Friday, October 31, 2008

10/31 - Full Blown Nor'easter & more

I pulled up at the bait shop walked in and stood at the counter and said....."I think I have all this figured out after 12 years." As if I had some kind of Revelation to share. They replied, "what do have ya figured out, Dave?"....."Being a fishing guide is no more than attempting to show people how to catch fish in high winds and bad conditions!!" Another Dave, a fellow fisherman was there too. And said, "ya got that right! Most of the time it's not the most optimal day, that people pick." I said, "yeah, and that's why they have me!"

So I bait the live well up, get my ice for the coolers, and head down the street to the boat ramp 40 minutes early, as usual. I drop the boat in the water and man...."this is really crap weather" I think to myself. Should I suit up in full winter attire or not? It's no less than 20 knots or more gusting, getting more overcast by the moment, and it's not gonna get any better. Definitely not t-shirt and flip-flop weather.

I sit in the boat passing the time till Don B. and his buddy Jeff arrive going over a game plan in my head. And watching the flag on the adjacent Pilot building flapping at full attention.

We were departing at a specific time, so to hit nothing but a good falling tide. But, the wind has the river water so pushed up inside that the tide isn't even close to low yet. Twenty fifth, chink in the plan....

We'll just have to tough this out. This trip is already a rescheduled trip from last month when the conditions were even worse.

Damn, I gotta figure out something...I kept thinking.

Don and Jeff show up and we take off up river.

Don's my kinda guy, a float-rigger from way back. And has fished with me at least twice before.

Soon as we were out and about I could tell, "this is gonna be a tougher day, than I thought."

We work one spot, and a few pinfish steal the baits, and Don catches a small Speck. But I can feel in my gut, that this is gonna be real wrong for a long time, till the tide falls at least half way or more....especially for us float-riggers.

We go up and down the ICW attempting to fish a few spots out of the wind. About every other spot, I keep checking the tide in the river for current by revisiting where I really want to fish. I had blinders on......we were going to fish a certain spot, no matter what!!

And it just wasn't right, yet. But on my last check of the day before almost running out of time, it was PERFECT. Time to rock & roll!

That wind held back the tide for hours. So while, in so many words....WE WAITED, the guys stayed with me though and didn't complain about not catching anything, as we tried for hours.

But that was going to end, RIGHT NOW!

So upon arriving on the tide I wanted, at the spot I wanted to fish. The worlds were aligned with Venus! Brown water, river water, moving fast, as the wind blew the boat forward on the anchor.

They tried the float-rigs and live shrimp, and I pitched out a "tight-lined" rig, 2 ounces barely on the bottom cross current bumping along. And I stroked 3 big fat Croakers, instantly.

I said to Don, "ya wanna try this?", he said, "I ain't that proud, sure!!" I knew the guys had to be chomping at the bit by now, after going hours without a fish.

It was one big hard hitting Croak after another. Then came some Yellowmouth Trout off the bottom. We were having a ball....but the day was getting late and fast. Jeff said, "heck I could do this all day long", as he set the hook on another fairy wand rod bender. I had both the guys tight-lining on the bottom by now, with the lightest rods I own. I refer to them as my "fairy wands".

Then I took another fairy wand rod and set out a big piece of cut Croaker on a small circle hook and set it on the other side of the boat. The Croak's would peck at it, but I told the guys "just don't worry about that rod till it doubles over. The best fisherman in the world is a circle hook and a rod holder."

And it wasn't but a few minutes till it did just what it was supposed to do....Bend over in the shape of a horse shoe!

And Jeff grabbed the rod. Yes, sir...this is your clock cleaning. Out with the dust bunnies. Jeff was in for a long fight on the light rod, light line, light hook and heavy current and gusting winds.

It took awhile, but Jeff landed a 10 pound, 31 incher.

Okay, back to the Croak's....

Next up was Don, and again it didn't take long and the chunk bait rod doubled over again.

Don's fish finally threw up a flag of surrender.

