Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's 100% Aluminum.....a down under boat.

(your latest edition of, "Yes it's all aluminum")

They've always got it, down under.
(fuels not cheap there)


Monday, April 25, 2011

4/25 - From December

Had Christian L. and his step father aboard today. Christian recieved a Gift Certificate his co-workers got for him back in December.

Christian is a creek, lure only angler. So, this couldn't be more day and night, for him. I don't creek fish, and ""I"" throw a lure now and then, but not with customers.

Oh.... December 2010, the winter of the Black Drum at the jetties. If ya'll need a reminder, CLICK HERE!

Well, I wanted and liked the falling tide along the jetties. I wanted to exploit it to it's fullest. So upon arrival we had someone right where I wanted to anchor already. EARLY BIRDS, even on Monday's get first dibbs. But we got a late start, not exactly departing at 7am sharp. But it all worked out anyhow. Because of anchors slipping and the opportunity arose for me to slip right into where I wanted to be. 100% politely.

First fish. Black Drum and a nice one, too.

Super clean and good looking fish. A perfect eater size. was really "rolling" out there at the tip of the jetties. The river was dead flat, but not out there. The S.E. wind wasn't even that bad. So maybe the wind blew during the night making these swells come in from afar. That's why Christians step father is sitting down. "He couldn't even stand up." I told him "Sears sells Sea-legs." That's my standard joke.

Then, came a Whiting. Nice size on, and I only wish they'd come through carpeting the bottom. Cuz, they are sooo good to eat. I had fried Whiting smothered in some Zaterains country fish fry mix the other night and they were awesome. Between a Potato roll and a melted slice of cheeze and a dab of spicey mustard. MMM, good!

Christian was working his spinning rod. I had a few frozen Pogies from Friday, left over. Yeah, can ya believe a spinner rig on the Float-freaks boat?? The only other person who brings a spinner on my boat is DOA Rob. But as hard as he tried lobbing the weak pogies to the rocks, he still came up empty.

I was feeling like usual,  "we need more DRUM!", so I pitched out another dead shrimp and squid combo meal. And handed the rod over to Christains step dad (wish I could remember his name). He was a self proclaimed NON-fisherman. And there was a big "RB" on the other end of the line.  O.J.T. - on the job training. I taught him how to reel in a big fish, right then. And he did good, as we bobbed in the seas.
Not really wanting to fish. Christians step father wanted to be dropped off. It definately meant lost falling tide time. You're always on a tight schedule out there. So that's what he wanted so I drove back to the dock and back out to the rocks again. We went and looked quickly for some Pogie schools on the noth side, and then the southside. It was a SNIPE hunt. So we came back to the rocks and re-anchored.

Christian worked his spinning rod and a jig, and I float-rigged down the jetty. I got not a single taker, and he caught a Bluefish that ate the jig off his line. I left a bottom bait out and we picked up one more Whiting. And that was it. He had to head in and it wasn't like there was a huge bite going on anyhow. So we packed it in. Damn, this week along the rocks have been tough. My buddies even tell me Nassua Sound is about dead on Whiting, because the jacks, blues and ladyfish and even the bonnetheads have taken over.  But I did see a monster Pompano come from there today.

Anything like Cobia hunting is considered the same as a Tarpon/Shark trip "price wise". For all the fuel that can be consumed. Hell, Pogies can be a trek too, if they can't be found near the jetties.  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

4/22 - as long as the tide ebbed....

Had "fishing crazed" Erica J. on board again, along with cousin Curtis, Erica's Daughter and Yvonne (forgot which relation she was) So it was the 3 gal's and Curtis and myself. We departed out of Sisters Creek. And made a b-line for the jetties.
Officially, low tide was at 0733 hrs. So we didn't have much time to catch the falling tide or what would be left of it upon our arrival.

I knew the last minutes of the falling tide would be "our best bet". As this isn't my first rodeo...and my third day in a row this week out there. The flood tide bottom fishing has been really tough.

I quickly got into position, and dropped anchor. I had a bucket of small fresh dead pogies from the day before. I pinned them on and cast out far behind the boat.

Instantly!!!! We had rod benders on and hooked up. But THREE in a row got off. Ya' gotta let these big fish bend that rod, and when they torque the rod over, that means they have the bait in their mouth. So a few simple mistakes later. And I said, "Just let the rod bow over...pick it up and keep the rod bent and the line tight." 

That's how Curtis boated the first one at nearly 33 inches.  His side of the boat was the hot side. And not long after as the tide really slowed, he boated our only Black Drum.

Usually, Erica and crew is looking for some "box" fish. Also know as "keepers", for a fish fry. But as the water warms and we get  closer and closer to deep summer. The harder it gets to catch allot of "box" fish along the jetties and river.

MOST Redfish are always too big to keep. (18-27" with tail pinched is a keeper.) And what it seems is most Reds out there are always 28-30 plus, plus inches.

We could have pursued more Reds. But I was working as hard as I could on getting them Black Drum and Whiting. As many as I could, for that fish fry. But, during a hard rising flood tide, it was very difficult.

We did box a handful of Whiting for the frying pan, and even kept a few decent sized Bluefish.

The last time Erica and Curtis went with me, we did okay on the pup Black Drum back when it was much cooler. And it was exactly the same deal, a tad of falling tide and the rest of the day a rising tide. But the difference now was, it's more like summer.

Boats were EVERYWHERE, being that so many people were off of work I guess.

The next trip with Erica and Curtis and whomever. Could be less on "box fish" and more on just big fish. Erica is a fishing gal 150%. So maybe, a bit of knock-down drag out sharkin' and chum fishing will be in order??? 

It's not like the jetties to let ya go home, with out a struggle. And as I went to depart the outside south of the south jetty my anchor was hung on a cable or something. So after some team work, all hands on deck and on the anchor line. I free'd what ever was hung on my anchor.  Can't loose the "man-maker", my 25lb. grapnel and 12 foot of chain. It's the only anchor I have that'll hold a full boat in a screaming falling tide with wind.

NEXT UP:  Monday with a creek fisherman, "gone jetty'fied" and a guest. I guess everyone will be back to work then? We'll have falling tide 95% of the day. I may or may not bring the float-rig rods. Targeting real light tackle B-I-G, Reds in the deep and "structurfied" jetties.

Thanks again, Erica.
It was a HOOT!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

4/20 & 21 - Working the flood tides

Did some R&D on Wednesday the 20th and between Chris aka: "Shaggy", and I we boated 2 Trout to 18-12 inches and a pup Red on the float-rigs......NOT GOOD! The incoming tide has just shut down the float-rig fishing for some reason.

My gawd, isn't this April? We fished from the jetties to Ft. Caroline.

You certainly don't want me to show you photos of years past from exactly this time of year. Hell, it was April 28th 2008 when I caught my first 10 pound Trout, just inside the jetties. Along with a 3 and 5 pounder off one spot!! In three drifts of my float!!

Besides snagging 3 Manta Rays on the frist of the falling tide. We also managed one pup Drum and a Whiting before calling it quits.

Today, I had Mike M. aboard. We discussed our options and decided to go see if we could catch some Pogies, fill up the chum chopper and make some drifts out in the SE hole area. Well, there was no pogies around close. And when we finally did find some in 20' of water just north of the Jax Beach Pier, they were ultra small and really scattered. We saw some, but we didn't catch any!

So after wasting the morning we went back to the big rocks and bottom fished. Two pup Black Drum, lots of seabass and a few bluefish later, I look and the pogies are in balls on the north side of the north jetty swimming right past us. Pushed by the very strong flood tide.

We dropped everything. I had Mike run the boat with me on the bow and made a cast on to the big ball of bait. The net floated and started to swim away full of pogies. I made another cast and we had almost two 5 gallon buckets full.

One bucket went into my new chum chopper welded into the stern platform. We saw the pogies getting pushed from up along Ft. George beach toward the south. So we ran north and cut the motor and started the chum slick. I rigged Mike with a big Owner long shank hook on a piece of wire, and rigged on a Pogie. I came up with a quick dead bait single hook rig with a way to wire a Pogie on, while sitting in my tackle room last week. And it works great. I'm all about one big hook versus those small trebles any day for drift fishing. And I rigged up a jig and squid for myself on a casting outfit. ALL....just incase "Mr. Cob" does swim up to the boat.

The Pogie pods were full of big Cuda's circling them. If Cuda's were Cobia we would have been in like flynn. So I dumped 3/4 of a 5 gallon bucket into my new Aussie style "burley bucket" (that's what they call it down there in Australia). And made this short video.

Other than that, Mike was a bit queezy after getting a huge wiff of them Pogies. Too me, those Pogies smell like summer time.

Heat, Pogies, Sun burn, being completely covered in salt......yeah it's summer alright!

Monday, April 18, 2011


I have "allot" of Ugly Stik "Striper rods". (see link on side bar to my Ugly Stik review) I absolutely love the parabolic action of a 7'6" Ugly Stik "Striper" for my float-rig fishing. You can't break one, and you don't pull the hook on a Trout with such a light parabolic action. But, we sure do catch big Reds with them right up against the big jetty rocks.


The gas prices sure have slowed things down. So with that said, It was ROD maintenance day!
I un-rigged 12 rods, cleaned them till like new, and then re-rigged them up again. Which took hours. But it's worth it. I take pride in my tackle and like to see it last. The first Shakespeare Ugly Stik "Striper" rod I ever bought is back clean and looking like new again. And it's at least 4 years old.

That's what I love about those rods, also. NO FLUFF B.S. They just work.

Here's how I do it:

Friday, April 15, 2011

4/15 - TAX DAY

Had Tom & Larry D. aboard the Jettywolf today...and going in I knew from the forecast that it was gonna be a challenge. SE-15 knots against a building Full Moon falling tide. Makes the Mayport jetties angry, with the wind bucking the strong current. In turn, the seas build and make for a roller coaster day. So I briefed the guys the night before on the phone.

But as we deaprted at 8am, we would still have an hour or so of rising tide. So I taught the guys how to Float-rig fish, and how to lob with a baitcasting reel. As I told them, I wish a "spinner reel" was never invented because that handicap of a reel is not what I use, and not proper for any type of Fishing, I do.  So with wind and no curren,t we had to pitch to the rocks.

