Wednesday, April 29, 2009

4/29 - Surprise, Surprise...for DOA Rob

The East winds have prevailed this week, so far. And no one "I" know likes it.

But just like me with someone who booked a charter on a East wind breezy day. "I gotta deal with it."

And that's what my buddy, DOA Rob has to do, also.

He's off work, 3 days. If those 3 days are east windy, freezing cold, hot as hell, raining, you name it, he's going fishin'. And if not in his boat, you'll find him in his Hobie Kayak sitting a foot off the water, casting his D.O.A. Shrimp for Trophy sized Trout. He and I are alot alike, but so different at the same time. It's the float-rig rod & live shrimp for me. Rob's all about a 1/4 oz. DOA Shrimp in his yak because it's usually easier to not have to worry about live bait. Hence his nick-ame....DOA ROB. But we both hunt BIG Trout, 12 months a year.

Well, Rob went yesterday. And he went to a area he loves. Which is a place I find hard to fish, 90% of the time. He left late, and sat through big East winds, that backed off, then blew all over again, later. We talked on the phone, and Rob couldn't get back to his truck. The tide went so low that he would have had to trudge through mud. But he tried it, and sank up to his hips in St. Johns River Gumbo. So back to his yak to wait out the higher tide.

Rob showed up on my door step last night at almost 9:30PM. Wet, and with mud still caked to his arms. But it was all worth it........

Because Rob caught his 4th or 5th, SNOOK

And what a beautiful fish it was, at 29 inches....thank goodness, Rob has his Snook stamp!
He also caught a 21" Trout.

Snook, especially this nice are a rare but getting to be a more common catch in the St. Johns River. From Palm Valley/Ponte Vedre in the ICW too the river here, the catches are heard about, but it's not like anglers go out "Snook Fishing", like in S. Florida.

What kills me, is that I fish every nook & cranny I can fit my boat in, and have never caught one. Let alone know if I hooked one, or had a customer hook one, even. I've traveled to S. Florida of course, when I had the time too, to catch one. And didn't!!!! Because it was too cold in S. Florida when I was there. Now, ain't that FUNNY!

Rob and I stood under my boat-port looking down into his cooler, "that fish didn't migrate here in the last couldn't have. 30 days ago the water was still cold for them, supposedly??????"

We believe a fish like that made it through the winter, somewhere around here!! But where?

Just goes to show you, that you never know what will happen when you're out there fishing.
Rob, had the one nice Trout out of a handful, that was it. But stayed at it, and look what happened.

This is what most of my customer's need to realize. IT'S FISHIN'...that's all it is. Do it right, do it often, and you never know????

This fish isn't Rob's first Snook from around here, either. He's caught other's although smaller, in creeks south of the river, in his yak also.

Hell, I'll take any size!!

I still need a Snook, and a Wahoo to complete my list of "local fish"....I think I'll have a better chance at a Snook. But, by the looks of it, I may have a better chance at a Wahoo, than a N.E. Florida Snook?


Supposed Snook water Temp preferences:
70 to 85 degrees.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Went out today to just burn a few dozen live shrimp I had left over from Saturday.
Of course I would have loved to be able to fish outside the jetties...But the Ocean was closed!
You cannot tell from this photo (taken with my new phone camera w/ uploading capabilities)
But I hardly wanted to take my hands off the steering wheel, at the end of the south Jetty.

It was kowa'narly out yonder! Heck with the "bunga".

But never fear......the 26' Plate Alloy BlackLab, is here! And we're not afraid of ANY jetty nastiness.
I pointed the Jettywolf over to the south side of the south Jetty, worked my way through the slop sandwich and when I got there I said to myself, "Self, you can't anchor in this, can you??"

Then, I had a flash-back of the last time I was sitting alone in the soup. And went to pull my anchor and over ran it, because I had to do it all myself. Anchor pulling, I mean.
And pretzel'ized my trusty rough water anchor with it's 16' of chain. AKA: "The man-maker!"

So I turned around and came back to the inside of the jetties. Tried a spot or two, caught basically nuthin', and then worked my way up river for more nuthin'.....except one decent spring-time Flounder.

I saw a sad sight as I was heading west of the jetties. I was running down the middle of the channel and saw a dark item in the water with lots of commotion around it. I drove right up to it and saw a baby Dolphin dead on the surface. Looked to be a new born. The commotion was obviosly it's Mother, and she kept coming up to the baby and pushing it with her head. Just not a curious push, but rather trying to move it along. The baby flipped over and I could see the embilical cord still there. I pulled right upside of the baby Dolphin and that didn't make no difference. Mom came right back and was on the side of my boat pushing on the baby.

A large tug was heading in the direction. So I moved on. It was a sad sight for sure.

I float-rigged and tossed my MirrOlure everywhere I could in the 20 knot due east wind. Many areas I tried quickly, I never even lost a shrimp, so I went home.

It was what I refer to as a K.O.D. day....."kiss of death". East wind howling with a flood tide. I knew that!

But damn, I hate to waste good live "river crickets". So I went anyhow.

Hills and valley's, hills and valley's. Really, is that exactly what fishing is like?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

4/25 - a little trollin'.....

Had a unique group today. Four young boys with one dad, for a late 1/2 day.
I believe they were all in the 9 year old catagory of Angler'ship.

And we sure had fun.

What do you do on a Saturday afternoon, that was absolutely gang-busters with people everywhere, as if it was mandatory to be on the water?

STAY what I say.

So I rigged up a few light rods with trolling leads and some small Drone spoons and we trolled the jetties and the rip line.

This is one of those very rare opportunities that Bluefish come in handy.

Normally, I'm not their biggest fan. When they eat all my hooks off, used to target Trout and Reds with live shrimp.

The boys had a ball as every time the rods bent over they ran from goofing around on the bow of the boat, to the stern to see the fish.

