Tuesday, November 6, 2007

11/5 - Too Long, Too Less

Well it's been some really beautiful fall weather.......and still the most popular month is JULY!
Why people want to come here and sweat in the stifling heat, I'll never know.
Now.....is the time of year to fish!

It was cool in the morning and oh so pleasant in the afternoon. I live for this time of year. I day dream about it all summer long. I'd like to be somewhere that's like this all the time.

Nick and I hit the water, with our little tiny "shcrimps". An acronym for shrimp and scrimping, combined. (they're obviously running tiny right now)

So small I was thinking....."where the hell did I put my #10 hooks??"
Float rig fishing ONLY, was our game. Looking for piles of Trout in the river, was the plan.
But there's that ole saying you can only do what the tide allows. So we tried variations on some of the same spots, just fishing out deeper rather than shallower. Outside a line of docks rather than up in them. But it produced Croakers and Yellowmouth Trout rather than our target fish...out sized Specks. And where I'd think this time of year the Trout would be stacked up, we'd catch (more like Nick) would catch one good sized fish. And that's all the spot would give up.

This certainly is'nt like "years past", in which we set our standards upon. Because what is fishing anyhow? Learning patterns, habitual traits, and following up on what you may have done days ago, that worked. Well, we'd find fish, alright but they'd be either "one or two" rather than a school, or they'd be "shorts".

And then we had to go get some more shrimp because we were running out, because of all the Mangrove Snappers that are still infesting every trout spot, rock pile, or dock piling. Right there is all the evidence I need to prove too me that the water temp just isn't cold enough down below yet. So when I read a 69-73 degree temp on my machine, it's really just a false reading. Because down below I'm sure it's warmer. Or is it that our livewell eating buddies are growing resistant to the clloer waters, compared to their southern cousins?
We fished all day long, and in my opinion not getting what I came for. Nick on the other hand was Mr. Lucky. He must have ate his Lucky Charms that morning before I met him at the bait shop. "Is that why it took him so long to get there, even though he lives 90 seconds away from B&M?"

There was times we'd drop anchor on a spot, I'd tell him "float your bait thru right there...the Trout should be 18-20 inches, no dinks" and he'd do it and catch one immediately! I'd try and come up with squatola or shorties! Then, he'd do it again. I told him,"see what a good fishing guide I am? I can tell ya everything there is to know about where they are and the size they'll be"....but I couldn't catch one myself!!!!! And this happened time and time again. And if I didn't know that I could be out here doing this all over again the next day, I would have been getting pissed.
Personally, I was keeping big Mangos and Croakers and yellowmouths so I could have something to eat, because it didn't look as if I was gonna catch any good sized Trout.....I was the small Trout guy all day, till the very end. While Nick had no trouble putting fish in the box up to 19 inchers. We didn't find any super studs, which was the days plan, and never even lucked into a Flounder or a Redfish.

I guess I did luck into a big Red on one spot. My float went down fast as it was 70 feet behind the boat, along a set of pilings. And before I could do a thing a very strong fish ran my float threw the pilings and got my line woven into ever barnacle encrusted pillar it could. I was like Larry Dalhberg on that TV show 'HUNT FOR BIG FISH'. I crouched, reared back, almost knocked Nick over, hit him in the head with my rod, and hung over the side of the boat, grunting and groaning.....doing all I could to reel, reel, reel, pull, pull, pull that ass-hander from out of the pilings. But it broke me off, before I knew what happened.

We ended up fishing all the way up to high tide in the late afternoon, being the died hards we are. Till hunger got the best of us and there was no current left. So Nick and I went to Capt. Dave's Club House, the Grand China Buffet on Mayport Rd. Where I spend a lot of lunch and dinner hours, with fellow fisherman.

Well, it's "time to go make the donuts", and clean the fish that Nick was graciously willing to split with me. And do some tidying up of the boat.

So if you're someone wanting a fishing charter, I highly recommend November 1st through June 30th. So what, if sweatshirts and hats are needed in the morning, right now. No passing out from the heat.....yep, I've had a few "Nanook's from the North" about pass-out from the summer's heat on me before. They just ain't used to it.
I'm so looking forward to what winter brings in the river and at the inlet's jetties.
-Jumbo Speckled Trout
-Jumbo Yellowmouth Trout
-Black Drum
-Redfish, on the float up in the rocks
-and NO bait stealers!