Friday, January 30, 2009

1/30 - OUT WITH A B-A-N-G!

Rescheduled yesterday because of the rain, dark skies, cold and wind.
So Dave C. and I went today instead in the dark skies, wind, cold, but we had hope it would still be better than yesterday.


I talked to Dave last night and said, Let's give Friday a try...he hemmed and hawed. "Maybe we could go Sunday if we go early, he said". Since Sunday's weather report is the best. And then I told him the Trout are closed on Feb. 1st. So he immediately said, "Okay, how bout 8am tomorrow?", I replied, "see ya then".

So off we went at 8am this morning. The boat ramp, which is usually packed on most Friday's was nearly vacant, except for a few Crabbers.

I went up river, made a turn here, a turn there, and pulled up on a spot that wasn't going to be exactly right tide wise, for a few hours. But I was gonna try it anyhow.

Dave baited up, and 3 seconds later caught a small trout!

Then he caught another one. So I pitched out, away from where he just went and my float went down, and his float went down.....double header!
"I guess today it doesn't matter if we're early on the spot", I said.

It was dark, gloomy, cold, and windy.....but really wasn't all that bad. Which was funny....
I've been out catching ZERO, with 4 people on board all starring at me like it was my fault, on days 10 times worse.

We continued catching, and threw 2 or 3 decent fish up to 18" in the fish box. But it was evident as all hell, the fish were coming in small schools into the area. We'd get bit, then it would lay off for awhile, then they'd bite again. No Reds, No Drum. Just Trout. I didn't take any photo's because I really need to protect this little gem of a spot. Incoming high tide areas, real close, are hard to come by.
Here's a rogue Trout that tried to eat Dave's arm while he was fishing.....hahahahah.

The bites really faded, we played with all the Trout we wanted here, so we moved on. And eventually ended up back in the Mayport area hitting a few spots, picking a Trout here and there.

Then, we hit the jetties......"what's that? Is that the sun? Oh it is, I feel it's undeniable warmth and comfort". And right then our day got alot better!

And we also hit a spot where a few larger fish were caught, up to 22 inchers.

It sure did feel good to go out of January with a bang. Now let's see what the first week of March will be like, when my favorite speckley bastards come back into season. I can tell ya that usually it's blowin like all hell and raining. And people like myself and DOA Rob are going nuts, wanting to get back on the bite, and get ready for the big run of spring spawners.
Yeah, we're a different crowd. Most fisherman in these parts fish for Sheepshead. Which brings me to a story..... ya know Sheepshead aren't very well respected in the Gulf Of Mexico states, and especially Texas, "home of whopper sized Trout". So I was doing my moderation duties the other day on and a new member from Texas said, he was into tailing Reds in the shallows, and I asked about the Texas Trout. He replied I also catch some Sheepshead, and keep them for Shark bait. Sitting at my computer reading that comment, I busted out laughing! I thought to myself, "Yep, this fella's a Texan all right."
I replied back to him, that King Mackerel in the summer, and Sheepshead in the winter are KINGS around here.
I like 'em all........but I "love" my BIG SPECKLED TROUT!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

1/29 - So what's the best day? // Experiment over.

Well, obviously today I was supposed to be out at 10am with Dave C. from Virginia Beach. But...we decided to not go in the rain. Good call!

So, here comes some cold weather again, into N.E. Florida. Heck, I don't mind the cold, it's the wind that makes it mesirable. No wind + cold = usually a good day!





But here's the deal......Dave's a Trout man and can be a "keeper man", no problem.
And "as of now" the best day looks like Sunday.....damn the luck!

Here's Dave and I last year.

Me and my buddy, D.O.A. Rob were talking. As long as the Trout are REALLY BIG, we don't mind catch & release. But when ya have those perfect 18-20 inchers...Ohh, that's the tough days, during the Trout closure.

I usually do so well on SuperBowl Sunday's.
And I usually end up going by myself, though.

I'm no football fan. So, here's the deal!


