Tuesday, September 30, 2008

9/30 - GOOD BYE......September!

Finally, it's over. One more month closer to cooler weather.

(five minutes from the dock......in "winter".)

WHY? Doesn't anyone reserve a weekday anymore? Is it the sign of the times? Because as far as I'm concerned "the times" have been "not good" for a long while.

Here's why: (check this weekends winds which includes Fridays too...versus the week days! My notes are "Highlighted")







Remember the Abu Garcia 6500 Chrome Rocket reels I had here for sale for next to nothing?

Well, as usual Jacksonville let's me down.

Here's where they sit now on Ebay......

Current bid:
US $400.00

Your maximum bid:
US $ ___________
Place Bid >
(Enter US $405.00 or more)

End time:
4 hours 36 mins (Sep-30-08 10:24:18 PDT)

Shipping costs:
US $18.00 UPS Ground Service to
United States

Ships to:
United States

Item location:
Jacksonville, FL, United States

10 bids

Starting bid:

As you can plainly see, Ebay sure works better than.......here, Florida Sportsman MarketPlace, and all other web sites.
Who ever gets these reels sure is getting a deal.

UPDATE: on reels......

SOLD $438.35 with UPS Ground shipping!!!
I have gone all "Low-Pro" ...aka: Low Profile bait casting.

I strive for YOU my customers to be using only the best and what I have tweeked for you.
Low-Pro reels are lighter, have higher speed retieves, and many time cast better.

My reels of choice are:

Either the Shimano
Curado 300DSV
or the near similar
Shimano Citica 200DSV

Fast and strong, and perfect
for all river species.

Soon to be matched up with 8' Fiberglass Rods
I have designed as my "Speck Specials."

Fiberglass for overall durability, and for a parabolic action, when hooked up to large head shaking Speckled Trout on a float-rig using the smallest of hooks. I wanted a rod that also sported EVA foam grips, that are more durable than cork. Go ahead....try and find a one piece glass rod thats 8 feet, with a HD trigger reel seat in a catalog or store. There is no such animal...until now. And it's my "Speck Special."

Designed from the blank up, The blanks are even made by hand, for Float-rig fishing! After testing the proto-type, I will have these availible to you if you'd like one or more.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

9/26 - 27 Superior Weather.....and no one missed it!

9/26 - Headed out with my buddy Nick in his lil 17' Seachaser boat at high tide.

Never liked dead high tide, other than in the dead of winter. But since his boat goes quite shallow we headed up into a creek off the intra-coastal water way. The tide was really high, so high that I could have easily fished the same creek in my boat.

I threw a rattling cork and live shrimp around, as Nick float-rigged off behind the boat.

I caught a nice 18" Speck, saw 2 Reds.....that was I thought. But after Nick caught a Skate now that I think about it the Redfishes backs are about the same color of a Skates back when sticking out of the water. Plus, how many Redfish do you see totally miss a live shrimp scared out of the grass, while chasing it? Not many. I watched the little shrimp, escape.....across the surface when flushed.

So after not catching but one Trout and one Skate in the flooded grass and not seeing any other fish movement. We moved on. It was deadly BORING!

As you can see I was wearing the fleece vest I've had in my truck since last winter! It was cool out there and boy did it feel good! We gave this "dead ended creek" a good shot, and instead of it's real name, I'll just refer to it as dead-end creek, now. There was no baitfish, and obviously not many fish in there, either.

The falling tide current has been a real pain lately. Way too strong. Then as the morning grew warmer here came the wind. We picked and poked around for what seemed like hours, and then as the tide was rumbling out we made a long run to a spot covered up with people. Boats stacked up in one spot (a good spot) as if it was a holiday........Friday's are just extensions of a weekend anymore. So we had to sit and wait our turn. I absolutely hate this situation, waiting for someone to leave, move, get out of the way...whatever. So we can go in and catch some fish.

While waiting I caught a small Yellowmouth Trout and a Jack on my float-rig. Then all of a sudden, one boat taking up a 100 foot area with lines, left. We motored on in and began float-rigging with DEAD SHRIMP....no need for live bait. And waylayed huge Yellowmouth Trout on after another. Each fish was 18-21 inches, and finally we had some fun. Nick and I easily put our whopping limit of (8) in the cooler and moved on.....We only had maybe 6-8 live shrimp in the well. They all died on us.

(note: when purchasing live shrimp, especially this time of year, after huge salinity swings in the river. Do not recycle the water in your live well. I DON'T. Just get a good amount of water from the bait shop and go with it...keep the bait oxygenated. But do not change the water out of the well as you change locations.)

We headed back to the boat ramp and before doing so we hit a Speckled Trout spot with the few live shrimp we had left. It was tough fishing, but I pulled one 19" Speck out of there and the shrimp were gone.


9/27 - Saturday with the Bidwell family....at 7am the boat ramp was quiet. No huge amounts of traffic. Which was surprising. Maybe everyone stayed up late to watch Obama drop kick McCain in the debate the night before. I know I was a bit sleepy-headed myself at 5:00 am.

It was Bob, Tammy, Bobby, and Payton...the boys were 10 and 14 years old. It was of course a high tide again....so I just went to the jetties for a bit of float-rig fishing down the rocks.

I went through all the in's and out's of the technique and everyone gave it a try. The water was soup, pea-soup. Calm, with a small swell. But the water clarity told me about all I needed to know. Bobby, had the only fish on and coming to the boat, but of course remained a mystery fish as it fell off the hook below the surface of the soupy water.

Finally the tide started to move so we went looking around. I wanted ACTION!!!!

I needed ACTION, for the boys.

As I pulled up on a spot, I told Bob "the one thing about Saturday's is that no matter where you want to go, someones already there....." Because, as I came off plane there was a boat exactly anchored up on the spot that's marked on my GPS map plotter. Of course, not one place in this river is sacred. That's why I constantly remind people that given the chance......BOOK A MONDAY, TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY!!!!

So I anchored up right next to the other boat. The current wasn't all that bad........YET!

The boys were yanking in the Croakers and small yellowmouth trout with Mom's help in the bow. And Bob and I were watching the stern lines baited up with cut Croaker pieces.

All hands on deck! Things got real busy. Now we're talking FUN! The boys were smiling, and I knew something would happen soon. The boat next to us caught an over sized Redfish. And it wasn't 15 minutes later Bob reeled in a big Yellowmouth Trout. Then, the cut bait rods doubled over and Bob was working a bigger fish to the boat as the second rod doubled over, and Tammy grabbed it.........DOUBLE HEADER......Two Keeper Redfish!

