Friday, December 31, 2010

12/31 - I knew it going in....

Had brothers Chris and Rick aboard today. Leaving early, because I knew today would be the day with the heavy duty crowds. And it surely was. Another, holiday..."me, me, me" kinda day. At first, since the tide was high at 5:12 am, I knew by 7:30am that the water would still be high. Connect that with a good 5.0 foot tide. Meant that as we sat "protecting" the spot we were fishing from the onslought of attackers, aka: "people that want to anchor on top of us". As anchoring on the spot was a genuine challenge.

I used every anchor I have in my arsenal. I used the big heavy "man-maker". Then, switched up and anchored in the rocks with my concrete block anchor. Then, to a small grapnel. Back to the heavy "man-maker". All to achieve precision positioning.

It was an anchoring circus, I was in. Getting grabbed by a whirling back eddy. Kicking us out of the zone, then back into the zone.  Back and forth.

But, I knew what was going on, the whole time. It was just that we had to stay in the area. And with a whopping two Toadfish in the first 2 hrs. It looked as if we'd never be in the meat.

But that was just the look of things. No a fact.

But that's what tide fishing is all about. By heading to this spot, first thing. We were really early for the right tide.

We sat through smoking current, too. And that quickly shagged away all the boats that honed in around us, really fast. But I had the "man maker" anchor stuck and stuck good. So we just sat through the period that the tide ripped.

But when the tide got right. We were in the meat so deep it was a waylay session!

Using my newest addition to the tackle arsenal. The rods weren't all that new, but the reels just came out of their boxes, last night. Chris and Rick really put them to the test. 

As we fished just dead jumbo shrimp on the bottom. It was again, Black Drum and Black Drum only. And just a few weeks ago it was Reds, Sheepshead, Whiting, Yellowmouth Trout, and Drum on the same exact spot.

I suspect as the water temps dropped, with the cooler water the other species moved on to happier hunting grounds. But the Black Drum, a typical cold water winter fish, remained. And with reports of allot of small trout. And my own experiences too. I'd just as soon, catch these Drum if I can get on them where I want to get on them.

But let me tell ya......I'm so aching for a good day of trout hunting. No matter what. I need a change! And it's coming soon.

Had plans for doing some trout fishing today. But my livewell of shrimp were comotose, this morning. From the over night chill, spent in my livewell. Since I bought a bunch yesterday. 

The guys easily caught a 3 man limit.
Being 5 per person 14-24" with one of the 5 able to be over 24". And we had 3 over 24" real fast.

 I just stood ready with the net. as Chris and Rick double headed (double instant hook-ups) no less than four times. It was drop down, set hook, fight fish to net for both of them.

We boxed around 6 or 7 and released all the rest. As the FWC boat sat in the middle of the channel staring our way, with binoculars. I was gonna get mine out and stare them down, but I didn't have time. I had to get the net, unhook the fish and get some photos.

I only got in these four photos. Because no sense taking pics when they could drop down and slam another fish.

After having to sit through that haulin' ass current and all the work it took me to stay on our spot, there was no time to waste. The bite was on!

As the tide slowed, we had a boat creeping closer and closer. Driving over and dropping anchor right where I was just casting.

As fast as the bite started, it was over. As soon as the tide starts coming in on the bottom.

It was a wild bite, though. I did start like clock work though. As soon as a light weight sinker would stick. And I knew that.

We didn't fight it. When the tide slacked, and the boat spun, we packed it in. I had at least 60 pounds of fish to clean. So we headed to the dock.

Whewww....what a great 3 days in a row. And the Drum population seems to be as strong every day.
Things go in cycles out there. And from what I can tell, THIS IS THE YEAR OF THE BLACK DRUM.

Wonder what the spring bite of the giants will be like in March/April??

Until then. I gotta  goTrout catchin', now. My float-rig rods have been on vacation. A vacation that they've probably been enjoying. But, I don't like them not getting their excersize.

Next pre-booked:  January 6th will it be warm and sunny? I hope so. It's a rising tide all morning.

12/30 - Why go west?

Had Mark M. and his son aboard. Decided to head west instead of east. In the river today. First stop proved that the Black Drum are everywhere. Even when I'm looking for some other species.

First fish of the day, a nice big Drum. But, that was it frfom stop #1. So we pressed on. I was wanting to find some Yellowmouth Trout or something. Numerous and  smaller for our Jr. Angler.

