Thursday, January 26, 2012

1/26 - "On One Outdoors".....great day!

Back on December 3rd, we did a show with the crew of  On One Outdoors. It was a breezy, cold Saturday. We wanted to get out to the big Jetties, but the wind was pretty stiff. With camera crew tagging along in a bass tracker aluminum boat, lots of footage was shot, as myself and friend Doc Miller plied the St. Johns, putting Trout and Redbass in the boat. Staying out of the wind, waiting on the tide to switch.......all the things we do on a daily basis as fisherman out there on the river.

Plus having a really good time, no matter WHAT!

We caught a box of fish to boot.  My friend Clay and his crew patiently worked around us, anchored up, tied off, and jumped back and forth on and off the Jettywolf to produce what I think was one heck of a nice episode for the on-line show website.

Now, that this one is done, we will be doing more! 

On One Outdoors, is all about hunting and fishing. Real enthusiasts having fun with friends and family in the great outdoors.

Here's the show we did, aptly called (click link).  "CAPT DAVE'S FLOAT-RIGS"  enjoy for a change, professionally done footage. Clay is alot better than I am, when it comes to filming, editing and getting that shot "of the float disappearing!"

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1/25 - starting Feb. 4th intinarary:

Heading to Louisiana on Feb. 4th.  It's about time I go do some looking around over there. Everyone else I know has either fished there or at least walked down famed Boubon street, at least once.

But in this business, it keeps you beat down just enough, where vacations or even a few days here and there going somewhere else is not something that I can practice. I believe it's just a Jacksonville thing....

So, with no boat in tow (that would cost too much) my Pops and I are heading there in his new SUV.  I should be towing my boat over there given the new 2500 Dodge Ram "tuned" turbo diesel is now pumping out 420 HP and 800 pounds of boat pulling and cruising torque. "Yeah I know... she doesn't look like it. But she's a sleeper!"  I would need  $800 worth of new tires, first. To even think of a trip like that.   "See what I mean..."

One of my first stops over there is right off I-10 at the Slidell exit. Do some looping around Eden Isles, a water front community filled with miles of canals right off of Lake Pontchartrain,and at the marina basin there's Dockside bait & tackle.

Already, this looks like PURE heaven to me:

Ya' mean no ships, no current, no Navy, and loads of dock space?  You gotta be kidding!!

I just have to see how the other half lives. So, yep I'll be dragging Pops to yet another (as he see's it) boring bait shop!

We've booked 3 night at what has to be the coolest place to stay, versus a fishing lodge with 10 rigged bay boats. And it's this place.

Pontchartrain Landing RV Park.

I believe we're going to be staying in one of their "tropical villa's".

Adjacent to New Orleans in the "Seabrook area",  which is a real hot spot certain times of the year for MEGA Speckled Trout fishing!

Of course, we'll have to do the 26 mile causeway, so to get the feel of how much water that it.

(Kinda like from Mayport to Orange Park on the St. Johns River, except 1000 times wider!) 

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway,  "the bridge is so long that the curvature of the Earth obscures the shore from sight!"

And loop back on the land bridge between the west side of Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, and see some "swampy'ness".

Other areas I'd like to just see is Venice, aka; "the end of the world", Hopedale/Shell beach, and of course Bourbon Street.

I'm sure I'll find more marinas, bait shops and boat ramps that'll have me screaming in jelousy.

Not 100% sure at the moment, but I've talked to the host of Louisiana Sportsman TV show, Sam B. and he said we'll get together and fish one day while I'm there and possibly even do  filming for an upcoming show!  Now that's a dream come true.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1/24 - The Two Drummers

Got a call from my buddy Nick yesterday and he and his friend Colin from Scotland. A fellow drummer in Scottish Band touring the U.S.  They were up in the river catching Yellowmouth's and a Speck here and there.

I hadn't been all weekend. Problems with my ankle so I was nursing it after a doctors visit on Sunday.

So I said, "Got me plenty of drugs now and the ankle is all better....let me take you and Colin to the jetties tomarrow."
Nick said, "That's great, I didn't want to go out there in my smallish boat, anyhow."

