Friday, June 5, 2009

6/5 - Before the pour.

Had Greg G. aboard today with his brother-in-law and his daughter. When we talked the evening before I had just got done watching the weather, and the 60% chance of rain had me saying, "I hope we make our day......"

When I was on the phone with Greg it was also pouring buckets, but that was at 5:00pm. So naturally I thought, it might not cut loose till after our day is done.

We departed at 6:30am and I headed straight for the jetties. I had float-rig rods rigged and had plans to fish the last of the incoming tide there. The night before the wind was blowing pretty hard, and where I wanted to try first was not un-fishable in the Jettywolf, but after anchoring perfectly where I thought we'd be able to fish safely, we still rocked and rolled pretty good in a sloppy chop coming from the S.E. residual from over night.

Always plan or be aware that if we go to the jetties/inlet that it may be Ocean like. And let me remind all that the Ocean is not commonly a Mill pond in Apple Valley, Wisconsin.

First hook-up was a 18-1/2 inch Redbass, a true rarity. They normally are not that small.

But the next hook-up was a brute that acted as if it didn't know it was hooked at first then after getting closer to the boat, made a dash behind the boat into the jetty rocks and POP, went the leader.

A few small Jacks later, the high tide came and the current faded, so we moved on too calmer waters up in the river. Ladyfish, Jack, Ladyfish, Jack, more Ladyfish. Then a nice Flounder.

After the falling tide really got rolling and the current became stronger (full moon is on Sunday)
we moved on and further up river. I was hoping to get a few Trout on the spot but it was overrun with Mangrove Snappers......."What's new??"

I kept looking west, and the sky was getting darker and darker. One keeper sized Mangrove was caught about 12", then I had a charter call, and then all of a sudden the dark turned into a wall of rain, with a temperature drop, and gusty winds started. It was going to get us! The wall was a mere 1/4 mile away.

I said, "pack it up....we're outa here", and I drug up the anchor, pulled into the boat and hit 5200 rpm's back east toward the boat ramp. The rain was coming down at a 45 degree angle and was hitting the river creating a mist above the water. I call this "bouncing rain drops". Usually associated with high winds and big rain drops.

At the boat ramp Capt Kirk was there alone attempting to get away from the dock and on his trailer. So I opted for the next best thing.......a crash landing over at Mayport Marine next door.

Between the west wind at 40 MPH, and the river's ebbing tide, the marinas docks have soft bumpers, unlike the public docks that have hard nylon down the side. And it could have been a really rough landing. But not nearly as bad at the marina. We took cover inside the boat building till the storm passed.

I know I was wet down to the BVD's, and I'll assume my crew was too.
I cleaned up the fish we had, and we called it a day. A shorter day then what was planned.
I sat talking to a few friends at the boat ramp afterwards and it continued to rain even more.
It was a good idea to cut our losses.

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