Sunday, March 28, 2010

3/27 - What a the wind!

Had three great guys aboard today. John, Bill and Will.  It was one hell of a blustery, overcast day with incessant winds coming from the E.N.E. at a sustained 20 knots all day long with a single break.

Of course I had a livewell full of the sweetest "spring" time live shrimp you'd ever see. In S. Florida they'd call these live river crickets SNOOK & TARPON baits. And they'd probably cost $2.00 a piece, or at least more than I'd ever want to pay, without a guarantee! The tide was super high with the approaching full moon and the wind pushing the water up into the river. But I still made plans to go see if we could catch some Trout.

First spot was "perfection". Out of the wind, and the tide was lazy...but that changed in a moments notice to an all out belly washer! With one 15" Trout in the box, and shrimp skiing back to the boat on the float-rig on the retieval. We had to move on.

But where now? The wind was so strong I had to switch over to my big 18 lb. grapnel anchor the first 15 minutes of the day, because my usual anchor wouldn't even hold us in the current and wind. I opted to head to an area I haven't been to in a while. A good clip away, but it maybe out of the wind a bit. Upon arrival, it wasn't. And thank goodness there's a great tie-off spot there, so no anchoring needed. But the tide was still high as all hell. And as we tried it the water level never fell at all....."the water was still up in the grass on the bank for over an hour or more!"  The guys sent beautiful live shrimp down the bank in 8-10 foot of water over a solid line of oyster bar, under water. And to my utter surprise never even had a 12" Trout bite. Just a few pinnerfish bites.

Unbelievable, the water was clean, the current wasn't too bad and besides the wind playing hell with keeping the belly slack out of the lines. There should have been a take down or two....I was surprised they didn't have at least a pupper Red?

We moved about, and tried 2 other spots in the area. But back to that wind was striding the fence of totally heinous levels. The boat was whipping back and forth on anchor so badly that the boats motion was yanking the big 18 pound granel anchor loose.

So, I guess catching Trout and float-rigging was not in our cards today. I did have some crabs, clams, and bottom rods with me. So when the going gets tough, the tough go where? To the bottom!

Again, I had tie off spots in mind for this, too. Just easier to get lines in the water and concentrate on fishing rather than staying anchored correctly. But of course there was someone parked right on top of one of my favorite tie-off's. So I had to go to a fall-back spot, and try it. The current was in the "ludacris" catagory.
But we were staying put now, and got 4 lines out, finally. Trying for a big Red, some Sheepshead, or Drum on this spot would mean the tide would need to slow a bit. But I've caught all three species here before in March, years past. But of course that doesn't mean "squat" this year, or on a day like today.

Same exact spot.....A March Black Drum bite:

It was another day, where we were fighting a weather front. It was exactly like this last Monday, when I was out with Tim and his son Mitchell. So I guess, I should be used to it, but I'm not.

It was quite chilly again too. I was again in full fleece attire. And my crew was looking as if they were fishing in NY, rather than fishing in Florida!

Remember what I always say about "hoods" on jackets or sweat shirts? "A sweat shirt is just a sweat shirt, but one with a hood is a fisherman's friend!"  Well, we got good use out of those hoods today, that's for sure. I had my hood up and on ALL day long! 
Bottom fishing we caught a few Sheepshead, had a big Red hooked-up and lost and caught a Whiting. Even after dropping back to the better tie off spot after the boat that was there left. Heck, everyone around left! We were the only ones that sat it out.

The Red doubled over the rod in my "TGT rod-rigger" out off the port side of the boat, that had a whole crab on it. Took off and I thought, " we go!"  But the hook never set. When Will reeled in the line, the top of the crab was gone, it was a little crushed and the bottom of the crab remained on the hook. So we just continued on. More crab stayed out, but we never got another pull like that again. Just a few bumps, here and there. 
We stayed with it though. Keeping lines out till the current slacked completely, the boat whipped around with the wind, and it was late in the day. Keeping lines in the water and baits fishing was my number one concern.
Instead of having to keep anchoring and wasting time looking for a place to actually get 4 lines out.
I can't speak for the rest of the guys, but when I got home my face was beet red. And the boat was a mess, with clam juice and shells and crab parts. So I gave her a good cleaning with actual soap and a brush. Maintenance that usually only happens every so often, because there isn't usually the need when ya own "alloy". But she deserved it.
I sure wish it was a nicer day, that's for sure. I'm almost thinking I'll never see a sunny warm day again anytime soon that layers of fleece won't be mandatory.  But before ya know it it will be hot as all get out and hopefully I'll be whackin some fattie Trout along the big rocks, or running and gunning behind shrimp boats chasing big Blacktips and posting photos of anglers in anguish is they try and stop them.