Had Dave C. from Virginia out with me again. Dave always fishes as a solo person. And we always have fun. He enjoys the water and the pursuit of the fish as much as catching.
Thought I'd mix it up a bit. So I took the Kingfish rods with me today. Here's what I figured....
First thing this morning, get some Pogies and run out to the S.E. Hole/Spoil Area/Chum hole and do some of that "el boro" live bait going really slow, trolling. Hey, but it's a change!!
So as we passed the old Sea Turtle Inn from behind the breakers with out seeing a single "flip-n -splat" of a single Pogie, right then were at the extent of my chase for live baits. I usually will not waste any more time. PERIOD. But heck, we were going "slow trolling".....
So we ended up at the Red Tops. Still no Pogies! Yep, good ole Bazaaro World Florida is at it again. How do people put up with this all summer long?? I just do not know.
I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE STOPPED AT THE NORTH JETTY AND JUST JIGGED UP SOME GREENIES (threadfin herrring). I could have just kicked my own ass at this point, but my stubby legs don't go that way.
At the Redtops, I came off plane and rigged up my flimsy King rods with Drone spoons and a 4 oz. trolling lead. On top of it all, I am experimenting with "lead core" line spooled up on Shimano Tekota 500 level wind reels. For the non-down-rigger, trout fisherman (me) I was really wanting to see how well it would work getting the Pogie down deeper. Now you know, the cats outa the bag. I believe it would work great, too bad we had no live baits to try.
So over the side and into my TGT rodriggers (see mine and others here: http://www.tgttackle.com/photo_gallery.php ) the two rigs went, as I bumped the throttle up to about 5 knots.
I pointed the bow back north and away we went, passing plenty of boats that probably were pulling ribbonfish, in the Fernandina Kingfish tournament.
Believe it or not, we received 4 strikes, two were hook-ups and stroked the rods over, buzzed the reel clickers, one was a wimpy bite, and one was a Spanish Mackerel hook-up. The Spanish were chasing small minnows on the surface all over the place.
We got between Hanna Park and the jetties and gave up, packed it in and got up on plane....."the lure of the float-rig was calling this Float-Freak, as it was calling Dave too."
We tried the falling tide dead jetties, with nothing caught. Then tried along the Navy base. Every single live shrimp we drifted on the float-rigs were eaten by a 4" Mangrove Snapper!! This, again
was absolutely futile. Up into the river further. Next spot, Mangrove Snapper futile fishing once again. Then another move, and the game was on......FINALLY!
First drift, 23 inch Speck at 4+ pounds.
Then, an 18 incher!
Then, some smaller Specks at 15-17 inches. Then, I had my hook completely crushed, and lost a good bite. I told Dave, "see this, it's what a Sheepshead can do with those snarly teeth, it happens all the time."
Then, ten minutes later Dave catches the hook crusher!
The current about quit on this spot, and we had 2-3 Ladyfish.
Damn that was some fast and furious action. I know I loved it.
As we call it in the biz, "zero to a hero" real quick.
Dave is so laid back, he's an angler and knows I was trying to do something different with him this time, when looking for the Pogies. We've float-rigged fish many, many times together. And he was with me when I caught my first 10 pound Speckled Trout, April 28th of 2008 near the jetties. We'll always have this day in the record books.
With a slack tide in the river, we headed back to go clean the fish.
Today's take ready for the knife:
Dave says, he'll be back in August and will be bringing a friend with him from Virginia.
I'll have the ole float rig rods rigged and ready, Dave!