Again, no Trout or Yellowmouths, where I've been catching them each April for the last twenty years!!!! And I'm getting really tired of the inconsistency. We burned bait like match sticks, and then Tom hooks the years FIRST Jack Crevalle. I swore it was a Pompano when I saw it in the water. Yeah....this same spot "used to" produce Pompano too, every single APRIL.

Area's to fish close to the dock are getting scarce since along the Navy Base for a mile or more is off limits. You can count on NO LONG BOAT RIDES, when with me. Because I like lines in the water.

I seen big Spanish Macs along the rocks on Wedsnesday, and now we catch a Jack. In my mind, spring is over and summer is here. We caught nothing else on the float-rigs, so we moved on.

Next we anchored up to bottom fish. The rolling seas were pushing the boat ahead on the anchor. But we were okay and staying anchored, because of my 25 pound grapnel and 12 feet of heavy chain. 99% of the boats I see at the jetties are ill equiped when it comes to their anchor and chain. When I wanna stick like glue, I drop over the "man-maker anchor". Because just lifting it in the boat isn't for boys.

We came there for large Redbass, and that's what we got!  A DOUBLE-HEADER!  For the lingo impaired, that means two on at once.

All the while in the rolling seas we get waked by the every faithful Navy Ship and Sea Tractor tug boat barreling out the jetties. The wake hit us at over the height of my boats bow. Tom got his fish to the boat first. My anchor was yanked from the bottom, and we were heading straight into the rocks "thank you again, USN". I started the engine and as Larry was way over worked by his fish, I swung out and let the anchor grab the bottom again.

Larry was really struggling with his fish. The way the rod was bowed and the drag zipping out. I thought he caught a 50 pound Black Drum. But as the fish came close to the surface it was spinning. It was a Redbass, not a Black Drum. The Red was foul hooked. For the lingo impaired, that means the fish isn't hooked in the mouth.

The Redbass was hooked in the gill plate!

Larry was whopped. And this was the largest fish he's ever caught. Tom's Red was 28-1/2" and Larry's was 33 inches.

All this was going on as I was multi-tasking my ass off. Keeping the boat in position, after getting slammed by huge wakes, working the boat,  netting fish, and taking pictures. All I needed was the phone to ring.

The seas got where it was really not the place to continue to fish, so we moved inshore of the jetty tip. But caught Zip. So back out we went, and headed over to the south Jetty. It was calmer. We anchored up on the Sea Bass hole for hell. One after another as fast as you could sit a bait on the bottom. Some were 12" and I was wondering, "am I allowed to keep Seabass inshore in state waters??"
Because at this time we hadn't' put a fish in the fish box, yet.
Then came a Sheepshead, but the spot was incessant again,  we moved on.

The next spot was basically currentless, and only a Whiting came over the side of the boat. So we packed it in, after fishing MORE than just the day's tide.

Either way, it wasn't easy fishing today. But these two guys sure learned allot. And never got sea sick either. Which was really good.

No Fishing for me Saturday......yet another day not worth being out there at the jetties, besides a tournament going on:



Thursday, April 14, 2011

4/13 - Catching a "fish fry".

I changed the spark plugs in the Honda, changed the lower unit lube, raised my fish cleaning table on the boat. And the forecast was for a perfect day. So I went out "solo" for some messing around.

First thing. I went down the beach a little bit, and saw Pogie schools. This wasn't the first time this year. I saw them a few weeks ago just south of the south jetty. With birds diving on them...."but I was on a Trout hunt." So I didn't care.

Today, they were from the Navy base beach half way down Hanna park, muddin' up the bottom real good. So it was a "no brainer" spotting them in the 12-15 feet of water.

About ten days ago I got on the big Whiting really good on a falling tide in between the jetties. Myself and the Gross Crew caught 20 really fast. But before I tried that I wanted the tide to slow down  a bit first. So I tried some drifts off the beach. The Whiting were all small and really hard to hook for some reason compared to inside the jetties where they'll inhale a bait. So after about an hour of releasing most of them I hit the rocks.

On the way back to the jetties, I ran over my first Tripletail floating along in a jellyball line up. The "TT" dove to the bottom as I approached of course, not to be found again.

Back at the jetties, the current out in 45 feet was screaming. Along the rocks, boats were butt deep in over sized Redbass. I certainly wasn't into catching them. But I did manage a dozen Whiting and a "pup" Black Drum, for the fish box. Before the tide went slack and started to turn.

I later float-rig fished for 6 Trout, with only two keepers to 17" on a spot that was so hard to get properly anchored on, because  the breeze switched out of the ESE. I also caught three Redbass. Boxing a 26"one and letting go a 21" and a 23".

The bluefish on one spot were so bad that they ate the damn sinker off my float-rig. And as I was reeling my float back to the boat it was attacked by a monster Spanish Mackerel.

Damn, each year is so different. Right now, ought to be Yellowmouth Trout heaven, along with monster Specks at the jetties stacked up. But they certainly cannot compete with all the "TEETH"  out there. Personally, I always hope for a spring that's bluefish free. But I guess I'll have to move to La. to get that. There's also allot of those nasty looking "clear-nosed" spiney backed Rays on the bottom. And flocks of those bat or cow-nosed rays swinging down the rocks.

This area always has an abundance of junkfish, from pinners inshore to rays at the jetties. If we had as many "game fish" we'd really be doing something!! Allot of MY time and effort is put in just fishing the right tide, and attempting to avoid all the junkers. To get at the game species, or other "eater species" at least.

I might have to explore the river for my trout friends, already. Usually, I don't have to do that till at least May.
Here's a short video, to include a endangered Wood Stork at the dock, that had a Rapala top water plug hanging from it's neck and bill. And during my fish cleaning process, it took over the dock. I watched this bird kick the crap out of two Pelicans, and I mean it sent those Pelicans away "HURTING".

Never knew the Wood Stork to be so aggresive and MEAN! Hell, I try evenly distribute  my fish scrapes , as I give back after a days fishing. But this bird didn't want no parts of "sharing with fellow dock buzzards".

Next up for me, is Friday:


Unfortunately, that SE breeze maybe about 10 knots TOO strong, out of that direction. For my liking, we'll have to see.

NO, I'm not fishing the Redfish Spots tournament (too many people, for me)  I'll be at Gander Mountain at 10am for their parking lot even, doing a seminar on "float-rig, how-to."

FYI to local N.E. Florida fisherman:


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) placed the proposed redfish rule amendments on hold until their November Commission meeting. CCA Florida is opposed to the increase in bag limit and urged the FWC to wait until they received the most updated assessment on redfish which is due later this year.

“Florida’s redfish fishery is so valuable and important that a few more months to insure that the data and assumptions are correct and understood is certainly warranted,” said Ted Forsgren, CCA Florida Executive Director. “We greatly appreciated the Commission’s decision to get the most updated info before taking final action,” said Don Roberts, CCA Florida Chairman.

FWC Commissioners Ken Wright, Dick Corbett and Ron Bergeron led the move to defer to get the latest assessment. Commissioners Brian Yablonski and Kathy Barco were satisfied with the existing data and wanted the vote to be taken then. Chairman Rodney Barreto forged a compromise motion that holds the proposed redfish rule in its current state until the November meeting. At that time the bag limit rule will be voted up or down. Additional hearings are not anticipated.

More than 25 years ago redfish stocks on both coasts were at dangerously low escapement levels. CCA Florida led the charge of conservation minded recreational anglers in the successful campaign for strict regulations on recreational fisherman and no commercial sale. The redfish “gamefish” rule was approved in 1988 and created significant increases in population abundance. “That was the beginning of the great redfish fishery that we now enjoy,” said Forsgren.

For more than 20 years, recreational anglers and statewide groups have monitored and protected the redfish stocks. CCA Florida and others have focused on creating a high quality fishery, one with high abundance and lots of fish to catch and release, and the opportunity to keep one to eat. The Commission has recognized that desire by setting the redfish management goal at 40 percent Escapement Rate, similar to the high protection goal set for snook.

The great success of the program has drawn much attention and greater fishing pressure on redfish. “The FWC’s own data shows that escapement rates have been steadily declining over the last 20 years,” said Forsgren. “At the same time fishing effort has steadily and dramatically increased. On the west coast annual directed trips for redfish have gone from just under a half million trips to two million trips and east coast has gone from a quarter million to two million trips annually.”

All of the major statewide recreational fishing groups are united in their support of the 40 percent goal and the desire to keep the current one fish bag limit. The groups include CCA Florida, Florida Guides Association, International Game Fish Association, Florida Wildlife Federation, Florida Chapter of the Federation of Fly Fishers and many local fishing clubs.

“We greatly appreciate the Commissioners decision to act positively on our request for a deferral,” said Don Roberts. “We thank them for the time they have spent to manage this great Florida gamefish”.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

4/12 - Windy, Rainy day project

Here's what I want:

Here's what I had, (too low) of a fillet table.

So...was gonna head out this morning and see if I could catch a box load of Whiting on the falling tide, and then some T-routz on the incoming tide. But it was way too windy (west 15 and gusty) then came the on and off rain. So I'll try again later.

I took what you see the bird standing on and raised it so I don't have to bend over, while cleaning fish. (All until I can get a "ALUMINUM" set up like the photo at the top) which belongs to my friend Peter in Melbourne, Austalia.

The Aussies have the coolest stuff. I'm getting closer though. I got my Chum Chopper like the Aussies have (aka down under: a Burly Bucket) And eventually I'll get a custom made aluminum (for J-ville, Florida that is....) Fillet table.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Before it becomes 95 degrees..."it's around the corner."

Before it becomes 95 degrees by 9am in the morning. I want to take just a minute to reminisce. It's never cold, if you dress properly.

I love it. Maybe because there's no one else around...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

4/9 - Early Morning Bite

Had Joseph A. aboard today for some "solo" teaching/educating. Joseph is highly interested in learn about the fishing here and how to do it. So, with the last of the falling tide early this morning. I knew this would be our best chance at catching him something rather "studly".

And yes, we had some good ole I.G. - aka: instantaneous gratification!  We weren't anchored up and on the spot a few minutes before the first big bite came.  Fresh dead shrimp, with a twist of arrow squid strip and that's all she wrote.

A ten pound really dark Black Drum.
Jus' what the doctor ordered. Joseph is a doctor.
But I was the jetty doctor this morning and that Drum is just what I wanted for him.

We had some other bites, obviously Whiting. But only boxed one big one. Those clear-nosed Rays of course are signaling that it's just about summer time, and we had about two TOO many. Then Joseph lays the wood to a bigger fish. And although his excitement for fishing outweighs his experience. He was of course a fast learner and worked a "biggun" to the boat.
He said something about the "rod breaking" from a big fish. I told him, "Heck, it's an Ugly Stik, you'll have to try harder than that to break an Ugly Stik"

And right about then a 33 inch Redbass popped up from 55 feet below.

The tide was still running and as long as it was, we still had chances at some BIG fish. We were on a really tight time line. Because this falling tide wasn't going to run all that long, before it would be all over, and time to go do something else. So we worked it till our 3 oz. sinkers wouldn't even push from underneath the boat. And before the tide quit. Joe nailed another good eater size Black Drum.

After this fish the bite was about over. So we pulled anchor and headed up river. I showed Joe, some  of the usual fishing areas in the river. And we ended up at White Shell rocks, just as the tide started to flood up that way.

Time to get out the float-rigs and give them a try. So with live shrimp we drifted the floats down the rocks. Joe nails his first ever Speckled Trout, then a bluefish. So I give it a try too. I nail a few Trout. He gets a few more. But unfortunately all the trout were 14-1/2 inches.

He now has the hang of the float rigs. So we head back to the jetties were there wasn't a stitch of current yesterday. Today, we have plenty of current, there just wasn't any fish there!!

But Joseph now has the hang of it for next time around. So back to the dock for some EZ fish cleaning with my new Havalon Baracuta fillet knife....That's now about 22 fish on a single blade, and it's still deadly sharp.

Friday, April 8, 2011

VIDEO REVIEW: Havalon knife

Replaceable blades. Razor sharp, thin stainless steel. This knife will change the way you clean your catch.
A superior quality product for the die-hard angler who wants the sharpest blades possible.

Time to forget about all these....Because Life just got allot easier!

4/8 - OH, the inconsistency!!

TWENTY FOUR HOURS LATER. FROM YESTERDAY'S ONSLAUGHT OF PURE WHOOPASS. I had Malcolm and Barry aboard for some what I thought  "super" float-rig fishing action.

Well, let me tell ya. It was just the opposite. (Please read yesterday's report, 4/7. Before continuing)

Okay, I assume you followed directions.
Well the only difference I can see between yesterday and today's fishing in general was;

4/7 - rising tide in the "am".  Tide height3.8 feet. High tide at 12:44pm Mayport.

4/8 - rising tide in the "am".  Tide height:  3.5 feet. High tide at 1:24pm Mayport.

Add in a possible pressure difference and what do you have?   NO CURRENT.  What's the ole rule of thumb I go by?  "If you don't have at least 4 feet of water movement, you have no current at all.

Well, toss that out of the window for yesterday. But today, it was apparent enough to choke on.

But, the Jettywolf doesn't give up all that easily. We fished and fished. No real Trout bites at all. So I took Barry's line and tossed it out deep. And he caught a few small Yellowmouth Trout, and a Bluefish. Yeah, we could barely buy even a Bluefish bite.

But the pattern if any was unclear. Because there was no pattern! Nothing to pick up on. Then, Barry was feeling sea-sick. So I took over on his rod. Fishing hard  along with Malcolm. Catching a small Speck at first. Then, came a few Sheepshead for Malcolm.

Then another Yellowmouth. But no Speckled Trout that were so ravinous yesterday in absolutely No Tide at all!

So we kept on. Getting a few bites here and there. Malcolm worked as hard as I was. And the story goes like this; IF I'M NOT CATCHING THEM. HOUSTON? WE HAVE A PROBLEM. 

Then, Malcolm caught this  whopper Sheepshead. That pulled really hard and I thought it was a big Redbass. Hoped it was a monster Trout. But no,it was a 7 pound 7-striped jetty snapper.

We made a few moves, and then came a decent Speckled Trout, and a pup sized Red. In between a few Bluefish.

The problem was the lack of bites and burned  into even my "short term" memory was just 24 hours ago. When the Trout, and Reds were chewing like mad.

But heck, that's fishing right?

Either way we had a nice lil' box of fish to included 3-4 Yellowmouths, a big fat speck, and two sheepshead that I cleaned. So the guys could head over to Singletons Seafood Shack and get them cooked up for a late lunch.

Okay....I have a one person trip tomarrow on Saturday. The rising tide won't be till at least 10am. So we'll be catching a 4.1 foot falling tide early in the morning. So "bottom fishing" here we come!

Momma said there will be days like this.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

4/7 - whoopin them, with our Ugly Stiks

Had everything that could go wrong, actually go wrong, with a booked charter for today.  (instead we're heading out Friday, now)
So Doc Miller and I headed out. And like I told him, "It's all about T-ROUTZ! Don't  care about anything else!"

Doc is heading back to the mountains later this week. So my "fellow trout fishing float freak" won't be around, till next fall again. So he needed a last hurrah. Head out with a B-A-N-G.


