Thursday, August 30, 2007

8/30 - Refresher back country Florida

Since this "end of August" is about the same as the end of August last year........D-E-A-D. (where is everyone? I hope ya'll are saving it up for September and October!!)
I decided to treat myself with a road-trip...or is that a boat trip?

I went on about a 30 mile or more one way trip, yesterday. To an area of N.E. Florida I hope to frequent some more as fall approaches.

I headed way NORTH.

I'll give ya'll a clue. I went to where there's no other fisherman, no Helicopters, no wakes from tug boats, no Navy noise pollution. No harassment from the Coasties, no FWC either. A pristine area of our Florida, that 99.999% of those boats "running around like chickens with no heads" on the weekends, don't know exists.

Can ya' believe there is such a place? Yes, there is. And thank goodness they don't know about it.

(sorry no pictures....I was busy looking around and fishing)

But the only problem was, which was a huge one. Is that there was no fish caught, while I was there. No "real" fish that is. Of course I went as an observer, and to clear my head of the Mayport area. It was really nice seeing what real BACKCOUNTRY MARSH LANDS are really like.

The marsh grass was greener, and had a different look to it, even. Probably because of the influence of much more Fresh Water.

The biggest problem is I went there on a Full Moon incoming tide, and man was the tide high too. Kinda the opposite of when I should have been there. All I could scrape up was some Ladyfish and Jacks......about the same thing I'm catching at home. I did catch some big shrimp in a creek with my castnet, and saw a Dolphin way up in a creek whollering around in 2 feet of water. And as I spooked it, the massive animal came rushing within inches of my boat at warp speed. I guess it doesn't see/hear boats very often, way up in there.

The salinity wasn't as high as the St. Johns River, the lowest I recorded on a very high tide was a 23 parts per thousand. Which is pretty damn low considering.
I was pretty upset I didn't find no "real" fish. Although I did see Tarpon rolling in a creek far, far, from where you'd think they'd be. The water was super muddy. A lot darker and stirred up than the St. Johns. The water just plain looked silty. They say that this area gets more rain that does the beaches of Jacksonville.

I did learn that, I will be back. But like everything else, this probably isn't the time of year for up there either. 86 degree water, and a hard E.S.E. 15 knot wind made it feel like just another hot summer day.

I treated myself to some nice scenery. Since I can now see really good after having Lasik surgery, by Dr. Schnipper. It's amazing. The whole process, and what they can do these days, for people that are so sight handicapped, like I "was".
BTW, does anyone look at this page of my web site? - It's where I post tid-bits of info. And of course have all the info about my new boat, too. I have a special offer up on there now, too. Just in case I get some die hards that want to take full advantage of the Fall Season. In which I can't wait for.
I also have a link to a story written by a client on his web site, up there too. Which was nice of him to send to me. Check for News that may not show up here, on that page.

It's the Labor day holiday this weekend. Last year we had ERNESTO come by or thru. From the 30th of August to the 2nd of September. And I still had four charters that week, and we caught some BIG Redbass at the jetties. If I can get some Pogies I'll be looking to do that again this weekend, the jetties, briefly. I say briefly, because once I hook a 'STINGER', I'm out there!

Some kind of RAIN or STORM action wouldn't hurt the fishing right now, that's for sure. For some reason the local waters, really seem to need a rejuvenation right about now, and if we don't get it. It just means more of the same, till when the "cooling off" starts on it's own. And that's too long of a wait for me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

8/28 - Let their be sight! (@0600 hrs. the next day)

This is a test. Only a test. Of the "Float Freak's" EYES.

It hasn't even been 24 hrs yet. But after my Lasik surgery by Dr. Schnipper, I can see! And see pretty damn well. I was fixed up to see far......I told the Doc, "I need to see my float at 100 paces", but at the same time I might loose close-in vision. Well, since I've never been able to see a thing outside an arms length away, my whole life. I'd certainly trade one for the other. But it looks like I can see pretty good close up too.

You can't image what wonderful technology this Lasik surgery is. Dr. Schnipper say's that the equipment he uses is so good that it would be hard to make it any better.

Many people I've taken fishing have had their eyes fixed, as I call it. And I have not heard of one dissatisfied person yet.

There isn't many things that take only minutes that can improve your life so dramatically.

For me, this is the start of a new life!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

8/26 - Diggin' Deep

Had Maryanne Davenport along with her sister Trish out today. (whens the last time I had two women out fishing without men aboard? About 4 years ago!)

After a long boring week of not much going on. I did go out all by me lonesome on Friday and again fought through Needlefish for a bunch of small Trout getting only 2 keepers at 15 inches.

I live way too far away from where the Trout really are, and that's way down river from the reports I've read, where the salinity isn't PURE SALT WATER (we need a big storm badly). And I just can't muster a night trip, to fish around lighted docks for Trout. Since I can't see very good in the dark, right now. (really bad eyes) Which I hope will get repaired with tomorrows Lasik surgery at 10am with Dr. Schnipper. I'm having a hard time driving at night let alone running down the river at night in my boat, by myself! Plus, I only fish the way I take my charters fishing. And I don't have that many people interested in heading out at 10pm till 4am! I certainly couldn't hack it. I'm a day person.

Today we started early because of the possible threat of storms, that are just now finally forming and I can hear the rubbling outside and it's 6:00pm. So actually we had nothing to worry about, unlike the Big Rains and lightning that happened here yesterday morning. We experienced a beautiful day, with one snag.....the full moon. I won't go into the details in depth when it comes to full moons and current at the inlet. But I'll just say we had NONE this morning at high tide.

We tried float-rigging the jetties for a Flounder, but that didn't work. We hooked up one Jack but it did an ass-handing trick and broke off in the jetty rocks. So I went to go get some Pogies on the beach. They were there, but scattered. Being patient, I wasn't going to push it. So I methodically probed around where we saw a "flip" or two. I studied my scope and really studied my "A-scope" feature on my sounder. And made a pitch with the cast net when they were right under the boat. That's what an "A-scope" feature is, it shows what's directly under the boat, in real time. A valuable tool when searching out bait schools.

I made a throw of the net and actually caught a bunch....and from then on all I could catch was 3 at a time. So not to crowd my small 14 gallon livewells I only put in a dozen or so to make sure they lived.

Here's where things really got interesting, and frustrating, depending who you were. Let's use this phrase as a header for the rest of the story;

"Summer Bottom Fishing.....or is it dumpster lid fishing?"

