Monday, April 30, 2012

4/30 - Aussie style....chumming made EZ

Us with custom alloy plate boats...for the layman "aluminum welded boats".
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You have to look no further than Australia for innovative ideas. Since they are the KINGS of alloy plate boat building.

Being a moderator and founding member of we have many active members who not only have alloy plate boats, but we have designers and builders too.

So when I saw fishing boats built down under with the most ingenious chum chopper built right into the boat. I had to have one!
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But, I was no stranger to an "Aussie Burley Bucket". I had one on my old fiberglass 23' MayCraft center console for 10 years.
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See it....bolted to stern?

I found one that Aussie big game angler Dennis Braid brought here from his home land. He called it the chum-mate. And to tell ya how long ago that was, my first chum mate was bought at E&B Marine for a mere $60.00.
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E&B Marine was bought out and I believe WEST Marine was the buyer. So yeah, I'm dating myself here a little.

The Chum mate was a plastic bucket, 24" long and flat on the back, with holes drilled in the sides and bottom. With it came a PVC pipe, with a SS chopping blades on the bottom. That was the chopper part.

All the while I had this Chum-mate lag bolted to my MayCraft's flat transom. I'd see absolute crazy chumming devices coming out on the scene.

Oh how I'd laugh.....Electra-Mates bolted to a metal meat grinder?? And you plug it in and use your batteries to run the Electra-Mate to turn the meat grinder, while it sat perched atop a cutting board bolted to a pole holder down-rigger mount? Are ya kidding me? Lazy Americans, is all I can say.
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Those giant tubes with a pump handle you hang over the side of the boat. How cumbersome...
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Expensive as all hell, burlap bags filled with fish meal pellets, soaked with oils? That last an hour or so?
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Those nasty boxes of chum, and the chum bags that hang over the side afterwards you have to store yet aother piece of trash in the boat??

C'mon folks. There's an easier way.

Here in N.E. Florida most everyone fishes with Pogies, aka: Menhaden. Yankees call them BUNKA'.

Oily by nature and easy to catch in shallow water, and okay as baits (although they don't live all that long) Compared to chasing the "speedy Mullet", they're a dream. Toss a net and watch the net swim away, full.

If ya need more toss the net again and you'll have all the chum you need, if you have a Chum-Chopper like an Aussie Angler.

Here's a picture of mine. I had it welded right into the platform on the stern of my boat.

I know there's all kinds of styles of chumming. Some people make a kid and have him earn his keep and sit there dropping cut pieces over the side all day long. Whatever...

But, there's absolutely no doubt that the Australians have it all over the Americans when it comes to the K.I.S.S rule.

Here's a YOUTUBE Video of mine in action, right after I had it welded into the boat. Just out sea-trialing it at the Mayport Jetties.


Oh...I watch those TV shows with the Key's dudes in those 40 foot Yellowfin center consoles and 5 300 Mercs across the stern and see them chumming with a cutting board in a rod holder, cutting baits and making a huge mess. In thier 300K boat.

You mean to tell me $300K doesn't buy you a better way to chum fish?????

For more information, search "BURLEY BUCKET" on Google, select "images" and you'll be amazed at what you'll see from Down Under.




The St. Johns River from the inlet to the Arlington area of the south-side. Hunting Redfish, Speckled Trout, Flounder, Black Drum. All "very light tackle" fishing, either bottom fishing with Mullet or Pogey's, or Float-rig fishing with live shrimp. Other seasonal species we just can't avoid are Jack Crevalle, Ladyfish, and some Bluefish. "They like to eat good food too"

My specialty is Float-rig fishing. My customers love it and so do I. You are in charge of your destiny. You are drifting a slip float rig with the current/tide, over structure. The float is set at a depth via a stopper knot on the line. Low profile Shimano Citica bait casting reels are used because it's the best reel for the job, and has a high speed retrieve, to quickly pick up any slack line when your float disappears under water. Which means FISH ON!
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4/27/2012 Dave with twin 5 pounders.
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Bait is live shrimp. Soft action rods are used for not pulling the hook on the soft mouthed Speckled Trout, which along with others, is the "targeted species". Small hooks, light leaders, and bottom structure, are fished. Just like my winter charters. Can make this challenging, for all.

