Had Erica J. and her daughter aboard the Jettywolf today. The morning started out, overcast and at the Mayport Jetties. Then, the hunt for live baits. Then, after drifting the early morning pogie pods for a possible giant Redbass up under them, with no success. It was back to the jetty rocks.
Two spots and anchoring later, we had lost numerous rigs, had the drag smoked by un-stoppables. And only a few Whiting in the fish box. And plenty of tiny Croakers caught and stolen by JAWS.
It wasn't too much of a mystery any longer what the jetties are full of right now. As Erica was reeling in a tiny Croaker and had it all of a sudden take off 40 miles per hour. Yep, a Shark followed up her Croaker off the bottom then ate it and took off.
It wasn't till we lost 10 rigs, that I said, "I've had it...time to HD this!" HD, meaning- Heavy Duty!!! I crimped together a 200 pound mono rig, to a 7/0 Redbass circle hook, dropped over a live Croaker, and it didn't make it to the bottom. I was hooked up, using my thumb to add pressure to the drag, and put the screws down as hard as I could to this Shark (100 pound Blacktips!!) And it came to the surface and boiled the water and then, SNAP. I lost the whole rig.
"Okay, the jetties has not been the hot spot for anything except bait, and now I know why!" As a school of mullet exploded along the jetty rocks. Being attacked like a Austrailian surfer, from the deep.
We packed it up, and as long as we had a falling tide. We were good. And we had plenty of tide left. So it was time to make a zip code change. We made a long 10-12 miles ride way down river.
I anchored up, in 42 feet of water while being stared at by two guys along the bank in a small boat. As I readied the rods, broke out the dead shrimp, and got the girls set up. Then same boat had come off anchor and then circled us. Still staring as if they've never seen another boat before. Here's my deal....."if ya got something on your mind, say it....or GO AWAY." They went away.
Now, with not another boat in sight, the girls dropped some shrimp down to find out we were in the same situation. Mini-Croakers, galore littered the bottom. The only difference is, they weren't eaten off the hook. This would be fine for one of my small "Kids Trips", but not for us.
So we save some of the croak's in the livewell and gave up on this. Time to just sit back, and put out some live croak's and pogies on circle hooks and wait for a big RB.....Redbass!
The baits sat, and sat, and sat. Hmmmm. That's funny, usually the ole wives tale, or rule of thumb, depending on who you are usually is; "when there's small Croakers ganged up in one spot, there will be big RB's coming in to feed on the weaklings."
So when LIVE doesn't work, I don't give up till I put the knife to my live ones. So we reeled all the lines in, bumped the lead up to 6 ounces, and put CUT Croakers and Pogies on the 7/0 circle hooks.
It didn't take long, before one of the rods bent to the shape of a horse shoe and the small Shimano TRN-100 graphite reel spool started to smoke. Erica jumped on the rod, had the fish on for a moment and then POP!! Erica reeled in a rig with a broke 40 pound test leader. Understandable, 100%. The area we were fishing is velcro bottom. Anything could be down there for a big Red to turn on and pop a leader.
The next bite, the rod doubled again. Oh boy this is a stud! And no less than 15 minutes later on what I'd refer to as Light Tackle for a monster Redbass, Erica reels in a Red that smashes my 30 pound Boga-Grip Scale. We called it 30 pounds. But it was way past the 30 pound mark. And we needed to quickly get some pics and then the fish back in for a healthy release.
Being a float freak, wacko Trout angler, I was AMAZED! A Speckled Trout!!!
Things cooled off for awhile, and I even asked, "Ya'll want to stay and try it for a little while longer?" And it wasn't long, and I was glad I asked and we did.
Because here's what happened next.
The Video Footage:
The Redbass Queen!
Blacktip sharks? Arm straining battles? I know exactly where and when to be there. With my super heavy duty tackle (Accurate twin drag reels), of course.
The monster Redbass? I found them again. And it's a bit longer boat ride.