Tuesday, May 26, 2009

5/25 - No TROUT, changes.

Ya' know after week long storm like we just got over, that dropped so much rain on the area. You would think something would have changed afterwards?? Something, anything....

Well, the waters less salty in the river in Mayport. There's probably not a Pogie to be had for 100 miles on the beach. The water temp dropped. And we're probably set back a bit now, on the "Fisherman's summer calendar" .

But as far as the river Trout fishing, I saw absolutely zero change today.

I had Mark M. aboard today. After some reconsideration, Mark decided it wasn't going to rain all day and I met him at the boat ramp around 11a.m, high tide.

The water at the boat ramp was a 18 parts per thousand on my salinity gauge. That's a huge change. It was so hot and humid, that I was seeking shade behind a dock piling while waiting for Mark. That's another change.

So when Mark arrived, we turned left from the boat ramp and headed up river.
We float rig fished spots from the Little Jetties to 14 miles up river of the boat ramp.
With out a single Trout. Not a Jack, or a Ladyfish, just the usual Mangrove Snappers eating every shrimp we drifted behind the boat.

EXACTLY....the same thing that we did last Saturday, prior to 20" of rain, and day after day of high winds. THIS ABSOLUTELY AMAZES ME.

We ended up at the same spot that we caught Trout on last Saturday, and that's where we found them. Or at least I found some. I drifted my float along with Mark drifting his, but intermediately between running a bottom line also. Doing whatever I could do to muster up some kind of "box fish".

And I caught 4 trout, from 15 to 22 inches for the cooler. Mark was a bit frustrated, and I can understand why. His float rig was running the same area, and it seemed that he was doing nothing different than I was.

The bottom rig, baited with just a dead shrimp caught some Croakers, with one big keeper, a Spot, and a few tiny Jacks. The Croakers were a change. Because last Saturday, I tried the same thing and caught no Croakers. I'm looking for that "sign" , that says; "fish are pushing back towards the inlet, because of all the fresh water in the river."

The salinity at this spot was a 10 ppt. (parts per thousand) and had that "tinge" of yellow to it, which means fresh water. The tide had to get low, before we even had any action.

Mark was out to learn. So I told him as much as I could as the day went on. And one thing I mentioned to him is, "the tattle-tale fish".. Just like when fishing offshore for Kingfish, Baracuda's kind of go with kingfishing. Jacks and Ladyfish kinda go with Trout fishing this time of year.
Just like Sharks with Tarpon chum fishing. There's always the "other fish". That you should be catching while in pursuit of the one species your looking for.

Well, we barely had any Jacks, and we had no Ladyfish at all. So my theory sort of is, if we don't have these numerous bait attackers, how are we going to catch Trout?

This is not a rule. Just something that's noticeable. Something that makes a mental note in your head, while tracking large Trout in the river this time of year.

Believe me, I'd love to go out and chum fish for Tarpon and have only Tarpon hook-ups. But it's a rarity. Same goes for catching good Trout. I love it when it's all Trout, and no junkfish such as Ladies. But that is not always the norm.

The tide was getting good and low, so we made a move as the sea breeze was really starting to blow. And we found a handful of small Speckled Trout and a Yellowmouth, and Mark finally connected with them. It was now 6pm. So we decided to work our way back.

We passed DOA Rob, a buddy of mine who is a die hard Trout fisherman, also. He and his friend Greg had basically the same exact day we did, but also got into "Spots", another type of Croaker family of fishes. And they had 4-5 of these Spots, that we 13-14 inches on jigs and shrimp.
Greg's in the seafood business, and has never seen Spots so big come from the St. Johns River before. So that was an obvious change, due to all the fresh water in the river. They also had some Trout and 4 keepers up to 19 inches and lots of small Croakers too.

Well, it may take some time for more Trout to congregate, or as I have found in the past to bottle neck into a area, because of the salinity. I've seen it before. And that's what I was hoping to find.

I didn't take any photos of the Trout we boxed, because I caught them. And that wasn't the point. I wanted Mark to catch them.

Next up, will be some Jetty fishing. I'd like to get some live baits, and try the bottom fishing for Reds along the jetty rocks. And also get up behind the shrimp boats if they're close to the inlet and see if the big Black tip Sharks are stacked up in their wake.

Five days of constant rain, and at least 3 days of winds over 40 knots offshore is nothing to sneeze at......that's some severe weather, for the month of May!!

I lost out on 4 days of charters over this holiday week. Now I'd like to see some really good fishing be the outcome.