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”.

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