Monday, February 22, 2010

2/20 - Basically what I thought...

Had Dave and his son Zach aboard on Saturday. We took off to the Jetties and it was trhe last of the falling tide. So we fished Jigs and Shrimp for awhile.

Dead shrimp....although very fresh. Because the bait shop didn't have any live shrimp availible. The west coast shrimp were either hard to catch or it just wasn't enough to make the trip worth going over there to get them.

But the dead works on a jig. Not really the tide I wanted for where we were fishing. But each of us got bit.
Barely. The shrimp was bit and we all had a "hanger-on-er" type bite. Pretty bad when I'm having to analyze the bites. Probably by the looks of it, very half hearted Sheepshead. And not easy for someone to get or even feel. Heck, it's saltwater fishing...the fish are supposed to slam dunk us right? Not now, they ain't!

So we moved eventually and I had plans on soaking the shrimp on the bottom and putting in our time. So as the tide slowed we moved and sat inside the rocks. Vertically fished, but the tide was pouring in on the bottom, and out on the top.......usual scenerio many times. And zero was happening, so after a few more moves I was fed up with that. A short ride up into the river was in order.

I want lines behind the boat, and sinkers holding along aknown fish hiway, if not a rest stop. No fuss, just laying out baits, and keeping some smell going. So to the lil jetties areas we went.

Perfect anchor position, incoming tide rippin'....had to go to 6 ounces of lead to hold bottom. Which tells me right there that chances for the "targeted species" Black Drum maybe slim to none. I've never caught a black Drum in screaming tide. But, it was a good spot. So good that people were stacked in front of me, on top of my anchor line.  And it was one noisey boat too that parked in front of me. I guess I'm just used to the "purrrr" of the Honda, huh? It was a loud merc with a "jet drive" on a aluminum Sea Ark boat. If I had that boat, that'll skip over a foot of water I certainly wouldn't be sitting in a 4 knot incoming tide in the river. But rather up in BFE creek somewhere, getting in on the solar panel effect of the low tide and super high sun shiney day. Where I hear "all" the fish in all of Jacksonville are.

Well to make a long report shorter, we sat there soaking baits with out a bump. So I made a move into the ICW and tried another spot where I've caught winter sheeps, drum, and yellowmouths. No bites again, but PLENTY of cruiser traffic and wakes. Since it was cabin fever release weather. Time to blow the cobwebs out of the 38' SeaRays.

I had confidence in my lil Jetties spot, so the tide slowed and we jumped back into the spot. Everyone was gone by now. So as the precession rounded the rock island, and the currents there went all whacky. We caught 2 - 6", something with scales and gills!!

And then came a really good bite. Zach grabbed the rod, let it munch a second and then the fish moved off.
Big bow in the Shakespeare Tiger lite and drag peeling on the low pro Shimano Cruxis. It took awhile on the light tackle, plus toss in alot of carefulness not to loose this fish and up popped a nice Redfish.

It had 35 spots, was 31 inches, weighed in at 10 pounds and had a TAG in it. I cut the tag off and it said, NMFS - National Marine Fisheries Service Miami, Florida, and had a tag number and a 1-800 number to call.

Seriously nice fish. Tagged because of all the spots? Hmmm, I wonder. At this time I have a call into the NMFS tagging program this morning. Had to leave a message and the tag number. I guess I'll know what the scoop is when they call me back. It'll be interesting.

Our day was about done. But we stayed a bit longer and even tried another spot. And never lost a shrimp as the falling tide started.

Tough, tough fishing for sure. It was great weather. That was the upside. But like I told my neighbor when I got home;  "I'don't care if it was nasty, cold and windy if we'd be catching fish or at least getting bit."

The truth is, "ya have to get bit, to catch the fish." and I couldn't care less what the weather's like.
I'll update on the tagged Redfish, when I get it.

Never saw water temp over 53 degrees.
B&M had live shrimp again, Sunday at 8am.