So westward I headed. Working hard to get on the spots proved that there's some spots that you can fish a big chunk of dead shrimp on the bottom and go biteless.

Back in November, that certainly wouldn't have happened. Between Croakers, Bluefish and the ever present pinfish. Today I was actually wishing for them.

But, I could see it just wasn't going to take place. And as the cold morning air stuck with us. I even noticed a rise in the wind. The forecast was wind from the east. So I was on the look out for it.

In the back of my mind, I knew the jetties were the place to be. But wasn't heading out there, with a Jr. Angler if it was rough and windy.

Turns out, no matter what we did. I couldn't find any small and numerous fish. (7 year old size fish) So eastward we went. And when we arrived at the end of the jetties (inlet) it was warmer and calmer!!!!! Beautiful and slick.

So we slid into a good bottom fishing spot and started working it.

Yep, eastward is where the Jettywolf likes to call home. And that was all she wrote. We were into fish pretty fast......and Drum were on the menu again. Good gawd, this has been a hell of a Drum year.

The only Redfish caught. Eating a dead shrimp on a massive 2-1/2 oz. jig head, on the bottom.

Drum of all sizes.

Turned out, it got much warmer. The fish were chewing. And everyone was happy. It's a great end of 2010, for sure. Good fishing and wonderful weather.

And a bit of world river tour in the morning still yielded a big fat Drum, and a perfect current once arriving at the jetties. So it couldn't have wrked out much better. I believe we kept four, and released four.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

12/29 - F-U-N with Shawn & Joe

Well, it was my first day back on the river since the heinous winds and burning cold of last Thursday. Quite a un-wanted vacation over Christmas. I'd just as soon be fishin'.

But today made up for it. Yes, it was down right "nippy" as we departed the dock this morning at 7am. Had Shawn from J-ville and his poppa-in-law Joe for Pa. aboard today. We bottom fished the Jetties (inlet), doing the ole winter time "KISS" fishing. Get anchored up on a good spot and drop down some plain ole dead jumbo dead shrimp. Of course the goal was some Black Drum. But a Sheepshead or Redbass would be nice too. And we caught neither. Just Drum, and a few Seabastards...I mean small seabass.

Hmmmmmm...where is the variety? Just a few weeks ago it was all the variety you could stand. To include MONSTER MAULER sized Reds. That's 3 trips now, with no variety along the rocks.

So as we were anchored, the bite was slow. And a Coast Guard Cutter's wake knocked us off anchor, as we sat perfectly where I wanted to be. Which comes with the territory, I guess. Then, afterwards I played hell trying to re-anchor with my cider block. The tide started to scream, hard.

It was a 4.7 foot falling tide. So it had the right to run hard today.

But we prevailed. "It's not how ya start it's how ya finish". is what a long time customer Dave Cohen taught me, last time he was aboard my boat in early December, after catching that 45 pound Redbass!. So as we had some good laughs, we waited out the fish.

Look at Joe. Does he look as if he's ready to kick this Drums ass one more time?

Didn't notice that look of his until I was sizing the photos.  That may just be the look of Joe having a good time....."we hope so."

He had his "Salt Life" sweatshirt and fishing hat on. So I knew, he was ready.

It was BEAUTIFUL out there today. Light and Variable winds, sunny skies. Slick calm water.

We just needed a faster and more furious bite.
But beggers can't be choosers. Heck, since last week it's been 25 degrees and winds up to 40 MPH. So I was'nt wanting to complain to loudly.

Shawn, now he looks like a Florida fisherman.
Big Jacket and yeah, he even looks cold.

Smiles? I gotta remember to ask for them. I think I gotta remember to have people, say...."CHEESE".

Good eating size Drum, for sure. I love to blacken these on a white hot, iron skillet. But that's to be done only outside. And by the time I get home and ready for the next day, the last thing I wanna do is go back outside on my porch, and cook up fish.

After fishing dinners for me, are fast and very simple. Hell, I have reports to do, right?

I'll be honest with ya'. The first three Drum the guys caught were barely 12 inches. Yeah, for some reason the litl' babies were the first responders to our pieces of jumbo juicy shrimp on the bottom. They count, but at the same time, they didn't count. Ya know what I mean...