ACT NOW! (904) 642-9546



You may have read awhile ago I gave up on "jetty anchors". Ya know the type, rebar welded into a pipe, four tines that grab and then bend out. The reason I gave up on them, is because I need a big one! And when ya talk big jetty anchor that means one that will hold a 26' boat. Which inturn means it takes up along of space. And if you don't have an anchor locker that's enormous as 99.99% of most boat do not, then it sits on the deck. I have space, but then again I like to carry a regular "Fluke" style anchor were pushin it!

So I cameback to the ole 1/2 -Cinder block method. A throw-back idea from when I used to use 5 holed bricks in my first boat, a 1974 14' Aluma-Craft. But recently on this boat I have now, I ran my anchor chain around the middle of the cinder block. This worked okay, but the pull point was sloppy and it would hold one minute, then pull out of the jetties the next.

So, I kept thinking....what if the point at which I attached my chain was more solid. So I went to the mega-mart and found just what I needed. A 1/2 cinder block, with a slot directly in the middle. "Oh, how the smoke was flowing, now!"

And here's what I came up with. The Jettywolf Industries LLC. "Economy Anchor"

A threaded eye bolt, 2 plate's and a few nuts, made the difference. On a 1/2 rectangular block.

Then, on the end of my anchor chain, I have a S.S. heavy duty Alpine snap, which can snap to either anchor I need to use, the block or the fluke anchor.

If you read the last few reports (where I was messin up the big fattie Trout with Carl, Nick and by myself) These were a few of the days I was using this anchor exclusively. Check it out big time.

It's not a chuck it and forget it anchor, which by the way isn't how you should anchor in the jetty rocks anyway. I see many people walk to the bow of the boat, and chuck the rebar jetty anchors. This is a good way of never seeing it again. Pull up, drop it over the side and let it fall under some sort of command. as the boat drifts back, hold tension, so only the tines catch.

Same deal with the block. It has to wedge between a rock and hard spot down there, which isn't hard to do, now the pull point is secure. I have found, it may take twice to get it stuck right.

This maybe a "my boat size only" deal, and certainly isn't for everyone. I know some folks use a jetty anchor for their main anchor all the time. I did too, when I had a smaller boat. But I found this works good enough to pass on the info.

Plus, it takes up not nearly the room a Jetty anchor uses. Goes down like a "brick", and best thing of all comes out of the jetty rocks with minimal hassles. That's what I like best!

I'll have it tied off to my massive welded cleats, and just drive away. Or if I don't have room to do that, I just get over the top of it, shake it and it pops right out.

For me the pull point, where I snap on the alpine snap, that eye bolt....was the ticket. Running my chain through the middle of the block didn't work as good, for me. So what do I have invested in my "Economy Anchor"?

1/2 cinder block- $1.50 - It's a GREEN anchor...add to the jetty rocks, don't try to drag them off the pile!

Hard ware - $3.00? I believe if I had too, I could maybe break the block and still get my hardware back, leaving the block down there.

I'm not bored.

I'm not rich.

I'm not thrifty.

But I am focused.

Monday, January 26, 2009

1/26 - Record setting day.....beautiful too.

I say this every single year, in January. YOU ARE MISSING IT!
I know, I call January, recovery month. Because of the "holiday's". And Jacksonville in January isn't where everyone runs to, during the winter. "It gets too cold here." Is what I've heard.

But even locals may not know how to go about getting a charter on our river, like I had today. Because you need a flexible schedule. And who today has that?
But I do. So I chartered myself!

But, for someone who has the pick of a day (as do I) this is another time, I live for.

Example: A Monday, preferably after a really nice weekend (this Saturday & Sunday was) and have a Monday forecast that's even better. Because it was foggy....most of the time FOG means calm, and windless. Add all this together plus, I have the pick of all my spots. Because NO one is camping on them.

So this also equals, I get to anchor on areas that are normally way too open to incessant wakes from ships, tugs, and boaters.
Yeah, I had to still keep an eye open for those ship wakes, but in between I got to sit and "R&D" on slick calm waters. It was Glorious!

I only fished 3 or 4 spots. Giving each one a thorough going over. The tides today were PERFECT!