The reason I don't bottom fish much any more, is because I hate rays...preferably giant Stingrays. The only thing they are good for is ruining tackle, shark baits, and handing my charters their asses on a silver platter! I'm not in the Stingray charter business, and will quit and get a job at Home Depot before I equate stingrays in the sport fish catagory.

So as I dropped down live big fat pogies down to the bottom on 7/0 circle hooks and long 50 pound Mason Hard Type Nylon leaders, with an 8oz. lead, I knew what I was in for.
Instead we had almost instant strikes from not stingrays but most likely really big sharks!

I just didn't start bottom fishing the jetties yesterday. I can tell a Redfish from a Ray and a Ray from a Shark or a Shark from a Jack, and a Jack from a Tarpon. I had the drag pressure on my model 870 Accurate "twin drag" reels, slammed into max drag probably 30-40 pounds of drag pressure at the rod tip, and these sharks were jerking and haulin ass so fast they were un-stoppable in the falling tide current. Both broke off and that was 65 pound Super Braid line. Not broke but rather cut.

"Okay, were outa here!" I said, as the jetty anchor wouldn't hold anyhow. Next spot. Stingray almost instantly.......again anchor wouldn't hold here either.

By now I'm a re-rigging fool.....I re-rigged when float fishing 3-4 times and now, at least twice. And not a single fish to the boat.

So I go to the only place that's very close that my anchor may hold us in the current. Along the Navy Base. Again, instant Stingray hook-up again...I break it off purposely as it spools me against 30 pounds of drag pressure!!!!

Next up, finally I can tell it's a BIG Red. Targeted species. Maryanne, goes to battle.

Big Red's are good fighters and this one gave her a good tussle. But compared to a really big Jack, Shark or Stingray are actually controllable. I guess that's what makes them a good charter fish. Because they are controllable compared to some other large fish in the river and at the inlet.

Maryanne's Red weighed in at 23 pounds although it seemed larger to her and Trish.

After the Red, the tide got down and it was time for the Jacks to start marauding our giant pogies. Too big for the average river Jack to eat, they just chomp them and kill 'em while trying to eat them unsucessfully.

But we got one.

Trish reeled in one that ate a pogie and decided to just run ahead of the boat dragging the 8 ounce bank sinker along with it.

It was about 6-7 pounds.

Things cooled off quickly and it was time to head to the end of the jetty rocks because there would finally be some current out there. Which just earlier there was not.
But the Gals had enough fun in the sun and watching me re-rig the rods.

I guess that's my extent of bottom fishing for a long while, or until I see for myself the the Big spawning Reds are in full swing in my own back yard.
Believe me, working the float catching about anything is better that having your tackle ruined by giant dumpster lid sized Stingers!
All I can think about is by this time tomorrow I could be seeing 20/20 or even better, far away.
This Lasik stuff is really something. And I can't believe I'm getting it done. It'll be a new set of eyes.
And easier to watch my customers floats for them because they usually don't.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

8/22 - Non-Subsistance Fishing?

Saw a documentary last night about people living above the Artic circle that were all subsistence hunters and they caught some seriously big fish in nets under ICE! And it got me thinking. With all our technology, rods and reels, and fancy boats, if you had to subsistence fish in today modern world, you'd probably be on one good diet.

"When I actually catch a's TOAST!"

I had to of feed 2 dozen PRIME live shrimp to these bastards today. A SUMMER TIME SCOURGE, for sure. And my list is getting longer. (3" Mangrove Snappers, Pinfish, tiny Ringtails, and of course those orange beaked Terns.....the bait stealers from above.) Live shrimp these days is expensive. And each one that gets robbed makes me angry for some reason...hahahahah
I did catch some dinner today, (thanks to my fancy technology, and never give up attitude) Those Needlefish almost sent me packing, though. If I could have shot them all with a gun I would have! But I had to out smart the skinny bastards. We had no real tide today. Yes, the water rose and fell, but anything less that a 4' tide in the St. Johns is a no tide to me. So with less current to deal with the skinny scourges were everywhere.
The first 3-fish of the day, was one that I wish ALL fish were like. GROUPER, baby Grouper. They're eating machines. Baits 3/4's as long as their entire body aren't too big to eat. Hell, they know they have a big mouth and aren't afraid to use it. This one ate a Mullet today as long as it was.

The others were bigger, at least.
Then, I got what I came for. The reason I put the boat in the water on a 97 degree day, and fished in the 88 degree surface temp water.

In between the Needlefish, I slid my float-rig down the rocks I was fishing. (I fooled them by baiting them to some dead shrimp I tossed out and away from the boat) YES, FOLKS IT'S CAME TO THAT. My Float went down and up came a big TROUT to the surface. Almost a "T-rout"....I write T-rout, when I feel they are T-rex size. This one looked a lot bigger in the water. But ended up being 2 feet long.....a 24 incher.

Still waiting on a Trout pushing towards 10 pounds. Each year I think...this maybe it. I don't really believe Trout that size inhabit our river as much as they did many moons ago. For a guy who fishes for just Trout 12 months a year. You'd think I would have at least hooked something close to 9 pounds, wouldn't you?

I think there was more big Trout on this spot, and kept trying for another. Because my theory is "one is okay, two means you were more than just lucky." But the Needlefish ended up running me out of there. So I guess I was just "lucky". I hate that! I don't like feeling Lucky...I like skill, being the reason I catch big Trout. Yes, they are an obsession.
I ran around looking and looking for a place there could be more Trout, and less Needles. Since the tide was so weak, I looked at places that during a solid 4' 5" incoming tide the current would actually be too strong for float-rig fishing. But with today's tide, would be just right. I eventually found that spot. But more than anything, it had a flooding current that was pushing so much bait, it was unbelievable. Schools of mullet, glass minnows, and pilchards were everywhere. Birds going crazy above, and the Trout were below. Up on a submerged, but shallow shell bar.
Instantly, I hooked a Trout. One after another. But since we can only have a (5) Trout in Florida, (15-20", 1 can be over 20") While tossing back the small ones. I weeded through them like a bag of broken potato chips, looking for good one to EAT!
I caught a 15 incher, so in the box it went. And with a small mullet on a fish-finder rig I tossed out, I caught an 18 incher that was just swimming around on a slack line. I only knew I had a fish on that rod when I went to check it......."Lucky again", I guess.
On this one spot I probably caught 25 Trout, and only pulled out two keepers. And I never had a single Needlefish bite, to my knowledge. I banged on those schoolies out of SPITE, till all I had left was some wore out or dead shrimp in the live well. So I packed it in and headed to the dock to clean my Subsistence catch of the day.

