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.