Had Mike Bosshart and 5 of his buddies out on Saturday, doing a two boat charter. Three on each boat. Ya' know what the forecast was, right? Extreme high winds in the afternoon? So we had planned to leave at sun-up, 0730 hrs.
Myself and Capt Bryan were there at the dock at 0630 hrs in the water and ready to go. Bryan said, he was up this morning at 0430 hrs....I wasn't that un-sleepy. I was up and ready at 0530 hrs. Figuring that was early enough to get all ready and to the bait shop, and then to the ramp in case there was massive crowds, being it was a SATURDAY.
So as we sat waiting, I get the call....."Dave we won't be there till 8am." Bryan gave me the look, as I told him the news. "well, I guess their eating into their fishing time, Dave" he said.
It was planned to just be a 1/2 day charter. (remember that)
So the guys pull up and come down to the dock. And I get my three fellas and take off. We were not only on a time line as it was just a 4 hr trip, but we were also on a "tide" time line also.
Having the falling tide till about 10am. And the higher the water, as it fell the better for float-rig fishing. That's what I've done with Mike and one of his buddies in the past......many years ago with great success.
So I anchor up fast and go through the details, Bryan falls in behind me. Now my plans were to bottom fish that falling tide, since I've had such good BIG FISH success lately.
The other boat immediately starts catching Bluefish, And Yellowmouth trout. We, on the other hand never loose a bait from less than 50 yards away. I try it for a 1/2 hr and then say, "Lets go try and catch a bigger fish." My guys seem willing. And we move to "NEAR" where I sat on Friday, but of course our late departure now has people out there and on the spot already.
EARLINESS, to the dock will always have you in a better position with your guide and possibly because if it's a weekend the ability to get on a spot before it's covered up with everyone else.
So we anchor as close as I could to the area while not doing what others do to me.
The current is running hard, and we catch some whiting, and Seabass....basically small bothersome fish, but do manage a 14" Seabass, then here comes the clear-nosed Rays. The ultimate in junk. We lost our only big fish as it comes to the boat, probably a whopper Sheepshead, like I caught the day before. I helped by setting the hook on it and the fish was ripping drag. But somehow as Bob reeled it in, it came off the hook.
The guys had a rough night last night, and were all sitting around and laying on the bow deck. But Bob was attentive and as we caught the second junker ray, and said "shouldn't we move." So I re-anchored and it didn't matter, because the SW wind was now honking about 15 with 20 knot gusts. And let me tell ya, it wasn't 80 degrees as they said it would be, where we were.
Feeling the HEAT, I pulled up and moved away from the jetties,. and shouldn't have. Bryan came by earlier and said all had stopped where he was but they ended up with a bunch of Yellowmouths, one Speck and one Sheepshead and Blues. Obviously, they weren't where I was when I tried float-rigging. Or I wouldn't have tried to bottom fish for a big fish.
The whole day now was a wash....
I tried an ole spot that used to be a big time Sheepshead spawning area a few years ago. Then moved and watched some guys dabbing some rocks and catching Sheepshead on lite rigs and fiddlers. But for bottom fishing, the tide had now changed, out deep and was coming in on the bottom.
We agreed to try for a few more hours, past the 4 hour limit. But it really didn't make it any better, for Bryan and his guys or me and my guys. So at 5-1/2 hrs we were back at the dock.
The group seemed to be all excited that they could have a fish fry with the yellowmouth they had caught. Which was not something I was aware of. If I was I wouldn't have went and bottom fished looking for a big fish, and would have adjusted my float fishing area instead.
So, now we have a 1/2 day charter extended a few hours, on my boat we caught just a few small bait stealer type fish. Kept a few Whiting and the big Seabass. By the time we left it was an hour after we were supposed too, then the wind started, and just one of us got a small window where the yellowmouth were.
Always make your INTENT obvious to your fishing guide. If you want to catch enough fish for a fish fry, even if they are small fish, make that known. DO NOT be late! Always show up early, because I'll leave at safe light and you may get extra time. I'm not talking be an hours early and stand and stare at me as I launch the boat. But 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled departure time is perfect. Make the Captain Happy, by letting him know what your intent is. I know I'm so early to the dock sometimes friends say, "So your charter's late huh?" And I say, "No, I'm always early!"
Saturday was a prime example of getting the most out of the tide, and day before the weather came through.
Now it looks like the whole rest of the week will have winds at or above 15 knots. And I have Monday through Friday reserved.....good gawd!
Day after day of windy conditions? Lucky me.