Tuesday, August 31, 2010

8/30 - No Sweat Day #2

Today, was the second day of "no sweatin" fishing, for me. Are we looking at a cool down? It sure felt nice, compared to those long hot days in July.

Had Don and Dave aboard the Jettywolf. Yeah, it was breezy straight out of the East. The sky was a deep red color as the sun came up, so I stayed away from the Jetties. And even though I initially had plans to head up to Nassua Souind. I decided not to gamble on it. The sound is just so wide open. And the last place I'd want to be on an East wind at 15 knots. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, before.

I had allot of live shrimp, but still needed some baitfish for my second livewell. So before we got too serious, I stopped by a dock to get some live finger mullet. I tied off and Don and Dave yelled, "Is this what ya want??"

As I stood loading the castnet up, on the bow. Down the side of the boat swam a giant school of perfect sized Mullet! But of course I didn't have the net ready yet. "Damn! See, that's how it works. Ya always see them when you're not ready yet", I told Don and Dave.

But we got really lucky. Just as I had the net out of it's bag and ready, Don and Dave said, "Here they come again!"  Another big school swam right down the side of the boat. I threw the net and we had all we needed.

I figured we'd try a creek spot with our perfect finger Mullet. Nothing! So we moved down the creek. The next spot I had the guys Float-rig fish. And as usual, while I was showing them what to do a huge fish came up to the surface in the shallow water and busted on the float. Paying no attention to the live shrimp attached.
Looked like a big Red. So, I was hopeful. As Don and Dave sent live shrimp down a shell bank. I pitched live mullet. They each caught a "pupper" Redbass, and I caught 3 "pupper" Reds on the mullet. Okay, this isn't nothing but the nursery. So we left.

The tide was flooding in good by now. And after Float-rigging a few more spots with no dcecent bites. I made a change.

It was time to slow this all down, and soak some Shrimp and Mullet. I could see, that today with the East wind and rising tide that this was gonna turn into a "marathon charter" day. If it was a bone chilling cold winter day , I'd be refering to this as a K.O.D. kinda day. (Kiss of death)  But, as we fished the wind seemed to back off and it was really nice. It may have been just the location we were at. A bend in the river that seems to be a spot where the wind was blocked.

As the flood tide started to slow we picked off some decent fish, although the bites were slow. It was what we came for. Don got the first Redbass a perfect 27 incher. That was heading into the fish box after a photo.

Then Dave hitched into a Redbass that I thought might have been a monster Flounder. Because it swam to the boat, didn't do a whole bunch of drag screaming long runs, and then hung along side ther boat. Just out of sight. Or at least I was wishing it was a monster Flounder.....but it was a larger Redbass than Don's at 29 inches.

We switched back and forth between live shrimp and the finger Mullet. Maybe the shrimp would catch a nice Black Drum. But instead the guys got bit by Seabass, and Bankbass, whatever else that was small. Then, Don got a good bite. I was on the phone with a buddy who lives out in Texas. He reeled it up to the boat and that's when I saw it was a BIG Trout! Ohhhhhh, I didn't want Don to loose this fish. I know how easy a big Trout can come off the hook with the slightest slack line. I held my phone and netted the Trout. Bid farewell to my Texas buddy. And admired Don's bottom caught Trout.

It wasn't a bust'em up kind of day, by now means. But Don wanted to have his photo here on my blog, he said. So we accomplished that as you can see. So we ended up with 7 Redbass to 29", a small little Jack, a few Ladyfish, some bottom baitstealers and a 21 inch Speckled Trout. I'm sure it could have been alot worse, if we went all the way to Nassua Sound and sat rough swells coming in from the ocean and caught nothing but dinky fish.

I have a 4 passenger Friday charter of guys that I've had out numerous times years ago. I hope to hit the sound then, and have constant action with them. The last time they fished Nassua Sound with me it was late March and we had numerous Sheepshead, Whiting and Black Drum to 40 pounds in 6 feet of water during the spawning season up there.


Interesting Mullet fishing articles:



Sunday, August 29, 2010

8/28 - alittle ME time.

Figured I'd join the "weekend" crowd, so I actually went out on a Saturday, by my lonesome.

I missed my chance on Friday because I got caught up in trailer and truck maintenance. And afterwards it was to late to go.