I could just tell, this place was on fire, now! And I was sure we could have a ball anchored here.
BUT........Mother Nature too many times doesn't care what "we" want.
The anchor slipped, and we were fishing while going backwards. I re-set it. Then, again, and again. The current started to flow, and the anchor wouldn't hold on this extremely tough hard bottom area. "It's like concrete down there......" I told everyone. It's hard to get a good dig in the bottom, especially in current like this.
So we were forced to move on. But I told my crew that in years past I've caught Black Drum on that spot while fighting the same thing, in November. It's awesome, and like many other areas in the river that an anchor will not set in, because of how hard the bottom is.
So we went looking at other areas in the river. Some with not enough current, and some with still too much. Damn it's frustrating!!!!
I was hoping to find more Reds, and maybe a giant for the boys to tag team. But ended up with just some more Croakers, too many toadfish, a catfish, and a Seabass.
When we have these strong tides, (5 feet and better) it seems that we're on the edge of the good & bad, all day long....is it too much current or not enough?
I tried several spots looking for a big fish. And it didn't happen. So we headed back to clean what we had. The Bidwells went home with some good slabs of Redfish and a bag of Croaker and yellowmouth fillets for our efforts. The big Croakers sure have seemed to fade off a bit, that's for sure. And I've noticed that the high tides have salted up the river a good amount, again.
I liked it when there wasn't any salt of the boat after a days fishing. And the river was good and sweet. It was nice change.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

9/23 - Anglersurvey.com

Record high fuel prices are causing anglers to cut back on their fishing plans, according to a recent survey. And the impact of fuel prices among anglers appears to have escalated sharply since last summer.

In a June survey by AnglerSurvey.com, only 22% of anglers said that higher fuel prices would not affect their fishing activities this summer, compared to 35% who responded “no effect” to the same question in 2007. Likewise, 32% of anglers in 2008 said that high prices would affect their fishing plans, up sharply from the 22% who felt this way a year ago.

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has risen about 39% compared to a year ago—to $4.10 on July 2, according to the American Automobile Association.

Launched in 2006, AnglerSurvey.com helps the outdoor equipment industry, government fisheries officials, and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends.

The list above represents only a small sample of the vast amount of information that is available from the complete survey results. The results are scientifically analyzed to reflect all U.S. anglers.


Monday, September 22, 2008

9/22 - The Dark, Wet, Gloomy, 6 hour challenge

Was over at my parents for Taco Sunday....yeah we name days for what Mom's making for dinner. And of course they have cable TV and I don't. One of the dinner at Mom's perks.

And of course I have to watch all those fishin' shows I never get to see. And I kinda took a liking to a new one. It's called the "Urban Challenge" , or "City Limits", something like that....on Versus.

It features one of the New Young Guns of the bass fishing world. Mike Icconelli. From what I've read, he's one of the "bad boys" of bass fishing. Excitable, competitive, and I've even read he's been banned or thrown out of a tournament or two because of his antics. And of course, he gets his own TV show, because of it. "It's all about $$, I'm sure. In the long run for him".

I couldn't help understanding the premise of the show, though. And being very familiar with what it's all about. He goes to places he hasn't fished before. An urban area inside the city limits of Washington D.C. and Chicago were the two places in this episode. Has a local guy with him, be it a Pro or an average fisherman. And the goal is; a limit of keeper bass (5) for each angler, in less than 6 hours, within the city limits.

Kind of the same thing I do, except I'm looking usually for limits of Trout. I many times have more than one angler (up to 4, and that's a handful), and most of the time they are not local fisherman, or even accomplished fisherman. And have 6 hours to do what I gotta do, and do it inside the city limits of Jacksonville's urban sprawl. So you can see, I watched this show, intently.

So I was talking to DOA Rob, and we had a plan if it was fishable to try it on Monday. Especially since I had a Friday and Saturday charter that the 20 kt. N.E. winds and rain would have made unbearable. For every fishing difficulty factor on my customers, subtract 10 bites per person.

So the way I see it is, add 20 knot east northeast winds...take away bites. Add in weekend traffic, subtract more bites, add in rain and discomfort, subtract even more bites. So we rescheduled for hopefully a better day.

Continue to read on....because Rob and I went and did our own city limits/urban challenge.

Rob and I left for the dock at 7am. We get to the Mayport boat ramp and it's closed till Tuesday, while they repave the parking lot in the rain. Okay...where do I put in the BIG METAL boat?

Oak Harbor boat ramp, which is small, usually very shallow and crowded with no parking. But luckily this was a Monday. And there was no such thing as a low tide today or all weekend.

We're in the water and head to various spots. Even an area that Rob wore out the Trout last Tuesday. ZIPOLA!!!!! Unless you count Ladyfish, and 3 inch Mangrove Snappers. We don't. It's Trout, or at least "box" fish. (Fish that go into the cooler)

We're on our 5th to 6th hour of the challenge now, and have zero Trout. We were rained on, and I mean BIG rain. Rain that came roaring down the river so hard that we could hear it coming before it hit us. Then wind, oh we sat in calm all the way too 20 knot gust that jerked us all over the place on anchor. I kept telling Rob, "we ain't doing so good in our city limits, urban challenge!!"

Then, Rob thought of a spot on the way back towards the boat ramp. I was familiar with it, but always had trouble fishing there. Either the current was too strong, boat wakes to often.....something. He says, "no, no, I mean around the corner from there...." "Oh, man I've never thought of that", I said as we yanked up anchor and made a B-line to the locale.
We pulled up, dropped anchor, pinned on a live shrimp, and on my first cast. BAM, a good TROUT! And from then on it was fish after fish for over an hour. Just like on the TV show.
Rob and I caught at least 10 Trout to 18 inches. Not whopppers, but at least they were BITES!
Only a handful were keepers, but that was okay with us. We just went 5 hours or so catching crap fish. And no Trout. And man, we were excited. Just like Mike Iconelli on the TV show!

Then, in amongst the Trout we started catching large Mangrove snappers, 12 inches and better. We could tell no one's fished here lately. Because almost every single Mangrove was a keeper at first. We actually went about 30 minutes where we caught fish on every drift of the float-rig.

And Rob's a lure man! And he was dropping his DOA shrimp rigged rod for a float-rigged rod.

I kept saying, "this is just like the TV show!!" And it actually made it fun, being that no matter the rain, high winds, dark skies, we finished the challenge victorious. BUT, did we do it in less than 6 hours? NO. Did we have 2- limits each of our 5 Trout, NO. But if we weren't fighting the weather, I think we could have.

And in the back of my mind, I'm thinking....I hope people understand why I suggest to reschedule their charters on these nasty days. Because if two guys that are "masters of their domains" have trouble like this, how do they think their charter day will go? I strive for quality, if I can. So I hope they understand.
Rob and I finished up the day, cleaning our catch and splitting the fish. We each got a bag of fillets. And our undershorts were almost dry by the time it was all over. I like a challenging day like today when out with a friend. I just don't like a challenge that makes my underwear wet in the first two hours of the day.

This weeks weather is the same stuff, wind and rain?. By Saturday it looks to be better with lower winds and less rain chances.

Good, I'll be out on Saturday with 2 adults and 2 kids....Hello Mr. Croaker???

Saturday, September 20, 2008

9/20 - Rescheduled....again.

