Wow, the smoke is bad again. The ole Okefenokee Swamp supposedly is on fire again. And when the west winds blow, here comes the smoke. It's so thick, I couldn't see over the Intra-coastal waterway.
"THE HONEY PRAIRIE WILDFIRE AND AN ADDITIONAL FIRE IN
BAKER COUNTY WERE VERY ACTIVE YESTERDAY...AND IT SHOWS. VISIBLE
IMAGERY AND METARS TELL THE STORY FOR TODAY WITH AREAS OF SMOKE
AFFECTING A GOOD PORTION OF THE FORECAST AREA. VISIBILITIES HAVE
BEEN DOWN TO ABOUT 1SM AT JAX SO FAR."
I was out yesterday, and talk about challenging. It was the "day" of the full moon, which for me is always challenging. The tide ripped hard and since I wasn't in the mood to do alot of anchoring. I just tied off to a few spots. And even finger mullet were hard to come by. But we (myself and a friend) finally got them along a grassy bank. And as the Mullet swam by.....guess who was trailing right behind them? A nice 25" Redbass up in 12" of water. I shoulld have thrown my cast-net over that Red, because we never even caught one all day long. But I was on more of a Trout hunt, so maybe that's why.
Another observation worth passing along was the shrimp and big ones I saw on the surface, flipping around. The first one we saw was at the boat ramp. Just swimming along on the surface without a care. Then later I saw some more. Is that a good thing, hell yes! Would a blast of "big" rain, help out even more, hell yes! (and for the fires too!)
Is our next best bet for big rain T.S. Maria??
Either way, the large easterly swells offshore is having alot of boaters out carrying surf boards rather than fishing rods.
Just the other day I saw 4 boats in the parking lot of the boat ramp, loading or unloading surf boards.
Got some new Ugly Stiks some "in-between'ers". Not too heavy, not too light. Which what I was lacking. I have my float-rigging Ugly's which are super failry wands, so hooks aren't pulled out Trout mouths and my utility bottom Ugly's with the best overall St. Johns River reels ever. The Shimano TRN-100G's, but I was missing some tackle for everyday in between fishing.
Jus' for FYI, here's a list of what I have found to work the absolute best for me over the years. Which can take the abuse of numerous hands on them, and what will hold up. But won't break the bank:
Shakespeare Ugly Stik "Catfish" rods. 7' and can fish easily one ounce to upwards of 6 ounces...but is stretching it. All around great rod for bottom fishing, availible at Academy Sports. And cost a whopping $30!!!!! These rods have caught redbass up to 46 pounds!!!!!
Shakespeare Ugly Stik "Striper" rods. 7'6" medium Lights for Float-rig Trout/Redbass fishing....again $30 availible at BassPro Shops.
Next, is my favorite of all. If you watch my video's you'll see me tangling with the largest of fish with it, and it's the "Striper rod", in Medium Light, but 7'. AKA: The Fairy Wand. I absolutely love a rod that bends and bends on a big fish the entire length of the rod. NOT just the tip, which is what the world of high priced Graphite rod builders want you to believe is the better rod. When using small hooks, and braided line. A Fairy Wand rod like this takes up the surges, the pulls of a big fish. Wearing it out, against the bungy cord like rod action. Again, just $30 and availible at BPS. These are way to light for most charter customers, who are not used to the fishing around here.
Then, there's the "in-between'ers" The Ugly Stik "Striper" 7' Meduim Heavy's. The ones I just got. Matched up with some late model Shimano Citica low profile bait casting reels. These can fit right in the middle, so my customers can have a blast pole bending a big or small fish, but at the same time be doing it when not alot of weight to reach the bottom is needed. But has just enough "azz" to make up for the possible lack oflight tackle, angling prowness.
You maybe asking yourself, why do you like the "Striper" rods versus regular Ugly Stiks? And the answer is; one piece rods the right action, and handle length. If you open up a BPS catalog and actually study the rods and handle lengths, you see why. And for sure these rods jus' ain't for Stripers......they're just called that.
And remember, I BAITCAST! I'm not a spinner reel guy. Although I do have some Ugly Stik inshore "lites" matched up with some spinner reels. But only use them for "popping cork" fishing the shallows, when with spinner style clients.