A 4.4 foot falling tide. With a low tide at 2:30 pm, that ran till 5:00 pm near the inlet. As I say, any falling tide less than 4 feet, I don't like. They don't have enough current. Over 5 feet, is too strong. And today was even the new moon. But remember to always take into account (for you local fisherman out there) wind speed & direction, and barometric pressure plays a part in what the end product of what any tide will actually be, when you get out there.

I did not even leave the house till 10:00 am, because I wanted to fish the last half of the falling tide, "statistically".

Started out, catching the larger Trout I went looking for, and boxed my 5 - limit on my first anchor.

Boxing the first 5, because they were perfect fish, again, 19-22 inchers. It just doesn't get much better than this for around here, when it comes to prime keeper fish.

The big fat Specks came rather easy. But then, I hung into something that had nothing easy about it.

My float went down like JAWS taking down the beer kegs. I reeled and lifted my 8' Biscayne float rig rod, and that's when I realized this ain't no Trout.

It was a Redbass. And then 5 minutes into the fight, I realized this isn't your regular "rock crawling" Jetty Red! And then, about 5 minutes more of playing tug of war, I wasn't completely sure if I was gonna be the winner of this war. My small hook, and light leader that I use to "fool" wary Specks may not hold. But thanks to a soft action fiberglass rod, and the silky drag of my Shimano Curado, I finally got a glimpse of what I had hooked.

It was a really big Redbass. Then, after another few more minutes of just putting in my time on this light tackle, I got the fish into the net.

This Redbass was 40" and weighed in at 22 pounds. My largest "Float-Rig" caught Red, ever! Prior, my largest on the ole float-rig was 18 pounds. I just set myself a new record to beat, and I guess that means I'll have to float-rig fish the "pogy pods" this spring to get a larger Red. That's if, we have any "pogy pods" this spring. Or wait to run into another Brutus T. Redbass up on the jetty rocks.
I finally moved from my first anchor position and worked another spot that I've wanted to check out, caught a few Specks there. Then, I made a move to another spot I haven't hit in awhile.

On my second drift I caught another Redbass, 28 incher.

And after the Red, it was wack-n-stack on the 15-16" Trout. Every other drift of the float, I got bit.

It was a ridicules bite of Specks, so I just played a little and used up the rest of my shrimp.

Damn, I love days, like today.

Friday, January 23, 2009

1/23- BEAUTIFUL again....and warmer!!!

As many morning I sat checking emails, drinking some coffee while watching the sun come up.
And when it did today, I could easily see that it was yet another wonderful looking day.

Since time is ticking away, and Feb. 1st will be here before I know it (when Speckled Trout close for harvest for 28 days) I decided to get everything ready for a 9:30am departure, for the JETTIES!

By 10:00 am the boat was in the water, the live local shrimp from B&M bait and tackle were kickin' in the livewell and I headed due EAST. As usual I had a spot in mind that I wanted to try. Since Carl and I were there yesterday and without much fanfare we left, it was only a 1 Trout spot. But, I was making a bee-line straight for it and no one was around, either.

I do many charters I call "instructional". And I do not know if I have beat this point home to some of the fisherman, I've taken. But should be evident, if they read these reports.

I often take a spot that I'm basically familiar with and fish it hard for several hours during a portion of the tide that seems proper for the area. Learn where every hang-up is, where every high rock is, which usually paints a picture in my mind of what the underwater scene looks like.

Float-rig fishing is perfect for learning an area. Because as you drift your rig back and forth all over an area, up to 100 feet behind the boat, you'll soon learn where the bites come from, where there's shallow spots, hang ups and current edges are. That's what I wanted to do more of today, at the location, I choose.

And I learned that "today", all I had to do is put my float in a certain spot, hit a high rock, go around it, and my float went down. I no sooner got anchored and had two fat 18-19 inch Specks in my first 6 drifts of my float. Then, the phone rang....It was my buddy Nick. I hadn't heard from him in awhile. He explained he was super sick and was now feeling better, in between busy with gigs out of town with his band RATHKELTAIR. I asked him if he wanted me to come get him and we could shoot the bull and fish, he said, "GREAT".

And between the time I pulled anchor to run back to the dock to meet him. I lost two more Trout, caught a small Redbass, and boxed 3 Trout and my limit was had.