Nasty, rainy, windy, and a flood tide reminicent of Noah's Ark. Ahhhh, perfect, NOT!
I gave them the last option to reschedule today at 530 hrs....and John C. took it.

Man, I really like having at least a gamblers chance at catching a few Gators. So we re-scheduled for the last Saturday I have open in October. I really needed him to choose a weekday!

It's weekdays from here on out folks.

Okay. These Abu Garcia 6500 CS Chrome Rockets, I'm selling "dirt cheap" didn't go, so they're on Ebay now. I want these GONE!!!!

Here they are: http://cgi.ebay.com/4-Abu-Garcia-6500-CS-Chrome-Rockets_W0QQitemZ330272786255QQihZ014QQcategoryZ36163QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Hell, they might not sell on Ebay either in the next ten days.

Remember, I deal in "two's and "fours", 90% of the time.

Sunday: Calm winds, should be here. But then more rain. We're in some kind of big funk this week, that's for sure. With more ENE winds 15kts or better this week...damn, what's up?

Do you know that I have Mayport weather at the bottom of this Blog??????

Friday, September 19, 2008

9/19 - K.O.D. kinda day....

Rescheduled with Don B. and friends today.
The forecast (wind) isn't good and at SCA - small craft advisory....even if it was just a caution. It wouldn't have been good.

Coming off a full moon, incoming tide, and ENE winds. "Oh this isn't good for anyone..."
Especially Don and his friends. And I have the same exact deal tomarrow also, and it sounds like they do not want to move the date.

The way I look at it is, if I'd stay home and not waste my time....Well, enough said right there.

K.O.D. kinda day - Incoming flooding tide, high ENE winds Kiss O' death.

Have you noticed?
I added a music track play list to the ole Reports Blog. Turn on your speakers, if ya wanna hear my selections. The play list is at the bottom of this page. I couldn't find all of what I wanted to put on it, like Celtic Soul more Rathkeltair and Neil Anderson. So I added some oldies but goodies.

Like the photos on my slide show, the tunes change automatically as the page is open as do the photos. Wonder if anyone ever notices that?

I have to say, I'm in the D-A-R-K when it comes to what people see, hear and look for.
I guess because I talk to so many folks who are not computer savvy. And have a hard time going from one of my web pages to another.

Oh well......enjoy, if ya can.

This weekend looks to be a "wind fest."

Good for Sailors, not fisherman.


Can't believe no one needs a few of these reels....Have ya' searched these TIMEX style reels on Google and see what they go for? Holy Moly. Chrome over solid brass, international market reels.
The only Abu Garcia really worthy of Saltwater envioroments.

I'll take $260 for all 4 cash...
or $75 each.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

9/18 - A look back

Last year, on September 26th I went to Nassau Sound by myself to catch me a bunch of big beach Whiting, Black Drum and Pompano. Because just a few days before a buddy of mine wore them out. He called me, but by the time I got there the tide was over and so was the big bite. But I had a few but my buddy Rob, loaded up.

When I went there on the 26th, solo. I didn't get a single bite. And I started noticing dead mullet on the surface floating by the boat. Then, as the falling tide picked up the whole sound was a flood of dead fish. And I never lost a shrimp. So I headed to the bridge and pitched shrimp up around the pilings, and eventually caught 4 chunky pup drum. And then came home via the I.C.W.

I pulled up to the dock at Mayport and saw friend Guy there sitting in his golf cart. I said, "Man there was some kind of massive fish kill up in Nassau river, there's dead mullet everywhere."

Being the consignment boat sales owner at Mayport Marine, he said to me, "I read in the paper that there's a Red Tide up that way."

Like a brick bat over the head, I said... "Holy Mackerel, yeah that's what it was I'm sure. Dead rotten fish pouring out with the tide from inshore."

We don't experience Red Tide here very often, so I was totally taken off guard. Guy said, "you didn't have trouble breathing or anything? Ya know it gets to your eyes and throat."
I said. "I really didn't feel any effect."

The moral of this story is that there sure is a lot that goes on that effects our fishing. This summer was 73-75 degree Ocean water temps in the middle of July. When the water temp should be 83 or above!

Which really isn't as bad as I've seen it. In 2004 on July 3rd I rounded the north Jetty heading to Nassau Sound to do a Tarpon chumming trip with Anne Quinley and here brother and sister-in law. As I ran from the river into the ocean, I looked down at my temp gauge on my JRC color scope, and saw 63 degree water. How we did it, was a stroke of luck. But we ran into warmer water at the sound, had chum and in the first 30 minutes of chumming had a 50 pound Tarpon on, with Anne screaming while she struggled to get the fish to the boat. It was all being in the right place at the right time, that's all.

I also had a river Tarpon on the 1st of July that year. Way up Nassau river, the same size. Two in two tries, and the water was really chilly.

Then why not this summer. I kept trying and trying in the 73-78 degree water. But as you remember, I just resorted to the Blacktip sharks, behind the shrimp boats. Which was fun too.

Well now is another time...it's what I call the "second chance" at a Tarpon. They were at the jetties all over the place right after Tropical Storm Fay.

So we know they're around. And if I could, I'd go out and chase them behind the shrimp boats, RIGHT NOW. But the problem is 4-6' seas and Small Craft Advisories with 15-20 knot East Northeast winds. The second chance doesn't last long as they will start to head south. And of course this happens during good Trout fishing (eaters), and spawning big Redbass.

Rosanna Rosanna Danna, a character played by the late Gilda Radner on Saturday Night Live used to always say....... "It's always something" .

But if the seas allow, it used to be that I'd anchor up at the south or north jetty for the big Reds on a falling tide only, catch some small Croakers, and then pitch them out for the Reds. And one year we hooked as many as 9 Tarpon, a few spinner sharks, and caught numerous big Reds.
What a day!

You don't know this, but when you pick a day, call me, and reserve it, all these scenarios go thru my head. Well, ya know it now, I guess. I not only have a fantastic memory, but I write everything down too, in my tide book. As you may have noticed, writing isn't a big deal for me. 1200 words a day is a goal of mine.

Still, the best is yet to come folks. Here's a really pretty fish caught where I hope they will be this year......in the sand off the jetties, during the spawn. It was October 4th, in the late afternoon.
And you can plainly see how close we were to the end of the jetty.

The reason I'm using this photo is, the husband of that gal standing there, (Not pictured) will be on my boat with three of his buddies on October 18th for a late afternoon charter, and we want fish like this once again!! (and seas too)

Last fall the Big Reds were a morning ritual for me.
We'd head to the rocks and actually do a controlled drift and hang a bunch of them and then go catch some "box fish" aka: Trout & Drum. It was fun while it lasted.

Here's some of those fish off the sand, from us drift fishing, which we don't often get to do around here.
Do not let these good times pass you by.

I'm hoping for a really good fall season, and of course can't wait till that first morning I have to reach for that old fleece shirt that's hanging up in the back seat of my truck, since last year.

I left it there to remind myself that my favorite season, will come around again someday.

