Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Just got back from going to Ohio. 1890 miles in two days. Flying down the highway as fast as we could. Towing a motor cycle trailer to some small town up there, to get myself a spare 225 Honda. Whewwww, was that a ride from hell and back! Going North was 90% rain the whole way. And going through the mountains into the clouds at 2083 feet above sea level (per the GPS), was not a fun ride. At times the rain was so bad that if we had rain like that in J-ville Florida, we would  be swimming!!!!

Had to get a spare outboard, though. It's always the plague of any commercial type fisherman's life, when the motor is down, for whatever reason. And I sit, loosing income based on someone elses time schedule (mechanics!). So now, I will have a spare in the garage, and will hopefully just swap out one for another and be on my way in a day or so.

It was so nice and COOL in Ohio.

So I fished with Mike and Phil on Sunday and then got up at 4am and was heading down the road for Ohio with my dad, on Monday at 5:30am. (no rest for the weary.)

Sunday was a lot of fishing....I mean a lot of fishing. For slim catchin'. Compared to the two trips prior, I made last week.

I stayed with the same theme. Bottom fish,  for whatever while putting a live Croaker out the stern on a leash and a circle hook. Between Mike, Phil, and I we went through two pounds of giant shrimp, and lots of cut bait, and many live Croakers. For a small box of  "stringer fish". It was a good time. And I have to say, Mike and Phil are my kind of guys. They hung with me, as I'd drop anchor for just a "let's see" and if not much was happening we'd make a move. From Sharks to Pigfish, they caught whatever bit.

I know the flooding tide wasn't the best scenerio for what we were doing. But that's what we had.

We caught one big Redbass at 27 pounds on a live Croaker and had another monster fish hooked up on "TOO LIGHT OF TACKLE".  We anchored on so many spots it was as if it was a river road rally. Where covering 20 spots in 8 hrs was the challenge. I was so wore out by the end of the day.....and had the 15 hour drive ahead of me, Monday morning. At least it was really COOL as we went north. Ohio was a max. of 70 by the afternoon. And a chilly low or 50 when we arrived.

Before we even dropped a line over board on Sunday we ran straight into rain on the river. That produced a set of double rainbows.

The best action of the day was along the little Jetties. The Croakers were so thick that it was a bite on every single drop to the bottom. But we failed to get a big Redbass on any live Croaks out on the heavier rods down deep behind the boat.

But if Mike and Phil wanted FISHING.....we fished hard!  Eight full hours. Boxing a handful of river Whiting, lots of Croakers, a few Sand Trout, and one big "RB".

Here's Mike with a fish WAY TOO Large for the light rod it was hooked up too.

Next up: is Thursday afternoon with 4 people. Then, Saturday's Underground Utilities Contractrors Assoc. fun tournament with 3 people, while the inaugural Mayport Full of Bull Redfish tournament is going on also. And the weather looks a bit challenging, at this time.

In between, I'll be checking out my new spare 225 Honda. Yeah, I have a full plate!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

9/24 - Taking it EZ....

Had Randy E. from West Virginia, aboard today. Yep, he was flying solo. And that was okay with me. I have plenty 4 passenger trips in the works. So, a good ole one person trip was fine with me.

"There's more that one way to skin a cat" we've all heard that saying. And that's just what we applied in today's fishing. With a 0730 hrs departure, I pointed the Jettywolf leftward out of the boat ramp and we headed up river. I had a coffee can full of fresh giant dead shrimp and that was it for bait. No live shrimp, no float-rig rods, and no plans on even attempting to hunt up those snipe hunt Speckled Trout, amongst all the bait stealers. With a full moon rising tide. I had other plans.

We're gonna bottom fish for whatever bites, while soaking either a Mullet or small Croaker on the larger with the heavier rods. So before going too far we hit a dock that I frequent this time of year to see if there was any small Mullet around. And for the second time this week. We didn't see any. So we just moved on.....

