Had John G. and Jay aboard today. From Ohio and N.Y. They came down to J-ville for just a bit of messin' around and for a day of fishing. Well, we fished alright. Fished our tails off. Especially float-rigging, looking for some Speckley bastards....that's what I call them Trout when they're making me mad.
We fished and fished, moved around, sat in monster current, you name it. And never got the first Trout bite or Trout to the boat. It wasn't for a lack of trying or working hard. I know I worked hard on my end. I pulled my Achilles tendon behind my heel and it was throbbing with each step I took, and each time I yanked and cranked my giant length of chain and anchor back into the boat.
I swear it was noon or later, and we couldn't even give away a live shrimp to anything more than a Pinfish or tiny Jack. Which, this all started back last Tuesday when I was out with George and Tom, progressively got worse on Wednesday, with Mike and Phil, so it was no shock, that now by Friday, with the due east breeze and up coming full moon, that it may be a bit of a struggle finding quality Trout like species.
So I basically had to just give up. I was at the end of my line, by 1:00pm. So we sat on a spot, using 1 oz. egg sinkers, a real long leader, tiny hooks and light rods and the smallest live shrimp and pitched out behind the boat as it swung back and forth and caught about 20 Mangrove Snappers. With some really decent ones going into the fish box. We boxed 13 good fryers, 2 shy of our boat limit, before they shut off as the tide changed. Along with a Sheepshead and a small Black Drum adolescent Ladyfish.
I didn't want to attempt the jetties this morning, with the east wind and I'm sure, sloppy seas. But now as the tide changed and the wind laid down, I had no choice, but go look at it out there.
So we saved just enough live shrimp to go give a spot a try. We soft peddled our way out there. And once on the spot, it seemed we could easily fish.
With not a whole lot of sea legs, John and Jay could at least lean into the boat as we rolled in the swell, and froth. On the second anchor attempt, I was dead on where I need to be. We pitched out float rigs up to the rocks, and it didn't take long before John was hooked into something really nice.
Turned out to be a good size Redbass, that ran him straight to the bow. After a long day of no big pullers. Just the twitch, twitch of one pound Mangroves under his belt, he was a bit taken by the slam dunk and "see ya" attitude of the jetty junk yard dawg he had hooked up. It looked to be a Red anywhere from 26-30", it was hard to tell as it came near the surface....ONCE! Then, pop the hook let go and we had to quickly chock this one up to a "fishing experience".
Back at it we went. And again, it didn't take long before John was hooked up again. This time the fish went toward the stern, and then under the boat a few times. Coaching as much as I could, we really needed this one, "in the boat!"
After a good slug fest, John guided the Red to my waiting dip net. Unfortunately, depending on how ya look at it, the fish was 28-1/2 inches long. And a real beaut, with loads of spots.
Not a keeper, but a good catch none the less. Jay was ready to pack it in, or was a bit uncomfortable with the seas out there...."it was undetermined".
So we headed back to the dock to clean the Sheepshead and Mangroves.
Because John and Jay's fish had a date with the fryer at Singletons Seafood Shack. With 28 fillets they had almost 4 pounds of cleaned fish. And in my opinion, I'll take them nice small crunchy along the edge's fried fillets of Mangrove Snapper over a Redbass, any day!
So, the higher water falling tide in the morning has been a genuine struggle all week long. It's still so damn warm, and this weekend isn't going to help. Be it the backside of an El Nino year, no hurricanes, no tropical storms, or whatever it was that "didn't" happen this year. I'll take the latter, any day.
Because there's no way I should be out tracking Trout all week in the last days of October and not be able to find them where we fished. Last year at this time sure was a totally different story.
But no matter what, if you're willing to stick with me. We'll put fish in the boat, even if I have to anchor us up in the chop & slop, or take up Mangrove Snapper fishing.
Next up: Sunday with Don and Theresa.