Yep, Joe's holding a grudge against this drum. Maybe we should have re-hooked him and let Joe kick his butt again!  But this sure is a nice photo, isn't it? Good looking fish, granite jetty boulders, against a pretty blue sky. Finally, my crappy camera is taking decent photos. Maybe it knows it's going to be replaced tomarrow when the UPS man shows up.

On Light Tackle these fish are a blast. People ask about Sharks, Tarpon, and those super glory fish. But many times they need to watch out for what they wish for. Especially if their largest fish is a 2 pound Bass. This is the kind of fishing, I like and I like to show my customers. I have all summer to play chase for some monster Glory Fish, in the 100 degree heat.

The correct tackle for the species leaning towards the light side makes all fish, relative. A nice Black Drum or large Redbass on light tackle, 45 feet down on the bottom is a fun catch. Just like a 5-6 pound Speckled Trout is on my light, Float-rig tackle.

It's all relative......  

The tide stated to change. So we went float-rig fishing for Trout. So to mix it up alittle.

We got on  a good spot with clean, clear green water and good flooding current. And caught about 6 Trout. And everyone was either 14 or 14-1/2 inches long. Termites in my book. They have to be 15 inches to be keepers.

But at least Shawn and Joe got to do two kinds of fishing today. And the longer we tried, the trout got no longer. So with a fish box full of Black Drum 22-26", we headed in, "to make the donuts", as I say.

I had a great time with Shawn and Joe. Hope to have them back again, someday. Shawn's wifes Christmas cookies with the Hershey Kiss on top, were GREAT. I ate the whole bag!

Next up:  Thursday and Friday.

Then don't forget, B&M bait and tackles - New Years Day Party & fish fry. I'll see ya there.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

12/26- COMING SOON.....

I get so many great comments about this blog. Yes, it's not always just fishing reports. But then again when you come here, you aren't reading some fishing reports from back in April of 2008 like many of my competitors.

But, it's not a competition, anyhow. Because, I couldn't care less what other guides are doing. I know what works, for me. And has been working since 1996.  INFORMATION!

Just like my tackle, boat and website. It's all in continual "upgrade". By signing up for these reports, you're part of a data base. You will receive any specials, will receive notices. And have access to this reports blog. And I can track the activities. Wasn't able to do that prior.

"The archives." 

Do not know if any readers utilize this part of Google Blogger. The archives for two full years is located on the right side-bar of this page. I look at it all the time. Especially when looking up a past customers trip, that is now coming back for another. I want to know how and what we did the last time they were out with me.

Well, the newest item that'll be coming very soon will be video clips. Video of your charter. Or at least a clip of your charter, if you don't mind....


Is that giant Redbass kicking light tackle BUTT? I want to capture that! How about the smiles of your son or daughter catching their first saltwater fish? Or coming this summer, those big Spinner & Black Tip Sharks behind the shrimp boats, caught on video. And posted here with "your" report and report photos.

Photo's will still be here. What's a magazine article worth, without photos? Well. that's what I consider this blog to be. An on-line magazine, dedicated to NE Florida fishing.

" Like sands through the hour glass, these are the days of us on the water fishing....."

Plus, now I can throw up a quick impromptu video on a product that you may find interesting or a tackle rigging technique.

I'm so looking forward to providing you as a reader with so much more than you will find anywhere else, and especially anywhere else on another local fishing charter web site.

So stay tuned. It's coming.

Please click on the title of any report here, and enter a comment at the bottom, if it so moves you.  The "template" I'm using only accepts comments if posted on each reports own URL. And then, is only visible when the report's own URL is on screen.

Thanks, and hope 2011 you'll jump on the Jettywolf with me if you haven't already.

Next up: I'm reserved for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Upadate......too cold Tuesday morning for a 7 yr old. Trying Thursday or Friday with the warm up. Still heading out Wednesday with two adults.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

12/23 - Oh it be so....

If you didn't see my predictions for today from yesterday. SCROLL DOWN one post.
But heck, ya never know. So you have to try at least. Right?

Yep, my fears of a full blown Noreaster, was present today at the jetties.
The Forecast of 20 knots from the due north was dead-azz on.

Had Dave H. and his buddy and his buddies young son aboard. It was freezin out there. And the wind was all to blame.

