Friday, September 21, 2007

9/21 - 1st Day After

Whewwww....that was one heck of a good storm we had this week. I loved it, and hoped more rain would fall. I was glad to see so much rain coming down along the St. Johns River, rather that somewhere way west.

Yesterday I guess was actually day one after the storm. It was really nice as Dad and I worked on doing some videoing. Plans are to have a video on the home page of my web site. Giving people from afar an idea of what the area looks like, along with some fishing footage. So I guess today's trip with Dan McCreary and his buddy Jason was the 2nd day after the rains and big winds.
Dan reserved this trip with lots of good advanced notice weeks and weeks ago. But the day had a bit of problem when I looked in my tide book.

The tide was a falling one at 4.4 feet from 5am to 11am. But the low tide height was 1.7 feet over mean low tide. So we had "statistically" 2.7 feet of water movement in the St. Johns River.


Or did we?


Then, last Monday here came the high winds (up to 50 MPH) and 10-12" of rain, which continued through till Wednesday.
So, here we went. Into the aftermath. And personally, I had not a clue of what to expect.
Turned out we had about all the current any Float Freak could wish for....so throw that watching the tide height's out the window. So I hit the places I was catching Trout before the storm.
And the bait stealer's (the meek) inherited these areas. In between, Dan & Jason caught some small Trout, only one keeper at 16", and two small Flounder keeping one about 14".
The Mangrove Snappers, Small Groupers, Croakers, Pinfish, Puffers, and Needlefish, were absolutely ferocious!
And on top of all that, the 8 dozen live shrimp I bought we not living, and dozen after dozen were dieing. All while in the same exact water that came from the bait shop tanks. I think the shrimp were "tanked". Meaning that they've been in the bait tanks too long......like the rest of us they had to live through the Storm also. It's not like the shrimp man was out catching bait for us in that weather either.

And don't count him being able to just resume catching buckets of premium size live shrimp, right off the "git-go". Because like our fishing. Local Bait Shrimping is going to be tough too.

And on that same note, if the Gulf Coast is getting this same weather system as the one we just got. That means the "west Coast" Shrimp man will have the same problem.

That's life in the fishing biz. Be it shrimp or fish.
Dan and Jason were great guys to have aboard. Patient and hard working too. I think they learned a lot, despite the slow bite.
It wasn't from a lack of trying today. We float-rigged our way up river, and ended up all the way up by Trout River.

And around Blount Island I pulled out the salinity gauge. And was completely blow away.
Zero being completely fresh water, and 40 being hyper saline water. I stuck the gauge into the water expecting to see a number less than what I saw before the all the monster rains.

BUT I DID NOT!


THE GAUGE READ 32 PARTS PER THOUSAND OF SALTWATER.
The exact number I had last week.

I think that all that east wind blew that Ocean water all the way up the river.

What else could it be. I was hoping to see a number in the "teens", at least.
(I can wish, can't I)
But hope is not dead. Next week is the Full Moon. And on the 26th, 27th, 28th, and 29th of Sept we will have some NEGATIVE low tides. And I'm hoping those heavy duty 6.2 foot falling will suck the fresh water, shrimp, and fish from up river towards my stomping grounds.

If your a "practicing" Float Freak. I hope this discussion isn't over your head. Because this is the technical stuff you should be familiar with. Just like having calculus in college, even though your going to sell real estate. It could come in handy. (even though that's probably a bad example)
As I think about all of momma nature, "as I study to learn more, the more I learn there is to know". Which in my book is FISHING, in a nut shell. And especially here in the wild, wild west of inshore fishing. Along the banks of the St. Johns River.

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