Day after day of freezing weather....."Literally" is no joke, in Florida. Got a call from Jeff "the magic" Wansor today and he said, "Scooped up a dead Snook from my canal this morning. Couldn't have been dead for long, it looked so fresh. Then, I was south on the ICW, and saw about a 20 pound Tarpon laying dead on the surface floating along......"
Yeah, that'll be me too. Because this cold isn't good for the fishing charter business either! Plus, I'm hating to look at my electric bill for this month. It's the kind of expense, that you really don't plan for.
Was out today because even the TV weathermen said, "If you're going to be outside, Thursday is your day."
Yeah, it was still chilly. But the bright sun, and lack of wind had it looking fantastic as myself and Dave from Gaff Magazine advertising sales pulled away from the dock. It was the kind of winter day that you just don't mind. Sunny and windless, two events we just don't get enough of.
We went east. And caught the absolute last few minutes of the falling tide out there alonmg the inside of the north jetty. Here's what I had in mind:
Because this photo is from one hour of fishing the same spot, last year on Jan 23rd.
It's not all that much to ask, is it?
Well, I pulled up and was "prepping" the anchor for deployment. When the FWC buttholes come racing across the river, three of them on the boat , with one of them being the same "super cop" who is the same one who checked me last time! We didn't have any fish, we never even wetted a line yet. But I had to go through the whole line of BS with them. Since the same exact Super Cop is the one that always stops me. Don't you think he'd get used to the fact that I'm not doing anything wrong? Next time, I'll be placing a call to his supervisor, and filing a complaint. It's not like there's hundreds of plate alloy 26 footers out there. He knows it's me.
So by the time all this BS was over. Me and Dave missed the current on the spot I wanted to float-rig fish. Thanks to the Super Cop. Our tax dollars, "are they protecting the resource from us or for us?" Think about that one for a minute. They protected the resource this time from us, because we never had a chance to even fish the last of the falling tide on this spot.
So, we moved on and tried a few other spots at the jetties. We were on a Trout hunt, and a Trout hunt only.
After trying a few other spots out there, in the 50 degree surface water, now on the incoming tide. It's apparent. This isn't going to be a Jetty Trout Winter. They've vacated, and I don't see them coming back any time soon. The large congregation that was east of the boat ramp, disappeared with the first cold snap which was between December 10th and 12th. And all my attempts so far have been, wasted shrimp and time.
December was on track to be business as usual. Last year, on December 4th and 5th of 2008, (yes 12.1 months ago it was 2008, and fuel was also only a $1.59 on Atlantic and Girvin Roads) I waylayed the big Trout along the rocks, because I found a spot where I saw them driving shrimp to the surface. And both days had limits of really big Trout. Here's one:
Well, this ain't December of 2008/January of 2009! The world is way different now. Fuel is heading to $3.00 again, and the climate has really changed. Depending on how you look at it, Momma Nature is "thinning the herd".
So, Dave and myself headed up river. And I hit a spot that if we didn't find Trout at today, I'd just have to plain pack it in. Because this spot, is a winter/spring spot for big Trout. I've had some unbelieveable days here. I've seen monster T-rex sized Trout in this area. Now, all we had to do is catch some. So after a significant run in the chilly air, we arrived. I of course with all the himmin' and haulin' around, missed the begginning of the tide here. But we had good water movement. And it looked like the spot should produce.
It's been two years since I've fished here. But the days of glory I've experienced on this spot are as vivid in my mind as if it was yesterday.
And Dave hooks the first fattie......a nice 18 incher.
Oh, how sweet it is! I told Dave, how absolutely nothing in the world makes me happier than having either someone on my boat, or myself catching nice box worthy Trout. And watching that float go down, and then the "throb" of the end of the rod, as they're eased to the boat, on light tackle. Redfish, bluefish, greenfish.....just don't do it for me, as much as the "speckley fish".
Then, it was my turn, then Dave's turn again. We were in them. But the bite was only gonna last as long as the current was pushing over the shell bar behind us.
We caught Trout from 16 to 19-1/2 inches, a small Sheepshead and a small Redbass. Before the tide's push, faded away. All too quick for us. I know it was way to short for me. I work way to hard to get on them and then have the bite end so quickly.
But we caught what I was looking for. And the cold water isn't making it any easier on me. With no current, and high water all around us we tried a few other spots, for the sake of trying. But it was time to go. I'd need some falling tide now. So I went on back and cleaned the fish and we headed home.
But, I had a few live shrimp left in the well. So I put a heating pad below the live well in the boat and covered up the bait well also. And yep, I headed out again.....SOLO on Friday morning. Overcast, windy, and bone chilling. But I had visions of catching more Trout. So I went to an area to wait for the falling tide to let off. And as soon as I felt incoming tide start to push I was going to head straight for where we were at on Thursday........so I thought.
It was absolutely heinous ou there on the river. And all my shrimp in the well went comatose on me. I made it for about 2 hrs. And couldn't take the cold any longer. Plus, I needed nice lively shrimp, if I was to catch a Trout. So I gave up and headed home. Yeah, I have a desease....Trout'itis!
See what being a Trout freak will do to ya? If only Friday was like Thursday. I would have boxed myself some more fatties.
Now, I have no idea if DOA Rob and I will make it out on Monday. He and I were gonna go kayak fishing. He was going to let me use one of his Hobie fishing yaks, and I was gonna finally (maybe) catch me a big fat yak Trout.
Last year in Feb. we tried it down in Guana Lake. But then too, it was a cold water situation. Guana Lake was below 60 degrees, and we never saw a fish that day either. Any more these winters are getting to be brutal. And believe it or not November through April used to be my favorite months of all. And I'd just soon live else where, June through October when the heats so bad. Now, I'm re-thinking my favorite winter months. Are You?