Tuesday, March 24, 2009

3/23 - Gloomy Day Trout

The first day in a week that the wind wasn't blowing hard, was this morning.

It was so calm that the bugs were chewing on me. There must have been a big hatch, because between the gnats and the biting flies I stayed in my hooded jacket and fleece pants all morning.

Was heading to the north. Way north, but got distracted and ended up stopping short. The water was clean, green and dead calm as the tide started to flow east.

On the way, I thought "call the National Guard...we have an invasion on our hands!" The small Bluefish and Spanish Mackerel are everywhere. I mean everywhere.

Popping the surface like rain drops as far as the eye can see in the ICW, river and even back in the creeks.

With the arrival of the Spanish Macs, it is truly spring time. Sometimes the calender says Spring, but without the Spaniards in the river. It doesn't always feel like it.

Next up will be the Jacks and Ladyfish.

You can either like this invasion, or not. I'm not all that crazy about it, myself. Because they make catching my target species (trophy spring time Trout) many times alot tougher. Because these Blues, Jacks, and Ladyfish are so aggressive. And next comes the 6" Mangrove Snappers. My bait bill will double by mid April. Because I'll have to bring twice the amount of live shrimp on a given day. Because these fish can be ferocious!

I hadn't float fished this area in a long time. The last time I was here and spent the day was back when I had the Bay boats. And I used to lure fish it a lot with top water plugs. Plus the tide was seriously high, and I needed some bank to show before the fishing got right. So I spent some time looking around.

I was all alone for 3 hours till I had the first boat pass by me. I told you the best days are Monday's & Tuesdays!! It was tranquil and dead still. Nothing but the birds singing and the crows squawking, in the woods adjacent the water.

I finally anchored up. And the fishing was really slow. The only bites I had while float-rig fishing were the Pinfish, which are now back in full force along any hard bottom, and the occasional Bluefish biting my hook off. The only way to stay away from the "pinners" is to fish deeper. So that's what I had to do.

My float finally went down and I had a big fish. Far back behind the boat on a long range drift.
It was a big Trout.
Good fish, at 22 inches. So I dropped it in the cooler and continued on.

I certainly didn't find the "nest" by any means because the next "take down" wasn't for another 30 minutes. I was on the phone, and my float took a dive. The drag pulled hard. I ended the phone call quickly while thinking I had a decent Redfish.

Which would be nice, since lately all I'm finding is small puppers.

The fish ran down the back and almost ahead of the anchored boat. Then I saw it. Another Trout!

I always tell people who say Trout don't fight, "it's because they haven't caught any large ones."

Boiling on the surface and shaking it head was truly big Trout antics. But you can't yank and crank. These are fish you must "finesse". This isn't shark fishing! That's why so many big Trout are lost at boat side. You have to take it easy on them, they have tender mouths.

I slipped the Trout into the net, and couldn't believe it. This fish was the exact same size as the first one. 22 inches.....a twin! But with a whole different attitude.
Just my luck. I had to release this one.
Only one over 20" per person is allowed.

But before doing that I had to check , real quick.

Yep, these two fish were identical.
One with a mean streak, the other a bit more passive on the hook.

I kept trying to see if there was a nest of large Trout hanging around behind the boat, but they were the only two I got on this spot.

The weather was going to hell, it started drizzling and the clouds got thicker, and with that came a cool easterly breeze.

I worked a few more spots, and only caught more Bluefish, Pinfish, and several really small Trout. So I left out.

I hit 2 more spots, as the tide started to rise. And couldn't catch anything but Bluefish, and small 15-16" Redfish. My last spot was a tricky one. I had to put the boat practically up on the bank to fish behind a shell bar that was flooding over with the incoming tide.

But the Trout were there, and that's where I finally boxed my limit of (5) fish. I caught a few more small Reds too.

It was getting late and the weather had really deteriorated compared to this morning.
I had no more shrimp, so I left for the boat ramp, cleaned my fish, and headed home.

If it wasn't for the East wind, that I know was coming. I would have just preferred to hit the jetties. The Pinfish in the creeks around the oyster bars are just intolerable sometimes, in my opinion.

Water temp: 63 degrees about everywhere.

But, I tried it and caught myself another 10 Trout fillets for the freezer....."hell, 5 fillets never made it to the freezer when I got home. But rather hit the frying pan!!"

Mmm, Mmm, good!