Gave it my best shot with a late notice trip on Sunday, with 4 passengers. Figured I mimic what I've been doing. So that meant a late departure, around noon. The boat ramp traffic goes in "waves". I never really realized that. First wave at crack o' dawn, then another around noon. Go figure. There was no parking spots, and there may have been if it wasn't for the single cars parked in the trailer parking spots. So I arrived early, and figured I'd hang out and wait for a early leaver to pull out and grab that parking spot. With boat in the water for over and hour, truck in a transitional spot (not a super legal spot) I waited. A fellow fishing guide came in and I went to grab his spot as he pulled out. And some guy decides he's going to stand in the parking spot as his buddy puts in the ole pontoon boat. I pull in toward the spot, and he just stands there......
I said, "you can't stand there guarding a parking spot!" He gets all mad looking and yells "we're parking that (pointing) truck here." I said, "I don't think so....." Yep, just another wonderful day at the Mayport boat ramp. Too much city, too many people, too small a parking lot, not enough water for everyone. That's definitely what weekends have become.
That's why myself and especially my buddy DOA Rob love winter so much...."thins out the crowds."
(Just not winter's like this past one. Normal winter's.)
My folks finally arrive and we try last of the falling tide bottom fishing on the inside tip of the north. Yesterday, we had a stinger, a nurse shark and a 32" Redbass there. But today, the EAST breeze was blowing.
There's no EAST that's a good thing around here. The swell was present. But do-able. And we hung a dumpster-lid sized stinger.
I had 3 young Marines, and ones dad aboard. Brandon gallantly fought the stinger as it smoked drag off my mini-Accurate twin drag reel, bowing over my light bottom fishing 6'6" Intracoastal Ugly Stik. He tried, but there was no getting this "lid" to the boat after it went down and stuck to the bottom in 40 foot. I gave it a try and couldn't budge it. So I had to break it off.
So we moved on to float-rig fish for the Reds. The water was sloppy, brown, and the EAST wind was a royal pain in the butt. Couldn't stick on the spot, the swell was snatching on the anchor. But after 5 tries, I got us somewhere near where we needed to be. The tide was getting right, but not there yet. But with other boats around, I had to stake out the area. On weekends, it's others that are the problem. Not usually the fish. I have to be extra vigilant and work in some defensive maneuvers. We had to cast far to the spot and let the floats drift. We tried and tried, fishing only two lines. Hooking only Ladyfish. And they were almost enough for my crew. Can't imagine what a 32" Redbass up against the jetty rocks would have done to them.
After what seemed like a few hours trying for the Reds, without success. I saw nothing that made me want to continue on this spot that's been so good to me, since last Tuesday. I usually can't get a 3 day run out of a spot like this. The weather's never good, that long.
We moved into the river. Every place I wanted to try had either a boat on it or a line of humans standing on the bank casting. So we jumped quickly from spot to spot, that seemed somewhat fish-able. It was now high tide and the wind was due EAST and blowing a steady 15 knots.....kinda a K.O.D. situation as the moon rose in the horizon.
The last three spots didn't even produce a Jack or Ladyfish. So we ended the day, and headed back to the dock.
-looking so forward to weekdays again. It's been a hell of a weekend. The tides now all wrong for the Reds at the jetties on the float-rig. So I'm heading up river in search of the illusive Speckled Sea Trout on Monday with just two people.
-Then on Tuesday, I'm back with another 4 passenger group that just booked the trip today! Guess we'll bottom fish? I keep looking for live bait IE: Pogies, Greenies, close so not to waste time looking all day for them. And I'm finding, none.
Of course, now that I could use a well of Pogies. They're not around. 3 weeks ago, they were everywhere and I didn't need them. That's the way it always goes.