Had Dave R. out with me today. Dave's an avid fisherman from Maryland. So we hit the river with lots of confidence that as soon as the tide started falling I'd be having the net ready for Dave's Black Drum, catches.
There was no wind, it was a bright cloudless sky at 9am as we made our way to the same areas in the river that I've been having clients catching Black Drum, (perfect sized ones) since Saturday.
We arrived up river and the tide was still incoming a bit, so we passed the time drifting a few floats at a near by spot.....and caught no trout. By we tried. Dave caught a small baby Gag Grouper.
Then we went and anchored up when the tide turned, and pinned fiddler crabs on small Owner circle hooks and dropped them down on a big patch of hard bottom. Instantly, Dave lifted up and had a good fish on. A Sheepshead about 3 pounds. Then a few big Seabass, and a few Croakers.
But NO perfect pup Drum bites, like on Satuday & Sunday. And believe me, I wasn't giving up without a good try. But as time passed and the tide dropped, staring at the rod tips had me just chewing at the bit for some action.
So we moved around again, and as we went up river we arrived just before the tide turned there too.
So under a beautiful blue sky we did some more bottom fishing and float rigging along and under water rock pile. Without much action at all.
But for some reason, nothing seemed to "feel right", everywhere we tried we'd not receive the bites we should have, be it either Trout or Drum. So after many frustrating re-anchors, I was really getting pissed.
Was it the difference of the day? Was a "nice day" just too much to ask for with biting fish too, or at least some action.
Needless to say in the water that was 10 part per thousand of salt, the water looked like crap. Dark, dirty, and very stirred up, I was feeling as if we better make a radical change and head east....far east, from where we were.
And that's where Dave and I got into an absolute "Jack- fest". I have not caught any Jacks since the rains. But this was just what the doctor ordered.........ACTION, at least.
The water looked a lot better now too. And the Jacks were all over the bait fish in the area.
So Float-rigs with live shrimp were like candy to them. And the bites sure were better than what we were doing up river.
But what kicked my butt was the absence of Pup Drum on the spots where I had been catching them. They just moved on...and I was running out of time, trying to find them.
So as Dave played with the Jacks, and caught one after another. I was at least relieved.
Maybe it was too nice. Which in reality means the difference in "Barometric pressure". It was a nice day versus the overcast, rainy, windy day of this past weekend.
I told Dave that Jacksonville is consistent. Consistently inconsistent, and keeping up with what's going on here in this river is "my real job". The actual anchoring, running the boat, coaching the anglers, buying the bait, filling the coolers with ice, fueling the boat, keeping the tackle working, is the easy part!!
And then we found some Trout......AHH, my boys! And a big fat Mangrove snapper too.
One thing I did notice is that compared to Saturday and Sunday, today the Mangroves weren't as infesting as they had been. We really didn't catch or get bit by that many.
I believe that the fresh water is really on the move now. And after this summer's super saline river water, in the Mayport area. Things are changing daily now, probably because of it.
Dave went back home with a good bag of local fish fillets but of course, I always wanted more than we had.
We worked way too hard for what we had, that's for sure.
It was one killer day out there, it was just so nice I was shocked. Just goes to show you how easy it is to get used to crappy weather day in day out. The water's still a SOLID 80 degrees, though. And for me winter cannot come any faster. I say bring it on.
This time of year is usually the "Transitional" time of year. The time of year I look forward too, cool and with dropping water temps. Instead it just seems like it's an extended summer, just not as brutally hot. But were still too warm for mid October.
One thing that is Fall like, is the frequency of "Fronts". If I'm hearing right.....this weekend brings another NOREASTER??
Hmm... Its okay. I'm used to that.