We also utilize light spinning tackle and popping corks and live shrimp, when fishing structure in shallow water. Making a bit of noise to attract fish to the live shrimp.
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"Hollywood California Dave"
with a nice 4 pounder.
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Bob "traveller" Johnson with a Poppin' Cork Redbass
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My Dad, with his largest ever Trout on float-rig.

Any bottom fishing this time of year means we need fresh live Mullet or Pogey's, that I'll catch in my castnet, while we're out. This targets, larger Redfish. And the occasional large Jack Cravalle. Time must be spent catching these baits "fresh" for it all to come together. And again, TIDES means everything. Unlike fishing a lake, or pond. Your day can be based on what the tide's doing, that day.
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Jetty Redbass on Live Pogie bottom fishing.


First thing, we need a good amount of chum. So that means getting some live pogey's. Not only for the baitwell, but for the "chum chopper". Which is what I'll use to make an enticing slick behind the boat once we reach our reef location. Usually from 6-12 miles offshore. We can also "jig-up" some live Cigar Minnows, Herring, and Sardines, when offshore. Either setting up a drift, or anchoring. We'll watch for participants in the chum line, and set out baits. King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Cobia, Shark, Barracuda, Bonita, can be the targeted species.
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These trips start early and finish before any summer squals come our way. And are usually booked starting in June, and can be done "per the weather" throughout the summer months.

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****If you're looking for a charter within three days. Don't e-mail. Just Call! So I can plan and get you reserved.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

4/27 & 4/28 - Weak tides.....inshore.

Had Art B. and his buddy Dave aboard the Jettywolf on Friday. Decided to head up river again. But stopping along the way as to catch the last of the falling tide.

Spot one, an utter bait stealer FEST!  But, Dave hooks into a big fish. It runs toward the bank, as all BIG Trout will do. I call'em "sidewinders". They always do that, when they have shoulders. I had Dave reeling his hand off as the fish tried to duck for the nearest cover. And it worked..."When in doubt, or when a fish is running for it.....JUST R-E-E-L!!!!!"

And Dave banged a beautiful FIVE pounder!

We stayed on the spot a little while longer and the pinfish and crap were insane. So we moved off and headed up river again.

Next spot, another last of the falling tide spot. And "Your's Truly" timed it perfectly. The guys flipped their floats out behind the boat and Dave's float goes down on his 1st or 2nd drift. He comes tight and pulls back and here we go again. The light "fairy wand" Ugly Stik Striper rod was a buckin'. The fish works again sideways. I reach out with the net, the fish comes out of the net. I thought it was a goner. But the hook holds and there we go. Another FIVE pounder.

Okay, lets stay here awhile......well, Dave hits another fish. I nice 18 inch Trout. Here at this spot the bait stealing scourge fish weren't as bad.

Did you know when I went to Louisiana in February. I stopped by to see Chris at Dockside Bait & Tackle in Slidell. We chit chatted awhile and I asked him "do ya'll have millions of bait stealing pinfish in Lake Pontchartrain?" Chris looked at me funny. Only knowing what a Pinfish actual was because he spent 5 years in Jacksonville years ago, and fishing the river while he was here. He said, "No, no Pinfish at all. One time we got bait and there was some Pinfish in the bait delivery. I saved them and someone took them and used them as baitfish. I told him again......"You guys sure are lucky!"

