Monday, October 22, 2007

10/22 - The weather almost won.

Had Mike and Gary with me today. And as soon as I arrived at the dock I felt it. And when Mike & Gary pulled up, I said "do ya feel could mean trouble!" Hard south "EAST" winds were blowing. South wouldn't have been a big deal, but add in that EAST equation and that's where the nasty part comes in. And up in the river and at the jetties it might as well been east due east. Cause against a falling tide the jetties were a soup sandwich....Minestrone between Rye bread! Wind blowing every wave we hit into the boat, too.

But we headed out there in my metal monster, anyhow. Ain't no thang. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.....actually I 've been fishing in this crap for what seems like almost every trip out there. The southside of the south jetty was a mess, but I anchored up anyhow in 18' of water.

I had Croaka' and Mullet for cut bait. And pinned on some chunks and pitched them out on the "L.T." (light tackle). Almost immediately, it was ANOTHER day where the bow laid the complete opposite of the way the current was running. So I did my anchor dragging trick so lines weren't stretched over the bow. I hate bow fishing, unless I have pole holders that face to the bow....And I don't! We drifted very slowly as the wind bucked the current and we barely crept along, dragging our 4 oz bank sinkers across the bottom.
But Mike on the second drift wasn't feeling all that good about it. Gary his dad was fine. But it didn't take a floggin' to get me to get the hell outa Dodge. It was just a bit sporty, and hard to fish. So we headed in the river. Man, the ends of the jetties were a washing machine, and the swells were large. So I ran in towards the Navy Base and re-anchored.
The current was nearly perfect and all looked good, and Mike felt a lot better. He better have because a rod double over in the shape of horse shoe and Mike was holding on as a big Red burned line off my mini Accurate reel.

Look at how dark it was in this photo of Mike in the battle mode. Yep, right from the start of the day it wasn't what anyone would call Chamber of Commerce weather. (like Saturday and Sunday) But I wanted to go on Monday because of the weekend crowds, that I really like to avoid. MY FAULT, I guess.

Mike and Gary have fished with me for years up to twice yearly. And this is the first time Mike's been here when the big Redbass have been going off.
So there was NO way, we weren't gonna bottom fish for them. I want Mike to go back to Minnesota and spread the good word about Jacksonville's big River Reds, and how this is the best time of the year to go fishing for them.......instead of the middle of July which seems to be when everyone wants to fish for them. Heck, that's what I call Garbage can and dumpster lid, time when any bait on the bottom of this river becomes a Stingray meal.
But then again, the weather didn't stay all too fishable for us. Mike pulled on heavy weights in the 22-24 pound class. But at the same time, where are the 30-50 pounders. Maybe that's a Spring time thing.

Because every single Red we've caught in the last few weeks has been exactly in the same size range. Not looking a gift horse (fish) in the mouth, but I should have stumbled on some larger ones.

There's no way of targeting what size fish you'll catch. Or at least not that I have ever found. Except maybe Location.....maybe.
Along the Navy base, soon got crazy. As the current started whipping the boat all over the place, and the big surge came rolling down the river. So we moved on in search of maybe a keeper or two Redbass for the fish box.
So I hit the lil Jetties. And we had a really weird bite from a fish there. Who swam dragging the sinker for a long distance but never had the hook. And that was it. So we went Float-rigging. Or so we thought. But by now the wind was really stinkin', and every where I went we had hardly any current. Except one spot, that had great current but was literally a spot that we could not pass a live shrimp through without a Mangrove Snapper bite. And Gary caught one big Croaker.

Again, this too warm of water is playing hell on my float fishing spots. Those nuisance fish make it so you cannot fish a live shrimp.
So we kept moving around. There was current in the middle of the river but none along the banks on many of my favorite spots. All because of the wind blowing in, was my educated opinion.

So we went back to bottom fishing, on a Croaker and Drum spot. But again the wind played holy hell with staying on the spot. And about that time the clouds looked really dark again and the thunder started to sound in the distance and Mike said, "lets pack this in before it's too late".

I was also getting very very frustrated. Damn, I have to learn to chill out and just go with the flow sometimes. The only problem is, I know what the fishing can be like when the conditions, water temp, and wind is right. So I'm always working hard to find, "my fish". But Mike's a sensible guy and not a rookie fisherman. So we went back to the boat ramp. By then the current and wind had the water really standing up in all the usual spots.
The weather may have won on the long run, be Mike won this morning!
Today's recent catch pics: