Thursday, July 31, 2008

7/31 - Bent rods make me feel good

I was going through my photo's on Google's Picasa photo-uploader. Making them "public", so when you go and type in certain search words under Google images, my very long list of photos could meet you search criteria.

While doing this I saw these photos. And you know, when you see a photo sometimes how it really brings back the memories? These weren't long ago. But like every summer, it does seem like forever and never ending. But just a month or more ago, seems like a long time.

Well, that trip I made offshore to do some butterfly jigging with Dale H. in June and the photos we took that day, were a few of the photos that really stirred up "good memories" for me.

Looking at these is all it took for me to say, "Man, now that was
F-U-N!" Like going shoe shopping for many women, or an amusement park for the kids.

I won't forget that day for a long time. It was really day # 1 of the first time I really put the jig tackle to the test and had serious success with it. They may have been mostly AJ's tugging us all over. But hell, they were slurping the jigs up like candy.

Maybe this fall, the big fat Snapper will slurp them up.

I read an article by the other day by Mr., Ron Brooks, and it was all about how "they" the fisheries folk really want to just plain shut down the bottom fishing industry. And people like Capt George Strate of Mayport Princess, and Capt Scott Reynolds of the King Neptune, here locally. Who's livelihoods depend on taking many people at one time, bottom fishing. Is in jeopardy.

I feel for them, too. It's not a great time being a fishing Captain these days, anyhow. Not around here.

But I was thinking. If they want to make limits tighter on Grouper and Snapper, then I guess the progression is to make it more fun when you do go. That's why I love getting "jiggy". It's a different approach to than just feeding the fish bait. It may just be me, but when and if I caught a really big Snapper on a hand selected, jigged just right, over the perfect spot, during the perfect time of year.....That certainly makes the whole thing sweeter tasting for me. It's the challenge, I guess.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

7/29 - GOT BAIT?

Since we had the Pogies (Menhaden) just blast right on past good ole J-ville again this year, or head due south into the river to only be seen by Bass or Cat fisherman.

And the water temps offshore oscillating back and forth from 75 - 78 - 83, with nothing a constant.

I guess you could say, "that's N.E. Florida in the summer for ya...AGAIN!!!!!!!"

Can ya just imagine what it would be like to head offshore an actually see this:

Yeah, and TUNA too. It's not so far north, just off the coast of Mass./ R.I. /Conn.

Damn, I love November thru April. I hope everyone who may read this report blog that wants to go fishing, will actually want to go when I love it the most.


Monday, July 28, 2008

7/28 - Mixin' it up a bit.

Had Phil T. his lovely wife (and a good sport) and son aboard today.

The plan was to hit the shrimp boats, and we did. And man did I ruin some tackle right off the bat. Lines snapping and loosing floats. I thought we might never get a good hook up to stay on.

But we did. But it was the smaller Black nosed Sharks, that speed around and turn fast and change up on you. Okay as starters. But we're here for what would be the ultimate......

Let me describe it.

-way over 100 pounds, (150+ pound Blacktip shark would be perfect. Super Jumper. Super strong, hardly any line left on the reel, afterburners lit .

That's what we (I) want.

Well, we had a few in the 70-90 pound class. And the one that did light the afterburners and took 200 yards of line, boiled the surface, jumped, and went nuts. Unfortunately wore itself slap out, and afterwards swam right up to the boat, I leader'd it. And the shark acted like it was dead! I cut it loose, and I think it freaked out so badly, it may have had a heart attack. It barely swam away.

That's a first, for me!

Well. I had plans as soon as everyone had their fill of the sharks, or if they just weren't up to par. We'd head out offshore and do some trolling real quick.

But as soon as I re-rigged all the gear and headed due east, it was one heck of a wet ride.

The southeast breeze was really blowing. The seas were close, and for every wave we hit, the wind blew it into the boat and right in the face of Phil's wife. Who stood there and took it. Till she lost her hat and we turned around to retrieve it.

I said, "Ya don't have to stand there and get wet, you can move". And after she said the saltwater was burning her eyes, it was time to move away from the spraying water.

I was bone dry behind the console. Yep, I usually am. But going east, into a very choppy SE sea and big wind, someone was gonna get it.

We beat our way out there. And I could just tell this was gonna be interesting. And thank goodness for "pulling the hardware", the trolling bars and Drone spoons, because I sure wasn't gonna look for bait in this sea, for an hour or so of trolling.

I picked up the other day, a MONSTER Drone spoon. This thing has to be almost 12" long.

I looked at it and said to myself, "this will be like a teaser with a hook!"

So I dropped out the regular spoons, on each side of the boat, then ran this monster right down the center out of my leaning post rod holders. The flash I was putting out had to attract something.....

Well, the water's cold again!!!!!!!!!

Here it is 78 degree water, in the middle of the day again. Wednesday the moons were aligned with Venus and I had 83 even, or better. THAT'S WHAT I WANT AND LIKE. Because in no time on Wednesday we had strikes, which ended in 2 kings and a cuda.

Man, this place is really goofy. Wonder if other parts of Florida go through this almost every single summer??

We received one strike. And guess what? The MONSTER spoon got hit, by a small Kingfish.

Everyone said, "that spoon will catch something....." but I never thought the first fish would be a small king. I was thinking, a big Snaggle Toothed Ledge Trout (aka: Cuda)

We slopped, and I mean slopped around in that water for awhile longer, and headed in.

All that for a 6 pound Kingfish...

Oh well. It was an adventure.

I won't be heading out there again till I see that the water temps at least 83 again. A buddy is gonna keep me up on it through his Ocean temp charts.
Look at the size of that spoon it's like a gaff handle and a hook. But they like' em.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Doing my best.......

Always doing my best to keep my promises, when it comes to my Daily Blog Report readers...
You may remember that on the 7/18/08 report I said at the end of it, "STAY TUNED...FOR VIDEO"

Well, it's here. Had Paul P. who was the crew that day drop by and we loaded his video off his camera onto my computer. We found that I already had some editing software going on. So I gave a shot.

Here's all the video snippet's Paul and Mike took while they warmed up their forearms.

We had a really good day, and this is just one of many the crew caught.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

7/23 - One mile from the inlet.

Had Steve W. and his two sons aboard today.......during the Greater Jax Kingfish tournament Jr. Angler tourney.

HOLY CRAP, I actually saw POLICE directing traffic at the boat ramp, can ya' believe that???

They had no cars parking in truck/trailer parking spots, and were aligning everyone into the open spots. I about to stop and ask, "how many years did this take, to get some kind of attention down here?" I actually know that answer. WAY TOO MANY!

The boat ramp was super busy. And boats were everywhere. Seen some ole friends, that I haven't seen in years. Which was cool.

I guess they'll be at the Mayport Boat Ramp on Friday and Saturday too.

I dropped the BIG METAL in the water amongst all those color coordinated ping-pong balls out there, and friend Frank who was at the dock said, "I see no other metal boats Dave." My reply was....."and that's too damn bad, too. They'll come around one day." As I backed out of the ramp with Steve and his boys , there was numerous boats hovering around, I did notice they got the out'a the way.......Wonder why?

We took off out the inlet. And my friends were out there in good numbers, about 10 shrimp boats. We tried and tried boat after boat with a few lost hookups on a few sharks, then finally caught a small Blacktip. Just a pup, at maybe 20 pounds. But a good primer for the kids.

Believe it or not it was kinda sloppy out there in the ole chum hole today. A Southeast wind I guess it was, was honkin'. And at times the seas rolled 4 foot or better, really close together.

After NO......I mean NO, I.G. (instantaneous gratification) so we looked around and headed south, to take a look southwards at the S.E. Hole area. I saw no shrimp boats. Then we headed North.

Maybe that strong falling tide and all the fresh water had the sharks off the feed bag on the boats the last few days because they were sort of straight out of the inlet. So we went north and found a lone smaller boat dragging all by itself.

This boat was PAY DIRT. Big mean Blacktips, giving the boys got a real work out.

Dad got in the action too, and had to help wear them out as did I.

We had the usual breakoff's, bite off's and slashing surface bites that didn't hook-up. But we ended up hooking 4 and getting 4 to the boat.

At one time, as my shrimp boat stopped to mess with the nets, we hung into "THE MAN"...and I couldn't hand the rod off to one of the boys.

I pitched a bait on a float up behind the drifting shrimp boat and had the whole rig ripped and broke off, so I grabbed another rod with a float and pitched it back into the same spot. The monster grabbed the bait and took off around the shrimp boat as nets hung in the water. I had to gun the engine and get to the other side. But the shark went up and under the shrimp boat, and out the other side at least 200 yards, in a "ya ain't stopping me" fashion. I bowed on the rod as hard as I could and dropped 25 pounds of drag on it. And the shark never stopped. But the line finally parted probably due to the fact the this beast was dragging the line under the shrimp boat. It was awesome!