Thing were certainly looking a lot better than an hour ago when we were going from spot to spot looking for some kind of action. A box load of Trout and Croakers and two Reds in the first hour on this spot.....Now I called this ACTION!

But that's what a good ole N.E. Florida, Nor' easter can do to the St. Johns river. Your on Momma natures time. And without the proper tide, and current velocity you are not going to catch quality fish.

You have to be patient especially on days like this. As you can see in the photos, by now it was utterly gloomy as all hell looking out there.

Sticking to it, and never giving up also helps, while being rigidly flexible. One thing you can count on if your standing on the deck of my boat is that I DO NOT GIVE UP! My "stick to-it'ness", is about as hard as the bottom of my boat!

The yellowmouth trout and croak's kept coming over the side as I set out another big chunk of cut bait......and came a keeper at 27 inches.

Then, our last big Red on the fairy wands, especially if the guys wanted me to clean their fish for was nearing dark.

Whewww...another great end to a really tough day. But I have to really thank Don and Jeff for hanging with me and being patient. Not all is lost on a blowing cold day when the only sun we see is a coming from a bright blue hole in the clouds. Attitude, and having the right one will effect your fishing guide. I know it effects me when people get all anxious and want to just give up. (which is putting it nicely) Don't harrass your guide, or me. Because I know what I'm looking for and I know what I want. Hang on, cause if I find it. You'll catch!

I cleaned a whole bunch of big Croakers, yellowmouth Trout and one keeper 27" Redbass. Don and Jeff split the catch and had more than they'll eat at one sitting, for sure.

Now....I have a trip on Saturday Nov. 1st, too. If it's worse wind and raining too, it just maybe better to try another day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

10/29 - 3 hours of "fish get in the boat".

Had replaced the stern hydraulic steering in just two years, I have replaced my entire Teleflex steering system, via warranty. It's a really L-O-N-G story, so I'll skip the details.

But it has two more years, and if it even BURPS, I'm going to a true commercially built hydraulic steering system. (one that matches my boat in toughness)

So I asked my buddy"Rathkeltair" drummer, 'RKA-Nick', if he'd like to join me for a sea trial of the steering system prior to my Friday & Saturday charters.

And wouldn't ya know it, after buying 8 dozen live shrimp and 40 pounds of ice I get to the ramp back the boat down into the water and find out the system needed a bit more tweaking. So we pull out go home and tweak, then come back to the boat ramp.

It's good I live 5 minutes from the boat ramp, I can tell ya that!

I wanted to fish at low tide any how. So after some serious high speed tight turns and jumping from "chine to chine" at 35 MPH. The steering seemed okay.

So time to break out the float-rigs and bust some COLD weather T-routz!

I needed a R&D day, as I call them. After days/weeks of caring for customers. I just needed to do same Cappy Dave fishing, really bad! And that mean, no mistakes, no fussing around. Just plain ole kickin' some fish ass, and fast!

First spot, Nick gets a big fat Yellowmouth Trout, on his first drift of his float-rig. Then on my second drift I nail a 27 inch Redbass on my 9 foot whoopass (G. Loomis Pelagic rod) stick, and man it felt great to actual catch something. If this time of year I go 3 days without fishing myself....that's a long time.

All this tackle talk I've been doing had me longing to press this 3 ounce float-rig rod into action on a big fish. And I was glad to have some "I.G." - instantaneous gratification!

We sat on this spot and sorted the yellow
mouth Trout into the cooler with a quick 2 person limit, while tossing back the smaller ones that didn't measure up.

All I can say, is when I have my Grundens pull-over fisherman's fleece on, with a pair of shorts.


I love this time of year!!

If I had my druthers. I'd be out'a here like greased lightning June 1st...And not be back in Jax till Oct 1st. I just need to figure out, how I can get to the Pacific Northwest, or Louisiana for those 4 months. Because this is "my" style of fishing. Semi-cool, transitional, no sweating my ass off, and catching "my" fish, as easy as chopping wood.