And now it's almost here....just like all the news people are counting the days till the BIG election?

Well, I'm counting the days down till the air cools and days are shorter. And yes, I can't wait till this election crap is over too.

This photo is really funny looking. It looks like she has an extra head growing out of her arm...

Yeah that's Don M. Jr. and his sister. Had Don aboard last week with his dad, and he'll be back next month with his sister again. Maybe we'll get a photo without that extra head....hahahah.

9/17 - Primo-tides for October...

I often forget that many people do not have tides, don't know how they effect the Marine world, and certainly don't book a days charter because of the tides....that's about the last consideration, most of the time. Especially in this non-stop world of juggling multiple peoples schedules, work loads, family, and finances.

It's sort of funny that I've never juggled a schedule, mine or anyone else's, a work load, or family.....only finances. But I do stress over things like tides, weather, tackle, and bait & fuel money. And I'm talking before I went into this business full-time.

And now 12 years later, I still stress over the same things...But now it's called focusing on the goal. People I know say to me all the time, "I can understand why you like all your tackle to match, why you are constantly looking to upgrade, and worry over weather and tides. It's your business."
And I have to stop them right there.... And tell them that it's not that it's my business, I've been this way my whole life. I've always been pre-occupied differently.

So athought came to me to post the best days, the best days I'd consider going fishing with a buddy for fun, wackin some fatties, AKA: putting fish in the box. Which would also be when you would want to go fishing, on my boat. The days could be totally different for someone else. But then you'd be reading that dudes report blog.

OH....I forgot, no other Guide service around here has one, like this.
Stupid me...

Okay, enough editorial info.

October 2008 - Departure at sun up. When I like to pull away from the dock.

6th-8th, 10th-12th, 19th-25th

Now this is just looking at the tides in my book. If I could "guess" at what the weather would be, I just might possibly be on your local TV News channel at 5am, 6am, 8am, 12 noon, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 10pm, and 11pm. Yeah...that kills me too. The local yokel news is on TV way too many hours a day.

For Trout in the box, I like a weekday, no boats around me, low tides in the morning, before 10am.
And since I'm an early riser, I'll take the same thing for big Redbass in the river and at the inlet.
A non-Fish in the box, but fun for everyone.

I have provided a nice Tide Chart link along the side bar (top right) as a tool for you to view.
I refer to the Mayport all the way up river to the Navy Fuel Depot, when utilizing the conversions. Or the rule of thumb I go by is add an hour for each 8 miles or so from the inlet, when people ask.

I'm more concerned about current than "tide". The two are separate things in the St. Johns River. Because so many weather situations can change the "current" we fish in.

I have some customers that get obsessive with the tides, as I am and because of me. Probably because they've learned from choosing a really difficult tides to fish that ended up effecting our day negatively.

My policy is;

I cannot be help responsible for loss of fishing time due to weather, fishing patterns, transportation or other incidents from conditions beyond my control.

And TIDES are another way of saying....."fishing patterns."

That's why I have my phone on my hip, 12 hours a day. 8am-8pm eastern time.
To help you choose, amongst all the other things you maybe juggling. But in the long run, remember it's just fishin'. It's supposed to be fun. You'll learn a lot, guaranteed. See things that you may have never seen before and do something you may have never done before.

A private fishing charter is way more than just, fishing.

And as always say...


Monday, September 15, 2008

Sweet....Buck Tail

From Canada with style...
the 25' Conrad Tuna.

Super Sweet.

Ya' know part of your
coming here, is an education
on various Aluminum Alloy
Fishing vessels, right?
I'll even let those MERC 's
on the transom ....slide.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

9/13 - Yellermouths.."the other tide runner".

Had Dave C. and friend Jay (from Michigan, I think) on board Saturday. Dave's local and fishes south of Jacksonville in the river. I always like having him on board, because he's excitable, like me. Jay a very accomplished angler was visiting, and came down from Amelia Island, where he was staying.

To start off, high tide was at 8am. Not exactly perfect for what I had planned. So we went to the jetties and anchored up on the south. It was a soup sandwich. Slop, choppy, and windy. From the S.E. But, they had their sea legs on and BIG METAL can handle it with no problems.

The bait stealers were so intense, it was one minute per shrimp. And the bait stealers were mangrove snappers, the most evil 4" fish we have. I wish they were worth $5.00 each and there was no limits at all on them. Then, there wouldn't be a single one left. They'd be fished out.

But, all of a sudden as I saw mullet spraying across the surface, then Dave hangs into a good fish that burned off drag. It was 5 pound Jacks. Then, Jay hooks up. The whole school's behind the boat and Dave and Jay catch two more.

Dave thinks like me. He says, "Two each, okay that's enough of them....let's go." All the while my hand was on the key switch, ready to start the engine myself and move on. We're on the smae page and in search for "boxers". (boxer's are fish that land in the fish box head first)

The tide was about dead high now, so I switched up gears and put a few jigs on some rods and went over to the north Jetty so the guys could pitch the ole Jig-N-Shrimp combo meals.

Not much was happening up in the rocks. But Jay hooks up a nice fat Black Margate. I should have taken a picture of it, but forgot. They're actually a really nice fish. Better than any Ringtailed Porgy, Croaker, or Jack. It was about 2 pounds or better. I said to Jay, "Now we need about a 5 gallon bucket of these and we'll have something." But as usual, we only catch one or two when they are around. Although I have seen folks catch a bucket full before.

The meat of Black Margate is similar to a Sheepshead or a small Drum...although it's a large Grunt. But desireable, for sure.

They have a gold eye, or could pass for a "pup" Drum to the unfamiliar.

There was plenty of small Croakers out in the sand off the rocks, and I was surprised the guys didn't score on a Red up in the rocks. Casting was tough though with 15 knots of S.E. winds blowing.

So we moved on because the tide finally turned.

Time to hunt TROUT!

Dave has all the Croakers you want just north of Green Cove Springs where he lives, so he didn't want any of those. And Jay was happy to hunt up anything. So we went and followed the same path I've been taking to intercept some GATOR sized Trout. Like yesterday's 6 pounder caught by Don M. from Pennsylvania.

But, it was a Saturday, the tide was and would be late.

Here's what I mean....
There's nothing like when I was out last Wednesday or even last Sunday. Low Water, was early in the morning. That's why we even struggled yesterday. The low water (low tide) was too late in the afternoon. I like leaving the dock, with slick water, nice and calm, and the tide low. Or will be low in an hour or so. That's how we catch them I.G. - GATOR Trout. (instantaneous gratification, I mean)

Those GATOR Trout in the first 5 minutes last week, we're on que. Because the water was quiet, and the light was low, and so is the water.

Saturday????? Well, the tide would be low late, like 3pm. The sun was high and HOT. And there was no such thing as the water being calm and quiet. The river traffic was very thick, if I was a giant Trout, I'd be waiting till midnight to go up along the banks to feed myself!!!

Weekends, what the hell can you do? Live with it in my case, I guess. And hope people understand what the deal is.

I've tried running way north, to an area where there's NO one anywhere. Yes, there is an area or two that even on a Saturday afternoon where there's no one around. I've seen it, yes.....it's like HEAVEN!!!!!!

But in today's world. No one will pay what it takes to fish there. Hell, no one wants to really pay for fishing the "hub" around Mayport on a Saturday. The fuel usage would be 3 times what I use now to go to this area I call "A weekend, Mecca". And I can't afford it myself to run up there and survey the areas and know it like I know my present area, I fish. It all comes down to economic factors, related to today's FUEL PRICES. I'd love to make twice what I do, and provide a weekend sanctuary charter. But that idea is just, "pie in the sky".

So, Dave, Jay and myself just worked along from spot to spot. Catching no Trout. I caught a small one, at one spot we tried. So about this time, the tide was finally getting LOW.

And when the going gets tough, the tough change Zip Codes! So I made a run. And when I get there, it was NO shock the places had 14 other boats fishing it. Croaker Strokers....or want to be's, it was hard to tell. Because I only saw the "regulars" catching. While the weekenders in the Ski boats just sat there.

Ya know, "boats attract boats.....Fish don't attract boats".

I moved on in to the mix and slid my anchor over. I surprised myself, how perfectly I anchored in amongst the crowd, right where I wanted to be. I told Dave and Jay, "up here is usually Specks, pointing ahead of us where another boat was staked out. And behind us is usually Yellowmouth Trout....but I have caught both here at the same time, also. And big Specks too! "
Actually, I don't want to give away the spot. Because in the spring, I have sat here and caught 20 Trout all 18" to 24" and could hardly box my own limit of 5 because they were mostly over 20 inches. But then again that was "me", fishing on the perfect weekday.

Dave and Jay pitched their floats out and let them drift back to a hump behind us, and I.G. - instantaneous gratification! Double headers on big fat Yellowmouth Trout.

"FINALLY", I yelled. And from here on out, it was a slaughter of Yellowmouths just like we get into at the jetties in the winter and spring time. We kept them at 15 to 16 inches and above. And the "above" was 21 to 22 inchers! In no time we had our boat limit. And as I stood with the net in hand, waiting for the next one, I started to see all the other boats start moving away. Usually it's the opposite. Usually they all come over and horn in on ya'. People leaving a perfect tide?

Dave and Jay fished every last live shrimp we had left and even used bits & pieces off the floor and at the bottom of the live well to catch a few more just for fun. These yellermouths, were on fire and BIG.

I'll admit, even though I love my Speckled Trout, especially for filleting and eating. The Yellowmouths (weakfish) sure do pull harder, and act like Piranha's when schooled up. Which sure makes for some fast and furious action.

We headed back against the wind, and through the slop and chop of boat and tug wakes to the boat ramp. And I'll tell you one more time. I'm sure glad I don't have a flat bottomed boat. Because we steamed full speed and never came off the throttle through it all for a solid 8 miles, till we reached the boat ramp. I love my boat, and you will too. It fishes us places no other 26 footer will, and at the same time no amount of sea or slop effects it.

I'm a "tide runner", one of the nick names for the fish I like to pursue is "tide runner". But then again when we left this morning I didn't think the box of Trout we'd have at the end of the day would have been Yellowmouth Trout.

But I'm glad they were there, chilly out. Waiting on us to arrive.

FOR THE BARGAIN HUNTER. I have (4) Abu Garcia 6500 "Chrome Rockets" for sale.

Very good condition. Level-wind reels, best Salt-Water Abu Garcia reel made. Chrome over all BRASS construction. HEAVY DUTY.

There's two kinds of Abu Garcia's, flat sides with double centrifical controls, and domed sides with one centrifical control. These are flat-sided reels. Way better than their domed counter parts. YOU WILL NOT find these reels in Walmart!

They MSRP for $214.00 each!!

Outfit yourself for 1 or 2 for less than half that. I have additional parts, tools, oil and schematics if you'd like them.Some of them are tweeked with better bearings, and a Stainless Steel spool "clutch" rather than weaker brass. I did the improvements, myself.

$90.00 EACH or $340 for all (4) OBO...lets talk.
Cash or Paypal transfer (+ fee charge.)

Contact me at: 904-642-9546 or e-mail at: charter@captdaves.com

Friday, September 12, 2008

9/12 - The Two Don's

There's not anything more fun than leaving the dock at HIGH tide, then running to your spot that was also every "Croaker Charter's", same spot too. Then, sit around waiting for the dang tide to turn! Well, I say sit around.....what I really mean is watch live shrimp get burned up on bullshit bites from 1/2 pound Pinfish and 3" Mangrove Snapper, by your "participants".

Heck, at least it was float-rig fishing practice for the two Don's. Don M. and his dad, Don Sr.

Dead high tide. Not my favorite time of the day. But what can you do, leave later and then have possible boats on your spot when you get there?

So we worked through it. And when the tide finally started to fall. We got what we came for....
T-Rex sized T-rout. (I'm jumping ahead here...let me go back.)

Don Jr. landed trout #1. And I was ready for the Croaker onslaught. But the guys only caught a handful. And they were really big. Again we had 14 inchers, "oh so worthy of meeting Mr. Zaterain".

The bite wasn't "on fire" by no means. And it hasn't been, since we've had the SE-EAST winds.
I've been tracking it. Remember, my saying. "East winds and a falling tide no matter where I'm fishing is like going against the grain of the wood."

I stepped in each time the guys looked to be struggling a bit, and caught Trout each time. So to prove they are there. Float-rig fishing isn't hard, when the fish are chewing, and it's hard when the fish are not. BUT....details matter, no matter what the fish are acting like.

I only took this one photo, and it's all I wanted. I wanted either Don, to catch a whopper, a Gator, a big trout. As I have been doing since last Wednesday (with the exception of this past Tuesday).

And that's when Don Sr. hooked a big fish, that ate his shrimp and immediately came to the surface splashing and frothing the surface.

Weighing in at 6 pounds and measuring 25 inches
it was "the fish" I was hoping for when we left the dock.

We finished up this spot with a half dozen Trout from 16" to the 25 incher. And a dozen Croakers, and one big Mangrove.

So off to do some bottom fishing for a big Red.
But wow, was that a chore in the afternoon east winds. It was all wrong, no matter where I tried.
I'll just leave it at that. Frustrating, yes!

I'll be trying something different tomorrow morning....Saturday's high tide.

I really hate it when we get in the funk of 15 knot SE-EAST winds day after day.
At least it's been dead calm in the river till about 10am.

The two Don's really learned the in's and out's of float fishing, were heavily challenged and scored on some good fish. It's always a good day when we catch a big Trout like this one, in my book, plus go home with a nice bag of "fish fry" groceries.

I'm not counting, but that's at least 6, 5 pounder's or better in the last 4 trips.

Not bad.