Twice we tried heading the the big rocks (inlet jetties). First thing this morning on the super flood FULL MOON rising tide. We went straight to the end. But "my gut" was saying to me, "This ain't gonna be good for anyone." So I backed off and headed down river instead.

But momma Nature had other plans for us. It was a K.O.D. day. And what is a K.O.D day?

Kiss O' Death. Meaning a rising kick butt flood tide, with a good 20 knot wind behind it, and a FULL MOON....ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!

A recipe for what I refer to as; the good ole Global River Tour. Because no matter what, ya' just can't find any where that'll give up a bite of any kind.

So we went and looked at the big rocks one mo' time. And as we motored along the shallow part of the inside of the north rocks, Dave says, "we're not heading all the way out to the end again are we?"
I said, "No way!"

Inside the north was solid spray. The jetties were almost gone. Under water. And unless we had scuba suits, there was no anchoring up behind them.

Here's what we saw..... (along the shallows)

Niagra Falls, anyone??

Maybe a ride on the "Maid of Mist?"

Needless to say, no place we tried did we recieve anything more than a Pinfish bite. Again...this wasn't my first rodeo. Been here in this same situation before. So I told the guys, let's cut this short. We're not gonna catch a thing, in these conditions.

So we headed back to the dock.

Hope everyone has a good holiday.
I'll be back at it on the 28th and 29th

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

12/22 - Oh No...say ain't so?



We'll see....and I'll report.
(Ken, are ya still going too?)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12/20-21 - P-A-I-N

So who was out there today?
First day or winter, it was today (the 21st.) Doesn't seem like the actual weather knows what the calendar is saying huh?

Well, I had an inquiry to go hit it. But they couldn't make it. And it was almost as well they couldn't. I would not have made it myself. Monday around 8pm I started getting pains in my back, then my groin. Then my stomach. Then back to my groin.


Yep, I knew it. This isn't my first rodeo. 10 years ago I had an attack of a Kidney Stone while fishing "ALONE" up in Ft. George. And to top it off, I had dropped the boat in at the Sisters creek boat ramp. So that meant while seeing stars, I had to drive back, put the boat on the trailer, then drive over the Dames Point bridge, to head home. I remember distinctly while coming down the Dames Point, I thought  I was gonna faint from the pain. And slowed down and almost pulled over to just die, right there.

Well, this time luckly I was at home. Was gonna go fishing today with my buddy Nick, since I had no charter, on this perfect weekday. But Nick was home bed ridden and sick with the flu. So I was contemplating not going by myself. And I was glad I didn't.

Hell, I couldn't have anyhow. By 8pm last night the pain was so bad I thought I was gonna collapse. And by 5am, 9 hours later,the pain was still there. I evententualy passed out in my Lazyboy and woke up painless at 8am. Only to have it start all over again by 8:30am.  To the doctor I went. I actually was going to blow off an appointment I already had scheduled today, to go fishing. But thank goodness I had an appointment today. It worked out great. I have VA health Care, and let me tell ya' how great those people are. I was treated fast and don't think a private Doctor or private health care would have been as proficiant.

My Doc got me in, and then on to blood and urine tests, and x-rays and then to the pharmacy for antibiotics and pain killers.

And as it turned out I had passed the stone between my house and the VA office because of constantly having "to go".

So...what a day, what a night! I made it.

If you are not a Kidney Stone sufferer. THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS.  If you've had them, you know what it's like. My last one was 10 years ago. And I always have dreaded another attack.

But this time it was worse than the last. Way worse.

But, I asked if anyone went fishing today.
Because it was warm, sunny and "L&V". Light & Variable winds.

Light and Variable, the two words you love to read in the marine weather forecast in the fall, winter and spring, around here.

Being the first full day of winter, it sure was a beautiful day. Wish I was out there whackin some fatties.

I feel right now, as if my guts have been ripped out of me, and put back. And that's probably because of the trama my guts were in for 9 hrs last night, and the infections that always follow.

I guess you could die from a Kidney Stone? But, if you don't, you'll feel as if you are about too, that's for sure.

I won't soon forget this first day of winter of 2010. I'm circling this date in my Florida Sportsman Tide Planner book. (Dave's fishing bible) As a reminder that in another 10 years, when I'm 58 years old, I may go through it all over again. I hope not!