So, after boxing our limit Nick and I moved on to the next spot.

I picked the closest possible area that should be stacked up with SPECKS.

And it was. It was almost like a Miller Lite commercial. Remember the buzz line, "FISH GET IN THE BOAT"?

Of course, I'm a shutter-bug and had Nick as my Trout model, complete with his neck warmer.

Remember in the early 80's it was "leg warmers" for the girls, at arobics class.
Well.....Nick's starting a new look.

We had a ball. double-heading these fish, drift after drift.

The tide had changed slowed and we were gonna do a real quick check for Redfish or Black Drum back on spot #1. With the last of our shrimp in the live well before Nick had to be at his gig, and I had dinner waiting for me. We didn't catch any Reds or Drum. So we split for the boat ramp. We fished from 1 to 4pm, that's all. And had our limits plus a nice Redbass for Momma.

Talk about a great day!

I hope this weekend is as nice.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

10/28 - MY QUEST

A month or so ago, I discussed how I'm on a seemingly endless quest for the "perfect" N.E. Florida Float-rigging rod.

Attributes I'm looking for:

1. A parabolic bend....(definition:

2. Soft enough action that a 2 pound Trout is fun, as well as a 12 pound Redfish.

3. True fiberglass durability...many people are rough on my tackle. And F'glass is more durable than graphite. Although Graphite is lighter.

4. EVA grip & heavy duty trigger reel seat. Float fishing is a visual technique type fishing. Sensitivity isn't a quality needed as much as a bottom rod or jigging rod, with maybe cork grips.

5. 8 feet long...has to be. Long rods are easier to "lob" a float-rig, and easier to "mend" your line behind your float.

I have searched high and low and commercially the rod described above does not exists in this state/country. So, it has to be CUSTOM build only.

And while I'm searching, I end up having the people I believe, that can build these rods right under my nose.

Biscayne rods, in Hialeah, Florida. If you shark fished with me this summer behind the shrimp boats, or trolled big Drone spoons over the inshore reefs. You used Biscayne's K.C. Fiberglass rods, that I originally bought for bottom fishing big Reds. But really shined as a potential Tarpon/Shark rod. And shined they did!


It's my Biscayne rod in action.

And yep, that was a monster 7-8' long 200 pound shark, that absolutely kicked Bruno Burnoski's butt!

And the shark won.

Here you can see a Fiberglass rod really shine, a K.C. "Biscayne" glass rod. Matched up to a
ACCURATE twin drag 870 reel, and 65# Berkley Big Game Braided line.

As I write this story, Eddie Carman owner of Biscayne rods (the 3rd generation) had called me after a email inquiry I sent him. Eddie called me!! That's right, he wanted to talk more about what I'm looking for, and remembered my name from my shark rod order a year ago. That's why Biscayne rods has been in business for 48 years. K.C. Fiberglass rods, were designed by Karl Carman, Eddies grand father. And Eddie's building "hopefully", the first of many perfect float-rigging rods.

I'll never forget what my buddy James, manager of B&M bait and tackle said when I showed him one of my 4 Biscayne shark rods. "White rods, man these are old fashioned looking...."

"Yes", I said. "before your time there was this tough kinda rod called fiberglass..."

The rods may look a bit "retro", but boy they are tough.

You maybe asking yourself, "Dave, why do you like the attributes of fiberglass, for float-rig fishing?"

Which is a really good question.

I have a thorn in my butt about using too stiff of a rod when float-rig fishing, because I like to use really small hooks. I do not want my customers to have the ability to "over-power" the size of the hook. Which means, pulled and bent hooks. I've read and heard about other guides/fisherman using what I'd refer to as a "gargantuan hook" pinned through a shrimps horn when float-rig fishing. How can a 2" live shrimp look and swim perfectly when it has to carry a large heavy hook? It can't!