It was just a 1/2 day trip, so everyone got their arms worked. And as we headed in there was a solid mass of jet black clouds to the north. I pulled up to the vacant dock at the boat ramp, put the boat on the trailer and as I bid Steve and the boys farewell till next year. Here came the crowds. Man, what perfect timing. The winds blew up and it looked like all hell was gonna break loose as I drove out of there, leaving that weather (that did hit) behind in my trucks wake, heading for the 5 minute ride home.

Ahhhhh, now that was perfect timing. As I backed the boat into her boat port at home. Here came another July storm. High winds and very threatening skies and rain. But who cares....I was home and did another great day with some good kids.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

7/22 - OPPS.....

Had Mike & Nick H. on board today from California. Since yesterday's chew fest behind the shrimp boats. I was ready to have these guys wearing them out. We left out a bit later, since I needed the rest after yesterday and then going to a class from 6pm till mid-night. I was whooped. So we left out at 8am, instead of 7am, as usual.

The shrimp boats were all over outside the jetties. And we caught sharks behind them and down in the S.E. hole area, where the water is cleaner. But it was very bleak compared to earlier in the week.

It's really something that each day is never like the day before. I tell people on my boat, "who here, goes to work and has not a clue of what's going to happen while you're there?" The answer is usually, "not me....I do the same thing all the time."

It was about 11:30am when I pulled up to the back of a few shrimp boats, cast out two baits, and as the shrimper pulled off, we never had a sniff of our baits. That was enough for me to say, "I've had enough."

So I changed up my big gear and re-rigged, scrolled through my GPS and headed offshore.
6 miles later we came off plane and dropped over some "old school rigs". The stuff that used to catch fish before they all got smarter, and every boat became tournament rigged and ready, for only live bait fishing for just catching whoppers for weigh-in.

Well, I had no live bait, no time to get live bait. And my dead bait was shark bait, not trolling bait.

The "old school rig" worked great. No sooner we started to troll, both lines got WHACKED, but no hook-ups. So we kept on. I played around with the trolling speed, and obviously found the sweet spot. The rod doubled over and Nick reeled in his first ever Cuda. Not a whopper. But just right. Nick was still tired from Mr. Blacktip that pushed 100 pounds.

Then we kept trolling a large artificial reef area. Mike was up next and the rod bent over and he had a Kingfish. A snake (small one), but his first ever. Back up and trolling again and a few more whacks and then Nick caught another snake King. Perfect for the fish box it was just 30". So this was the one going to California tonight at 6pm, via jet air liner.

We trolled the area a little while longer with a few more hits and no hook-ups, then headed in. Beating a storm brewing from the south.

I didn't mind this change up, because it was a change of pace.

The big OPPS is that I thought Mike took a few photos of me and Nick with the Cuda and Kings, but when I got home and went to down-load the photos from my camera there wasn't any in there. Hmmm....Mike??

It's okay. Reading ( not looking at pictures) is fundemental, right?

1/2 day on Wednesday during the GJKT Jr. Anglers day. Oh Boy.....I have a plan to possibly try for a Silver King. A buddy of mine caught one today.

It sure is good to see 83 degree water again.

Monday, July 21, 2008

7/21 - Heck with Discovery Channel...C'mon!


It's shark week on Capt. Dave's "BIG METAL" boat, and there's no bag of potato chips or lazy boy recliner here. It's YOU and the beast.

I know I've been out there mingling with the BlackTip's a lot, because it's so dang fun. And guess what?? The Ocean water is WARM again! It was a solid 80-82 degrees, where last week before the storm and passing of Bertha, the ocean water was 74-78 degrees. Just in time for the 100 boat, Greater Jax Kingfish tourney...UHG. But no matter rain, nor wind , nor choppy seas, can keep me from making my appointed rounds with these "String Stretchers", for my 1/2 day clients. And I have two more days of it coming up before the tournament.

And YES, they're just off the beach. And sometimes so close we can bikini watch, while fishing. Just an F.Y.I. for ya'll.

Man, I'm so glad to see the warmer water come back close-in, again. It's not summer without 80 plus degree water. TARPON? Maybe. I have my nose on the trail.

Had Bruno B. friend Whitney and daughter Brittney aboard today for a 1/2 day.

As usual we took off at 7am and they were wore slap out by 11am.

