Thursday, March 31, 2011

Parking Lot event: APRIL 16

Gander Mountain, up near the Jax Airport will be having a Parking Lot Event on April 16th. Sales, Manufactures reps. and free seminars. I have been invited to speak on the topic of my choice..."and ya know what that is, Float-rigging!" So if you're not fishing the Redfish Spots Tournament. And really don't want to be out on the water with 450 other boats. (That's a big reason I volunteered to go to Gander Mountain) I'll be up there and scheduled to do a free seminar at 10am 

Ya'll can probably figure, that I can do an hours standing on my head about Float-rig fishing. And if you've been to any other free seminars I've done before you are guaranteed to learn a new trick or two.

I also sent out one of my announcements about the event. To all my Blog readers. 

I'm now looking forward to doing a Video Review on that razor sharp surgical steel fillet knife I ordered. So with Spring, things start shaking. I have a good start on days booked up for April. But still if you want to get the best "TIDES" reserve your personal private charter well in advance.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

3/29 - One less chore.....

I don't mind cleaning charter clients fish for them. As I do it on a "gratuity basis" after each charter day is complete. I know there's local guides out there that don't. I'm not sending my clients to grandma's condo where they could be staying with a cooler full of dead fish.

Even though I do have a rule of thumb when it comes to these nasty knife ruiners (Sheepshead) of only 3 per boat, that I'll clean, without fish cleaning "mutiny", and complaints.

But, then again that's why I love Trout...They're EZ to clean!"  

There's allot of  things I'd rather do than sharpen knives. I seem to do allot of sharpening. And it's one of those things that have lots of variables.
-The right stone
-The right angle
-The right blade
-Wet stone
-Or Oil stone

You can if ya want spend a good amount of money, if your gonna do it right and twice as much money, if you want to do it FAST.

With that said, The #1 selling products in the world are convienence products. It's what makes the whole world go round.  Yeah, I'm not always into haw fast and cheap can I get a job done. But when it comes to Knife Sharpening...I"M YER HUCKLEBERRY! IF YOU HAVE A QUICK AND CHEAP WAY.

So, in my endless search to get away from grinding down my Dexter-Russell Carbon steel fillet knife to even a thinner blade, day after day. I found this: - I'd check them out,  if you're anything like I am. I did my due diligence, and researched them as much as I could on the world wide web. And liked what I saw.

After watching a TV show on what's the "worlds sharpest" on the science channel. I learned allot. And these blades fall into the catagory, but are not a a Japenese Samuri swords either. But then again, I'm not chopping fish in half, either. So a company that makes surgical blades for scalples, that is venturing out into other blade needy worlds, I thought was innovative.

So far.....

PROS:  Surgical sharpness right off the bat. A new blade can be changed on handle in seconds. Light weight. EZ cleaning. Non-corrosive.

CONS: The fillet knife is only 5 inches. But they "are" looking into making a longer blade. Is it really as flexible as needed to skin a Yellowmouth Trout? How is such a thin blade, when it comes to popping through some bones?

Well, I'll answer that for you, when I get mine. I'll do a video review and possibly even fillet a fish for ya "LIVE", on the video.


Monday, March 28, 2011

3/28 - Weather Opposite?.....that's unusual

Had Doug Gross,  and family aboard today. The forecast....well I even listed it in yesterday's report.  It didn't sound all that great. "Over-cast, rain, and NW winds 10-15 knots." Well, we had the over cast skies, we didn't get the rain, and the wind never blew 10-15 knots from the NW. It was actually pretty damn calm out there. I told my crew, "Wow, this was a weather guessers forecast, the other way for once." 

We headed straight for the end of the jetties. We were the second boat there. I went to go get on the hot spot, but was fooled by the light NE breeze we had, and no current. And I didn't want to sit with the boat spinning for the next 2 hours. So I moved up and anchored, and at the same time relinquished the spot to the guy that was there before us, as the current started running, an hour or so later. Huge mistake!!!!!!