It was now just 10:40 am. They were chewin, and I found the "nest". Every single Trout was 18-19 inchers. I was so excited, and with 5 Trout like these in the box in 40 minutes. I could have just gone home, and stood on the deck of an Aircraft Carrier and stated, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. (A Bush, tactic) But I dragged up the anchor and ran back to the dock and picked up Nick.

I ran back the jetties and we anchored up on the exact same spot. I told Nick, "here ya go, get your 5, too." I explained exactly where the fish were and on Nick's second drift he had a nice fattie. I was gonna lay back, but could stand it. I had to get in there and rip another beautiful Speck from behind the high rock, 30 feet from the boat. So out the next 5, Nick caught two and I helped him out catching the last three for our now, measly 10 Speck limit.

No sense beating them up, so we left after the box had all the Trout we could keep. So we went hunting a Black Drum or two, so we moved and decided to pitch "Jig-N-Shrimp" combo meals at the jetty rocks. We pitched and pitched and only had a few small Seabass, that sure were cold feeling after pulling them off the bottom. And then I made a cast out and away from the jetty rocks and nailed a small Pup Black Drum, it was 15 inches, so in the box it went with the Trout.
"Targeted Species in the cooler!"

We kept fishing and it was just plain dead. We really had no action, but we kept trying and just having fun shooting the bull. The S.E. sea breeze started up and we decided to call it a day....a beautiful day!

I'm gonna stock up on tasty Specks all I can (weather permitting) until Jan. 31st. I eat fish no less than 4 nights a week. So back at the dock, I ran the fillet knife through the Drum and all 10 Trout "lickety split." That's why I love 'em. So much fun to catch, so easy to clean. Totally boneless, skinless, "back-strap" fillets, for the pan.

I just finished up having three fillets in a vegetable stir fry dish, that were just swimming a few hours ago. It don't get much better than that.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

1/22 - BEAUTIFUL, but chilly.

Had the pleasure of finally getting Carl J. out on his second, "polishing his float rig skills" charter. Because of wind, wind & cold and, "the weatherman sure did miss this one."
And we sure did have a good time!

Yes, the new digital sign with the Temp and Time on the what used to be back gate of the Navy base said it was a balmy 26 degrees as I passed it by at 0700 hrs. But the no wind, and dead calm conditions helped to make it one fine morning.

The tide was falling, so I headed up river. Carl baited up and on his first drift had a small Trout.
Then I baited up and had a Trout too. "Damn, this is better than I expected."
With the multiple attempts we've done lately to get out, and the deep winter chill. I told Carl, all we have to do is catch fish, doesn't matter how big or small they are. And I'll be happy.

Then came the keeper Trout, came.

This creek type Trout weren't monsters. But in the box they went.
Carl and I were getting happier.

Then, we started catching some creek flounder.

We caught a small Redbass, out a limit of Specks in the box and two Flounder, and had lots of throw back Specks all on the first anchor. I was warm, Carl was smiling, the box looked good. As the tide fell lower, I had one more spot I wanted to try. So we moved on as the action tapered off. But the best spot didn't produce what we were looking for, so it was time to head to the jetties.

I have these new fiberglass Float-rigging rods and really wanted to see how they'd do on a big Redbass. So we dropped the cinder block into the jetties and worked a spot that usually produces a good Red. Instead, it produced a nice Speck....but not a single Redbass bite.

No reds here, so we moved on again. And on the next spot it was just small Yellowmouth Trout, so we kept a few and moved on again. I couldn't pass a big Trout spot without trying it, so we anchored up and it too produced only one Trout on the first bit of the incoming tide. And the largest Trout of the day....."it's a big Trout spot!"

So after really trying hard to get another larger trout which never happened, we made a last move of the day, to a shallow water spot. But we were a few hours early and never even lost a bait, which was hard to believe. It was "time to go make the donuts", aka: Fish cleaning time.

We sure could need some good warm days, to liven things up a bit, and this weekend looks to be just what I'm looking for. The fishing isn't off much on these cold mornings, but ya know me....I'm always hunting a really big Trout, or lots of seriously nice "boxers".

