Wednesday, May 14, 2008

5/13 - Relentless winds....but fun none the less!

Had Scott & Markus aboard the "Big Metal" today. And I'm sure glad I have the boat I do. Because that river and inlet on windy days can be a real soup sandwich. It doesn't matter what the water's like....we go through it.

First off, we were supposed to go on the 12th. But the wind was just so bad. So I said, "since your here, lets just try Tuesday instead." When I was at the bait shop at 6am, I said to the guys there, "let's take bets now on when the wind's gonna blow....." Since I live in reality, not fairy dream land. So when Scott & Markus came down to the dock right on time. We left out for the inlet.

I was right. It was blowing pretty damn hard at 7:20am. I looked around for a few minutes for some Greenies (threadfin herring), then went over to the beach side of the jetties and looked around for some Pogies half hearted. If they were there and smacking me in the face, I'd get some and had plans to do some bottom fishing for big Reds or whatever, with them. All we saw were Jacks popping the surface eating tiny minnows.

The wind was constant, and I really felt that we'd be fighting a loosing battle. So I went west.

Tried a few spots, and the wind would just blow the boat in circles. So I picked up and headed west again. Pulling up to every spot I knew, and did a wind check. Needless to say we ended up further and further up river. Then I pulled up to a spot I haven't fished in years.

Markus and Scott drifted back their float-rigs and Markus started scoring on Specks. Not whoppers, but 14 and 15 inchers. While Scott caught the "exotics" as I called them (Jacks, Ladyfish, Mangrove Snappers) I pulled a Flounder out of the spot, not a biggy, but a keeper while trying my hand at it. The guys probably caught 8-10 Trout here. And I was very happy! Because the morning was wearing thin.

As the action slowed, we moved on to where I had plans of monster Trout, coming to the net.

But the first fish was a Sheepshead, Markus caught on his first drift of his float.

We sat there and sat there. Working the area every angle I could figure out.
When we finally started catching some Specks. Good Specks!

It's that time of year, that's for sure. For big fat specks, I mean. And obviously serious winds, too.

I can remember other May's, when the winds were bad. So this isn't all that weird. I can easily look in my Florida Sportsman Tide planners, where I make detailed notes. And see the same thing we're experiencing right now. But I have to go way, way back to research an economy like this. Nothing like this recession has dealt a blow to me like what's going on right now. Not 9/11, a stock market crash, not hurricanes in 2005.......NOTHING!

I finally found a spot where we had everything in our favor. And the bites were good and constant and so were the fish.

Overall the guys probably had 20 Trout total up to 4 pounds, a few 3 pounders, and some other eater sizers. The Sheepshead, a Flounder and Mangroves. While releasing small Trout and a pup drum. And the fish box was looking pretty good, considering.

We laughed after Markus said, "hey should we move and find another spot, Dave""

I said, "yeah, that's what I want to do, leave fish to go find fish." Cardinal rule #1...never do that! Especially if you are happy, not getting blown around, the water's calm, the fish are there, and everything is just hunking dory.

I suppose he liked the "boat ride" version of the day. Heck they both did. Before we started catching, Scott & Markus both mentioned how they liked the cruising we did from spot to spot, in search of a less windy spot. Personally, I can done without the boat ride. But each day I'm out is totally different than the last. So, not every day can be; go to the jetties 2.5 miles away and get into an all out waylay.

We really had a great time. Laughing and cutting up. Markus was getting on Scott about his fish netting techniques. I asked Scott "what will it take for me to put you on a Speckled Trout, today?" Because at first it was all Markus, on the Trout. Teaching Scott the finer details of bait casting. Comparing Manatees to people and telling stories.

But the one thing we didn't encounter was a lot of people fishing. And that was a real pleasure. That's reserved for windy weekends!

The guys left out with a pretty damn big bag of fillets. And I told them as I do many visitors. They can take the fish right over to Singleton's Seafood Shack 200 yards away and for a couple bucks they'll cook them right up for you.

Scott and Markus had more than enough to take the girlfriends, back at the hotel out for a big fish fry dinner that night. Why not eat'em fresh. I would. Plenty of people keep just enough fish to do a lunch or dinner at Singleton's. Just tell 'em Capt Dave sent you.

Since Mayports future is up in the air, we have to keep it the best experience we can. And eating your catch, fresh that day is a good experience in my book. I love fried fish....but you can get baked too.

Next up for me is Friday, and the forecast really sucks. This trip has been in the planning for a long time. So we'll see what happens. Another front coming, with winds and rain. We have Saturday as a backup day.

What is killing me is the need for "backup" days in May! Just like with Scott and Markus, we had to use a backup day on this trip too.

Oh, by the way. It was actually cold this morning as we headed out. And was never hot at all. Just an FYI, we set a record for low temps and high temps all within a few days. Wow, this is some wacky weather!

Here's today photos on my recent catch pages: