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 stories....as 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.