Thursday, July 17, 2008

7/17 - WAKE UP CALL

I got up around 6:50, poured so coffee, sat down and turned on the computer to check emails and visit aluminumalloyboats.com 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.

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