Wednesday, December 31, 2008

12/31 - New year's items for sale....



You may have noticed the new items I have for sale on the side bar of this blog. Click on link to view details of each.

4- Shimano Tekota 300 Level wind reels: Retail for $139.00 to $159 each.

Great reels, Shimano quality. Good "float-rigging" or light bottom fishing reels.

I've used them maybe 3-4 times. Perfect condition. Buy all 4 for $390 or each at $100.
SAVE!!!!!!!!! $$$$

4- Shimano Trevala "casting" Butterfly jigging rods 6'6" two are Med. Heavy, and two are Medium action. Used three times. Like brand new. Super light tackle offshore butterfly jigging rods, (but can also be used for inshore bottom fishing) can handle jigs to 5 -6oz. and sinker the same. Snapper, Grouper, and AJ's don't stand a chance!

Unbelievable rods for river bottom fishing BIG Reds and Sheepshead too. The jigging "ARC" of these rods is a blast, but has the backbone to put a whoop-ass on big fish, believe me!

$75.00 each. $300 for all 4.
Retail for $100.00, everywhere!

Match up with a Tekota 300 and you'll have one great bottom rig for the river and light offshore.
-Jigging accessories, misc. jigs:
Whole box of 5 oz. Squid shaped jigs, assist hooks, Braid jigs, River2Sea, and others in a Daiwa jig case. Jig Case alone is a $50 item. Priced to sell $100.00




-would rather not have to ship.

local purchase is best.

Keeps your costs low.


12/29 & 30 - Jetty Trickery!!!!!


Okay, after a day that the fish were on the "feed bag" (Sunday, 12/28) I was so confident about (Monday 12/29's) charter with Peter and Valerie. Because like a good fishing guide I scouted and researched everything that we needed to do, so Peter and Valerie could wack'em and stack'em on Monday.


But Momma Nature had other plans for me.

We leave promptly and head straight for the jetties. Perfect incoming tide, I set up, get them going on the float-rig and NADA, ZERO, NOTHING.....not a single bite!!!!!!

"WHAT?? After Sunday's wackage with DOA Rob, we can't even get a bite, now??"
There was something in the breeze, the sky, something! I couldn't put a finger on it, but something felt different. It was my "Spidey Sense" trying to clue me in, I'm sure. And as I say all the time it's just a feeling I get. After all, I know my rocks! And I wasn't alone. DOA Rob came on out to the jetties too, and wasn't catching anything like we did the day before, either.

Great tide, low winds, weekday, it didn't matter. I believed it to be a Barometer thing!
So we continued working the area hard. Still nothing. So I made a move.
And that's when I picked up a rod and along with Peter and Valarie, I worked the rocks.

My dad has on saying when he does go fishing with me, which isn't very often....."If Dave ain't catchin', how am I supposed too?"

And Pop is right! I am your ringer. Hell, I know every trick and niche in the rocks we're fishing. And if I don't get bit, there's a huge problem!

Eventually, I got bit on this spot, and handed the rod over to Valarie and Peter. So they could at least get acclimated to what it feels like to have one hooked up.

And as you can see, one of the Trout was a "stud" and the other was just a good box fish.

It was time to make a big move! A zip code change was in order. By now my senses were telling me to vacate this area, and fast!

I ran up river and went to a super go-to spot.
If we can't get bit here, we can't get bit anywhere!
But it was slow going......

The tide wasn't exactly right. But we waited it out. And here came the "spidey sense" conformation. THE FRONT, that was fore casted!

The wind started blowing about 20 knots, the sky darkened to the west. But as the tide fell, we started catching fish. At first it was Trout, then a Black Drum, and then big Croakers, and then a Sheepshead. Peter and Valarie were really getting the hang of it, and the fish box started looking alot better. The wind was howling as we left out of the spot with a decent box of fish, and the westward sky said it all! I now knew exactly why the jetties had turned off, compared to yesterday. HERE CAME THE WEATHER CHANGE, that was predicted to happen. Which shut down the jetties. As the wind blew from the west, the air temp must have changed 15 degrees. It got down right COLD!