We also caught our share of Spanish Mackerel, some keepers and some throwbacks.

Saw huge spreads of Pogies, too. And I hope to continue seeing them. Because it'll make the difference between a good summer and a poor one....."no matter what you hear the chamber of commerce Captains say." With out bait along the beach, it sure can be a boring summer.

Of course, my camera is really screwed up, and I was lucky to get these two photos. I guess it's time to stop fighting it and ship it in for repairs. I could have used my new phone camera. But can't find one word in the manual about loading the photos on to my computer. (?)

Reports without big time photos for me, is like Summer with no pogies!!!

UPDATE: the military! That's now me. I upgraded my cell phone to a phone/ camera with download capability. So while my real "water proof digital camera" is getting fixed I can continue to provide quality fishing reports with photos. It only cost me about $200!!


I'm ready to get hooked up with some "butt-handers", ya know what I mean, (hopefully).
It's GO-TIME, for some Shrimp boat "Run & Gun" fishing. "Don't knock it-follow it!!"

Many people have told me they read these reports. But at the same time, have never watched the Video's I have running down the right-side-bar of this page.

I have some Shrimp boat sharkin' video from last July during the 74 degree water on that video bar. It was overcast, and really windy. But we caught'em anyhow, and had a great day.

Talk about a good day......Catch the tide right and do some Float-riggin the jetty rocks or river, then as the sun gets overhead and as the shrimpers get things stirred up, just offshore. We can head out and you can maybe join the "100 pounder club". Go from catching Trout/Redfish for dinner, to having you arms ache from big Blacktip sharks. All in the same day, and within eye shot of the shore many times. And maybe even a Cobia or a Tripletail too.

Don't cheat yourself:
-try for a weekday if you can. Less boat traffic equals better fishing.
-You'll want my "after April 1st" deluxe up to 8 hr. charter.
-Plan ahead, so I know your coming. Then, I can plan your day.

-always get the info you need, here at:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

For Sale:

4 - (used but in perfect condition)


DO NOT BUY ANY ROD YET, TILL YOU SEE THESE!!!!!!! 1/2 PRICE MSRP.......of $260 and there is no such thing as a discounted Loomis rod!



ALL (4) $550.00 split with a friend.....I'd like to sell as a "lot" rather than splitting up. Or $137.50 a piece.

Can also be found on Jacksonville
Craigs List:

search: G. Loomis Fishing rods
(4) - $550 (Jacksonville, Florida)

REDUCED take all 4 for $400 cash!

4/22 - Workin' hard in big wind

Had Ben and his visiting brother Ian on board today. When I got to the boat ramp, it was really blowing already at 7am.

So I took my compulsory photo of the flag at the marina next door standing at attention.

The guys arrived and we departed around 8:15am.
No Jetties!!! I wasn't going there in this wind and tide. I was there on the 21st doing some R&D by myself, and it sucked on the Trout front. The water looked like sand. Just the wrong tide for seeking GATORS.

So we turned Westward. The tide was high and just starting to fall.

1st spot: I taught the guys all about Float-rig fishing since they had never fished like this before. And they picked up on it right away and were doing good.
Between the bait stealing 4" Mangrove "VERMIN" Snappers, they hung 2 big fish, but they got off on the way to the boat. I knew the tide at this time was not optimum, but the spot was worth sitting out for awhile. I even tried my hand at it and came up with no good bites. So not long after we moved on.

Maybe it was the 20 knot, very stiff westerly wind, but we tried two other spots and Ian was the only one to catch a fish. A small 12" Sheepshead. We never even caught the regulars; Ladyfish, Jacks or Bluefish.

Hmmmm, somethings really wacko. We just fished the "TOP SPOTS" in my Trout file!
Not under the perfect tide, or conditions, by any means, but usually we get bit by something.

We kept moving, while the brothers were perfecting their float-rigging skills. And getting the hang of it quite well.

I had about 3 more areas I would hit. But after I pulled up and anchored on the next spot, we never needed to move the rest of the windy afternoon. We found them!

FIRST TROUT: A pot bellied Female.

This fish hit the live river cricket like it was it's last meal (It was!) ripping drag out and pulling hard against the tide.

We found them. And it also coincided with the tide getting much lower. But we were lucky that the wind was helping blow our float-rigs right into the area they fish were.
And although we did have a few Ladyfish, Jack and Bluefish, believe it or not they left our baits alone for the most part.

It was really weird. But of course the VERMIN Mangroves were still present. But the guys just
couldn't hook one.

I usually get a few small Reds on this spot too, and maybe a Sheepshead or two. But nothing about the whipping wind was making the area perfect.

But after lots of fishing...we were really glad to be catching quality Trout.

The longer we stayed the harder the wind blew as the afternoon wore on.

As many keeper fish as we had we also had throwbacks. And at one point it was drift your float 100 feet, look away, look back and it was gone on every single drift.

Ian said, "Ya' have to look away when you get 100 feet out." as he looked at me! He then looked back and said, "SEE" , as he set the hook on yet another Trout. It worked, for sure.

That's the thing about my J-O-B; I never know what's going to happen after I leave the dock. Each day is completely different. And sometimes it's just plain Bizarro World, out there!

But what makes it great is the PEOPLE. Ya' get used to the challenges, and just expect them.

When the tide finally slacked off, we were fishing in whitewater. With the wind waves foaming the surface of the river. I think the warmth I felt was just, wind burn!

It turned out to be a good day. A bit challenging finding them. But Ben & Ian, had a great time and a big bag of fish fry for tonight.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

4/19 - and number "252"

Well. I wanted to fish the supposed SOUTH wind today. So I went. All by me lonesome. I try not to ever fish on a weekend, but it was kinda blowie out there, so I figured there wouldn't be any crowds.

