Saturday, May 22, 2010

5/22 - Back Howlin at the rocks, again.

Boy, did I have a couple stressful days between my last trip and today. I've been experiencing a squeal every once in awhile in my Honda outboard. But never effected the performance. So like the human body with a pain, motors with a noise is obviously a sign that somethings a miss and needs attention. So, with zero time and not many mechanic skills, I started hunting for the culprit. Until, I ended up thinking I found not only the source, but a possible secondary source. I missed one charter, giving it to a buddy to take. And then making a call to the best Honda man in NE Florida.....because he'll make a house call, and knows his stuff, inside and out. He's the only person in the area who could get me back in the water, fast.

But the saga didn't end there. The diagnosis was made while on the phone. So I quickly ordered the parts. Barely got them on time, and then like any job, it's the unknown that makes a simple job take hours. Even for an absolute expert. But persistence paid off. And Friday evening at 7:30pm I was ready for the water at 7:30am on!  My phone is ringing off the hook, so of course this is when down time happens, right?

But I was ready, even though my doctor wouldn't have liked to see what my blood pressure was the last few days. Because he would have said, "double the dosage of the BP pills!!!!"

So it's another Saturday morning at the Mayport boat ramp. The river is a mess of people. And I have 4 guys, booked by Andrew M. for he and his buddies. My plan was to get some live wigglers, either Pogies, or Greenies at the jetties. Drop to the bottom and hopefully hang on.......during the falling tide.

No Pogies close. No Greenies, at the jetties. We try float-rig fishing a bit and the tides running way too hard.
So I make a call. And get a box of Boston Mackerel delivered to the boat ramp dock, as the guys use the rest room. I head to the Little! Across from the Little! So we head back to the big jetties. I set up and get where I wanted too. And we finally get into something.

First rod bend was a Stingray. Of course, it's summer now. Like a day without sun shine, what's dropping to a bait to the bottom without a garbage can lid on a hot summer day? Next fish, a 32" Redbass. Finally, it's what we were there for. Targeted species.

The falling tide started to fade, with no other bites. So we moved on. Was it time to break back out the "LT" (light tackle) ?  It was time to get the float-rigs back in the water. I made a move, and explained that we'll just fish two rods first to "just see", and make them right. And we weren't in position 10 minutes when a float goes down. And hooked up was a nice keeper Redbass.

I think it's time to start the party!
Now, we had all 4 guys throwing floats. Thank goodness they could cast. Usually, I never fish four float rigs. Because, it can be a nightmare of tangles. But I just tried to stay outa the way.....And more reds were hooked up, lost, broke off, and landed.

We had a triple hook up at one time. But the third fish popped off. And most were keepers, while only one was too big for the box, I think.

The guys ended the day hot, sunburnt, and with plenty of reds in the box. They were thinking, "what was up", earlier in the day. But, this is the St. Johns river and no matter what you think you know about fishing, it's all about fishing the tides and being on the right spot, when the fish are there.

So, next up for me is Sunday, again with 4 passengers. And we're not making a marathon out of it! We're leaving at noon. Then on Monday, I'm back to two guys. And that'll be a kick backed trip with a favorite regular customer that I've had aboard many times.

I hope to not have "expensive stress" like a had the last few days again, any time soon. But that's how this biz is. You'd think I'd be used to it all by now. But I'm  not.

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