Only thing that changed was the fact the "shrimpers" changed locales. But the first boat we ran into was loaded up.

And the Blacktips were all good sizers. We even had one snap 65 pound Super Braid line at boat side that went 7 foot or better......that's the man I'm always looking for. And my customers would be happy with the 40 pounders. Bruno was on the rod when the big one horse shoe'd the rod, and the line popped with a crack! Ahhhh, I love the studs.


We caught at least 6 or more and had another 4 lost due to break off's or eaten leaders. These dudes are tough on tackle. So I wouldn't attempt going after them on too light of tackle, or you maybe in for a very long fight.

I'm tired and I never fought a single shark.

Don't forget to check the report with the photo of the very well built angler, for my garage sale items. Or visit link on the top of the side bar of this blog. Let's DEAL.

More pics from last Friday...7/18/08

More photos sent to me from Paul P. of last Friday's (7/18) 1/2 day trip. We might get some video of this day, just emailing it is a pain. But Paul's justy donw the street from me. Maybe a disc, instead?

It was a cloudy windy Friday during the
"tropical" low pressure system that
passed over us, last week.
But JAWS didn't care,
and either did we.

We had some serious
F-U-N, and Eathan at
11 years old had a ball.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

7/19 - SIGN ME UP!!!!!!


Becoming Illegal (Actual letter from an Iowa resident and sent to his senator)


The Honorable Tom Harkin
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Phone (202) 224 3254
Washington DC, 20510

Dear Senator Harkin,

As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.

My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five > years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively?

This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005. Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical > insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as 'in-state' tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.

If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative. Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent, (I withheld name) Burlington , IA



Friday, July 18, 2008


Had Paul P. his son Ethan, and Paul's cousin aboard today. The plan was for some "SHARKIN" , because this weather system was gonna be out of here and it was supposed to be nice and sunny with 5 knot SW winds or something like that.........NOT!

The Weather Guessers missed this baby by a mile. I arrived at the boat ramp with yesterday's practice in float fishing with four people in the river in the rain as a practice in futility, still fresh in my mind. At sun-up....IT WAS STILL DARK. Not good. As I put the boat in the water I said to another Guide, "this sure does make ya appreciate those nice sunny hot days, doesn't it?"

He replied, "yeah, maybe this will just burn off and get sunny later."

Well, later came and it never got any better. Over cast, rainy, and that predicted 5 knots of SW wind was more like 15 knots. This actually turns out to be a "tropical low pressure system". Not just a few over cast days in a row.

Paul & crew showed up and we took off. We were going SHARKIN'.

Drag peeling, rod bending, arm aching, fishing. All just within a 5 minute ride from the inlet's jetty rocks.

We pulled up to the first shrimp boat, I made a cast, and I.G. - instantaneous gratification!!!!!!

Drag burner, hooked up and running. Yeah gotta love it. I handed the rod to 11 year old Ethan.

I know when I was 11 years old, I would have eaten this up. Because at 45, I still love it!

I should be getting some video from Paul of today's action. And of course I'll post it here.

I only got a few photo's because my camera batteries were going dead.

The seas were a bit nasty, the sky was dark, the wind was blowing, and the big bad Blacktip Sharks were CHEWING.

I think the first 4 or more hook-up were instant hook-ups.

Although we did experience, some wackiness. I'd make a cast behind the shrimp boats, get bit and the whole rig would be gone. (I think it was Flipper messing with me) And reel in a slack line. This could happen one cast after another. I usually keep a nice big float on my line so the 16/0 circle hook and bait doesn't sink and go into the shrimp nets. Plus, isn't everything better on a FLOAT??? I think so, it's a visual bite watching that float go under, as well as being able to follow the bait in the prop wash of the shrimp boat.

But that's sharkin'.....loosing lots of hooks, leaders, line, and floats. It's run and gun, fast and furious. Aching arms and big fish. Makes going trolling for Kingfish seem so damn tame. And although I usually don't keep any of these sharks. If I was too, it would have to be a small one.

Our smallest one today was probably in the 40 pound range up to 100+ pounds, as it can usually be. It was so easy to tell if it was a Big Un'. Because, as Paul' cousin put it, "Dave there's not much line left on the reel!"

This was really fun today. And sure beats a lot of fishing and not a lot of catching. Just wish there were some Tarpon thrown in to the mix behind the shrimp boats. Kind of like the good ole days.