We did okay today, they bit where I didn't think they would, and didn't where I thought they would.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1/20 - Lousy weather!!

Since Saturday there sure has been some really crappy weather....yeah the sun shining, but the WIND is howling. Let me remind everyone, WIND IS OUR WORST ENEMY.

Was "again" supposed to be out with Carl J. today. But we rescheduled for the 2nd or 3rd time now, till Thursday, because of winds or cold temps.

Right now the forecast for Thursday looks "do-able".
I sure hope so. Because in my "hunt" for a long 7'6" to 8', EVA foam handled, trigger reel seat, FIBERGLASS casting rod, I found some. That's not an easy find! I really want to see how they work.

Of course, they are rather "inexpensive" rods, but as long as they have the soft parabolic action I'm looking for in my float-rig fishing. It doesn't matter to me.

My 8' G. Loomis "Bucara" high dollar models work, especially on really big fish. But I find them a bit heavy actioned for a 2 pound Speckled Trout.
I guess Carl will be the first to break one in on Thursday.
Still have (3) of the G. Loomis "greenwater" rods left for sale,
and (4) of the Shimano 300 Tekota's.
Priced right.
The Tree Hugger News:

Wind, our worst enemy?

How about this for an idea? Instead of huge fields of windmills, or lines of windmills on the tops of mountains like they have here in West Virginia, let's utilize the wind generated by cars whooshing down the freeway. Brilliant!
A student in Arizona State University came up with this idea, and it's being proposed for a stretch of desert highway that is quite busy near Phoenix.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

1/17 - Coldest day of the year????

All ya have to do is have friends that live & fish in the Northeast to appreciate what COLD really is and hear them complaining to appreciate what we have. And I laugh at the local-yokal TV news here in J-ville. According to them they make it sound as if life as we know it, is gonna END!!!!

Saturday was a beautiful day. A tad windy at times, but the cold was no big deal!

Left out from the dock at 9:30am, Tim and Pedro were right on time. I was ready, and in full "Nordic garb" , and was toasty warm in my knee high insulated boots, long johns and fully insulated Dickies cover-alls.

I told Tim & Pedro that one thing I have learned over the years is to go ahead and spend the bucks to make sure I'm "all weather ready". Because no matter the days weather, I'll probably have that day booked and will be going out in it.

I call it "makin' a living", just like the crabbers I saw taking off from the dock, before Tim & Pedro showed up.

I was going to head straight to the jetties. But the N.E. wind was howling a bit out there, and really had plans to fish the ICW, in protected waters.
The same place I did the R&D, on Thursday.

The only problem after we arrived on the spot was that we'd need patience. Because we were's a high tide spot. But we gave it a try, and I went through all the Float-rigging in's & out's with them. Or as I refered to it as, "Everything your wanted to know about the float-rig and even some you didn't".

We worked two areas hard with no bites, and it's because we were way early. But then as the tide got right, the fish showed up.

Pup Drum, Pup Reds, small Trout, big Trout up to
21 inches, a Flounder. But we never got into an absolute

It was pick a fish here and there.

So before noon we made a run out to the jetties. The tide was still flooding a little bit, the N.E. wind had backed off and it was nice and warm, comparatively speaking.

Once anchored up, I immediately have all my Jettywolf senses working. And I just wasn't getting a "good feeling". The current was about nothing where we were. The floats just blew with the wind. Although the water was clear, green and calm. Tim tried deep and found a small patch of small Yellowmouth Trout, while Pedro and I fished a bit shallower up on the rocks, where the Reds and Specks should have been....but weren't. Tim caught a handful of Yellowmouths, and we kept two of the largest, for insurance. I even moved around a little and tried to connect with some current, but it just never happened.

We moved and changed locales. And I just had to try a big Trout spot before heading in. All three of us worked it hard, fishing for that trophy that this spot can produce. We rotated up and down the side of the boat drifting our floats just perfectlydown the jetty rocks, and no bites!

