Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday the 13th....

Superstition, has nothing to do with the 13th.

But the 11th? Maybe....

I had Pete M. out with me on the 11th. It was after a week of "loosing touch" with my speckled fishes. Because I had my good ole Honda in the shop. Ya know, I've never owned an outboard that hasn't let me down. And I lost about $700 in that week to boot.

We literally scoured the river for big Trout bites, and never found any. All in the same areas that a week earlier, they were chewin' big time. Which is where it's about the limit of my venturing up river in a 6 hr. charter, also.

Well, after working the areas quick and thoroughly for 2 dink Jacks and 2 or 3 small Trout. We ended up at the jetties. I could tell that either it just wasn't going to happen this day, or they had moved.

At the inlet we barely got some greenies (threadfin herring) for bottom fishing baits. And all that ate them was two stingrays and one shark. We float-rigged the rocks, and couldn't even loose a live shrimp.

Needless to say, the funk was all over us. And I traveled approximately 24 miles back and forth on the river, for this????

So with that miserable day behind me. My next day up to bat was Friday the 13th. (Actually the 11th should have been the 13th!!)

I met Joe and his two sons on the morning of the 13th, geared up for some float-rig fishing, a bunch of live shrimp. Two Kingfish rods, rigged up. And my bait catching rod with a new rig tied on. And we head to the jetties. There hasn't been any Pogies anywhere around, as usual. So everyone is crowding the ends of the rocks jigging up Greenies to take offshore. And so was I.

But, the horn bellied Jacks were way thicker than the greenies, and are not any good for trolling baits either. And for every greenie I caught, I caught 25 horn-belly Jacks. I don't know the real name of these lil' bastards, and don't care. They were ferocius, is all I know. And after an hour of going back and forth between the south and north jetty looking for greenies. I only had 5 of them. So I gave up and took off to an area that's been giving up some Kingfish, and it's close to the inlet. So we blasted out there in the 2-4' seas and a stiff east south east wind.

I stopped before we even arrived near the spot, because time was ticking away. I pinned on a Greenie and pitched it behind the boat on a wire rig and let it go way, way out behind us. Then pinned on another, and set it a bit closer.

We hadn't had both baits in the water for five minutes when the longest line took off and the clicker on my mini 197 Accurate reel started screaming. One of the boys jumped up to the rod and started working on the fish. When it got closer to the boat it looked like a decent King. And since we discussed it earlier, would only keep one fish. The fish swam down the side of the boat and I stuck the gaff in the first King Mackerel I've had caught on my boat in probably 8 years.

It weighed in at 21 pounds.
(damn, the wrong dates on the camera even)

Yep, it's been a long time since I've went and dragged live or dead baits for Kingfish. And when I left out this morning, wasn't sure if we were gonna give it a try or go up river and float-rig fish.

We had 4 live greenies left in the livewell. So we continued.

We ended up getting a few strikes, having Kings sky rocket the baits and fly through the air behind the boat, lost an unknown fish, and had fish boil behind the boat. Then our bait was gone. So we headed back to the jetties and ran up river to do some float-rigging.

By now the wind inshore was howling almost due east. Sustained, not gusting 15 knots is what it felt like to me. And to top it off, the falling tide was about dead, so we lacked any good current. And all the boat did was blow around in the wind. The guys caught jacks, Mangrove snappers, Bluefish, and small Sea Bass. Then we called it a day and headed back to the dock.

But that one Kingfish, made our day. And with the lack of bait, and making due with what we had felt as if the superstition of Friday the 13th, didn't beat us. The fellas were all from Colorado, so the sights, smells and action of the day was new and enjoyable to them.

Next up and coming soon might be a Tarpon-Shark trip, with a side bar of Kingfish as a back up.

But until then, I have a father and daughter (8 years old) on Monday in the river.

I even got in a photo of the first King Mackerel on the BIG MEDAL boat. And if the gator Trout are hard to find... it won't be the last.

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