Looks like the weather is UP & DOWN, from here on out. One day may be gorgeous, and then the next two cold and windy.

Either way after last night, and what I went through, has me not caring all that much. Each day of fishing no matter what the weather is like is a real blessing, anyhow.

Being able to fish and take people from all over the globe, to share what I love so much. Watch them experience, what I take for granted.

Last nights agonizing experience. Makes me appreciate it all, more.

Sometimes we need, a good kick in the pants.
I just wish it didn't have to hurt so bad.

-See ya out there on Thursday's, North at 15-20kts.(?)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

12/19 - REELY?

Been playing around. Got myself two reels from "yester-year".

One is before the Bass Boys decided that it wasn't okay to be casting a "so-called" heavier reel all day long. And companies like Shimano took the majority of their greatest reels (bait casting...I don't talk spinner!) and put them on a diet. Stripping them down to the least amount of weight they can.

Examples, would be the Curado. And the Citica. Two, low pro reels that are just plain awesome. They have been slimmed to nothing more than a gear box and spool. Compared to the first go'round of Curados and Citicas. You use Citica's when you're float-rig fishing with me...older ones. That have a ton of miles under them. But just keep on working.

My older models,"and as a saltwater fisherman I think they are already light in weight." But the new ones are now really anerexic!  But as usual with shimano's drag system, they're slicker than Tarpon poop, that's for sure.

Here's my two lastest finds:

The Calyx 100A.

The Calyx 200, a wider model, but lacking the one piece alloy frame.
See? The 100 Calyx is smaller and lighter and more Bass caster friendly. Compared to this reel. Vintage late 90's, I believe. But reminiscent of the reels that every river Trout fisherman really wanted, back in the day, and that was these (below: Shimano Bantam 50)....I know I missed the boat. A quiver of these in pristine condition fetch huge prices on the auctions.

So....If you have a 4 pack of these in like new condition, you could sell them and make enough to buy a brand new Curado, that costs $200 plus.

Saw a fella at the boat ramp last summer with a quiver full of Bantam 50's. And I talked to him. He said he was heading out Kingfishing, and those were the reels he uses. Like the Mule team, the old Bantam 50's just kept working, obviously. Huge amount of line capacity, light weight for their day. And faster than some old Penn level-wind, that's for sure.

The smallest Calyx, caught Drum for two days, straight.

That's my F-U-N. It's not just catching the fish, but the "how" and what on, did I catch them. I'm sure these were intended for just Bass, and the 2 second fight you get out of Bass really isn't a true test of any reel. The bass boys don't care about that. It's all about how they cast and "flip".

For me, I don't care as much about casting as I do cranking! And from 40 feet below, with a nice sized drag puller on the other end. Another important thing in a light tackle saltwater reel or a "low profile" reel is drag pressure and line capacity.

If you read the catalogs, you'll read the hype about allot of reels these days. You see unbelievable drag pressures that small low profile reels claim to produce on a fish.

The most outrageous is the Abu Garcia Revo inshore and Revo Toro reels. They claim upwards of over 20 pounds of drag pressure!

I do not believe it. I'd have to see it...on a scale!


Because I own the smallest most high drag pressure reels on the market today, and they are Accurate twin drags. TWIN drags, yes two high tech drags, in a tiny little reel. Not just one quarter sized drag washer, as in most Abu Garcia's.

Like a brakes on your car, the Accurate's spool is the "rotor", and the drag is like the disc brake pads. Exerting the same amount of pressure equally to each side of the reel spool. As the lever drag handle is pushed upward. Absoultely awesome reels.

Oh yes, these little wonders are truly techie. No larger than a Abu Garcia 5500 reel. (You use these to stop big Redbass in deep water on my boat).

These little reels with two drags, the size of the reel side plates produce over 20 pounds of drag pressure on a fish. So I cannot believe that a little single drag low profile like this Abu Garcia Revo can produce 20 pounds as well. It just doesn't compute, in the engineering.

It's a war out there. And the reel companies are gonna claim as much victory as they can. Low Profile reels are mighty popular. Easily palmed, light weight, powerful gearing, makes all of them "NOT FOR JUST BASS ANYMORE."

I've gone full bore, and most of my reels are now light weight, high speed, low pro's.

I used to be a die hard Abu Garcia 5500 & 6500 owner. The drags sucked back then. They were jerky and although the "round reels" as they are known today, held a ton of line. It was almost useless with such a terrible drag system.

