Thursday, July 15, 2010

7/15 - Six feet, and three inches...they caught them all.

Did a half day trip today with Roger J. and his two young sons. I told Roger about the sharkin behind the shrimp boats and he was all about it. But I told him, "the boys are too young for this, we'll go catch a few and then go up in the river and let the boys reel in some small fish." And that's what we did, but on a time line.

So we got out the jetties and there was a big rolling swell out there. And just two big shrimp boats, way out a few miles. So I slowly peddled my way on out there, pulled up behind the first shrimper and showed Roger what we do. I made a cast, and my float went down and whatever stole the bait. Second cast the same thing......okay let Roger handle this. Run up again behind the shrimper and toss a bait with a float right over the nets and cables, handed Roger the rod and..........ZING, he was off to the races with a really big Shark. It was a beautiful thing!

Over cast, kawabunga swells, all just felt really right. And the two youngsters didn't care. Dad was hooked up and being drug around the boat and they just walked around the deck as if it was no biggy. Some kids would have been crying, screaming, sea-sick or utterly un-impressed wanting to go home already. But not these two little troppers.

The most amazing thing was as Roger is getting his butt handed to him, and we drift away from the shrimp boat, I see a monster Tripletail. That looked to be 20 pounds come flying out of the water 6 feet, with a Blacktip shark right on it's tail. The water was frothing and it happened a few times. I look behind the boat and there's another high flying Tripletail getting chased too. Amazing, I never for the life of me ever saw such a sight. Tripletail can really jump! And all I can say is, "how do I target those monster Tripletail out there behind shrimp boats?" I hear from time to time shrimpers catching them up to 20-30 pounds in the nets. It was an awesome sight! 

Mean while, Roger is in a full blown heated battle with a big Blacktip. A real Shark, that takes time and patience to catch. But Roger subdues it after about 30-40 minutes.

Before we left the dock there was small schools of mullet jumping around the boat ramp. I saw some small finger mullet, and thought they would be good for Redbass bait later on, so I broke out the cast bet and made a toss. I ended up catching about eight 12" Mullet, instead. So I dropped them in the live well.

We were using nothing but old Cigar Minnows I had as shark bait. But now I thought, "Hey let's toss out a big live Mullet behind the shrimp boat." So after releasing Roger's Blacktip that was a definite 100 pounder plus, we chased up to the back of the shrimp boat and I tossed out the big live Mullet. If you want to see the water explode, try it sometime. Each time, the attack was so violent we either lost the bait, the hook and came back with a 200 pound mono leader that was shredded, like this.

On Roger's last try with the Mullet he got a run out of a sharks that dumped 150 yards off my 870 Accurate twin drag reel and wasn't stopping, until the entire leader was gone, reeling back nothing but  broken 65 # Berkley braided line.

There is no doubt that if you want to loose, break, and re-rig alot, just run and gun those shrimp boats. One day it can be sort of mild smaller sharks, then it can be high jumping Spinners or really heavy weight Blacktips. A few years ago a customer named "Bruno", hooked up a shark in the 7-8 foot range and into the second hour he finally got the shark boat side so we could take a look at it. It wasn't your average Blacktip. The shark surged under the boat almost breaking one of my custom 8' fiberglass Tarpon rods. And bit through the 200 pound leader. That's when I started thinking, these rods may not be heavy enough. So the next year when they came out, I stepped up to the Xtra heavy duty 6'6" Ugly Stik Charter boat series rods. And to this day, I don't believe we'll hook anything out there that'll break one of those. They're seriously tough.

It was the two boys turn now. So we packed up and headed to the Lil' Jetties in the river. There, Roger and I cast and hooked up fish for them both on some light Ugly Stiks and just used dead shrimp. Each time I take the kids there to just reel in some fish, I forget how fun it is to sometimes just chunk out some dead shrimp around those rocks. The two boys reeled in; Croakers, Spots, Black Drum, Pinfish, and Seabass. Of course I would have loved to hook-up a nice fat Redbass. But that wasn't the point, it was just about catchin'. And I even think, it's fun. Just catchin'....not targeting anything. Sometimes it's a relief for me, just to catch any fish. Give these two boys 10-15 years, and then they'll get all picky. But not today.

And here's the "three inch fish" as the title eluded too. Yep, it's a good day when you can catch them from 100 plus pounds, all the way down to three inches in just 4 hours. I had a ball, I hope my crew did too.

More to come on Friday and Saturday, then as of now I'm off on Sunday. Then comes a pile of charters to include more kid trips next week too.