Monday, April 28, 2008

4/28 - TWO DAVE'S

Had regular Dave Cohen from Virginia Beach aboard.....A fella who can appreciate a good Trout.
And I'm glad he does. Because he's one of my "solo" customers. Just him, no one else. And I run no clock, we just go, fishing.

Well today the wind blew like hell and back. 20 knots out of the south it gusted. Front passing through, of course. Rain behind it.

It was one tough day! I had monster plans to attack a spot that's been giving up some healthy Trout. But all Dave pulled out of there was a 20" Redfish and a few Spanish Mackerel. Yep, Spanish on the float-rig. One made it to the fish box, the other ate the hook off his line at boat side. And the current for a statistically no tide height day sure was blasting. Maybe it was the south west winds pushing on the water.

Dave caught a few Jack Crevalles and one bigger one maybe 6 pounds or so that pulled really nice. Dave also wants me to fish along with him. I usually suppress the urge. Because I want him to have all the chances. But at the same time he doesn't have to wrench my arm to badly to get a rod in my hands, and a float-rig drifting behind the boat....I can do that.

At about our 10 spot, and 20th re-anchor, Dave and I tried an area a friend pulled three healthy Trout out of earlier.......Because it was out of the wind. That's all really. Wasn't expecting to catch much. It was a dive bombing barometer, windy, cloudy and we were just plain working our tails off, with not any bites because of it all.

So after multiple attempts to put my 26 and a half foot Big Metal boat into a small notch in the bank, and stay anchored with no scope on the anchor line. We work and work the area. Deep, shallow, casting and casting since there was wind......but no current. Thank God, Dave can cast okay. If I had my druthers, we wouldn't be casting at all! It does nothing but cause tangles, beats up your shrimp, and of course when we have to cast it's always into the wind! But here, we really had too.

My float finally goes slamming under water. Ahhhhh...Nice fattie Trout. 20 incher! Finally, TARGETED SPECIES! Then 5 minutes later, my Float goes under in a hurry again. Another Trout. It boils and head shakes across the surface. I do what it takes to keep the fish on. And Dave kindly nets another one for me, its a 24 incher.

Can I tell ya' I was feeling like a real ass!

I wanted Dave to catch these. I know I'm a "ringer", but come on. My J-O-B, is to get one of these on Dave's hook. But he wants me to keep on fishing. It did feel good. These were the only two real bites I've had since we left this morning.

I kick back for a moment, and let Dave get in there. While re-anchoring and positioning the boat over and over again as we drift off the spot.

Dave catches a few small Jacks, looses a few shrimp, ya know the drill......

I pick up my rod again, make a cast into where I caught the other two trout. My float goes down, I see a fish do a big boil on the surface. It pulls really hard, "It's a Trout!" Dave says, "bigger than the last one??" I reply, "hell yeah, this is a super STUD!"

The fish throbs my rod tip, comes up and then goes down, pulls drag, and now we see it. It's a damn monster!

I tell Dave, "this has to be the biggest Trout I have ever caught!" But it isn't caught 100% yet.

I'm playing this fish with kid gloves. No pulling, just working it. Closer and closer to the waiting net. The fine tuned drag on my reel works it's magic. I've hooked fish like this several times before, I know the drill, they can get off the hook in a milli-second if just one thing goes wrong.

I lost a monster Trout last Sunday, that pulled off the hook at boat side.

Dave gets her in the net. And it's the Trout that I have fished 20 years for. Finally in the boat. I've caught, or helped catch probably 5,000 Trout? I dare to even do the math. And this was her. She's the one!!

I drop her on the Boga Grip scale.....I see 10 pounds! My hands start shaking. It was the fattest Speckled Trout I have ever held. The girth on her was almost here length. FAT, FAT, FAT.

(28+ inches and had a 18+ inch GIRTH! That photo of course, doesn't do it justice.)

Finally, at only took 5,000 Trout and 20 years to get in the club.

We try some more, to get Dave a Trout too. But the current goes all wacky, the winds has us laying funny now. We move and adjust. Still nothing. So we go to head in and here comes the rain. Forrest Gump "BIG RAIN".....I can hardly see down the river it's raining so hard. But miraculously, we get back to the boat ramp, and it stopped. I clean up the fish, (keep my trophy in the cooler for over night observation) say good by to Dave as he heads back to Ponte Vedra with a nice sack of fillets for supper. Make some calls to friends. And then hit the "club house" the Mayport China Buffet for dinner at 5:30pm with Trout Crazy D.O.A. Rob, to hash over the days events.

Wheww...what a day.

Here's the rest of the Trout Photos from today:



reminder: check out my 2 passenger, special rate charters. See the link on the top of the side bar, for details. SAVE $$

BTW...I see folks out there using my "find", the Salmon Stalker floats which are the cats ass compared to anything BillyBob can make. And here's another reccomendation. Shimano Curado 300-DSV reel.....Oh what a joy these babies are to fish with.

For years, I've noticed the Texas Speck hunters using low profile reels, with FAST retrieve speeds for inshore fishing. Now I know why. But they are proud of them too, at a mere $250 a piece.

And wait till you see the custom "Big Metal" themed, custom Trout rods I'm having built to my exact specifications. You'll need to have your jaw strapped shut! I'll have no worries of having my "jetty shadow's" copying me out there, using a rod like mine. That's for sure!

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I guess everyone is in sticker shock, as I am. And that's why I never got even as much as a call for this weekend. "They", who ever they are....said, "get ready for $4.00 a gallon fuel." I guess, "they" were correct.
Every single flex in the economy, every single world event, ever storm, every corporate melt down, and every Presidential election year, is felt by me in the charter business! And the feeling ain't good.

Via all my world wide buddies on One who lives and fishes in Mexico, said fuel there in U.S. dollars is only, $2.20. Then, one in Alaska mentioned that fuel there is now $5.00 a gallon. I suspect, now is when we'll really start to see some really serious problems in this country.

Took my mom with me to Saturday's 2nd Annual Jax Irish Music Fest, at the Fairgrounds. It was really warm down there in the sun, and thank goodness for some trees on the grounds. Many people sat under them as the bands played. Including Mom and I after about noon.

We were there for the openers, and stayed till fishing buddy Nick Watson's band, Rathkeltair was on and over. I really enjoyed seeing them again. And finally got to hear a local girl, Janna Light in person. With addition of her sister singing with her. She's really something too! This girl has a serious, serious voice, you do not forget.

No fish pics, for a week.
So I'll go with band pics.

Nick on drums.
Neil on pipes.
Trevor on Guitar.
Billy on Bass.
They're Rathkeltair!

You've probably never heard anything like these guys, before.

Friday, April 25, 2008

4/25 - looks like they called it wrong again

I'm seeing no wind and especially no due east wind. And the Mayport weather station is reading NNE at 6 knots at 10am.

So I guess that the EAST 10-15 knots was wrong?? (which someone like me usually equates that with 15-20 knots really)

Oh, well I guess an entire week of no fishing and no booking is good for the soul???

I'm not out till Monday with one passenger, as of right now.

Just sitting doing some planning, architect'ing, and development for a new items on the boat, for this summer.

