Monday, November 19, 2007
11/18 - Jetties....bound
Headed straight as an arrow, to the jetties (inlet)this morning with Mack & J.T. It was gonna be low tide in the morning, so we went immediately went to "jiggin" with live shrimp. And it didn't take long to locate some fish. J.T. was reeling his jig back to the boat when a big fish (redfish) followed it up off the bottom and slammed it just under the surface. And took off.....but for some reason the hook pulled after a good run. Then, Mack put the first pup Black Drum in the box, then a nice 26" Red, followed up by J.T.'s Drum. The action was steady as they learned the finesse of pitching up towards the rocks, and letting the jig-n-shrimp combo meal, bump lightly down the snaggy exterior of the jetty.
I had plans to attempt to duplicate what Nick and I did on Weds. But the tide was just about the opposite. So nothing was gonna actually be the same. But I had it in the back of my mind all day.
"How could I not?"
Isn't that all fishing really is? Going with what ya know from the last trip?
So as the falling tide faded, the guys lost a few and caught a few more small Reds, and then we moved on. I had big plans to go to my favorite Float-rigging spot, so we went and looked at it. But it wasn't ready yet. (and there was people everywhere) The tide means everything, there. So our float-rigs will, float straight down the jetty and into "the pocket" usually filled with fish. So we moved on to a spot where this time last year I caught huge Trout. But of course being a Sunday, someone was there...But he moved on and we got to anchor up. The guys let there floats go down the rocks, and started catching "pup" Reds. All 16"-17". Okay for the action, but no Trout!
Okay, time to go look again at my honey hole, because the tide was just starting to come in a bit.
This time there was a boat planted on it.
People everywhere! No where, was there a spot that hasn't been fished already. (that's the biggest problem around here for me!)
But mostly they were all Sheepherders. Without a clue of what that spot can give up to a good float-rigger. (Sheeps, Reds and Trout) My frustration level was getting pretty high! Have ya ever stared at someone long enough, hoping that they would just move? Willing them to disappear from the face of the Earth? Well, that was me! I so wanted to treat Mack & J.T. to what we did on that spot last Wednesday. I wanted my folks to catch fish like we did earlier in the week, so bad. I went an anchored up but could tell I wasn't in the right "lane". So I tried again, and again........and we didn't catch but one Speckled Trout for the box and one small throw-back Speck.
We only had a small window, to fish the spot as the green tide poured in. So we went back to try some jig fishing at the morning spot. And caught Bluefish. I was scrambling to fish a good spot, before the tide got to high. It's all about "water level" at this point.
We did see some guys wackin the Drum pretty good from where we were. They were just bottom fishing, and we were doing the light tackle thing. My heavier bottom rods were at home! Didn't need them on Weds. that's for sure. Plus, I had a lot more float-rig fishing in mind, that we weren't getting the chance to do. And I was getting really T'd off! ( if I can't float-fish, I start to get my nose out of joint)
I'm gearing up for Thanksgiving week mentally, right now. Cause ya wanna talk about a zoo? The day after Thanksgiving if the weathers nice or not is going to be like 4th of July week out there on the river. I think I'll just bottom fish and stake claim to a patch of bottom and go with it....
So we eventually ended up back at my favorite spot. Because the boat staking claim and acquiring their "Florida homestead exemption" finally moved on. So I slipped in. But the water was now high and there really wasn't any tide movement. But that's okay. I sometimes pick up some rogue Trout up in the rocks. Instead the guys caught a big Mangrove Snapper and some junk fish. Then, I figured I pick up a rod and make a few tosses. And as Mack and I were talking, I looked away from my Float for a second, and then looked back and it was GONE. I reeled up the slack and lifted.........AND HAD MY ASS HANDED TO ME ON A SILVER PLATTER!
The float was up in the rocks to start off with and whatever this was, had no plans of coming out of the rocks. It dove and pulled drag hard, but I was fishing a 15# mono leader on my Float-rig, with a #8 hook on the end. So all I could do was hold on and do my best to keep my rod high and attempt to get the fishes head up and out of the jetty rocks. It made no less than 5 or 6 drag smoking runs up into the shallowest part of the jetty. Still we never saw it. And then finally it turned away and came out a bit deeper, and then we saw it was a Sheepshead. The fish wasn't done yet, getting the net under it it took a few tries. All I could think about was my "tiny" little hook and that 15# mono leader. Sheepshead do not have line friendly bodies and leaders can easily get wrapped on their dorsal fin or belly fins as they dart back and forth. Thank goodness there was zero current. J.T. grabbed the net and laid it under the fish......MY GAWD, it was a massive Sheepshead! Weighed on the boga, it was a 10 pounder. Largest to date I've ever caught on the Float-rig. Which to this fisherman makes it EXTRA, EXTRA special.
If I was gonna catch one fish all day, I can't say that this would be it. I'm really in a life pursuit for that double digit Speckled Trout, but being that it's the start of Sheephead time it was a great catch. And what made it better is that I caught this monster right from the same spot that one damn boat "homesteaded" all day long.
And again, being caught on the "float-rig", with super light tackle made it so much more of a achievement, for me personally.
We ended up with 10 Reds up to the 26 incher, a few Drum, a few Blues, a few Trout, a big Mango, and the one monster Sheepshead.
If it was a weekday, we could have easily doubled or tripled that.
The wind is going to come around again...and the forecast for Tuesday is:
TUESDAY EAST WINDS 10 KNOTS. SEAS 2 TO 4 FEET. INLAND WATERS A LIGHT CHOP.
Which is my next day I'm going. Think if the wind is not all that calm I will take the bottom rods with me, just incase. The Black Drum are everywhere. And I like filling the box with them, too.
Posted by Capt. Dave Sipler