When I got home I did make dinner out of these fish and had enough for tomorrow, too.

But not exactly what I wanted. I wanted my (5) Trout. Like the folks up in the Artic circle. I need some fish to eat.
School's back in session, and I instantly feel the pinch. Next "pre-scheduled" charter is Sunday.

I'm taking reservations of course, for September and October....Please call ahead to reserve the best tidal dates. I hope things cool down sometime soon. And we could use a good storm to turn over the water, too. I hope this year isn't like last year. No storms, meant no huge rain fall. Which means, no flushing of the river to send all the shrimp out. But It'll always does.
And I can't wait.

Friday, August 17, 2007

8/17 - Fishing, before back to school.

Had Joe Eulberg and daughter Rachel aboard today. As soon as I turned away from the boat ramp, I had a good feeling......The wind was "crisp" from the south direction. Then as I made my way to the jetties. My suspicions were confirmed. YES... FINALLY SOME GOOD WIND!

I do not like my jetty spots when the water's slick calm. That's one thing about fishing the jetties, it's always better when being stirred up......"stirred, not shaken, please." It gets the fish out hunting, rather than what ever they do when the water's calm, dull, and boring.

So I got Joe and Rachel going on the big Floats. The 2 ouncer's, with a 2 oz. lead on heavier rods. Because "ya never know this time of year what ya may hook-up with", so I don't want anyone caught with their pants down, and not enough tackle. Plus in the slopppy conditions in which we were anchored, it's best to go with a heavier lead, a larger float, so you get a more perfect vertical presentation with your float-rig. Versus my usual set-up which is a smaller float rigged to a 1 ounce lead.

First fish was Joe's, a keeper Mangrove Snapper about 13" inches. Then he hooked a perfect Redbass at 24", then as the tide slowed and started to turn on the bottom, he set the hook on the TARGETED SPECIES! Flounder. A nice 2 pounder. Then we had a double header with Rachel on two identical Jacks. Then afterwards, his float disappeared and he set and lifted a 6 pound Flounder off the bottom and into the waiting net.

I was happy. Targeted species now in the fish box...."LET'S GET SOME MORE!"

But the seas were kickin' and we slid back on the anchor out of where he caught the flatties. Rachel just 10 years old called them Pan Cake's. I re-anchored but the only thing we mustered was a lot more Mangrove Snapper bites.....the ultimate bait stealer.

So I tried one more spot along the rocks. "The pocket". And wow, my anchor held! A spot where no one in his right mind, other than someone like me would have put their boat, in this sea. But I had to give it a try. And my anchor stuck good, as we made a few drifts to see if there was a flat fish up in there. Even though there's peices of a boat (thin plastic) that got crushed up in the rocks a few weeks ago, right there. I have a little more confidence. The one that hit the rocks a , looked to be made out of a Clorox bottle or something, because you can see the thin fiberglass laying up in the rocks. Hmmmm...
After anchoring absolutely perfect in the sloppy 3 foot seas into the "pocket", we didn't get any more Flounder, so I moved into the river.
I pulled up to an area that's either a Redfish or a good sized Jack spot. And instantly Joe got slammed and handed some azz, on his first drift into the submerged rocky point. He pulled hard, let the fish run out of the shallow rocks and got himself a good sized Jack about 5-6 pounds.

A tad different pull from an "El Toro" fish than Joe's past Walleyes he's fished for up in Minnesota. I'd bet, NO fish can pull as hard as a Jack, pound for pound. And the sweet-water folks would have a heart attack if we could catch those 2o-30 pounders in the river on light tackle. Man. I'd love that!! The 5-6 pounders are tough enough, when making drag burning runs in shallow water around rocks.
We only picked up that one Jack, so I just moved 100 yards and tried an area down tide that had a lot of fish busting the surface. Rachel reeled in some Ladyfish and small Jacks. And as she was taking a break in the big deck chair up on the bow of the boat, I used her rig and sent out a new shrimp. The float was set shallow and my shrimp came to the surface, and right before the float went down, Joe and I saw a small Tarpon roll up on my float and eat my shrimp! But when the float went down, I came tight and there was no fish there.....and I was missing the shrimp.
Tarpon in the river in Mayport, there has been a few sightings lately. And this was my first "sort of" hook-up in the river in Mayport.

Overall a good day with some quality fish. Thanks to a good wind from a good direction.

Joe and Rachel were my last pre-booked day with any kids on the boat. I hear school starts on Monday. So I guess the rush will be over. But that doesn't mean you can't reserve a quality charter for yourself or some buddies, for Sept and October. Do it in advance. Tides are gonna be really important come Sept and Oct. We start working our way into to some of the highest high tides and lowest low's in the fall.

My favorite time of year is getting closer and closer.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

8/15 - Jr. Anglers Day

Had Gene Bednarek his son Jackson and his buddy Avery. The two boys were each about 8 years old, and at 6:30am promptly jumped on the boat and we headed north to the "sound". It was a nice ride. I went to where the beach along Big Talbot island runs straight into the sound. The same place where on the 8th we hooked up a Tarpon while Whiting fishing.

First hook-up: A Ray, that Avery and I battled to the boat. (My assistance was needed)

The second fish was a decent Whiting, a keeper Pompano and a few Ladyfish hook-ups. But I was disappointed already with the action, wondering where were the bites? So we moved around, as you must do in the Sound.

We picked a fish here and there. Catching some
small Pompano and a nice sized Bonnethead
Shark. But man, where was the Nassau Sound

I know and love?

Ohhhhhhh.....I forgot, it's the summer doldrums!

Where 87 degree water is the rule. So all I could do was keeping making some moves.
I wanted "beach" Whiting for the boys in big
numbers, those larger
"silvers" if I could. Not those 5" "boat" Whiting, that I call "lil' Brownies.
So I'll give myself an 'A' for trying and trying!
I moved around and kept searching.

We eventually ended up at the tip of Amelia Island. My "beach Trout spot", and pitched out our cut pieces of shrimp and caught some Spadefish, but just one big one. The rest were small, the size of a bluegill. And the bait stealing from whatever was relentless!