The weather wasn't all that bad. It sure was dark and gloomy. And cooler....!!! I never broke a sweat, it almost felt like FALL.  (C'C'mon winter.....)

I took 4 dozen live shrimp. And had a plan to fish just one area of the river, with shrimp, and maybe a jig with a soft plastic on it. The tide was rising. I really liked that. So I made my way up river and fished one 1/2 mile stretch. The jig just wasn't working. So as usual I went to my ole stand-by, the Float-rig. I didn't care what I caught. But as I moved down the bank, each small spot I anchored on had been Flounder country in the past. Usually in the spring though.

I was on my second anchor drop, and I pitched out a live shrimp over an area covered in nasty oysters. Set only inches deep on my rig, with a 24" leader. I was keeping my shrimp shallow to avoid any bait-stealer bites. That's when I saw a big swirl and then a splash, and my float went down. I thought it was a Redbass by the commotion it made. But as the spot dictated, it was a aggressive Flounder, that came up to the top to attack my live shrimp.

Not a stud.....but worthy of my dinner plate. So I kept trying to catch another. Had a few more bites, but they certainly were not Flounder. So I moved on, trying a 100% spring time Flounder spot. Which on an incoming tide in May, I will not drive past. But it was dead, after a thorough going over.

The weather report certainly didn't keep the Saturday crowds down. No matter where I was, I had boats driving around me. Lurkers staring, and everywhere worth an anchor drop, had a boat on it.

That's a weekend for ya'.

I headed back east, and into the ICW. I decided to fish a spot that's really shallow, near the mouth of a creek. It has some interesting topography just outside the mouth. A very long sand/mud bar. That's 4 feet under at most high tides, and out of the water at low. It was max high tide, when I arrived. There was hardly any current. On my second cast, of the float rig set very shallow, once again. The live shrimp got sucked up off the surface in the shallow water by a 18" Trout.

I also had rigged up, a snap on float attached to a leader and a hook. A stealth rig. I always keep plenty of these weighted snap-on foam floats on the boat. They work great for everything from casting a shrimp to a Tripletail on the rip line, to pitching a shrimp up on a shallow oyster bed. So I used this float to cast a live shrimp up to the same spot, and the Trout busted the shrimp soon as it hit the surface.
I pulled only two keepers out of the spot, while catching about 15. Most were small male Trout. Then, the Ladyfish showed up. But I was happy. I was catching, and for me everything is more fun on a float. Watching the shrimp being popped right off the top of the water, was exciting.

I didn't press my luck to far. I could see some rain falling just south of me. My livewell was almost empty, so I headed back to clean my fish for dinner.

Weather?? I didn't feel the heavy East winds were that fore-casted. I even ran towards the jetties for a look see on the way back to the boat ramp.

I'm heading out with two guys on Monday or Tuesday, and wanted to try Nassau Sound. Hope there isn't any big wind. Because that's one place that it's not good  for anyone, if the wind's blowing 15 kts out of the east.


Had these photo's in my camera of a excessively HOT, slick as glass day last week, with Brandon and Lauren from Houston, Texas. Where we struggled all day to give away a live shrimp on the float-rigs. But ended up catching a few small Reds, a Trout and a Flounder with a few Pilchards on a bottom rig.  Which I caught, from castnetting at the dock.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

8/26 - Change a comin', by way of wind






Alrighty......we're getting into that time of year that'll hopefully flush the summer doldrums away.

Now, is the the time of year to plan. You read the word "plan" allot here, I know.

What we really need is a bunch of endless rain, so to flush the river out in conjunction with a massive tide.
I'd love to see "tea water" at the boat ramp in Mayport that's for sure. Remember T.S. Faye??? Yeah, like that.

This was caught two days after T.S. Faye in Sept of 2008, on top of the S. Jetty on a 12" live Croaker while DOA Rob and I were fishing. You've seen it before, and you'll see it again I'm sure. Because it was my heaviest Redbass ever. (53#'s) The massive freshwater flush kicked things off nicely.

Last year there was T.S. then Hurricane Bill. Effecting N.E. Florida around the 21st and 22nd of August. Afterwards, I had my good buddy Kirk M. the "kirk-n-ator" aboard the Jettywolf for two days, on the 23rd, and then on the 26th. Our second day turned out to be "legendary" when it comes to St. Johns River Speckled Trout fishing.