I will have the coolest stuff. Just wait and see what I'm up too....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

4/25 - with east winds and zero fishing comes......

Zero going on, east winds blowing, fuel is up .20 cents in 5 days, so......It's boat show time!

My second love, besides fishing is looking at and riding in, if I could on bad azz boats. Especially if they are made out of Plate Alloy.

When you think Aluminum boats, I bet ya don't think of anything like these.

AMF plate alloy's from New Zealand.

Yes, just because it's painted you'd walk right on by and never say to the owner, "hey how many bud cans does it take to make one of these" like I have to hear from the rednecks scientists, at the gas station when I'm filling up my boat. (mine is not painted)

First one is a AMF 850 classic, fashioned after the American-style 'picnic boat'. Which the owner now wants a 45' version. (must be one wealthy man)

This second boat a AMF 720 Viper is a concept hull developed by Paul Sharratt to show what he can do with aluminium. And I say......"he do, well."

Then the last I have to show you is the AMF's first Outboard Powered QRV 950 (rescue vessel), Fitted with twin 25ohp Yamaha Fourstroke Engine this boat as seen in these photos is doing 47.7kts !!

Okay, Boat Show from the "other side" is over, for now. But you're looking at just a few of the strongest, fastest, boats in the world. Real world. The craftsmanship is only rivaled by wood boat builders.

4/24 - Looks like Saturday or Sunday is "IT".

Well, another wind blown week is passing by. Just got back from breakfast at Nicklyn's Cafe with dad. Where we chat about what's going on. Dad didn't realize that an East wind just about shuts down any and all "jetty bites".

Saturday & Sunday is it folks. And if I do not get any calls in advance I will be at the Jax Irish Music Festival on Saturday. And I know, the phone will ring with some one asking to go right now, because they see sun out the window. It always happens.

But since weekends are getting to be a really big hassle, dispite fuel costs sky-rocketing 20 cents a week. There's no lack of boat traffic in the river or offshore. We're what, up to $3.50 - $3.60 a gallon now?? And there is no end in sight. Maybe a complete "shut" down of all commerce in the country will change the state we're in, now.

Everyone says it has will get worse till it gets better. I blame the ones in charge, it's just that simple for me.

I believe it all stems from Bush #1 and the first bombing of Iraq, in 1991. Now, the Bush #2 goverment has really ruined it for the regular person. The fat beauracrats don't worry about having to stay in business, buy food, or fuel. They have life long jobs, being fat politians with big checks "we" pay them. Has anyone ever really met a life long politician that was poor?

I decided to post a special on charters for two persons on my NEWS page. Here it is;

I guess, I'll also make up an "notice" for the sidebar of the blog here, so to make it permanent and seen by everyone who doesn't know I also have a complete web site with changes going on weekly too.

Yep, I've received calls from people wanting me to recommend a fishing guide to them, because they somehow found these blog pages, and figured "why not ask this dude about who he'd recommend they fish with"......Totally unaware that I was a fishing guide and have links down the side to my web site. Yes, people can be that clueless. That's like asking a salesman at a car lot, "who's the best dealer in town where I can buy a mini-van like that one there.....?"

I learn something new about the public everyday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

4/23 - Cracked me up!!!

With the daily knee jerk reactions of homeland security people at airports, in our own river via the USCG. I recieved this as an email from a friend and man did this crack me up.

here's what he sent me......


If you are sitting next to someone who irritates you (IE: a bath, two seats, a hair-cut, a breath mint, a base ball bat over the head) on a plane or train follow these instructions: (and maybe say goodbye!).

1. Quietly and calmly open up your laptop case.

2. Remove your laptop.

3. Start up

4. Make sure the guy who is annoying you, can see the screen.

5. Close your eyes and tilt your head up to the sky as if to pray.

6. Then Click the link below

No guarantee who will be moved off the plane/train/or Ferry ship!!


And just think, you may get to ride all by yourself to your destination. And get those silly "shoe inspectors" back, BIG TIME!

4/22 - News

I'll be posting some tidbits from time to time, I find on http://www.aluminumalloyboatscom/ - where you'll always find me and my world wide friends who are also plate alloy owners.

Who here thinks Aluminum Plate boats are some new fangled idea?

Obviously a lot of the general public I run into does. And that's a shame. Since their minds have been fogged by the marketing success of the Plastic boat builders, and the ad agencies. Come on...the world just isn't Carolina Skiffs and tubes of 3M 5200.

Just so you know, here's a plate aluminum boat from way back. (1941 aluminum plate PT-boat) And talk about holding it's VALUE!!

Here's the link, it's on Ebay!!


Friday & Saturday - 2nd annual Jacksonville Irish Music Festival

Jax. Fair grounds. Saturday gates open at 11am till midnight

Jax Fair Grounds. Friday evening, Seven Nations, playing with the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra

For more info go to:

-Catch the Beaches Flyer to the Festival! Leaving from Lynch's from 5pm Friday night and from 10am Saturday Morning. For all you drinks of the brew.

I'll probably see you there....

Wanna hear a sample of what LOCAL TALENT, will be there?

Go to this link and listen to RATHKELTAIR, my fishing buddy Nick's band. - listen here


Janna Light, former lead singer of Celtic Soul - Listen here

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

4/21 - James from the Chesapeake

Since I did my R&D yesterday, and had a nice game plan laid out for James from the Chesapeake area of Maryland, down as a solo passenger. I felt good as we left the dock at 7:30am on a what was surely to be a tranquil MONDAY MORNING....but in the first hour of fishing, I could see the plans I had mapped out needed to be used as toilet paper instead. And Monday morning just might as well be Sunday morning, I guess.

At one point, I was anchored up tight to the rocks with my "cinder block" jetty anchor. I had two boats come in ahead of me, one behind me was already there. Then came one next to me, and then another guide drops with the trolling motor and is fishing off my starboard side 40 feet away.

I'm usually a people person, gregarious, fun loving, kid friendly, joke'ster. But put all these people in boats around me, and I get claustrophobic!! I had zero "wiggle room". And what gets me is no one is catching a damn thing, I know we weren't. So we picked up and went where no one was and caught (2) beautiful Redfish back to back on our Float-rigs. One 27" fish that was a healthy 8.5 pounds, and another at 25".

I knew there were Reds on this spot. But it took a little while to find them. James also had on what we thought was a nice Trout, but lost it. I had in the back of my mind all day that I wanted to go where the Black Drum were. So we tried it a few times even, but only caught one 15" Trout and a Whiting there. Those dang puppy size Drum remind me of Tarpon. Here today by the schools, and then gone tomorrow. Sunday, I saw literally stingers full of Drum but after 2 attempts in the same area James and myself, just figured it wasn't gonna be.

We moved on as the tide started to fall and went to BIG Trout-dom. Again, PEOPLE were the problem but I worked around them. As the tide got perfect I had James working it hard, "details details" I stressed. And when push came to shove, my float went down! As I was fishing along with James. Drag pulling like a red, head thumping back and forth, was this it??