So I make it out the jetties......and not dry by any means on the last of the falling tide. It was sporty, with nice fat rollers being bucked by the stiff breeze.

I get to right where I want to fish. The breeze certainly wasn't DUE SOUTH. But 100% SOUTH EAST! Yep, there's a huge difference, in my book.

I anchor up, after waiting a minute for a little boat to leave right where I wanted to be.

I'm dead-on. And surprised myself again with my anchoring perfection. (remember those words)

I played around a few minutes and tossed a MirrOlure Catch2K at the rocks. It's about the time when I'll pitch a MirrOlure, and if I catch a good Trout I know it's "go time".

Got whacked once. But could have been just a Bluefish. So I put away the play toys, grabbed my Float-rig rod, pinned on a fat live shrimp. Lobbed the rig into place, and it drifted about two feet and went DOWN. I reeled up all the wind slack in my line and came tight with a locomotive!

The 'whatever' speed eastward. Then, toward the bow of the boat. My 8' Biscayne rod was bent in the shape of a horse shoe, and my Curado 300 DSV was peeling line. AWESOME!!!!

First cast, and this maybe just the reason I came out here.

Problem was, as the fish ran toward the bow of the boat. Unfortunely that's where my extra long scope of anchor line was laying. It was no less that 2-4 foot seas, and to make it really stick I did an extra long anchor lay.

I pulled as hard as my 15# mono leader, and tiny hook would allow. Then, I felt the anchor line and then, POP! Fish gone.

I believe it was a BIG Jack way bigger than we have been catching. Maybe in the 15-20 pound Yellow Submarine catagory, because it was having it's way, no matter what I was doing.

I continued on. And had my ass handed to me two more times as I sat in the slop, dancing around the back deck of the boat just to keep my balance. Both times my float disappeared, I reeled and all I got in return was "SMOKE", from a burning run, down the jetty rocks.

I did hook a Trout, and it got off on the side of the boat.

Doesn't look as if it's gonna be my day, does it??

But that's why I came out today. I was hoping to pick a fight with something that had shoulders. Be it with a "forked" tail or not, I didn't care.

The tide started to change a bit so I wanted to reposition the boat. I usually pull up on my anchor line with the motor, so I don't have to pull the weight of the boat. And like so many times before when I'm sitting in the soup, I pulled up just a little bit, left the helm and went for the anchor line. Still had an acre of line out. So I went back and pulled up a bit more.....and it turned out to be a bit too much. The boat went up fast on a monster swell, the anchor line came tighter than a gnats ass, the boat lurched.

And right there, I knew what happened!!!!


That's the end of my day. You can see the white water in this photo, yeah it was rough.

This has happened to me so many times it's rediculas. And the stocks on these cheap anchors are so weak, but I don't think any fluke anchor could withstand the force of being overhead and to the side, when the boat wrenches. But I am still looking for one that's tougher. (I'll let ya'll know when I find one.)

That has to be anchor number 252, that I've either destroyed or just plain lost, in 25 years. Same thing really.....and they don't work in this shape. And all the straightening in the world, doesn't help. They just bend again even easier in the same spot, all over again.
So this one was made into a "reef".

I look at it as a dumb mistake, that always happens when it's rough as a cob, and usually when I'm alone, and of course focused on catchin' fish.

Remember, the fish are not always where YOU are the most comfortable. At least that's the way it works for me most of the time.

So I went and used my cinder-block anchor I had with me on two spots. One at the jetties, all I could catch at this crappy spot was bluefish. So I took a ride to an ole creek I used to fish all the time in my first love, a 1974 14' Aluma-Craft, many, many, moons ago.

I like this creek, because it reminds me of "old Florida"...or what it may look like in Lousiana with broken down docks, outboard engines sticking out of the water, over hanging trees with Spanish moss and ancient boats sitting on lifts.

The only problem is wasn't much like "fishing" in Louisiana......because I never lost a single live shrimp as the tide flooded in. (I bet that doesn't happen much in Louisiana!) I caught lots here before. On Noreasters, it makes for a great hide-away. Usually the Trout are in there pretty good.

Sometimes you eat the Lion and sometimes the Lion eats YOU. Before I was completely devoured, I figured I'd go home. There's always a weekday.

But first I gotta get a new 18# Fluke anchor.....Number 253, and counting.

Friday, April 17, 2009

4/17 - Mo' Wind......

Had a call yesterday for a possible Friday trip.

But it was obvious that the weather was not taken into account. All I have to do is step out side and I can tell if we "could" fish or not........and yesterday and today seems like a "not" to me!

I told the person, who had a 5 year old coming. "Saturday, and Sunday is what you may want to think about."

I suppose I'm also the weather-man, too.

I'll reiterate where and what I look at when it comes to the forecast:

I don't care what the land-lubber forecast says. We're not fishing on the west side of Jacksonville in a Walmart Parking lot.

I can easily remember a year very similar to this spring, where it blew hard for what seemed like forever. Due East winds in the spring months literally had me towing the boat to ramps such as the Arlington Rd. and Lions Club University Blvd. Boat Ramps, where the river goes basically north and south versus East and West compared to the Mayport area. Just so I could get a bit of shelter.

I looked back into my log books this morning and also saw that the GATOR Trout bite isn't or hasn't yet been as strong for me in the same places as it was in 2006 & 2007.
But I'm optimistic.


This is why I'm adding a "follow the fish" 8 hr Deluxe, trip to the selection of charters.

The jetties can be good.....and they can also be way off. Following the fish means heading up river, where more fuel is used, there's a bit more travel time, and more bait is consumed by Jacks, Mangrove Snappers, and Ladyfish. This is what I do during the summer and spring. And covers you no matter if we are off the bars at Nassau Sound chumming Tarpon, or at the Mathews Bridge float-rig fishing for Gator Trout, after departing from Mayport.

