I was out on Monday and had plans to find and connect with a big Speckled Trout. We'll I only caught two Specks all day, so my plan was a bust.
It really sucked. I didn't want Yellowmouths, but caught 3 of them. Didn't want a Sheepshead, but caught two of them. I did want a nice cooker size Black Drum...and on my first cast at the spot where I shouted to a friend next to me, "I'm gonna get a Black Drum here". I did!!
As soon as my bait hit the bottom. And it was monster at, 13 inches. Then, every Black Drum after that looked very much like a Croaker. So I picked up and moved on.
You can get the drift of how my day went.....
And for some reason, only a magic 8-ball might be able to answer why the Specks were absent along the jetties.....yeah absent, after my slaughter just days before. That's the wonderful thing about them Specks. Their like woman, their sensitive, soft, and if you find a group of good looking ones willing to play, you're one happy man! They're pure predators. Not grazers, or nose down root-around'ers looking for just anything to eat. And because the really "good looking ones" in the 24 plus inch range are not always easy to find or catch. That is what keeps me in high pursuit all year long.
You also know it's really winter time when while bouncing the jetty rocks, when you start catching these....
It's a HAKE.
And I only catch them in deep winter.
I've read that they are edible..."yeah and so is a Ladyfish!"
So with a forecast like today's, and again no one willing to go when the weather's perfect. I took off about 11am myself.
Yes, it was just another glorious winter day. Bright blue skies, brisk air, with hardly a breeze. And a good tide.
Day's like today are all I can think about in mid-July as I'm watching John & Joan Doe from Minnesota sweat while just breathing. And slathering on the goopy sun screen on to their day glow legs.
I started off on a spot I figured would be ass to elbows full of Trout. Because of all the tiny ribbonfish that were dancing across the surface, as the birds chased them. But I only caught two.
I may have been a bit early on the tide. So off I went, in search of happier hunting grounds.
If I was a really clever potential charter customer. I'd book the day before most big time Holidays. Every ones either busy or stuck at that "work party", where inevitably the punch bowl gets heavily spiked, the fudge is too sweet and by the time you get home, the couch ends up being where you spend the rest of the day.
That right there is a pearl folks....If only someone would ever ask me, "when is the best time to go fishing, during the Holidays?"
My next locale was a absolute no brainer, for me. I pulled up and commenced to whackin them.
Specks to 21", Sheepshead to 5 pounds, monster-sized Croakers 15 inches, until I remembered I only brought 5 dozen shrimp. And still had a few other spots to scope out before, the BIG WEEKEND HOLIDAY trips.
So I actually left them chewin'.
I headed east naturally...had to see if those jetty Trout still had "lock-jaw". It was beautiful out there.
It's getting close to that time of year I'll actually venture out offshore to do my annual Seabassin' trip. I only need some December fog, to make that trip complete. Light Tackle Seabassin'. It's not anything fancy. A bag of "cuttlefish" and a few Trout rods. No plans on any Grouper or Snapper.....legal ones, I mean. I'll low ball it, and then I'll never be disappointed, is my theory.
If I go for Seabass, and catch a legal Grouper or Snapper, it's gravy on top of my biscuit!
I remember, not all that long ago when Seabass was one of those no limit fish. I'd grab my ole buddy Joe Caramelli aka: "Brooklyn Joe", (rest his soul) and we'd fill my 186 qt. SSI cooler. Then spend the next day ass deep in a Seabass filleting project, and oh the fish fry we'd have. I guess it's the same thing people do with that 15 Sheepshead limit..."spend hours on top of hours the next day cleaning all of them." These days I'm glad for a 10 per person at 12" limit on Seabass. Maybe this year they'll be alot bigger fish?
The falling tide was about over at the jetties. But I worked a small area and found them Specks willing and able until the tide turned and then I headed in to clean my limit of (5).
I timed this photo. Waiting till that Crowley barge was right behind me. I like to show my friends on aluminum
alloy boats.com , pics like this one.
It's a METAL thing....