Monday's at 7am......it's usually my favorite time and day. A vacant boat ramp, a vacant river (to some extent). And if the fish are chewin', just a great way to start a week.
Except for this Monday. Something happened.
Had John H. aboard today for a solo angler's trip. Plans were to go do some float-rig fishing, then depending on the bite, possibly stop and get a few Bull Reds before heading back to the dock to clean fish. I like to mix it up. Don't really want to spend the whole day bottom fishing, but rather wait till the tides low, and then try it. So we left the dock this morning at 7am on a falling tide, with a East wind blowing between 15-20 knots.
Headed to the same area I fished on Saturday with Nick. The tide had just started to fall. John had never float-rig fished before. But was interested in learning a new technique, seeing he has his own boat, and lives further up river.
We fished and fished, and hit approx. 5-6 spots and only had one small 14" Trout, and a few Mangrove Snappers. At first I thought it had to be just the area that we were in, so I kept moving. But after hitting some of the better Trout areas in my available locale. We both started to realize. It wasn't us. They just weren't biting! But the funny thing was, the Mangroves sure were on the loose.
A few places, a shrimp couldn't make it 20 feet behind the boat. Along with Pinfish, we ran right through 6 dozen live shrimp with nothing to show for it except two 12" Mangrove Snappers in the box.
I can easily put 2 and 2 together. On Saturday, the Trout bite was almost non-existent. And we were seemingly lucky two get the ones we did catch.
How many days now has it been with the due East wind?? This isn't spring time. Because I blatantly remember many a March-April that had incessant east winds for weeks.
This weeks strong/high tides coupled with East winds holding back the water in the river made for no genuine LOW tides. Add up all these factors, and somewhere hidden in there was the lack of Trout I believe.
And as I told John, "Don't come out on this river anytime, without some kind of back-up plan, I don't care what time of year it is."
So we headed back towards the boat ramp. But we certainly weren't going to give up completely.
Could it have been that all morning long he had Bananas hidden in the cooler? I've had my situations with the yellow funny shaped fruit before. Too many times have Bananas appeared in the hands of my clients, to my dismay. Apparently a "fisherman's snack" for many. But also "bad luck", for those who are superstitious like me.....especially when we're already struggling. John quickly ate one, and disposed of the other.
I anchored up to try and catch a few bull Redbass. (the back-up plan). And no sooner were we one the spot with two rods out did we get two bites. Both rods started bouncing. But one was what we came looking for. John was quickly hooked up to a big Redbass. The other rod had a dang Toadfish on it. The fish peeled drag on the absolute last "puff" of falling tide, running due east.......then, POP. Broke off right above the hook. Huh? Wonder what happened there?
With the bananas now gone, and now getting bites, it sure seems like the superstition was real.
The tide quickly reversed being pushed by the 15 knot east wind. So I made a move even closer to the boat ramp. Looking to get wind and tide going all the same direction. We had five frozen Blue Crabs left. If we're lucky, just enough to catch a Big Red. Even though not a "Box" fish, it would be redemption for our whole morning spent traveling, fishing hard, and coming up with no trout.
Blame it on the bananas, or just changing tactics (Trout can be way more finicky then Red's on the bottom) But we easily got bit, and John like so many other people I take, caught his largest Brutus T. Redbass, of his angling career. We ended up with three all in the same area. From 20-30 pounds.
It was a long, long day. But John learned a new fishing technique, saw how the tide and wind effects each spot, saw how aggravating small Mangrove Snappers can be to the Trout fisherman, and also caught his largest ever Redbass. So even though we never filled the box with Trout and Flounder. I believe he got his time and monies worth.
Now, I have to start thinking toward Thursday's charter. Wonder what the deal will be then?
-See ya on the river.
Vienna Sausages, and a pack a crackers, have never brought me bad luck!