With that said, we finally moved off and headed to the next spot as the falling tide was really slowing. Trying two more spots with nothing to show for it. We went to a Mullet spot and stalked the illusive and fast finger Mullet on a drift and scored a dozen or so. So I headed AGAIN, to the same spot where weeks ago myself and Bob "Traveller" Johnson pounded the monster 40 pound Reds on serious light tackle, with live Mullet. The tide was so weak it took forever for us to get some moving water. And when we did, we never had a "sniff" on our nice live Mullet. Now that's the 4th time I've fished the Clay Hamblen spot, where supposedly those big reds always bite. NOW, I know. They DON'T.

So we bagged that idea after having lunch and went back and float-rigged some more. Only to get a few small Yellowmouths, and small Specks, and a small Flounder. So we headed back with Dave's 3 nice Trout and the yellowmouths.

But Art & Dave sure got a crash course in the trials a errors of Float-rig fishing. I told them, "I'm gonna show you guys one technique that you can carry with you and can learn more about, and it always catches fish. Size of fish, not guaranteed. But it always catches them if they're behind your boat".  And they were excited and yes, they learned a ton.


4/28 - Saturday:

Had Brett and Danny aboard. And it was really something else!  The boat ramp in the morning and afternoon was a "carnival". I have no idea what makes one weekend so popular and another not so popular. But I have to tell ya..."I don't think a weekend like that, is good for any body!"

We headed west and in search of more five pound Trout. But NO DICE today. The bait stealers made spot #1 totally unfishable with live shrimp. Spot two, Brett boated a real nice 18 inch Trout. And I was expecting to see more to follow. But, that was it.

Bazzaro river was showing it's funky-ass head once again. So we made our way to the jetties. Boat, boats, boats everywhere. Ski boats, Miami Vice boats, Tugs, barges, jet ski's, were everywhere. If I was a fish I would have headed to the bottom and waited it out till Monday to come out of my cave.

And I think that's what alot of fish did.

We tried float-rig fishing and caught some Ladyfish, which are fun. But after the 10th one, it's time to move on. So, I went over to the northside and got some super turbo sized Pogies. They were WAY too big. But I grew up hearing from my mother, "Beggers can't be choosers". So I dropped about 14 in the livewell, after catching 214 in my net!

I figure, 14 gallon livewell, and a gallon of water per 1/2 pound, Pogie is even pushing it.

We ended up doing some pitching of the pogies up to the north rocks with NADA...then drifted the iside of the jetty pitching the pogies......again. Nada!

Okay, over to the south tip. The tide was pushing in finally. So I anchored up. And we pitched Pogies on 1/2 ounce jigs up to the tip of the south jetty and Nada! But as we sat there, I had 3 on. But the dang Pogies were way too big. Each Red that smacked the pogie probably couldn't get to the nose hook and just ripped the pogie off the hook. Danny had a shark that we saw swim by the boat attack his pogie, but same deal, no hook-up.

Then Brett, the concement "I'm a rookie, Dave". Brett hooks up! I pitched out his Pogie for him on a TOO light spinning rod, and now he's in full battle with a "keeper sized" red that ate a 1/2 pound pogie!

Who'd would have thunk it?

A nice 25 incher we dropped in the fish box.

All the while, Danny who was the serious as a heart attack angler, and even myself struggled along.

We sat through the agitation cycle of the incoming tide atop the south jetty rock tip. Then, the spin cycle, and then finally my anchor pulled it's release wires free. And we started to float off.....

I then went and tried the inside of the north jetty again. And then moved to the outside of the north, and then even hit the sand looking for some Whiting, and we caught two small ones and a Bluefish.

And then we headed in, with Brett's Red and trout and two whiting and a bluefish in the box.

Brett emailed me saying it sure was a fun day. And I replied, "Thanks for your patience. Better catching days are out there."

The tides were very weak now that I look in my tide planner book, with a serious positive low tide.

But still, I believe it's time to "THINK OFFSHORE."

For a mere $100 more, to cover fuel costs. It's definately time to go get some pogies and load a basket full and the livewell, and head to the reefs.

Maybe chum up a few kingfish, a Cobia, and some Cuda's. It's the reason I had the chum chopper built into my boat.

