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 was.....spot 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 on.....to 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'