I would never have guessed that one guy in a small boat would sit on the same exact spot for 6 solid hours...or that he even knew any better.

It was one of those "you would had to have been there kinda things." I can't explain the details. So at first we sat in some really nice current without anyone getting even a 3" Seabass.

(OH.....BTW. The nasty, scummy, scourge of the river finally, have arrived. Forgot to mention it yesterday. SMALL BLUEFISH!  You may not mind them, but I do.  Because I'm a Trout Angler at heart. I shouldn't have to say a word more.)

So we made a move back, and the guys still didn't get anything. Every fish at the jetties was stacked up in a 100 foot circle in one spot. And since I leave the "coneheading" of others to a select group, we stayed put and I told the guys, "PULL UP...and let me cast back for ya."  And that's all it took. And in no time, FISH-ON!!


One after another, 28", 29", 31"....I don't know exactly how many we caught. But after awhile, we all kinda agreed that it would be cool to try for something else, for the fish box. Since we didn't get a Drum, or a Sheepshead. But we did get a few really nice Whiting.

So I pulled anchor and tried a shallower spot for awhile.......ZIP. The Whiting were loving that deeper swifter water. So we went back towards the end of the jetties and sat there till we had around 20 Whiting, which were chewin pretty good. And the tide slowed. And that's when the Whiting bite shut down.

They weren't beach silver Whiting, but rather regular ole "boat" Whiting. And the neat thing about catching a mess of these was no long ride all the way to Nassau Sound, either. But right there next to where we caught all the Reds.

So since the tide dropped off, and now the air temp dropped with it. We headed back so I could make 40 Whiting fillets, and they could have a fish fry later.

Not a bad day at all. But next time I'm anchoring a 'pup tent' and not leaving the hole, either!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

3/27 - A good the wind.

I kinda new it going in to today. They say SW 15, and they really mean...."forget the sun screen, get out the wind burn cream!!

Had Brian, Mike and George aboard today. They were in j-ville and figured, "let's do some fishin'" while they were here. So we met at 7am. And even then the breeze was pretty good. But as we arrived at the jetties, it really wasn't that bad. But I didn't hold my breath, cause I knew it was coming.

George hooked the first drag smoker. Brian caught the first fish though. A Whiting. George's fish played hard to get and bolted down to the bottom and "POP" went the leader. I believe then George got real serious. Because every fish after that, he showed it who was the boss.

We had double headers..multiples!
Double headers and a lost second Double fish......plenty of "swing and a miss" hook-ups......and I had a hell of a time keeping us in one place. Whewww.....Between the gusting WSW winds and the falling tide pushing on the boat it was if we were doing a controlled drift while on the anchor. Having to toss the anchor out towards the channel, while the boat swung towards the rocks.

Many times we were drifting backwards, had a fish on, and another line stuck in the bottom, while I was powering up so we didn't drift into the jetty rocks. Talk about some multi-tasking!!!!

Mike asked if there was lots of stuff on the bottom out here. And I replied "the bottom is full of junk!!" Then two minutes later Brian hung the bottom, "but did he?" Nope, it was someone elses Red Garcia Ambassador reel and Quantum fishing rod. Brian hooked the ball of heavy mono at the rod tip. Not the most expensive "combo" around. But now Brian had a project rod and reel.

The double headers continued and all we were using was a dead shrimp/fiddler crab combo meal. And they were scarfing it up. Of course I would rather of had Black Drum, then Reds. And then Mike caught a good keeper for the box. And then a Sheepshead. While George laid the wood to another Redbass.

What did I say in my last report? That I don't get many keeper size Redbass, right? Well, not a one came close today. That's why I would rather be boxing some Drum. The guys wanted some fish to eat. And by now all we had was a few Whiting, one Sheeps and a Drum. That's not gonna feed this hungry crew over at Singletons. But it didn't take long, before another nice fat Sheeps came to the net. As we continued to catch Reds that all were over the slot. From 28" to 33" everyone was a hoss. And the guys were having a ball. "As the boat in a constant controlled drift backwards...."