We had one smaller shark today that jumped. But most stayed in the water.

Overall, on a 1/2 day trip we had at least 15 bites and about half that on fish to the boat.

It was a really good morning.

A 200 pound test leader, crimped to a 14/0 - 16/0 circle hook, attached to my 8 foot Biscayne custom rods and Accurate twin drag 870's, are perfect tackle, for the sport of BIG strong fish.



Thursday, July 17, 2008


I got up around 6:50, poured so coffee, sat down and turned on the computer to check emails and visit as I always do. And at 7:15 the phone rang......What, who could this be??

It was a guy calling me from the Mayport Princess party boat. And wanted to know if they could go fishing right now. Groggy still, I thought......."what?"

The Party boat turned around because it was too rough to head out 30 miles, I guess. Captain George turned around just outside the jetties, according to Alex on the phone.

I've had some really late notice charter calls lately. But this was unusual. I gave him the details , and he hung up. In this business, 99% of every late notice, usually means you'll never hear from these people again. But 10 minutes later the phone rang again, and it was Alex's dad, James on the phone. They were still on the Mayport Princess party boat pulling up to the dock. I gave him the details, and he booked the charter right then. Surprised ? "Yes, I was."

I told James, I sitting here in my underdrawers, and it would be a few hours, before I could get to the boat ramp. I have zero fuel in the boat and was needing to hit the gas station anyhow today. So I'll see them at 10am at the boat ramp.

I arrived at the gas station, and fuel was $4.10 a gallon.....holy crap! But I usually have to pre-pay because the bank shuts me down at $75 worth, and I needed at least $100 worth or more. So I walked in the gas station. The guy inside said, "Hold on I'm re-pricing the pumps...."

"OH NO", I replied. "How much is it now?" I asked. "we're lowering the price ten cents" he said. "Wow, I got lucky".

I put a pay check in the boats tank and thought to myself, "this could be the start of a good day."

Then I headed to the bait shop. They maybe had 20 dozen "local" but very small live shrimp, so I bought ten dozen. I'm over $150 now, and haven't put the boat in the water yet. So I headed to the boat ramp.

The sky was very dark, it was cloudy and the weather guessers on TV got this one right. 99.99% chance of rain today. And I was looking straight at it. Eastward the sky was black!

9:45am came and went....then 10:00am came and went........then 10:15am. I called James and said "where are you?" They were just around the corner. They left and went all the way back to Ponte Vedre where they were staying to get a few minutes of shut eye. James told me they didn't hit the sack till 2:00am last night!! And they were going on the party boat? On a rough windy, rainy day? They should be glad Capt. George turned around, is what I thought.

So James N. and his son, Nephew, and their friend jumped on board. Since he gave me the heads up on the phone at 7:15am that it was rough at the jetties, and they wanted an inshore trip. That's what where we headed.

Even though I didn't feel really good about the days weather, the tide, and the full moon.

The tide was high this morning and where did I need to go? Further up river. Where for about every eight miles add in an extra hour of high tide.

The guys didn't get anything till the tide turned and started to fall. But that is just about when the wall of blackness hit us and the big rain came down. The river was just a mass of gray-ness as you looked down it.

I worked all the usual places, and the Mangrove Snappers were on the feed bag as usual.

Then the tide really started to ebb and Alex caught a nice Trout. And then another.

That was about it. Four lines working behind the boat and just a couple Trout, and a few 12" or better Mangroves. The rain would stop, then start again. And these guys were soaked, cold and it wasn't like the kind of day I'd choose to be out here.
We started to work our way back to the dock, and by then the weather got nicer.
Because we were "inshore fishing" didn't make the day any better really.
But that's not my "call".
I just go an try.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer is for kids....

I do not hardly receive a single inquiry all summer that doesn't include some kids as passengers.
I certainly do not mind, and if the kids are into it, they can really learn something. I enjoy that.

In this business for 12 years, I still don't know what people want. Oops, forget that, yes I do. They want private fishing charters for $100. Well since that will never be the case again. I try my best to figure out what to do, especially when I have kids aboard.

First thing, is what I love as much as anyone, "I.G." . It stands for instantaneous gratification. During the correct season, you've read about when I pull up to a spot, drop anchor and immediately catch a 5 pound Speckled Trout on the first cast. That's I.G.!

Better to be lucky than good, I say. But in all reality it has as much to do with, time of year, time of day, the tide, the area, and bait presentation.

