Had Gunner M. aboard for a late notice river trip on Friday the 18th. We left out at 10am to catch the incoming tide. Right off the "get-go" I could tell something was wrong as we sent Float-Rigs down the big Jetty rocks. NOT ONE SNIFF.....
So we made a move. Not a sniff, again.
We ran up into the river, and still could not give a shrimp away. I did run down the beach to the south a little bit and looked for the EVER absent Pogie. To use as bait for a big Redbass on LT-light tackle. But like the other people I saw looking. I didn't catch any, or see any. From what I hear now, they're all the way up on the north-side of Nassua Sound. Probably in the same ole hole they end up in every year, off American beach.
So we tried pitching live shrimp around the little Jetties........NADA!
And I had a 2-3 passenger trip on Saturday morning too, along with a Sunday charter. The river was so dead, I guess it's time to "turn-around" the tackle. Time to head offshore to the reefs and troll up some "slimey's".....Kingfish!
So on Saturday morning with a Kingfish tournament going on since Friday, the Mayport boat ramp was a zoo. But I awoke at 4:45am and was at B&M to get ice and a box orf cigar ninnows by 5:35am and almost didn't get in there either. Remember......."weekends are twice the work for me, and there's twice the people around. I really don't like them. That's for sure."
So Sam and Tim found me, since I was at the ramp for an hour and a half, just so I could get a parking spot!
I was really ready to leave.
We went to MR reef first. I drug the "hardware", planers and spoons with the HD - heavy duty tackle. No bites. So we moved on to BB reef, and that's where we picked up a Cuda on the spoon. Finally a strike.
My goal was what I refer to as the half way mark on the party grounds, East Fourteen reef. And when we got there, it was time to bust out the lighter rods and dead cigar minnows to troll with.
It didn't take long. We got plenty of strikes like the fish switch was thrown. Kingfish, kingfish, kingfish....we had a total of "three" double headers, (two kings on at once.) I was getting flash backs from years ago when I was a Cigar Minnow troller from hell. And it all came back to me.
Since this originally was supposed to be a inshore trip with Tim and Sam, I was sooooo happy to get some serious action, now. The guys also reeled in a Bonita, foul hooked of course and it kicked Tim's butt. Most of the 10-12 Kingfish we caught were all in what is refered to as "snake" class. But I didn't care, it was Kings. The targeted species. It's been a long while since I've done a whole day of cigar minnow trolling. So it felt good. And Tim and Sam were having loads of "reel" time.
We actually had a breeze, and the water wasn't "window pane" slick, but had some ripples and a tiny swell, which is much better than glassy. We'd mark the kings on my sounder, and then the drags on t6he reels would buzzzzz, Fish-On!
Here's some photos of the day along with one of me gaffing a King, through Tim's polarized sunglasses so you can see the fish in the water...."good idea Tim!"
All Kings were released except for two.
I'll be at it again on Sunday. Heading to look at the shrimp boats for sharks....100 pounders. Then off to a reef, with more Cigar Minnows ready to troll. Stay tuned.