So today I spent the whole morning getting some stouter spinning rods to go with my large spinning reels, Bought a "bait pen" for holding bait while we catch'em offshore and while we fish.

I cleaned up the insulted fish bag. And pulled out all my wire kingfish rigs.

What I did is modified my rates for offshore trips. Instead of just a flat rate. It's per 2,3,or 4 passengers, like my inshore trips. Just add $100 for more fuel, for any trip that's outside the jetties. Be it shark fishing, or heading to a reef to chum fish. I hope that makes it more simplified.

BTW....The cuda's are at the jetties already too.
We had one come check us out when were were outside the north rocks.

That's a here's yer sign!

Weather & Winds permitting. Offshore is what I am planning to do from here on out on these nice days.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

4/26 - Spring cleaning.....clearence

It's that time of year again. You can make out as I make some room.

I'm not going to talk $$ here. But if ya email me or call me. We can talk prices on what's listed.

To start....

BISCAYNE RODS (custom rods KC Glass blanks, built in S. Florida)

I have (2) 8' Tarpon/Shark/Bottom fishing rods. Unique, because they were designed by ME.
They have Fugi HD "trigger" reel seats. ( I like my finger on a trigger) loaded with Fugi Guides, and EVA foam grips, with aluminum gimbles. Tubular Fiberglass. Yes, they have action and they bend nicely. Heavy action. Used one season and in perfect condition. Retro White glass blank with Blue and yellow wraps, and all guides "underwrapped". 1st class build via Biscayne! 20-50 pound class rods, can handle up to 6 oz.  SOLD


It's IMPOSSIBLE to find a fiberglass 8' trigger reel seat, EVA foamed gripped casting rod made in the masses these days.

Companies will not ship them, and will not make them!! Yeah, Loomis makes a few or used too. But they're cork handled and way too stiff.

I also have (5) 8' of the same blank and design, without gimbles. For Inshore fishing. Built for Heavy Duty Float-rig fishing. Action is Parabolic meaning they bend nicely and have a soft moderate action. Loaded with Fugi guides and Fugi tripper reel seat with Trigger. Rubber butt cap for easy fishing inshore. 15-20 pound class rod, can handle 2 ounces perfectly. Same retro white blanks with blue and yellow wraps and underwraps. EVA foam grips. TWO of the rods have never seen WATER!!!!!  ONLY 2 LEFT

I also have (4) Ugly Stik "custom" Shark/Tarpon/Bottom fishing rods, LIKE BRAND NEW. Shakespeare "slick butts" with gimble, and S.S. No -Foul guides. 7 foot and rated 50-80 pound and can easily handle 8-10 ounces. Perfect Shark rods....(which was my intent, but didn't happen.)  Open for offers!

Now. This is special in many ways.

I have (4) ACCURATE TWIN DRAG REELS  Model # B-197. Lever-drag. They are the smallest that Accurate fishing products makes. But are the most bullet proof reels you'll ever hold in your hands. They are machined aluminum, big game reels that pack a super punch. 30 plus pounds of drag pressure on a screaming fish. Be it Shark, Redbass, Striper, Tarpon  **SOLD**SOLD**

Only thing is, "they have my name on them". Engraved on them. You'll remember me forever. Because these are heirloom style reels. If I had kids, I couldn't offer them for sale.  

You cant even see, the engraved name in the pics.
And at the same time.......the reels are physically smaller than a Garcia Ambassador 6500!

LET'S CHAT. 904-642-9546 (8am-8pm)

No Tax, No shipping just pick up with cash......Can do credit card with a added small "Percentage"

One of the heavy Tarpon Biscayne rods and B-197 Accurates in action in photo below. My largest ever Redbass at 53 pounds caught on a 12" Live Croaker at the south jetty, right after Tropical Storm Faye. Taken on an Accurate reel!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

4/25 - It's that time!