Oh, I was so excited, but also kinda upset that James wasn't on this fish. I could have handed over the rod. But if this was a big Trout I was so afraid we'd loose it on the hand off as so many are. Along the boat, now..... "is it?" " Yes, it's a big Trout!" Jame's grabbed the net and the fish certainly knew it's fate was sealed and made three attempts to pull away. Swoooosh, in the net!

Ahh, what a beauty. If I fish all day without a bite and then catch me a big fat Trout, I'm satisfied. On the Boga-Grip it turned out to be a perfect 6 pounder.

We continued to work the spot, looking for the next GATOR, but as with the whole day.

Things just weren't feeling right.

I kept telling James, this day feels weird. And I'm gonna go with my gut. Because of the wind direction, the current from the full moon, the sea breeze I know it's something, and I'm getting a vibe.

So we moved on looking for some faster action.

The next move I made was as fruitless as a dead tree. Gut said, "get the hell outa here!" So we did, and hit an area where the afternoon wind wasn't all that bad.

Here we had 4 good bites, and boated two small Reds. The low tide on this area was getting oh so perfect. But James had a taxi to catch, I had fish to clean. So we packed it in for the boat ramp.

Overall if I had to classify the day it was just one that we had to work hard for everything we got.

But most importantly, James hadn't fished since last November and got to do it in 83 degree weather, Florida sunshine, on a Big Metal boat.

Which he said he certainly wouldn't be doing back home. And he learned a lot and we had FUN.
Plus he took home with him a nice sack of fillets.

Thanks James, it was my pleasure.

Remember, you always will get the "reel scoop" here at Capt Dave's Sport Fishing Report Blog.

4/20-Windburned R&D

Like a fool.....I had to go out on Sunday. I had a new rod. That's why. Just was killing me not to try it out. So I left out at 10:00am and got to a boat ramp that was packed out. Do you realize, that people are now parking all the way down across from Singletons Seafood shack? Holy crap, this cities getting just too big. I still waiting for the economy to drop boat sales in the garbage can, and fuel prices to have the boat ramp absent of people on a Sunday. I know it's killing me to spend $100 and get 28.9 gallons of fuel. That's the reason, I'm only fishing the jetties...can't afford to go anywhere else, these days. No hawg wild runs to Nassau Sound, up Nassau River, past Amelia island on a 6 hr charter. Not unless you want to pay way more. And the people have spoken. They barely want to pay what I have to charge now. And everyone constantly asks me, "so when you gonna start doing offshore trips?" I guess, when I can get $600 a day for two anglers.

I can remember when there was no over flow lot across the street from the boat ramp parking lot, one ramp and that was just fine on a weekend. But either way, the boat ramp would be a lot better if there was no stupid peoples CARS, where Trucks and Trailers are supposed to park.

Everyone ought to print notices and carry them with you. When you see 6 cars in prime truck and trailer spot, you post a notice on their windshield with Elmer's glue; "Hey asshole...this is a boat ramp parking lot. This is a parking spot for a truck and trailer not your car. Your lucky we don't hitch up to ya and pull your car out into the middle of the parking lot. If you are this stupid how did you pass the drivers exam?"

At this point in time. I believe I'll have to start charging a weekend rate. Sorry, but it was bound to happen. A lot of charters do so. Reason being, that there's so many people at the bait shop on Saturday mornings this time of year that if YOU want ME to actually have bait and ice and be on time, I've been getting Saturday mornings bait and ice on Friday instead. Because of Friday they still have some shrimp left usually.....wait till a bad Saturday morning and you can be shit outa luck. So I have to make special trips there on Friday, and do all I can to keep 10-12 dozen shrimp alive over night. Many people think I catch my own live shrimp...."yeah, for a $400 day, I'm up at 1:00am, and in my shrimp boat dragging nets for your charter at 7am, NOT!!"

The jetties were a mess of people on Sunday. So I had to find a spot where I could be alone and fish happily. And I found it. I caught about 10 Trout, only 3 were keepers a few bluefish, and a 5 pound Black Drum. I lost another Black Drum, and probably the largest Trout I've ever hooked in my whole life, just 10 feet from the boat. It was no less than 30 inches as it came up to the surface and the hook pulled. And I was all alone. Which was so nice.

There's still a place or two people don't fish, and there is fish, thank goodness. Big Trout don't care for boat motors running over their heads all day long. So I will explore this are more for Big Trout again. And there's plenty of Black Drum there too. Because I saw them caught.

The wind was bad by late day, and I fished the area hard with my one new rod in hand. Caught more than enough for a dinner. Liked the feel of my new rod. But still needed a bigger fish on it than the Drum, to be a real test. I searched high and low for this rod, but it's still missing one key item I was looking for, a heavy duty trigger real seat.

But, alas I did find the rods I'm looking for, custom made on the west coast. Wait till you see these beauties! They'll be like nothing you've seen around here.

Go to: and be prepared to blown away!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

4/19 - No, No it isn't....

The title of this post shouldn't be confusing. I'm just answering the title of my last post.

Holy crap it was windy today. Totally screwed me over. Had a two boat, 8 passenger trip with Richard Ridgway and crew, visiting Amelia Island. We (me and the other boat) had big plans of hitting the jetties as early as possible. With 4 passengers a piece we needed a sure thing. So the inlet is always in order when these trips come around.

We both left the dock and rounded the corner past the Navy Base and I was shocked. The south jetty was a chopped up mess I wasn't gonna anchor in and try to show 4 people how to float fish in.

And we also had a big drop in the Barometer today....(seen via my new weather screen on my home page as seen this morning at 0530 hrs)

I didn't want to leave so we looked around and around. Incoming tide, Full moon, south wind at 20 knots, 4 passengers....I had a mindful of worries. Where to go, when the #1 spot is unfishable. Unfishable for a Float-rigging 4 passenger trip. I needed current. And we had NONE!

So after goofing around making up my mind we headed up river. As I told my folks, it's like time my dad said to a waiter at the Chinese Restaurant, "Man, this yellow mustard sure is spicy!" The old Chinese waiter said in return, "no sir, it's just exciting!"

That's what jetty fishing is in my book, compared to fishing the river or some creek.

Just plain more exciting!!

So we headed down river as the incoming tide got higher and higher, and the wind blew stronger and stronger. First spot, out of the wind, but no trout bites, just this years first bait stealing Mangrove Snapper, and a few sand perch.

I said to my group..."looks like ya'll are gonna get the river world tour", as I pulled anchor and hauled ass even further up river. There's only so many places to hide from a south wind, and I know of maybe a few that could produce today. The first one didn't on the high water.

Morale was LOW, I could tell. But 99.9% of all freshwater fisherman, don't get what tides do and how important they are. If nothings happening on a incoming, then the opposite, the falling tide must be the tide to fish.......BINGO!

After the tide just started to turn on the very bottom, in two drifts we had back to back, Specks.
First one was 18", and the second 20".

Finally.... it wasn't like we were burning down the house here. We just had two really nice fish all in 2 minutes. As the ebb tide slowly started.
I made an adjustment and we started catching some Yellowmouths, a few okay sized ones for the box and several small ones.

But the action was very refreshing. And as it happens many times. The river's tide change, changed the atmosphere above, and the wind died. A very refreshing change there!