Kirk and I scored no less than 100.....yes, one hundred Specks that day, along with Reds, Flounder, Jacks, Ladies, Sheepshead, and yellowmouth Trout.  Because of the rains and winds, the Trout were bottle necked up in one area. We ended up doing two trips, one in the morning, running out of live shrimp, and then another after noon, again running out of shrimp. LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE HOURS GLASS, THESE ARE THE DAYS THE JETTYWOLF LIVES FOR!

I guess the point I'm making is, RAIN - WIND - STORMS, aren't such a bad thing this time of year. I once had a member of the Hurricane Hunter aircraft crew aboard my boat. And he told me, "think of them this way Dave. Florida needs them, they rejuvenate the land and the water. The bad thing is, no one wants one in their back yard, of course."

Yeah, kinda like Navy bases and Aircraft carriers, is what came to my mind.

So let's keep a eye on the storms this year. And don't forget, they can only make the fishing (Trout fishing) better. I'm up for that!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

8/24 - Nice photo

Here's a nice running photo of myself and the Roush crew taken by my buddy Val B. He's a photographer and took several shots of us running in from the jetties this morning, while passing the Mayport Boat Ramp. He's usually down there taking photos of our bird buddies.

I guess I'll chase the Nassau Sound reports. And plain just give up on the river for now. I hear there's at least Jacks and Ladies up there. While even Jacks in the river are a hard find.

Redbass and Trout are a far cry from having to Whiting fish at Nassau. Not part of my usual repertoire. But, toss in a few Pompano, Bonnetheads, Bluefish and the like and I guess we could make a good day up there......But it's, 18 miles one way from the dock!! 

Today it was a bit sloppy at the Jetties, but we tried it anyhow. Using live Pinfish and Pilchards for bait on the bottom and free-lined behind the boat in hopes of one of the many many small "crowd pleaser sized" Tarpon rolling atop the end of the jetties to come by and eat my offering.

Gotta love the Alloy....Silver is where it's at for me. And always will be.

Friday, August 20, 2010

-Another ALLOY educational post, from the big metal boat guy

This is boat is an AMF built boat from New Zealand. As I feel with many of the boats built by AMF, I'm in AWE!!!!!  So consider this yet another educational post here on JacksonvilleFishingReports.blogspot. Because American's just don't get it. If they did, you'd see alloy boat builders here in Florida.

For some reason there's allot of builders in Louisiana, because of the need for heavy duty work boats. That's the reason. But in La. those some ideals have transfered into the fishing world too. With such builders as Gaudet's, Scully's, Hankos, and many, many more.

Check out the LINES on this boat. If shiney alloy doesn't make your heart beat a little faster, then you just don't get it. But for someone like me. My heart skips a beat when I see lines in alloy like this. Because behind it is a life time boat, that's tough, tough, tough. And unique along with total customer customization availible. Without having to make boat parts boat twice, as in making molds. Then, building the actual boat, out of fiberglass.   

New Zealand is a place that is on my bucket list. I don't see it happening. But before I go, scattered accross the sea. I'd love to spend a lot of time, there. Not just a week on a vacation.

Here ya go:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

8/17 - Ready, Set, Go. Get your BIG Redbass....and we got 'em.

Big Reds. Coming sooner than you think. And marking the beginning of the fall season. HURRRAY!!!!!

Stereo typically, most folks think October is the month. But depending on when the BIG BITE starts. October could be the middle of the bite. "Bite as refered to as:  the Spawn."

Large Redfish ...(aka: Redbass for the Jacksonville cracka'.) Are not just a seasonal fish in the St. Johns River. We have them around most of the year.

But the Late Summer and into Fall spawning season is when there's plenty of them and they are really large.

Although, the two largest ever on my boat were caught in the spring. One by me, the other by a client. At 53 and 50 pounds.

Because there's a good spring bite also, (April - May) which I believe is the large reds re-entering the river from being offshore during the coldest winter months, like Feb. and March.

The most monster Reds, I've ever had clients catch was 48 in a 4 hour span. It was a just two guys, a father and son team. And the fish were all in the 20'ish pound range. Just inside the inlet's jetty rocks, along a hard bottom ledge of the channel......using dead pogies! It was a real rally of bent rods.

