Left out at 11am on Friday, I guess a lot of people had off work because it looked like a Saturday out there. I thought it was, I had to ask Jack Neal, my charter what day it was. I usually work by "dates" rather than days of the week.
The reason for the late departure with Jack Neal, his son Bruce and daughter Alexandria? It was the full moon, forecast was for EAST winds over 15 knots, and an incoming tide. It had me a little spooked. Plus, I think they appreciated the fact they didn't have to get up at the crack o' dawn.
I wanted a falling tide. But even at 11am we were about at slack water when we left.
Come to find out that the East winds were holding the tide up in the river, and if we did leave at the crack o' dawn, the wind was a lot less. Per my buddy Jeff S. who fished the jetties for Sheepshead (of course) and told me that it wasn't all that bad out there, until 11am or so when he packed it in.
So as we left, I went left out of the boat ramp, rather than right towards the jetties. The wind was strong enough that Float-rig fishing was pretty much out of the question, as it's been all week long.
On spot #2 after the tide finally started to fall, we picked up one Sheepshead. "Targeted species" in the boat! The lines were going one way, the boat was laying another, and the current was going another. As the EAST wind whipped around. Unfortunately, it was a spot where we were also waked every 5 minutes too. We fed our bottom lines back to an under water ledge covered with an sunken oyster bar. And this was the only decent fish we pulled out of there.
Presentation, even when bottom fishing is important I told them. And we were barely doing that. The same spot can be float-rig fished, but the wind kept us from attempting that, too.
I think the group (from the Chesapeake bay area) thought that it was going to be a all out fish fest. And it might have been, if I could have fished the jetties and the wind was absent! And quickly were ready to bag the day, just a few hours into the trip. We just started to get some good current at this time. I said, "C'mon, let's give it a chance!"
So I made a move down towards the Dames Point bridge....the "wind tunnel". I dropped anchor and saw a bunch of what was probably Croakers piled up on the bottom. The tide wasn't even close top low yet. And I explained that on a full moon, 90% of the time we'll get bit by a big Red or Drum, when the tide is really low. Although the East wind was really pushing against the tide, which and was the monkey wrench thrown in to the equation. (the same monkey wrench I've had on every trip this week.)
We were getting bit by the Croakers, and if I was alone on this spot I would have just sat through the tide the best I could and worked all three rods, keeping bait on them till I hopefully a good fish....the same thing we did on this trip ( photo of 4 guys) the first week of April a few years ago on a very similar day. When we caught this 45 pound Redfish, and a few Black Drum.
It was all about
Although we didn't have 20 knot east winds this day. We did have to wait out the full moon falling tide.
We were anchored up and all was fine, and we just had to work the low water, but Jack said they'd had enough and were ready to go.....
Alexandria said, "you get to go home early today." But if she knew me better she would know, I don't give up so easily.
So we packed it up, called it a half day and I took off towards the boat ramp against the 20 knot east wind, falling tide white capping and choppy river "seas"...blasting along in water that has my METAL really shining, in it's element. No turning away or slowing down in the super slop, just straight into the soup sandwich. Damn, I love it when it's that rough!
Next up: Monday, a rescheduled trip that we were supposed to go on back on Thursday. Forecast is for N.E. 15 knots of wind. I'll take N.E. over due East, any day.
I'm really aching to do some Float-rig fishing. Since I've gone a whole week with out being able to do it.......properly.