We met up at the bait shop and were at the boat ramp pulling away around 8:00am. The tide would be high at 9:30 so we'd be on time for that.  Colin needed to be yanked by a big Redbass. Ya just can't come here, all the way from Scotland, and fish and not be yanked by Brutus T. Redbass!!

So that was my goal. But when we arrived on location, there really wasn't any strong current. The rising tide was a 5 footer, so I expected a bit more than what we got.  Of course, there was fellow Blog readers out there trying their luck and of course thought that the big reds were gonna make their appearence just as they did in my Friday report.  But no one was catching any.....I know I wasn't!  And like my dad always says, "If Dave ain't catching them, how am I supposed to?"  Meaning, I've fished these spots a time or two, before.

So after just one Speck at 15" I put in the box, we made a move to reposition, then another reposition. And it was all too apparent those big "RB's" jus' weren't around.  So we moved on.

We made our way up into the river and caught lots of Bluefish, and small Trout, boxing one more keeper Trout. In between eating 3 tastey Publix Sub's and bags of potato chips, shooting the bull, tossing back a few more trout. Boxing one more keeper. We ended up on a "Hail Mary" spot.

By now Nick had 25 backlashes, 14 knots in his line, and was as heated as a Irishman can be, at his tackle. So he gave up. While Colin and I continued fishing.

(And my goodness the live shrimp today were OUTA THIS WORLD, perfection!)

My float goes down, I set the hook and it's a drag taker!  So I hand my rod to Colin, and he finally gets that Redbass I told him all about.  I let him reel it in against the now ebbing tide that was New Moon strength. And he does really good. The Red throws up the white flag, and into the net it goes!

It's a perfect keeper at 25 inches.  The weird thing was that this Redbass is now the second one caught on my boat in a year or so with what looked like a broken back. 

Take a close look just at the end of the dorsal fin, see how it just doesn't look streamlined?  The fish had some kind of injury in it's earlier life.  And on top of that looked to be blind in it's right eye!  Holy smokes......I told Colin, "even a half blind crippled Redfish can find an acorn every once in awhile.

We'd had enough so we headed back to the dock. And that was my day with two guys that make their living keeping the beat going, banging on the drums.  Which is alot different than the life I lead, for sure.

OH......and by the way.

Ya' think the "snow birds" would be eating this up? Where are they?

I'll be heading to Sportsmans Paradise, LOUISIANA, Feb. 4th..."hope to get lost and have to send for my boat!"  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

1/20 - SLOW BITE.......BIG BITE!

Had Paul and Jeff on board the Jettywolf, Friday.  They were from Pa. and in Jax working. I knew it was gonna be another GLORIOUS day. Light winds, flat calm water, and fish chewin'.

Paul had given me enough heads-up time, to come up with a plan....sometimes a luxury item these days.  So I looked hard at the tides and gave the guys a 9:30am departure time. No need to do a dark thirty super early departure. I was wanting to concentrate on the last of the falling tide.

Hit a few spots, bang some big fattie Trout then head to the jetties for the rising tide late in the aftternoon and maybe have the guys get "stroked" on some light tackle.


Well, as we sat fishing the first spot, the only fish that was caught was a 17" Redbass. BUT.....we were actually early on this area, so I told the guys it's a great spot to really get acclimated with the whole "float-rig fishing" thang.  But when it reached 11am......then 11:30am and then 12:30am  and the tide was still moving too hard, and not a single Trout was caught. MY PATIENCE WAS WEARING THIN!!!!!!

Hell, I've had to sit and wait on those trout before. Been there done that!  But the problem I was having is that on Tuesday I came into the area with Nick and immediately banged 4 trout over 20 inches in a matter of an hour.  SO, what the hells going on today?  That was the million dollar question!

We packed it in after giving the area long enough. And as the tide started to really slow, I quickly hit another spot, on the way eastward to the jetties.  NOT a sniff........

Oh no, is bazzaro world Florida gonna do this to me all day?  As I talked to a few other people fishing, they too were struggling. And it was a mystery to them also.

Paul said long before he stepped into my boat, "Dave, I get seasick. And I get seasick really bad, so we need to fish calm waters."

I had that statement in my thoughts as I rounded the tip of the jetty. The weather man seemed kinda right....but kinda wrong for today's forecast.  Yeah, the wind was light maybe 5 knots of less in the river, but every bit of 10 knots or more at the jetties and in the wide ass open. The forecast was for a SW breeze. And it seemed to me there sure was allot of South and some East in it actually.

Outside the rocks it wasn't what I'd call rough, but rather just a "washing machine of irritation". I looked at Paul and said, "here's the deal......DO YOU WANT TO CATCH FISH? and maybe some big ones?"

So I anchored up, and that's where the irritation came in! The way we layed in the chop was not good. BUT, it's not like I haven't been in it before and caught great fish the whole time. We literally SLOPPED back and forth from the starboard side to the port side, with waves hitting the starboard side and splasing us about every 25th wave.

But, on Jeff's first drift of his float-rig he nailed a tiny litttle Bluefish. OH NO! Are we gonna be ate up with these little chompers the whole time??  NO, because the Trout started coming over the rails not long after. Not huge Trout, and even some questionable 15 inchers I released, and then some good sized Yellowmouths. The action was "just" steady enough to make it worth holding on with one hand and fishing with the other, in the confused sea conditions.


And Paul didn't once say, "I'm seasick." So we just kept at it. As the tide really started to rise, I had a good feeling some really big fish in the way of Redbass would show up.  And they did.

Paul hooked and lost two to the jetty rocks almost back to back. But that's when Jeff stepped up to the plate and stroked the first one.
Then after the first over legal keeper size Red was caught it was a "way-lay session" of fish hooked, and fish lost.

From 29" and 9 pounders up to fish weighing in at 16 pounds. On my light "float-rig" rods, this is a test in light tackle whoop ass!  Who's got Who??
Double-headers were coming almost back to back! I was laying one fish on the deck and scooping another out of the water!
"""""LOOK""""" at the stern rail behind them in this photo!  That's the angle of the boat, as it sloshed back and forth. But this is where the action was!
The shrimp were so dang small and weak that if you put two on a hook, the reds could maybe see them.
All in all, I'm not sure how many the guys hooked, caught and or lost during the waylay of Redbass. But as the boat swung the bite about fell off, a few Specks were caught and another Redbass or so. I was wore out, and I'm sure they were too.

It was WORLD CLASS winter jetty light tackle action. But ya had to be tough enough to actually do it. And Paul was never seasick once!

We used every shrimp that seemed to still have some life in it, and then I pulled anchor and headed back and cleaned our box of trout. I believe we kept around 8 or 10.

Again, I talked to several buddies back at the ramp and everyone was struggling in the river today, no matter if you were Sheepshead fishing or Trout fishing. I'm glad I gave up on the river and  had the capability to go where I did. Because we were ALL alone where we sat. Just being spied upon by not so capable boats on the slick inside of the jetty rocks.

BIG ALLOY.....does it again!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

1/17 - AWESOME winter day......again!

It was sooooooo beautiful of a day on Tuesday, and the fishez thought so too. And alot ended up in my fish box.
Enjoy, the tunes on this new video.

Friday, January 13, 2012

1/13 - WINTER, ramblings


As of yesterday, I've had a total of no less than 6 inquiries for Saturday the 14th.



Looks to me like Sunday is the better day, any how.

Don't know what the deal is, but I guess I should be happy that I received the inquiries.  I suppose this is considered a "holiday" weekend, one caller said they were off work on Monday. I had to look it up, and yep it's MLK day.

Fuel costs have recently risen .30 cents in just a week or so here in J-ville. I guess we can blame the Iranians? But you sure can't tell by the huge amounts of traffic still on the road ways. We'll equal out with Europe some day, and settle into $7.00-$8.00 a gallon. And then of course fishing charter's that were $400 a day will naturally be $800 a day, by then.

In some places in the south, a day on an inshore boat with 3-4 people doing the same thing I do, is $700-$750 already.....Wow! That's what you'll pay for what they call a "drive-up charter", meaning no advanced reservations.
But that's of course near more "toursity" areas.

Please think ahead and do as far in advance reservations as possible, it's appreciated.



I built possibly the loadest popping corks you can find yesterday. Never satisfied, again...."it's what I do."
Tackle, boats, trucks, floats, that's my interest. And I'm obsessed with building the best shallow water popping cork I can.

I want cast-ability, and not only a popping sound, but a clicking sound. And I even went for a rattling sound too!  Through my many hours of research, it seems the darker more murky the waters are, the better off you'll be with a really loud popping float.

We have it all here;  Incessant wake, wave noise. Vessel noise, and dark murky water, especially in the river.

For reallly big Reds and Trout, I made these popping floats extra heavy duty. The only problem is will the "components" take it.

I'll of course post a video or some photos after they catch some fish.

CHECK OUT THIS "HOOKED-UP" TROUT PHOTO. Perfect timing, huh? I didn't take it, I just found it.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

More......old footage. "RB's" on jigs at the jetties


Old footage of back in the '90's. In my "sponsored" 22' Bay boat, with camera man the Dogster pitchin jigs up to the jetties catching one big Redbass after another on a beautiful December day.

It was TRUE then, and it's still TRUE're missing the BEST inshore fishing of the whole year if you don't try it during the winter months in Jax.

By's basically over, and too hot for this kind of action, all day long.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

1/7 - Make some noise for big Trout

I'm always messin' around with new tackle......"it's what I do."

So I just received some new floats today and thought I'd share the first look at them with you.

Always looking for new and better ideas to satisfy a need. And I always enjoy experimenting with new floats. Plus having an assortment handy means I'm always ready for all fishing applications. Especially, when it comes to wackin' a big Trout.

Here's a short video introduction I did for you:

Just found this on Youtube under "Sheepshead fishing instruction"......some long lost footage of a video tape series I made years ago distributed by Bennet Marine Video.

Tossing 1/4 ounce jigs, with light wire hooks, With double fiddler crabs pinned to them, outside the North Jetty on a dead calm December day.  Still a "killer" way of connecting to alot of fish, and covering way more water than just dabbing the rocks in one spot. "JUS HAVE ALOT OF JIG-HEADS HANDY"

Oh, and this was before "super braid line" was around. We were using 8 and 10 pound mono. No leaders. 

1/6 - 'Float-rigging', saves the day...again!

To my happiness, I had a phone call from Erik on Wednesday.....(phone calls are a rarity anymore) So being he and his friend Alisa wanted to go on either Friday, Saturday, or even next Saturday. The nice thing was we didn't have to play 'back and forth with e-mails. He told me what he wanted and I looked at the weather report while on the phone with him and decided......5-10kts from the S.W. and FOG, on Friday was a day not to be missed.

Alisa, did her  home work. I had noticed her name when she signed up for my reports page. And she later told me "I was chosen", because my reports were up to date, my Youtube videos were informative, and my website was right on the mark.
"I liked this gal, right away!"

Since the little Bluefish have invaded the jetties, making "float-rig fishing" not as productive. I opted to try bottom fishing, with Black Drum in mind. So we headed to the inside of the south rocks and anchored up along some massive structure on the bottom. Starting out with just fresh dead shrimp, we sat and sat and not much was happening.

I picked up, and headed to the inside of the north rocks...."Not much Current". We were hours into the falling tide, so all I could figure was that the 4.0-4.3' tide just wasn't going to all that strong.  Still not much happening.

So, it seemed the current was running pretty good out closer to the channel. So I drug up the anchor and plopped us right into tthe middle of the inside HOLE, just south of the north tip of the rocks. The anchor came tight and was holding, and we were in, 72 feet of water!!

Erik, pitched his bottom rig out, baited with dead shrimp, the bait hit the bottom down deeper than it is 10 miles offshore and instantly got slammed!

He bowed the rod up as the reel's drag pulled, and hung on for dear life!

There wasn't much he could do but keep the rod up and bent. The fish bucked and ran, he pulled and it ran some more. Unfortunately, the fish was heading "out" and "north" straight at the jetty rocks. I was freaking out, because the bait just hit the bottom and it was an instant bite from a giant........A GIANT REDBASS, no doubt.

After what seemed like a few minutes, the line finally parted against the jetty rocks some 70' feet below and all three of us felt the pain. The anchor, started to slip a bit and I didn't want to get any closer to those rocks, so I pulled up and drug and dropped the anchor to a 60' spot, and we tossed three rods rigged with fresh blue Crabs back into that 70' hole, dropped the rods in the holders and waited.

Eating sandwiches and chips, we waited, and waited....."What? Fresh Blue Crabs, out mega deep, in current, and NOTHING??" 

