I have been talking sharks. I like runnin' & gunnin' behind the shrimp boats.
Myself and my buddy Nick hit the shrimp boats yesterday morning.
Armed with just HD tackle only we did some run & gun behind the shrimp boats in the Chum Hole.
ZEROOO....100 pound Blacktips. 10 Shrimp boats workin the area and we hit at least 4 and never saw a shark, let alone got bit.
So, being that I had the need to do alot of "R&D", to see how this summer really is so far, we headed to MR - Montgomery's Reef. 7.5 miles N.E. off our Chum Hole location.
Not for sharks, but rather to drag some Drone spoons around for a Kingfish or Cuda. Any kinda of action would be okay action, I guess.
Had no other tackle aboard, just serious meat moving rods, that also double as spoon trollers, with 10 & 12oz. trolling leads. I need to get me some planers instead. No cigar minnows (I'm an ole cigar troller, actually.) Catching Live bait takes up a ton of t-i-m-e, on charters, especially if they pick a day there is no pogies around.
So a 1/2 mile from my destination we dropped over the spoon rigs, it was 0930 hrs. Within 5 minutes the drag slips and the clicker sounds...BITE. We were using my giant 8" Drones. They're huge and flash like a large distressed fish, but attacks are not always hook-ups. Alot of "teeth clacking" goes on with these spoons.
But two minutes later, Nicks hooked up! Man handling the not so "sporte" tackle, and reeling the fish in was a sweaty ordeal.
But Nick catches a 10 pound Cuda. I'm hand-lining it in as the boat's moving forward, and some dude in another boat wants to play chicken, and drives accross my bow.....yeah, there's some real jokers out there too.
We filmed the whole operation, with Nicks super cool Mini camera. From the shrimp boats to the now trolling....a video will follow in near future of our exlpoits.
We approach a wreck, and now it's my turn. Reel squeels and now I have something. A small snake King. Probably 6-7 pounds. I call that an "eater". No one needs a lot of Kingfish, and neither do Nick and I. It doesn't keep well, and is only "okay" when really fresh.
So since we were flying by the seat of our pants, today. We have to take all the drinks out the larger cooler in my bow, and switch the usual fish box cooler to drink cooler and drop my little King into the larger cooler.
I didn't have my fish bag, no lighter tackle, no other bait just 4 meat moving HD rods and reels, and my spoon gear and shark gear.
By 11am it was REALLY hot! We kept trolling, changing the spoons from shallow to really deep, and with VERY limited "waypoints" in my GPS, kept hunting for a few wrecks. (I had 1000's of LORAN #'s from years of offshore fishing in the past that I never switched over.....hell I go offshore maybe twice a year, these days.Remember....I'm an inshore Guide at heart.)
We arrived and the surface water was 76 degrees, by now it's 80 degrees. All bites on the spoons STOPPED. Which we had lots of, but limited hook-ups. Cuda's like the spoons about as much as eating King Mackerel from under your boat, but I don't care I would have taken more.....heck it was just R&D. I'm not choosey.
It was DEAD calm out there. I ran into some friends and they had some Pogies and were leaving, so they gave us their pogs and we bottom fished a bit over the MR culverts.
SHARKS...Oh we finally found them! But 2 foot Sharks is not what we had in mind. It's all we could catch. So time to move on.
We also saw a big Manta Ray skimming for plankton on the surface...SERIOUSLY cool! It was follow-able as it just swam past my boat a few times. So we followed it. And it had 2 remora's and ONE Cobia with it. The Cob was MAYBE legal, so I pitched a bait to it over and over again on my heavy leader bottom rig and it wouldn't give it but two looks and then run back to the Manta. (We have some great pics that Nick too, that I'll post when he sends them, to me)
If the Cob would have bit, it would have been a "netter". The fish was so close to the boat a few times I could have "free-gaffed" it. But, that's not cool....If it was a 50 pounder...that dude would have met a Gaff Hook, if it didn't want to e-a-t.
After the bottom frenzy of sharks, we went back to the spoons and recieved a few more bites and one more hook-up and Nick had the fish come off the spoon.
Spoon trolling on the inshore reefs like this isn't the what the pro's call the very best way to trolling success, but like Float-rig fishing in the river...it's EZ, and you can cover some serious water. We had no other bait, and keeps a bit of a breeze going thru your ears, at least versus that slow trolling live baits, or trying to drift with no wind.
We came back to the river and took some dead Pogies and dropped them down outside the navy base, and guess what?????
More 2' long, sharks! Add about 5 feet and about 95 pounds and they would have been what we originally went to catch.
So, don't tell me...a summer with no sharks to catch behind the shrimpers? I don't like that too much. Well I guess I'll just continue with my standard river/inlet light tackle and large Redbass fishing.
Remember; the tide the day you choose to go is what I have to work with. And first and foremost, I really like less hunting around, and more.....just plain keeping bait on our hooks. Today was like I said a "fly by the seat of our pants R & D trip with a buddy", and it made us certainly not want to give up our light tackle jetty fishing any time soon, by no means.
More info on spooning it, for Kings and other reef inhabitants: