Had Bob, Matt, and Micheal H. aboard today. Originally, I thought we might be able to get on those reds at the jetties like I did with Tim from the Tampa area, on Wednesday and Thursday.
But as usual.....that was a summer time "fluke". I know, because DOA Rob and myself went out yesterday and fished the same tide, and same place, and NEVER CAUGHT A SINGLE FISH!!!! The Tarpon that were everywhere were gone. It went from absolute gang-busters to ZERO. And we know what we're doing out there!
Yeah, that's good ole summer in J-ville for ya. You can't count on what your doing now, to be what you'll be do, 2 days from now.
Exactly the opposite during my favorite time of year, November thru April 1st. You ask, "what are you doing?" And my answer will be, float-rig fishing for big Trout, toss in Redfish and Sheephead.
I get so damn mad when on this subject, that I don't even like discussing it. And it won't ever change, because every single summer it's exactly the same thing. No matter how much I despise it.
So we left out around 7:30am, and went in the river to where at low tide we had a 4 pound Trout last Monday, before the afternoon storms. There was a breeze blowing up the stern of the boat and bucking the water flow out of the spot. Which is the first no-no. The tide height was perfect, but between the three guys they mustered one small Trout, so we left. I wasn't surprised.
Jack Crevalle fishing, anyone? Next area is famous for Jacks of all sizes. But each time there, we usually get a decent Flounder too. Well today, Mike caught a Redbass, 22 inches instead of a flattie, which is better anyhow, because they actually fight.
The jacks were there and they were all sizes. But not any super strokers in the 10-15 pound class that I have had before, thank goodness because the young guys had a handful with what
They caught a good number of Jacks, a Ladyfish, the usual 6" Mangrove Snappers.
And an interesting thing....
I asked super "fishing" veteran, Capt. John Campbell this morning at B&M bait and tackle, if there was an infestation of 6" Mangrove Snappers in the St. Johns 30-40 years ago. Because John always mentions "back when" while talking to him. Not all that happy about the changes he's seen in the ocean and river. He's not one to hold back any comments. And his answer to my question was a resounding, "Nope!"
That's one fish that I'd like to see a price tag put on their head, at any size. That insures there won't be any of them around in the near future. Spring time 10" Bluefish don't even bother me as much as these mini-bait stealing snappers. I used to fish offshore almost every single trip I booked, years ago. Some of you may not know that. From trolling to bottom fishing, I was out there in a 23' center console day in day out. And from my experiences, if we have so many juvenile Mangrove's inshore, you'd think we'd have tons of larger ones offshore. But how many do you hear about? Next to none! It's Red Snapper, Red Snapper, Red Snapper....and that's it.
I can tell you that the offshore waters should be infested with Mangroves everywhere, for the amount of the small bastards that are in the St. Johns as of April 1 of every single year.
We left the Jacks and headed for the jetties. I wanted to try something real quick. I know some small Black Drum were caught on top of the end of the jetty, I saw them. So we gave it a quick try, with pieces of shrimp. MISTAKE....you cannot drop any shrimp to the bottom at the end of jetties. In a nano-second, your bait would vanish, there's so many bait-stealers down below.
Fiddler Crabs may work better, but I didn't bring any fiddlers, because I wasn't planning on doing much bottom fishing the jetties. This was just a "try" that's all. Not worth doing till mid to late October, for me.
The guys wanted big pullers, like sharks. But the skills to handle big fish just have not developed yet for the boys. Maybe in 10 years of fishing 10 times a year with me......LOL,LOL.
So I figured I'd give them some Nassau Sound Bonnethead sharks to play with. So we took off to the north.
The tide was a screaming falling at the jetties, it's not like other waterways. Because when we got to Nassau Sound the tide there was a screaming incoming. Isn't that funny? The St. Johns does play by the normal rules.
The guys caught Ladyfish at first. Then a few moves later we found a few Bonnethead sharks for them. It was all they could handle! And not a single one made it boat side. Every one broke off out away from the boat. Fighting a 20 pound Bonnethead for a beginner can be a daunting task. You learn "tackle handling" real quick like!
In between the Bonnets they caught a big beach Whiting, for the cooler.
They were getting tired, hungry ......or was that just Matt? Yeah, I think so. So very tired, that when the rod horseshoed over he'd knock ya out the way to get it!
So we packed it up and headed back via Lake Atlantic.
Next up: Friday with Dave from Virginia who's fished with me numerous times.
This next week coming is the "dark side of the moon", a New Moon. The ONLY time this month that we'll have BIG tides. Get the anchor ready!