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.

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