I haven't mentioned this in awhile. Now two years old, I still cannot discribe to you how well my BlackLab Marine 26CC fishes. This boat is not an aluminum novelty boat. It's truely a charter fisherman or serious fisherman's dream. From the roomy deck, durability, fish cleaning table, ride and even my electronics, the shallow draft, and especially the rough water stability, the list goes on and on. This is my all-time, dream machine. And with good tools, comes good fishing.

I welcome you aboard anytime, to see for yourself why I love it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 - For YOU, readers and anglers.

If you haven't visited the rates page of my web site, you need too. So you can at least enlist yourself into my data base for specials, announcements, and other local fishing related info, that will not be posted here. And only goes to people who have signed up.
(None of your information will ever be shared, with anyone.)

There is one small change when it comes time to reserve your charter day.

I still do $100 deposit, but now you can also pay in full.
If a $100 deposit is made. The change is, that the balance of your day must be cash only.

I will not be running credit cards on the boat any longer.
So if you want to use a credit card, I'd recommend that you use the pay in full option.
And via the policies page of my web site, I'll direct you to the correct amount, because there's 14 different payment options. Several customers have already utilized the new system. And it works out well, for them and myself.

Besides being addicted to fishing tackle which is a constant process of refinement. I am doing what ever I can to bring costs down for you.
I don't know what the outcome would be, but I'm working on having a rod designed that will be of "my design". But not thru the roof expensive. They will be rods completely dedicated to the art of Float-rig fishing. The length, the action, the style, the guides, reels seat, etc.

If you've fished with me, you may know that I'm a bit of a detail oriented kinda guy. To me, that's what makes catching everything that swims in the St. Johns River on a float, exciting. And do-able. For years, I have settled for rods that work great, but still there's things I'd change.

Not everyone can afford a $270 G. Loomis "Bucara", which I've been using. But then again, there's things I'd change about the Bucara too.

So this is a work in progress. And a almost unattainable goal, it seems. But I'm working on it. And would love to be able to say, "from all my work, fishing, and tweaking, this is what I've come up with." and have them available to you also.

I rig my floats a certain way, I use certain floats, I use certain reels, and the hardest thing to come up with is that certain rod. I want to design a rod that has a mixture of ole school with new technology. And have them be affordable. I'd build them myself, and that has been in the back of my mind. But the investment to get started isn't something I want to do. Because it could mean thousands.
Looks like we're stuck in the funk of a S. E. - EAST wind pattern. As I say, an east wind and a falling tide is like working against the grain. But according to the forecast the winds should be under 15 knots, still a bit too heavy for that direction, in my opinion.





Being that I will be out on Friday and Saturday.
Heck at least the monster Croakers don't care.
In case you don't know the proper way to make a "stopper knot" for above your float-rig. I found this very good diagram. You can make a "stopper knot" out of about any material. Monofilament, thick unwaxed dental floss, or even thin Dacron line. Some people use rubber bands, but they break easily.
And of course, the use of a super braid line is all I'll use. Since it floats on the surface of the water, rather than sinking like mono does it's the best choice for the float-rigger.

And then comes the choice of Super Braid line.
I like line that has a bit of a texture to it.

Run a line such as Stren Braid, or Power Pro through your fingers, and you'll feel a bit of a texture. This makes your stopper knot hold it's place well. Compared to some other braided lines that are slick and have no texture.

Some fisherman might say that they like the super slickness, and I can understand why. But for me, I like that tiny bit of texture in my super braid. Most of my lines are either Berkely, or Stren super braid. In the 50/12 class. 50 pound line, with the diameter of 12 pound monofilament.
Plans are in place for a new video about Float-rig fishing to be made this fall/winter. As you may or may not know, I've made two 40 minutes videos on local fishing. Distributed through Bennett Marine video in California, to vendors such as Gander Mountain and availible on Bennetts web site. http://www.bennettmarine.com/fishing_sportfishing.html

They are also in the Netflix catalog. (if you want to purchase one, I have DVD's and VHS tapes on hand.)

We hope to cover A-Z on techniques, tackle, structure, and current. With help from an interesting friend of mine Nick Watson, from the band RATHKELTAIR.
After all filming is done, then comes editing and then on to Bennett for duplication and distribution.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

9/9 - Bazzarro World, the other reality

Had Chris C. and his girlfriend Jessica aboard on Tuesday. Originally, the trip was planned for last Tuesday. But the weather was windy and overcast, so since Chris had any Tuesday open, we moved it to this Tuesday that was windy, but not overcast.

Yeah, sometimes ya just can't win.

So we headed out for big Trout and plenty of big Croakers. I worked the same area that I fished on Sunday with Don Z. The tides were a bit different but easily manageable, the forecast was for 15-20 knot East S.E. winds. So we headed up river.

Since Sunday had me still with anticipation of what today could bring. I made sure to "kinda" follow the same track. To target these big fat Speckled Trout.

On the first spot, the Croakers....big Croakers were insane, as they were on Sunday. Fish after fish yanked Chris and Jessica's float's down. Fantastic action, and fun no doubt. But something was different...NO TROUT I.G. - (instantaneous gratification)....Not a single Trout bite!! Was it that the Croakers were so viscous that the Trout couldn't bit? I don't think so. Because we had plenty of big Croakers (to 14" ) on Sunday too.

So, to save some frisky live shrimp for our big Trout hunt, we moved on and tried a few other locations. But by now the high east wind was bucking the falling tide, and fishable areas were far and few between. So we just moved about, in this same area that was relatively protected.

I knew the Croakers were a given. So the hunt, I soon found out would be for "any" Trout.

And I don't give up all that easy. Jessica caught the first one. A 14-7/8's inch Trout.
A radical difference from Sunday, when they were mostly 18-23 inches! But it was our "Targeted Species".

We just kept catching Croakers. And no Trout.
So I kept us on the move, searching.

Jessica also caught a mini-Redfish, that was hanging out with the Croaks. It was the same size as the Croak's.

Then we met up with my buddy D.O.A. Rob.
A fellow Trout connoisseur. He'd tried the same areas and came up empty handed too.
And let me tell ya' that doesn't happen to Rob very often. So I knew something was going on in Bazaaro world.

The salinity in this area was no different than on Sunday. There must be plenty of food around, because the Croak's are ferocious. The only thing that was really different was the wind, and it's direction. I told Chris and Jessica, that of all the wind directions East is the worst on this part of the St. Johns. It's as if it blows against the grain, in more than just one way. It has the ability to really kill a bite, and I think we're experiencing it.

Either way we plugged on. Float-rig fishing where we could. And then, Chris found another Trout, a small 15 incher.

Then, afterwards we made another move and I caught a keeper Trout as I surveyed around with my float-rig.

I think we found some. The last two came from the same spot. A piece of bottom that was on the end of a long drift, hard to get too in the wind and current. And then even on a Tuesday afternoon, a boat came in and parked right on top of where our floats were heading. Two, dead shrimp chuckers.

