Thursday, June 3, 2010

6/3 - Small river.....big Redbass!

Had Viktor S. his brother in law, Dennis, and sister in law Toni, aboard today. Dennis and Toni lived in Germany, but spoken Russian. And Viktor was the official interpreter. And it was an interesting day.

I had plans to go get some Pogies for big Redbass bait. So I took a cruise over to where they found some yesterday, kinda outside Huguenot Park near Ft. George inlet. One sweep of the area proved that there was no Pogies over there. So I crossed the bar and headed towards the south, and ran over all the Pogies you'd ever want or need in 45 foot of water, near the south rocks. It was the last of the falling tide, so I guess they're getting pushed out there. The rip was really dark on one side, and green on the other. So that says very low tide, to me.

One toss of the 8' Pogie net and it swam away full of the nasty little bait fish. I had to let 90% of them go (some got lucky) and took maybe 2 dozen and dropped them into my 14 gallon well I circulate. The bait shop had no live shrimp for some reason, so I was really glad I had a back-up plan.

Since we were in the immediate area, I ran over to the inside of the North Jetty, anchored up and sent two Pogies out on the bottom. Normally a great spot to nail a few big Reds at low tide. But as the rods bounced back and forth I knew what the deal was........BLUEFISH. And the proof was the cookie cutter shaped  bites out of the Pogie. Okay. Time to vacate this spot! Not what I was looking for, by any means.

We arrived on the next spot and of course the current was fading fast. So while I pitched lines baited with the lil' nasty's, out as deep as I could. I had Victor and Dennis drop a few light lines over the side with 2 oz. sinkers and dead shrimp......"ya never know, sometimes ya pop a Red by doing just that."

And as they tight-lined the light rods, one of the Pogie rods goes off.  No real current to speak of meant what ever this was, could and would do what ever it wanted. And that was to tangle into every other line hung over the side of the boat. And it turns out to be a 3 foot shark. But Dennis got a handful. It was not like any Pond, Lake or River fish, he may have been used too. And it sure had it's way with him.

But, now through lots of interpretation. He knew what he was in for. He was the rod man for the day. The trip was really for him, I was told.

The current finally swung us around and I re-anchored and were on a perfect lay on the anchor. Minding our own bee's wax, conversing and waiting on a big brutus Redbass. I busted out the serious big fish tackle, by now. My big Accurate twin-drags matched up to 50-80 pound class Ugly Stik Charter boat series "meat mover" rods. Dennis requested we go back to the heavy stuff. After tangling with the shark on a lighter bottom fishing rod, and mini B-197 Accurate.  

We get bit like clock work, just as the tide picked up......I can almost set my watch by it. It's all in the feel against the boat. The big rod bows over, the drag peels and we have on a stud. Dennis is all out struggling. 

I look up and what do I see coming at us?
St. Johns River heavy metal!!!!!!!!!

And what's right next to it, as it's coming? A shrimp boat! And for some reason this shrimper thinks he can out run this ship in his boat. It's us...(not in the channel) a shrimper, and a ship staying in the channel barrelling down on us.

I'm sure the Pilot up in the wheel house of the ship was wondering what the hell this shrimper was doing.
We have Dennis hooked up and getting drug all around, his fish out on the channel side of my boat, and the shrimp boat comes with in 20 feet of the side of us, and 20 feet on the other side of the shrimp boat was the ship! I looked up into the shrimpers wheel house, gesturing to him what the hell are ya doing??? And saw him doing the international signal for "Oppppp's", which was hands up in the air and a "I guess I messed up", look on his face.

Good gawd, the river just got mighty small all of a sudden.

But I had Dennis to help, and his Redbass came popping to the surface. And I'm not sure if Viktor, Dennis or Toni realized how "iffy" a situation this was, do to the shrimp boat, turned race boat.

Dennis travelled far to catch a whopper, and it sure was exciting. His 27 pound Redbass went back in the water and swam away, for a next time. And it was time to get him on another.


And one more, before he said he had enough.

In between these three Red's we lost 3 more to the under water caverns we were fishing. As Dennis tired from going toe to toe with the rods bending one after another.  The action was fast and furious. And those big Reds sure love a live wiggler on the end of a hook. Good current, frisky live baits, and the "meat mover" rods and reels. I LIKE IT!

Viktor mentioned "eating size" fish. We'll that meant only one thing. Float-rigging the rocks. But I had no live shrimp, so I headed back out to the jetties. And instead of float-rig fishing I had Dennis and Viktor "tight-line" cut Pogies on the bottom in the fast incoming tide current with the light rods and light lead. As soon as some of the stink permeated the area, Viktor was hooked up.......Fish On! But the problem was, I cannot pick fish out of a barrel for folks. Fishing charters are not seafood markets. And Viktor was hooked up to a big drag burning fish. Obviously not a keeper sized Redbass. And it eventually got him into the jetty rocks and busted off his entire leader.

I take ya fishing......I don't take ya catching. That's your deal. Unless you want me to reel them in.

Toni said she was ready to go. So Viktor said, I think it's time we head back. Toni's ready.
It was an exciting day. Hot as all get-out, but nice, and slick calm.

Next up: Saturday with another 4 person.

See ya out there.

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