That's why on my boat you'll be using all high speed, high line capacity (for a low-pro) and smooth drag Shimano for our everyday fishing.

High speed these days is 7.1 to 1 gear ratio. So even my Shimano's with 6.2 to 1, is slower. (FYI: that's 6.2 turns of the reel spool for each turn of the reel handle) But especially when Trout fishing with the ole float-rig, gathering line FAST, or gathering slack line laying on the water fast. Really helps when it comes to catching.

Other edges are using Braided line...or as I still call it, "Super braid". Today, people have dropped the word "super".

Wanna know why you felt that Black Drum "sand bag" you so nicely, fourty feet below the boat in a haulin current? As it sucked up your shrimp and slowly moved away?  Because of the line. That's why it was so easy to feel. Mono is OUT, for me. It's only leader material, if that.

Technology. It's unbelievable.

Right now, I'm using a new Laptop computer. The lastest and greatest. Fast as all get out. Packed with features I didn't know existed. Borrowing it from my mother. Because my "desk top computer" of the last twelve years just crapped the bed, two days ago. It was so slow, and had no memory anymore. It was jam packed and finally after much frustration by it's user, ME. I about took a sledge hammer to it.
So it's officially.....DOA.

So, then why did I buy some older reels to play with?  It's still nice to be a little vintage. Even if a vintage reels like the ones I got, are just a mere 6-10 years old.

So the question asks........what are you fishing with?

-Vintage, for the fun of it.
-Vintage,  because your just slow to get on the band wagon? 

Well you can bet, since "your guide", (that's me) is a real gadget guy. I'll have for you, as close to cutting edge as I can multiples of FOUR.

It's all part of the fun. Upgrading, R&D with tackle, deal hunting, and maintaining.

Now, are ya ready to go rip some drag?

Next up: Three person on Thursday. But I maybe out there before that. Ya' know. Doing R&D.

Friday, December 17, 2010

12/17 - A REEL good time!

Before I forget....I posted a awesome web site here before, don't know if anyone paid attention. But FFO sent me another coupon code.

That's "Fishermans Factory Outlet" - it's the distributor for Penn, Abu Garcia, Spiderwire, Berkley, Sevenstand, tackle. And by signing up for their newsletter (like mine) you get special offers, on the already discounted name brand stuff.

I just ordered 1100 yards of super braid 30# line and paid something like $56.00, with the coupon code. Before the $7.95 FedEx shipping. NO WHERE, can ya get brand name line, at 1100 yards for that kinda price!!

And talk about reels.....OH THEY'RE, MY DOWN FALL! I like having lots of reels.
A nice Phlueger low profile reel that's HIGH SPEED, for $48 bucks. I may have to order a few, for  spares.

Check it out, at and if you enter H25%10 in the coupon code area at checkout, you'll save 25% right there.

(If you've had any trouble getting here on the Blog. It was "hacked". Someone decided to hack the address, which I quickly figured out. And fixed it. Sorry for any problems)

Finally......Now, on to today's trip.

Had Adam and Colby aboard today. Two young anglers. And Adam and his dad have fished with me before. Adam is a steady blog reader, too. So he knew what was up. His dad couldn't make it, so his buddy Colby filled the spot.

Oh how this day looked to be "iffy" at best. Over cast, dark, cloudy as all hell, windy, and still out on the water, quite chilly. Completely different than earlier in the week forecasts. But that ain't stoppin the Jettywolf. "Tell Adam to pack his woolies" were going, to catch us some DRUM! I told Adam's Dad on the phone last night.

Well, what does this mean?

Red sky in the morning
mariners take warning!
That's the first thing that confirmed a big "morning wind". So as Adam and Colby piled on the boat, we headed directly to the jetties.

We were in position and got bit right away. DOUBLE-HEADER!

We were doing just fine, but the cool wind blew and the big curreent came as the tide was pushed by the wind. We went from 3 oz. leads to 6 oz. leads for awhile. So the guys ate fried chicken wings, and I had a bag of chips. We swapped a ton of laughs today, also. Besides getting Adams head out of the cooler, as he and Colby too, just had to examine their fish time after time. Inbetween bites.