I failed to get any more photos of the day, because I didn't want to pause for one second as they were catching finally. But, I pulled it out. Just as I had on the 24th, when the same thing happened to us, when I had the two Glenn's out with me. We put some good fish in the box!

That's the thing about this season. When the weather comes blowing in, the first place to shut down seems to be the Jetties. The fish are there, I don't think they go anywhere. But the bite shuts down. And since I fished on Sunday with DOA Rob, that's the day they put on the "feed bag", before the front came through. It all was making a lot of sense!!



So. what to do on Tuesday the 30th?? I picked up Bob and Jim at Sisters Creek boat ramp at 8am. The tide was already flooding. "Well, let's see if they are still not biting at the jetties."

I have in the past went back the day after and the bite was back on heavy. So on an incoming tide, I didn't have much of a selection at my disposal.

SAME DEAL....we fished and fished, and had no Trout, Reds, or even Sheepshead bites as we float-rigged the rocks. So I picked up my rod, and made a few drifts. BAM!!!!!!!

Right next to the boat I hook up a 22-1/2" Trout! Then, 15 minutes go by and Bob hooks up finally. An exact duplicate Speck at 22-1/2 inches. "So they are here, just like yesterday. But the bite isn't really on..."

Then, Jim hangs a nice Flounder along the rocks. And later I catch a small Yellow
mouth Trout. And that's it! We make a move, back to our first spot, as the tide slows. We have two beautiful Trout and a Flounder, now let's try for our SLAM. We need a Redfish. The guys work and work, no one around us is catching anything. The poppin' cork's are all over the place. I look at all the boats, and laugh when I see a poppin' cork, because a shrimp fished a foot deep isn't going to cut it. Finally, Bob hooks a Red! A good keeper size at 22". WE DID IT! We got a "slam" at the jetties, and it only took 4 hours! The bite here is still obviously off, and really hasn't changed.

I'm looking for a lot more action than this. It's a blue-bird day. Not a cloud in the sky, and slick seas and no wind. But no real change in the fish attitude.

The tide slowed up and I needed a falling tide to go work the river. So as the tide changed we again...
changed Zip Codes.

I ran up river. Stopped at one spot, caught a bluefish and a small Speck. And kept moving.

Then hit the Little Jetties, and caught one 18" Speck there. Looks like each spot is going to throw us one fish. So we moved on again.

Next spot, a few small trout. And then Bob's micro- speckled trout.

I was waiting for the tide to get lower, so I could hit the spot that Peter & Valarie caught their fish on.

We made a move after a few small fish. And went there. The tide was low, but the current was really slow. We caught a few Croakers, but the Specks were absent. We worked the whole area for only a few small Trout and Mangrove snappers. And decided to call it a day and head back to clean our catch.

So there ya have it.

The jetty bite was "balls to the wall" when I was out on the 26th, and the 29th. And then, it died, because of the weather change. It was down right cold as hell this morning, compared to later in the week.

The consistent thing is that it's inconsistent! Yep, that's N.E. Florida in the winter. But, no matter what we caught some fish, everyone had a great time, learned a ton of information. And had more than enough for a healthy fish fry on New Years day.

But ya'll know me. I'm happiest when it's an all out fish fest, float's are disappearing left and right, no one has to work at it very hard.....I guess we all like it like that, huh?

Here's a few photo's taken by friend and fellow blogger, Ron Brooks of ABOUT.COM.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

12/28 - Corkin' all day long...

Met with buddy D.O.A Rob at the "clubhouse" yesterday, (the China Buffet for lunch). And we planned to go fishing together in his boat this time. I at the same time got to go do some R&D prior to this weeks charters. Rob dislikes Sunday's, as do I. But what ya gonna do? It's so nice on the water when its 80 degrees in December. So we headed out around 7:30am.