Avery was our "green" fisherman, only
participating in maybe 1/2 the day.
The rest of the time he was either slumped
over a cooler or sleeping.
So that meant Jackson got to catch the
fish, which was probably okay with him.
He's truly a good Jr. Angler and will get even
better as he gets older and more patient.
He has some experience and can handle a
rod & reel, good.

Everyone was hot and bothered...I was just frustrated. So we ended the day pulling up to the beach at Big Talbot and Gene and the boys swam around to cool off in the bath water, before the ride back to the boat ramp.
They went home with a meal or two.
The big Spadefish provided two nice fillets,
along with a few larger Whiting and one
12" Pompano.

I was hoping the "sound" would produce
some serious action, because on Friday I have another 10 year old. Guess, I'll stay in the river.

Action, that's all I want lots of when I have the Jr. Anglers aboard. It keeps them busy, interested and accomplishing something. But at the same time I'd like to keep it where they learn and feel challenged a little bit.......that's my only goal when taking the kids. And having that happen keeps me and dad's happy too.

Monday, August 13, 2007

8/13 - 10 doz. shrimp - 3 fish in the box

Had Bill Massey and his Nephew Micheal aboard today. Nice Monday, that's for sure. Hot, yes. And there certainly isn't anything I can do about that. The water temp in the river sure is Hot too. I fished from 83 to 86 degree water on the surface. But of course it isn't as HOT down below.
It's that time again in the river.....where everywhere you practically fish is over run with Mangrove Snappers. I wouldn't mind if they were 2 pounds a piece. But the majority are 4-10 inches, and specialize in stealing your bait. Kind of like the mini Bluefish in the spring time, except the blues just bite off your hook. (there's always some undesirable out there)

I worked really hard today to keep the action flowing. Incoming tide till almost noon where I was fishing. My first spot really let me down. A spot where I've been challenging my crew with some serious drag burners, either Reds or good size Jacks. We lost a few baits, and caught a small Jack. But not what I had planned. So off we went to the land of Mangrove Snappers, but wanting a Speckled Trout or two. In between the "mango" bites Micheal got the only Speck, off the spot. As the "snappers" wreaked havoc on our live well population of very spunky shrimp. (meaning eating a lot with just a few hook-ups, and the ones caught were small)

Uncle Bill is the experienced fisherman, Micheal is "self admittedly" not. And when it came to the Trout, good sized Jacks, and big Redfish. Mike was what I called by days end. "The Blind Squirrel." Because even a Blind Squirrel finds an acorn every so often. And with as much coaching as I could muster, by days end I think he had a great appreciation for what it takes to intentionally catch good fish.

So we ended up with a 17" Speck, lots of Jacks up to 7 pounds, many juvenile Mangrove Snappers, juvenile Gag Groupers, an 18" Redfish and a 27" Redfish.

It was sort of a tough day for me, because this time of year not many quality fish come super easy. The more skills you have the easier it is to catch them in the summer doldrums. And the more challenged you will be, as a beginner fisherman. It's just the way it is.

But with my help Micheal our "blind squirrel" of the day, put fish in the fish box.

Next up: Wednesday 2- kids and two adults. I think Nassau Sound and some Whiting, Jacks and Ladyfish and more, will be in order. I'm a bit frazzled, and frustrated with August's river fishing. So this maybe the salvation I and the kids need.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

8/11 - 3 boat Bachelor Party charter

Yep, after a night of debauchery....( I don't think it was that bad) I had 9 guys, 3 each on 3 boats.
Hung-over, maybe? At the ripe time of 0630 hrs. It was a gathering of friends of Jeff Handa's, a past customer of mine. So we all got on our perspective boats and headed out for a big day of fishing.
I stayed in the river. So did another boat. And the 3rd boat went to Nassau Sound, to do the Whiting fishing up there.
I had a special spot up my sleeve that I wanted to try on the last hour or two of the incoming tide. A spot that has been full of "ass-hander specials".......big Jacks and Redfish.

So we anchor up, I show the guys the ways of the float-rig, and we're off. John makes the first hook set. His float rippppps across the water from about 2 feet deep, straight up into a slight cove on the bank. But this cove is shallow and has boulders all over the bottom. And almost every single hooked up fish ends up running for the shallows and up in almost, no water. Most of the time it's an instant snap of the leader as the fish goes around the rocks. And this Jack Crevalle, does the same. John's pulling hard, and as the fish goes up into inches of water, a huge wake from the local party boat comes rolling into the bank, and I see an "out" for John to take. And that was enough water to... PULL THE FISH THROUGH! I'm yelling, "REEEEEEL!!!!!!" As the fish swims into the wake and now into a bit deeper water, while John continues to pulls the fish out of the rocky structure. "if it wasn't for the huge wake of the Party boat, that fish would have just swam right around the boulders...." Ya just had to have seen this miracle of luck, to believe it. As the Jack gave John one hell of a battle. GIVE'EM NO QUARTER! That's the only way of getting any good sized fish out of this spot.

So we continued and got ripped a few more times by good fish in the structure. Then, we saw what we came for. REDS. Redfish busting on top of the structure and on the bank, feeding right there in front of us, and we couldn't get one to the boat. It was pretty exciting!
So we moved on. Next spot was an old dock where a Ladyfish handed Casey his butt, breaking him off while jumping out and on the other side of the dock, we were fishing. Then Jeff caught a Trout, and a baby Gag Grouper. John had a few slammers and a Ladyfish. Then the action slowed, so I tried another portion of the dock, with just a bite or two from bait stealers. what I wanted, no matter what. So I went back into a creek'ish area. Which turned out to be fishing the Nursery Grounds. It was a Redfish, Trout, Ladyfish Festival. One after another. The guys pulled small Reds and Trout to the boat. None were "keepers" but it was fast and furious. John and Jeff would stand on either side of Casey, and have their floats go down with fish on....while Casey was wondering what's going on! A dozen or more Trout and Reds and Ladyfish later. Casey finally got his Trout.

We burned at almost 9 dozen shrimp, fast. It was a tad cooler than it has been. And a beautiful day. Even though it was a Saturday. The other boat in the river had some of the same, and the boat that went to Nassau Sound caught 36 Whiting.

The heat was still really bad as we said our goodbye's back at the boat ramp parking lot. It can really suck the energy out of you. And it has me, I'm taking it easy tomorrow. Because I have a Monday morning charter.
If you have the need for some good clean fun with a large group. I can always reserve multiple boats for you, and we can fish the inshore waters. From 8-18 people, it doesn't matter.
3 passengers per boat, is perfect.

