Monday, July 9, 2007

7/9 - Bait stress or Captain stress, or both?

Had Kevin Kingston, his Brother and Dad aboard today. Visiting Amelia Island and were there for Tom Coughlin's daughters wedding. They said it was a hell of a wedding, too!

Had 8 dozen live river crickets in the well and decided to give the southern part of my stomping grounds a try, again. The tide was a bit high as we arrived, and since everything seems to be a low tide bite, I told the guys we have plenty of time to get familiar with the float-rig system.

And I was dead on. As the tide started to drop we started to get bit. First it was small Jacks, the deep summer scourge, versus the spring time scourge which are 6" bluefish. And don't forget Mangrove snappers in the 6" category eating as many scrumpteous shrimp tails as they can.

And that brings me to some inshore fishing wisdom, learned the hard way. Never think for one second that when you buy live bait, that they will be alive 10 minutes later, no matter how good your live well is. Bait can shit the bed so easily in the summer.

So when buying live shrimp from now on what ever amount I need I'm buying two dozen more because no matter what (2) dozen seem to always die!

I started out with (8) dozen two dozen died, so maybe I have 6 dozen now. 6 dozen live shrimp and three sweet water anglers means one thing........NOT ENOUGH BAIT!

At 11am we were slap outa shrimpz.

But only after about 10 or so Trout, boxing just 4 up to 4 pounds with the rest 14 3/4" long.

Mega-numbers of 12 inch Jacks and Mangrove snappers. One 14" Flounder, 2- small Reds and 2 - Pup Black Drum.

Smaller fish than I wanted.

So I run to Browns Creek Fish Camp and buy 5 dozen more, 2 more dozen than I actually needed, (per dieing purposes) put them in my livewell run to a close spot for a look see, and we use 3 shrimp and when I go to dip out a 4th Shrimp. ALL of the shrimp I just purchased 10 minutes ago are D-E-A-D!

Good god, I'm having to bite my tongue and am about to go postal. $15.00 worth of bait with not a single live shrimp, and nothings wrong with my livewell. "I just had live shrimp in it that we used up 20 minutes ago." I've NEVER EVER had this happen before. I mean NEVER.

Kind of reminds me of my ole Cigar Minnow trolling days, many moons ago. I'd buy 2 boxes of frozen cigar's, have my customers get on board, run offshore, pull up to the first spot, thawing out some baits on the way. And as I rig them up for deployment at 2.5 knots of troll speed, they'd be rotten! And completely blow-out after 2 minutes of trolling. Right then, I'd have to repeat..."SERENITY NOW, SERENITY NOW", because my head would be about to blow off.

Today, I stayed relatively calm because I just wanted to take the guys, and finish up our day where I took 5 year old Will Tanner and his dad yesterday, for a little while.

This occurance seems so similar to the other day when I bought mud minnows, didn't catch squat on them and then went and bought 8 dozen shrimp and caught squat on them spending a total of $50 on bait for two people and they caught only 3 fish.

I took those 5 dozen dead shrimp and threw them over the side of the boat, and headed in to clean fish.

But we had fun. And it is surely the height of summer for an inshore fisherman. Hot as hell by noon, and ya GOTTA work, hard and smart.

Hell with the stressed bait, how about stressed fishing guides?

Next up Wednesday, 2 anglers at 7am.

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