody or wormy. The Redfishes Ugly cousin, isn't all that ugly when they are young and small. Actually they are kind of a cute fish...if ya can call a black Drum cute(?)
I was pretty much done by noon. And was working on burning up the last shrimp or two left in the live well. That's how I caught the yellowmouth Trout and the Flounder.
Back at the boat ramp while taking the sides off my catch. It was the Flounders turn. I picked the fish up and felt some kind of big hard thing inside it. I filleted the Flounder on the brown side first, and then grabbed it's stomach and cut it out. What ever it was in there, it sure was large. Turns out that this not so jumbo Flounder was a cannibal. Inside it's stomach, folded up like a dollar bill, was a 4" long Flounder! That's a first for me. Cleaning a Flounder that had another flounder in it's gullet. And I mean a perfect specimen. Not old and digested. But rather a perfect little 4" Flounder. These fish never fail to surprise me. They will sky-rocket a top water lure, jumping clean out of the water, eat fish bigger than you'd ever think they could, lay up on oyster beds and hack their white sides up and have lacerations to show for it, and eat each other too.
Truly a predator fish...Wow, that really makes me want to catch a 100 pound+ Halibut someday. They must really be BAD FISH!
As I headed back, the wind was really up. 20++ knots from the east against a screaming falling tide. But my boat doesn't care. I sat up on my leaning post nice and comfy, dropped the bow and did 4800 RPM's all the way back to the Mayport Boat ramp, 10 miles. Like a walk in the park on a windless May afternoon in some other part of Florida.....LOL. I got a few looks from other boats crashing, splashing, and launching their way through the nasty 3 foot 'wind versus tide chop' on the water. And maybe they were saying to themselves, "I shoulda had a Plate Alloy Black Lab boat?"
C'C' mon.....lets get busy. There's F-I-S-H to catch, and I'll take ya too them. BIG WIND, who cares?
So why should YOU?
Next up, a "pre-reserved Kids Trip" on Tuesday.