Friday, August 10, 2007

8/10 - World Tour

Had Paul Heck and his son Alex aboard today. The perfect charter, two passengers. Where if need be I can run from here and there, without any problems and try this or try that without doing a seminar.

So I had big plans of trying Amelia island for some Trout. But as we headed there via Lake Atlantic......Lake Atlantic sure did have a swell coming from the south east, being pushed back from the NW breeze.....and yes it was a decent breeze too! The whole thing didn't "FEEL" as good as the last trip two days ago I made up here. Got on my first spot and Alex gets a royal butt kicking from a.....5 pound Jack. Remember now, not everyone is as salty as us local fisherman, so the Jack is teaching Alex a thing or two about fish fighting on Light Tackle.

But RIGHT NOW, is when I expected to start seeing a trout get hooked up. Instead, I think the guys catch another Jack or two. So we moved on. The tide was low about 8am, so we went to spot #2. And there is where we picked-up a Trout or two. Not the big ones that usually roam the area, but keepers. Loosing a few more, and catching a Jack and Ladyfish. We moved on again.

I went looking for that Tarpon spot where we hooked one a few days before and anchored up. Jacks, and a few bit off leaders probably from small sharks. Never saw the first Tarpon roll.

Back to the jetties we headed. Tried there, and never lost a bait....Damn it's dead low tide, 105 degrees, yes it's summer doldrums....FULL BORE!! Just think, in 3 months from now it'll be a whole notha' story!

Went to another spot and there sat Larry "the fishman" Finch. Guess I ain't going there, so we moved up to another spot. Gave it a few drift without a bite and moved on again.

DO YA GET THE TITLE OF THIS REPORT YET. YES, WE'RE DOING THE WORLD TOUR......and I was trying big time just to get a bite or two at this time.

So off to the shipyard. "Let's try fishing some shady spot." "And by that I mean shady for the fish...not us." Getting our float, up and under the pier there. Where they are chillin' out.

So minutes later Paul and Alex are into the Jacks again. It wasn't easy to get up and under that pier of the shipyard. But do-able. So after awhile we decided to call it a day.

But before we did that I wanted to try a a drift. I pitched back to the docks pilings covered in barnacles, with ropes and pipes and all kinds of crap in the water. I let it rip.....and get up under the dock way into the shade. The fish hide under there, and they stage up behind the pilings.

Bamm....I feel the bite rather than watching my float go down, and I rip a 20" Speck from under the dock. I try again, and rip another Trout from under the dock, an 18 incher. I bet I could have caught my 5 fish Speckled Trout limit right here. But decided to leave it be.

Paul and Alex saw how it was done, but I didn't and don't expect everyone to be able to fish a spot like this like I can. The difficulty level is up there.....about a 7 or 8 on a 1-10 scale.

Either way they had enough for supper. And planned on taking their catch to Singletons Seafood to be cooked for them. Cold Beers, and fresh fried Trout, and a big day fishing in some brutal heat, spells relaxation time.

Tomorrow......3 boat charter. A group of guys in for a past customers wedding.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

8/8 - Let's experiment...7-species within a square mile

Had Jeff Heath, and two friends aboard today. The two friends were some of our local Navy boys out of Mayprt.

Since the last few trips in the river has been for crap, I headed north to Amelia Island. Float-rig rods, and my medium weight bottom rods matched with my lil' power houses, Accurate Boss-197's with twin drags. I was ready for about anything.
ACCURATE TWIN DRAG B-197 - the ultimate light tackle powerhouse!

If ya don't know by now, there's BIG Specks in the surf this time of year. And as I always say, I'll go anywhere to catch them (I usually do). And I've been picking off some surf Specks here and there. And when ya do, they ain't small ones. Last trip to Amelia we boxed 4 from 19-23". It's not a quantity kind of thing, but rather a quality thing.

And last Saturday when I had that Scout boat about run me over, I was experimenting in a slew. A sand bar just off the beach with good water in between. So I headed right to that spot today......but on a falling tide. When I usually catch these fish it's on an incoming tide, instead though.

But experimenting we will go.......So I anchored just off the beach in 4 feet of water, we had monster current doing the FLUSHING , so no worries about water movement. Bait was all over, and when I see bait, meaning finger mullet, I know TROUT....BIG Speckled Trout should be in the area.

So I get the 3 guys going on the float-rig and they take to it like water. I see no problems here. They ought to do good. Jeff, their host has his float go BYE, BYE, first. And he comes tight with a real big fish.....and it's a trout. Taking drag, on the light tackle and small hook. And here's our first Speckled Trout. An absolutely beautiful 4 pound 23 incher. They're so gorgeous coming out of clean green ocean water. I felt soooooo good being able to target these trout, even on the least of all productive tides. But that's my goal. I want to know and be able to do all. When it comes to these fish that NO ONE else can claim much if any knowledge of. Surf Trout? I might as well be speaking french to the average "who-yaw" around here. They haven't a clue, how to get them in the wide open ocean.

So, one isn't proving much. But it meant the world to me. So my boys keep on fishing. Loosing baits to un-knows, hooking un-knows, loosing the un-knows........but that's okay. If it's what I'm looking for, they take the float down. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Because Trout don't mess around, especially big Trout.Jeff's up again, (the man from Indiana) this time it's a real ass-hander. The drags ripping, and he fights it to the boat, then around the motor, then up on the surface. This fish would have been lost if I let that happen! But folks on vacation from Indiana, get 2nd chances. It's a nice Redfish....exactly 27 inches (max keeper size) I'm really excited now.

We may have only two fish in the cooler, but let me tell ya', these two fish, where we are fishing, takes INSIGHT with EXPERIMENTATION, and I'm the only one I see who does this. Plus there's always more than one way to skin a cat. As the tide slows towards dead low, I don't see that the other two fella's having the appreciation for what Jeff just happened into, so we move on and go catch some Whiting up in Nassau Sound. It's a waylay!!!! All the 10-12" Whiting you could ever want. I couldn't keep up with re-baiting lines and casting out for the guys. But the fish were really small. So we kept some frier's, and threw back the rest, along with Jacks and Ladyfish.

Off to spot #3. Now is when things get really interesting.I find a 10' hole out amongst and area that's averaging 6 foot. So I drop anchor. And tell the guys "let's continue with the bottom rods, and shrimp for bait....dead or alive."So the first bait casted out was of course the fishes go to bait. Steve feels the fish move remember we were just Whiting fishing.

