Tuesday, May 1, 2007

IT'S MAY!



Today's Mayport archive photo - Barge full of JETTY ROCKS, and how they got them out there. (photo was marked: Barge with jetty fill)

It's May...now lets see if it'll be truely like May. Although the winds with EAST in the discription was very apparent, again
today.

Did my Group Charter with some Insurance Brokerage guys today...about the same Group as last year, I think. 10 people, 4 boats...and of course I was one of the boats with 3 guys rather than 2.

Take Note: High Tide at Jetties 9am, that was right when we departed, of course.

And when am I catching the GATORS (Trout) all on the low, of course.

Always take a low tide over a high tide. That's my theory.

So we all basically started at the Jetties. The go-to area to always catch something.

My guys caught, Ladyfish, Jacks- small and mediums about 5 pounds. Blues, and hooked two Manta Rays that were swimming down the rocks. Plus two Spiney

Puffers, one 14" Trout.

Some of the other boats had a Flounder, some Reds to 34" a few Trout. They were about the only few Game fish caught. Everyone caught Ladies and Jacks.
We all had a good time, and I always appreciate taking this Group every year.

TIDES...It's all about those, TIDES. If ya' wanna really fish for game fish species.

Yesterday, when I was catching those big beautiful Trout the salinity was a 22 parts per thousand, on a scale of 0-40 parts per thousand. The jetties are about a 36PPT.
So 22PPT is pretty low considering NO RAIN, and no real flow to the St. Johns River.

If I had my druthers here's what I'd do the rest of the summer.
*have unlimited fuel at my disposal at a good price......."That will not happen".
*fish only the river south, and keep up with the salinity day by day.
*stay away from the inlet because it's a magnet for many non-game fish species.
*when I'm down river and start catching Ladyfish, Jacks, or Blues...go further south!
*and fish on a perpetual falling tide, only! Yeah, like that will ever happen.

Today's Ramblings:
I go through this every single spring time, and that's wondering why when a friend of mine comes back from Venice LA. from fishing with his Guide brother-in-law, and after hearing all those Redfish & Trout stories he tells me,why is the fishing there so great? There's a scientific approach to why...and I wanna know it.

I think besides the endless marsh and waters, lack of people/pressure on the fish. It has to do with the Mississippi River! It flows fresh water ALL THE TIME. We have a river right here. But it does not flow, and flow endless Fresh water all the time 365 days a year.

This may sound obvious, but it's not. Especially, in the spring and summer when spawning and estuarine species (

Redfish, Trout, Flounder, Drum, Sheepshead etc.) want to find and live in "brackish water". Because it has a lot to do with their spawning cycle. Just as it does for our river shrimp.

So think about it....When we have Hurricanes/Tropical storms to the south, all the rain water goes where? Into the river. And the fishing is off the chart when it reaches us in J-ville.
We must have rain, hurricanes and tropical storms.
In Venice LA. they have that flow all the time. So when the fish want it, it's there. Which also possibly makes for very successful spawns, which in turn means more fish year after year.

Here's actually a quote from a fishing guides web site over there about the salinity & spawning:
"There is little doubt that Venice is an amazing fishery. In spring vast numbers of speckled trout are on the move to the south in search of saltier waters to spawn. April and May are two of the best months to catch the big sows ."
So it sounds as if the "opposite is happening there...they move closer to the Gulf to get the right salinity??" Because they are in brackish. Just the opposite here in our river.
Kinda the same deal of when the damn flows-over down in Guana River State Park...the fish stuck in the lake side (the sweet water side) rush to the salty water coming in over the damn from the ICW side.

On another note; for one second think of all the pollution that went into that river after hurricanes Katrina and Rita!
I had a native New Orleans man on my boat today. He lived through Katrina. So we talked about it naturally. He said, "I do not know where all that 'garbage' went in the river, out to the Gulf of Mexico I guess", he stated. And I was thinking, "how about all those TOXINS, SEWAGE, & CHEMICALS that went into the river and out into the marshlands and passes, Gulf??" And the fishing again is through the roof over there. Because of the constant flow of fresh water from the Mississippi River?? I guess the word "flush", means more than a good poker hand.

We have a river in name, maybe. Not necessarily in theory. The Timicuan Indians called it, "THE RIVER OF LAKES", because back then the river had a mean depth of 9 feet, the inlet was a giant sand bar, and the Timicuan's knew that the river had no real flow, so they aptly named it for what they thought it was more like. And according to anthropologists, they were dead on. A theory is that thousands of years ago, the river was a chain of lakes/wetlands. And through erosion, forces of the tide, and Ocean height, the banks broke through and connected to form kind of what we see today.

Basically, some rain would be nice.

That's the thought of the day. So I'll just live with knowing Venice, LA. is over there. And I'm over here. And I'm happy as long as I get my fill of big fat Trout, one way or another.
I just have to stop talking to that friend of mine after he goes there. Because now he's telling me he also saw a fellow BlackLab Marine Plate Alloy 26' owner over there, too. (Ya' know Louisiana is a big Aluminum boat state) and says to me every time I see him, "Dave, ya know how great of a boat that would be for fishing the passes and rigs over there?" I usually say...."No, I don't because I've never been there, but you need to invite me!!"

Rule O' Thumb: BOOK YOUR CHARTERS "TO FISH", VIA MY TIDE RECOMMENDATIONS....

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