Circle hooks, stout leaders, heavy lead sinkers, and rods that can handle the lead and current is what's needed for this kind of fishing.

A good by-catch of big Redbass fishing is a Black Drum. Especially in the spring months. But depending on the type of year the river is having. There is also Redbass eaters out there too, especially at the inlet.

The fishing is basically "bait-n-wait" fishing on anchor. But the coolest thing about fall big Reds is that most of the time, my crew can catch the largest fish they've ever seen. Redbass in the 40 pound range are true trophies, get one like that and you're really doing something. I'm looking for that 60+ pound fish each year. Just as a personal goal. I'd like to have someone catch one that big, and it can be done.

Not all big spawners have to be caught in the deep swift currents of trhe St. Johns River. There is times, and areas where light tackle can be used to catch true monsters. One of those 50 pounders I've had on the boat came from 15 feet of water over a rocky point.

Jigging can be very effective. Because you can mark these fish on your sounder below the boat.

A light lead head jig, 3/8ths oz to 1-1/2 oz. can be jigged off the bottom while drifting over them. With bait or a large twister tail. This has to be my favorite way of catching a 30+ pound Red. It's all about the tide and the spot, though. Inter-active, and lighter tackle is what makes this more fun. Marking them, then jig them almost vertically.
The use of a some what stout rod works for the jigging. And a high tide, just starting to slack can be thew ticket. You can do it, just off the jetty rocks. And in the river. The idea is to keep the jig about as vertical as you can. Bouncing it off the bottom. Make noise. It matters. Sometimes, when I'm sitting in current using even a  bank sinker I'll lift the lead off the bottom and drop it. Making a thud on the hard bottom I'm fishing. You'll be surprised how many times the bite comes right after a few "thuds". 

Come fall, also comes really "free" bait. Lots of Mullet and lil' Croakers. Blue crabs works great, but can be the ultimate pain. Expensive to buy, and if you "pop their lid" they wash out fast and the little fish feast on the meat, and hollow a piece of crab out in a NY minute!  I found out that if you are truely looking for that "can eat a football" sized Redbass. All you have to do with a Blue crab is pop off a few legs, and poke a few holes in the top of it, pin on a circle hook and drop it down. I've caught plenty of these bull Redbass on a whole crab. Just give the fish plenty of time to eat the bait.
There's an ole saying, I tell about every single customer when we're doing this.
"There's no better fisherman, than a rod holder and a circle hook."   LEAVE it alone, and just let the rod bow over. Then pick it up and start getting throbbed by Mr. Brutus.
One year a customer told me, "Dave, there's a $100 bill in it for ya if I catch a over 35 pounder, while we're here." I didn't want to say anything, because ya' just never know what might happen. But as it turned out, the first Redbass he hooked was 38 pounds. And that only took us about an hour of standing in the pouring rain while fishing to get that fish, and for me to make an extra $100 bucks.

There's NO long boat rides, when the spawners start to do their thang. I've went a mile, and that was a long way even, to catch us some big'un's. It's "sportfishing", we can't keep these fish. So if you are a meat fisherman, this isn't the trip for you.   

NOW...is the time to start planning your BIG RED fishing trip.

These fish will really start to kick-off around September.
Reservations are easy;  Call me to check on your day. Then, visit my web site's reservation page, follow the directions and book your charter via Google check out. It can't get easier.

These are "keeper sized" Rebass......see the difference? This is NOT what I'm talking about. We can try for these after you've earned your BIG "RB" badge.

Monday, August 16, 2010

ROD SALE: Almost a give-away program!

GOT TOO MANY..... SAVE $$$ starting at $25.00 each

In "lots":  ALL RODS "CASTING" VERSIONS...(I don't do spinners)

LIKE NEW, Lightly used by profesional. I can't call them BRAND New, because some have seen water. But there's nothing wrong with any of them.

(4) - Shakespeare "TIGER LITE"  UGLY STIKS, 6'9" trigger grip CASTING rods. Tan colored TIGER blank, with EVA & CORK handle. Fugi reel seat, fugi guides. Shakespeare 7 year warrenty. Med. Heavy, Can handle 1-6 oz. GREAT Jetty/casting rod. Can easily handle BIG Reds, Drum. ALL FOUR - 125.00 .....................Take 2 FOR $50.......that's un-real!!!!