We ended up with 9 keeper fish in the box. And then I talked to the other boat. They were heading out to brave the jetties again and take a look.

They ended up fishing there, but as the Captain said..."Dave, it's hold on with one hand fish with the other, if you can. It's that rough but we're catching yellowmouths at least and caught a small Pompano."

In short order, we started to run low on shrimp. So I stayed longer and we finished them off. It was a 12 mile run back to the boat ramp from where we were, and the wind backed off inshore, but was still honking in Mayport when we returned.

Saw a few really small boats heading offshore this morning. If I was bitchin' at the jetties I can't imagine what it was out there.

Next up: Monday, single solo passenger trip. Just the opposite of today. And since the forecast was WRONG today. I hope I can fish someday in the opposite of today, and that would be "calm winds".

Two Saturday's in a row of heinous winds has me hating weekends!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

4/17 - Is the wind finally going away????

Holy wind burn Batman! Is it possible that finally the 20-25 knot winds have subsided just in time for this weekend. I guess it's gareenteed to be a real zoo at the boat ramp then on Saturday.
I best prepare the Bat Mobile, Friday for a early bat cave departure Saturday morning.

New addition to my Pro-Staff links on the side bar of this BLOG.

The Snapper-Saver!
Innovation meets practicality.
Do you just love your Boga-Grip?
I know I do. I've had one from the very beginning. Well, this is where the Snapper Saver comes in. A tool no boat (especially an offshore boat) should be without. The Snapper Saver is a release tool/de-hooker often referred to as a "fish flipper ", and a fish deflater. Patent Pending, design conceals a super sharp retractable needle in the handle to deflate blow-up fish that were yanked from deep water off the bottom. With a slide of the spring loaded button on the handle, out comes the perfect length needle, and the handle end is also set at the perfect angle for insertion into a Snapper, Grouper, over sized Redfish, etc.
Made out of the highest grade Stainless Steel, with a smooth machined "flipping end", there's no way to damage your hook or leader. Plus, if done properly, you do not even have to touch the fish. Look closely at the end, the inward facing end is the "flipper", and the outside facing end, is a "degorger" for pushing a hook out.
Soon to be released with a lanyard, and offered in many colors. This is not your grandpa's ole bent piece of wire, laying in the bottom of the boat. But rather a well thought out, simple but innovative tool to help in the release of small and large bottom fish, as well as shallow water species too.
Not every fish you catch gets blown up with gasses, because it was caught in deep water then fought to the surface. But on the Snapper Saver web site, and included with your Snapper Saver, comes instruction on how to properly "VENT", a fish for safe return to the bottom for when this does occur. It's nice having all the tools to do the job in an attractive and handy unit. Your friends will say..."what the heck is that?" And after you show them how easy it is to use.
Visit: - and tell 'em Capt Dave sent ya'

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

4/16 - while the winds howling...25 knots

Let's talk bait....
When it comes to live bait fishing, every angler has his preference. Some prefer the appeal of a juicy threadfin herring. Some prefer the flash and fish ability of a pilchard. Others say there’s simply no substitute for the distress signals sent out by a live finger mullet dangling from the end of a light-wire circle hook.

But, if you asked every live bait fisherman you know which bait they consider to be the most versatile, no bait would rate higher than the ubiquitous live shrimp. Put simply, nearly everything that swims in Florida waters eats shrimp. So, if you’re looking for a live bait that will catch fish year ‘round no matter where you fish, a twitching, live shrimp is the choice for you.

Although most Floridians associate shrimp with deep water trawlers that spend weeks at sea dredging sandy bottom areas of the Gulf of Mexico in search of what some might call Florida Gold, the shrimp we as anglers most often end up lacing onto our hooks are actually harvested in the shallow bays and estuarine systems along Florida’s east and west coasts.

Much like the trawling systems used to harvest shrimp in offshore waters, nets used to gather shrimp in coastal areas are designed to dredge the bottom and capture the crustaceans as they flee. However, unlike offshore dredges which are actually designed to loosen bottom sediments, inshore shrimp trawls have roller systems which allow the net to drag the bottom without having a significant impact on sensitive sea grass beds.

Within the boundaries of these fragile ecosystems, post-larval and juvenile shrimp spend the formative portions of their life cycles burrowing in soft sand, mud and sea grass attempting to elude a wide variety of persistent predators. Concealing themselves primarily during daylight hours, these tiny crustaceans emerge from their lairs under the cloak of darkness to feed on algae and micro-fauna found near mangrove shorelines and marshy edges that border these natural nurseries.

FYI....Nearly 80 percent of the states intake of sweet Atlantic white shrimp is harvested in Amelia Island waters. Two million pounds of shrimp are delivered to Fernandina docks annually.

And my favorite live shrimp are caught by a man named Wade in a small boat working the lower Nassau county area, and delivered to B&M bait and tackle.


During a day's fishing I'll pin my shrimp on the hook basically two ways, depending on what I'm doing. Float-rig fishing, there's only one way of doing it right, and one way only in my book.

And that's pinning the shrimp on to the hook right behind it's "horn". This way, the shrimp stays alive, swimming and kicking. And if not cast a lot, can live and remain relatively "frisky" for awhile.

This photo is somewhat inaccurate, I'd pin the hook up closer to where the "horn" meets the base of the "carapace", or head shell. Just under and through the hardest part of the entire shrimps body. Thus giving it an ear piercing of sorts.

For bottom fishing in heavy current, now this is where I have a "trick".

Shrimp in nature, do not spin. So a spinning shrimp in our river's current isn't a good thing.

What I do is "cut" the very end of the shrimps tail off. I call it the "fan". By doing this you are not ripping or tearing the shrimp. I take a hook that's sized for the shrimp I'm using and thread the hook into the end of the shrimps tail. As if you are threading on a "rubber worm" on a hook.

When I reach into half of the length of the shrimps body. I exit the hook through the shrimps underside. Now this is where some skill comes in.....I then "bend" the shrimp and "spin" the hook point around the opposite direction, and pin it back into the shrimp's "walking legs".

Thus forcing the entire shrimp to be held straight, and not spin once in the water's heavy current.

The "bend" and "spin" of the hook and shrimp now forces pressure the opposite way the shrimps body naturally wants to bend. Which is why shrimp will "curve up" on a hooks bend, and spin in the water, when bottom fished.

And most importantly has a fish like a Sheepshead especially, having to eat the entire hook to get to the shrimp's tail meat. Which is what all fish want. I can't begin to tell you how many throat hooked Sheepshead I have caught because of this technique. They don't nibble, they take the whole thing laying on the bottom, "not" spinning!

Hooking in any other manner usually leaves room for a fish to grab and bite off the shrimp. It happens with nibbler fish even with my system too, but not nearly as much as just digging the hook in anywhere you feel like.

Presentation, presentation, presentation, can be the key to success many times. And if it's made correctly, and habitual you'll never have to worry. Because it was done right the first time. Details matter to me. They may not matter to my customers, but I feel that's why they are hiring me. Because I know all the details. If they choose not to follow along, well that's their own fault then.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

4/15 - Pay the Goverment Day.