So I pinned on one last frisky live shrimp and made one more attempt. I walked up to the bow, pitched close to the rocks and my float went down! Holy crap, this fish fought. Digging for the deep water and bucking it's head, I said, "Tim, grab the net...I wanted you guys top catch this one!" and right then, the fish came unpinned from the hook. All I can say is, if it was a Trout, it was a monster!

Oh well, you can't win them every time, right? But we gave the big Trout spot a try, at least.
So we headed in.

Tim sent these photos of what he left with and still needed cleaning. Looks like good eats to me!
Stoke up the frier Momma!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

1/15 - COLD? 'bout beautiful

I'm really tired of guessing at this weather. From now on, no more. Was going to have Carl J. on board for his second charter. But we moved it to next week because of the forecast. Listening to the TV people would have you thinking that your house would become a block of ice over night.

So I got up went outside, it really wasn't all that cold at all. When DOA Rob and I were out on Monday, now that was C-O-L-D!! The difference is 20 knots of wind. Monday, yes. Today, no.

So I answered e-mails, drank some coffee, looked at the Marine Forecast. Same deal 20 kts. small craft caution. But since I live between two creeks, and the river is only about a mile away. I didn't believe it, in my yard it was wonderful with not a branch even moving.

So I decided to go at the last minute around 10am. I've been thinking about a area, and I wanted to get more familiar with it. So I made a bee-line there, on a next to no wind, beautiful sunny day with NO ONE AROUND.

Look....I was the only one at the boat ramp parking lot. Not another Truck and trailer.

Man, was I lucky! I'm OMEGA-MAN, on a bright sunny day!
I anchored up after looking around on this area, and on my first drift of my float-rig and sprightly shrimp.

Float gone! A decent box fish at 16".

Okay, was this fish the lone angler, or is there more here?

I worked the spot and found where they really were, and I was close. But not close enough.

BUT. If you're float-rig fishing and you find you are getting bit 75 feet from the boat, do you make a move back, or stay put?

I've found that challenging to answer. Because too many times, I've made a move to get closer to the fish, and found once I'm there, they've vacated.

Either scared off, or I didn't move fast enough and something like the current all of sudden changed.

So, after loosing a few big Trout because of a 75' hook-set and then a battle against the current back to the boat. I made a move.

But, this time I planned it out. I drifted back with no motor running, and when I did have to start the motor I did it well away from where I needed to be and quickly shut down as soon as I could, after re-anchoring.

And after all that.....not one bite! Oh no, not again? I literally was two boat lengths from where I was hooking big Trout. I knew it. If this has happened once it's happened a 1000 times.

But I was patient. I tried all around, and then I found them. Nice big 19 to 20 inch Trout. I caught 3 in a row.

Okay, I caught 4 keeper fatties, I lost 2 and I threw back 4 that were 14-1/2 inches.

I think this is a spot worth putting in the GPS chart I hit the "save" button.

The incoming tide has now slacked, and so did the Specks. But the light breeze was holding the boat perfectly in position, so I kept fishing.

And the same exact spot turned into "pupper-ville", Pup Redbass. They were fun, but small 14-16 inchers.

The camera took the photo as I was picking my lil' pupper up off the floor.

I caught 4 or 5, thinking I may luck into a 18-20 incher for the box. My favorite size Redbass for the cooler.

But I didn't catch a keeper, so I moved on satisfied that I got to scope out a new spot that holds some big Trout.

I wasn't going home till I had my 5 Trout.

I had a hankering for some Trout meeting Mr. Zateran. And Trout was on the menu tonight.

So I tried a spot that DOA Rob fishes with his Kayak and DOA shrimp lure. He even caught an 8 pounder there, so I pulled up and anchored.

But no 8 pounder for me today, just one 14 inch Trout, that was it. So I made another move.

I made a run for a few miles and went to a really good big fish spot. And on my first drift of the float, I caught a 14-3/4 incher, then another one, and another one.....Don't they know this is a BIG Trout spot. The phone rang and I hooked another as I answered it. Damn, I want a big one. So after the charter call, I tried one more drift...and that's all I needed.

The float went down, the drag pulled, and there it was. The fish I needed. A perfect 21 incher for the box, which made 5 and I headed back to the boat ramp.

