Yep, I can certainly tell ya where the Trout are not! Had one of my favorite customers Don B. aboard today with his neighbor, Billy.
Ahhhhhhhh, just two guys and a Monday with no one around. It's been too long. Plan was since the N.E. wind was supposed to blow and it did, to go way up river and fish our way back to Mayport. First stop, almost 12 miles from the dock, one way. And hit all the spring time / summer Speck spots. Hit & run, I guess you could say. 10-15 drifts of the float, max. And unless we hit the mother-load. Keep moving.
First spot, last of the incoming tide. Calm, water was like glass. Not one bite. Time to move on. Second spot, first of the falling tide. Billy drifts his float back and it disappears on his first drift.....drag pulls, rod tip bucks good. Fish runs back and forth. Alright.....it's a big Trout.
A 24", 4 pound fat bellied sow Speck.
I'm stoked and now it's Don's turn. But no bites. I make a drift and my float goes down and it's a head thumper. I'm thinking TROUT. But it's a 2 pound Jack Cravalle, instead. And we proceed to not get another single bite. HOW DISAPPOINTING.
Water salinity a nice 20 parts per thousand, but muddy as all hell and nasty looking.
THIS IS WHAT I HAD IN MIND FOR US: http://jacksonvillefishingreports.blogspot.com/2008/05/527-settled-waters-boat-traffic-over.html
But let's stop here for a minute. One Jack?? Not a single Ladyfish?? Not a single bait stealer bite?? So I take a tight line rig, a extra long leader, small hook, light sinker and pin on a big live shrimp. I pitch it out and bump it along the bottom in the current, keeping my line tight. Usually a recipe for a multitude of bait-stealers to snatch the bait as it bumps along the bottom in the current. I did this for two or three live shrimp and not a taker.
I believe, they refer to this as a, "HERE'S YER SIGN".
So off we head to the next spot. No bites. Next close spot. Every things really perfect. The winds starting to blow, but it's not that bad. Don and Billy are making perfect drifts. I grab a rod and make a pitch doing the opposite of what they're doing and I get a "sand bagger" bite on my float. Then, I go again. Another "sand bagger". Third times a charm, I come up with a 15-1/4" Speck. Don and Billy work the area hard for no bites. Time to move.
After a little USCG harassment, we get on the next spot, the winds blowing us good here. So we make a adjustment. A few bait stealers bites. But still not even a Ladyfish or even a Jack! Let alone a Speckled Sea Trout. I try the bottom rig one more time. No good bites.
Now the inlet is full of Ladies. Saw schools of them at slack tide yesterday inside the north Jetty. And saw one get blasted by a Cuda. That was cool. And each spot we've fished today so far would have been covered up with 6" Mangrove Snappers. But this winter's cold water put the kibosh on those bait stealing rats. And I'm having the feeling it also put the kibosh on the Trout too. I haven't heard a single thing about an all out Trout slaughter yet this year. I'm talking a 50-75 Trout day, in the river from someone I would believe, and history.
We tried a few more spots. Same deal everywhere we went. So that's my take on the Trout fishing. And that's my findings so far. As much as I loved cleaning the two we had today and slicing that big long fat fillet off Billy's fish. It brought back memories. Because it's been so long (December) since I got into the Specks and put on a super clinic. Yeah December....1/4 mile from the boat ramp. Fifty fish plus days, two anglers!
DOA Rob and myself, or Dr. Dick M. and myself.
People may not realize what that winter did at first. But I believe we're paying for it now. But, I have to remain optimistic. Because I still haven't done any midnight Trout trips after the heat of the day, yet.
Guess I should save fuel and stick to the BIG ROCKS, huh?
NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO 20 KNOTS. SEAS 4 TO 6 FEET. INLAND WATERS A MODERATE CHOP. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS IN THE MORNING...THEN ISOLATED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS IN THE AFTERNOON.
I read that forecast to my 4 passenger Tuesday charter. And after today's winds? We cancelled.
Got this from Don this morning;
"I logged on and read your report about our fishing trip, you, Billie and I.
Once again I would like to thank you for a good day and you should get a triple A for trying.
I never seen a guy try so hard to get us on some fish.
I know that you made Billie's day with him catching that 24", 4lb trout and I am thankful for that, maybe next time it will be my turn.
I read your report and said to myself. "Self", If Dave decides to give up the charter fishing business he could always become a writer.
It's amazing how you could write so much about nothing happening.
Very descriptive but true.
Take care of yourself and stay well. I wish you smooth sailing."
-What Don doesn't know is, a lot "happened" in my mind. Doing best to track those big Trout!
May 25, 2010 11:21 AM