Adam caught a "sand bagger" Black Drum as we sat waiting for the current to slow while using those 6 oz. leads. Not really feeling  the bottom at all. But while checking his bait, Adam caught a nice fryer size Drum that never even ran, after eating his bait.

We certainly didn't keep all the drum we caught. Letting go the very small and many of the larger ones. Keeping six, I think out of no less than twelve.

I have to remind people that these large keeper type Drum aren't easy to clean and take a long time to do so. Especially, if I have to clean these on the boats cutting board. Today we got a bit lucky, and got to use a real fillet table over at the local marina. But that certainly isn't the "norm". I can do some, but surely can't clean 12-15 of these fish. I don't think people want to pay that cleaning service price, after their trip.

Heck, Trout are one thing....these dudes are another.

Again, the Drum ranged from 10" to 26". All the fish are fun as hell to catch. Because they "sandbag" you. And the bite is so distinct. Not like a "Slam and Run" that so many people are used to with Redfish of this same size.

As the day went on it got beautiful out there. The wind calmed down and the skies cleared. It got warm and the sun actually was shining. We went from all out wintery conditions with some rain even to a completely different day, all in 6 hours. of "catching".

I'm actually feeling a bit wore out on the Drum right now. I'd like to get back to my Trout chasing actually. But with the live shrimp sort of comotomose from the cold spell we just had, it was just as easy to go catch some Drum, with nothing but some dead shrimp.

That's Fall and early Winter for ya'. Lot's to do. From Trout to Reds, Drum and Sheepshead. River, jetties, and creeks. There's fish everywhere, willing to bite. You just have to be where they are and that means working the tides.

Saturday is it...and then comes the  winds again on Sunday.

The forecast for the week has already flip flopped twice since yesterday.This week is looking better.

Tuesday says "Light & Variable", the words I like to read.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

12/16 - After the big winds of yesterday....

I just had to go see what was up. A bit of R&D ya may say. Asked friend Dr. Dick if he wanted to go, because he said something about NOT ever catching a Black Drum before. But we also wanted to Trout fish, too. And had alot to do, because Doc had to be back at the boat ramp and heading home by 1:15pm.

Well, our "live shrimp" were in a coma, from the cold temps. And with the SW wind blowin', it took a while to get the mojo going. Anchoring was a real pain. I would rather have used my block anchor and dropped it in the jetty rocks. But a SW is the direct opposite, of the normal NE winds of winter.

It took a bit of patience, but we got into them, no problem. DRUM, and small seabastards...Opps, and one Toadfish is all. No Reds.

And we never did go Trout fishing, and our "some what" live shrimp, never completely came back to life, either.

It sure feels funny doing allot of bottom fishing in this cold weather, rather than Trout fishing. But what the heck, it's fun and the fish are fat and willing to eat your dead shrimp. It's that EZ.

I slam dunked actually three but these two were the keepers.

Then, the Doc got his turn. We were really Light Tackling it.  I was using a Shakespeare Ugly Stik Striper med. light rod. With a now 'Vintage" Shimano bass fishing Calyx 100 reel I got that was "new in the box" off Ebay last week. And Dick was using a light weight Shimano Calcutta rod, and small Calcutta reel. We were lucky and were able to fish with 2-3 ounce leads.

Oh yeah, it was quite chilly out there. But a double header of 8-10 pound "rubber-lips" can cure that quick.

Dick's holding mine and his. We hooked up on that "sand-bagger" bite both at the same time.

We soon decided to stick it out right where we were, and not go lookin' for Trout...maybe when we have more time some other day.

Gawd dang. I love winter fish fests. Very much worth braving the chill. But the chill ain't no thang, if you're in good foul weather clothes.

We caught at least 12 before having to head in. And Dick needed fish for family coming, I kept two smaller ones. I like sandwich size fish..."fillets".

Next up: Adam M. on Friday.

Monday, December 13, 2010

12/13 - Your monthly dose of ALLOY.

I've been asked by customers before, "Dave, if you won the lottery you'd probably have one of them big Sport fish boats, huh?" 

My reply usually is, "Ya have to buy a ticket to play the lottery first, fishing is about all the gambling I can take."

I know I'd never even want some big sport fish boat like a Bertram, or a Viking. I look at them and think, "No Versatility and I'm supposed to keep that damn thing shiny?"

