Had Tim and his Dad Troy aboard today. Troy's a "pan-fisherman" from Georgia. So today's objective was for him to catch something bigger than a bluegill.
With the tide still ebbing this morning we shoved off early, at 7am. And headed directly to the jetties, so we could catch that last two hours of eastward moving tide. I didn't fuss with Pogies right off. Why waste valuable tide and time, with baits that only a Redbass is gonna eat. Tim has a huge family, he needs fish for the box! So we used dead shrimp on the bottom.
We had "I.G" - instantaneous gratification, not long after the anchor line came tight. And Tim set the hook on "targeted species" , a real nice Black Drum.
This is a great eater size, so into the box it went. With hopes for more, more and more!
But the next good bite was Troy's turn. He set the hook and reeled in a "pup" Drum. And he told me it was the largest fish he's ever caught.
Also a nice eater size, it hit the box with it's bigger brother.
I saw that the Redbass were chewin' a little bit on the other side of the jetty. But figured I'd hit them as the tide changed and started to flood. At least that's when I caught them a week ago. But who knows what they'll be doing on the rising tide. I'm almost tired of playing the guessing game. So we stuck it out, as the tide petered out and the boat swung close to the rocks. We should be able to hook another Black Drum. But as soon as the tide died, so did all the bites.
Time to "make the donuts", I mean, "get some Pogies". Which wasn't hard. As soon as I rounded the jetty, they were right in front of the boat. Two casts with the net, (I botched the first one with a tangled net) But the second throw had the net swimming away with mega amounts of the "lil' greasers". Into the pogie tank they went, and we drove 100 feet and anchored up along the rocks. All set for the rising tide, right? Sitting perfectly, on the spot that on the last day just like this...."we wore them out". Or more like, they wore out my clients!
We waited, waited, and waited.... Clean, green water, full of bait. Schools of mullet swam past the boat. Pogies just off the port side. Greenies jumping behind us, as the tide poured over the end of the jetties. And NO bites.
And my problem is "patience". I have none! Especially, when I think the fish should be stacked up behind the boat, but are not, for a reason I just don't understand.
So after all that, we bagged it. And went and float-rigged another Redbass spot. Rising tide, green water......aah, it looked great! Even had a huge Manatee swim right by us. Tim and Troy took to the float-rig fishing with live shrimp easily. But only came back with shrimp chewed off, or bit in half.
Again, the direct opposite of what I'd expect.
So we bag the Float-rig fishing. Which pains me to say, is about as dead as it comes lately. So Cappy Dave, has to think outa the box. It was a Saturday, so of course every where I'd want to anchor up and just bottom fish again, had a boat on it. So, it was time to go find "our own water".
And that's what we did. I made a bee-line for the JAM. The jam is where the beach and jetty meet. Or as damn close as we could get.
We tried the float-rigs and had a sweet drift down the rocks, and only bait stealers and a few Ladyfish jump-offs. I said to Tim, "I'll pitch out a Pogie, on the bottom as ya'll drift the floats." And on my second cast up to the rocks, as I was watching all the damn Cuda's swimming around, yeah CUDA'S! They were everywhere in 10 feet of water! So as I was watching the Cuda's the rod about got snatched outa my hand. And I yelled to Troy, "TAKE THIS!"
He gladly did, and had a good Redbass swim him around the boat. I believe, he was a bit taken by the strength of the fish. But kept his line tight and up popped a really nice "KEEPER" Red.
It was almost a double-header, as Tim bowed back on something that ate his live shrimp on the float-rig, but it ended up being a Ladyfish that did a double gainer back flip and came off the hook any way.
So, did I find the secret to success on this spot? I guess so. The float-rigs weren't catching any fish, that's for sure. So we all grabbed a bottom rigged rod and pitched Pogies up to the shallow rocks.
Barracuda's....they were up in the rocks, swimming in three's by the boat, single swimmers, they looked like logs. Not a one was under 10-15 pounds. I told Tim and Troy, that I don't know anyone who has ever targeted these cuda's at the jetties, but ME!
Years ago, I saw so many of them hanging tight to the rocks that I just had to spend the day trying to catch one. But the challenge was...."on a Top water Plug". I cast and cast all day, just to have jetty cuda's follow my lure half way to the boat and then turn away.
So as the day wore on, I figured that no bait fish swims "AWAY" from the rocks, that's un-natural. Baitfish swim along the rocks, and that's what the cuda's expected. So I got up current of the pack and made casts over them. And popped a Storm Chug Bug down the rocks laterally. On my 10th cast, I had a serious follower. Then, it attacked. It was a great fight on really light tackle, and I even got a few jumps out of the cuda, also. It was a 15 pounder on my Boga-grip scale. I was alone, and didn't have a camera either. But I was doing Nextel direct connect back and forth with my buddy Pelican while he was at home. He did hear the drag Zing......as I held the button down on my Nextel direct connect phone, and screamed "I FINALLY GOT ONE!!!!"
Yes, if YOU can accurately cast and work a lure really good. THIS IS A JETTY SPORT...Inshore Cuda's on Top water lures!
Who's up for it?
Okay, back to today. We really needed at least one more fish. Because this is WAY too much fishing, and not enough catching, in my book. Then, Troy yelled FISH-ON, as he reeled in a 18-1/4" Redbass. Another one for the box!
It was getting really hot, so at 1:00 we started to pack it in and head back to the dock.
Yes, allot of fishing. For what we got. But each hook up yielded a fish for the box at least.
With all that bait at the jetties, fishing shouldn't dominate the day, catching should. So, you have to stay flexible as all hell and fish your own water, I guess.