Was up walking the isles again of the new Gander Mountain Store on the Northside Saturday morning, when I got a call for a Sunday 2 hour trip.
My Saturday's charter got rescheduled so I went window shopping. They thought it was gonna be too rough after the big blow. Not really.....it was nice Saturday morning.
So, Sunday's charter ended up being one of my 2 hours trips, that I do. This time it was, Andy from Washington D.C. and his Mother from Atlantic Beach. Andy's Mother was celebrating her birthday, she was a spry 83. And wanted to just go on a boat ride, and maybe drop a line over for a few.
We left at 8:40am and headed towards the jetties. I had Andy's momma in one of my nice big deck chairs behind the leaning post. I've always wanted to have enough room for a chair or two, just for this reason.
I soft peddled my way out to the crowded rocks on the southside. There was boats everywhere. I anchored up and tossed out some simple rigs with a shrimp on them, so to see if we could catch anything. Of course the bait stealers were relentless. Crowds of boats were sitting in the current off the south jetty tip in hopes for big Reds, but I never saw anyone catch anything from where I was at. Just a buddy Mike, came out and tossed a jig at the jetty and caught a red and a Jack.
The birthday girl, said "girl" didn't fit her anymore, "that was too many years ago". But she had a nice time seeing all the activity and going for a boat ride.
Back at the dock before Andy and his mother arrived, I saw my good buddy D.O.A. Rob come by the dock. He said he was heading north up the beach. I told him I've heard some reports of Black Drum from a certain spot up there. We discussed the details and Rob said, "I'll let ya know what I get into and if I get some Drum or not from there."
Well I about forgot about all that, and as I was heading in from our 2- hour trip, Rob called me on my Nextel.
"Remember what you said this morning?" said Rob. "THEY'RE HERE!!" he exclaimed next.
Plus a whole bunch of big fat Whiting and Pompano too.
I said, "as soon as I'm done here, I'll see ya there!", taking back Andy and his mom.
We bid our farewells, and I headed out the inlet at mach 5! I was racingas fast as I could because I knew itwas all about the tide where Rob was fishing. Rob called me again. He was still knee deep in fish. But it could be over by the time I got there. The beach wasn't all that flat, but the ride was okay, as I barrelled along heading to where Rob was.
As I came off plane I saw Rob, he was reeling in a big Pompano. Not wanting to disturb his spot, I anchored just north of him. He said, "I've been sitting here about the whole time. It's been a fish riot!" But the Drum haven't bit in a while. I think they just came by in a huge wave."
Man, I was wanting to get into the Drum. I love to Blacken them. But as I talked to Rob, he said it was all Whiting and Pompano, that he was catching now .
Where I anchored, I caught two big Whiting up to 15", and two Jacks. I was souped up. And ready to rumble. But the longer Rob and I sat there, the more the bite tapered off as the falling tide died to a stand still. (it wasn't like today's falling tide was a strong one anyhow, 3.2 feet of falling water with a stiff Easterly breeze by the time the tide was low.)
Dammit! I missed it.....
All I wanted to do is get a few Drum and Whiting for a few dinners. But as I talked back and forth to Rob, he said "looks like it's all over".
His 72 quart cooler was packed with fish, I mean PACKED. He limited on Pompano, and Drum.
So I stayed with it as Rob left to head back in the nasty wind. I stayed for about 2 more hours and there was NO current at all. The boat whipped in the wind in circles. I managed a few trash can slam's, catching sharks, sailcats, and jack's. The sharks were fun on my super fairy wand rods, but provided no "SUBSISTENCE" for me. I wanted FILLETS! And lots of them.
So the morale of this story is.............YA HAVE TO FISH THE RIGHT TIDES!
I tried like hell to get there as fast as I could, doing a good offshore test of my boat, through the nasty seas and winds to get to where the fish were.
But I was too late.
This always happens to me. When I have a short charter day and then try to make something out of the rest of the day.
And you'd think I would have learned by now...... N-O-T!
But the LURE of lots of fish in a small spot, that are easy to catch, is a hard one..... not to bite!