Retail: 60.00 These are not some beat up POS rod. Near perfect is what I'd call them. S-A-V-E $$$$$$

(casting version)

(5) - Shakespeare Ugly Stik Intra-Coastals "boat-rod" straight handle 6'6" Gimble butt, EVA foam handles. Fugi Reelseat and guides. Medium Heavy action Black Blank blue/gold guide thread. One heck of a strong rod. Bottom fishing economically! 1-6 oz rod.....giant Reds, Shark, Drum, watch these with strong reel and your ready for anything......all 5 FOR 125.00.............$50 FOR 2

Retail: $40 each

Need outfitting??? E-mail me!

NOOOOO REELS........these are RODS ONLY.

(2) - super like NEW, used once. 7' Shakespeare Ugly Stiks newest addition the ""INSHORE SELECT"",  $80 for both. Medium action 10-15# line, 1/8 to 5/8 casting rods, trigger grip, exposed blank. Jig fishing, lure casting. I'd put these rods up against any high dollar rod that will snap in half on a big fish, I know believe me ! Super sweet action, and EVA "split grips" the newest rage in sensitive rods. Carrot stick, G. loomis, St. Croix????? Ya gotta be kidding me, these inshore selects will out do you any day. Beautiful black blank, red, gold threading. RETAIL: $50 each.......get these and save................ $80 FOR BOTH. Shakespeare's best of the best.

I don't even know if they've ever seen water or not. Pristine!

No tax, and the best warrenty in the biz.

VISIT: http://www.shakespeare-fishing.com/ - for more info on these items..."do your home work."

Take all listed here: $300 cash, pick-up.

Pick-up in Jacksonville just west of beaches. Cash.

Serious inquiries please, who need tackle and want to save $$.
inquire at:  charter@captdaves.com

Thursday, August 12, 2010

8/11 & 8/12 - From wicked to wacky

T-I-D-E-S....."are the most important factor in all saltwater fishing." Especially, in N.E. Florida and in the St. Johns River.


With that said, I had Sean S. with his young cousins Sara and Jake out on Wednesday. The kids caught some fish, mostly small Croakers, Spots, and Whiting. The incoming tide was RIPPING! The tide height from low to high tide was 6.1 feet, with a nasty S.E. sea breeze kickin' all day long. Pushing even more water into the river.

I worked hard in the river, trying multiple spots while keeping baits in the water as much as possible. We did try for a big Red, had one hooked up. But it got off my 11/0 circle hook somehow.

We went to the jetties and looked over the rocks to where I really wanted to go. But there was no way, I was heading there with the kids. It was a soup sandwich, with plenty of white water.

I knew if I could get where I wanted we'd get some action. Because I also had a charter with some kids on Thursday also. Watching the forecast, it changed about 4 times. South 10-15....SE 10-15.....West 10-15, it's funny how the marine forecast is always radically different than the Walmart on the westside forecast.


So on Thursday morning when I departed with Dad, Ed. And sons Conner & Seth. I was sooooo wanting to see what my side of the jetty rocks would look like. The tide was rising at 7am, and the ends of the rocks were a soup sandwich. But fish'able on the Jettywolf, no problem. Actually, it was just as I like it. Nasty enough that most folks won't toss an anchor next to me. Shin-knocker boats, no need to apply! So we headed to the beach and made a look for some Pogies. They were there....somewhere. Pelicans were diving. But the Pog's were scattered. It was okay, I had a livewell full of shrimp, and a bucket of fresh dead from yesterday.

Back to the rocks we went. It was S-W-E-L-L, I thought. But Ed was not feeling the love. But Conner and Seth didn't care. We pitched dead shrimp on the bottom and caught Croakers and Whiting. Like I. G. - Instantaneous Gratification. The boys reeled in fish, after fish. While Ed cleared his stomach of it's contents, and layed on the cooler in the bow of the boat.  After boating some Whiting, that were just fillet'able, we headed into the river and that's where all bites stopped. Ed had some color back in his face as I pulled the anchor and I told him, "'ya know the JETTYWOLF is telling me, she wants to go back to her namesake....The Jetties." 