I'll keep this short and sweet because, I'm starving! Dinner's cookin'!!
But I'm compelled to always get these reports up after they happen.
This is WHY it's so important to me:
Capt. Dave,
I found your site a month ago googling and I really want to say Thank you!
My wife 2 sons and I moved here from Cleveland, OH 5 yrs ago to OP. We bought a 20' SeaFox Typhoon deck boat 90HP and have a blast catching scallops in Steinhatchee. Our sons 8 and 6(Downs Syndrome) have been disappointed with "dear old Dad" not being able to catch fish with them. 3 weeks ago you got me off the hook with them.
We went to the Jeddys for the first time. Inside North wall and brought home 2 trout and 2 sheepshead. The next weekend was bad weather and did not catch anything, but thats fishing.
We really enjoy your blogs and Thank you again.
I will always refer your charter when asked.
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
-Ron, Bethany, Hunter and Dylan

Redbass, A LOT OF THEM...everywhere we went! No less than 20 of them. All sizes, from 16" to 29". Lot's of slot size Redbass, everywhere.

Sheepshead, 2 or 3 up to 7 way our target species. Just by-catch.

Speckled Trout, "our targeted species". at least 25-30. Multiple limits of keepers, some throwbacks too. We only kept ones that were "very" worthy, up to 20". No wallhangers. ROB REALLY NEEDED A SUPER SOW....but it always turned out to be a Redbass, every time he thought he had one hooked up.

Yellowmouth Trout, 2 in the right spot, wrong time.

Bluefish, 2 micro-sizers.

I almost forgot how a 17 footer bounces around like a cork, in the slop. Rob's boat is set up for him to perfectly do his solo DOA Shrimp casting. I was like a large container of ballast for him today. And had to catch myself a few times as we pitched and rolled differently than in my boat.

I did get to sit in an actual pedestal chair either on the bow deck or behind the console. I never sit anywhere while fishing in my boat. But we both "needed too" today, in a few "big swell" spots we anchored on.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

12/26 - Day #2 of the year!

Day #2, is what I call December 26th. It's the second most popular fishing day in this area. The first is the day after Thanksgiving.

So, smartly Phil C. from N.C. called me about a month ago to book his trip with his two son's and his brother Mike, who lives locally. (all holiday weeks, minimum 2 weeks to 30 days advance notice please.)

I didn't have the best feeling in the world. Because just two days prior on Dec. 24th my jetties were absent of all Trout bites, let along catching anything else on the ole Float.

But, on the 24th it was nasty....sloppy and windy out yonder. And around noon after much defeat, I had to put some miles between the nasty inlet and our next spot. And I found them, and my guys Glenn Sr. & Glenn Jr. had a good time filling the fish box.

I told Phil lets do a 9am departure. So for me that meant leaving my house before 7am just to be able to get into B&M bait and tackle to get shrimp and ice, and aquire a parking spot at the Mayport boat ramp. So I sat around for 2 hours tied to the dock. No one thinks about all that....the hours that go into just getting there on holidays. But I have to do what I gotta do.

The guys came down early, and we took off. Very Slowly! The fog was thick. It would be slow going. So I gambled and headed for the BIG ROCKS.

And once I pulled up and dropped my anchor we never went anywhere else for 6 hours!

It was slick calm, no real current to speak of (day before the new moon) and we commenced to WHACKIN THEM!!!

Two rods only, was the rule. I'll do the casting. Phil & Mike and the boys just switch off rods every once in awhile.

The first cast I made, showing the boys what to do, the float went down and the look on everyones face was, shock!! I.G. -instantaneous gratification , a 5 pound Sheepshead.

Then, the next drift, Yellow
and Specks from the minute they
hooked the first one till the last fish
of the day.

We were sitting in the middle of a FISH RIOT!

I was baiting, casting, coaching, netting, tying, un- hooking, taking photos for hours. It just blew me away what a difference a day can make. When there's no wind, heavy fog, and slick water.

They were catching Trout as fast as we could get a spunky live shrimp in the water.
Big ones, small ones and everything in between. But we only kept just enough for a fish fry.

Letting the first Sheepshead go, and most of the Trout. Then, it was Phil's (dad) turn. He set the hook on a big fish. A 7+ pound Sheepshead. "We'll keep this one!"

