Thursday, July 14, 2011

7/13 - Replay?

Was pleased to have Robert L. and his son Jason aboard the Jettywolf, today. Especially, since he was the man I was talking to on the phone while making the video on Monday, while doing some solo R&D.

He's a new J-ville resident and has a wonderful home on the river, which I pass by very frequently. Also has a nice boat hanging from the docks lift. He wanted to just go out and get some "heads-up" on some fishing techniques. Which is one of those things that every fishing guide will tell you is a good idea, when you move to a new area.

I also sent him the video I made. So after picking them up at Sister Creek. I told him and Jason, "let's go see if we can replay the day I had, on Monday."  

So we blasted down river.

The differences between Monday and today were that we would actually have a breeze today. And the tide would be  a bit stronger, being that we were a few days closer to the full moon on Friday.

Nothing fancy, is what this fishing is.  Have "pounds" of dead shrimp, catch a ton of Croakers. Save the smallest ones for live or cut bait. Get along some rocks. And let the falling tide work it's magic.

But we had to wait for the falling tide. So in the mean time we just plain, fished. Catching everything that schools up in the deep water of the river, from Seabass to Croakers. All the while looking for that first Black Drum.

It's JULY. And nothing is fall off the stump, easy. And I told Robert and Jason that. There's a whole lot of difference between "deep, deep" summer and let's say.....December, for example.

But that action on jus' bending a rod was steady, as long as we had the last of the rising tide. Then of course as the current slows, so does the bites.

Eventually, we made it over to the "rock line" that I like to fish. The tide was ebbing and it was time to put some groceries in the cooler. And we did.

Pup Black Drum. The targeted species! Goal is to get on the bite and get as many as we could.
Today, they were a bit smaller than on Monday.
They were right behind the boat.

But, detecting that bite of a Drum, versus the ever present Croakers is a challenge, for most.
I can tell easily. As they don't "pop, pop" the bait, but rather "sand bag" the bait.  And it's not like I expect everyone on board to know everything. THAT'S WHY I'M THERE. THAT'S WHY THEY HIRE ME. I'm going to help you.  There's a ton of fish that bite and they all bite different according to the situation.

At the jetties this past winter, we had an epic Black Drum bite. And once everyone on board learned to feel that sand bagging, hang on the bait kinda bite. They never forgot it.  Drum are not fearsome predators, with huge mouths and speedy shaped bodies. So as the swim along the bottom, hunting by "smell" and "taste", when they eat a bait with their rubbery lips. They give you a bit of what I call...."hang-time".  That's the sand bag feeling you get on your rod tip. Just weight!  You can even lift the rod tip ever so slightly against the weight, and they will pull and ask for more. After doing that twice, I CLEAN THEIR CLOCK!

I laid out a rod with a half a Croaker on it with a circle hook and left it in the rod holder. Just for a big Redbass. But we never had the rod double over. Which, was amazing. We should have had a few big Reds come by and suck up that bait.

Instead, we caught a few MICRO Reds. Smaller than I'd ever call "pups". I mean, the size of small Croakers. 

The tide was a bit stronger than on Monday. And at one point we got slammed by a very inconsiderate ship pilot. That flew by us and generated a wake so large that it pulled 50 feet of water off the bank!! Knocking us off anchor, muddying up the water and generally causing severe havoc.  "Gotta love the St. Johns!"

After awhile, the Drum seemed harder to catch. The bites fell off, as we kept at it. They're all along this area. And I know I'll come back in this area some day soon, and absolutely way-lay them. My goal is a fish box of 10-15. Since, for me getting "keeper sized" Redbass seems futile. And I'd just as soon have  my 5-Drum, for the table.

I'm gonna keep a close eye on this area, and even poke around a bit more, as summer wears on.

The only real problem is, that fishing around here for these Drum is a tackle eating situation. Hooks, leaders, entire rigs, sinkers are so easily lost. The bottom is VELCRO!
And you have to be ever vigilant that the next "bump" on your rod tip is between a rock and a hard place.

There's absolutely NO way I can bring 4 people, (add in some kids) and fish the way we did today. I'd have to own a very well stocked tackle shop! 

Robert and Jason learned allot, caught fish and felt the deep summer's intense heat. By the time the tide just started to slow a bit. They were "cooked" and ready to kick their feet up in the A/C with a cold drink.

It was a fun day. Just wished the big Reds would have bit. (next time!!)