Saturday, December 15, 2007

12/14 - Catch'em on the FLY!

Had Kirk M. out today. We decided to go yesterday, because the weather has been so damn nice. And I told Kirk, "well, we have a high tide at noon, no sense going till then and just put with the high water, till the low tide late in the day." So we left at noon, one guy and me....."ah, a charter the way I always envisioned them". Instead of management fishing, it was so pleasant and relaxed to have Kirk a N. Dakota native on board. Who is also a Navy Officer, just back from Afghanistan. Which by the way said, "THIS BLOG KEPT HIM IN TOUCH AND SANE, WHILE OVER THERE!"

Can ya believe that? So he wanted to fish with the Float-Freak, ride on the metal monster, and catch himself some fish, with me! Which was well deserved!
Being from N. Dakota (C/O the USAF, I spent a decade there one year! hahahahahah.....) I learned his people are TUFF, and they are SPORTSMAN, too! So Kirk and I were already on the same page. But of course, I had plans laid out in my mind, and Kirks plan was just to "hang-out and kick back". Well, I can kick long as we're wackin' some fatties!

So we started by pitchin' some jigs-n-shrimp along the rocks. My first cast after showing him the finer points, connected me with our targeted species, a nice Black Drum.

In the box that Drum went, and we were on location maybe 4 minutes??
So now it was Kirks turn. He pitched his jig and
shrimp out, and there happened to be a Ocean Vulture - aka: Pelican, sitting between us and the jetties. I saw it all in slow-mo as it went down....
Kirks line passed over the bird, and it spooked and flew away. But not familiar with such obstacles, Kirk let his spool go and as the bird went airborne he caught the bird as it circles around us. "Nice going Kirk! Great Catch!!"

To make a long story short, (hell they taste like chicken not fish) he reeled the bird in and I un-hooked the Pelican and it took off, no worse the wear. We plan a day, he's been to "BFE" and back, we get out to the jetties, and on his first cast he hooks a Pelican!


I told him, "man this is gonna make great Blog material! Everyone's gonna read about this.....let me grab my camera, and capture your first cast catch!"

Notice he's looking UP in the photo?
That's where birds fly.

His second cast, thank goodness was something that had fins and scales. And was a fat Ring-tailed Porgie! Not the easiest fish to hook with their tiny mouths, and up tight inside the rocks. But it proved to me that at least he can feel a bite, and this man can cast a bait caster! My kinda guy.....except for the bird fishing incident! So we continued on. But caught not much else except a tiny bluefish or two. The tide was officially high. And whatever current we had was over.

So I pulled anchor, and we went to power drifting the north jetty. Our drifting was just from the slight breeze we had, but their ought to be at least some better action over here, I thought. YEP, more blues. But as we worked the area, here came the first wave of current and darker river water......perfect! And we scored 2- Reds, one 26" and another 28 incher and another Black Drum, and a few yellowmouth trout and blues drifting the area while pitching up to the rocks.

Easily done with the fuel efficiency of a HONDA outboard and the non-aggravating and silent PURRR of the engine. I told Kirk, "it's my 225 horse power trolling motor." And from the trolling motors that I've beat the hell outa, a whole lot more dependable, too.

Since this was just the prelude to what we were really going to do, it wasn't all that bad starting at the high tide with no current.

Our real plan was to do some Float-rig fishing at the jetties. Kirk said all he read about was how much I loved watching my float go down, so he was anxious to see how it was all done. And especially after Wednesday's Massacre (12/12) I had while fishing solo, Kirk would ask questions about float fishing as we were jig fishing. I said, "don't worry, you'll see because even though we'll be early for it, were gonna go do it in a little while".

I say, early for it because the tide works forward about 50 minutes each day, and the same exact tide I was on Wednesday at 3:30-4:00pm will be a 5:30pm-6:00pm today.

So "pushing it" we went to do some Float fishing.

I got on the spot, gave Kirk the finer points, and he pitched his float-rig behind the boat. Thinking it would take awhile to get bit, he looked away over at a passing boat and of course that's when his float went down! "DAMN....that fish almost yanked the rod outa my hand!" Not realizing this is I.G. style fishing, Kirk was shocked that his shrimp lasted 20 seconds out there, before reeling in his first Trout, a very spunky Yellowmouth.

The rally was ON! He and I caught, boxed or released full of "spit and vinegar" Specks and Yellowmouths for a few hours and never moved the boat. Never lost a rig, and caught one fish after another on the float rig. "This is what I wanted to see", Kirk said. I told him, "this is classic winter action. Don't think it's like this in July, it all about time of year and water temp. and it's full bore action at its finest!"

We ended up catching fish till we were out of Live Shrimp, the cooler was full and the sun set. So we headed back to the boat ramp. Where we planned on doing it all over again on Tuesday.

The weather guessers say all of this 80 degree
warmth is gonna stop this weekend as the
"front" that has slammed the rest of the
country heads south, and it's supposed to get cold and windy.

Kirk won't mind, he's up for the challenge! I hope my Monday trip is too, if indeed the weather does change. I have a Marathon Runner coming from New England to fish on Monday.

Kirk and I talked back at the boat ramp, and he said he'd never thought the action would be that good. And he's never caught so many fish.
I get call after call from people wanting to do a trip, who never even look at all the info I provide for them on my web site. It's all here! The good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly. Doing research pays HUGE dividends in the charter world!!!
This is what I live for all year!
Not the steamy, hot, miserable weeks around July 4th, that's for sure! It's just too bad that these Holidays also coincide with great fishing here in N.E. Florida. Because people's focus right now is not on how good the fishing is in J-ville, Florida. But it should be!

Ya' know if I had my druthers, I'd be here from Nov. 1 till June 1, and then move my whole operation to Maine, fish for Stripers and Bluefish in Maine with NY city vacationers all summer, and then come back to Florida for the winter/spring season. Ahhhh, would that be the ticket. I'd be one happy Float Freak....wonder if I could catch a Striper on a Float-rig in Maine??