Thursday, August 21, 2008

8/21 - THINK F-I-S-H...AFTER FAYE!

With all this storm stuff going on. Think about what happens after Tropical storm Faye.
South of Jacksonville had huge amounts of rain. And where does all that water go?
Melbourne, they say had almost 2 feet of rain. And it ends up in the St. Johns River.

I'll never forget the last time 20 inches of rain fell in the southern river regions. It wasn't two weeks later, that every fish in the Jacksonville river area was pushed towards the Mayport jetties. This event was also in late summer, early fall. All that fresh water literally pushed the fish "to" the Ocean.

(Think about it for a moment. Cold water 95% of the summer, no real storms other than BERTHA passing by which did suck away the cold water for a week or so, before it was just back again. FAYE IS A BLESSING!!!!!!!)

The Croakers were monsters! And coolers full of these tasty "stringer fish" were jetty fishing staples for weeks on end. The Redfish, Trout, Black Drum, Tarpon, Mullet, Sharks, Sheepshead, were chewin' so good that the end of the south jetty at times was like a High School reunion party. Boats were anchored on top of each other, but it didn't matter. Everybody was "giddy" with fishing fever. I remember being sandwiched between two friends. My anchor line was up against an outboard motor off my bow, and my stern was almost banging into another friends bow. And it was the most fun, I ever had fishing in a crowd.

Here's a photo of myself and Roger Walker with our limit of Black Drum, not in the photo was our 72 Qt. cooler filled with monster Croakers we hand selected for keepers.

All you needed was about a 5 pound bag of dead shrimp. And let the games begin!!

Around that same time, I had a charter with the Smith family from Ft. George. And as they filled the fish box, I made a cast with a DOA-terroreyes jighead with a dead shrimp on it down the south jetty and caught my largest Redfish ever. 53 POUNDS! On some serious light tackle. I had to bust out the 100 pound Tarpon scale, to weigh it.

So, hold on. Let everything calm down and then CALL ME!!!!!

As you may know or hear of, that during the summer it seems that all the fish in the river run up river and the reports from down-town to Orange Park is where you hear about big catches of Trout, Yellowmouth Trout, Reds, Sheepshead, Drum, Croakers.

But never fear, when all that rain water hits that part of the river. That fishery will go "belly -up", and fast! I say that with some sarcasm in my tone. Because I've actually heard rookies say, "the fishing in the southern areas of the river in Jacksonville is so good I may never fish in Mayport ever again."

Well, these dudes have a lot to learn about fishing the St. Johns River. The area they are fishing is very seasonal. Middle of the summer seasonal! But all you have to do is add 2 feet of rain water. And my stomping grounds, comes back alive out of the summer doldrums. (as far as top notch inshore/river fishing is concerned)

The later in the summer we get a storm like this the better. Late September, early October is the perfect time. But, with all these crazy ocean water temps we've had all summer. I'll take a storm like Faye. And look at the long range effect.

Same thing happened after the '05 Hurricanes that ran accross the state, dumped massive amounts of rain water into the river. And a few weeks later, I had one of the best Trout years I've ever experienced. Days that had myself and charters thowing back multiple 5 pounders, because we had our limits. That's a great day!

And don't forget about these guys.
Shrimp have been at the Mayport Boat Ramp, prior to the storm. Although small, these also come with the fish in the aftermath of big rain falls.

That same year I'm talking about, I threw my net all week onto the boat ramp itself early in the morning, and came up with as many as 4-5 dozen shrimp each throw. Wow, I love it when it's like this.

Half the problem is the anticipation I feel. Especially after all the rain in Jacksonville alone.
EVERY dang fish in the river ought to be at the jetties as the month ends and September begins.

Keep a look out, and call me ASAP. Support your local Hooker (me). If you enjoy reading this blog, before I have to make it by membership only.

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And remember;
- "When pigs carry sticks, the clouds will play tricks; When they lie in the mud, no fears of a flood."

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