Each year has it's set of it's own circumstances & patterns.

I'm ready any time, for no wind and full fish boxes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

4/16 Million Dollar Product!

"Tammy the dock master" ya go.

And the rest of you gals out there have now zero excuses for not staying in the boat during that hot bite.

No more bare butts, buckets, getting low behind the console of the boat, or whatever it takes.

Now there's the P-Mate: check it out!

The one thing us guys had over you gals, is now only one P-Mate away.

"I can see a gal in here skimpy bikini on the beach behind the lawn chair using one of these and having some guy see her. Especially if the P-mate comes in flesh tone."

I'd love to see that guys face!

No more excuses......its the P-mate. Just not for cold weather mountain climber woman, anymore.

Don't you wanting your Wifes girl friend, joining you behind "the tree"?



4/15 - calm & cold after the storm

Ended up rescheduling the 14th, because of the obvious 70 MPH winds that hammered the area Tuesday. Spent a good part of the day helping to cut up giant tree limbs that fell in my parents yard.

So Wednesday the 15th at 7am was a whole new set of weather. It was down right C-O-L-D out on the river. Met Keith E. his girlfriend and his mom visiting from Minnesota at 7:30AM.

We had the last few hours of the falling tide to work with so we ran up river. With plans of the jetties later in the day.

The spot only produced one good Speck, and Keith caught it (I think) on his first drift of his float-rig. A nice 20 incher.

Just on Monday afternoon, the same spot yielded many break-offs and big fish hook-ups for Bob and I, with a 4 pound Trout and a 28" Redfish that came to the boat on the same tide.
But today was also the Ladyfish arrival day for me. Day 1 of Ladyfish catching. As if they sneak in under the cover of darkness, all in one day.

But that's okay, Keith's Mom caught the first one, along with a big Jack that kicked her butt pretty bad. She said to me, "this is alot different that Mil lac's fishing, back home." And she was right.
We stayed till the tide slowed, hoping to get a big Redfish or more Trout, till it was time to head toward the jetties.

The jetties haven't been big time Speckled Trout lately. But the large Yellowmouth Trout fishing has been through the roof. And Keith's mom was gonna love this.

So we got on them rather quickly, and started filling the cooler full with nice ones. Great fun, and so much ACTION, it's incredible.

No one goes with out bites, and catching fish.

And in between the yellers, we picked up some small Speckled Trout, Jacks, and a Ladyfish or two. But did manage to box a few more keeper Specks. No Sheepshead or Reds for us though.
The action was very consistant, and lots of fun.

Keith's mom was having a ball, as she sat on one of my livewells in the stern of the boat. At one point she was leaning back on a fish and reeling and almost fell completely backwards off the livewell, she was so into it. I was right behind her, and caught her as she fought the fish. As if it was an "ole man of the sea" battle.

As you can see, it finally warmed up for us, heck it is Florida and mid April and should be warm anyhow. The forecast was actually a bit wrong.

They called for 15 knots, and as we sat at the jetties wackin them, the ocean was slick calm and it warmed up nicely.

The water was a bit stirred up, naturally it should have after belly washer rain storms and 65 MPH winds in the last few days.

Talk about a transitional time of year!

I have fished through or around some wacky weather so far this month.

The goal is to book as many trips as I can, and if I can get out 2/3rds of them, I really doing good!

I've rescheduled trips all the way back from January till now, and then have moved a few all the way forward till July,
when the folks can come
back to J-ville again.

It's the nature of the beast. But the fishing is worth it.

Coming up next week is some great morning tides.
And I have some days open.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

4/13 - Day of firsts, with Bob from N.C. // UPDATED

Had Bob J. aboard today. It was a solo trip, just he and I that was rescheduled back from a windy cold day in January. I've known Bob for quite awhile, because he fishes the Southern Kingfish Assoc. tournaments around here, in his own boat. But he wanted to learn some "river" fishing techniques.

The weather in the morning was okay, but not great. So we left out and I headed to the lil' jetties instead of the big jetties, which I'm sure were really rough. My left foot was killing me. You may remember that back in February I missed the Miami Boat Show because of the side of my foot having some kind of problem, and there was no way I could have walked 5 miles a day around the show. Well, all the jumping out of the boat I've been doing re-injured whatever was wrong with my foot. So I hobbled around the boat all day on my right foot. I think I may have a fracture or something. All the dancing around on the deck in the rough stuff this last week probably didn't help what I thought was a healed foot. No, I have not been to a doctor either.

We pulled up at the lil' jetties and in the first 10 minutes, I caught the years FIRST Pompano!

Usually, I get the first Pomp's at the big jetties, naturally. It wasn't a big one, maybe a pound and a half "keeper". We got a few more bites. And I had a sneaky suspicion that the second round of VERMIN fish, have magically appeared over night. MANGROVE SNAPPERS!!!
I'll be marking the calendar with today as the first day I got into those rock & dock snappers that eat ya out of house and home.

I took a photo of Bob and I and the Pompano, and realized again somethings wrong with my digital "dive" camera, still. It wasn't working last week so well, either. And I didn't have time or the patience to sit and play with it.

We didn't pick up any Trout or anything. And Bob was getting the hang of the "float-rig" really well. So we moved on.

We worked our way up river and started to hit every rock pile and good dock spot on the way towards the Dames Point area. We ended up catching Bluefish, and more Mangrove Snappers, boxing a few large ones big enough for a good fillet. Then, it was "double whammy secret spot time".

But by now the wind was in the heinous category. And it wasn't looking like we were gonna bust any decent Trout or Reds. We picked through some smaller Trout on a few normally GATOR Trout spots, boxing only a few between 15-16 inch Specks. These were two spots that I have basically been able to keep to myself. And if it was any other day, without a looming front approaching and 20-25 knot winds, I have the utmost confidence that we would have pulled out some really big Trout.

