Monday, November 26, 2007

11/26 - The TIME to go is NOW!

Wow, what a great time I had today. It was 80 degrees alright, and sunny and full of fish too...amongst other big things. I had about 5 dozen shrimp living in their "condo" in my boat, so this morning I topped them off with 2 more dozen and also left the ramp with 50 pounds of ice. I had a feeling I'd need it. The full moon high tide, is what I had in mind. And it was a CLASSIC WINTER BITE OF FISH, today. But what wasn't classic, was the SEAS...wrenched & stirred by Mother Nature and the gravitational pull of that big white smiley face in the sky. The moon. That was present almost all day long.

Yep, if ya have one of the
"rough water"
boats there is; seas, and swells slamming the jetty rocks in excess of 6 foot or better ain't no thang!

If it can take so can I. And that's just what I did, because that's where the fish were at.

Not always are the fish in some comfortable lil' duck pond of water. Remember, that when the seas are stirring the predators are feeding. (see my 11/20 report for another day when the water was stirred up and the fish were going nutz!)

Confident, and safe is what I feel in my boat when in rough water. Stable at rest or at anchored, it's one fantastic fishing platform.

The incoming tide at the jetties had some spots looking like these photos, and other were flat and calm. Guess what? I tried the flat and calm and wasn't catching what I wanted. Only Whiting, and small Bluefish. I was after Speckled Trout, Redfish and a Sheepshead, on the float-rig, of course. Or maybe a jig-n-shrimp combo meal. (preferably the float-rig)

So as the tide got really high I went back to fish the S-L-O-P, and in 4 drifts of the float I had 4 big fat Yellowmouth Trout (weakfish). Hmmm...."no specks?" I thought. They gotta be in here somewhere.

Again, "this looks just too classic, for no specks to be in here with the yellers", I thought.

So I just kept at it. And after I caught my first Speck, I found just where they were...and commenced to whackin' em. It was rock and roll hoochie koo, let me tell ya!
But this is my kinda fishing! I live for this time of year. And I had the entire area to myself, which I loved. T-shirt, shorts and Croc' the warm sun, wackin' me some fatties at the jetties in the slop, all by myself. It don't get much better.

And the funny thing is, NOW is the time to reserve a charter, not in July. Especially is ya have a clue about fishing. It felt like June out there, but instead it was a winter day, and I was on my winter bite. I continued to catch Yellowmouths and Specks, sorting through the Specks keeping the largest, of course.

Then I made a slight move just to see what else was going on. So as you can see from the photos, I got closer and closer to the crashing waves on the jetty rocks. That's where I'll pull a Redfish from. So I set my float to the "correct" depth and made a pitch in behind those breakers.

And it didn't take long before my float went down, and with a funny kinda head shake I knew this was no Redfish. It was a Sheepshead. Although I find them a pain to clean, and they hardly have any fillet worth the effort, I'll keep this one, and let go any more I get.

Well, the next cast was up to the same spot. And I saw a huge wave approaching, so I grabbed the camera and put my rod in the rod holder and took a shot at that "comer" heading my way.

And when I looked back at my float, it was GONE. I dropped the camera on the leaning post, grabbed the rod and reeled fast and there it was.....My Redfish. As the boat pitched and rolled in the swell as it past, The fish ran me up to the bow and back to the stern. And then into the net it went. A perfect, 27 incher with the tail pinched. That last wave kicked the anchor free, so I picked up and went back to where the trout were.

I finished up the rest of my live shrimp playing with the Trout, and finished getting my Speck limit, while I was at it. I called a buddy that had a 1/2 day charter, who called me earlier. To tell him it seems to be calming down now, and the frenzy is on. He has a small boat, and I think he could bang a few real quick now....unlike earlier. So he headed my way. And was into some fish for his folks instantly.
There's nothing like going out for a little while and having a box of fish to clean, when you are by yourself. And I almost quit with a 1/2 dozen shrimp left, to go make a few casts for some Black Drum...I'm glad I didn't. I had enough to fillet back at the dock.

By the time me and my buddy left, it was quite calm. That's what I love about the jetties, sometimes.

If ya hang around long enough it's about guaranteed to be way different than when you arrived, out there.

I've heard the saying; "you have to remain rigidly flexible if you want to be successful out there 12 months a year".

That probably goes for all inlets where there's clashing of tides and current along huge amounts of structure and varying depths.

Although the jetties can really make me mad at times. You just cannot fight the "flow". I really feel sorry for the "newbies", with the 1st boat, taking the wife and small child, out there. Because it's so damn easy to get into trouble.
I really think if your a 90% of the time jetty fisherman, you've come up through the school of hard knocks. I know I have.

Here's the fruits of my labor. (aka: FUN)

Almost two one gallon bags of fillets, skinned de-boned and ready to share with mom....So I can come over for dinner. She's a way better cook than I am.

It don't get no fresher than that!