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.