Fishing spot to spot. Not falling in love with anywhere in particular. And each spot we just dropped down some dead shrimp. We picked up a few small Croakers and Sand Trout. The Croak's went into the livewell, and the Trout went into the fish box.

Out of the three times the circle hook rod doubled over, we caught two big RB's (Redbass' aka: Redfish.)
And each bite came when we were busy fishing dead shrimp for whatever. And that's what was so EZ and fun about it.

Randy and I caught Whiting, Sand Trout, Croakers, Bluefish, and Seabass on the light rods. Put plenty for a fish fry in the cooler. And Randy got his wish. He got to pull on two big Reds, one at 16 and the other at 26 pounds.

I didn't anchor on places that were stereo typical big Red spots. I anchored on places where we could stretch a string, with the dead shrimp baits, instead.

Of course, I was wanting a big Red to come by and suck up one of our shrimp. So we could have a light tackle battle on our hands. But each time, the Reds smacked a small Croaker on the bottom, with it's tail fin cut short, and on a relatively short leash and a 7/0 circle hook.  The largest Red, even hit a Croaker after I just took a whole blue crab off that received no attention.

The flip side of our fishing today could have been an all out assault on the bottom with nothing but the heavier circle hooks rods. Where we would have been pretty dang bored watching rod tips all day long. I've done that too, this time of year....and am really sick of it.

It was fun, and I cleaned plenty of "stringer fish" when we returned to the dock.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

9/22 - Last Day of Summer

Well...say good bye to summer of 2010. But in Jax you'd never know it. At least my lack of sun screened face knows it. "Do I have wind burn, or is it sun burn?"

Had Scott Z. and his son Zach, on board today. As it turned out I had James & Robin C. booked for today for the a long, long time. Then, yesterday I got a call that James hurt his back and couldn't hardly walk. "Hey, been there done that, at least once a month myself."  So James and Robin had to cancel. And while being the "even-steven" that I am. Scott called me a few hours later and took their spot. Now that's what I like. No messing around. Scott said, "we'll take it." And booked his trip immediately.

Since last Friday, and then again on Sunday, I had Jon & Chris M. on both days. And I've probably not had a more challenging two days in years!  And Sunday was a real wash, in the sustained 20 knot winds. That never quit. 

So, today plans had to change. No fancy fishing what so ever. The plan today was; keep baits in the water and catch fish no matter if they are big or small or in between. And that's just what I did.

First spot along the "lil' Jetties" during the smokin' incoming tide as the East wind helped with the push.  Drop down some boat ramp caught finger Mullet on my heavier rods and see if there's actually any big Redbass around.

N-O-P-E! Not one sniff. 

It's so funny, or actually sad. I've caught more big Reds at the lil jetties this year in the 9990 degree heat of July, than I have in the last few weeks......AND IT'S NOW LATE SEPTEMBER!!!!!!  (supposedly the hot time of year for big I've heard??)

Yeah....welcome to bizarro world, Cappy Dave. (One might say)

So, Scott, Zach and myself took off and hit the Carlucci Boat ramp real quick to see if I could cast net a few more perfect sized Mullet.

Nope, no Mullet to be seen.

The writing was on the wall. My plan was now going to hit implamentation stage; Park it, and Fish it.

So we ran up river a ways. Grabbed the medium light rods matched up with the Shimano Cruxis low-pro reels and a bottom rig. Open the dead shrimp bucket and go to town, and just plain catch some damn fish! I was sick and tired of bait-n-wait fishin', targeting obvious species that are not gonna bite.
And these below are what us three set the hooks on all day:

- Croakers


-Sand Trout

-Yellowmouth Trout/Weakfish

-Piggy Perch, Pigfish



-Jack Crevalle



The three of us caught while using; dead shrimp, pilchards, mud-minnows, and small mullet, on the bottom. Having fun shootin the bull, telling stories, and as Scott said, "Spending the day with his son, bending a rod." And Scott and Zach were USDA GRADE Fisherman all the way!!!