If the boat would have stayed "PUT",   I would have turned the camera on VIDEO mode because it was combat fishing for awhile. Bait up, hit the bottom and hang another drag burner. But it was all I could do to get some actual photos.

The wind started to get really bad, and the tide started to slow a bit. So after about 10 Reds, 2-sheeps, some Whiting, a Black Drum, and only a few black Seabass, and one Toadfish. We split for a less windy area, and tried our hand at catching some Specks.

But that was almost futile. After boxing only one, and tossing back only one. The creek was like I-95 with boat traffic....Because it was a weekend, of course. From Jet ski's to numerous flats boats. So after a healthy try, we packed it in and headed for the dock.

We had enough for a good fish fry. I reccomended Singletons Seafood, to cook up their catch, before the guys had to head up, all the way to Tennessee.

The forecast for Monday is as follows:


I'm heading out with 3 guys and a 6 year old. I think since it's a falling tide all day. We'll stick with the bottom fishing.

Friday, March 25, 2011

JOSFC- river tournament

Remember, I said I was awaiting the big Black Drum to show. But really had not heard of many being caught? Well, the Jacksonville Offshore Sport Fishing Club had their "river tournament" on March 19th, yep the day of the full moon!

I know the super moon kicked the Trout in the pants, for me at the jetties. And by all rights should have kicked the really monster Drum into action too.

I believe, it did.

Here's the winner of the tournament Tom Cavin, with the fish that walked away with the prize. A  74 pound Black Drum.

Have no clue where it was caught. But that's a fine catch on a day with a 10am high tide and during tournament hours, no real "low water".....that's when I seem to do my best. I heard it was the end of the north Jetty. So it was probably on the high rising tide.

There was also a 27 pound Black Drum, also caught.

Okay, that's ""three"", that I've actually heard about.

I think I'm going to give it a try if I can on Monday. I have 3-adults and a 6 year old. I guess the 6 year old can watch....Just the opposite. A falling tide all morning till after noon.

Every year, there's something besides water temp. The seasonal calender. Or just a educated guess, that makes it really seem like it's "GO TIME". And this year it was definately the ole super moon.

Congrats to Tom.

I wonder if that fish ate the famous Blue Crab, Squid, dead Shrimp combo meal??

I'd really love to hear about more about monster Drum. (you may think Fishing Guides have a secret network, and hear and get told all. But that couldn't be any further from the truth, around here. This is one "traps kept shut" area. So if I don't read it, or be told, like everyone else, I don't know either.)

I'd love to hear about Cobia and spring Tripletails too. But ya'll know they kinda get put in the back seat as long as the Trout along the rocks are chewin.


Not that it matters to me..... but, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (not always the smartest group) may be voting soon to enable Northeast Florida anglers to keep two Redfish per person with a limit of eight per boat.

The reason I say it doesn't matter to me, is because they are either under 18" or over 27", most months, that I catch along the jetties.

Now, if they really want to do something SMART, change the size to 16-23 inches. And target a different "population" of fish, for once! How long has it been that we've been banging on the "draftable" 18-27 inchers? Over 20 years?

The Georgia size limits of Redfish are smaller. TELL ME, the difference between fishing Jacksonville to Fernandina Beach, compared to SE Georgia?????  I'd love to hear them if ya got them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

3/23 - An "I.G." half day...

Ya'll know me..."I'll take some I.G. - "instantaneous gratification" over just about anything. Doesn't matter, big or small. I just love A-C-T-I-O-N.

Had Tom & Brendon D. aboard today. They bought  my charter at the charity silent auction for Hope Therapy. Which are friends of the family. Hope Therapy does horse therapy for kids. Kids with Autism etc. Down in Middleburg.

So we picked today to head on out.  Departing at 8:30am to catch the first of the flood tide at the jetties. And like I said, It didn't take long before Brandon was hooked up with nice "keeper size", Redbass.