Yep, this jus' wasn't cutting the mustard. Something is wrong. Maybe the water on the bottom was really cold, after the last cold front and high winds. If there's no bite now, it'll only come at dead low I'm sure. But there's NO WAY, we're sittting out here all that time "starring" at these rod tips. Even though it couldn't have been more of a beautiful winter day.

(If you're dabbling in the thoughts of going on a days fishing charter......"what the heck are ya waiting on?"  Last year at this exact same time it was well below freezing each morning. And now, it's perfection! Now is the time to go!)

By now Jackets were off, I was outa my foul weather pants and in shorts and a long sleeve T-shirt. It just doesn't get much better this time of year.

So, with a back up plan. A live well full of frisky shrimp, I pulled anchor and bid that "bazzaro" bottom fishing at the jetties farewell. I blasted my way up river at 5,000 RPM's and headed to a Trout spot. The sun was bright, the temp was perfect, I had a great crew, and my mind was full of dancing fat Speckled Trout, on the end of my light tackle float-rig rods.

And, still we had to wait till the trout decided that the tide was right, "for them" to start biting. But it didn't take tooo long. I had a time-line in mind, and had it planned out. But we still had to fish about 45 minutes to an hour, before the first BIG FATTIE T-rout, took down a float........and Erik slamm dunked the first one.

It was a beautiful (as you can see) 22 incher. Not bad at all for the first trout bite.
I knew that all we had to do is "hang loose" and they would come.

-Always have a plan.....plan A-B-C, at least.
-Get to know your spots, and show up prior to when they are gonna bite.
-Don't second guess what you know and what your "gut" tells ya.
-And don't ever leave fish to go find fish.

That's a few of the general rules I live by out on that river. And from my experience, I knew like a light switch thrown on, that when the current got to where the trout like it....."They'd show up."

I just didn't know, they all were gonna be OVER 20 INCHES!!!!!  What a problem to have, huh??

Well it actually is a HUGE problem. With the wacko "tree hugger" rules we have in this state. I've been out fishing by myself before and had my 5 trout all on one spot, and each one is well over 20", and I went home with only one fish in the box for my efforts and expense.

Trout rules:  (5) per person, 15-20", with one of your (5) being able to be over 20"

So you can see, if all the fish are over 20"'re in the position to try and catch smaller fish. WHO FISHES FOR SMALL ONES???

EDITORIAL, COMMENTARY:  Personally, all Trout fishing rules and fishing rules in general in this state ought to be regionalized into small sections, because of the wide differences from one area to another. Trout for example; should be NO over 20" all summer, because that's when they are spawning. But come November 1st, through May 1st. Trout limit's should be more open and the rule of only one over 20" trout should be dropped.  Other states do not have such stupid rules. To be really fair, this area is not like East Central Florida, or South Florida. Because of the St. Johns River and it's tributaries, we have our own "regional-enviroment" going on here with our saltwater species, inshore.

Okay, back to the report.
The bites weren't thick, but a saying I live by is...."If you can't catch one after another, then they need to be really big."
And today, that saying really fit the way things were going. The action wasn't a barn burner. But let me tell ya, when you have to release Trout over 20 inches, because the first three caught were big fatties, and ended up in the fish box. "then they need to be big", is what ya want!

Alisa, with here 23 incher.

A "double" whammy!

"yeah, this beats sitting starring at the rod tips while bottom fishing.....Any day!!"

"Yes, sir...may I catch another, FATTIE!"

Even toss in one of these "exotic" species.
This was also a double header, with Erik catching a pup Redbass, that never got his picture taken.

Finally, we added a few more under 20" to the fish box, but just barely. A couple 19 inchers. It was getting late, the tide was slowing, so we headed back to the dock so "I could make the donuts", aka: clean the fish.

So as the title of this report reads, "Float-riggging saves the day again."  Not feeling all that keen on bottom fishing much, after a day like today. Especially, when the Trout are big, fat and full of spunk.

So if you'd like to try what you see here. Then call me. So I can get you out there.

BEST QUALITY TRIPS:  2- passengers, maybe 3. This is highly active fishing. Not just sitting and waiting, but up and moving and paying attention.