So we headed back towards Mayport. I was enjoying fishing with Bob, he's a good fisherman. So I made one more stop......and we ended up there, for 3 more hours! The tide was high, and I usually don't fish this spot at high tide. But I figured, "Why Not?"

We picked up a few more vermin Bluefish, and a Speckled Trout. And we were a bit protected by the wind too. Eventually, the tide started to slowly ebb, and "swells" started to form in the river. The boat was going up and down as if we were anchored offshore. Then, as usual the spot "lit off"!!!

Bob hung into a big Redbass, as his float went down with authority. But it was in a serious DANGER area. Pilings, rubble, you name it.....that's where they are, and that's where you have to be able to perplex them out of. Bob, the concement "light tackle King Mackerel angler" worked the fish out of the structure, held on for several burning runs, and kept his 15# leader intact. And I scooped the Red into the net. A pretty 28 incher...a bit longer if tail pinched.

What a fight!

Since my camera was not wanting to take or hold a photo, even though we tried several times.
Here's an "ARTISTS RENDERING" of Bob and his beautiful Redbass.

I fished along with Bob, hung a few decent fish too, but had my leaders broke. Bob hooked another big fish, it got into the structure and popped off. Then, he hooked into another good fish.
And it was a exactly what I had been looking for all day long. A Speckled Trout, 4 pounds and 22-1/2 inches long!

Again, here's an "ARTISTS RENDERING" of Bob and his big Trout.

We tried for a another big fish, but it was getting late. My foot was throbbing. And the "SEAS" were building in the river. So we headed back to the boat ramp. I cleaned Bob's fish, and he had himself a nice "St. Johns River sampler pack" to take back to N.C.

And when I got home, while cleaning up the boat and talking to Tim, my Tuesday charter. ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!!!! The rain came down like a biblical flood in my area. So needless to say, Tim and his buddy are rescheduling.

That's an understatement......I sit here writing this report and the wind is blowing and gusting to what seems like Hurricane proportions. The tree limbs are flying down my street like rain drops.

HOLY CRAP, this is some bad wind.

I'm supposed to also be out tomorrow, Wednesday. And maybe Thursday or Friday, too.
It doesn't look like it, right now.
But we'll see.

(and I figured out what was wrong with my digital dive camera today. So hopefully we'll be back to "real" photos, instead of drawings.....hahaha)



Found some of the photos on my SD card:

2009 - first Pompano!

Bob's 28" Redbass....with screwy lines in photo from goofy

Sunday, April 12, 2009

4/11 - Late Day, windy, boat traffic, but successful 1/2 day.

Did a 2 boat charter with a good buddy out of Beach Marine, with a group of swim team teen-agers and their chaperon visiting S. Jax Beach/PV area.

2PM to I departed around 12:00 from the house and headed to the boat ramp knowing all too well that the Saturday before Easter Sunday, was a zoo on the water. And it was.

I soft peddled my way from Mayport all the way down the ICW to Beach Marine on an incoming tide. I don't fish the "ditch" very often that far south. So I looked over a few spots as I slowly made my way through the maze of traffic on the I-95 of waterways.

I was early as usual, and got to really take it all in, as I came up with some kind of a game plan.

Our folks arrived right on time and we jumped in the boats and headed out. Man, I feel sorry for the folks at that "behind" Beach Marine boat ramp.....that's one heck of a small area jammed packed with people loading and unloading, jet ski's, ski boats, you name it and the seawall was lined with land based anglers (LBA's) casting into the thorough fare of constant traffic into Beach Marine.
Kinda reminded me of what you see in Miami.

The wind was whipping at 20 knots plus from the west. The full moon tide was ripping, and we knew this was going to be one heck of a tough 1/2 day trip.

I decided to run all the way back north to the lil' jetties. I was going to try to get off the beaten path, since I was in the proverbial "HUB", but there was no unbeaten path today. And as the tide fell and fell fast, I didn't want to get stuck up in some creek and couldn't get out. I really had to do some serious contemplating...."where the heck can we fish and CATCH!"

I had Lee the chaperon, his son and his son's girlfriend. Both were swimmers, but not big time anglers. So I found a decent spot behind the Lil' Jetties and anchored up.
I've caught Trout, Drum, Reds, Sheepshead, Jacks to 18 pounds, and of course Mangrove Snappers one after another here, before.

So I busted out the Float-rig rods and gave them a 3 second "how-to", these were smart kids and they picked up on it very fast. Halee, the only gal on the boat was up first. Sun burnt to a crisp stood next to me as I showed her what we're going to do....and what do I do?
Hook a really big fish while I'm going over the in's & out's. But it busts me off in the jetty rocks before I could say BOO!

Okay...I think we maybe on to something here.

5 minutes later, she hooks a 4 pound Jack Crevalle.
Her first ever F-I-S-H!
It kicked her butt!
Then, five minutes later she hooks a 3 pound Sheepshead.
Then, Lee's son hooks a beautiful 18 inch Speckled Trout.
Then, Halee hooks a 20" really beautiful Speckled Trout.

Wow, not a bad start!

I was pretty dang busy, so I didn't get to take any photos, plus my camera is acting all goofy. And even though the FWC was like Vultures circling a carcass in the middle of the road, while we were getting waked in the NO WAKE zone by 40' sport fish boats!! So I had my attention elsewhere most of the time.

The tide behind the rocks faded and changes quickly. And as soon as it did, our bites dropped off.
But besides the first bite, every single bite was a fish. They did real good.

The wind just wouldn't quit. And of course since we were catching fish, I had boats circling us like Vultures too, jockeying for a position around us like a magnet. But when the current changed, there was no sense staying here. So we pulled up anchor and headed back south on the ICW.