Everyone got their fair share of rod time. And I was so glad it wasn't rough, and windy and foggy too. Because that sure would have made for all together different fishing experience for these 4 guys.

The weather gods were shining on me, for once. I'm usually pretty nervous on 4 passenger charters. "Will there be enough activity for everyone, if it's rough it will make it a big problem, etc."
Today, I was breathing a sigh of relief. And was so happy for the day we were having.

The fog would come and go, but never completely went did it go away. The river remained covered up, so I was glad I didn't have to do much traveling.

The only time I pulled anchor was to re-set it for the change of tide.

The fish box was looking pretty good. But we still needed a larger Speck and a Redbass. So it was just myself and the two boys in the back of the boat. I told them, "let me make a cast for you one at a time. I think I can get you a bigger fish right up in there....." And I pitched the float. Two seconds later the float went down, I reeled a little and handed the rod to one of them. It was a Redbass! Yep, just what I had planned on.

Damn, it's great to know exactly when, where and how to find the perfect fish sometimes. It turned out to be a perfect 25" Redbass. Just what we needed. The "Jettywolf" could smell one up in the rocks! I knew it was there.

Okay, now we need a larger Trout.

So I did the same thing. I made a cast up in the rocks, coached one of the boys, the float went down, and he caught the largest Speck of the day
a beautiful 20 incher.

It was warm, slick and wonder the boat ramp parking lot looked like a Walmart on dollar day. But what made it nice was the fog. Most everyone was just motoring around slowly. You have to be nuts to go balls to the wall anywhere in that pea soup. While ships passed us by fog horns blarring, and you could only see a faint hint that they were even there.

This whole weekend is supposed to be beautiful.
And I'm sort of glad my next days out are the 29th and 30th.

Maybe I won't have to leave my house 2 hours earlier than need be. Since from my driveway to B&M bait and tackles driveway is only 4 minutes, and I'm only 5 minutes from the boat ramp, also.

It's GO-TIME, folks......
Don't ask me about this kind of action come JULY!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

12/24 - SWELL, fishin'

Had the two Glenn's out on Christmas eve. Glenn Sr. & Glenn Jr. T.
Two really great guys. Fun to have aboard and patient....and they needed to be!!

They wanted to learn more about float-rig fishing. And believe me that got all the time they needed to practice!


We fished the good the bad and the ugly. Areas that had fish a few days ago were now either devoid of all Trout or they were there, but just not hungry. I'd figure they were sea sick, from the SWELL. Yeah, the east swell formed by Mondays 20-25 kt winds and then the 15-20 knot east winds on Tuesday.

We were, of course originally scheduled to go on Tuesday the 23rd. And when they said, "Christmas eve was is okay for us, Dave", I was soo happy! I'm getting tired of juggling days around.

You cannot even imagine how hard I worked to get them on something out there. While they learned the ins & outs of fishing the float-rig. Oh, that 10-15 knot south wind that was fore casted for the 24th.....yeah, that came gusting inland around 10-11am. And certainly wasn't any 10-15 knots. as usual. By the afternoon, at the jetties the wind wasn't howling at all. It was a big time LAND breeze, that's all. But because of the early in the week winds, the inlet was a soup sandwich, again.

It was noon, and we had about zero bites and nothing in the box.
Even I pitched out surveying the grounds. And I maybe had one Sheepshead nip a shrimp off.
Our shrimp were dieing on the hook.....from boredom, I kept repeating to the Glenn's.
Remember.....from the article in the newspaper;
"It's the Zen of the float upon which I can pontificate for hours - and often will. The float has history, pedigree and finesse...... It's a sure-fire bet for the pilgrim in the boat. At the same time, it's a deadly tactic for the true believer and strict practitioner of the religion called float fishing." -Jim Sutton, Florida Times Union

So it was time to change zip codes!
My "Zen", was getting depressed, my finesse wasn't working, and my pedigree was going to the dogs!

So we made a trek up river about 8 miles. Got on a spot and instantly I went from a zero to a hero. The two Glenn's were pulling in some small Trout. And on Glenn Sr.'s third fish he scored a 4 pounder! Then, Glenn Jr. scored a 3 pounder.

