No less than 5 days of rain...and I mean Forest Gump, BIG RAIN. If your not from here, then you won't realize that in the last 2 weeks or more we've had all the rain we were suppose to get "all" summer, in just as I said, the last few weeks.
If you're a regular visitor to the Blog, then you know how many times I've asked for some rain and you may have even seen me out in my boat doing a rain dance or two, this summer.
Either way, I was heading out "FRESH"....not having a clue of where my fishez may have been after all the wind, lightning, pressure drops, flooding, run-off, and since I couldn't be out there "keeping up", going back out Fresh is what it felt like.
Jake and Doug were with me, and we were suppose to go back on Sept. 22nd but back then was the day after the other week of rain and high winds we had. So we felt it was better to just try again later. And look, it turned out we went the 2nd day after the second week of storms. There's no winning with the weather calls we make, all anyone can do is make the best out of it.
Yesterday was GORGEOUS compared to today. Sunny no wind, no rain. But today was over cast, we had a red sky at sun up, and the wind blew good and hard this afternoon.
I started out trying to hunt some big 12" or better Mullet. I looked yesterday for 3 hours, and came up empty, and came up with none today either. I want to get some for cut bait, for big Redfish. For bottom fishing, I like a big piece of "FRESH" cut bait. I like to feed them a meal, not a snack. So we looked around and I caught some small ones in my cast net, so off we went to a few Redfish holes. No bites. 2nd spot, no bites......"Ah, the bait'n and wait'n was killing me", since we ended up not far from a good Float-rigging spot for Speckled Trout. So after too long of that, I said, "let's pack it up fellas and do some float-rigging."
Doug was into it, and started catching some keeper and throw back Trout right away, then he caught some very "chunky" Sea Bass, and a Black Grouper. Jake and I caught Mangrove Snappers, so we were glad Doug was on the boat. He hit them perfectly.
Man, it's so much better putting fish in the box than sitting there watching the rod tips waiting on a fish, we probably won't be able to box anyhow.
We squeaked all the fish we could out this spot and put on and took off our rain Jackets 10 times, as the dark clouds passed over head. So off to the next spot, we went to spot number 2.
I said to Doug, "on this spot, if the salinity is low, we have the chance for a really big Trout!", and then I dipped my salinity gauge in the water, and came up and looked at it. It read a 12 PPT, that's 12 parts per thousand, and not all that far from Mayport, either! So finally that rain water is making it's way eastward.
Doug and Jake dropped their rigs in the water and let them drift toward the spot. Doug reared back and had, WHAT? A big TROUT! (I know my spots, huh?)
A beautiful 25 incher, with "yellow highlights", which means these Trout was way down there in that "brackish water", this summer. And we were glad to accept it in to our cooler.
We worked the absolute last of the falling tide, as hard as we could, and the wind started to get really blowy, right down the river in our faces.
The Mangrove Snappers were eating all our priceless live local shrimp. So we moved off and headed to a more protected area. But the current was slack....real slack.
Nothing but more Mangroves, so we packed it in and headed back to Mayport, where the tide was incoming. I stopped by a spot where a buddy said the big Sea Bass were thick. So we pitched shrimp on bottom rigs, and instead of catching big Sea Bass we caught CAT FISH, and one decent Croaker. Hmmm....I wonder where these fat Sea Bass are?? Well, I'll try that spot again, on another day on another tide. That maybe the ticket.
My regrets were that I wasted time looking for Mullet and bottom fishing for a Big Bull Redfish, instead of filling the box further with tasty Trout fillets. Just goes to show ya' I'm a Float-rigger at heart. And I think I may have a made Doug into the newest Float Freak.
I hope to get out this weekend, because there's another storm system out in the Atlantic, moving this way with more rain and possible high winds. I had charters on both days, and Saturday is a tournament with 4 guys aboard.
I won't be wasting valuable falling tide bait'n & wait'n, we'll be hunting in that low salinity with our Float rigs and live river crickets (shrimp).