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.
BIG WATER, BIG SPECKS & REDS.
Damn, I love days, like today.