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.
WHY ARE YOU MISSING THIS?
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.
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
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??)