We had a box of Croakers, though. A day saver, for sure. From 12-14", these are surely some nice fish fry fillets. And our two keeper Trout. We met up with DOA Rob again after making a zip code change. He said he lost a big fish on the float rig on one spot, and that was it. But didn't know what it was.

The wind now in the afternoon was really "gettin it" in the middle of the river. I've exhausted about all I could do on the float rig hunt for a big Trout. So we finished up the day, hiding from the breeze and just bottom fishing a little bit.

And what did we catch? MORE CROAKERS....and smaller ones.

Our pursuit of a Gator Trout, certainly wasn't from a lack of try. We worked hard and long, with what the weather had to offer. And the big Croak's on the float-rig are always fun.

I made a deal with Chris, that I'd clean his Croakers. So it was time to head back and get the assembly line going. And get all these Croaker's filleted, skinned and de-boned. Didn't count how many we kept. But I'd guess it was between 20-30 of them. So I'm glad I have a comfortable fish cleaning arrangement on my boat to do it. It's on thing I love about my boat, it's so versatile. I can even make it into a fish cleaning factory, too.

Complete with running water and several garbage disposals.

Monday, September 8, 2008

9/8 - Tackle Sale update


I have (4) Abu Garcia 6500 "Chrome Rockets" for sale. Very good condition. Level-wind reels, best Salt-Water Abu Garcia reel made.
Chrome over all BRASS construction. HEAVY DUTY.
There's two kinds of Abu Garcia's, flat sides with double centrifical controls, and domed sides with one centrifical control. These are flat-sided reels. Way better than their domed counter parts. YOU WILL NOT find these reels in Walmart!

They MSRP for $214.00 each!!

Outfit yourself for 1 or 2 for less than half that. I have additional parts, tools, oil and schematics if you'd like them.

Some of them are tweeked with better bearings, and a Stainless Steel spool "clutch" rather than weaker brass.

I did the improvements, myself.

$90.00 EACH or $340 for all (4)

Cash or Paypal transfer (+ fee charge.)

Contact me at: 904-642-9546 or e-mail at: charter@captdaves.com

Sunday, September 7, 2008

9/7 - Taking Advantage.....of one gorgeous day.

Had Don Z. take advantage of the special offer I sent out for this weekend. (you may have received it.) Well, from now on, what ever "deals" I do. They will be for people who have "joined" my Lil' club, I guess you could say. To become a member, you have to log-in to my rates page.

Well, if you want to know my rates schedule, anyhow. You have to log-in. By doing so you go on to a list. a private list. And will receive e-mailed announcements. Announcements like Don, took advantage of.

It was for this weekend only. One passenger only. One on one learning, the how's and why's with the "Float Freak" - (me), and catching big Speckled Trout, target species.

I knew for a fact that after hurricane or tropical storm Hanna, passed by Friday. That Saturday & Sunday would be OUTSTANDING weather. And it was!!

Saturday went by, and I thought to myself, "are these people crazy??" "How could some one pass this offer up." After storm weather is always great. Then came Sunday and Don, emailed me for info on the offer, and reserved Sunday. And by the looks of him, I think he was very glad he did. I told him, "Don, it's TROUT, and gonna be all about BIG TROUT!"

So we took off this morning at 0700 hrs. By 0730 hrs. Don had his largest Speckled Trout he's ever caught on the line heading to the net.

Yes, folks he was hooked up to a big fattie within minutes of pulling up to spot #1.

Don admitted, I had to shake him up a bit to get him on the boat again. Last time we went he caught jetty trout and a big 21 pound Spring time Red, some more Reds and some monster spawning Sheepshead.

When I say, "LETS GO!!" He should really know after today's action.

I DON'T KID AROUND. I mean, "Let's go!"

Look at that fattie he caught. Not a long fish, but a girthy fish. The sun wasn't even fully up and shining yet.

If you are a reports blog reader, you need to go to my home page, click on the rates page, and go through the simple "sign up" procedure. That way you go into my special data base.
Heck, it could mean discounted charters, free stuff, tackle sales, and just plain members only info.

The Trout were chewing on Don's shrimp as well as really good sized Croakers from 12 to 14 inches. Yes, I mean super keepers for N.E. Florida standards. I only keep them if they are 12" or more. As a matter of fact, I just got done eating a fried Croaker dinner and they were yummy.

Think of the large ones as small Redfish that you'll never be able to keep. So it's kinda like Redfish revenge to me. Even thought it's revenge through relatives. Big Croakers are fun. Pull drag, and bite so damn hard. They are always more fun on a float-rig up in structure, as is most fish, in my opinion. But then again, I'm biased! Because there isn't much that swims the lower St. Johns River, that I haven't caught on my trusty Float-rig.

And now Don is building his resume, too.

Not counting only one Ladyfish all day long. Don caught Trout to 5 pounds, Croakers, Mangrove snappers, and a Sheepshead on his float rig today.

A good angler already, and a joy to fish with and have aboard. All I had to do is just point the way for Don, and then he took over.

This is what a true "guided" charter is supposed to be like, as was Wednesdays charter Paul M.

I don't mind larger groups, but it's really great being able to spend the time to really go over a situation, a presentation, or a trick. And someone can go away with that info, knowing it was thoroughly explained and covered by doing it.

Here's the Sheepshead Don caught right as the current died
and I was saying, "let's move....", right then, he hooked up!

The Croaks were some serious just plain fun fishing as always. And we never really had to weed through the small ones, because we caught them as we caught limits of Trout. And even released over sized Trout. We had our two over twenty inches!

I think I counted about 18 Croakers that we kept.

And Don said I could have them, so that was no problem with me, as I love them. If they are worth filleting of course.

I got to help out a little bit, and boxed me a few fat Specks.

Been using low profile Shimano high speed reels.
They're light and powerful, and are really working out. Matched to G. Loomis "Bucara" series rods you'll only be using quality tackle on my boat.

No K-mart blue light specials, here.
Lucky for you, I have a high taste when it comes to my tackle. Even if you don't know anything about the difference between a blue light special rod, and a G. Loomis. Believe me, it's the same reason that a Master Auto Mechanic doesn't use K-mart tools to fix your car. I'm your fishing mechanic!

Here's the box getting crowded.

It was a great day! (as far as weekends go)
Turned out, we certainly were not alone.

Thanks Don.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Have you visted my links on the side bar of this Blog, yet?

If so you've probably clicked on a revolutionary new product called the Snapper Saver.

The Snapper Saver, isn't just for Snapper Fisherman. Heck, I have one and love it!

It comes in handy for de-hooking Croakers, and at the same time, "venting" a big fat Redfish if need be.

http://www.snappersaver.com/products.html - Here's the products

Check out the how-to video:

The cone shaped end of the Snapper Saver handle has the "perfect angle", while depressing the buttom for the retracted venting needle to protrude, and into the air bladder of the fish. Then the dehooker, flips the fish off the hook. EZ2CY, the Snapper Saver is a very innovative product.


