Had Dave C. aboard once again, (the man that let me catch a 10 pound Speckled Trout while he was aboard the Jettywolf back on April 28th of 2008.) So Dave and I are tight. He brought his buddy Eric, this time.
We didn't leave at 10am because of the air temperature. We left out at 10am, because of the tide. It just so happened to be allot warmer by 10am, that's all.
So the Jettywolf boat headed due east, with two containers full of mega-jumbo dead shrimp, and 6 dozen live shrimp in case we wanted to float-rig fish for some Speckled Trout later in the day.
I'm so pleased with myself. Because I invented what I believe for my purposes, to be the greatest bottom fishing rig since the invention of the swivel! And man does it work fantastic. Which I proudly showed the guys as we slowly peddled our way the 2.5 miles out to the big rocks.
The tide was still coming in, as we were a bit early for the falling. But like age and death, it will come. And it sure did take it's sweet-ass time, too. The bite was deathly slow at first. Not like it has been lately. And the small 4" Seabass were on the feedbag. Dave hates pecker fish, as do I. But you got to take the good with the bad, as with all fishing. So we sat burning bait like cord wood, pissin and moaning about them litl peckers.
Then Eric, slams the hook to a good one.
As usual, a over slot sized Redbass.
I told the guys they've been coming in either real small like 16 inchers, or over slot sized fish in the 28-30 plus inch size. There really isn't many keepers, from what comes aboard my boat. But that didn't really matter, they weren't keeping but a few fish overall. And I'll keep one fish for my momma, to cook up for her and pops.
Then, Eric does it again.
A perfect Black Drum. Now that'll be a keeper fish. And then, he does it again...
Another fine keeper Drum. Which puts us at almost all the fish we'll be keeping today. While Dave is wondering...."What the hell am I doing wrong." As the small pecker Seabass continue to pester him. Even as the tide starts to swing.
But that's okay. Everyone gets a chance. And as Dave said, "It's not how you start, it's how you finish." And he couldn't be more right. (remember that.....and keep reading)
WHAT'S THIS? Dave is hooked up with a monster of a fish. Smoking line, pulling drag, dumping the reel spool! Oh My Gawd. I believe you sometimes have to watch out for what you wish for. Dave's on this fish for a long time. Torquing the low profile Shimano Cruxis, and horseshoe bending the trusty Ugly Stik Catfish series rod.
As you can see from this "point of view" photo. Dave's holding on, watching the dumping spool.
It's not a summer Stingray. It's not a spring time shark.
Could it be a massive spring run size Black Drum. Or the plug on the bottom of the river inside the jetties that'll let all the water out?
Dave's starting to hold the rod one handed, and shake out his left gripping arm, is he wearing the fish out or is the fish wearing him out?
We're all standing by, watching for color in the water.
This is taking awhile. But then again, this is LIGHT TACKLE FISHING AT IT'S FINEST.
It turns out to be a 30 pound Boga Grip smashing Giant Bull Redbass, that I have to pull out the 100 pound scale from my console for. After a few attempts at getting a good grip on such a monster, the fish weighs in at 45 POUNDS.
Just when ya may think most of the Redbass this size have headed offshore for the winter season...They haven't. This one is a larger Red then we caught during the so called "season", back in October.
Remember, "sometimes ya have to watch out for what you wish for...." Which is actually what you were wishing for. It's a conundrum.
This Red fought so hard it pulled the anchor out of the jetty rocks half way through the battle. So we were free drifting out into the channel, which may have actually been a better thing for Dave.
So we ran back to the rocks and re-anchored. And commenced to catchin'.
Eric, sticks it to a fish and it gets off. And then says, "I'll get em again" and then sets the hook on this nice Sheepshead on his next drop. I wonder if he wasn't right. And this Sheepie came back for more?
Either way, that's the third one we're gonna keep and call it, "all we need."
Oh, I forgot to mention all the 16 inch Reds that were not celebrities enough to get their photo taken. But we had a pile of them in between all these fish. Remember they only come in two sizes...too big or too small.
But that's okay...I'll take Drum any day over a Sheepie myself.
Dave's got his confidence back. And the use of his left rod gripping arm. So he's set for another tangle with a brute or two.
The next fish has some kid of funny thing sticking out of it.
It had a fish tag in it's back. The fish had something like 21 spots. And this is my second tagged fish we've caught this year. I know who tags these fish, and he always does it to fish with loads of spots. The last tagged fish we caught at the Little Jetties had like 30 spots.
So I'll call the number in and see where it was tagged and when. The last tagged fish we caught was tagged right in the same spot we caught it, nine months earlier. Which proves they don't travel very far. Redbass are home-bodies. They have a turf and usually stick around in the same area.
The same will probably be with this fish. I'll report back when get the data.
But, another whopper sizer for Dave.Who still lacks a Black Drum. But I do have to say. The Drum bite wasn't the same today as it has been as you can read and see in previous reports. But that's okay. We're still having great days out at the inlet.
I had the 6 dozen live shrimp in the well. And was thinking about heading off to go do some float-rig fishing for Trout. But then there's the oldest saying in the book, "Don't go looking for fish, when you're into fish already." And I wanted Dave to catch a black Drum still. So we stayed at it.
So Dave slam dunks another one, is it a drum?
It's a Drum alright. Just not a Black Drum....but rather another Red Drum, aka: Redbass. Afterwards the current got really strong, the anchor kept slipping, so we packed it in and headed for the dock.
Another successful "cool weather", slick calm weekday at the inlet aboard the Jettywolf boat. With a great pair of anglers. Tight lines, bent rods and lots of laughs.
It just doesn't get much better in N.E. Florida, light tackle near-coastal fishing.
Hurry up and book your day.
It's cost no more to fish the best.....