Friday, November 6, 2009

11/6 - BIG ain't kidding!

As soon as I dropped the boat in the water and backed off the trailer I could tell, this wasn't like the parking lot at B&M bait and tackle!!

Here's a photo of the Pilot station next to the boat ramp. I always look at their flag, and say "oh it's gonna be a toughie, or Oh, it's gonna be a easy day".

Take a wild guess what I said to myself, today?

I got the call early this morning before our 9am departure that Travis was bringing his 6 yr. old son. Right then, I said to myself...."don't think I'll attempt a jetty trip, today!" Because if I just had two rough and tumble adults ya know I'd do it, but not when I have a kid that young on board. I got enough on my mind when anchoring out there in a 20 knot North East wind, let alone having to keep one eye on a 6 year old, too.

Of course, I had planned on it. I got two calls from friends that sat at the Jetties yesterday and did quite well, float-riggin the rocks. One was in a 17' jon-boat!! And no Jon-boat was going out there this morning. Not where I wanted to fish.

We departed with several hours of the incoming tide still ahead of us. And with the wind and tide all going essentially the same was near heinous in the river. And about non-Float rig fishable, where I wanted to go. Hell, we went and looked twice even, and I didn't want to anchor there even. So we took some time and just fished the bottom. So Trevor the 6 year old could catch some fish. Since I knew it would be awhile before we could go do the "adult fishing" that I wanted to do, on a certain spot.

So I went to an area that's usually covered up with Yellowmouth Trout. And it wasn't completely balls to the wall today, but they were there. Just way too small. But we let the boy reel in some fish and he had fun. It was just that 90% of the yellowmouths were 12-13 inches, instead of 14-18 inches.

Needless, to say as you'll see this is about where my normal shutter-bug self, stopped. I was just too busy, it was just so windy and I just wanted fish in the box. So, I too fished along with Travis and Darren.

When the going gets tough, Dave needs to know what's going on, too. So after we caught a bunch of small yellowmouths for the boy, we moved on and the tide was now falling. The wind backed off a bit and all was better.

I'm not the only one that knows this. But I'll say it anyway, in case you don't know. Basically, the river tide carries an atmosphere with it. When the tide changes, many times the winds change too. It's the air mass that gets carried along with the moving cooler or warmer river water. Same thing happens out in the Gulf Stream.

So, now that all was better.....but still windy as all hell. We ended up where I wanted to go in the first place. And usually "I am your ringer". I can find the bite fast. But today, Darren was Johnny rod bender. He was the fella who works on the Marlin Oil Rig in the Gulf of Mexico 150 miles offshore of Louisiana. We no sooner got anchored and he started bailing the Speckled Trout over the side of the boat.

We weren't float-rig fishing but rather tight-lining again with a light weight egg sinker and a real long leader and live shrimp. Between the 14-18 inchers and Mangrove Snapper he was waylaying them, as Travis and I tried to keep up.

The current was perfect. But as the tide got down, all the good current went away. The tide dropped and the wind speed, took over. But that was okay, I made a few adjustments. And he still whacked them, picking off a few nice ones on each re-anchor. And even had two small Flounder. One in the boat and one "palm beach release" at boat side.

I brought 10 dozen live shrimp and again, and we barely made it. I tried one more spot and we had 4 shrimp left.

The bite was really good, for awhile there. That's now two trips in a row that ten dozen shrimp just don't last because of bites, fish, and released small Trout. We caught no less than 20 Speckled Trout and 10 Mangrove Snappers while the getting was good. Plus, all the small yellowmouths you could stand to have a kid reel in, earlier.

So not a bad day, for a 20 knot N.E. blower.

The Specks weren't huge. But between 15 and maybe 18 inches were the ones that hit the ice.
It was too bad it was just too windy to float-rig properly. Because we did loose a bunch of hooks and rigs to the bottom as we tight-lined them live river crickets to the Trout. But hey, ya can't just do one thing, I know that. But of course I wanted to keep it....really light tackle fishing.

It was once said, that if you fish the St. Johns, you'll learn that you have to be rigidly flexible. And on days when the tides a smokin' and the winds a honkin', and you get tossed a 6 year old on board. Being rigidly flexible is what I become, really fast!

Pre-booked fishing: next up because of a rescheduled day, not till Wednesday.

So I have Tuesday open. A half day Monday, and all weekend.

Kite fishin' anyone?