Presentation, presentation, presentation!!!! Your hook has to be small, light and sharp. Big hooks tear a Trout's tender mouth, also. Simply put, I want my shrimp to swim as if it's barely carrying anything. I want my shrimp to swim to the surface, and dance across the surface if it wants too, when I'm fishing super shallow. And my shrimp do!

Like fly fishing, when it's all about making a fish bite that fuzzy feathered covered hook. In Float rig fishing, it's all about your shrimp fooling the biggest baddest trophy Speckled Trout, and that happens when the shrimp is un-encumbered to do whatever it wants. In turn looking as natural as possible.

End of story? Not yet.

Your hook matters, your floats action matters, and in turn when that Trout is on the hook the rod matters. At least it does to me. And if I'm your guide.....I MATTER!

Today there's no argument that there is less 10 pound Trout....or even less 5 pound Trout, than 30 years ago. So if you want more shots at them, you better have all your "shit in one sock."

I don't know how else to say it. Why use fluorocarbon leaders in clear water? Why use sensitive graphite rods? THE EDGE....get as much of it as you can.

So, Eddie Carman is working on a proto-type K.C. fiberglass float-rig rod for me. And like a kid in a candy store (walmart candy isle, these days) I'm excited!

I already ran through one rod company that I tried this idea out on. And it was a nightmare.

I'm very impressed with my 4 - Biscayne K.C. rods I use for Tarpon, Sharks, and big Reds. I hope I'm equally impressed with what he came up with as a fiberglass blank for my Float-rigging rods.

You can see my Biscayne's in use on my Video bar down the right side of this blog. The first fish I ever caught on one was a Black Drum followed up with a few 20 pound class Reds.

I'm all about G. Loomis, as you may know. But Loomis is a graphite company. And one of the best. I just keep "tweaking" as much as I can, out of my tackle. It's a sickness.

I'm just not happy going to Q-mart and buying a handful of Shakespeare F'ugly sticks, and matching pot metal reels and call myself a professional angler. That's never been my style.

Yes, I know that probably 98% of all the people who step on my boat, will never know the pain staking details I go into when selecting my tackle. But I do all this to make myself happy, as well as that 2% of fisherman that can see eye to eye with me and my philosophies in tackle selection.

Like I said, It's a disease. And you are the beneficiary.

Lucky you!

As of reels to be used on these rods? You've used them already. I'm using the Shimano 200-Citica DSV (deep spool, high line capaciity, high speed gearing).

Fast and with smooth drags, and light weight, and easy palming and casting and 12 pounds of drag capacity. I'm all about Low Profile reels, now. They WORK.

As I told a guy the other day, who used to be a float-rig Trout fisherman 25 years ago, when he asked if I used the 14" Balsa floats and 2oz. trout leads, as he used too. I told him, "NO, I don't."

And he gave me a funny look as if I didn't know what I was even talking about when it came to float-rig trout fishing....

I said, "I'm taking some of the traditional tackle, and mixing it with today's more high-tech tackle."

And then I told him...."I don't even use a balsa float." His eyes widened....Then I described the west coast style float that I'm using, which is definitely not your ole fashioned "Trout Cork". But rather a better reacting, higher floatation, more durable Float.

Give me a call. (904) 642-9546

And you can be one of the folks who I can show the fruits of my tackle quest too. And we'll go catch us some fish on tiny hooks, with long fiberglass rods, with high speed-high tech low pro reels, with high tech line, and high tech floats......

In the only all welded custom "Plate Alloy" 26' Center console charter boat in the whole area or even the whole state! A wonderful mix of old style, mixed with different materials and high tech style.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

10/25 & 26 - From A to Z.....

Had Bob H. and his son Peter and son-in-law Chuck, out for two days in a row. Original plan was for Friday and Saturday trips. But seeing that Friday was not much better than Thursday. The guys decided to extended their stay, and get in the second day on Sunday.

We had from A to Z go on, in two day along the banks of the St. Johns river in Mayport.
Day one Saturday the 25th was windy, overcast, and actually better than Sunday the 26th when it was cooler, and sunnier, with really nice weather overall. At least that was my take.