Ya know, I just don't seem to get all that many "keepers". They're either way too big, or they're just pups.  (Redfish size limit: 18-27") So I was really happy to see the first slam dunk of the day be a nice keeper for the fish box.  We had some Trout, but not all that many. Maybe 4 total. The water was dirty as all hell and had that sandy color to it. Not really, super Trout water.

Actually Brendon caught the first Trout and it was short of keeper status. But then we did get one for the box. But the Redbass were chewing at the first of the rising tide. And my crew got some serious runs out of the big Reds.

By noon the wind from the west started really blowing, so we packed it in. It all worked out perfect for a 1/2 day trip.
I love it when a plan comes together on a gorgeous day, with two good fisherman.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

3/21 - Bugs vs. Big Seas, the whole story.

Had the "Rogers Three" aboard the Jettywolf today. After seeing that "Small Craft Exercise Caution" for Sunday's forecast, which was our originally reserved day. No more fishing (4) passengers in high wind conditions. Because on Sunday it would have been four guys rather than three. So, Monday's forecast was SE 10 knots......"oh yeah?"

Well, as we departed the dock, the river was slick as glass. But the plan was Jetty Fishing! That's where the slick as glass ended.
As we approached the end of the rocks, it was evident as all hell that the"back door front" that came thru on Sunday afternoon packed quite a wallop, in conjunction with the remaining "super moon" conditions.

I hit the end of the rocks and if the swells weren't folding over 8 footers....."I don't like Trout fishing!!!!!"  It was a free Disney World ride thru the cauldron of hell. The  Mayport Jetties newest attraction! And when we made it around the corner, the slop on the ocean side was one of those, "I'M SURE GLAD I'M IN A ROUGH WATER PACIFIC NORTHWEST ALLOY BOAT, WITH HIGH SIDES AND A CLOSED TRANSOM!" 

I anchored up, but didn't end up in the right spot. My gut, and the current was telling me that I'd have to get perfectly parallel to the jetty rocks. And it was way to sporty to attempt that. If so, there would have been NO room for error. So we headed back into the rocks. And that even had me heading south, then east and away, way around the buoy to get back in between the jetties.

I guess that's why the Mayport Forecast even though the wind had died, still said, "Small Craft conditions still apply".

But the next spot I looked at had not enough current to float-rig fish three guys, and the seas were busting thru the jetties and would just push our floats out to the channel. So, after what seemed an endless amount of time looking around. I headed over to the Navy Base.

We no sooner anchored up and some "wanna-be" up on the bank is yelling at us. "YOU HAVE TO STAY 380 FEET OFF THE BANK!!!!!"  Holy Crap, the Navy is playing these games again. Really....380 feet? I forgot my range finder today, and 380 feet puts me in the channel, I believe. Not a great place to float-rig fish for Reds and Trout, and make a LIVING! I wanted to give that ass-wipe the finger, but then 3 more showed up in cars. I must be a threat from hell.

That's really funny. Because on Friday I sat on the same spot for 3 hours. Guess, I wasn't considered a terrorist, then.

When you think about it.  Isn't it funny how they come up with 380 feet? And doesn't that river belong to all citizens of this town, let alone this country? What burns my ass more than anything is I didn't go into business for myself, to be told what to do every single day. If I wanted to be told what to do by others constantly, I could have stayed at my old job. So, no matter what ya do. There is zero freedom.......EVER!  And if the Navy thinks we're a threat while fishing along the bank. It just tells me, how badly they are lacking in true security.

I carry a mandated TWICS card. A Transportation workers Identification Card. Which means, I've been finger printed about 4 times and background screened at least as many. And I'm mandated to "pay" for this out of my pocket as part of a Homeland Security Tax. And what's the purpose?? What is this buying me?? All brewed up by some fat cat politician. And I'm still a potential threat to the United States Navy???  Give me a damn break. There's people working and walking on that base that are more potential threats everyday, than us local tax paying fisherman, trying to make a living, I'm sure.

In Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, you can go over to a well-head pumping explosive natural gas out of the ground, tie off to it and fish all day long. And no one cares! And it's an everyday ritual by many. But because we over run with military here. Every year we loose more and more places along "OUR" river to fish, and for myself to make a honest living. If you fish the river I'm sure you've seen the banks of Blount Island become a security zone. And been run off, one day to watch the rules change the next. I've had M-16's pointed at us and I and even had the Coasties run up on us with .50 cal's while fishing private docks, over the years. And told to get out. With no explanations, just "do as I say", by another "pee-on".

Wonder if city hall knows how good this is for tourism? The state of Florida cried like babies about the oils spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as if it happened right off it's beaches. And about how state's tourism (aka: Tax dollars) were being effected. Well, this could be considered J-ville's own little oil spill...In my opinion.

So the guys and I ended up in a creek, with the rising tide pouring in so hard we could have run a water ski'er out the back of the boat, while getting chewed up by the bugs so bad we couldn't stand still. So I said, "we need to get the hell outa here!"
And I told them about all the people who constantly tell me, how they want my job. "Really...they think this is some kind of glory ride", I told them.

So back to the jetties we headed. I'll take, hold on with one hand and fish with the other in these seas, over the frenzy of flying teeth any day. And as the tide rose, the water calmed down.  But then, I had another problem. It was rough enough I couldn't anchor when we got to the jetties, where I wanted. And before I could say ""boo"", a guy I took last year on a charter shows up and gets right into the spot I was heading too next.

A big lesson I learned last year. Do not ever take some local, with their own boat. Because when you do, it just comes back to bite you. All they'll ever do is fish the spots you took them too, over and over and over. While I'm out there trying to make a living!

But, the move to sit thru the seas versus the bugs and the screaming tide was worth it. The guys caught some specks, loads of small pup reds, and some throwback smaller trout. The action was pretty good. But then again the conditions weren't all that perfect for first timers out there, either. But my crew didn't do anything but fish thier butts off, and stayed with it. As they bobbed from one side of the deck to the other. With not a single complaint. I was impressed.

I would have done some video of the seas, or pictures at least of what it looked like while driving thru it. But, I obviously had my hands full.

The day ended with at least ten Reds from puppers at 16" that were the most, up to 28 inches. And ten Speckled Trout. No super-duper sized Trout, though. It was very warm and sunny. And I'm glad we went on Monday.


I talked to a fella at the boat ramp yesterday, who had a barge sitting up on dry land with a crane on it. Figuring, I'd come back to the boat ramp on Wednesday and see them tearing the docks apart or something like that, without notice. I asked him, "What  ya doing?" And to my astonishment, he said the City is going to "EXPAND" the Mayport Boat Ramp docks, and "L" off  the old ramp towards Morningstar Marina, and over at the New Ramps, they're going to "L" off the docks towards to the Pilot Dock.

Because the city has the $$ to spend, so use it or loose it next year. He said they came to the realization, that this ramp is really busy on weekends. And compared to Sisters Creek Boat ramp, there's not enough dock space to pull up too.

So he told me, "Look for this to be done in the next 4 months." He said he was just doing core samples for the pile driving folks. 

I was blown away!!

Mayport, getting an improvement??  I thought the new parking lot lights were just a security measure. Must be all the attention the place gets during the ever growing JOSFC El Cheapo Sheepshead Tournament in February, huh? Getting to be larger or as large of participation as the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament. (So I was told by the Tournament Director)

Can  ya believe it????

Sunday, March 20, 2011

3/20 - HUH????



Had (4) guys booked for today. Yeah......four.  But it's 8:25 right now and I see no wind at my house which is just one mile from Chico-pit bay.

(this is the boat I really need 1/2 the time......)
Yeah, we re-scheduled till Monday:


No way I can fish four in 20 knots........if indeed it did happen. But I don't see it.

I bet Monday will be 20 knots!!!!!!!
Ya still want my J-O-B?

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Mother Nature is one hell of a mysterious thing, that's for sure.

