Had the Rudy crew aboard today. The last time they were out with me it was mid-March. My notations of that day in my log book included the words, HEINOUS-SUPER WIND-DUE EAST. Even though it's a favorite time of year for me. It can be very windy.
So Joe called and I had today open. And this time, I'm dealing with the cold water deal in the Ocean. Hmm...Luck of the draw, I guess.
But then again, that's why I fish all day long in the 95 degree sun, then come home and do these reports. They are for you, not me. I know what's going on, you can bet on that. You wouldn't believe how much work goes into doing these. This "Google blog" publishing stuff, isn't always a piece of cake.
We departed at 0700 hrs, the summer usual. Headed straight to the chum hole. And had our pick of a whole bunch of shrimp boats to shark fish behind. I did the run and gun behind the first one and had a good hook-up for Joe and he had a taste of the power, and then the shark got off the hook. We did more running and gunning, and it just wasn't working. So we just drifted and set out a few baits when we had a taker. But it was a smaller shark. Fast, a quick turner. A buddy calls them Blacknoses.
But what we're always looking for as you may know is a 100 plus pound Blacktip Shark. Or any other "brand" in the 200+ pound mark, would be great.
Yesterday a friend caught a huge Cuda behind a shrimp boat, but not many Sharks. So yes, things are a bit messed up. The only clue is the 74 to 76 degree water temp.
I was really frustrated. So after gathering my thoughts I went to a shrimp boat and asked for a favor......some CHUM. The man, James said he didn't really have much fish chum. (another reason for the lack of sharks) But he gathered up about a 5 gallon buck for me in my chum bag. And we took off for a different area. And area where the water's warm at least. And maybe we could find a Tarpon. Even though my crew hadn't a clue what a Tarpon even was. I do, and they'd want want. I know. So I went where I've caught Tarpon before. It was a long boat ride. But I made great time, getting there.
There was ZERO wind after I anchored up, and man was it steamy hot. And the water was 80-81 degrees. I started chumming.
You have to get the sharks going before you usually catch a Tarpon. And it worked. Joe caught a Bonnethead Shark on a fairy wand rod, broke another off, we had a small Blacktip, a super strong Nurse shark. Well over 100 pounds, may have been 200 pounds!! Then another Blacktip shark. But never saw a Tarpon. But we at least had some action. Of course, I had no plans of making such a long run to where we caught these. "But sometimes ya just gotta do, what you gotta do."
There's that ole saying...."extreme times call for extreme measures." And this summer has been no exception.
This Nurse shark about completely whooped Don!!
They're like monster cat fish. They're slow and don't run all that fast. They're strong as all hell, and they know it. I failed to get a better photo, because I sort had my hands full after the shark eventually made it to boat side. I tell people, "This is the biggest Kitty Cat you'll ever catch." I was surprised to get a Nurse where we were fishing, that's for sure. You usually catch them around jetties, and reefs where there's lots of nook and crannies. But it came straight to our chum.
As soon as the tide got high. All of our bites stopped abruptly. I was about out of chum anyhow. So we packed it in for the long ride back to the dock. Which we needed, for a cool down period.
BRING: Hats, sunglasses, and plenty of beverages when the heat is really on like today. And I'm not talking alcoholic beverages either. That's the last thing you or I need.
Heading out tomarrow with four passengers, that I'll have to do the same thing with. It's tough going right now. And we so badly need a hurricane in the Atlantic to pass by, just like BERTHA did. Which changed the water temps for awhile, or a Tropical storm, depression or something. Just to suck all this water out of here, again. So we can fish the rest of this summer like normal.
The weather man on channel 4 TV is talking about the ocean water temp, right now! It's in the 70's from Anastasia Island, St. Johns County to just north of Fernandina Beach. Below it's warmer and above us it's warmer. Welcome to Bazzaro world, Jacksonville, Florida!
Here's my crew...sun burnt, hot and tired. Needing a cold beer and some A/C!