Then there's this time of year, deep summer. Kids off school, and parents looking for fishing charters. Most going with a 1/2 day which is 4 hours. And the kids can range from 5 to 12 years of age.

Number one on the list of what to do is; "how fast can I get these kids into a good sized fish, or into serious action".

Number two is, "will the fishing style take them all day to learn, or is it something I can show everyone on board in a few minutes."

Number three is, "since this time of year means not much notice, I want to not deal with tides or bait stealer's."

And number four is, "keeping travel time to a minimum. Not using and hour and a half of the day to get to where we're fishing, because we don't have that luxury."

We've all heard, "are we there yet, are we there yet........"

Yeah, I know that's a lot of deep thought into "just going fishing", but it's the kind of thoughts that go through my mind not only with the kids, but especially with the kids aboard.

Deep summer as in, RIGHT NOW. It's not the same as November or even April when it comes to the local fishing. But there is plenty to do.

So if you call and have kids that you want to show a good time. Let me take care of it. It's what I do. Be flexible, and go with the flow.

Monday, July 14, 2008

7/14 - 2 boats - lots of teeth

Had Larry R. call me yesterday and he had 6 or 7 people that wanted to go fishing. Can't say that 2pm was a lot of notice. But I got the J-O-B done and called Cappy Randal, (aka: Sea-Daddy), as my second boat that was needed for that many people.

Shocked off my leaning post, Larry pulled in the parking lot about 30 minutes early!!!!

I never get that, especially on a large group charter, where someone inevitable slows down the morning momentum . But it was 6:30am and they were here! I hardly had time to soup down in sunscreen and fix a few rigs. Really, I was shocked.

I took 4 people, and Capt. Randal took just two. We both had Jr. Anglers aboard at 10-11 years old. And my kid was a machine!

We went behind the shrimp boats and tossed baits behind the nets and caught Sharks. At first they were smaller types. And the action was really good, considering not a whole lot has been going on just off the beach with the cool water temps. via a summer thermocline that is upon us once again. PREDICTION: this 75-78 degree water won't leave here till we have a September Tropical storm, Depression, or Hurricane come by. The water should be 80-83 degrees all day long!

Capt. Randall's crew was hooked up instantly, as he pulled up and made a cast to the back of the shrimp boat.
And then it was my crews turn.

This boy was a fishing machine, and I think he went for at least 3-4 in a row!

At first the sharks were around the 30 pound mark. They are fast! Then, we ran to another spot and found four shrimpers working and this area producing exactly what I was looking for.


(There's no way for me to get a photo of what we call a "Spinner". Which is really nothing but a Blacktip Shark that flies through the air cork screwing)

The three adults were there, but the boy just kept going and going......
Then we had a few double headers, two on at the same time. Which is always fun. If they stay apart.

The guys had to of caught at least 8-10 of these toothy dudes. And then wanted to go try something else. And there wasn't much else to try at this point. But I ran out to a "bait spot" and jigged up some tiny little cigar minnows. And slow trolled them around for awhile, with no strikes.

So we headed to the dock.
Capt Randall had the same action, and even got some chum from a shrimper. So he didn't have to chase the boats anymore.

The offshore report from a friend wasn't all that great. Cuda's of course, a Bonita, and one King Mackerel.

Ate up with going vertical??

Been searching around for the absolute best photos that can describe "Butterfly Jigging", offshore over the reefs. And low and behold I found what I was looking for and much more.

Even found a really good video that describes the "how to". Even though I could go out and video some how to, I figured what the hell these guys up in N.C. (other charter fisherman) are here for the showing.

Next time I get the kind of client(s) no more than two. (because jigs and stuff cost way too much to take Rookies out there) I hope to be able to bring the Video camera myself.

Maybe, just maybe I can get my buddy Nick to split a trip with me if I don't come up with the right fisherman. "IF" he takes some seasick pills, this time.

Plus, maybe someday we'll get back into serious jigging time with good water temps. Good visibility offshore and not so cold water on the bottom. Spoke to a diver today and he said, "man, you can really feel the thermocline out there." He also said he saw some really nice Flounder!!
Oh, is it Daiwa Pirate, and Lucanus jig time? (bottom fish jigs....Flounder, yes!)

This figure is suppose to be describing
the various ways to jig.

Just vertical in heavier current.
Use heavier jigs for this.
And then 1. casting and working a school of subsurface fish. and then 2. cast and work the entire water column. Lighter jigs, that will flutter as they sink are better for the casting up current of a drifting boat. Always pitch up current.