And remember, this isn't just for Snapper. It works on any fish you want to de-hook, and the handy venting tool is there for when you need it.

Contact me, at charter@captdaves.com or 904-642-9546 for your 10% off coupon today!

Friday, September 5, 2008

9/6 - 9/7, This weekend


Single passenger pricing that's usually done on weekdays, only.

Target: Blackening sized T-Routz!

Call for rates, quick (904) 642-9546

Float rig fishing, for T-rex sized Troutz.

Call now, for reservation.

Let's go hunt down them speckley bastards.
GREAT TIDES, mean a Happy Cappy Dave.

One or more anglers? Refer to my Rates Page.
Learn from the Float-Freak, how & when.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

9/3 - Two Guys, Mania.....!

Okay, I read the weather report as I always do the day before (Tuesday). And it read windy!
All week the report was labeled, "SCA" - small craft advisory!
East-Noreast winds. Incoming tide. Usually K.O.D. - "kiss of death", is what I think most of the time.
Well, first thing this morning this is what I saw as I waited at the dock for 7am to arrive.

"red sky in the morning, mariners take warning"
Yeah, I go by all those ole saying. Because too many times they are true. If that sky isn't red, it's at least beautifully PINK.

So just before 7am Paul M. came walking down the dock, my solo angler for the day.

We talked yesterday about the weather report and I said, if nothing else, we'll try it and see.

So off we went left out the boat ramp rather than turning right. Which was a good decision on my part. I was the only Truck and trailer at the whole boat ramp this morning. So I just had to wonder....

We eased along shooting the bull, as I looked around a bit. "Getting the feel of the morning at sunrise." It wasn't windy, and was so damn nice.

I picked a spot to start off that had good current.......hopefully Trout current. And as I showed Paul all about the "float-rig", I caught the first fish of the day. That's funny, I usually do a quick show and tell WITHOUT bait on the hook. Just so I don't catch a fish! But on a bare hook I caught a nice fat Croaker.......on a bare hook!! That's not my first time catching a fish on a bare hook. But usually it's a 'snapper' Bluefish, they bite anything.

Well, as it turned out, that was a good omen. Because we caught fish after fish on this spot to include more Croakers, Ladyfish and some beautiful Speckled Trout. Even a 25", 5 pound GATOR.

Oh, we were on the right track. What a difference a few days can make.

Fish were flying over the gunnel and beautiful "local" live shrimp were getting eaten.

It was a great time, and we were 30 minutes into the fishing.

The tide slowed, so we moved on to catch more trout as I do when the tide shifts.

Next spot, a mere 500 yards away. And the action was steady there too, with a few more trout and keeper and non keeper Mangrove Snappers.

Okay, a few more Trout in the fish box and a few Mangroves.

Time to make a move again.

Well, I think Paul had the most fun here. It was fish, bite, fish, fish, lost shrimp, bite, bite, Croakers and Trout. Fast and furious action.

Now mind you, we were fishing in damn near fresh water. I tested the waters with my hydrometer, as we went along. The scale goes from 0-40 part per thousand of salt water. Zero meaning no salt water, and 40 hyper saline water. At the boat ramp in Mayport this morning the river water was a 6 PPT - parts per thousand. And it was damn near that low where ever we went. The Ocean is usually 36-38 PPT. So as you can see, 6 PPT is low to no saltwater. At least on the surface, where I can get a sample.

But a 6 PPT isn't a bad thing. I've had some of my best Trout days in the river when it was a 6 PPT day in the river. Tropical Storm Fay's effect will be long lasting. The river's high, and very fresh. It's a great thing. The boat and tackle isn't even salty after a days fishing, another neat thing.

After a while of constant bites and fish, we were quickly out of 9 dozen shrimp.

After 12 Trout, too many to count Croakers, a few Mangrove Snappers and Ladyfish. The box was looking good, so heading back wasn't all that bad.

It was a great day. And by the way, the wind never really blew all that hard, certainly not what I'd consider Small Craft Advisories. The sky was blue, and it was never all that hot.

Oh, I can't wait till those cool fall mornings that can't be here soon enough for me.

Because that sweat shirt in the morning, and the bailing of fat Speckled Trout is what I live for......we're on our way.

And not to leave out, Giant Redbass too. Let's go get us some!
Check out http://www.captdaves.com/
for all my charter info, pricing schedule, policies, and frequently asked questions page.

Monday, September 1, 2008

End of August...

End of August...(30th & 31st)

Here's what the last two days were.

Windy, over-cast and not a whole lot of catching.

Yeah, we caught fish. But I wanteds Trout, Sheepshead, Reds and/or Black Drum.
Instead we had small Trout, Ladyfish, Jacks, Croakers, small Yellowmouth's, SailCats, one Black Margate, a Lookdown, a few toads, and blennies.

EAST WINDS, and incoming tides all day I refer to as K.O.D. - kiss O' death.

In the last two days, I figured out that all that rain fall we had from T.S. Fay, has meant nothing. I got all excited over nothing. Again, bazzaro world throws me another........."fake out".

I've checked the salinity of the water and from Mayport to Arlington there's not much salt water, in the river, at least on top of the water. Even on a strong Flood tide.

So where are all the fish? Why was there a huge rush toward the inlet a few years ago when we had the same kind of rain fall amounts, in a short duration? And then not now....it's good Ole
J-ville. Remain rigidily flexible, ya never know what the hell's going on.

Croakers!! Wanna go Croaker fishing? That's no problem. Do I want to Croaker fish for 6 hrs.?
NO. I'm not cleaning all those 12 inch fish.

I fished hard the last two days in August, and then have charters booked for this week, too.
And what do ya know, luck gives me a storm in the Atlantic heading this way, Tropical Storm Hanna that might go Hurricane and hit close to Jacksonville. And if not, the EAST/N.E. winds will be up and howling anyhow.

Can't really give much of a report, because I don't have a clue of whats going on either.
All I know is Croakers are everywhere!

Croaker, Croakers, Croakers.


On another note for ya'll BARGAIN HUNTERS.

I have (4) Abu Garcia 6500 Chrome Rockets for sale.

Time to turn over. Very good
condition for used 2 year old reels.
Level-wind reels, best Salt-Water Garcia reel made.
Chrome over all BRASS construction.
Some of them are tweeked with better bearings, and a Stainless Steel spool clutch rather than weaker brass.
I did the improvements, myself.

$90.00 EACH or $340 for all (4)

Still have a Shimano CORVALUS - 400 for sale - in box brand new $45.00

10' Bait Buster POGIE cast net - reduced! $70.00

2- Shakespere 8' VHF antenna's....both $45 each

think ahead, you'll like them if it was December,
for sheepshead at Jetties, $40.00 Lead heads for
Grub tails, ball heads, slider heads, 1/8 th oz. ball heads,
Buck-tails, assorted sizes of Gotcha plugs.


Visa/MC/Amex/Discover / Google Check out, cash or Paypal
Contact me at: 904-642-9546 or e-mail at: charter@captdaves.com