We tossed our float-rigs up to the rocks with live shrimp pinned on the hooks and for the next hour and a half it was nothing but Shooting Trout in a Rain Barrel!! 

We boxed our limit in what seemed like minutes, tossed a good handful back that were not making the grade, and just kept on going till  we had our fill, and the bite slowed down. It was one of those EPIC mornings. Not a soul around, no wind at all, a bit cool, and the water was like swimming pool. We could actually see the Trout in the water a boat length away.

OH.....then there was those damn Brutus T. Redbass. That got in the way. Yep... See, to a die hard Trout angler, Redbass put up too much of a fight. That 10 minutes that you take messing around with a 30 plus inch Red, you could in all reality put 3 more Trout in the boat. "If ya get bit." And even though we had our limit plus all we wanted after that. Trout is what we live for. Not Reds. Heck, I watch Louisiana Sportsman TV, and the guides over there say the exact same thing when they hang a monster mauler on super light tackle. WHY? Because down deep, they're Trout anglers, too.

But, actually. Today was the first time I've had multiples of "keeper" slot sized Redfish, also. We got our limit of two Reds easily. In between the 10-15 other ones, from 16" to 32". The keepers were my kind of Reds too. Perfect, 20 something inchers. Good eater types.

Then, as out of no where we had 5 boats near us. But by then, we were about done on this spot. So we made a move. Doc caught a Sheepshead on the ole Float-rig. But really at this point in the tide we could have gone home. But, like a crazed fish nut that I am, I talked him into hitting a big time Redbass hole......"Jus for the fun of it." Since the Trout bite was over. Why not take advantage of more line rippers????

So we picked up anchor for only the second time all day and made the move. And I was dead on, right. MO'  REDS!  And toss in a Ring-tailed Porgie for good luck and some large for around here, this early in the spring, Bluefish. Yeah, the bluefish are real "rip yer shorts, and steal yer hook size."  I'd just as soon catch a Jack......or a cold. But heck, they're out there so we  better get used to their mass invasion.

It was one hell of a great day to send Doc back to the mountains with.  And till next fall he'll have to live vicariously through these blog posts, if he wants to see what the trout are doing.

We came back to the dock, and did a VIDEO on cleaning the fish with my new HAVALON knife. The one I've been raving about.
Well let me tell you..."Do you think a fillet knife can change your life, as a fisherman?"


It can change the way you clean fish 100%. It can change your life, really fast if you slip and cut your hand off too! It's deadly sharp. Hell, this is a knife that has S.S. surgical razor sharp replaceable blades!!  As I used it, we videoed my very first time. And I hope it comes out okay and you can see how good this thing works.

So, stay tuned for the video coming soon.

I've reccomended rods, reels, boats, line, all before. But at the same time people get what they get and use what they use. But this Havalon Fillet knife will be like gold to me in my charter business, now. It changes the way I feel about fish cleaning. I'm really amazed it took this long to come to market,  and for me to get one.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I love rough water........but!!

I love rough water, especially in my alloy plate boat. But believe I'd need a "Depends" undergarment, especially going BACKWARDS.

Yer, aluminum boat FYI, for the month:





""""click here for promo""""

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Got my Havalon "surgical blade" fillet knife today. It's wickedly sharp!!!!  Allot sharper than any fillet knife I have ever seen. It feels good in the hand, "super light weight" with a really nice grip.

As soon as I can, I'll be doing a fish filleting review via VIDEO.
Is this a JETTY wolf??

I'll also be bringing it with me to Gander Mountain for show and tell on April 16th, during their Parking Lot Event.

Although, they don't sell them. I believe I can sneak it in to my seminar, about Float-rig fishing.

I hope this is the end of my constant knife sharpening chores. But then again, if all I ever had to clean was big fat Speckled Trout, I'm sure my knives wouldn't be constantly needing sharpening.

But those dang Sheepshead scales and bones are fine bladed fillet knife blade ruiners.

Now, if my blade gets dull, just switch it out to a brand new surgically sharpened blade! And proceed...

Blade changing:


Monday, April 4, 2011

4/4 - The Tanner boys

I cannot believe what I just did.

I went to load up todays photos of Greg, and his two son's Duncan and Will's catches from today and hit the wrong button and erased the pictures. And of course I can't find a single way to get them back!!

Where do they go, is the big question.
The camera software doesn't have a recycle bin. It has a "restore data base" but it doesn't seem to work.

Duncan is 6, I believe and Will is 9.....don't quote me on that.  I've been taking these guys fishing normally in July for years. But this time the Tanner boys are on Amelia Island for "spring break".

Here's Will from when he was just a "little kid" with a gator Trout from years ago. He's 3 years older now.  

We headed to the jetties, the tide was rising and not much was going on besides a few Seabass and Bluefish. But as the tide started to fall, came two Sheepshead. And I threw a float rig  up into the jetties and the floatwent down. I handed it to Greg and he reeled up a GATOR TROUT.

Oh it was sweet!
A nice 5 pounder.
That's the photo I didn't want to loose. The guys with a big honking Speckled Trout.

With the south wind howling and then the tide falling, it was gonna get nothing but nastier out there. Will wasn't feeling all that good. So we called it a 1/2 day and I cleaned up just 3 fish and it made for a nice bag of fillets.....especially Trout fillets!!!!!

