Weather forecast is still holding for Monday Feb. 1st. heading out on "the hunt", with my buddy Nick of the band Rathkeltair, who I haven't seen in awhile. "He needs a laid back day of fishing..."
MONDAY - NORTHWEST WINDS 10 KNOTS BECOMING EAST 5 TO 10 KNOTS BY AFTERNOON. SEAS 2 FEET OR LESS. INLAND WATERS MOSTLY SMOOTH.
The high tide in morning is going to be like 6 foot! So toss in that challenge. But I don't care.
Was at the Northside Gander Mountain on Saturday: http://www.gandermountain.com/email/022210/landing022210.shtml
I called it their Spring Fling. But they called it their First Cast. Supposedly having sales over the weekend. Which I think was discounts on certain tackle items or gift certificates if you purchased brand X.
I was invited along with a few other guys I knew, to give 30 minute seminars. But when I got there at 10:45am for a noon seminar, the parking lot was pretty empty. And by noon, not much was really going on.
Rick Ryals, was to do a Dolphin fishing seminar prior to me. But I didn't see any thing going on over at his table. As I checked out all the Shakespeare Ugly Stik rods that I haven't seen before. Then, came my turn. So I got back over to my table, where I had some rack cards laying out, and a few guys and I were talking. Jax Trout Tracker Forum member, Sam was there. And we were chatting. When a fella said he was wanting to hear about float-rigging...."ahhhh, someone interested?"
So, I grabbed my tackle and started to show the guys about the how's and why's. When a few more people showed up. Pretty much the smallest crowd I have ever had a at seminar, maybe 10 guys. But there wasn't many people in the whole store! So I did what I could. This is my second year heading up to Gander Mountain for an event. And I guess you could say, it's the economy (the present day catch all excuse) but the last time I saw monster crowds there, was when they had their actual Grand Opening. Since, then it maybe just pure survival, who knows? I'm sure Rick was expecting at least a small crowd. And I don't know what the other guys eventually did. Maybe they "seminared", maybe they didn't. There was more of "us" then shoppers.
The one fella that said he was there to hear me talk about the float-rig said, "thanks, I learned alot. I never knew all that." A sincerly appreciative guy. I told him, I'm the guy in that big aluminum boat. You'll see me out there. Since he said he fishes around the Lil' Jetties sometimes.
I was about 5 seconds away from purchasing a few of the new model Ugly Stiks with my 10% off coupon (tax saver) I had from Gander Mountain, when I saw the real sale on Shakespeare was on the 28th, instead. Like I need another hole in my head, really? But for Shark fishing the new "white charter boat series rods in 6'6" sure looked like they'd really do the job.
They look industructable! And matched up to my twin drag model 870 Accurate reels (http://www.accuratefishing.com/) would surely put the whoopass on the largest shrimp boat follower, this summer. But I already have custom built shark rods...."hey, variety is the spice of life, right?"
I planned on making it over to the El Cheapo Sheepshead tournament at the Mayport Boat ramp. But had errands to run, after Gander Mountain. So I never made it there. I'm curious to see what percentage of fish were caught this year compared to other non-freezin' cold years.
My focus is Monday. When Speckled Trout re-opens. Because usually the first week of March is kinda crappy weather. And it's hard getting to them, during years when they are actually chewing. I remember one March 1st thru 5th, when it rained and blew the whole first week. And the Trout were stacked up at the Nassua Sound bridge like "cord wood", the week prior. It was just killing me. But in 30 mph winds and rain wasn't even worth the try. Now, this year it'll be just finding a decent amount, and some over 15 inches, will be challenging.
Almost any other year, they'd be at the jetties! And all I'd need would be the right tide. The general rule of thumb is, closer to the inlets in winter and spring. And a gradual distance away from the inlets in spring and by deep summer they're further up river. Following food.....
Expect extreme tides most of this week. With "flood" waters in the middle of the day.
Hey....at least I'll be able to make it into some areas I usually can't get into. But that doesn't mean there will be fish there. We'll see, huh?
To sign petition to fight closure of all bottom fishing offshore beyond 95 foot for the next 35 years. Go here and follow link to sign petition:
NOT one word back from the National Marine Fisheries Service about the call I made in to see what the story was on the tagged Redfish that Zach Farrington caught. It's been a week so far. All I got was a message, "leave your name and number and the tag number and we'll get back to you." You can bet I will stay on top of this.