Let me just tell ya. I pushed and pushed and pushed a little bit more, and then a buddy out in Texas took the reign's and pulled the trigger.

And up popped; see, we were all talking about our aluminum boats on another web site. A web site full of south Florida "Cuban penis extender owners". Ya' know........"God created South Florida on the 5th day, and as he swept his hands over what soon sprouted up as Miami, he also created the world in which all boats are judged, manufactured and used."


So since we are a "cocky" bunch of diehards from all over the world. We weren't much liked by the pointy, no fishing room, look at me, 6-outboard crowd on this other web site. But we peaked interest. A lot of interest. From practical people, who enjoyed using their boats instead of having to polish them, or get the bird shit stains out of the egg shell.

I've had the link to my second home up on the side bar since day one of the grand opening of ( for short when discussing...) Don't know if anyone ever looks at that stuff. I'm in the dark, about what readers actually look at here.

But thanks to a guy by the nickname Welder the site has had a Million unique visitors in just a few months. Welder and I dig this stuff. And he made me a Moderator for the forum. Kinda like a look-out for spammers, and code enforcement, I guess you could say. But the job is more honorary, than anything. Because our members are quality folks.

From all over the world! Brisbane Australia, to Maine, to Alaska. Manufactures/builders, owners, want to be owners, charter captains, cruisers, you name it.....all for the love of our practical, easy maintenance, customizable, fuel efficient, aluminum boats that we refer to as Alloy Boats. Because they are far from that beat old thin, and tinny Jon-boat your grandpa had leaning against the tree in the back yard.

Wanted to share with you how the "other half" lives. And show ya'll some photo's of Peter known as the Spoiled One, launching his customized 30 footer that took 2 years to build. Peter's in Alaska. Notice, besides the snow covered ground, the snow covered mountains in the background?? The wood planked boat ramp, and the second truck with the tow strap, just in case there was a "slick spot" on the ramp. These are not even the "ahh" inspiring photo's. Peter and many other Alaskans have posted photos of alloy boats at work in the Arctic, hunting, crabbing, shrimping and yes.......catching Big Fish. If I had room here, I'd show ya photo's of Alloy Boats in Australia, and fellow southerners (Texas to Florida) enjoying the ease of maintenance, ease of ownership their Alloy boats give.

So when you see me at the boat ramp. And think to yourself; "This dude is some kind of wacko with that big metal boat, no one owns them..."

Just remember, I know a whole lot more than you do about these boats, their history, what kind of people own them, and really... "I think you might just be the wacko for not owning one too!"

Here's a photo of the USCG Mayport, Fleet in the St. Johns River. Using the same material in all their boats, as is used to build mine.

Watch out Terrorists, I mean weekenders!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

4/13 - Screwed by the weather again

One mo' time...just for good time sake. Screwed again!

Was supposed to fish today....other than the light rain this morning, it's not all that terrible.

Forecast was for 15-20 knot west winds on Sunday, as of 8pm last night.
When I had to make the call to my charter clients, with a yes or no, go.

Now, at 3pm it's sunny and not all that windy.
04/13 - 2:48 pm SSW 6.0 kts. gusts 9.9 kts.

Instead here's an example of what it really was this morning:
04/13 - 9:30 am NNW 8.0 kt. gusts 13.0 kts
04/13 - 9:24 am NW 7.0 kts gusts 9.9 kts
04/13 - 8:48 am W 5.1 kts gust 7.0 kts

"Momma's... don't let yer babies to grow to be, charter guides........"

4/12 - For the birds....only.

Saturday's....gotta love 'em and hate 'em. Well compared to Friday, at least.
Worked my butt off, that's for sure. Had two half day trips. One at 7am and another at 12:30pm.

First off, I went and 'baited-up' after Friday's successful trip, because if I got my shrimp and ice the day before I wouldn't even have to go to the Bait Shop, Saturday morning. And deal with the possible crowds in the very limited parking lot of B&M bait and tackle......12 dozen new live shrimp, and a basket of ice. I was ready, for whatever Saturday threw my way. I thought.

Then I got home, checked the weather report for Saturday, and whewwww...the only preparation for what I read was MENTAL preparation. It's all mental-prep, when on Friday I had no wind, two good fisherman, and bountiful beautiful trout, and then a Saturday with winds projected to be over 20 knots, a boat load of kids in the morning, and then an afternoon mystery corporate charter, in over 20 knot winds.

Let's start with 7am Saturday. Had Eric Pipkorn from Georgia aboard. The game plan was a 1/2 day with himself, his wife, and two 5 & 6 year old's. That turned into, himself, the two 5 & 6 year old's, No wife, and a 11 year old, instead. Thank goodness the 4th member wasn't another 5 year old. But rather a quiet boy from Atlantic beach who never said a single word to anyone on board in 4 hours. He was able to float-rig fish, along with Eric. While the two younger kids, just played or threw-up over the side of the boat.

We were at the jetties, and did catch a few fish as the breeze got stronger and stronger. And the water rougher and rougher. Started out with some Jacks, and Bluefish. Then, Eric caught the first Spanish Mackerel of the year on my boat (on the float-rig), a healthy 26 inch fish! Not bad for the first one of the season.

Honestly, I was rethinking my child/adult policy as we went along. Thinking, I may want to go with one adult for each child under 10 must be present, and no more than 4 passengers, max.

It kept getting windier, and rougher and one of the boys wasn't fairing to well. I think I was the only one who cared.....Maybe no one else aboard has ever been seasick before??

(You can see him in the corner of
this photo with his head slumped
over the side.)

The trip was supposed to be all about the kids, and really should have been just a "2 hour kids trips", where we ride around awhile sight seeing and maybe do a few minutes of fishing. Because the day was deteriorating FAST!

We left the jetties and tried a few other areas, with no success. Pretty much because of the wind direction and strength. And the bite was about over, as the front moved in I guess. As soon as I can't get anchored up with my heavy chain, 14 pound Danforth style anchor, the wind is certainly a major factor in our day, then. The youngsters were getting really bored/and or rammy as my mom used to call it. And the older boy (the cousin) just put up with them, and lost interest in fishing too. So we eventually headed back to the ramp. Where I cleaned up that Spanish Mack for Eric, and it yielded some nice baking fillets.

Next up; a three boat, three passenger each, company charter. Arranged by a friend. The wind was at it's all time fury at this point. I think we could have caught just as many fish while tied off the the what I was thinking. But I had 3 really nice folks, two women and one guy.
As they loaded on the boat, I said. "were gonna go see if we can do anything, and I mean anything, in this wind." And I took off to the jetties!!

Yes, I was at least gonna go for the GUSTO! So as we got out there, we took a lot of spray over the side of the boat, as I gave her hell. (at least the ride would be an adventure, they could talk about back at the hotel) I looked around and it was all out mayhem....the SW 20 knot, gusting to 25 knot winds had us with no where to go.....except, the north jam of the jetties. Where the beach meets the jetties on the very north corner. I ran down the outside of the rocks all the way to the beach into 10' of water. There was a swell coming in. But if I could stay anchored. We may have a chance at a Jack, Bluefish, or whatever is swimming the beach....POMPANO?? Yeah in my dreams.....