Oh well, this was a first to loose photos like this. IT WILL BE THE LAST.

I'm gonna call Greg and see if he can send me his copies. Heck, I gotta have a completed's a routine. I can't break my routine!


Okay, I got the pics!

(needed a close up...)

More Sheeps.

I got Duncan to hold his Sheeps like an ole Pro. "the eye socket method"

WOW...glad we went yesterday (4/4) The big weather came thru here this morning with some severe winds. The jetties must have got pretty nasty after we left. Because the boats we saw out there were all in the river after I dropped off the Tanner boys at Sisters Creek boat ramp. 

Today's forecast - 4/5:



Navy Base.....B.S.

Jacksonville's very own "black eye."

I see NO you?

-Blount Island - miles of shoreline
-Mayport -Miles of shoreline

Taking food, straight out of my mouth.

d. Unfunded Mandates Act. This regulation does not impose an enforceable duty among the private sector and, therefore, is not a Federal private sector mandate and is not subject to the requirements of Section 202 or 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (Pub. L. 104-4, 109 Stat. 48, 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.). We have also found under Section 203 of the Act that small governments will not be significantly or uniquely affected by this rule. What does this mean....any Lawyers out there?

List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 334

Danger zones, Navigation (water), Restricted areas, Waterways.Show citation box

For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Corps amends 33 CFR part 334 as follows:


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1. The authority citation for part 334 continues to read as follows:


Back to Top

40 Stat. 266 (33 U.S.C. 1) and 40 Stat. 892 (33 U.S.C. 3).Show citation box

2. Revise § 334.500 to read as follows:

§ 334.500 St. Johns River, Atlantic Ocean, Sherman Creek; restricted areas and danger zone, Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

(a) The areas. (1) The St. Johns River restricted area and the Atlantic Ocean restricted area described in paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section, respectively, are contiguous but each area is described separately for clarification. Show citation box

(2) St. Johns River restricted area. This restricted area shall encompass all navigable waters of the United States, as defined at 33 CFR 329, within the area bounded by a line connecting the following coordinates: Commencing from the shoreline at latitude30°23′52.97″ N, longitude 081°25′36.51″ W; thence to latitude 30°23′56.71″ N, longitude 081°25′36.51″ W; then the line meanders irregularly, follow the shoreline at a distance of 380 feet seaward from the mean high water line to a point at latitude 30°23′54.20″ N, longitude 081°24′14.11″ W, thence proceed directly to latitude 30°23′46.33″ N, longitude 081°24′03.73″ W, then the line meanders irregularly, follow the shoreline at a distance of 380 feet seaward from the mean high water line to a point at latitude 30°23′53.08″ N, longitude 081°23′34.00″ W, thence follow the arc of a circle with a radius of 466 feet, centered at latitude 30°23′48.52″ N, longitude 081°23′33.30″ W, to a point on the jetty at latitude 30°23′50.06″ N, longitude 081°23′28.26″ W.Show citation box

(3) Atlantic Ocean restricted area. From the last point identified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, latitude 30°23′50.06″ N, longitude 081°23′28.26″ W, proceed to a point at latitude 30°23′49.12″ N, longitude 81°23′28.10″ W, then the line meanders irregularly, follow the shoreline at a distance of 380 feet seaward from the mean high water line to a point at latitude 30°22′54.37″ N, longitude 081°23′44.09″ W, thence proceed directly to shore to terminate at latitude 30°22′54.46″ N, longitude 081°23′48.44″ W.Show citation box

(4) Sherman Creek restricted area. This restricted area shall encompass all navigable waters of the United States, as defined at 33 CFR part 329, to include Sherman Creek, its tributaries and associated tidal marshes located within the NAVSTA Mayport area boundaries described in this section. The restricted area is completely encircled by roadways and is bordered on the south by Wonderwood Expressway, on the west by SR A1A, on the north by Perimeter Road, and on the east by Mayport Road.Show citation box

(5) Danger zone. The danger zone shall encompass all navigable waters of the United States, as defined at 33 CFR part 329, within the area bounded by a line connecting the following coordinates: Commencing from the shoreline at latitude 30°24′00.31″ N, longitude 081°25′06.02″ W; thence to latitude 30°24′11.16″ N, longitude 081°25′03.90″ W; thence to latitude 30°24′00.62″ N, longitude 081°24′10.13″ W; thence to a point on the shoreline riprap at latitude 30°23′41.26″ N, longitude 081°24′08.82″ W.Show citation box

(b) The regulations—(1) St. Johns River restricted area. All persons, vessels, or other craft are prohibited from entering, transiting, drifting, dredging, or anchoring within the area described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section without the permission of the Commanding Officer, NAVSTA Mayport or his/her authorized representative. This restriction will be in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Warning signs notifying individuals of the restricted area boundary and prohibiting entry into the area will be posted at 500-foot intervals along the property boundary.Show citation box

(2) Atlantic Ocean restricted area. All persons, vessels, or other craft are prohibited from entering, transiting, drifting, dredging, or anchoring within the area described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section without the permission of the Commanding Officer, NAVSTA Mayport or his/her authorized representative. This restriction will be in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Warning signs notifying individuals of the restricted area boundary and prohibiting entry into the area will be posted at 500-foot intervals along the property boundary.