What is this whoey I always hear about, if you're catching 14" trout, that you'll probably not catch any big ones? Hell, I told the guys that this was a BIG trout spot or nothing most of the time. And they proved me wrong by catching numerous small ones here instead. Along with some serious "boxers".

Then we picked up some really big Croakers. Damn, the Croak's are still here too? 12-14" Croaker's are fun to catch especially on the float-rig. I couldn't help myself. I had to pitch on in too. And on my first drift boxed a perfect 19 incher along with a Croak and small Redbass.

The box went from dead empty to full in a matter of an hour. We stayed, even though the two Glenn's were supposed to be at some "Christmas get-together" by then. "We like catching fish instead", they said.

Didn't get to do a lot of picture taking. Because I wanted lines in the water as much as we could. So no stopping for a pose with the fish when they looked "pretty".

We finished up the day on this same spot, never moving. Between the three of us we probably had 15 or more Trout and five Croakers and the small Redbass, and one token Mangrove Snapper. (they're still around too.)

I pulled out another one, here in Bazzaro World, Jax. Fla. Where no day is ever the same and nothing is ever constant.
On the 26th, I have a family of 4 and that includes two young boys. If it's like I think it's going to be
it'll be, wall to wall boats and people everywhere.
Everyone got a new boat or fishing rod for Christmas.
I'm sure it won't be an easy day, the high tide is late in the morning. Hope there's a parking spot left at the boat ramp!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

12/23 - Thanks Jim...

I'd like to thank Jim Sutton of the Florida Times Union newspaper for the great article in the Sunday (12/21) "outdoors" section of the paper.

"ya just won't believe how long that article, or our day on the water took, to get right."

If you didn't see or read it, Jim pretty much hit the nail on the head!
And damn we caught some seriously fine "jetty" specks that day. All in one spot!

Many of my tackle secrets are out'a the bag, now......but, I still have a few things (tackle items) that I've kept to myself. Already getting emails about the Salmon Stalker Floats, too.

I guess that will be good for Premier Plastics Inc. But not me...they don't do anything for me.
(Best place to purchase is Cabela's.)

One thing that he or we didn't touch on is that when you see someone like myself wackin the fatties along the rocks, breaking out your poppin' cork, or Cajun Thunder thing, isn't going to be the same.

We have a saying on my boat;

(these are not float-rigs)
Were referring to people in other boats, that may think that's it's all about some kind of float.

When it really has to do with "where" your bait is, depth wise.

I love the float-rig because my people can fish the rocks and not be hung up every two seconds.

And they don't have to feel a bite, all they have to do is not see their float any longer and just reel, and they'll have the fish. Be it a Redbass, Trout, Sheepshead, or whatever.

I'm not a trolling motor kinda guy either....I'm an "ANCHORER" . Back when I had three boats at one time (aptly named: "my 3 wives") I did the trolling motor deal up and down the jetty rocks. And it was quite tiring. So I went back to the basics, when I gave all that up. "I always loved fishing my cork."

Well, talked to today's customers and decided to try it Wednesday instead of today in the predicted EAST 15 knots. Wednesday is suppose to be warmer anyhow with a south Breeze!

One thing about winter that gets old is the juggling of people and fish'able days. I'm used to it. And it seems to be a huge part of my job this time of year.

One thing that Jim said in the article that's oh so true is,


How 'bout years, at a thousand words at a time. Right here on my REPORTS BLOG.


Here's Jim's article: "JUST DON'T CALL IT A BOBBER"


Monday, December 22, 2008

12/22 - Its back to being a.....

Well. looks like we're back to being a winter wonderland (for Florida that is).
I broke out the fully insulated Dikies coveralls for this mornings charter.

-when I drag these outa the closet, ya know it's a frost bite kinda morning!!

But we didn't go. Bob and I met at B&M bait and tackle this morning, to just check. I was supposed to show up with the boat and then check the ramp weather, but heck with that. It's down right chilly out there...and the SCA-small craft advisory isn't wasn't all that welcoming. NE 20-25 kts.