Less people were on the water naturally on Saturday. And on Sunday on two prime spots it was wake's galore from big Ghetto cruiser boats. And made things really tough on us / "me".

As I've described before. Take a good Trout spot, with good current, and calm water, one day. The fish will be chewin'. Then take another day on the same spot with good current, add in boat traffic galore, and wakes crashing the bank....the Trout will be gone, or just not bite. I believe, they're gone. This was Sunday.
But no matter the guys caught LOTS of fish.

Redfish, Black Drum, Flounder, Speckled Trout, Jacks, Mangrove Snapper, Yellowmouth Trout, Huge Croakers and Sheephead....I think that's all of them, that matter.

OH, and I even caught myself on Saturday. After a short exercise in crisis management. IE: a tangle from hell and back. I was cutting a new leader off the spool on my dash. In between I was netting a fish or two, and unhooking a fish or two. I had been holding a length of leader in my mouth. And went to pull the leader out of my mouth and put it on a rig. But forgot I tied a hook to the other end and when I pulled it out of my mouth, I hooked my own lip. And sunk the hook pretty beyond the barb!
Bob said, I looked bad. I said, I just needed a mirror to see it. So we went back to the boat ramp, I looked into my truck door mirror, yep it was in there all right.

I used a piece of mono, and put it around the hook, held the hook eye down, and gave a good YANK. And the hook came flying out. As usual, when using the ole fishing line pull method. This was the first time I caught myself in the lip. But not the first time I had to yank a hook out of myself, and it won't be the last.

Thank goodness the hook was a small one. I didn't mind. If I hook fish, I can take the same thing from time to time....heck it's only fair, right?

Afterwards we just went back out and fished some more. No biggy.

Here's some of the catches:

Saturday I made up a bag of fillets for the guys to take to Singleton's Seafood Shack, around the corner from the dock. From what it sounds like, the guys had a feast. Singleton's will always fry up your fish for you if you go in with a fresh bag of fillets, for a couple bucks a pound.

They drank beer, had oysters and their catch. A really good end to a good day of fishing, I always think. Eat your own fish, they were just swimming a few hours before.

Bob set up and entire "kit" of materials to preserve a Redfish for skin mounting by a award winning taxidermist in Pa. So here's the one that'll get it. Peter's exact 27" Redfish, caught on a flaot-rig. The proceedure included linen towels, borax powered soup, plastic bags, bubble wrap, detailed photos and B&M bait and tackle's walk-in freezer and a box to carry that fish on a plane. I can't wait to someday see a photo of that Redbass at least in a photo Bob will e-mail me.

Peter was the HOT rod, he also landed this super nice 8 pound Black Drum, 5 minutes before the Redbass, on the float-rig (which of course makes it extra special). Using a giant shrimp each time. I always tell my crew, save them big giant shrimp till we fish a spot where the current isn't all that strong. Big shrimp can't take retrieving them in heavy current. Use small shrimp then. So here we were, on a slow tide area. And Peter used the whopper shrimp and was heavily rewarded.

The guys caught enough fish for not only a fine fresh fish dinner at Singleton's Seafood in Mayport. But took home a cooler full of bagged up fish for later.

It was a wild two days, weather wise and fishing wise. I know I relished the cold air on Sunday morning. It reminds me that still to come are some of the best days of the entire year.

The water temps are between 71-75 degrees.

Man, has it dropped out of the 80's fast. I like that, though. My favorite time of the year is when all you need is a sweat shirt, but can still wear shorts and a t-shirt during the afternoon.

Thanks to Bob, Peter, and Chuck for the two days...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

10/23 - And everyone wants my job?

Everyone wishes they were a fishing guide. Every Tom, Dick, Harry & Alice, thinks it's some kind of glorious adventure day in day out.

Well, if your a regular reader of these reports, commentary, editorials, you know by now.


While you're at work, I've been up at 5am, to the bait shop by 5:30, to the boat ramp 6:45, met my customer 7:15, sat and looked at the weather and decided, "this ain't worth it" 7:30am.

It was cold, rainy, and yes.........WINDY!

I can usually deal with wind, but straight down the pike, from the EAST at 25 knots as the sun came up this morning, pushing the tide overly high. I said, forget this. While always striving for fishing excellence. If I can???

Here's the deal:



Now....I have a Friday charter & Saturday charter with the same 3 guys.
We maybe better trying Saturday or Sunday.
Life is just one giant scheduling nightmare sometimes.


We'll see how it goes.

Thanks, Mother Nature...... Love ya'.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

10/22 - 4 for Fish

Had Kathy H. and crew (4) on board today.....the morning was really nice, but as the afternoon picked up the wind got stronger. I'll be trying it again on Thursday, Friday, & Saturday.

So stay tuned.

I had a guy (Jason, I think) on board today that was a "Natural Talent" and obviously very smart. He reeled in fish perfectly, and get this....Cast a bait casting reel with 1 minutes worth of instruction, with out backlash.

Man, I see a lot of goofy stuff on my boat, but this shocked me. When he said he's fished a little in a lake back home. Natural Talent, I can spot it. And I like it.

We caught a nice keeper Redbass at 24" right off the bat (serious I.G.) along with some yellowmouth Trout.

And then we made a move to the BIG ROCKS out at the inlet.

The tide was moving good, and as soon as we came tight on the anchor I pitched out two cut pogies.

Instantaneous gratification again!!!!

John was on the rod, and the big Red handed him his butt. Unfortunately the fish dove to the back of the motor and before we could do anything, broke off on the prop or skeg of the lower unit.

Okay, no biggy. Keep on soakin'. Next up was our "hot shot" fisherman who didn't even know he was one. Jason handled the rod like a pro again! Tangling with his biggest fish, not an excitable kinda guy. He was, too calm. Big Red to the boat, 25 pounder.

Man the little Accurate twin drag B-197's sure are killer reels. They handle a fish like this and much larger like Butta'.
No pot metal reels here. Just the good stuff.

And only a few I ever get on the boat will ever know the difference. But always something to think about. I talk quality's a disease.

Had a few more bites and lost baits after the big'un, then 2 stingers (Sting Rays) back to back, and I don't sting ray fish, so we picked up anchor and hauled butt while the tide was still falling.


And the Trout were on fire. Scattered Specks on this spot, with some seriously motivated Yellowmouths in a real good size range. The wind was kickin' but it didn't matter.

We easily boxed about 10 or so released a bunch of smaller ones and headed back to clean the catch.

It was a good day. Always a bit tougher when I have 4 on board, but today these two guys here did all the fishing.

I'll be out in what is supposed to be 20 knots east on Thursday with one regular customer.
The winds supposed to build to GALE FORCE.

OH, NO.....

Sunday, October 19, 2008



....IT WAS A BLAST!!!!!!!!




(nice guy)


Friday, October 17, 2008

10/16 - I.G. all day long!

Man, what a day we had Thursday. I had the pleasure of having Jeff P. and his father Harry aboard again. It's been too long.
Well, not all that long....Just feels that way.

We had Instantaneous Gratification from start to finish!

And like that ole Yellow Mustard at the Chinese Restaurants, it was not only a HOT day of fishing, but an exciting one too. (kinda an inside metaphor)

We started off Float-rigging for Trout. And on Jeff's first drift of the morning. He connected on a Yellowmouth Trout, and then Harry hooked up.

This is the way the entire day went.

That's the big question.

The full moon "incoming tide" was a super gusher. The water's moving slowly, and then you could just hear it coming. The noise it made around pilings and around the boat was clearly a louder audible tone. Jeff noticed it. Usually, I'm the only one that has "Batman or Spidey" senses enough to detect what Momma Natures telling us.