I stopped along a deep cut back and re-anchored. And we caught one Yellowmouth Trout. After 4pm, right as all the ICW traffic magically diminished. I told Lee, "4PM it's the bewitching hour, everyone packs it in and heads home now, after a long day of running around in circles."

We met up up with Jeff, the other boat. He looked to be doing the "Bikini tour". Since that's all I could see on the bow of his boat. And he said, they trolled and caught some Jacks and Spanish Macs.

Then we all headed back to Beach Marine. I cleaned the fish for Lee, and he was ecstatic to have some prime fillets for dinner.

Challenging 1/2 day? YOU BET!

Sunday I have a rest day, and will be back at it on Monday thru Wednesday. I hope everyone goes back to work, spring break is over, and I know I'll be fighting high winds and possible rain this next week. Just hoping to have some tranquility on the river..."it's all I'm asking for".

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A look back....

This report blog is so sweet. I can look back and see the differences between this April and April of last year. (YES! There's ARCHIVES running down the right side bar of this Blog.) It helps that last April I did a "looking at my notes" post here also.

I believe things are a bit out of wack, compared to last year during this exact same time. No year is ever the same......Not in Bazzaro world F-L-A.

This time last year I was into some FOG. Yeah FOG, and we wore out some whopper Specks.

I believe the water was warmer too.

This was one wicked cold winter so that may have something dragging behind. But then again, other stuff seems right on time. Like the Black Drum at the jetties. Which I haven't done much of, if any..."bait-n-wait" fishing just isn't all that exciting as handing someone a rod and having them fish their float-rig all by themselves.

Here's all I'm waiting for:

I'd like to see warm water this summer. Not 74 degree water in June, July & August.
I'd also like to see a POGIE!
Actually cast net fulls of POGIES would be great!

I'd love to see the "beach" alive. Monster Redbass behind the surf, Cobia on the Rays, King Mackerel piled up in the S.E. Hole, along with a few close-in Sailfish. Tarpon and Sharks roaming the inlets and beach.

I remember going south to the Red Tops off Ponte Vedre , and trolling dead Cigar Minnows years ago and catching huge Spanish Mackerel (28 inches long) by the dozens, doing a 1/2 day charter!!!!!! Who the hell needs King Mackerel when ya have schools of eager Spanish chewing and jumping out of the water???

Opps, there we go again. It's all about them Pogies!
KEEP YOUR.........

Friday, April 10, 2009

4/10 - Slammin in the slop

Had Josh P. aboard as a "solo'ist" today. Had really no idea that it was going to be as sloppy as it was. It actually turned out to be just like yesterday, instead of a 20 knot SW wind, it was a 20 knot SE wind. Damn, the Ocean hasn't received much of a break in the last few days, at least it hasn't at the jetties.

Josh was dead on time and we flew on out to the rocks, so we didn't have to work around others. Got into position for a slam fest of monster yellowmouth Trout, and maybe a few Reds? And was surprised that it actually took both of us a 1/2 hour or so before we found the proverbial "nest".

But when we did, they weren't the big ones we had yesterday, at first. But as we fished they got larger. Josh wasn't out for supper, he was just out to catch fish. And I was happy to help.

We easily boxed our limit, and release a bunch more. I never turn my nose up at 18-21" Yellowmouths, even though I'm a Speckled Trout fan. Which Josh had only one Speck, which was 14-1/2 ".

Then from out of no where came a big color change in the water, a weird current that moved the boat, and a "rip" line passed right by us. I believe at high tide, that the high winds were pushing back the high ocean water along the jetty. Very strange, I don't see this much at all.

And then the bites got harder to get. So we made a move or two. If I say so myself, I surprised "me" with absolute precision anchoring in the 4 foot seas and sustained 20 knot SE wind. I got Josh right up to "Redfish rock" and on his first pitch up to the spot.............SLAM DUNK!

He hooked a really big fish, that handed him his butt. We were really close to the rocks, so the fish had no where to be but "in the rocks" as he attempted to pull the fish to the surface. But the leader broke.

"Okay", I said. "I know how to cure that." So we re-anchored and left some space between the boat and where the fish should be. This made for some wiggle room. But the next few casts up into the spot caught nothing. "Hmmmm, with all that sloppy water the reds ought to be in there." So the next fish was a Jack. Then, Josh lost a Sheepshead at the boat. Then two more sheeps came to the boat, then like a light switch the bites were over.

We had good action, then OFF.
(I've about had it with all camera's! Where the hell are these "lines" come from, is what I'd like to know!)
This is some really wacky stuff going on. But take in the fact that it was rough as a cob, and windy, I was just glad that we got in the middle of it all. And that Josh was savvy and had sea legs.

It was fun while it lasted. I don't even know how many yellowmouths we caught, it was a lot. Didn't take alot of pictures. Glad I didn't if they all would look like this one.

Back to my ole saying..."it's like Chinese yellow mustard, it's not hot it's exciting!"
Just like the jetties are when sitting in the slop and chop, when fighting a fish, pitching your float, and working your line. It's all Exciting. I LOVE IT!!

We left the rocks and worked the ole Funnel and only caught Blues while waiting for the tide to fall. So we moved on and there was someone fishing the next spot. So we ended up trying a shell bar in Sherman's creek to only get one Jack. So we packed it in and headed for the dock.

Damn, the FWC were like flocks of vultures today in the "hub", (aka: the Mayport Boat ramp to the little Jetties, and Sisters creek of course.)

Where are they all week long? Does that mean every no wake zone is wide ass open for high speed travel Monday thru Thursday? I find it so funny that they're presence is only when the fruit is so easy to pick off the tree. As it is on Holiday's, and nice weekends.

Next up: 1/2 day Saturday with 3.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

4/9 - It was a "Yeller" fest!!