So I made a bee-line back to the same area we left. It was much calmer as the tide rose and it was time to bust out the ole Float-rig rods, and live shrimp  Ed, never fished, and was there just because he was the Dad. Because me and the boys took up the cock-pit, playing combat fishing. I'd cast their floats out hand them the rods and they'd make the drifts.

Not long after Conner's float went down with a good fish.

A 22 inch Redbass....the first "keeper" in a week of fishing. So into the box it went and not long afterwards Conner was hooked up again with a serious drag burner. But it got off.
Then he was on again, and the fish broke off his hook. I know there's so much to look at, and amaze at. But I had to tell these guys each time their float went down. "What would ya'll do without me?", I asked.

Things slowed, Ed was some what attentive. But obviously still not feeling the love of my Jetty spot. So we moved 100 feet.

Seth finally connected with a Ladyfish, after Conner caught a Jack.

It was getting really nice out there by now. And that's when we started to see lots of Tarpon rolling behind us. I told the guys my jetty Tarpon stories. And that's when they started day dreaming. Talking up how they'd love to catch a 140 pounder. So big that we'd chase it and need a fuel tanker to come out and re-fuel the Jettywolf back up. How they'd love to hook on right before we were to head in. And end up being out there till dark fighting it. It was trash talking Michigan style, obviously.

I told them the truth though. I told them, "ya may need a 'Depends' undergarment." And most Tarpon hooked spend most of the first few minutes in the air. And most Tarpon on the float-rig break the light leader, or bend the small kahle hook we're using. But the day dreaming stories still rolled......

Then, Seth had his float go down, and in a nano-second a Tarpon was flying across the back of the boat. It somersaulted, did a double twist, and was OFF, that quick. It all happened so fast that Seth just didn't know what hit him. Cause if ya blinked you missed it.  But the poon's were all over the place.

Things were winding down. And I made another cast for one of the boys. My rod slipped out of my hand and hit the drink! It sat there just under the water for a second so I made a mad grab for it. It was a super stretch for this fat boy. But what I lack in stealth, I have in, tenacity. My arm stretch out like it was made out of rubber. But the problem is, my large girth followed.......and over the side I went!

( I said this part of the story was, Wacky.)

I caught the rod & reel before sinking. And handed it back to the boys in the boat, as I hung over the side yelling......."I GOT IT......I CAUGHT MY ROD!!"

Then, I swung around and climbed my girth back into the boat. Loosing my "Jus Grab It glove", and my new line cutters. But, that didn't matter. My 7'6" Float-rig rod and my Shimano (old style) Citica 200 DSV bait casting reel, were saved.

"Man, that water is salty",  is all I had to say as I toweled off and tried to shake the water out of my shoes and shorts. A perfect ending to a wacky day to say the least.

Ed, was never really with us, he was down for the count even when I was in the water, I think. It didn't matter. I was happy to actually fish where I wanted to be on the smoking incoming tide, finally.  We had fish in the box, Seth hooked his Tarpon, and I saved my tackle after throwing it over the side........somehow???

Back at the dock, I actually cleaned some fish for take home. These hard to fish tides won't be over with till about Monday. So if ya want to fish.......CALL NOW, book ahead, plan ahead. Think Sept & October, cuz that's when I start really howling from the big rocks.

Whewwww, I need a day off, after today.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

8/9 - Casualty of the moon.

Had Jerry and Todd aboard today. Two fun guys. We left the dock at 7am, and I had Big Reds in store for us right off.

The tide: Rising, high at 8:30'ish, and around 5 foot over low, with an East breeze blowing in the river. Made for challenging RB fishing. I used some cut Boston Mac's and had to use 10 ounces of lead to hit the bottom at our first spot. The bite was dead slow. But we waited it out, and eventually the current slowed just a bit.

We had two rod bowing, smokin' runs from big Reds. First fish was hooked up, but somehow came off my Mustad 11/0 EZ baiter long shanked circle hook. The second fish, ripped line off the spool like no ones business and turned around something (ledges on the bottom) and popped the leader just above the hook. HOLY CRAP, Batman.....what the hell???? is what I was thinking.

It's not like this is my first rodeo during tides like this on this spot. But I'm still amazed. After that, we sat and sat without another take down. So off to some other kind of fishing, I figured.

We ran a good ways to a great float-rig fishing spot. Actually a rising tide spot that's my holy grail of spots.
The current was blasting. So we gave it a little while with out much than a bait stealer bite or two. My gawd, this tides is gonna kill me, cause it just gets worse this week. And I have two more charters with kids aboard, and could be demanding adults.