We did take some time out to try for big Reds again. It took hours and hours for the tide to turn hard enough so the boat wouldn't just lay in the wind. And when something finally did take a big bait on the bottom (Live Croaker) it turned out to not be a big Redbass, but a 82 degree river water favorite.....a 50 pound Stingray.
We kept trying for a little while more. But the Croaks and other snatchers just kept shaking the rod tips. So we all went back to dropping dead shrimp down on the bottom for a few more bites till we packed it up and headed back to the dock with what we had in the cooler.

Didn't take any photos. I'll save that for when the big fish, ""or Trout"", start biting again......someday.

But, we had a cooler full. And enough for a real good fish fry.

Next up: Friday with one angler, and Sunday with two anglers.

Will the EAST winds stop blowing........"Doesn't look like it. The funk still continues...."




So we'll just do what we did today. And that's NO running around. And keeping lines in the water for as long as possible.
It's called, K-I-S-S fishin'.

Monday, September 20, 2010

9/20 - Whewwwww.....

The last few, what a tough few days. Don't know if it was the hurricane passing way offshore or what. But, no matter what we did. It had it's challenges.

One thing I can tell you as a possible customer. Follow my lead. You see me working hard. You have to do the same thing. If the fish are chewing the bottom of the boat, yeah you can lay back if ya want. But when they aren't. And you want the best possible chance. Then ya better step up to the plate 100% of every minute we're out there.

This isn't my first year doing this. Or as Dr. Phil says, "this ain't my first rodeo."  I'm a great observer of the human condition. And when things aren't going as people would like many times. I see folks get less motivated. I can understand that. I don't expect people to be as die hard as I am. But......

Catching fish isn't a "right". It's a privilage. A challenge. And a skill. I provide the best boat, tackle, bait, I can, and know how, for YOUR abilities.

My theory has always been, never quit. And I'll die trying......or until I get really, really hungry. Because I don't eat, I hardly drink, I forget to use sun screen, I get fried, and my arms ache from heaving the anchor for the 15th time. All in pursuit of fish, big or small. 

Water temps are still 83 degrees in the river. This is again, a time of year I start tracking every drop in degrees. I mark it in my log books and even though not one year seems to ever be the same. I look back in old log books to see the differences.

Shorter days, cooling water temps, seasonal migrations and tide changes, Trout tracking, `and fluctuating fuel prices, are just a few of the items I keep a very close eye on.

For example. Last year on Oct. 30th and it was 90 degrees. And I predicted a warm winter. Oh, I couldn't have been any further from the truth!!!!

So meterology, is like fishing!   

Thursday, September 16, 2010

9/16 - I'm on the fence........



Public Hearings on FWC Redfish Management Proposals

Volunteers Needed to Attend Hearings and Support CCA



CCA Florida recommends that the Commission continue current regulations of one fish bag limit, 18 – 27 inch slot, open year round season, no commercial take to continue one of Florida’s most successful and valuable management plans. CCA Florida does not support the FWC staff recommendation to create north and south management zones and to increase north zones to 2 fish bag limit.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is proposing a bag limit change for North Florida redfish to two fish per person and create four management areas which would be the same as those used for Spotted Sea Trout.

-Dividing the state into 4 regions in order to increase the bag limit to two fish in the North regions places the redfish management plan at risk.

-Dividing redfish into two regions on the west coast and two regions on the east coast is not based on any biological information. Genetic and tagging information shows that redfish move and mix along both coasts. The west coast is one stock of fish and the east coast is one stock of fish. SW Florida may be dependent on movement of fish from the Big Bend and Panhandle areas to maintain population levels.