Now, I don't get to go out every charter and do exactly what "I'd" want to do. Sometimes I have to do what my folks can do. I get kids, I get little kids. I get a packed boat with 4 passengers that never fished before. So each day, is a challenge. I don't pick the days we go, either. And if I did we'd never leave the dock when it's "Small Craft Advisories", either. But if I did pick the days, and if I could pick my crew. I'd pick today. And I'd pick Kyle, Ben and Brandon. The three guys I had aboard, today.

Well, as a life long angler, I know everything out there reaches it's tipping point. For the good, and for the bad. And I had a feeling this FULL MOON, was gonna be a good thing. And today, it was! The Trout fishing has to kick off good some day in March and the full moon, should be when.

A week ago, I fished the same exact spots we fished today, with either no bites, fished bad conditions, or just had a few small trout to show for a all day try.

The tide was 6 feet at high tide......2 feet over normal. And high was at 9:04am. So we actually departed for the first time so far this year with the running lights on, in the dark. TIME was of the essence.

Fished a total of just three spots and had 18 Trout to 19", a mix of Specks and Yellowmouths. And 10 Redbass from 16" to 29".

The fish box looking good after only the first hour or so on the first spot:

We had a great time today. Despite the "SUPER MOON". Ya' know you can always count on me to be very in tune with the moons, because there's hardly a New or Full moon that someone doesn't call to fish on.

Super Moon is a term used to describe how large or how close the moon is to Earth and on Saturday, March 19, 2011, the full moon is going to be the larger than usual. The moon sometimes gets closer to Earth than at other times, this causes the moon to appear much larger.

There is a conspiracy theory brewing in that the Super Moons are related to the massive earthquakes and tsunamis. This however has not been proven. The moon is however shown to cause increased tides on a full moon because of gravitational pull.

The full moon on March 19, 2011 will be the closest it has been to Earth since 1992. When the Moon is closest to Earth it is said to be at its perigee. When it is at the farthest distance from Earth it is at its apogee.

The effects of a Super moon can be subtle providing more light and a slightly larger size. Still, it would be worth a look outside tonight to see the Super moon. The next time there is a Supermoon will be on November 14, 2016.

I don't care if it's the super Moon or what. I'm just glad to see my Speckly friends chewin'. And I hope to continue boxing them from here on out...or till it's 105 degrees in the shade come July.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Brookings Oregon?

Failed to hear a thing about the Tsunami hitting the US. But here's footage.  And take notice that the Pacific plate alloy boat with the walk-around cabin seen twice (just like mine, but with cabin) looks to be okay.

Living in my Trout hunting bubble here in J-ville, all I caught a glimpse of was footage from Japan. Wow, that's something.

One person died.

3/14 - The search for "spring" continues..........

Had Tom and 9 yr. old Madison aboard today.  It sure was cold this morning, that's for sure. But turned out to be a beautiful day.
Keeping things real simple we bottom fished at the jetties. And since there wasn't hardly any incoming tide, the ebbing current flowed and flowed for what seemed to be long after low tide. Which was a good thing.

We fished 3 spots, and each one was pretty uneventful. Sure, I wanted to catch some small fish for Jr. Angler Madison. But also wanted to hang something decent for dad, Tom.

One spot, was a L-O-N-G shot. Out past the green can on the south. Because that's where I've caught 10 pound "spawning Sheepshead" like this: (and monster spring time Black Drum)

This time of year "SUPPOSEDLY" you should be able to fish the edges and ledges out away from the jetty rocks and catch fish like this. (my memories are haunting me!)
I have a 12" RayMarine sounder screen, that can read a shrimps butt at 3000 feet. I like utilizing it. Most people probably don't even realize how much structure there is away from the actual jetty rocks. Structure that fish get on. And this time of year "SUPPOSEDLY" the monster Sheepshead get on it. Especially, during the spawn. And so do the "out-sized" Black Drum and big Reds.'s not spring yet. Because, these fish are no where to be found out there as of yet.

Madison reeled up some Whiting, on one spot. And Seabass on another. Some 12" Seabass, that we're "not" allowed to keep any longer.

