There's two wind directions I really dispise in this area. And that's due West and due East. Kick that up to a sustained 20-25 knots. And ya have yourself one wickedly heinous day, on the water.
Had my usual and leisurely breakfast at the RiteSpot with Dad this morning at 7:00am. Where we discussed our possible trip to Louisiana at the end of the month. I've been trying to make it there for about two years now. So we're thinking after Mardi Gras, and before the end of the month. Just a scouting trip, not a fishing trip. I want to go there many more times, too. So this maybe just the start, if I get there the first time. Because I'm wanting to make a move there. At least seasonally, if nothing else. I have many contacts there. And everyone says, "C'mon on over Dave and see us." But realistically, I can only do that during the dead-ness of February.
They catch truck loads of Trout there, all summer long. WITHOUT HAVING TO JUMP THROUGH HOOPS. Like I have too here. In the heat of the summer. Here, it's Oranges. And There it's Apples. There is no comparisons.
So after my breakfast with pops. I headed home. The gusts were bending the tops of the 70 foot tall Oak trees in my neighborhood. So I figured today was a real wash, as forecasted. A good time to check routes, and places we'd be heading too, via Google Maps.
Then the phone rang......
It was Jason S. and he wanted to take his young son Jase out for a little fishing. Jase was 7 years old. I told him "sure, but it's gonna be windy!" Jason wanted to just try 3 hours, and a noon departure. I knew it was gusting bad. But until I got to the Mayport boat ramp. I didn't really know how bad. I told Jason, I wasn't doing anything on Sunday, if he wanted to try then, instead. But Sunday was out. So I backed the boat down the ramp, they hopped aboard and we headed down river. The ferry boat was still making its runs across the river so.....That reminded me of a motto I used to tell my buddy Capt Randall on days he said it was too windy to be out. "If the ferry stops crossing the river, I guess it's too windy for me to be out there fishing with customers." It's not like you can give up any trips in this town, these days. Because of a little gale force gusting winds, huh? This is a new day and age we live in.
I tried to get a photo of the river here, as we came towards the "cauldron of hell" where the river and ICW cross. The spray was flyin' and the river was a 2' washboard, as I headed into it.
HIDING, was the name of the game no doubt about it! But where? The tide was attempting to rise against the 25 kt sustained west wind. This wasn't a "touring" trip. Jason said it had to be catch a fish trip.
No pressure there, huh?
First, second, and third spots I tried, my anchor wouldn't even hold the boat! I have an anchor on back-order, since my last big Danforth was "pretzel'ized" at the north jetty. So I don't even have any thing on board that'll hold us in this kind of wind. So my forth attempt was, beach the boat. And toss the anchor up in the marsh grass. So I pulled the bow up on a shell bank that dropped off, so the stern was still floating, and I threw the grapnel anchor up in the grass.
No fancy fishing here. Cast out two live shrimp on egg sinkers, stick'em in the rod holders and wait! That's all we could do.
Holy crap, not even a bait stealer touching a shrimp back in a creek on a shell bottom? And ya' know how fast a 7 year old gets bored if nothing is going on? .......about 10 minutes!
That's why I like taking kids in the fall when there's lots of Croakers around. Except, there wasn't many Croakers this year, that's for sure. There's wasn't much of anything this year. And there wasn't a fish anywhere around us, on this spot either. Which is par for the course......I don't know why I'm ever surprised.
So we moved on. And now that the tide was pouring in, so I hit a spot that's strictly been a fast current incoming tide spot. Plus, it was out of the wind, and I could tie off to a piling. So we could actually stay put, for a while.
First bait out and it hits the bottom.......FISH ON!
Jase reels in a fish that he thought was too big for him. A "pup" Black Drum. It was funny because Jason asked what we might catch here. And I said pup Black Drum and pup Redfish. And then the other rod went off......
And what was next? A pup Redfish.
We fished for a little while longer till the current slacked off on the spot and so did the bites. So we headed back to the boat ramp. Through the "cauldron of hell" and when we got back my two crew members were soaking wet. The spray of water from the blowing wind was hitting the windshield, soaking all the rods and reels and both of them, too.
I was very surprised to see a "mosquito fleet" of 17' flats boats running up and down the ICW today. I guess, because it was "Saturday", people just go fishing anyhow.
The forecast for Sunday is so much better......"maybe"
SUNDAY - NORTH WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS. SEAS 2 TO 4 FEET. INLAND WATERS
A MODERATE CHOP.
I may try some R&D on Monday myself.......because, "I CAN".
MONDAY- NORTHEAST WINDS 10 KNOTS. SEAS 3 TO 4 FEET. INLAND WATERS A LIGHT CHOP.
So, we made the day. But it was certainly a 3 hour challenge, for a 7 years olds fish.