I pitched the anchor, and we held. But the wind was whipping the boat all over. I cast out 3 float-rig rods to see where they would go...certainly not down along the rocks. But rather blown out into the Atlantic, with the SW wind.

We ended up with a few Bluefish, and Jacks as predicted, and one 16" Whiting. What a stud!
I kept having to cast their lines for them against the wind up to the jetty rocks, 3 at a time and in a NY minute their float rods would have massive belly in the line, and they'd miss one fish after another. NO GOOD. NOT FUN! But certainly worth a try on a day with lighter winds, I learned. Probably a good place to try for more jumbo Whiting, in the I put that tidbit of info under my hat and we got the hell out of there.

They asked if the ride back in was gonna be like the ride out. "OH YEAH", I responded. Thinking to myself....probably a lot worse! Or more fun, depending on who you are. And that was ME.
With the incoming tide pushing against the SW gale gusts. I ran around the North tip of the jetty, flew through the air and barreled down the center of the channel. AHHHH, BIG METAL!

I actually took it a bit easy, for the sake of my passengers. But really wanted to see my BIG METAL shine. If I was by myself, I could have really smashed my way in the jetties. Because it was a soup sandwich. Seas from all directions with a frosting of wakes and froth tearing up the middle of the channel. I loved it. Water sprayed everywhere, the wind would just pick it up and send it airborne ...and I did all I could to not give here all out, hell. That's why "we" own boats like this. They don't creak and crack, they just go through whatever is in front of it.

Then there was the part of the river from the ferry slip, to the little jetties. Boats everywhere, bogging, bow up into the heinous winds and chop. I just slid the tabs down a bit and blew right on by them. Yeah, this was a Disney World ride, not in Orlando, but rather Mayport!

We slid in behind the Lil' Jetties and anchored up and caught a few more Bluefish, and a few small Speckled Trout, before it was time to head back to the dock.

But probably the best part of this charter was when the fella on my boat told me he's a real shutterbug, and just loves taking photos of different places and things. So on the way back to the dock he got a treat. We were slowly cruising just outside all the shrimp boats in Mayport when a big sail boat passed us heading inshore. They were tacking with the wind, and the whole sailboat was leaned completely over on it's side, and then they went for the tack. The crew turned into the wind, and the sails came snapping around, leaning the boat over on it's opposite side. This fella (Ron, I think) took a series of photo's straight out of Sailing Quarterly Magazine. Really cool stuff!

When we got back to the dock. I was mentally drained. And a bit physically drained too. It was almost 5pm, 12 hours from when my day started this morning. Twelve hours of no wind is tough enough, but twelve hours of hard fishing, wind blowing, two different groups, rammy kids, and rough seas. Hell, I feel I earned every nickel I made today....the hardest way.

It's good I had these trips, because as I write this report on Sunday morning with the cool winds and rain outside right now. I was supposed to be fishing in this too! But instead I cancelled today's charter with a husband and wife team, visiting Jacksonville. I told them last night, "Ya'll are not gonna have any fun.....I can about guarantee that!" So hopefully, my honesty will pay off with a re-booking with them again, another time.

Friday, April 11, 2008

4/11 - He said it was gonna be good!

Dale Houck....
Recently a new Jacksonville resident, Fisherman, boat owner, BLOG reader.

Booked a trip several weeks ago. But as time neared, the wind was blowing. But Dale said "don't worry it's gonna be beautiful." I replied, "hey, I'm always prepared for big wind...just in case."

At the dock this morning Dale and buddy Marcus were early, and ready. We left out at sunrise.

I had big plans, since Dale's whole purpose of the trip was to learn how to "float-rig" fish. He was interested in the how's and why of catching the Speckley rascals....Trout. So I had plans to take him and Marcus to a spot that's a big fish spot, but has never been a serious quantity spot.

First few bites on their drifting shrimp along the jetty rocks were Jacks and Bluefish, fun, but not what we came for. But no fear, Marcus lifts and set the hook on a drag pulling fish. And it's a 5 pound Speckled Trout.

This fish set in motion a nice run on big fat Trout. The rock that the fish were behind, was revealed.

Just get your float to drift that lively river cricket (shrimp) near that rock and your float goes down.

Yep, that's the magic of float-rig fishing the jetties. When it goes down, like a bullet. Mark that rock!
That's where they'll be.

The current of course when we arrived was sort of too fast, but I timed it just right, because not long after, the tides push would slow down, and when it did the Trout started chewing.

As we continued, Dale's reason for reserving his trip, "mastering the art of Float-rigging" was right on target. And Marcus...he was doing just fine, too. It's an addictive type of fishing, for the angler that wants to stay active, learn the currents, and not be tying on rigs all day from bottom snags. To me, it's "MY" way of fishing. There's only one fish I haven't caught on it that frequents our waters from time to time and that's a Snook. We don't have lots of Snook here in the Jacksonville area, but they are around. I know where they are, too. But just don't get there much.

The fog was thick this morning, and would come and go. So cloaked under the dense fog, we sat undisturbed as this was a Friday that just might as well be a Saturday morning.

We ended up with 7 trout from this spot and 3 were 5 pounders. And man, they were sweet. This area has produced even larger Trout. I have seen them up to 8-9 pounds. In the winter. I haven't caught any. But I know they frequent the area.

Not every Jetty rock is the same. Some spot just hold fish better. Some are Redfish spots, some are Sheepshead spots, and some are Trout spots. And it's all too do the window the tide gives you.

Show up on the right spot, but on the wrong tide, it's like anywhere inshore. It doesn't mean the fish will be there. People always ask me for "spots" as if there's a magic rock where anyone with no skills can catch big Trout. And with as much tact and diplomacy, I try to explain the whole process, if I can. But there was no having to explain this to Dale or Marcus. They found the rock, I just supplied the tide and means.

We fished until the falling tide completely died, so it was time to move on. So since Dale was wanting to learn, we tried a little Jig & Shrimp fishing. Looking to get Marcus a big fat Redbass on some serious light tackle. But we never caught one.

Then we float-rigged the same area, and still didn't catch one. I knew they were in the area, I just saw two caught on a float-rig on another boat. But for some reason, we just couldn't connect.

So we moved on and tried another area. It was so covered up with boats that it was tough fishing.

Instead we just caught a Jack or two. The Jacks are getting bigger, the Bluefish are also larger, and the Bluefish aren't as ravenous as they were a few weeks ago. I don't mind Jacks in the 5 pound class or larger, they give folks a good pull. But those little 1/4 pounders are just plain bait eaters.

The fillets today were great. Purty, purty, Trout fillets, for all kinds of dishes. And Dale even let me have 2 big ones for supper.
Thanks Dale, I cleaned up the boat when I got home and then blackened those chunky fillets, add a big scoop of potato salad, and a tall glass of sweet tea, I was in GATOR TROUT HEAVEN!
Tomorrow (4/12) I have a double header, one charter in the morning and another in the afternoon. Then comes Sunday's (4/13) two passenger trip and a big time weather change. It was 80 something today and the weathers supposed to turn COLD??? I just put away all my fleece for the year, last week!!
Here's all of the photos I took today on my "Recent catch pages" :

Thursday, April 10, 2008

4/10 - Giving you the info!