He has a 3 oz. sinker on a Nylon slider above a swivel attached to a 15 pound test leader, and a Eagle Claw 2/0 L197 circle hook. And as the fish moves off he let's it pull down on the rod as I taught him. AIRBORNE.......go's a 30-50 pound class Tarpon!


Caught on a rig meant for a one pound fish, and a piece of dead shrimp! Steve does great. The fish stays close to the boat, as it leaps 4 times completely out of the water. He keeps the fish on. Around and around the boat the fish swims. Getting closer to the gaff in my hand the whole time. If I could have just touched the leader, or if he could have just put the swivel of the rig at the rod tip, I would have considered it a catch. But the fish remained 10 feet away at least at all times.I stayed anchored up and Steve had the fish swim by the anchor 2-3 times already. No more following a Tarpon for Cappy Dave......that's BS. Cause every time I do that the fish rests as we drive around a lot, with the Tarpon in control of the battle. A "No-No" in my book. So we stayed anchored up in the current.

Under the boat the fish went in the 10 feet of water, around some more, and as Steve's T-shirt became soaked with sweat, the fish went for the bow, and it went around the anchor before Steve could blink. I pulled the anchor and we still had the fish on....but as I looked and saw multiple wraps around the anchor line the fish parted with us.As we quickly found out, the fish broke the Eagle Claw tiny 2/0 circle hook in half! And on Steve's line was swinging a perfectly good 15 pound Ande 24" leader, a 3 oz. bank sinker and a hook shank and eye.

We saw more Tarpon busting all around us as Steve fought his fish, so I upped the hook size to a 5/0 and leader to 30 pound and we tried for another, with no more Tarpon hook-up's afterwards. I know why! The falling tide was over by then and we sat on a slack anchor line, and had no water movement. And then saw no more Tarpon.

The guys caught some bigger Whiting that could eat a 5/0 circle hook, and a few small sharks. So we moved on.I re-anchored up by the beach. And we used the float-rig rods and were assholes to elbows in a full fledged Ladyfish RIOT. And after 10 of them, we packed it up, because Steve had to get to work and make some noise around Mayport in one of those Helicopters that circle the area constantly.

So it was a great day full of surprises, and a guy from Indiana who was the lucky on the float-rig in the morning.I love when some experimenting comes together. Give me an incoming tide and I'll find more of those jumbo Speckled Trout.....(just not a Saturday please)

I HAVE A NEW DIGITAL CAMERA it when I came home. So I'll be back taking daily report and recent catch photos of the day. It's a SEALIFE under water and on land waterproof digital camera. It's really nice. And as the old saying goes, "nothing stays dry on a center console boat, that is the reason I went with a dive camera....rated to be used down to 75 feet!

Monday, August 6, 2007

8/6 - When bad gets a bit better?

Had Larry F. and his son Adam aboard today. Larry's new to J-ville and his son came down to visit from Detroit. It was a beautiful day, if HOT with a HOT west wind is your bag.

So I headed to the jetties, and figured if the wind wasn't all that bad we'd float-rig and see if we could catch a weekday Flounder, Jack, Red, or Ladyfish. Adam caught 1 Ladyfish.
Not from a lack of trying, that's for sure. Larry and Adam got no other bites except for bait stealers. They literally could not give away a live shrimp to a decent fish.

I usually see Tarpon rolling outside of where I was anchored at the last of the falling tide, but the only interesting thing I saw was a small school of mullet, pass by the boat. No glass minnows, no other bait, no nothing!

Holy Crap......not another day of this again, I thought. I just went through this BS on Saturday. Is it summer doldrums? Has things gotten so hot and miserable that the inshore Mayport fishing finally broke down? Because I can't figure out why last week was a fish fest and now this week is a zero fest!

And that's the way the whole falling tide after spot. Absolutely zero bites, except for the ever so often tiny Mangrove snapper , 2" Seabass, or rock blenny.

Every year I get to a point where I really cannot wait for cooler weather, a change, a transition into winter. I had a better day last week in the NOR'EASTER, when it blew 15-20 knots!!

And then this past Saturday's nightmare of a fishing day......looked like I was in for the same thing, today. And that's what we ended up having. Hours worth of fishing hard, without a single decent fish. What are ya supposed to do? I had 3 hrs. left of this, should I pull anchor and drive to a "distant land" where something might be going on? Not at this time of day, and not at these gas prices. The only thing to do is stick it out and keep trying close areas, I thought....but more like wait for the tide to change. And hopefully change the fishing along with it.

The tide turned. So I mimicked the same thing I did on Saturday. And hit a spot I call "Pipe Point". The incoming current was fighting the hard west wind on this spot, but it was my last ditch effort. The shrimp were dieing, I had to change the water in the well one more time, pick out all the dead ones, chummed with them and try to get something going. So I took over, and pitched Larry and Adam's float-rig into the spot where I had my ass handed to me on Saturday. Showing them, EXACTLY what they needed to do to fish this HIGH level of difficulty spot. A very shallow rock pile, that on the first of the incoming tide gets frequented by the Reds, as they travel down the bank.

Adams float goes down and he hooks a 4 pound Jack. Next drift, it goes down again and the fish breaks him off. Then it's Dad's turn. Larry's float disappears and OH MY GOD...does he get his butt handed to him. This fish smokes off like a rocket. Up into shallow water, then out deeper, then back into the shallows. It's a serious battle. His rod is bowed and he's pulling hard to keep the fish in deeper water. And since the bank is strewn with nasty boulders, keeping the fish in deeper water is a good idea. I was coaching Larry and he was doing really good. I said, "this is a really big fish to have in those rocks!!", as Larry worked the fish gaining some line, just to have it take off more. I'm thinking 10 pound Jack the way it was pulling. But as it got closer, I saw RED..."it's a big Red Larry...It's a real nice fish!", I yelled as I reached out with the net.

We went F-I-S-H-L-E-S-S for hours, and I finally found something. And it's all about the incoming tide! GOOO figure??? The wonderful thing (SARCASM) about Jacksonville in the summer is nothing is ever the same from day to day or week to week. Three day's out of one week it'll be all about the falling tide, then the next week everything will be all about the incoming tide.

