Had Chris M. on board today, of course another reschedule from last Friday. Because of the heinous winds, that took my whole week and jumbled it up. Saturday, I went out to try a new anchor I'm playing with. Since it was also pretty damn nice....finally. And all I can say is after this weekend......"where the hell are all the big Trout?"
Because on Saturday, all I did was go east of the boat ramp and fished for awhile. Didn't even leave till noon. So I could catch some falling tide and incoming as well. And all I came up with was 2- 14 inchers. Is the inconsistency monster out of the cave again???
So I told Chris, let's not leave till 10am. The new moon tide had the water so high it was up in the parking lot of the boat ramp. And I wanted nothing to do with that!
Even at 10am on Sunday. The water was still very high. But we took off and headed east.
Today it was a class room on the boat. Chris did his charter to learn a few things, like #1, how to float-rig fish. But honestly, I figured we just needed to start with the real basics first. And catch a few fish. So since there's no sense in float-rigging for Trout, eastward. We started out pitching jig and shrimp combo meals at the jetties. Jiggin' and Shrimpin'.....oh how it's been awhile since I've done that, myself. But it's getting to be that time of year, for it. And of course this weekend was finally calm enough to head over to the North jetty and give it a try.
Chris got the hang of it right away. And was up on me by four hook-ups, before I could say boo. But they were hook-ups......no fish to the boat. Then, he caught a small pup Black Drum, about 13 inches. Last year, on November 14th, Nick W. and I sat way-laying 25 Black Drum from pups, to 9 pounders, on jigs and shrimp at this exact location. So maybe some bigger ones would come down the rocks, like that again.
Out deep, the bottom fisherman, were catching Black Drum. But as usual, I like it light & active, not deep and heavy . So we pitched some 3/8 oz. jigs. I then connected to a pup Drum. A 14 incher..... Guess nothing this fall is going to be even remotely like last fall?? Because for starters, I wouldn't have to be even doing this. I'd be float-rigging instead.
This fall so far has been mighty inconsistent. One day I'm on them (way back on Nov. 1st: http://jacksonvillefishingreports.blogspot.com/2009/11/111-one-sweet-day.html) and like all week, the Trout toward the East, just seemed to be far and few between on the falling tide.
Chris did catch a 14" Speck on the jig. But it's not like I ever catch a box load of good sized Trout where we were anchored.
Then, we finally got two Redbass, at 27 inches each.
So the tide was down now, so we moved on and took the class room elsewhere. Chris needed to see tackle, couldn't wait to see the float-rig, but it certainly didn't hurt him to know about a jetty standard, such as jig fishing, the rocks.
When all else fails, and you don't want to hang 4-12 ounces on you line. Tie on a jig, pin on a live shrimp, and work the rocks for their inhabitants.
We moved our way down river. Talking about areas to fish, looking at a few spots. Got ate alive by gnats on one area, while I caught a 14" Trout. But the bugs ran us off. So we pulled up on another area, and as the sun went down, we each caught a few Yellowmouths on the float-rig. Packed it in and headed back to the dock in the dark.
Again, on the last spot. The incoming tide was just starting to push in. My timing was perfect. But like it's been lately, there was no specks to be had. Last time I fished this exact spot on the first of the incoming tide. We had no less than 25 Specks and 10 Yellowmouth up to 5 pounds, boxing our 10 limit and catching more for the fun of it. Today? Not a Speck in sight. Yep, bit again by the inconsistency monster?
If Chris learned one thing and one thing only. It's that whatever you did last week, or even yesterday, doesn't mean anything. Because it all changes, in as little as over night sometimes.
I feel sorry for the guy who fishes once or twice a month.....sometimes.
But I believe, his day of learning a few things, which was the objective was worth him booking his day. And he went home with plenty of meat, too. He went home with two Yellowmouths, a pup Drum, and two 27 inch Redbass, to clean. Too bad we fished till dark, because he may have benefited from a fish cleaning class also.
My fellow Trout freak friend, D.O.A. Rob, went kayak fishing on Sunday too. He called me and said he only caught one Trout all day. But it was a 5 pounder! But he's like me, I think. He'd take 20, two pounders over one 5 pounder, any day.
BTW....here's Nov. 14th last year. Float-rigging the Jetties and pitchin jigs at the jetties, that's all, not one single sinker on the bottom, with Nick W. This is only what were were allowed to keep: