Oh how I have to be a "jack of all trades" in the summer. One day I'm in the river with a boat load of kids, and then with a regular customer hunting the ever illusive giant Redbass on a full moon tide. Then, not having set foot in the Ocean in 10 days, I'm out chum fishing for instant shark action.
Had three guys out on Saturday, and that's what they wanted "Sharks and Tarpon". Well, the Tarpon should be reserved for the next trip to the Florida Keys. But, I thought the sharks would be do-able. Hell, I caught them last time and the water temp in the ocean was a balmy 76 degrees. So, you'd think the moons would be aligned with Venus, since the water's back to 82 degrees.
Well, if you thought that YOU'RE WRONG. It's bazzaro world!
The swells were close out of the SE. And first I had to locate was at least 30 pounds of Pogies. I accomplished that out in 38 feet of water. Hmmmm....What ever happened to Pogies up behind the surf?? Remember when they used to be always south and behind the surf? I do. But so far this year the actual shallowest I've caught a Pogie was at least 20+feet.
Again, Bazzaro world??
You're only as good as your last movie in Hollywood, and for fishing guides the fishing is only as good as the last place ya caught them. So I headed to the SE Hole, slam-bamming our way against the tight seas. Pulled up to exactly where we caught a half dozen sharks, and did it without any pogies to even churn in my chum chopper.
After at least an hour and several scoops of pogies into the chum chopper. Not a single sniff of LIFE, not a fin, not a look, nothing but a school of small little jacks of some kind following the stern of my boat eating all that came out of my chum chopper.
I spied on the way to go get some pogies for chum, at least 5 shrimp boats. Not a one was dragging. They all were sitting on anchor. Well, this isn't the Gulf of Mexico where jus the shear presences of a shrimp boat seems to draw pelagics. So I gave them no mind.
Without a bite, we packed it up and headed north to the chum hole. Same deal. Chum like crazy, and not even the ghost of summer's past, showed up to play. Then, I spotted one out of the 5 shrimp boats was actually dragging, a boat much closer to the beach off Ft. George then normal. So as I was about to give up and go soak dead pogies on the bottom in the river I ran over to it.
No chum needed, we instaly had a double header of 4 footers. And as long as we were behind this boat in some fashion, with baits floating, the guys sweated and sweated and sweated and caught a dozen of the exact same shark species, basically the same size. Not one Blacktip, nothing except these smaller unknown, I'd have to take a wild guess, Atlantic Sharp nose sharks??
All we know, is they are lightning fast and can bolt from one direction to another turning in less length then their own. And they ranged maybe from 20-40+ pounds. Not the 150 pounders of years past. The ones I remember taking damn near all the line off my twin drag Accurate reels, have not been caught yet this year. And, probably won't be behind the shrimp boats. Because if they do show up, I'll be on to something else by then.
I was constantly busy, either re-rigging or just plain running the boat so I didn't get any photos. But my crew did and took lots of video. They said they'd send me some, so I could post it here.
I'm really ready for that "something else" by the time late summer gets here. And I'm probably conceding to the fact that my motto, "no long boat rides" is gonna have to be only a winter time motto. So I'll be heading north for all light tackle Trout, Redfish etc. trips, for awhile.
It's not a new area that I want to explore, just a different one. And maybe well worth it.