Sunday, May 4, 2008

5/3 - a test of patience

Had my first trip of the month, (I mean customer). Glen Teague from Georgia, here for a Navy retirement party for his brother in law. But Glen had one thing on his mind. And that was fishing. Excited wasn't the term to describe Glen.

ECSTATIC, was more a proper description of Glen. As we talked while heading to a few spots on the high tide this morning.

Between the jetties that was a soup sandwich already, and gonna get really worse as the sun grew warmer and the S.E. winds blew harder. Then, add the tide change shortly. Wheww, that's not going to be pretty.

We ventured our way there, of course. And watched friends head out past the rocks, that were fishing an Offshore Club Tournament. Glad, I'm not them. It looked to be a slow and gas sucking trip all the way offshore.

We worked a few spots at the high tide with zero success, waiting on the tide to change. And when it did, I immediately headed to a BIG trout spot for Glen.

I'm talking about a fella who's a fisherman. And ever since he booked his trip back in February has utilized the tools I provide on my web site. So he became a regular BLOG reader. Learning about what his trip would be like. So he's read about bad days, good days, and big Trout days.

I was gonna work my tail off for him. And we were going to fish as hard as we could together as a team.

I anchored on a spot that as soon as the tide starts ebbing, we have a chance at scoring a BIG Trout. And the longer we worked the rocks, the more it looked like it wasn't going to happen. How long do you wait? That's the question that's in my mind. Shrimp after shrimp went drifting down the jetty rocks. Trout up to 9 pounds have been caught here, by a friend and up to 6 pounders just as of two Monday's ago for me. It's not a quantity spot, but rather a quality spot.

I think we had a few Jacks, and that was it.

Right about then, I was feeling the tone of the day. If I come here and it's balls to the wall, it's going to be a good day. If not, I guess we'll struggle.....for a big jetty Trout.

With the New Moon and a front approaching, Saturday boat traffic, S.E. winds 15+ knots, and no Trout at my big fish spot at the prime tide stage. It's easy to get discouraged fast. But I don't. I'll stick with it till that last shrimp is gone from the live well.

We worked every spot hard, and Glen was really working his float-rig well. We even went outside the jetties and sat in the soup for awhile, never hardly getting a bite even at another "go to" spot. And as we returned inside the jetties......wheww....the seas were really up then. Between the jetty rocks the river current against the hard E.S.E. 15 knot winds had the swells folding overinto white water, as we climbed the 5 footers to get in the river again. All, not a good sign. And the "gut" feeling I had wasn't getting any better.

So we changed zip codes. I really hate having to make drastic changes, and make runs up river. Not at these fuel prices. And the prices I have to charge to still get any charters. There really isn't much wiggle room anymore. In reality, If I charged another $100 I wouldn't feel taxed to run anywhere if I had too, I'd run to Amelia Island if I had too then. But not now. But the public won't handle it. So it's a Captain can loose situation these days. If you want to catch fish.

My charter started on Friday evening actually. When the prospect of a busy morning at the bait shop had me getting my shrimp and ice the day before. Then, I was up at 5am loading the boat, for a 7am departure. By noon, we ended up fishing no where near where I had anticipated going. And then the bites were so slow that we stayed out to fish the low tide, and use the rest of the 9 dozen shrimp up. Which put us over two hours past, when we were supposed to be finished up and back at the dock. A 6 hr. charter turned out to be a 14 hour day for me, with the time I got bait and ice. Then on Saturday by the time I was home and done putting the boat and tackle away. I went way further, and fished way longer. I guess I don't mind if I have just one person aboard. But today was a test of patience when it came to the fishing.

We ended up with Jacks to 4 pounds and Ladyfish of course, 2-Reds (16 to 21"), 4-Trout - (two keepers at 16") a 5 pound Sheepshead, several Mangrove Snappers and a 2- baby Grouper. From the jetties all the way towards Blount Island.

Versus; a good limit or two of Trout, add in a BIG one, a few larger Reds, no Ladyfish would be nice, and no Mangrove Snappers would be even better. All with in the Mayport area and jetties would have been nicer too.

You read me saying here sometimes that it was a 25-anchor day...well today was one. Glen and I laughed that in the first hour of the day I anchored and re-anchored 4 times.

And Glen got to Float-fish his butt off, that's for sure. He reiterated my sentiments exactly at days end to his wife, "We worked our tails off today." And he wanted some take home fillets, so we at least had that.

It was my pleasure to have another good fisherman aboard. And I'd love to have Glen back on the boat again sometime. We worked well together. He's a bait casting fool, like me. And has a never give up attitude. He told me a story about him and a friend back home in Georgia doing a all night, and then all the next morning fishing trip to two different lakes. Telling his wife that night, "I'll see you sometime tomorrow morning." Now that's a die-hard!

As always we had a good time. And once out of the wind it was a beautiful day for us.
I hope I gained another Georgia Float-rigging convert. Seeing Glen was pretty dang good at it.
Thanks Glen.

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