Plus, the wind kept building and building. We tried another spot or two and it sucked. Boat whipped one way, the floats went another or not at all. So we just went to catch any fish. So on the way back towards Mayport I stopped at a spot that I've mentioned that I have been "willing" a Black Drum of keeper proportions to enter the fish box. The tide was so high, with the breeze pushing, but we did have some falling water. Not the situation for the spot, but a few bait stealers did make it to the boat.

Back to deep fishing for big Reds. The wind was now blowing 15 knots or better, the tide was smokin', and there we sat fishing a hard bottom spot, hoping to get slammed again. When here came a big black cloud, and some rain. We pulled anchor and moved to see if there was gonna be big wind with it. But the whole deal passed just east of us. Todd had a long ride back to West Palm, so we headed in.

First casualty, of this weeks new moon tides. And add on to it, some wind and passing dark clouds.
I gave it my all. And even tried to get them a Trout or two, at least. But Momma Nature was against me all the way.

Next up:

Weds. 2- kids, 2 adults
Thursday 2 kids, one adult.

Last week hardly any current, this week too much.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

8/4 - Sharkin' saved the day, Jettywolf on the move.

Had Jonathan B. his boss Don, and his son Jonathan aboard today. I knew going in that the tides in the river would be quite weak today. And several attempts at fishing along some hard bottom areas in the river to catch the younger Jonathan a big bad Redbass, seemed futile. On the falling and even on the incoming tide at the end of the day.

We did some "run & gun" behind the shrimp boats outside the inlet. And caught the smaller Atlantic Sharp noses that seemed to be the dominate species. But they are not the target shark. Big Blacktips in the 100 pound range are the reason why I do it. Everyone got to pull on the sharp noses, before it was evident no big Blacktips were around.

We even ran to the beach and made one toss of the cast net and came up with what I call Flounder size Pogies. Small enough that they got gilled in my Pogie net. I caught so many that the net was swimming away. I really like the smaller Pog's, because they live better in my 15 gallon bait wells. And I can keep more.

We tried anchoring on the last of the falling tide at the end of the south Jetty without a decent bite, while using the small Pog's......which seemed unbelievable. 

Right after I said to older Jonathan, "these sized Pogies are Flounder sized Pogies", we were along the inside of the North Jetty, and had set out on the bottom 3 baits. One rod wiggled, then wiggled again. And young Jonathan reeled in a Flounder that ate a Flounder sized Pogie! Imagine that.........
We also picked up one Jack Crevalle, too.

Overall, we just needed alot more current in the river. The falling tide was only a 3.5'  in my tide book. And the incoming was a bit better, a 4.2'. That's why I even gave getting a few Big Reds a try at the end of the day, while even extending our trip, an hour.

It can be that way sometimes. Plus add in the summer temps. The tide will build to 6 feet starting next week. If it isn't always something.....Instead of having no current, we'll have enough to export to the Gulf of Mexico!  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

8/3 - No wind, Big Troutz, dats okay!

Whoa, this heat is hard to be in day after day.......as I've been busier than a one armed angler. Especially, with the kid trips, which I'm sure soon will end abruptly as they head back to school once again.

So today, I had a solo fisherman aboard Allen N. from Salt Lake City, Utah. And when I said the word Trout, he thought as many do, that "OUR" Trout are like his trout. NO EVEN CLOSE. Our trout are serious predators, they are also members of the same "drum family" as a Redfish is, a Black Drum is, and a Croaker is. I'm a bit partial, and I believe they are the best of the drum family of fishes, are the most beautiful, and also are what make the Jettywolf and I click 12 months a year. Only problem is, the word SUMMER. With a published temp preferance of 60 to 80 degree water temp. I believe, that the genuine temp preferance is really more like 60-75 degrees in N.E. Florida. For the sheer reason that they seem to bite a whole lot better when the water's in that range. And really, isn't that all that counts? 

We departed at 7am and I was already a ball of sweat. We broke the "ice" over a sumberged oyster reef in the river that I'm sort of "willing with all my might" to produce keeper Black Drum, but of course is constantly coming up short, with 13 inchers, rather than the 15 to 22" fish that have been there in summers past.