I don't have any Williamson Abyss jig, or jigs with a side attach point. But I'll get a few just because I want to try this. I think for around here a lighter 5 ounce would work great for this rigging technique.
Don't ever say, you don't benefit from visiting this report blog! I do my homework, and I didn't even want to pass this on, because I wanted to try it first.


Here's the 14 minute video of how effective a jig can be. And by the end look at what live pogies caught....damn it would be great if "we" had a POGIE around here. Maybe some day we will again.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

7/9 - Not Hot.

Second day with Chris K. so we met early again and this time did no running around and stayed at the inlet. Just had to check the shrimp boats out and see who was behind them, this time.

With plenty of them dragging just off the North Jetty it was easy to go from boat to boat. So I pull up and the first thing I notice is that not many Dolphins are behind them eating breakfast. Which was unusual. But I pulled up and made a cast over their nets and let a cigar minnow sink.

No takers. Strange. Not really, because my rule of thumb is the more Dolphins the more Sharks. Don't ask me why. But that's a dead give away most of the time. So I kept trying. And had a few swiping type bites. Evidence that these were not the 100 pound Blacktip sharks, we were looking for.

So from behind the boats, we would just drift and have two baits out drifting two. It didn't take long before Chris was on a shark, this way. But immediately I could tell this wasn't a big Blacktip.

The "pull" wasn't the same as a 100 pounder, although it still was a good tug on the line.

Chris had fun practicing on a the heavier tackle and long rods, that it takes to subdue any of these Sharks. The smaller Sharks which I don't really know what kind they were are still not for the light tackle. They have a mouthful of big teeth, are about 4-5' long, run faster than the larger Blacktips. But lack the true meanness, and occasional cork screwing leaps that we're looking for out of the large Sharks.

No heavy sweating today. It was dark, and rather gloomy looking this morning, and cool. Yes, "COOL" in mid July!!

Probably due to the 75 degree water temp rather than what we should have this time of year. Which should be 80-83 degree surface water temps. I can't count how many summers we've had the same thing happen. Summer in N.E. Florida has to be the most unpredictable, finicky time of year. With the lack of summer hot water, we don't have any Pogie schools (bait fish). Which seem to be a huge part of the overall habitat.

If Hurricane "Bertha" maybe came closer to the coast, things maybe could have changed. I like it when these storms skirt us this time of year. The Ocean water seems to be rejuvenated afterwards.

Chris and I found the pattern on these Sharks and found that if we just drifted off the back of the shrimpers, with drifting baits. The Sharks were not up hugging the shrimp boats, like the big blacktips some commonly are.

We went for 5 or 6 hooked up with probably 10 bites overall. I even reeled on one, so to warm up the arm muscles early this morning. Chris learned that when dealing with large fish at boat side and with me doing the leadering and unhooking. It's imperative to stay in the fish fighting position, ready on the rod and reel until the hook is either cut or free of the fish completely.

All sharks are fast and pure muscle, and no matter how small or large can do unpredictable things at boat side.

Afterwards, we went to the inlet and worked a "hunch" I had. Duplicating a situation I had exactly this time last year. We fished the same tide, same place looking for a certain fish species.

Which will remain, "un-named" because I do not care to announce it if my "hunch" was right, till they are in the fish box.

But again, this isn't the same as last year. And as hard as we tried couldn't even get a bite. We couldn't even give a live shrimp away along the jetty rocks, as a matter of fact.

So I know not to go there, that's for sure. Looks like I'll have to continue the pattern of running far up down river to find Float-rigging action. As I have for year and years before. The inlet seems to kick back off in late September in my opinion. But then again, every year is different. But always looking for a late summer day like this one pictured blow is the goal, from now on.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

7/8 - I'll keep my promise

Had good ole Chris K. on board with me today, doing a solo trip. We've slayed the winter Sheepshead before, killed the Trout in the summer, caught Kings, almost everything because I have known Chris for at least 10 years, and he's been fishing with me on and off for 10 years.

So, I mentioned to him (and he's read the reports about "butterfly jigging"on the reefs) , instead of inshore fishing we go bend a rod on some of those Amberjacks. He needs his ass handed to him, because he hasn't fished in a long while. So what better way of taking the "Office" out him, than a good tug 'O war with a reef donkey.

The seas were flat with an occasional swell
so let's go see, I thought.