But I just got wind of a big boat I would love to own, if the wallet ever afforded it. Like the grandest hotels have, I like a ball room!

I gotta have room, it's my biggest pet peeve when I look at most boat. And room where it counts.

And if I won the lotto, you'd be able to book your "suite" on this for a multiple day trip...but certainly not here in J-ville, though. I'm sure I could find a better place to call my stomping grounds.

THE ANTI-SPORTFISH stark blinding clorox white, sea-foam green, or fighting lady yellow here.

I'd fore go the diamond plate deck, and go for a non-skid painted deck in light colored tan or grey. But any young ladies wanna dance?

Can ya grab me a beer? I need to flip the lobster tails on the grill.

Everyone gets to drop a line and gets a stern spot.

From Sheepshead to grander Marlin, I believe the Senator has it covered.

Then call me a politician.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

12/11 - It's not how you start, it's how you finish!

Had Sandra and Shawn aboard  the Jettywolf today. Shawn is in from San Diego, visiting mom before he heads over to Iraq for a year. So the boy deserves some serious fishing time! And that's what I wanted him to have.

We didn't depart till 11am. It was all about the tide, during a Noreaster. High tide around 12-1:00PM made for a tough call. So I figured we'd Trout fish on the last of the rising tide.  I didn't like it, but it was the plan.

We hit a spot and gave the floats and live shrimp a whirl. The current was too fast....I knew it would be. But we'd just have to see what would happen. And not much happened at all. A buddy was anchored near us, and all he caught was one Bluefish. As we caught nothing. Giving it a genuine shot, and enough time for the current to get near anything a trout feeds in would take too long. So after an hour or so, we split. And headed for the big rocks.

As we headed eastward, the frothier the river water got. And by the time we were at the tip of the Jetties Sandra's eye's were getting wide. The big swells were making surfing size waves at the tip of the North Jetty, and Sandra says, "were not going over there are we?" I said, "No, but it's always worth a look out here at the end ."

She was a little timid about anchoring up in the slop-chop. So I backed off and moved to the inside of the jetties and away from the end of the rocks. 

Pitching my concrete block anchor over the side, we stuck into the rocks perfectly. The only problem was the tide was not falling just yet.

I told Sandra and Shawn, that this boat was built with nothing more than these Jetties in mind. And over the last 4 years we've sat in some seriously nasty slop, and we caught them all alone. Because no one else would anchor in what we were anchored in. People can "poo-poo" welded 1/4" plate aluminum all they want, I don't care. But it works for me, anyone who fishes aboard it, soon comes to realize how sweet  it is.

So we sat, waiting on the falling tide. The wind was blowing, the water was all chopped up and the current was about non-existent.


Then, as the tide just started to make it's way east, Sandra sticks a nice Sheepie. And I'm thinking were gonna be in the meat now.

But other than a few small seabastards, the current started moving and we kept going with heavier sinkers. It all just felt wrong. But the current was driving down the chop. Sandra was happy and saw the choppy water, was no biggy. So I drug up my block anchor in one piece and made a 100 foot move. To where I originally wanted to anchor, but didn't.

And that was all she wrote.....

The sloppiness of the water was calming down, and with many times when the tide changes, the wind dropped. We were kicking Black Drum butt, and momma was happy her boy was bending an Ugly Stik, as she was too.

I even caught one and shared a "double-header" with Shawn.

Our "token" Redbass, at 29 inches and full of fight.

The action was HOT! And we kept 4 drum total out of ten. two smaller ones and two at 8-10 pounds, plus the Sheepshead. Which was more than enough. We probably could have filled every cooler on the boat, but that's a waste.

The low sun peered out,from behind the clouds, the river slicked out completely and it was nearing time to head in so I had light to clean fish by.

Then, Shawn caught the last Drum. And it had the worst case of "bends" I have ever seen. It's intestines blew out a foot! I don't know why Black Drum do this. But I guess it's something to do with them living on the bottom and deep most of their lives. Never seen a creek Drum do this though. But at the Jetties, they get "butt-blow-out" all the time.

I guess, it's a Black Drum thing.

So, we headed in on slick calm waters.
As I put the boat on the trailer, I looked west and saw this wonderful deep fall sunset, the perfect ending to a perfect day.

And even thought it was a slow's all about how you finish.
Remember that Sandra..."cause I got ya covered."