I'll keep trying these deep water structure areas, off the highly beaten path, in hopes that some day the fish will do their thing out there as they have done for all my years fishing out there.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Memories of consistancy?

I have quite a good memory. But of course it's highly selective. My parents always wanted to know why I couldn't remember my school studies when it came test day. And my answer simply was, "it had nothing to do with fishing..."

I sat at the Jetties on a perfect tide Saturday, in a great spot, float-rig fishing, from 6' down to 26", using live shrimp, of course. Without a single Trout bite. But at the same time, (just as an example) in 2006 on the north Jetty by March 6th the Trout bite was out of this world. But then again so were the lil' scourge Bluefish, when the water was clear.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, that the last two winters have delt the Trout fishing around here a substantial blow. The fishing for them is almost day and night compared to years ago this far into the year, at the inlet.

Yeah, I've heard some in "Bob caught a 29 incher at the little Jetties along with 30 others."  My concern is the jetties, because that's where I fish most. And where they should be right now. And how bout them Yellowmouth Trout? Gone, and absent since the new rule of a 100 pounds per person? Guess they're really scared now. They better be! Cuz, I'm out to catch'em, and I'm not stopping at just a few.

Then, I stumbled upon a video my buddy Nick made of us fishing the river in March with live shrimp, on the bottom. Watch it, and listen in between Nicks subtle camera handling skills:

This was March 6th 2008. And I can tell you, I have fished that exact spot 3 times in the last two months. And have caught nothing. It's even more mentally painful to have a video record of what early March is SUPPOSED to be like, around here.

D-E-A-D or live shrimp on the bottom, it really doesn't matter, at the very start of the falling tide. The Reds were monsters for being anchored in only 12 foot of water. Then, came this Black Drum.

The problem is; "MY MEMORY HAUNTS ME."

I can go anywhere in the St. Johns River from the jetties, south to below the Mathews bridge and point with my finger, and tell you what I caught there, and what tide it was on.

I joke around with my customers that charter fishing is like being an actor in a Hollywood movie,  "you're only as good as your last film", but in the fishing biz, the "spot" is only as good as the "last time we caught targeted species, there".

If the fishing, (due to the south Atlantic weather, I guess) was more consistent. I'd be allot more comfortable these days. I hear about consistency. I read about places that have it. And for me it's like the pot at the end of the rainbow.

There's a saying about N.E. Florida, "You have to be rigidily flexible, around here...." Coined by a guy who grew up fishing around S. Miami in the 60's & 70's. And the Navy dropped him off here in J-ville, like so many others. But I'd bet, he couldn't duplicate those same childhood fishing memories in today's Miami, either. But he swears it's way more consistent then it is here.

But for me, I rely on my detailed memory. And when it comes to rigid flexibility, well that's up to the crew, tides and weather, I have on the day choosen.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

3/9 - kite fishing for tailing Sheepshead in the flooded Marsh grass?


NO KIDDING!!!!!!!!


Damn weekends!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The JETTYWOLF's new chum chopper

As a plate alloy boat owner, I've always liked what I saw down in Austrialia and New Zealand. Of course plate alloy welded boats are works of art down there. And there's every concievable size and dimension. Those builders/fabricators are so innovative, also.

I saw a chum chopper built into the swim platform of many a alloy boats down there. And after much diliberation, and planning I said, "this was the summer that I'll have to get one made.

For ten years I had a Dennis Braid (an Aussie big game angler and tackle manufacture, out of California) Chum-Mate made of plastic on the stern of my ole MayCraft 23 CC. I don't know how I went so many summers without one and now I don't have too.

I made this video for my fellow brothern. My second life, is a member of this "like minded clan" of  world wide alloy boat builders, owners and anglers. And I can discuss alloy boats with friends across the globe.

I'll post the video here, to show you how easy it is to customize an alloy boat. (and I have other additions in the works) If it isn't about making my boat functional, it's not worth doing. FUNCTION IS BEAUTY, in my mind.  Always has been, always will be.

Pogies are free, and old left over bait is freezable.  From Redbass, to Tarpon. Chumming is easy with the right tool.

