Hit the big rocks around 3:15pm and took along my "grasshoppa" Chris C. with me. Or as James at B&M bait & tackle called him....."If you're a Jettywolf apprentice, does that make you a Jetty-pup or cub?" I told James Wolves have pups, bears have cubs, "get it right, will ya!"
So the "pup" and I blasted our way on out to the south jetty tip. I had a plan on this low,low full moon tide. Search for some Tripletail, till the tide got right and then whack some Yellermouth Trout and what ever bites afterwards. Sight casting them three tailed fish isn't as easy as it sounds. If ya don't know the habits and practices of a Tripletail, I'll let ya "google" them.
We eased along the tide rip line, looking for a hovering 'tail. And to make a long story short, we saw six of them. Caught zero. Five out of 6 were small, probably the size size of a good fresh water Crappie (aka: to a Florida Cracka') a "speckled perch". One was a keeper sizer in the plus range. It came to Chris' live shrimp, and even came to my "Shiney Hiney" shrimp lure but wasn't aggresive at all. That was the first larger one we saw, or we ran into the same one all over again, and it literally swam off the rip and to the boat! But for some reason the shrimp didn't get in it's face. These fish are known to reach 20 pounds with ease. Table fare, excellente!
Remember, everything seems a bit late. Here's last years first sight casted one I caught by myself on a solo day on March 12th.
That day I saw no less than 10 Tripletails, but it sure was hard to spot, drive the boat and cast. Kinda like Cobia hunting, it's best if someone is spotting and someone is driving. But of course I did a solo trip last year and caught a sight casted Cob too.
If I had to wait for someone else to go, I'd never get my fish. Because when it's go time. I'm not waiting on ya'. Especially the way the Cobia are around here.
So after a bit of Tripletail frustration the tide was half ass right. So I got the Jettywolf in position. It took a bit of adjustment. The SE wind was building and going one way, the tide started to run the other way. And not long after the jetties were 100% vacant. Because the seas picked up. Just like last Saturday with Don, Lisa and Nathan. "HOLD ON SHUT UP AND F-I-S-H!" These photos I took at a low level, just before they all turned to whitewater on top.
At first every single cast and bite on the Float rig was a "float down, reel set and no fish." I soon figured it out after two dozen live shrimp were wasted. The Spanish Macks were up in the rocks. We'd get a twitch of the float sometimes and then nothing. Then, I finally caught one, Chris caught a Yellowmouth Trout, then some Bluefish, then it was really sporty. And the action was steady, steady steady. We were doing all out combat fishing in the bucking seas. And again.....this is why the Jettywolf was built. She handles the "slop" like a thoroughbred with waders on! Chris was loving it. Just like Don, and Lisa last week. But not Nathan, he was seasick. It's action at the extreme level for jetty fishing. Water's hitting the side of the boat and even with my high sides, is rolling over the gunnel. But we're dancing around and having a ball, setting the hook and reeling in fish.
Then, a large twin engine WellCraft trolls by us. I said to Chris, "watch me whack one while they're trolling for 12 inchers...." And between the swells my float says Bye,Bye. I reel and set the hook on a screamer. Isn't it something, I knew that was gonna happen. The guys in the Wellcraft got all bug eyed. And before you could say Brutus T. Redbass they were anchored up near us. But weren't there long, at all.
This over sized Redbass had so much "spit and vinegar" in it, I had to work to keep the fish out of the jetty rocks with all I had. But pulling isn't the key. Because my tiny wire Kahle hook, is just that; tiny and thin wire. So it's knowing when to pull. Add in the fact that the fish had folding rolling waves to play in. It was a great battle on the ole light tackle float rigging Skakespeare 7'6" Ugly Stik Striper rod.
We caught fish till the baitwell was empty. And man did we wish we had more shrimp. Because I had the Hydroglow fish attractor light and would have loved to see what we could do after dark. So we headed back in to clean our limits of Yellowmouth and the Spanish Mack I caught, under the boats big LED floods.
It was a great afternoon of rubber leggin it, along the jetty. And like a Jettywolf, we were at the end of the rocks howling at the full moon, making the turn back into the river, feeling successful even though we caught no Tripletail.
And I'm glad my young "Jettypup" friend got to experience it, too.
Next up: Saturday morning at 7am with two fella's.