So we sat there and caught as many small Specks and yellowmouths as we could, till the current got to bad and moved on. The next spot was super flooded, and yep, instantly we caught Specks but they were small, so we headed to guess where????

My home, where the Jettywolf's roam...the big Mayport Rocks. (inlet)

And there was a good sized swell pouring in with the last of the incoming tide.

But no fear, the Jettywolf's here.

I anchored up and we all tossed out our float-rigs and sent them drifting down the granite boulders. Being the "ringer", I instantly hooked up a big fish.

I handed it to Jeff. Harry said he's paying so make sure he gets the big one this time.

Usually Harry, Jeff's dad, catches the biggest fish.

So Jeff battles him a nice Red along the rocks. A perfect 26 incher.

We go at it again, and on my next drift of my rig, I hook yet another Redbass.
Another perfect keeper at 24 inches.

Then, Jeff tangles with this years first Float-rig caught Jetty Sheepshead. A nice 5 pound, 7-striped jetty Snapper.

And a Black Margate...which we hardly ever capture more than one or two a trip, this time of year. But are such nice fish.

Then we get some big Mangrove Snappers, really nice ones worth taking their sides off. A few Jacks in the 4 pound range, too.

All is going great, we're getting bites, the box is already full of fish. And Harry and Jeff are concentrating on the area where the Reds just came from. So I walk to the stern and pitch out a my float-rig behind the boat, up in the rocks.

My float goes down, so I do exactly what your supposed to do. Reel, Reel, Reel......Lift.
Yeah baby. I'm hooked up to a smoker! Drag's pulling and the rod is bowed. But no matter what I did in those first few seconds the spool never stops ripping out line. I yell to Harry, "Come here, take this rod!!!", he does. I start the engine, pull the anchor, and am ready to give chase.

I could tell, something on the other end was just not gonna stop. Harry's holding the rod, trying to stop whatever it is, as I drop the engine in reverse. And he yells "I see metal!"......and then we hear a POP!

All in about 60 seconds, whatever that fish was smoked off 200 yards of line, never broke the leader (15# test mono) and took the float, the lead, everything. Harry hands me the rod and the POP we heard was the line breaking off the spool.

HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Guess I'm outa commission.
Oh no..."the ringers down for the count".
So what was that fish?

It's any ones guess. But my guess would be a Jack Crevalle so big, that it was no ones business to catch it. But now trailing 200 yards of Berkley
Stealth Super Braid, a 2 oz trout lead, and a Salmon Stalker float.

By the time we re-anchored again. The tide had faded so we moved to the tip of the jetty looking for one more keeper sized Redfish. And never caught one.

So back into the river we went. The tide just started to fall. I passed a friend with an over sized Redbass he and his charter just caught. And of course his folks thought I was the Police man in my BIG METAL boat. So we laughed and joked about that, as he released a healthy 30+ incher.

We pulled up into what could either be Speck land or Yellowmouth land. It changes day by day. Today, it seemed to be pinfish land in the shallower water, but out in the deeper water it was I.G. on the big Yellowmouth that rip drag and freak out all the way to the net.

But the float-rig wasn't doing all the well on them, and I found them out a bit deeper,
"tight-line" fishing them.
That's what I call when
using just enough weight
to stay on the bottom,
and keep a real taunt line
and lift every so often,
teasing them. And it works
so good on these
Yellowmouth Trout
it's unbelievable.

We were stroking nice fat ones at first doing this. And then came the absolute mother load!

Just cast out, and before you even hit the bottom you'd feel a tap and your hooked up!
So Jeff and Harry used two of my super fairy wands....Loomis "greenwater" rods and stroked one yellowmouth after another.

Harry put it mildly. "This ought to be almost illegal...this is legalized stealing!!" That's how fast a furious the fish were biting. I stood there tying new knots, with mono-leaders in one hand and the net in the other. I couldn't keep up with these guys. And there was maybe 2 small Specks in the whole bunch. But that was okay. We only kept the largest fish and had our 3 man limit of 12 fish in minutes.

Then, Harry sets the hook on a really good fish. Now, remember. This is a falling tide. A 6+ foot falling tide. The current is ripping! And Harry's got another drag burner hooked up that's utilizing every bit of the current to get a head of steam behind it. We laughed saying, "OH NO...not another take all the line fish??" But Harry with fairy wand rod in hand finally put the breaks to the fish, and it was a large Redbass at 30 inches. Wheww...Harry got worked.

And yet another year, Harry catches the largest fish (Redbass) off the day. (just like last spring)

Man what a day. Again, we went through 12 dozen live shrimp and used every single dead one, live one on the boat.

Folks, ya know what that means?
It means fishing is so damn good it's ridicules!

But of course we had a rare "PERFECT" weather day also.

We left to head back to the boat ramp tired of catching. But it was time for Cappy Dave to make the donuts. My code lingo for, "time for me to get the fillet knife out and sit on down and get busy once again."

Jeff came really prepared. He brought a kitchen garbage can sized plastic bag. And when it was all over the bottom of that bag was a foot deep in fillets.

"And like sands through the hour glass, these are the best days in Capt Dave's life."

(Jeff, Harry...hand me some more of that yellow Chinese Mustard, please??)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

10/15 - 6 foot tide and a N.E. breeze

Not a bad day at all.....Had Dave C. on the boat again, with friend/relative Ron and his wife.

Dave's still all full of the memories of the Yellowmouth Trout slaughter we had back in September. Which was really fun, but it was only after a morning hunt for big Specks that really didn't pan out.

Although they too, are Trout they are not what I'm normally hunting. Stronger, meaner, and willing to chew many times when the Specks aren't, sure does make them pretty desirable. Dave C. says, loves 'em.

We left the dock and headed to where we caught some decent keepers in the gale force winds on Monday. They caught some Trout, but we only "boxed" 2 - 16 inchers.

So we moved on. The wind in the river was not all that strong, but the jetties were a mess. So we stayed comfortably in the "hub". And with the tide still pouring in real strong, started catching a mix of Specks and Yellowmouths.

There was many 14 inch Specks, and small yellowsmouths. But the fish were coming to the boat one after another. I stood by Net ready!

Here's what I mean....
By 10:30am we had almost run right through 12 DOZEN

Holy crap....

FYI: The new policy is, when I bring that many shrimp and they are burned up early.

We head back to the dock. I bring more than enough shrimp. There's no way I can account for how many get used "not" catching a fish!

OR: I will give you the option to pay more for your charter, and I'll bring some many we'll have them left in the livewell at the end of the trip.

At dead high slack water I insisted it be lunch time, break time, whatever... Just so no more shrimp were used up during a super non-fish catching stage of the tide.

In Louisiana, they say, catch a limit of Specks and Reds....trips over, time to head in. Well, this ain't Louisiana. So my rule will be use all the bait, playing feed the bait stealers? Time to head in.

So after a 10 minute break for lunch a stop at the boat ramp for a rest room break, we moved on to try a different spot at the absolute first of the falling tide current. Two Jacks and a Mangrove Snapper, no trout. So we picked up and headed to where we caught Trout earlier, but now had maybe 2 dozen shrimp left. So while Ron and his wife float-rigged, Dave and I dropped bottom rigs with cut Croaker and caught more Yellowmouths, and a Black Drum.

We finished up the day with no shrimp, used a whole Croaker for small pieces of cut bait, used every shrimp that died. And left for the boat ramp to clean 1-Drum, 8-Specks, and 9-Yellowmouth.

So that goes to show ya, how many fish we released, lost, and how many bait stealers were fed.
I kinda blame fishing the mega- incoming full moon tide.
But, the wind wasn't all that bad, it was warm and sunny. Water temp. 76 degrees.

I'll be at it again tomorrow with another regular customer, Jeff P. and his dad. Always fun to fish with.