But Allen did catch a Black Drum at 13 inches.....of course. Along with pinners, croakers, and seabass. Which meant time to try something else. So we moved back about 50 feet and started float-rigging the area. Allen wanted "active" fishing, not just all "bait-n-wait". So I taught him the finer details of the float-rig, N.E. Florida style. While trying the spot that was 15'-20' deep on the last of the falling tide.

We both caught ZERO. Which meant ANCHOR UP...time to move.

Next spot, a seriously memorable spot for me. I've caught so many big Trout here it's rediculas. And customers have caught Trout to 7.5 pounds here. I had no idea what would happen, because I have not fished the area since last spring, maybe back in April.  

Allen's first drift of the float-rig.........BAM! 22 incher. In my book, a 98 degree windless weather Trophy Trout.

About 20 minutes passes.....and then my float takes a dive.

A nice 19 incher comes to the net. Yeah, I was fishing along side Allen.

Then, about 20 minutes later....my float takes a dive again. The fish pulls drag and makes 4 long runs. I thought it was a Redbass. And thank goodness it wasn't.....it was a 26" Gator Trout. YEAH BABY! These are the fish we came for. My spot didn't let me down today. So we kept working it. But as the current weakened, we recieved no more bites. But hell, this was sure worth the stop.

I tried a few other spots in the area, even though I marked 86.7 degree surface temp on my Raymarine C-120 sounder temp gauge. It was so hot we couldn't breath. Allen was sweating, his face was all wet. And I was dreaming of November around Thanksgiving. So we tried one more spot and float-rigged up under a dock for a few bites. But they weren't Trout bites.

Time to head back east to clean-green-cooler- ocean water, on the rising tide. We stopped at the little Jetties and tried a great spot. Good current, cooler water and 15' deep along the rocks there. No bites.

Time to hit the jetties. Allen needs a Redfish. We got there and worked two spots. And the Redfish that ate a live river cricket was on my hook. A 18-1/2 inch RB.......okay, in the B-O-X ya go!

We worked it till I couldn't stand the slow action, and rock blennie bites, any longer. We headed in  to clean the fish, guzzle some more Gatorade and have Allen's wife pick him up.

3 for Wednesday.....hit the shrimp boats, get some pog's and catch a big RB?
I hope so. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August 1 - A day with Schley

Had Jon M. and his son Schley aboard today. This boy has fished aboard the Jettywolf before, and my ole For Reelin II, many moons ago. And he's only 9 yrs old. Full of personality,makes the day fun. And for a fishing guide that seems to have kids aboard his boat about every trip from June 1 to Sept. 1 each year. Schley, is a fun 9 year old.

Plans were, to just go catch him some fish. And then, as the tide let us, get him a giant whopper Redbass. Because kids his age with big Reds and the photos afterwards makes it really worth it in my book.

So Jon and I helped Schley out with the bites, just using the light rods and some shrimp. First spot was kinda dead, just like two days ago. Except for a small summer Sheepshead.

 Although we had a really nice falling tide. We made a move up river, to a spot that has produced hot weather Black Drum and a few Reds on just Shrimp. We anchored over a submerged oyster bed, and pitched baits down current of it. 

It was the best spot of our 6 hr day. We couldn't keep three lines going we stayed so busy. And Schley reeled in a bunch of fish.....but out of several Black Drum, many were small.

 I remember last year on this same spot on July 2nd it was 4-6 pound Drum, here.  But Schley did get one keeper.
And he thought this one fought.....But I had plans on a big Red for him still.

He caught Croakers, Spots, Seabass, Toadfish, Sea Perch, Skates, but no Redfish, while we fished the light tackle and shrimp. So we saved the smallest Croakers for live bait for big Redbass. And took a few hours and fished the heavier tackle in the swift current to see if we could get a really big fish for him. Even though he was sceptical about being able to reel one in. He liked the fast fish after fish action, I think. 

As the tide changed and started to rise. The bite really fell off, and the boat traffic (weekends...) really came alive.
It was hot, but Schley is a trooper and hung in there for us. I saved a few of his fish and he went back to where they were staying with a handful of fillets.


Tuesday, a solo angler. And we're gonna do light tackle fishing all day, and see what happens. Gonna give the deep water bottom fishing a rest for a day.