But today, with overcast skies till at least 3:00 pm, Roger L. and I had a "cooler" day on the Big St. Johns River. We also had a good breeze from the SW which really had us basking in good fishing glory on my last stop of the day. Where we sat for hours wackin' and stackin', while also having our asses handed to us, also.
We started late this morning. Fishing the tides. No need to leave at the crack o' dawn.
We fished the river and it wasn't like we were burning down the house by no means. That last of the falling tide hasn't done me any super favors lately. Lots of bait stealing Croakers, Mangroves and pinfish, in the same spot where Chris and Zach and I caught several Trout on Saturday, while boxing 3-4 keepers. So instead of making a radical move, I made a 50 foot move and Roger was rewarded with this 21" Yellowmouth Trout, that was glowing it was so yellow from the brackish waters up river.
We had several good bites, and lost a few. But only boated this one. Time to make a move.
Next spot, two Specks with one 18 incher, and one
Again, today the falling tide was a real screamer, so we headed to the jetties for the flood tide and as scheduled when it got right it got nice and right!
Nice fat Mangrove Snapper's to 16", 6-Redbass from 16-22" boxing our two keepers. A few lost big Reds that smoked the drag and broke Roger off.
I told Roger that many times, people who fish once a year say to me, "Dave, all I want is BIG fish" as if I can order them up for the day like Cheeseburgers at Hardees. But the deal is, it's all relative, when fishing light tackle. Because if you hook a 33 inch Redbass up in the jetty rocks, let's see if a fish that size makes it to the boat first.
We kept hooking really good fish up in the jetties that would really stroke us. Have them coming to the boat, and then they'd get off. This happened at least 5-6 times. In between the Mangrove Snappers, Redbass, and even a Speckled Trout!!! Yeah, a Speck! Roger caught the first Speck caught at the jetties on my boat since May. A 15 incher.
I had out a brand spanking new Ugly Stik "inter-coastal" rod with a piece of cut Croaker for bait. I liked the rods, because of price and that they had a gimble on the butt for putting them in the rod holder. I've had at least 5 broke rods in that past year. So I've resorted to all Ugly Stiks, because people are so hard on my premium tackle.
Well, the rod went off, and I picked it up, reeled down, and lifted the rod, when it broke in half right in my face, while the fish was on the other end. HOLY.....&%&@#!!!!! This rod was brand new, never used except for today, and it broke as if snapping on command.
Between lost and bent anchors. Rods broke in half, I seem to not go a month without replacing one or the other. Needless to say, the fish was lost too.
The spot was really getting right and the bites were steady and the action between Reds, Mangroves, and that mystery fish that both Roger and I were hooking and loosing constantly.
Well, I was ready, and the next bite up tight in the rocks came and I got really ready and got the fish out of the rocks. I mean, these fish felt like Reds diving for the deep when you hooked one.
So I finally got one out of the rocks, and up to the boat and it again came off the hook. But this time I saw it! It was a monster sized Black Margate! Mystery solved. But still not one in the fish box, yet. Then, again we got real ready and the next bite, and here it comes to the boat.
YES....MONSTER BLACK MARGATES. The largest I have ever seen.
I've caught lots of Margates before, usually bottom fishing the end of the jetty rocks.
But let me tell ya, these fish were handing Roger and I our asses on a silver platter, on the float-rig! We'd hook them, they'd rip us down into the rocks while we were bowing the rods over trying to keep them moving towards the boat. Loosing all of them except this one. Keeping them hooked up, was the problem.
Even though...... it was FUN - FUN - FUN.
We easily went through 10 dozen live shrimp, and used ever single one. It was a really good day, not as hot and lots of action on the float-rig all day long. I loved it. And I think Roger had a really good time too. At days end he went home with a big bag of really nice fillets, ready for the pan.
Next up: Half day kids trip on 7/1.