I was going to call Carl (the fella who was supposed to go with me today) as I pulled out of the driveway and say, "come on Carl, I'll meet ya at the boat ramp." But I know how I feel when it's a last minute deal and I'm doing something else. So we'll just go with our Tuesday charter.

There's nothing like Trout so fresh for supper that they were just swimming an hour or two ago. That's why I need some. I don't usually freeze any fish. I catch, I eat, I go fishing again.

At the Mayport Boat Ramp, the tide was really low when I pulled up to clean my Trout.

And I noticed that "hole" that so many people back into when launching too close to the walk-way, at a lower than low tide.
It's not really a hole, it's just where the the concrete stops. It's full of broken rocks and sand.

If the city would buy them, I'd fix this myself.

All it needs is some bagged concrete to be sat in there and the rocks pulled out.
Here's what the "port" side looks like....yep a big hump. That "hole" was fixed somewhere along the line. A big blob of concrete was plopped in there.
Hence, the HUMP.

Saturday will be my next day out.
Windy and cold....the wind will make it alot different than today, I'm sure.
Bundle up, Tim & Pedro!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

GATORS.....who will catch in 2009?

"Gator" Trout make my world go round....So I sit here wondering what 2009 will bring, and who will catch a "Gator".

So let's define. In today's world, I refer to a "Gator" Speckled Trout as a fish 5 pounds and over. Doesn't seem like a big deal or a big fish..."but do you know how many have been lost at the side of my boat, 5 pounds and larger?" "Or how tough it can be to catch them 5 pounds or better?"

WHY? Because they are a different fish than those 15 inchers. They act different, ya might even say they have an attitude. And ya' better not start yankin and crankin on a big Trout, because that's right when you'll loose her. Immediate identification needs to be made, that it's a large trout, especially if we're sitting there wackin the smaller ones and the next fish is the one we're looking for. Yeah you can pull on those lil' ones all you want, rip their lips, let them shake their heads and "palm beach release" those perfect eaters. But don't do it, when all of a sudden the water erupts and you see a head shaking fish on the surface.

I fished long and hard for my first 10 pound class trout, and only caught her after a catching a 3 pounder first, a 5 pounder second, then she bit!

I look back and the 5 pounders are not all that tough to catch for clients. It's the 6, 7, 8, pound Specks that are tough to come by.

But we've had our fair share. Here's a few that are etched into my mind.

Here's a almost 7 pounder that I caught with Kirk M. right after he said, "Dave cast over there, they're right over there!!" What a difference the weather can make, this fish was caught 1/8/08.
Jan. 8th this year was way different!

The next "Gator" of 2008 that sticks in my mind is this one that Jeff caught behind the surf on an early 4/4/08 trip on a slick calm day, it went almost 6 pounds, although it was a long and lean, fish.

This boy qualifies! The next day 4/5/08 it was also beautiful and I can't remember which one was 5 pounds, the Yellowmouth trout or the speck. But both fish and the angler are worth posting!

You may recognize this one from on my home page.....The reason I used it was, "it's a perfect photo", (if I do say so myself). Father and daughter, and a 6 pound May caught Gator Trout.
I'm not sure these folks even know they are on my front and center web page.

I could go on and on with photo's and days that I'll always remember. If I missed you and your Gator Trout, it's because there is so many.

The point is that "this is what I was sitting around thinking about"...yeah, I'm ate up with it.

But do you know that with all the stuff going on in the St. Johns River these days that we still have some really great Trout fishing compared to other places, like areas of Georgia. Yeah, I've recieved e-mails from fellow trout freaks, that a big one for them is a 3 pounder. I won't mention who, or where. But I was surprised. Less population, no shipping, no ports, no navy, and no big Trout??? Hmmm?

We might even have heavier Redbass too? But, big Reds have no secret's. Everyone catches them. Maybe that's the reason "Gator" Speckled Trout, always keep me coming back for more.

They have secrets, and they always keep me guessing. And while were out there, we can catch Redbass too.

Here's to 2009......"this is your Gator jumping", better keep that rod low. Don't wanna let her get off the hook!