(3) Sherman Creek restricted area. All persons, vessels, or other craft are prohibited from entering, transiting, drifting, dredging, or anchoring within the area described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section without the permission of the Commanding Officer, NAVSTA Mayport or his/her authorized representative. This restriction will be in place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Warning signs notifying individuals of the restricted area boundary and prohibiting entry into the area will be posted at 500-foot intervals along the property boundary where practicable (e.g., not in the wetlands). In addition, a floating Small Craft Intrusion Barrier will be placed across Sherman Creek just east of the A1A bridge and another will be placed across tributaries to Sherman Creek just north of the Wonderwood Expressway.Show citation box

(4) Danger zone. During periods of munitions movement at wharves Bravo and Charlie, no person or vessel shall be allowed to remain within the 1,250-foot Explosive Safety Quantity-Distance arcs generated by the activity. NAVSTA Mayport will not announce or publish notification prior to enforcing this regulation due to the unacceptable security threat posed by advance public notice of military munitions movements.Show citation box

(c) Enforcement. The regulations in this section shall be enforced by the Commanding Officer, NAVSTA Mayport and/or such persons or agencies as he/she may designate. Military vessels will patrol the areas identified in this section 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Any person or vessel encroaching within the areas identified in this section will be asked to immediately leave the area. Failure to do so will result in the forceful removal of the person or vessel from the area in question.Show citation box

Dated: April 7, 2010.
Michael G. Ensch,
Chief, Operations, Directorate of Civil Works.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

4/2 - Parking Lot Event??

Whewwwww....was the jetties a parking lot today. We had boats pull up along side us and anchor, boats pull up right behind us where we were tossing out behind the boat, boats parked in front of us. And this was only when we were bottom fishing along the north Jetty.

Oh, that's why I love my "float-rig" fishing so much. Most of the time we can be tucked away and fishing on our own piece of water. And that's how we started the day. Float-rig fishing.  But that sure was slow.....

I had Ryan and Mike aboard, and they were drifting float rigs out with the current behind the boat to a point of rocks. Nothing was happening. I knew fish were back there. And as I told the guys on the way out this morning, "I am your ringer...." So I picked up my rod and made a few drifts. A Redfish, a Trout, and a Sheepshead later. It was real evident fish were back there.  Sometimes it be that way. But it's understandable. The fish weren't carpeting the bottom by now means, weren't suicidal either. And if it's all new to you, it can take awhile to get into the groove. I don't expect everyone to be an expert at what we're doing. But I will show you that fish are there.

I believe Ryan caught a few "shorts" that didn't measure 15". And then we made a move. Mike still had to connect. And at the next drop of the anchor he did. And it was a real nice fattie.

I told Mike I chopped the top of his head off taking the photo, so I took another just to get a better shot.

It didn't take long, for the current to die on the spot, with the west wind pushing. So we stayed at it a while longer, without another keeper. Only "shorts".  Damn, one thing is for sure. In consistency sure is running rampid, out there. Things change over night at the jetties.

Just like the arrival of the scourgy Bluefish.One day there isn't a one. Then the next day, they're everywhere. Up in the rocks we never had a Bluefish bite. But as the boat swung out deep, I could literally see huge clouds of Bluefish schools on my sounder in 20 feet. Make a cast with the float rig out to them,  and yep. It's a confirmed Bluefish school......the float disapears, and ya' got one hooked up, instantly!

As the tide started to fall we made our way  inside the rocks. Time to bottom fish. And as it turned out, time for some I.G. - instantaneous gratification. Ryan drops a dead shrimp down, and gets instantly hooked up on a whopper Red.
We had a few mess ups and tangles, and had a double header of Reds too. And the second one fell out of the net, as I dipped up Mike's Red, right as the tide was perfect.

We boxed a Whiting and a Black Drum, but the boats surrounding us  had it where I certainly couldn't get any wiggle room. We were limited to where we could even cast, everyone was so damn close. Weekends are such a "me, me, me" time out there. That not many people have any shame. They have to park  on top of you. And at the same time, we sat in a non-vortex of current. Which is a fancy way of saying the opposite of what I really wanted. But I wasn't about to move. With so many other boats thinking this is the only spot to fish.

We saw a boat behind us a good ways haul in a giant Black Drum......probably 50 pounds(?) I'm still waiting for one. They sure ain't thick like they used to be years ago. When were ever you looked, someone was hooked up to one. It's definately their time of year.

Mike was ready to go, so pulled my anchor thru the maze of boats and we headed back to "make the donuts".
Here's the keepers we had. Actually a perfect amount for a decent fish fry for Ryan and Mike.

Turned out to be a really nice day on the water.
COOL and almost a bit too cool for me this morning. Ryan and Mike were two really good guys, we all had fun.

So, next up is Monday with the Tanner clan, Greg, Duncan and Wesley. Usually my 4th of July week folks. But, they're trying it during spring break this year too. (It's at least cooler than during July!)  Hope the winds stay low and Monday should be back to work for everyone else. So less boats, and more wiggle room.