New addition, and a kind of cool one I think.

I consistently get folks looking at my web site and then call me go fishing the next or same day and don't realize, that the wind is HOWLING a gale.

Soooooo.....I installed a giant weather screen right in front of the viewers.
Check it out on my "home page"

There's also weather links on this web page too:
Plus a cool site called Fish Weather listed in my "links" along the side bar here on the BLOG.

And because I'm always thinking about my beloved BLOG readers. I also installed the same weather screen at the very bottom of this BLOG...."scroll down" now and you'll see it.

That's Mayport. Yep, who gives a toads butt about the airport, Craig field, somewhere over on the west side of town. I'm not fishing there!!

Working hard to provide you with as much information as I possibly can, is what I strive for.

Even though my past "POLL" showed hardly any BLOG readers are people looking for the finest in River/Inlet charter fishing aboard the BIG METAL boat. But, hey who's to say ya'll may not refer a friend, relative, or client to me. Right?

That's why this BLOG is here. NO other local charter service in N.E. Florida provides YOU with as much local info as I do on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

Thanks for visiting and I'm always glad to bump into you all when I'm out and about.

Remember, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page to see Mayport Weather. (the wind and direction, and barometer is the most important thing.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

4/9 - Found some ole notes

Went and gassed up the boat this afternoon, and forgot all about the notes I had in a pad, where I track my fuel usage/engine hours. As I pumped my measly 38 something gallons in the boat for the $115, I handed the attendant. I looked at my fuel book and saw some interesting tid-bits.

I found these notes intriguing because they were from last spring and early summer, but last year.

Here's a few for comparison:

1st Jack Cravalle of 2007 on 3/23 at 5 pounds.
1st Jack Cravalle of 2008 on 4/4 at 1/2 pound.

3/26/2007 the ICW water temp was 71 at mid day falling tide in ICW/Little jetties area.

3/27/2007, we caught the years first Pompano.
This year I still haven't caught my 1st jetty pompano yet.

By 3/31/2007 we had (2) Pompano that day, at 2.5 and 4.5 pounds on the Boga-grip.

Saw first Manatee in my stomping grounds on 4/10/2007
As a matter of fact, on Sunday 4/6/2008 I saw a Manatee off the Navy Base in deeper water on the surface heading EAST.

4/13/2007 - caught First Ladyfish of the year.

4/24/2007 - seals went bad in my trailer hubs.....Get those fixed!

4/26/2007 - The Redbass were Ballistic inside the north Jetty on Jig-N-Shrimp combo meals.

4/27/2007 - Gas was $2.93 a gallon.

4/28/2007 - had (10) Specks 18-23" with (5) over 20" in one spot, by myself, then went home.
Salinity where I was fishing was 22 Part Per thousands.

4/30/2007 - had (3) under 20" Trout, and (6) - 5 plus pounders!

5/3/2007 - Pogies starting to show on beach, but very scattered.

5/3 to 5/11/2007 - Really bad winds, up to gale force for a week, straight!

5/18/2007 - starting to catch perfect sized Black Drum on my Trout spots.

5/21/2007 - Perfect day! Loads of nice Trout, ending the day with a 6+ pounder at the least likely spot.

5/22 to 5/26/2007 - 15-20 knots of wind ever day.

5/26/2007 - went out on last day of big wind solo and caught (8) Trout (limits), (12) Black Drum (Limits), (1) Flounder......on Float-rig and Jig-n-shrimp. ya should been there!

5/29/2007 - Fuel back over $3.00 again....someone farted.

5/30/2007 - 15 knot winds from the east, but still had a great day, no current to speak of but had loads of Trout and Drum, and Trout to over 5 pounds.

6/5/2007 - another great day, good amounts of Trout and Drum, in 20 knot west winds.

6/6/2007 - all the super bad BlackTip Sharks flying through the air upon hook-up at the jetties. Dead Pogie, heavy tackle and hold on!

6/10/2007 - Fuel back under $3.00 a gallon, now.....fart dissipated.

6/15/2007 - Good day....loads of trout limits, (5) drum, (1) Flounder and (6) Reds.

6/21/2007 - Big Front passed with lots of rain and wind and completely shut down where I was catching the Trout, Drum and Reds. Just (1) 30" Red, (2) Trout, (3) flounder...ut oh!! (2) Mangrove Snappa's. My Favorite.....NOT!

So, ya wanna learn more about fishing the local waters? Then I suggest you make yourself a nice little note book. And sketch in the High and Low points as you go fishing. I didn't write every thing for every day, but it sure is neat to look back.

But after looking at last years notes, I can see things are a bit slower on the "git-go" so far this spring, for me.

Not every year is the same. As a guy I knew used to say, (especially when he became very frustrated with his fishing) "I guess you have to remain Rigidly Flexible, huh?"

4/9 - WINDY....gale force week?

Well, when the wind blows I always have something to do here. So I been adding some really nice features to the boat.

I'm not going to get all into what I've been doing. But I added a thing or two that I've been wanting on the boat for a long time.

And, I'm re-vamping some tackle. Here's where YOU make out. I do this from time to time. And if I was Joe Fisherman out there, I'd be ready to pounce on these. I can set ya up, if you're looking to start out with all you need for river, coastal, or offshore fishing.


(4) - G. Loomis, BBR-966C (casting) GL2 8 foot, 1 piece, 25-45# line, 3-10 oz. class rods. Cork handle, tripper grip all fugi reel seat & guides. THINK MONSTER REDFISH. Also Tarpon, Shark, Grouper, AJ. Used, but in fine condition All (4) - 87.50 a piece at $350.00. One at a time - $100 each. Merlot color. These rods were designed for Salmon fishing in Alaska! Can whip a 100 pound fish. Graphite blend for superior action and durability.

(4) - G. Loomis BBR-904C (casting) GL2 7' 6", 1 piece, 12-25# line, 1-6 oz. class rods. Same as above, except a lighter version. Same pricing, also. Awesome river rods. Can and have done it may have used these if you've fished with me.


Life time warranty, via G. Loomis, or expediter service where you pay shipping and get brand new rod, no questions asked!

(3) - Okuma IM8 - 7'6" heavy casting rods. Yes, Okuma's......their best! "Guide Select" series rods. Split cork handle, light and sensitive. BIG FISH RODS! Bottomfish, Tarpon, Shark, Grouper, Snapper. Fugi Alconite guides! Fugi reel seat. 1-5 oz class rods. NEW!!!! $80.00 each. $75 each for all (3) taken at one time. Okuma's "over the counter" no questions asked warrenty!! (

NO reels, so don't bother asking. Everyone does.....

I'm re-vamping. And you can make out. All rods subject to bid. There is "wiggle room". But we're talking the Loomis rods new are $180 each, and the Okuma's are $110.00 each at the stores. And the warranty's are some of the best in the biz. That's why I bought them.

If you are interested contact me via email at: or phone 904-642-9546.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

4/6 - was suppose to be 2 days!