And I love it! You will too.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

1/3 - Very interesting r-e-a-d.....

"Is that boat of yours made from recycled beer cans?"  that kind of comment usually comes from some so called "high end" boat owner who believes he's superior to "all".

My answer is usually...... "what's yours made from? recycled milk jugs?"

I'm very familiar with this company. And have had the pleasure of riding in this exact 34' RockSalt "plate alloy boat" all day long here in J-ville, when the sales rep friend of mine brought one here.

That same sales rep. used to be the east coast sales rep. for the company who built my boat. And we stay in touch.

The Miami boat show is just around the corner in February. I've been there many, many times.  So, being that this blog is about more than local people looking to see where I'm fishing. I felt that this was a good time to post something different, being that it's soon to be Boat Show time, once again.

Before you ever go to Miami and think you're going to buy a high end "go fast" fishing boat, or really any other boat that you plan on fishing hard and working really hard,  I advise people to read this: - At RockSalt Boats, they just like myself, are going to educate you about aluminum alloy plate boats.

Chapter one is, "The intro." Then there's chapter #2, called "YOU."  and so on.  Each Chapter is listed down the side bar of the page, to continue.

You don't have to be a high end boat buyer to gain from "this" boat education, that's for sure.

The men who own and build RockSalt boats forgot more about about building, designing and fabrication of alloy boats than most people will "ever" know. Their resume is quite impressive to say the least.

NOT YOUR STYLE or BUDGET? Can't convince the wife you want a 200K high speed Gulf Stream boat to catch Wahoo and Marlin out of?

Here's the Carolina Skiff version of Heavy Duty commercially built boats. But don't be mistaken...."these ain't no Carolina Skiff!" Most are built for commercial purposes in Louisiana, but just take off the push knees, and make a few adjustments, even add paint:

Just remember this:  ******for the purposes of this "web links" we are not discussing the low-end and small freshwater recreational marketplace for jonboats, Lunds, pontoon boats and such. These are considered to be “sheet” metal boats and are a whole different category of boats…*****

NEXT UP:  Two person, river inlet charter Friday 1/6


Sunday, January 1, 2012

1/1 - A New Year, unlike any others....

Today was B&M bait & tackle's New Years Day Party. Where the B&M crew does a seemingly endless fish fry. It's held each year, and I'm there. And afterwards, I usually say, "where were ya? You sure missed a great spread", and then I add a few pictures that I took of the event.

But today, I was booked for a 6 hr. charter. Yep, booked it last night at 6:30pm. But only after two additional calls of people who thought they wanted to go, but talked themselves out of it.

Then, there was the call of a guy while he was driving down I-95 on Friday from N.C. requesting a Saturday morning trip with his son.  He strung me out till 10:00pm at night, waiting for his deposit, that never came. Then, the next morning he just ignored my 6am call.

Holidays, they just don't much crazier. 

So, today we headed out to float-rig fish, with the same groups relatives in another boat..."following along". I had 3 kids and one adult, then 3 kids and just me. Then, I ended up with 4 kids and one adult. They swapped people back and forth.

There wasn't any tide today, and the dang "little Green scourge fish" are in full out-break at the jetties.  Yep, last year it was late November, when they arrived.  They can sure eat alot of bait, and the last two trips have been a genuine nuisance. It was nice for awhile. Remember, the video I made when I was out with Doc miller on his boat??  It was solid GAMEFISH, and fish after fish. The Jetties have thier good side and thier bad.

Today we caught, hard earned Specks, Yellowmouth and a small Sheepshead. And I mean "hard earned". It was for me, I know that. But for the crew it didn't matter, the kids were in full competition from the start. And not knowing all the in's & out's, Like I do. They didn't care. They just had fun. The problem is sometimes, I know too much. I knmow what I want. But hell, it's just fishin, right?

Oh, the tide......there was a serious, ""lack of it"".

We departed at 10:00 to fish the incoming. But never saw it, and fished all day at the jetties in mostly "currentless" waters. If I wasn't doing a trip like this one today, I normally would have switched gears and left the jetties. But, with the kids, the action is all we needed.

The rising tide was 3.8' with a west wind pushing against it. "What is the general rule? 

ANSWER:   Less than 4.0 ft. = no current in the St. Johns."