So we pass up the shrimp boats and possible sharks as we head east. Stop at a bait spot and no sooner I jig up a bunch of horn bellied butterfish, and cuss them because they're not big plump Cigar Minnows than a little Cobia swims up to the boat. Maybe 24" long, but what the heck I keep it interested and then drop a banana shaped jig over the side and the mini Cob starts chasing the jig around. But of course doesn't eat it. And didn't eat a horn belly either.

New bait stop......Cigar Minnow central! If ya' like to use 3" skinny little Minnows for kingfishing. I know I don't because my rigs are larger than the bait.

We move on to R.L. reef (Rabbits Liar). My old stomping grounds when I was so into trolling I couldn't see straight. We get there, and there's no bait on the screen of my scope, we try live minnows, and nothing but a small Seabass.

I told Chris we were gonna hop around a lot, till we found the Mother load of Amberjacks. And RL proved to be a really bad move. So off to A.H. (the Amberjack Hole) It's name sake is the fish we want, so why the hell not try it. I go to every high relief piece of structure, Culvert piles, Tugs, a Barge, and still nothing but reef Satan's.....lurking Cuda's. That are so damn smart, they'd never eat a butterfly jig unless it had a King Mackerel attached to the hooks.

Okay, we head for the East Fourteen-Fifteen reef, aka: E.F. Where every reef donkey catch I've made has come from so far. And what do we drive right over??? A stack of baitfish looking like a Christmas tree on my scope, and as I pass over it behind us rises the largest school of A.J.'s I've ever seen. They are just popping the surface, ripping around like mad dogs chasing a rabbit. But they were attacking a school of bait, and in the man time they come over and run around the boat, hundreds of them. Chris and I cast our jigs out and frantically start jigging. They'll chase a jig, the gang up and follow a jig, but we couldn't get one to even strike a jig.

Then as I'm feverishly casting and jigging, I get the line wrapped around the tip of my rod as one hits my jig, I go to give the rod to Chris and get the line off the tip and Whammo....the line breaks and I loose a jig, leader everything. Then the AJ's just disappear.

We keep trying the tops of the big reefs, and Chris snags a Lizard fish, or one actually attempts to eat a 5" long jig. Then, I grabbed a brand new jig rod, that hasn't even been used yet, made two drops to the bottom with it and jigged and as I was jigging and reeling the rod broke in half, just above the top fore grip! Wow, that's an odd spot for a rod to break. This Shimano Trevalla must have been built on a Friday in China! (thank goodness for Shimano warranty)

Man, if it weren't for bad luck we'd have no luck at all.

The chilly thermocline is really in full swing now!!!! Water temps this morning as low as 74, and then as it got hot the best I saw all day was maybe 80 degrees. Keep your jig down long enough then reel it up fast and feel it. They were cool to say the least. Bait pods on the surface.....none. And only one flying fish all day is all I saw. Although there's no lack of non-biting AJ's a EF.

So we try bottom fishing with cigar minnows again, not even a bite. So we move on and drop out some dead cigar minnows and troll.

A BONE! We got a bone thrown to us! Chris catches a nice Kingfish on a dead cigar minnow, only to have it chopped in half by two cuda's below the boat, after a lengthy battle.

So, by now we pretty much know the words to the HEE HAWW, Buck Owens and Roy Clark song.

"gloom despair and agony on me, deep dark depression excessive misery. If it weren't for bad luck we'd have no luck at all....Gloom despair and agony on me......"

So we packed it on in and headed back towards the inlet.

Stopped at the sea buoy and started a slow troll again with the dead cigar minnows....ZIP!

Headed to the inlet and I saw three Shrimp boats still working the Chum Hole area, so I asked Chris, "Wanna see if there's any Sharks present and hungry?" He said, "why not".

But as it turned out, the shrimpers weren't dragging, and one was heading in and one was doing mach 10 due north. Yep, it just wasn't our day.

It was a nice day, no wind, calm seas. But I'd trade rough seas, big winds for loads of fish, any day.

And as I always promise here on this REPORT BLOG....You'll get the good, the bad, and the ugly. Today, was just bad.

So since Chris has been with me all these years. We're gonna do a short day tom arrow (Weds.) with the float-rig rods and live shrimp. I have a hunch about a certain fish I caught this time last year. And they were willing and able. We'll have the perfect tide to hook Chris up on a Black tip shark or two. And then go hunt my hunch.

So stay tuned. Ya' know what Chris and I are hoping for, I'm sure.