So we backed up Bob's charter till April, when he'll be back in J-ville, from N.C.

I was so looking forward to another one man trip. They're usually pretty damn good.

So now all I have to do is worry about tomarrow with a two man trip and east winds instead.
We'll see what today brings. And I'll be studying the weather.

High East winds on a falling tide, isn't all that good for anyone. Especially me!!

So as the saying goes "pack up yer squeeze toys Farful" -Sienfeld 1993

It's gonna get interesting.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

12/21 - Bitchin about wind and weekends

Good gawd was that west wind a killer, today. Had Keith K. his dad and Keith's 7 year old boy, on board. I was either last Sunday in the nasty 20+ knot Noreast winds, or wait till today and try it. Keith I hope you don't gamble much. I know I don't. I have plenty of vices, but two that don't interest me is Gambling and Alcohol. One leaves me with empty pockets and the other gives me a huge headache.

If I want those same symptoms, all I have to do is say "Let's try next Sunday instead", to a customer on the phone.

We left out around 8am. And picked and poked around. I had to first make sure everyone understood the "float". I didn't get to fish where I wanted too, and one of those spots was rough as a C-O-B.

And that's where the first part of "Dave's 6 hour challenge" came to be. "ANCHORING."

It wasn't like, I wasn't gonna at least try fishing in the rough stuff. I always do, so why should this be different. But that west 20+ knot winds was whoopin my ass. I couldn't get close enough to the spot, so my crew didn't have to cast 50 feet, (even if they could.)

I went to pull the anchor on my last attempt to get it right and bent the stock on my fluke style anchor into a pretzel. The ole welded cast aluminum cleats on the boat don't have any give. And the boat lurched around in a swell and that's all she wrote. Bent anchor!

"Okay, I give up"....I said. Which brings me to a good point. I'll anchor about anywhere in any seas. And I'll give it up to three tries. What can happen? Failure? But sometimes it all works out, and we sit there wackin the fatties with no one around.

What the worse thing that could happen, hitting the jetty rocks?

The last day that was evidence of "just giving it try", despite the 4 footers hitting us sideways was when Jeff W. caught these two trout back to back. Six and seven pounds! But we were also lacking a 7 year old.

We left and I was defeated. And with a pretzel
anchor that wouldn't hold my boat in a duck pond with 20 knots of west wind, let alone the St. Johns River. So I ran back to the boat ramp and got a new anchor rigged up.

Had another die off of live shrimp too, so half of the original 10 dozen were now dead. But I don't think we'd be in any jeopardy of using them all up.
We got on a spot and lil' Luke caught some Speckled Trout, along with grandpa' and dad.

Keith said, "this boy will grab any kind of bug he can get his hands on." But holding up a Trout for a photo was something that just wasn't something he wanted to do without lot's of prodding.

We tried a few more spots looking for a decent bite of fish, got yelled at by an angry dock owner, caught a few more Trout, and then got run back to the dock by a 15 degree temperature drop and 50 MPH gusting winds, as a band of clouds with what looked like pouring rain behind them.

I put the boat on the trailer as it hit. But no real rain came our way.

I went through A-Z today...just another blustery weekend day on the river.

I'M MOANIN' & GROANIN'....can ya tell?

Now, I have Bob J. booked for tomarrow - forecast:
Oh great!!!! The winds don't lay down till Christmas eve or Christmas day.

Then, to add insult to injury is my Tuesday charters Forecast:

TUESDAY: EAST WINDS 15 KNOTS. SEAS 2 TO 4 FEET. INLAND WATERS A MODERATE CHOP. East.... "straight down the pike", I guess we won't make it the jetties?

Looks like a bit of "Chinese Yellow Mustard" in the forecast to me...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

12/20 - Isn't this wonderful???

Damn I like December. It's usually like this. WARM and NICE, I mean.
December isn't much different than November, really....just closer to real nasty weather, and that's called FEBRUARY!

