The day after the Greater Jax Kingfish Tournament........usually means all those 4 engined 38' go fast boats are heading back to where they came from on I-95 and I-10. The average tournament fisherman in Jax is whooped, broke, or broke down. And for me, it marks the mid-point of hot summer and my favorite time of year is getting that much closer.......Fall, Winter, Spring. No, summer is not my favorite time of year. It is business wise, because everyone and their brother loves the heat. I wish folks loved the COOL as much. But of course that coincides with all those (pointless in my opinion) holidays. Again, I only like holidays because of business. I know, I'm a hard-azz.
Remember this post when it's late November and I'm having a ball light tackle fishing the big Jetties, with a sweatshirt on, in super comfort. I think Mike P. and his girlfriend Amy will....they are the folks that fished with me today. He said he wants to come back to Jax and fish again in November. He has too, if he wants to see what makes the "Float Freak" tick! Oh yeah, drifting the ole Float-rig for spunky cool weather
But that's not what we did today. Today we were departing at 7am. YES. So sweet....we actually drove away from the dock before 7am, because they arrived at 6:30am, ready to go. My kinda folks.
Mike and Kim are from S. Florida and fish all around down yonder. So I was hoping Momma Nature would show some South Floridians, a good day.
We headed out the inlet. It was a bit "swellish". Only two small shrimpers were out in the chum hole working it, and then joined by a big boat, but it headed toward Nassau Sound. I talked up the Blacktips to Mike, so we had it on our float plan. But it was obvious that there was no real action going on behind these two small shrimpers. I'm on a time line, I need signs of action and NOW. But I could tell it was a "dud" today.
There was a deep red sky in the morning, so the wind was GOING to blow eventually. So being it was high tide also along the jetty rocks we headed there. No sharkin today, I guess. So I anchored outside the big rocks and Mike and I tossed cut cigar minnows meant for the Sharks, up to the rocks looking for a Redbass bite. It was a bit to nautical for Kim, but she was a good sport and let us try for a few minutes.
Nothing along that spot at the rocks. So I pulled anchor and went and threw my net once over some pogies, along the beach. Gotta have some live wigglers in the well, for what and where we were heading next.
But my timing was all wrong. We were behind a ship with a Coastie escort. They harassed us of course. And said, "stay 500 feet away and pass the ship at a slow speed." Well, the ship was hauling ass...."how can I go slow and pass it, I need to go that way?" I asked. The personality'less Coastie couldn't answer my question. I'm heading west, the ships heading west. I'm a tide, time line! They threatened me with a boarding, which I guess means a ticket cause they WILL find something wrong, is what that meant. Gotta love being threated like crap by our own defenders.
The nightly TV news talks about treating Iraqi's and Afghans respectfully to earn their trust...TRY it here first.
So we finally got to where we were going. Anchored up, and tossed live pogies over the side with my little Ugly Stiks. I refer to them as the little rods that "can". Only 6 feet long, but they have such a great action. No need for a long rod when doing this kind of bottom fishing, I have learned. And the gals, kids and older folks have a easier time with rods no so cumbersome. Yeah, goes against my personal philosophy because I like 8 foot rods. But these sure can whoop a Big Redbass!
And in what seemed like just minutes, Amy was on one......lickety split!
As long as we had good current, and the boat laid perfectly, the big "RB's" were chewin'. Then, it was Mike's turn, and the bite was on......for good.
We did experience a few break-off's and a Stingray spool dump. But the action was real good, till the current slowed on this particular spot.
Mike, bowin up on another Redbass that measures over 30 inches...."we just couldn't get a single keeper, at least not in this area." We didn't take off to some other zip code as the tide changed, slowed or the current went weak. We just moved around. That's all ya have to do. And the "fleet" around us got pretty thick for awhile. I'm surprised the cruiser, beer drinking crowd didn't pull up and drop a line. Heck we even had a pontoon boat near us....gawd how I dis-like them things. They belong in a lake somewhere.
Hulky, bulky, and F-U-N is what these 10-14 pounders were. Mike said, this was way more than than what he wanted Amy to experience, and that was a good thang!
She did so well, I was jealous. This gal has has natural talent. She was fluid, not in a hurry, and just sweet talked these big RB's to the boat.
Wish I could say the same for the photographer! OPPS...sorry, about the "cut yer head off", in this photo. But that was one big dude, ya got there.
It was a great day. I believe the bite was on because of the weather change. Those puffy clouds, the wind, and the threat of moisture falling I'm sure had a lot to do with the good bite of big Redbass.
Or was it......no mo' Kingfish tournaments till next year?
Hope to see ya'll again Mike, in November. Hope next time it's T-rex sized, T-routz.