"Holy smokes.... I haven't seen a bite like that for quite awhile."

Yes, it was a Yellowmouth Trout fest like none other. And I was so glad, because I had the entire Kolls family on the boat, mom & dad and the 3 boys.

(Camera was acting up...don't adjust your screen the line is in the photo.)
The wind was damn near heinous this morning.
Due southwest, at least 20 knots sustained.

So not wanting to get too close to the jetties I stayed off them, and made casts for the crew up to the rocks. And Ray (dad) agreed that 98% of all casts were instantaneous gratification!!

Before you think that these were those lil' Yellowmouths, let me correct you. These fish averaged 17-18 inches and were so full of spit and vinegar, it was unreal. Many of them ran 20 plus inches!! And I didn't even care that they weren't specks. Because I've haven't even been in a speck bite like this so far in 2009. And the boys were LOVING it!

If I had to guess, 50 of them would be a very low estimate.

So as I kept tossing, and they kept on catching, I pitched out a bottom line and all it caught was a blenny, a Bonnethead shark, a Seabass, and two clear-nosed spiney backed rays.

Yeah, we were hoping for a Sheepshead, a Redbass, or even a Speckled Trout. But the ferocious Yellowmouths wouldn't let a single live shrimp pass them by.

So after 4 hrs of filling the fish box with only monster Yellers, and after the tide died. We moved on finally. Up into the river. I wanted to see if we could get a nice keeper Speck or a Sheepshead.

And that's just what we caught.

A real nice 18" Speck, and a small Sheeps. But a Sheeps it was. So the game plan worked!

I thought I got a photo of the Speckled Trout, but I guess not. My camera was acting awful goofy today. That never happened with my 35mm Canon SLR.

So after some serious success, we headed in and I clean up a big mess of fish for them. And made up a lunch bag, so they could stop by Singletons and have some really fresh fried fish dinners out of the fish they caught themselves. Which is always a great way to end the day.

Next up: Friday, a solo angler and me. Oh, man...this ought to be a good one too.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

4/8 - SLAM FEST!

Well...after having to reschedule Monday the 6th and Tuesday the 7th because of absolute heinous winds in the 40 MPH category. It sure was refreshing to have a beautiful windless morning, albeit the cold temps that blew in last nice.

But, I'm the kinda guy that if we had perpetual December and maybe even January temps it wouldn't bother me one bit. I almost hate to see late winter and spring end soon. Because it's my damn near my favorite time of the year fishing wise.

So today I left out with Dave M. and his son Adam, and headed straight the jetties. Ready to fish, but also ready to beat feet as soon as I saw any Bluefish.

So I set up Adam first and before I could get Dave ready to go he had 4 Trout in the box.

AND NOT A SINGLE BLUEFISH! Wheww....that's a relief.

Specks and yellowmouths as fast as you got your float in the right spot. Now, we're talking my game. And when I got Dave into the mix it was double headers coming in. I stood ready with the net doing double fish netting.

This was the fish box after being on anchor, for just 20 minutes.

Then, I said as I do many times, "Now remember, at any given time your float can disappear and you'll be hooked up to a trophy class Speckled Trout or a big Redbass ready to kick some butt".

Five minutes later Dave hooks into a drag burning, pole bending Redbass that he couldn't stop.

And this one was a serious junk yard dog on the ole float rig. We had Capt. Kirk behind us and his folks said they could see the fish up in the jetty rocks on the surface. Dave tried all his might to turn the fish and it gave just a tad. It turned and ran down the rocks deep, and that's when it broke off. WOW, what a mean ass fish. (a really big fish)

We re-grouped and caught more and more Specks and Yellowmouths, a small Jack (only #2 so far for 2009 season) and then it happened to Dave all over again. Slam-bam-thank-you-Ma'am!

Here we go again.....the reel spool spun backwards and the line whistled in the breeze. POP!
Another Brutus T. Redbass in the jetty rocks.

But that was 0kay. The trout were infesting like the Bluefish did last Saturday behind the boat.
I was so busy I barely was able to snap a photo.

90% of all the trout were keepers, which was sweet. But we did have some smaller ones in the mix.

But the action was exactly what it should have been for this time of year. Not just catching Bluefish after Bluefish. So I figure the gale force winds from the other day blew them away. And I hope "away" means to another state!

As the action slowed we moved on. But here came the FULL moon falling tide current. It started to barrel through between the jetties, and was way to strong for our style of fishing. So we went into the river and went into a close creek.

That's where we finished up catching more Specks, some keepers some throw backs. And only 2 Bluefish. That's about when the land breeze started to blow. So we headed back to clean fish, and feed the friendly boat ramp Egret.....and I mean clean, alot of fish!!

Next up tomarrow : a 5 pack. Mom, Dad, and three boys. I expect I'll be pretty whooped after Thursday, ya think?

Monday, April 6, 2009

4/6 - SAVE OUR RIVER...for future generations


Green “pin” marks the location of the proposed Yankee Lake facility. Red line represents the pipeline to the St. Johns. On April 13th, the Governing Board of the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) will vote on a permit from Seminole County to withdraw an average of 5.5 million gallons of water a day (MGD) from the St. Johns River. Seminole County’s Yankee Lake facility would eventually be able to withdraw up to 55 MGD. This initial permit from Seminole County represents the beginning of an Alternative Water Supply (AWS) program that could eventually result in the withdrawal of over 260 million gallons of water a day (MGD) from the St. Johns and Ocklawaha.

This is not just about the future of the St. Johns and Ocklawaha. This is a fight to protect all of our water resources in Florida - our aquifer, rivers, and springs.

Here is how you can help:

1) Send an e-mail to the SJRWMD Governing Board members and Governor Charlie Crist and let them know that you oppose surface water withdrawals and support water conservation. Click here to learn more and to send an e-mail today. Takes two seconds to help!!