Just think folks, this could be YOUR world:

Instead, we're out fishing and having a ball. Actually Friday I went all the way down to the backwoods of Citra Florida to buy some "clumping" Bamboo ( for my back yard jungle I'm designing, and on the way back picked up some nice citrus trees in Waldo to add to the backyard also. More plants mean less "weeds" to mow, right?

This could be your winter fishing boat, right here:

Hell with fishin', riding in that thing looks like too much fun to me! Especially on ice!

(at least it's aluminum!)

Yeah, even in S.E. Georgia..........I mean N. E. Florida we certainly can't bitch that bad about the weather. I know I moan and groan about high winds, but at least I'm fishin'. I could be (not really) standing on a frozen lake next to a tent and my ice air boat. Instead of sitting here in a t-shirt, shorts and Crocs giving you something to read at work.

I know I sometimes look like this out there.....

and it's only because
I'm not further south.

But then again,
this is the best of the best
fishing season, during the fall/winter/ spring.

So I guess we're lucky.

I can live with Jacksonville's bad case of "Urban Cancer". I really got a dose of seeing it yesterday as we drove outa here. I've lived with not enough boat ramps, and no fish cleaning tables, for so long I'm used to it all by now. But, I believe we could all agree that it's all worth it...Cuz, I'd rather be on the water than on land anyhow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

12/16 - Vortex of reverse gravitation and FOG

Had Kent & Jacob B. out fishing today........or do I even say "out fishing"? Because, I was thinking for quite a while that it was just an exercise in futility!!

For starters. THE F-O-G. The first of the season. Wouldn't be December, if we didn't have some of it. Damn, it made for slow going. I'm only traveling a few miles, I know. But don't forget I'm really IMPATIENT!

We get to the jetties, (where I wanted to fish) and the seas were 4 footers folding over, with white water. Just for added excitement. NO BIGGY....the "JettyWolf's boat", can take it.....But can we? Standing was a real problem. Yeah, that simple endeavor was very hard to do. But believe it or not, we tried it.....for a very short time. And received ZERO bites.

Can fish even swim along the jetty rocks in a white water folding swell like this? Is what I was thinking. Hmmm, maybe we ought to come on back later. It was exactly the same thing yesterday when DOA Rob and I were out here. Damn , I figured it might have laid down a bit.
Add in the fog and we have ourselves a true "Chinese yellow mustard" , kinda day here.
(Chinese yellow mustard isn't's exciting!)

All this was well and good, till I stuck my hand down in the bottom of my live well, because I was wondering why my 10 dozen shrimp weren't swimming around. And when I did they were all
D-E-A-D, laying on the bottom of the well. HOLY CRAP!!!!!! What the... *%!*@@!!!&*?

So I jumped on the phone and called the bait shop. And being the best best bait shop in Jax. Rusty, of B&M ran down to the boat ramp with 10 more dozen to me. And we made the slow ride back to the dock in the fog, loosing precious time.

Some thing was wrong. So we changed out the water in my well, which was only bait shop water originally. And I kept close attention to my "ICU" - intensive care unit, like I needed more to pay attention too today! Rusty didn't know what was wrong, either....

Okay, now we're back along the rocks. And we try a easier place to anchor and fish. But the fish didn't care. We received zero bites, until I was drifting into the jetty rocks and started the motor and moved away. And that's when Kent gets a small "potato chip" Flounder. FISH #1.

And I think we've been at this for hours now. So we move on. Back to the SLOP we go, where the fish have been. The currents fading, which meant the heinous swell was also fading. It's not "folding over" anymore. So we tried it. And the guys caught some small 14" sized Specks.

I the looked down the jetties and saw the big swell just go away totally. Which is about the same thing I experienced yesterday with Rob. So we moved to a better spot.

And here is where we sat, and started catchin! Hell, we never even had to leave the ramp till 11am, if this is the way it was going to be. The fog lifted, the sun came out, it warmed up and FINALLY, all was well in Dave land. The shrimp all of sudden came to life, and were swimming in the livewell, now. WOW...what was the deal?

Were we caught in a vortex of gravitational Earth fog and reverse rotation, the likes of planet Nebulon, or something? hahahahah....

