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.