How did that happen? I was really ready for an all out waylay of a weather day, and we never got rained on, and the winds held off till 11:00am. The Fore cast was for heinous winds and more rain....someone was smiling on us fishing the fun APP - "count the spots", fishing tournament put on by Haskell Construction.
Then talk about L-U-C-K-Y, I was supposed to have 4 guys, and ended up with just two really great and fun guys to be with.
I was armed with 12 dozen live local shrimp, knowing all well that the Mangrove Snappers have been eating this Float Freaks live well dry of bait in a half a day, if I don't come prepared.
Well, my two guys Jim and Stewart (and I from time to time) used up every single live river cricket (shrimp) in the well today. The fish were chewin'. Especially the small types; Mangroves, SeaBass, and Croakers. Besides those three we had Flounder, really nice Trout and perfect sized Black Drum.
The salinity is WAY, WAY down, and in my mind that's a good thang. (falling tide: 10-12 Part Per Thousand) But I'm waiting to see the Trout stack up like cord wood on some of my spots, still. Believe it or not the water temps I'm getting are still 78-79 degrees.......way too warm still.
I found the Black Drum we caught right smack in front of one of my falling tide trout spots. We moved up from float-rigging about 50 feet, after attempting to find some Trout there on the high water early this morning. It was good action for hours. Big Croakers, SeaBass, and Grouper up to 14" were hammering our shrimp dropped to the bottom. Then Later it was Trout, all nice ones to 20 inches.
I swear over the years that there's more and more small Grouper and a lot more Mangrove Snapper's in the river than 20 years ago. I can't stand the "Mangos", they are a pest fish in my book, unless they're 14 inches of better. I can't wait till they are "outa here".
We only fished 3 spots today. Every time we went to move, someone hooked a nice fish. I live by the rule, "don't leave fish to go find fish". So we'd stay a while longer, and that while was hours.
It's the time of the year for some really good fishing. If the weather just straightens out. No more 15-20 knot weeks, and a back off of the torrential rains, and we may have a great fall season.
This time every year, I wait for the Trout to really go nuts. And patiently wait for no more 85 degree days. A good friend and knowledgeable fisherman, my "Sea Daddy" as I call him, always says, "Dave, it's all about the length of days", and he's right. That is the same thing that determines bird migrations, and dictates what's going on in the woods too. So I have to just be patient. And keep up with what's right in front of me instead of wishing for something else.
Today was a great time, with two guys that were very interested and willing to learn. I ended the day by driving a very very sharp fillet knife across the tip of my thumb while cleaning fish. Blood was everywhere in the boat before I could get a rag over my thumb and attempt to stop the bleeding. But not before retrieving my fish scaler that I dropped over board, when I cut my self. So while tied off to the Sisters Creek dock I had to chase my scaler down the line of boats that were all tied up after the tournament. Then, I figured I better take a break and went up and enjoyed the BBQ and sweet tea the tournament organizers had up on the boat ramp lawn.
After a quick lunch I went back and cleaned a mess of fish, with a rag taped around my thumb in a big bundle. Man, it made it tough to effectively clean all those fish.
I RECOMMEND ONE OF THOSE kEVLAR FILLET GLOVES!! I will have one by next week, because the wounds I give myself while cleaning fish after fish are getting really old. The last "bad one" was I drove a brand new surgically sharp blade right through the palm of my hand. It went damn near all the way through! I thought I was gonna pass out I lost so much blood from that one! When I'm in a hurry, is when this stuff happens. Dark clouds had me hurrying today. Because I still had to get back to Mayport from Sisters Creek boat ramp, make some return charter calls, and get ready for tomorrow's charter crew.