In between some small Trout, I picked up my rod and on my 3rd drift of my float-rig set the hook on a nice "box" Redbass at 24". "Okay, on!" I said.

Then, the guys started on the Specks.....then had a double header.

They weren't keeping a whole bunch of fish today, but that didn't mean we didn't have plans of not catching a whole bunch of fish today. They wanted enough to take to Singleton's Seafood Shack for dinner. And that started to happen real quick!

I wanted someone besides me to catch a big Redbass. Because all I was doing was surveying the drift of the float-rig and hopefully enhance the looks of the fish box at that moment.

But I didn't have to wait long........

Jacob, set the hook on this beauty of a multi-spotter with the blue tail.
That was around 25 inches.

Then, he set the hook on this 12 pounder. And it really kicked some butt.
While he was fighting this one his dad landed a few trout.

Wheww...what a day, huh? I always say; "Like sands through the hour glass, these are the days of Dave's life."

We then ran out of time. Mom was coming to pick them up at the boat ramp. So I cleaned, filleted, and skinned 3 Trout and a Redbass for them to take to Singletons. I hope all worked out for them, and they had a pleasant dinner of eating their catch. I believe, that's a great way to end a day of fishing.

I thanked the guys for being so patient, on a day like this. And Kent said, "they're fisherman, they understand fishing". It's fine folks like these, that make my job a bit easier when the going gets tough. I just wanted them to know, I appreciated it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

12/15 - Droopy flag day!

Had buddy D.O.A. Rob out with me today for a bit of R&D - "research & development", because after this weekends blow, and the ocean being all stirred up. I wanted to go see what the scoop was.

And Rob is in a on-line tournament and needed a larger Trout to enter. The tournament is an open tournament, and he can fish bait, lures, and on any boat. I told him that I've been catching some seriously large Speckled Trout before the blow, and he maybe able to get a whopper, out on the BIG water. So we went to kill two birds with one stone, and left around 8am, today.

It was over-cast, with no wind. Hence, the droopy flag over at the bar pilots building adjacent the boat ramp parking lot. But the water was soupy, dirty, and had loads of left over slop & chop in it.

On the first spot, on my first shrimp I had what ended up being the largest Trout of the day, at 21 inches.
We got into a bit of everything, from Trout, Redbass, Sheepshead, Black Drum, and a few Yellowmouth Trout, through out the day.

And explored many areas, and had to wait for a few to calm down. Because a few were really nasty, as the tide flooded.

No where was it absolutely gang-busters, at first.
Some spots were a fish here and a fish there.

And Rob went literally hours and didn't even catch a Speckled trout at all, even though he float fished all day along with me. With only a few casts of his trusty DOA shrimp. But he hung Drum, Reds that handed him his butt, and Sheepshead, at first.

But as the tide slowed, we ended up getting on the fish pretty damn good. Wow, that weekend wind must have been wicked. I wouldn't know, I stayed home. And recommended to one caller, that it wasn't the kind of weekend at the jetties for a small child, let alone adults. Let's try it next Sunday, I urged.

K.O.D. - (Kiss O' Death) is what I assumed it might have been like....incoming full moon tide and NE winds at 20 knots??? You tell me, because I don't want to fish in that, anywhere. I don't usually do well in that situation.

But today, it all worked out for Rob and I.

And we ended up with great action on some spots, and others were just dead, especially when it came too really big Trout. All were nice fish, but not GATORS. Which Rob needed. And we caught at least 30. And kept only the best ones.

There is no doubt about it. The fish were still there...just scattered. You would be too in that soup sandwich.
The falling tide bite was dead. We tried 3-4 spots and had zero. Which was not really surprising. These full moon tides are bazarro world as far as I'm concerned. But we ended up wackin more Trout after an extensive search during the ebb, in a spot where the tide was actually slow.

I love this time of year, so much. I could fish like this every day. Too bad we have seasons....
I suppose there's no place that is perpetually no bait stealer's, and just loads of Trout and Redbass. Or is there....??

Stay tuned I'll be
out with a new crew
on Wednesday.