It always bothers me, when it's November and I'm not finding my Trout friends stacked up like cord wood, East of the boat ramp. Because this is "the time". And for numerous reasons to include gale force winds, high seas, winds from the East, lack of a decent tide. Are just some of the reasons why they seem to vacate the area. With the majority of the frustration, due to not having prime tides and or low winds.
So this morning it was supposed to beautiful, with a high tide in the 9:30-10am range. Which would be perfect for some R&D (research & development) all by my lonesome. It's been enough days after the big blow. And things should be getting back to normal.....Normal for around here!
So I got up early, loaded the boat and took off towards the bait shop. I got 5 dozen live shrimp, and a five gallon bucket of ice. I had the rods rigged, and even brought the heavier tackle, just in case I had to bottom fish for some Black Drum. If I didn't find my Trout friends.
Right as I was about to depart the bait shop, I run into friend, Dr. Dick M. He's a float freak too, and he was coming by to get some shrimp and go hit the river also, in his own boat that he keeps at his dock. In a brief conversation, we decided that he should grab some rods and go on the JETTYWOLF, with me.
So I went to the boat ramp, and he followed after a quick run to get his tackle. This was gonna be great. Two Float-Freaks out doing the R&D stuff.
As we took off, I had a definite plan. A game plan. Which included fishing the rest of the incoming tide in one area, then on the first of the falling on another. Then, if all else fails a few more areas that were ALL East of the boat ramp ONLY!
Well, we weren't on the first spot more than a few minutes, when my first drift of my float had me hooked up with a decent fish.....that I lost! Dick was on his second drift of his float and nailed a BIG fish. I looked at his rod thumping and the run it made on his float rig and we both seemed to be in agreement it was Brutus T. Redbass...."not a Trout".
But what do we know (as serious Trout Trackers!!!) The fish came to the surface and it was a monster Trout!
It was a real Stud......with it's tail bit clean off! We quickly put the fish on the scale and it was around 5 pounds. (I believe, it was possibly heavier) but in the excitement. We just wanted to get lines back in the water, fast!!!
We found them. As Dick caught more Specks, and I was into the Yellowmouths. But the tide was fading fast. So diligently we worked as much out of it as we could. Boxing more Specks up to 18" and Yellowmouth's to 17".
When the tide slowed, the bite slowed too. So I had plans to toss some jig-n-shrimp combo meals over on the north Jetty, in hopes for a Redbass, or Black Drum. Like on Sunday.
Over on the north, it was dead slow. My first hook-up was on a "pup" Red about 16 inches. A few 3" Seabass, and that was it. Dick and I went back to the float-rig...."it is a more relaxing way to fish, no doubt." No hanging up, just set the float's depth and let the shrimp, "do it's thang".
And that's when I was started to play catch-up. While looking over at Dick talking to him, my float went down, I felt the run of line under my thumb as I fed out line. And I set the hook on the most perfect 27 inch Redbass. Which of course was great because it was my target fish....but initially only on a jig. Catching it on the float (in my book) makes it that much more gratifying, of course.
After the nice Red. It was just dead, so we looked around a bit. And decided to try another area.
But before we left, D.O.A. Rob who was sitting next to us hooked up a nice Red on his float rig, too. He was in an all out pursuit to upgrade a Redbass that he needed for one of those "on-line" fishing tournaments. D.O.A. Rob, is pretty addicted to those tournaments. So he was happy he stuck it out and got his fish.
We stopped to talk to a few friends of mine to see what they were doing. And then pulled up to a spot that was usually pretty good, if they Trout are there. Easy to fish, and shallow water.
Well, here is where we ended our day after several hours of pure way-lay. The Trout were stacked up in one spot. And gave us several hours of setting hooks and rod bending action.
As it turned out, I thought the Mangrove Snappers had almost vanished since the big winds of last week. But like my Trout friends, showed back up eating our shrimp, again. And we got a good box of nice keepers. Along with one pesky Sheepshead, that I kept for Mom.
We headed back to the dock to clean our fish, in the day light. But it wasn't long after that the sun went down on one hell of a beautiful, and mighty productive day.