-Increasing the bag limit on redfish will have a significant impact on take. Those anglers who catch and keep one legal redfish normally catch more legal size fish on the same trip. Therefore an increase to 2 fish will double the take of redfish. The FWC must investigate the impact of increasing effort and such doubling of increase in take on the management plan escapement goals before proposing any changes.

-Creating and dividing redfish into regions causes the Northern regions to have higher escapement rates; however, in the southern areas escapement rates decline. The NE region has a 74 percent escapement rate? It is simply not a believable number and is probably a result of sample size and data deficiencies caused by the regional division.

-In all regions, except NE, the redfish escapement rates are continuing to decline and fishing effort on redfish continues to increase in all areas of the state.

The Commission is interested in providing more opportunities and more fish for recreational anglers. We encourage and support the Commission in that regard; however; we urge them to look at spotted sea trout instead of redfish. Spotted sea trout are currently closed in February in the NW region and November and December in all other regions. A new stock assessment will be completed in December 2010. The anticipated increases in abundance could allow for the elimination of some or all of the closed months. Opening those closed months provides increased opportunities for anglers and allows more sea trout to be taken.

Public Hearing Locations

All hearings are from 6pm – 8pm

Monday, Sept. 20 - Brevard Agricultural Center
3695 Lake Drive Southeast Branch  Cocoa 10599

Tuesday, Nov. 23 - Jacksonville Public Library
Deerwood Park Blvd  Jacksonville

Date – TBA Date - TBA
FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute City Hall Council Chambers
100 Eighth Ave. SE 123 NW Highway 19
Karen A. Steidinger Auditorium Crystal River
St. Petersburg

If you are unable to attend please send your email comments which can be very simple to:

Florida’s redfish program does not need any changes. CCA Florida does not support any increases in bag limits.

For more information contact – Ted Forsgren CCA Florida at (850)224-3474 or email

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

9/14 - Goings on:

The Hook the Future Foundation will be hosting the inaugural Full of Bull Redfish Tournament on October 2 at Morningstar Marina at Mayport. Attached is a press release and a registration flyer.

Please help us get the word out and make this next event in the Hook the Future Tournament Series a huge success.

(Catch-Measure-Photograph-Release, Tournament format using provided Circle Hooks.  $50 per Angler. 1st-3rd big prizes)

Feel free to forward this e-mail in its entirety to anyone else you know who may be interested.

Flyers will also be available at most local bait & tackle shops and marine supply stores beginning this weekend.


Frank Joura

Same date Oct 2nd:  I'm booked for the Underground Utilities Contractors Assoc. "fun" Tournament. Which I've had charters for several times. It's a fun tournament with a almost anything goes species line up. And a good BBQ afterwards held at Sisiters Creek Boat Ramp. 

Off I-95 in Daytona:

Monday, September 13, 2010

8/13 - Been awhile....

For years I've been doing these reports. And since the last one it's been a day shy of two weeks since the last report. Doesn't seem to matter much. Some prespective customers or inquiries, think I fish in freshwater....."It's probably because they don't click on these fishing reports."  Go figure?

The reason for no reports lately has been because of Honda Marine. My Honda outboard, an obviously lemon, has let me down again for the third time in just 3 years and ten months of ownership.  I thought Honda was better than that. And for a grand total of over $1200 dollars worth of repairs and parts, in just the last three months!!  So since the 2nd of the month, I've been out of commission. I'll spare you all the gory details. But as of 6pm on the 10th. I was back in business.  And had this past Saturday and Sunday booked. But lost $1,200 due to being down, through the past Labor Day weekend.

So I had a few trips this weekend. The fishing was a bit challenging with the wacky tides of the last two days of the new moon. But we worked our way around the river hunting up some action.

Reds, Jacks, Ladyfish, baby Groupers, Croaker, yellowmouths were the catches in the  still 83 degree water.

OOPS.....rockin boat?

It was plenty HOT on Saturday. Then on Sunday it was quite pleasant because we had a breeze. But it doesn't matter, I'm so looking forward to Winter