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