Adam take's a few photos of Larry's trophy fish and then the measurements, dead on 31 inches. I said to Larry, "I guess I should have the rest of my charters this week meet me at the boat ramp around 1:00-2:00pm, and we can fish the incoming tide during the heat of the day, instead of fishing the morning huh???"

Larry and Adam at least had a sense of humor, joining me in making fun of how crappy today's fishing was. And how idiotic this all seemed, catching fish at the last spot after all we been through so far. (so much BS that I cannot even explain it all here.....which included having words with a asshole Navy Squid at Atlantic ship yard.)

So we continue to beat the hell out of this area, as the tide rolls in. And Adam pulls in a 19" and a 21" Redfish. Then, all bites completely cease. Because the Reds have moved where is the question?? This is the only spot I've found them on lately. But I will continue the search at a later date. Adam had a really nice digital camera on board today and he took some photos. I hope to add them into this report when he e-mails me them. I should have my new camera here on Tuesday.

I have trips on Weds, Friday and a 3-boat group charter on Saturday.

I guess I'll be heading to Nassau Sound, and see if we can't get into some kind of trouble up there on the falling tide that I'll have. Because I certainly cannot take another day like today, again.

I think fishing the Pier today wouldn't have been all that bad. If you're not catching at least the scenery could keep your imagination working.
huba, huba....sun goddess'

Saturday, August 4, 2007

8/4 - I MUST BE NUTS. (weekends and why I hate them)

Yeah, I went out fishing by myself on a Saturday. ( had a bunch of calls for today from people who thought I was a cattle boat) Man, how the hell does one stand it. You work all week, itching to go fishing, and then there's so many people, noise, boat wakes, and inconsiderate assholes on the water it makes the whole experience, less enjoyable by the hour. Or maybe you don't know the difference. And that's okay too.

I hit the water for the sole purpose of trying out a new reel. I was at the boat ramp at 6am. Heading to the jetties in the dark (that's how I get a parking spot at the boat ramp). I fished and fished, and hardly a bite. I sat on the south jetty, counting boat after boat heading around the tip in search of the rare and ambiguous "Pogie". Wake after wake was doing nothing but giving me "river rage". If I wanted to fish in a washing machine, then this was the spot. Saturday morning summer weekend Pogie chasers.......I couldn't take it anymore. No fish on my new reel, no bites, incessant boat traffic. What am I, a glutton for punishment? I guess so. And that's what made me leave.

I headed north, towards Nassau Sound passing one boat after another coming south doing 50 MPH with billboards on the sides of them....."OH, there must be another PRO (LOL) Kingfish tournament somewhere and they are all heading south."

So I finally got up to the sound, and looked around a little. Of course there was boats everywhere, Kayakers, pontoon boats (the bass pond is over there Mister.) I kept thinking how Nassau Sound USED TO BE a little bit of paradise, a hide away, a place to get away from people, before they built that boat ramp in Sawpit creek (a crappy boat ramp too). Now the sound is a Walmart parking lot. Thank goodness 3/4 of the people are anchored, sitting out in the middle of no where. And if they really knew their way around up in the sound, they'd know the fish are up in between the sand bars.....not out in 38 feet of water. (if quality Whiting, Pompano, Trout, Redfish, Drum, Flounder, Sheepshead and Tarpon is your quarry) But if Stingrays & Skates are your all means stay out there.

So......I looked around, and the tides just starting to come in. I work my way between a beach and a long sandbar. I anchor in 3 feet of water. It's not a thorough-fare. I'm where no one else should go unless they are like me, looking for fish up in this slew of water. SO I THOUGHT.
I no sooner start making a few drifts with my float-rig and here comes some asshole in a flats boat and he flys by me going full bore right down the side of my boat and rides right over my float-rig!!!! I'm minding my own business......and there's literally millions of square feet of navigable water elsewhere he could have taken. Scout Flats boat....maybe 20', poling plate form with a huge hand rail on it, Mercury outboard...I'M COMING FOR YOU. If I ever see this guy again, pay backs are gonna be pure hell on him. Believe me! I'll do donuts are him, just for the fun of it.

Yep, Saturdays suck and so does the boating public, ya cannot convince me other wise. I was gonna pull anchor and chase him down. But I'll let him forget what he did, so he's good and pissed when I rock his world next time I see him.

I move around up there in the sound and hook but loose two Flounder. That's the only bites I had and I was up there for hours it seemed, amazed how the place has gone to hell. So I head back to the jetties since the tide was way up now. I search for Flounder...I hook a small one and it comes off at the side of the boat. I keep looking at my hook, because I swear they're not teflon hooks. The current at the jetties is outrageous, the incoming is super strong. Which was half my problem here and at Nassau Sound too.

So I give up. I start to head in for the day. And as I do, I pass an area that peeks my curiosity because I've had some fast and furious action there before during other seasons, so I stop to see what's going on in the 84 degree water and boat wake after boat wake.

I pitch my float & live shrimp out, and instantly catch a 5 pound Jack. FIRST CATCH, AND IT'S OFFICIALLY 12:54 PM. Remember, I've been out since 6:00am!!!!!!
Wow, my new reel actually can reel in a fish.....imagine that? Then, I pitch out again, and before the float drifts 2 feet I get slamm dunked, the fish runs up into shallow water, I see it. It's a giant Redbass, and before I could say "Please STOP", the fish breaks me off in the structure. It doesn't take much to break a 15 pound leader, by the way. Next drift, I actually catch a Flounder. A small 13 incher, I released it. Then, the next few drift I do are in deeper water, and I catch two Baby Gag Grouper. I switch back to the shallows and pitch my float up into the structure and I get my ass handed to me, again. Before I could engage my reel by turning the handle, the float went down, I rear back with my 8'2" rod and get my thumb burnt by brand new STREN super braid line as the fish pulls and breaks me off.

REDS. Yep, that's why I stopped here in the first place. Last fall I was fishing here with two customers and the same thing happened, at this same tide. They'd hook up big reds, have them on and loose them to the massive structure that draws them here in the first place.

I'm the kind of fisherman, that's an observer. Because I anchor. I sit on a spot, and will sit and sit as long as there's some action. Observe and learn. I watch the way the water moves, where the bites come from, the way the baitfish hide and travel the bank. And at this spot I observed a Flounder up in 6 inches of water chasing bait, and jumping clear out of the water. If your a trolling motor-head......try stopping and anchoring once in awhile. The reason I say that is I watch the trolling motor-heads and watch them pass right on by fish, bait, structure, and me, as I'm anchored watching and learning a spot. Hey, Been there done that. I've had as many of 5-6 boats with trolling motors on them.