What do I always say, "when I have multiple days booked, it seems like I never get them all out because of what?.......The Weather". Yep, had Bob Hartman and his buddy Bill aboard today, on Sunday. We meticulously planned to fish on Monday & Tuesday. Just so we didn't have to be out on a weekend. But on Friday I looked at the weather for Monday and Tuesday. And didn't like what I saw. I'm very sick by now of fishing in high winds. And that's what the problem was.
So I quickly called Bob and said, "let's spin the weather wheel of fortune and see if Sunday will do. At least the winds won't be bad. That's what Monday and Tuesday looks like, for sure."

So Bob agreed and drove down from Hilton Head Sunday morning. Yes.....Hilton Head S.C. We met at 9am and departed. Heading EAST, of course. The seas were rolling in from the S.E. but the Yellowmouth Trout were on fire, once we found them. But Bob's "inner-ear" was less than happy with the sea state. So he's be sea sick, wobbly, and then fish some more. Then seas sick and wobbly, and then continue fishing. He did this for hours. I had to give the man credit. He didn't give up! He was bound and determined to fish. Even where I wanted too.

Then we moved as the tide got just right for big Redfish. But Bill caught a 6 pound Sheepshead instead......and more Yellowmouth Trout. We caught enough of them fish, I wanted Bob on a big jetty Dog. But the circumstances, seas, whatever was making it hard to get one, if one was even in there.

Now, fully accomplished "float-rig fisherman", broke in by the Jettywolf, while pitchin' and rolling around in my BIG METAL, it was evident. Bob need some relief. So we moved on to more tranquil waters.

But, by now the new moon falling tide was a screamin'.....but with some persistence we still caught a few small Speckled Trout. Even I was being challenged pretty hard to find a decent spot where the tide wasn't haulin ass. But never fear. Time heals all everything, and I made move or two till I found the perfect spot. And even then had to adjust us a few times to get it perfect.

But when I did. Here came some really decent Specks. Bill caught one while the engine was running, while we were drifting tight on the anchor line, 2 feet off the side of the boat. THAT'S WHEN YOU KNOW THE FISH ARE HERE.

Bob was being a bit out done by Bill. He was catching Specks. Then all of a sudden Bob's float goes down and the drag takes off. The fish makes a long long burning run down the rock covered bank. I said to Bob, "Here's that Redfish you were supposed to get at the end of the jetties!"

But as time went by, and by, and by.....Bob wasn't making no head way with the fish. Turns out his drag was so loose, even after I tightened it for him a bit that the fish took off 1/2 the spool of line on his 6500 Abu Garcia Ambassador reel! Bob was the "king of finesse", I guess.

As the fish got closer and closer, I feared it was not a Big Redfish, but rather a YELLOW SUBMARINE! aka: Jack Cravalle. If so it's the first larger one of the year. Two or three trips ago we caught a few small ones.

Bob brought the fish boat side and yes, it was a decent sized Jack. And Bob was thrilled, and a bit wore out from all the reeling. The Jack weighed in at 8 pounds. So folks, where 's the Spanish Mackerel, and the Ladyfish? Have even seen one of them yet. I better not talk too soon, huh? Because before long, they'll be eating all my shrimp in the live well.

We continued to fish, looking for more Trout. But I had dinner at Momma's house waiting (it's a
Sunday thing) and we only caught another small Jack. So we headed in. Because I had a lot of fish cleaning to do, also.

Overall a decent day. Dispite the rain, no sun, lots of clouds, Bob's sea-sickness, and serious river current, it all worked out in the end. Bob and Bill had a good day, and lots of fillets to take back home, and some good stories to tell.

Next up for me is Friday, Saturday, and Monday. Let's see how Mother Nature treats me on that line up of days. I'm ready for no wind, lots of sun and slower current. C'C'mon......?

Friday, April 4, 2008

4/4 - 24 hrs can be the world!

Had two of my favorite guys on board today. Mike Hurt and his Dad, Gary. Been taking these two guys fishin for years, and I always enjoy seeing them, because we always have a good time no matter "what".

Well, "the what" today was a major change in weather from 24 hrs prior, when Nick and myself fished the same areas.

Problem was.....the wind. Didn't start out all that bad this morning at 8am as I headed to the jetties. And then anchored in what was a soup sandwich (Minestrone between rye bread). The southside of the south jetty. It was rock & roll. Nothing that "MY BIG METAL" can't handle, but as we feed the Bluefish live shrimp on the float-rigs bouncing and swashin' around. Mike was starting to feel the call of his breakfast, doing a re-run the opposite way! So I packed up and moved to calmer waters. Although Mike did have a big run of a large fish on the float-rig. But his leader broke. Might have been chafed from prior Bluefish attacks.

Bluefish love the soup.

The nastier and choppier the water, the more the ocean Piranhas, like it.

You can't tell in the photo, that the swell was 4 feet, but you can surely see the nervous surface condition.

Okay, back to the calm water area inside the jetties. Well, by now the wind had built up and was a good 15-20 knot sustained from the southwest, and by the time the tide started to flow. I couldn't stay anchored to save my life!

Between the tide and the wind, it had the boat jerking back and forth pulling the 13 pound Fluke style anchor loose. So I did what us jetty fisherman never do....go to a 7-1 scope on the anchor line. Yes, to anchor in 20 feet I paid out approximately 150 feet of anchor line! And we stuck, like a granite boulder to the bottom then. This was a personal record. I never have had to put out that much anchor line to hold in the depth of water in my life. So you can surely tell, that the conditions were far from perfect.

The Bluefish were still present, but we did bag a few Trout as the tide started to ebb. But as the New moon strength and wind got behind the water, the current was way too fast. So it was time to move on, and drag up all that dang anchor line.

We moved over a an area out of the wind, sort of and found a few small Jacks, Blues again, a Sheepshead, and another Trout, 16" and mighty skinny but it was a Trout. Mike and I both lost a good fish, probably another sheepshead.

As the tide slowed on this spot I made another
move to an area that's so hard bottomed that again, it was a miracle the anchor stuck.

Right in the Lion's Den of wind. Knowing full well, that there probably wasn't any Trout there. But the decent sized Blues were there and Mike and Gary hooked one after another for hours it seemed. And probably 20 hooks worth. They were either eating the hooks off, or chewing on them as we flipped them into the boat.

We ended that day there, and headed back to clean fish. And I was surprised. There was enough for a small fish fry dinner.

I really hoped for a better day. But the weather beat us. Mike comes to Jax to see his folks a few times a year, and always calls me well in advance, is always on time, and likes the float-rig fishing too. That's why I look forward to his day. And so wanted a better one, weather and fishing wise.

So it looks like the rest of this weekend is gonna be windy, although they say Sunday is going to be 10 knots from the N.E. And we know that really means 15 knots or better probably.

I have Monday and Tuesday booked with the same two guys, and man it doesn't look good right now:



So every time I have multiple days in a row, momma nature doesn't want to cooperate. And people still want to trade me j-o-b-s. Yeah right!

OH, BY THE WAY....ask anyone who's been with me. And they'll tell you how safe they feel. In the same boat the US Coast Guard uses. This is one tough boat!