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.
THAT WAS THE ULTIMATE PLAN.
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.
BUT THIS IS WHAT THE JETTYWOLF WAS B-U-I-L-T, FOR!
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!