Enjoy.... Chum chopper 101

What a March, so far

The trees are blooming. Pollen is covering everything. The grass and weeds in my yard need to be cut. People are already talking about the Cobia and Tripletail down south, heading this way.

And the Jettywolf, cannot get a "BREAK".

Since March 1st, I've sat attempting to get it done in 25 knot N.E. winds, 20 SW winds,  New Moon screaming tides.

So sick of it all Sunday, I had Kenneth H. and his buddy Derrick. We literally fished 45 minutes, and I said, "fellas, lets pack it up and try again a few weeks from now." 

Then, on Monday I had a 4 person trip. The winds were LIGHT at NE 15 knots, all day. But my crew was frozen because it felt like 30 degrees out at the jetties at 8am, and maybe 40 later in the afternoon in the river. And talk about a struggle. Not only did I have to try and satisfy 4 people. But the gamefish took the day off.  We fished deep, shallow, and inbetween and only had undesireables. Starting with a 2-1/2 foot Eel!!

Even float-rig fished. But that didn't change anything.

Water temps are hovering in the 60 degree range now. And I look forward to getting better days.

Heading the the weld shop this morning. Having a customization done to my boat. All in preparation for this summer and $4.00 plus a gallon fuel if $3.50 isn't bad enough!

Been planning this for about two years. Having an Austrialian style "chum chopper",  or as they call it a "Burley Bucket" welded into my stern platform.

No summer trolling. Won't be affordable.

So with my Burley Bucket, I'll be able to drift and chum or anchor up and chum. And not burn as much fuel.

Had a plastic "Braid Chum-mate" on the stern of my old boat for 10 years. And have always wanted a welded in one on my Alloy boat....Because I can! 

Permanant, and larger than what I had before. Just like they have in Austrialia. Those folks down yonder are real innovators in "practicality".  Unlike here in the U.S. where it seems to be all about...."look at me and my pretty boat." Rather than truely functional fishing machines.

I'll post a photo when complete.

Weather this week isa crap shoot, anyhow.....






-------------------------------------------------------------------------------'s a story of, "ONLY IN AMERICA".

Who's really the criminals?
 answer:  the U.S. Government!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Let's start this report with this........

Had Tom B. and crew aboard today. As I dropped the boat in the water I shot  the quick footage you see in the video.
And thought to myself, "Ut Oh...this ain't gonna be good for anyone."

I was about a gnat's butt away from calling Tom and saying, "I fished in this yesterday,we may not be able to fish in this today."
But last night the Marine Forecast was for up to 15 knots out of the NE, so I figured what the hell....lets go!

We could Trout fish one spot. It was this or NOTHIN'. And compared to yesterday when out with Doc Miller, th tide today was going to be even worse, meaning STRONGER. And yep, it was.  (because of the new moon on the 4th.)

It constantly seems I'm battling the tides/current doesn't it?  Because I am. Constantly battling New and Full moons, and 5-6 foot tides.  (someday I'm gonna be a Gulf Coast Fisherman....someday.)

We did as good as Mother Nature would allow us. We couldn't have done any better if we were fishing with hand granades, today.
The winds just pushed us to the limit.......and WE CONQUERED. By boxing some TROUTZ!

Next up: Sunday and Monday. Sure hope the winds back off.

3/1 - Trout go into the b-o-x.

Out with buddy Doc Miller on his 22' Bay Boat. One spot all day hiding from monster wind gusts. It's now time to box them speckley bastards, after the annual February closure of Speckled Sea Trout.

Doc and I would rather Trout fish than do any other fishing. Not all were whoppers, but just plain good fish.(and sure did fry up nice a few hours later)

And when the conditions made for a tough drift of the slip "float-rigs", I tossed a jig. And we got allot of laughs out of the name of the colored plastic bait I was using, on a 3/8ths oz. jig head. In  the smoking tide.

Really tired of bottom fishing, so this is making for a nice break. (once again)

Had a blast today, while getting blasted by the hienous winds.

Here's a short video: