Sunday, February 17, 2008

2/16 - Better but not great, it's still Feb.

Had Don B. with his Brother-in-law Buddy, and his son Dan aboard. It was one beautiful day, and Jacksonville knew it. The boat ramp was packed in the morning. Lot's of people heading offshore.

I told the three well versed fisherman, I wanted to try a bit of "slower" fishing today. Something different. So we bottom fished the ICW for some Sheepshead, on a spot where I've caught as many as 5 just messing around. But Dan caught the only one, and Bud picked up a Yellowmouth Trout, that also frequent the spot. "They're down there somewhere...", I told the guys. But of course in the hauling butt current it was tough fishing on just the right spot.

We then went south and studied the shore. It was real low tide. All the creek mouths were empty, so the Redfish should be just off the banks. And as we approached a very likely spot, there they were up on a flat spot that dropped off to an 18' hole right up tight to the bank. What a perfect spot to anchor up and fish the deep, along the bank.

As I idled up, the Reds were waking huge V's in the water as they came off the flat and dropped into the deep hole. I slipped the anchor over the side, grabbed three bottom rigged rods and pitched into the deep. If any more come down the bank, they'll have to swim through this hole to continue down the bank. We never caught a Red! We sat there staring at the shallows waiting for more to come. But they never did. But the boats came....waked us, and it felt like trying to catch a Red off the end of the boat ramp this morning. Because of the traffic.

By then the tide was ultra-low, and there was no more current pushing. So we either just had to wait or run back towards the river to get some kind of water movement. Then the phone was a friend, out fishing with his brother, son and friend. "Dave, we've been at the jetties all morning and caught one Sheepshead and one small Trout, where are you?"
I said...."I'm south on the ICW and we've caught the exact same thing!"

So we worked our way back to the river, pulled out the float-rigs caught some Pinfish and a nice Speck that got off in hardly any current, while I contemplated the jetties myself. We end up passing my buddy, as he went into the ICW, and we headed toward the big rocks.

Every year, when the Specks are closed for harvest, and the February fish bite is damn near dead, friends and I used to say; "Well, there's always the yellowmouth Trout at the jetties....A winter time Day Saver!"

But lately, they have even been hard to come by. But today seemed to be too warm and sunny for them not to be there. So we headed towards that particular rock, where I find them.

But of course, there was boats everywhere, as I pulled up and dropped my 1/2 block economy jetty anchor over the side. One boat was pitching jigs and shrimp and caught a few.

So...they're here! But are they as I like them? Like a pack of hungry Wolves?

I use my scope a lot this time of year, when looking for the tightly packed schools of yellermouths. And as we sat, I marked them in 14' under the boat. But as we pitched float's up close to the rocks, and out off the rocks. They were hard to find. Then I caught one, and found where they were.

We all caught some, not all that big, but they were FISH! And since we were fishing, it was just what I was looking for! I of course caught the largest one, and we had a throw back or two, a few get off the hook under the boat, but action insued. And as we fished, these damn Yellermouths couldn't be any harder to catch. Because we needed to re-anchor to get on them better. But couldn't because of all the boats around. Unlike some people, I attempted to give some relative space to others, not park on top of them.

We had 6 in the box now, and the Sheepshead from earlier. And were wittling down the live shrimp in the well. But Dan wasn't looking all too good. He said, "Hmmm...I'm not feeling all that great", as he took off the piles of clothes he had on, now in the heat of the bright sun. He looked sea-sick, and then hung over the side to relieve himself of that nagging feeling.

Come to find out, the warmth of all the clothes, and his car-sick abilities, the small swell at the jetties as the tide changed, sent him into a sea-sickness state. Ut-Oh.

So we packed it in and headed to the boat ramp to clean our fish.

Those yellowmouth were sort of day savers really, and I was relieved to go to the jetties. Back where the JettyWolf boat belongs and feels at home. But they were way to hard to catch for some reason. They were only on a small spot, we had to cast to get our float's drifting over that exact spot. Par for the course though. The largest one caught was 18 inches and pulled like (2)-15" Specks tied together. That's what I like about them.

Lesson learned, I should have went and just done what I usually do, instead of expierementing around in the ICW. We probably would have caught the same "one" sheepshead at the jetties, too.

Didn't take any photo's, although I should have. I'm gonna buy one of these though, before spring. I'm gonna have it attached to my windshield, so I can just snap group photo's, and even get in a photo once in awhile.

I'll be able to suck that mount onto about anywhere on my boat, leave it and just use my camera's timer or video capabilities and not have to hold it. Or sit the camera on a flat spot, as I usually do.

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