Read these articles for more information about the threats to our water resources:

St. Johns water district sells us out, Orlando Sentinel,0,4800323.column

Put the public before the pirates, Ocala Star-Banner

Groveland plans an April rally to drum up support in water war, Orlando Sentinel,0,2309985.story

Ocklawaha River: Insult Upon Injury, The Ledger

Who gets aquifer access? Answer is telling, Orlando Sentinel,0,838414.column

We think: Water managers' efforts to feed development starve efforts to fight it, Orlando Sentinel,0,2551277.story

Central Florida politicians wearing blinders, Orlando Sentinel,0,1709812.column

We think: The latest plans to address water demands is a nightmare, Orlando Sentinel,0,7995351.story

Now is the time to protect Florida's precious springs, Ocala Star-Banner

Jimmy Orth, Executive Director St. Johns Riverkeeper 2800 University Blvd. N. Jacksonville, FL 32211P: 904.256.7591

4/6 - 4/7 - Weather




Front passing thru.........again!

Had Monday & Tuesday pre-booked for several months with the Robinsons coming from Alabama. A far enough journey to be really pee-O'd if they got here and we couldn't fish effectively.
So we re-scheduled for the summer.

Next up is Wednesday with (2) doing a Jetty/Mayport Trip.

Then, Thursday and Friday, too.

Had a real fun Sunday. All in one day, I had to replace my Truck's battery and Starter. Just glad it crapped out on me right in my own driveway!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

4/ 3&4 - Invasions & Changes, daily!

Had Chris B. and his father out in some really bad winds on 4/3 - Friday. Before I even left the dock, I had a feeling that this would be a really tough one. 20-25 knot winds from the west was no good.
Here's what the flag looked like at the Marina next door to the boat ramp.
They call that
"standing at attention!!"
We went to the jetties, yeah like that was gonna
work. But just 24 hrs earlier, as you can see in
the 4/2 report.
It was one good day out there.

Needless to say my anchor wouldn't even hold in those winds. So we ended up catching some Blues, some small reds and trout. And man did we have to work for those bites, even. And in the ICW Chris caught the years first Jack Crevalle.

Then on 4/4 - Saturday, I had Chad P. and his father aboard. It was the Redfish spots tournament and I was entered in it. I was originally just going to fish with my dad. But business first. So Chad booked the day.

It was cold in the morning, with a 10 knot North wind bring down the chill.

We fished the jetties. And I thought the Bluefish were "Vermin" in the river, well the jetties takes the cake. Bite after bite was nothing but Bluefish. We lost bait after bait and hook after hook. They were so thick, it was like nothing I had ever encountered before.

On 4/2, the Bluefish ran us out of the jetties, and stopped the bite of nice Reds that we were into. But today, the only bites were the Blues. So as the tide was still falling we worked our way up river and everywhere we went it was exactly the same thing. More Bluefish.

Literally, it's an invasion of almost "epic" proportions!

People were everywhere, so we just went back to the jetties, and waited for the tide to slow up and hopefully change SOON! As we float-rig fished, we kept loosing baits to quick sharp bites all in one area. Between the Spanish Mackerel & Bluefish, this was something else. Then, we finally caught one, it was Sheepshead. They were bait stealing us pretty bad, But in between the constant Bluefish bites and all, it was tough to connect. So we got two back to back.

We ended up making a move over to the north jetty again, and connected to one more Sheepshead that could get to the shrimp in between the constant Bluefish bites over there too. But it was lost at the boat side due to probably a raggedy leader from Bluefish teeth.

I had to of gone through 50 hooks, and 100 yards of 15# leader. And all we could pull out of there was two Sheepshead and two Spanish Macs.

I've already rescheduled Monday & Tuesday due to high winds. Wednesday is supposed to be 15-20 knots from the West, and then have a 5 person charter, again on Thursday at this time is supposed to be south at 15 knots.

If I had one wish right now, I'd wish for no more Bluefish!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

4/2- Combat fish wranglin'

Had Chris & Kyle B. on board today. Original day was yesterday. And no way were we gonna make it yesterday. That was some BIG RAIN, we had. But I was still a bit worried about today even.

When I got to the boat ramp, no flags were flying high or whipping. And the boat ramp was a perfect weekday vacant. Which was a relief.
So off we went to the jetties.

The first spot the current was really ripping and only produced one Bluefish.
And that was just the start to our battles with those VERMIN.

So we moved on. And went straight to Float-rig land.

It was sloppy, and it was choppy. But the fish are not always were you're gonna be perfectly comfortable. And that's why I have the boat I have, I told Chris and Kyle. The larger the platform, the easier it is to sit in the washing machine.

We got into some really big Yellowmouth Trout, right off. Then, I tried to re-situate us, and then we picked up a Sheepshead. I situated us right out of the yellowmouth bite!!

Damn, good deeds can be punished. I was trying to make it so the guys didn't have to cast far, but rather just drift to them.

So I readjusted the boat back to the position we were in 20 minutes before. And on the first cast was a hook up with Brutus T. Redbass.

They're Here!
Nice maxed out keeper, for Kyle.
And from here on out it was one red after another, up to 32", with two keepers.

Kyle caught a Spanish Mackerel on the float-rig, first one of the year.

And after some lengthy battles with Brustus T , we obviously stirred up the VERMIN pot, because after the Reds, the dang Bluefish were chewing every hook off our leaders. And as usual this time of year, "they damn ran us outa there!"

So we moved on to a Trout spot. And Kyle was the HOT ROD. And caught 4 in a row, with two keepers.

We finished up the day there and went back to clean our fish.

Zero rain, no big winds, perfect temp.
Great Day!

But Kyle had to get home and get to work.
Poor guy.....