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 bag.....by 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.