As I continued observing and fishing my float-rig The sun was nice and bright. I decided to continue to fish that shallow spot where those viscous strikes came from. Then, I see a Redbass come up to the surface and is chasing my live shrimp. My shrimps snapping and dancing around on the surface of the water eluding the red. When all of a sudden he really goes for it, and at the same exact time a seagull comes down and as I'm staring at this Redfish, I see this bird swoop down and grab my live shrimp just as the Red's about to eat the shrimp! The shrimp and Redfish is in about a foot of water....I can see it all, and when the bird comes down and takes my shrimp I freak-out. I cannot believe this is happening!!! The bird got in my line actually and as it fly's away with my float-rig, angered I snatch my float & bait from it's beak and I still have the shrimp on the hook. In slow motion form reminiscent of the TV show, "Kung Fu", I can now see myself snatch the bait from the bird and buzz the float-rig back to the boat and all in one motion make a cast back to where the Redfish was and when the bait hits the water the Red boils up on the surface and eats the shrimp!!! AMAZING, is all I can say!

The whole thing happened so fast. But now I have a Red hooked up right where two have already broke me off. I put the muscle to the fish, and truly get to test out my new Shimano Curado 300 DSV - high capacity low profile reel. The Red peels drag, and I have to high stick it so to keep it out of the snaggy structure. I'm elated, as I whip the fish to the boat. A nice 26" Redfish. Whewwww.

If it didn't happen to me, I'd have a hard time believing such a tall tale. But in my best literary form, that's exactly how it all went down.

I'd have to say this single fish was close to, if not the most rewarding fish I have caught in the year 2007. Probably because I watched the whole thing go down, in clean incoming tide water, about a foot deep atop some seriously snaggy structure.

And that damn bird didn't help......OR DID IT?

Summer weekends are the absolute pits for an inshore fisherman, that's for sure. If you don't realize how nice it is on a Monday morning at 7am, that's okay. Then you don't know what your missing so it'll never hurt ya. "keep America rolling....go to work".
New digital camera on the way. This time a divers camera so it better be water proof! Can't wait to actually have some photos to post.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

8/1 - August Nor'easter already????

Yep, if the temp was lower, if I had on my Grundens fisherman's fleece, and the shrimp were bigger......I'd almost swear it was February, or March at the inlet today.

Nasty, slop choppy seas, high North East winds and a fun swell. Ahhhhh, my kinda day matey's.

I was almost not gonna go, but what the hell I thought, "go try your luck...I mean, "skills".

So after getting maybe 12 usable size shrimp in my 6 dozen I hit the river and headed straight towards the jetties. Yeah, I got 6 dozen and maybe 12 were of usable size. The rest were either 2 inches long or dead already. Bait frustration again.

I wanted to see if I could bend the "whoop-ass rod" on something badly. I've been out on days like this in the middle of the summer before, when we get a rouge Noreaster. And have hooked as many as 5 tarpon in that kind of sea. So don't cancel out any big fish when it's nasty. A full moon incoming tide, white caps and froth gets things all stirred up.

But anchoring where the "stirring" is happening, can be the trick O' the day. I pitched my anchor and it held for 5 minutes. Just long enough for me to catch a 31" Redbass that weighed in at 10 pounds plus. Then the anchor would get snatched free of the jetty rocks and I'd get a case of haul-ass and drift away.......

So I re-anchored again. This time I caught a 19" Flounder. Then the anchor would get snatched free of the jetty rocks and I'd get a case of haul-ass and drift away....

I re-anchored again........I know what your saying! Get a better anchor, or put out more scope, right? NAW...I couldn't put out more scope and my customized JettyWolf anchors are okay. It was windy, lots of current, lots of swell and the water was breaking over the jetty rocks, (SEE PHOTO) as I tried my best to get the boat to stay in a 50 foot circle of space along the rocks. This has happened before, it'll happen again....I thought as I repeated out load SERENITY NOW.....SERENITY NOW, attempting to not get mad.

So I re-anchored again, this time paying as much attention to technique and strategic placement of the anchor as I could. It held! Long enough for me to work the area again a few times. Making perfect drifts with my big float-rig and usable size shrimp.

Float goes down behind a swell and never comes up. I reel and come back with all 9 foot of the whoop-ass rod and drag peels. The fish goes from 28' of water straight to the jetty. I could see my float being dragged across the surface fast. I put this 9 foot rod where it needs to be...In the shape of a horse shoe, cranking fast and pulling hard. And I can see it's a good size Jack Cravalle. Against the "BIG" rod it wears out quickly. And into the net it goes. A solid 10 pounder.

Then guess what happens???? The anchor gets snatched free from the jetty rocks, and I'd get a case of haul ass and drift mo' time. Just for fun!

I anchored no less that 12 times along the jetty rocks today. Pulling in that 12-14 pound anchor and 8 foot of heavy chain, another 8-10 pounds. Reeled in a 10 pound Redfish, and a 10 pound Jack, and I wasn't out there but maybe 2 hours, so far.


Yeah, this wasn't what I'd describe as a great day either.

I was down to maybe 2 usable size shrimp by now, so I moved down to the south jam where it was much calmer, and tried 4-6 feet of water. Nothing was happening. So I pulled the anchor loose myself and headed up river.

I went into a creek no one ever goes in any more (except for me) I've been fishing this creek for what seems as long as I've lived in J-ville. I used to live in this creek when I had my 14' Aluma-craft boat. And man, has it changed since then.

The NE wind was absolutely howling by now and the tide was just starting to ebb in the river as I entered my oldest of "stomping grounds".

I picked and poked around, having the wind give me a serious fit, but managed (2) 14-3/4 inch Trout, and (2) small Mangrove snappers up in there.....on shrimp that were so small they made my "TINY" #8 hook look tooooooooo big.

I about had it at that point, most of the shrimp were dead and I had my fun at the jetties doing the, re-anchor, catch a fish, re-anchor, catch a fish, re-anchor, catch a fish.

So there ya have it.

SOOOOOO glad I didn't have a charter today, not because of the weather really, but because I know how people burn baits. And if I had a 6 hr. trip, the bait would have lasted 2 hours maybe. I made what I had last 5 hours.....that's the difference.

Tomorrow it's supposed to be due EAST, then come around to the south for Friday. (so they say)