It's time, for my Dad's Pogey Poem:


Around the end of the rocks we raced

Back to the beach, warm air in our face

In the distance we saw the birds fly

We scanned the surface, with a keen eye

There they are! First one, then many

Other boats are coming, get the net ready!

There in front of us! So throw it straight

A good cast, yielded a bounty of bait

We turned the boat slowly to the open sea

Happy the pogeys were where we wanted them to be

-Don Sipler

4/24 - CHALLENGE in the W-I-N-D

Tuesday:  "supposedly" 10-15 knot winds from the N.W. REALLY?  WHERE WAS THAT? A Wally-World parking lot in Gainesvillle? More like 15-25 knot gusts.

And it was unseasonally cold. So cold that at the boat ramp I donned not only a sweatshirt, but put my rain jacket on over it.

As usual, the weather report really didn't seem to match the actual "on the water conditions", today. But, being an adventurer, I figured we'd go see what was up.

Had Bob and Ralph aboard the JETTYWOLF, and they didn't have time to re-schedule. Our trip was already re-scheduled from Monday till Tuesday.

Monday was really BAD. With definite GUSTS to 30 MPH.  So, really....."how bad could Tuesday be?"

Leaving the dock was so bad, running down the river wasn't so bad. But at the first anchor-up, the wind showed it's ugly head!

My regular anchor didn't hold and two minutes into our fishing day, the anchor tripped and we went sailing down the bank backwards.

As the comedian Bill Engval would say......."HERE'S YER SIGN!" 

I ran back up, re-anchored way far away from the actual spot, got the anchor into some harder bottom and deployed mass amounts of scope, and we held. Bob flipped his float-rig behind the boat and on his first drift landed a box'able Yellowmouth Trout!  Wow, that already superseded my initial expectations!


Through the day Bob and Ralph remained un-daunted. These guys were "anglers".

I forgot my whole boat pak, which included my tide book and camera. So I didn't get to take any photos.

We and myself included lost several decent to large Trout. It seemed that they just slipped off the hook after several reel turns. And these fish would have enhanced the fish box very well. Because many of the "specks" were small. We had one small Flounder, along with Trout, some mini-Jacks and a few Ladyfish.

But those larger Trout were the ones we really wanted. In all, there was about 10-12 Trout caught, but only 4-5 good keepers laned on ice. Which is about 10 more than I thought we might have caught, as conditions were very challenging.

I tossed a big 6" Rapala (subsurface) X-Rap Subwalker all day. And didn't have a single "swipe" at it. But from the looks of it "walkin' the dawg"  just under the surface. This will be a B-I-G Trout lure, when the conditions are right.

The combination of my Shimano 300EG Curado, and a 7'6" Okuma Guide Select "swim-bait" rod, really casts these large heavy lures a country mile, even in the wind.

Bob and Ralph departed with a decent bag o' fillets at the end of the day. And I really enjoyed these guys. They are my kind of fisherman. Die-Hards, it seemed to me. Hope they can be aboard the JETTYWOLF again someday when the conditions are better. Because they may really clean-up!

As for the rest of the week..........

The winds aren't gonna subside any time soon as per the National Weather Service reports. Any wind 15 knots, has me mighty leery.  So, Wednesday's charter with two local guys has been postponed till possibly Friday or Monday.

I'm taking my Truck to get a front end alignment, instead of fishing. Because I just bought new tires last week and wanna keep them that way!

Monday, April 23, 2012

4/23 WIND IS HOWLING!!!!!!!

So when the wind is a howling I go "surfin the world wide web".

"spinning reels are weak and in my opinion, and really suck!"

Conventional reels are just that, CONVENTIONAL, and stronger in the long run.

With a levelwind and a lever drag?  Holy sheat!

So check this out......Mix the two together and what do ya get? 

A Japanese Mutant Reel.

In use......Jiggin'. (actually, hooked up to a monster)
Reel by Jig Master, Japan

(hey at least this gets ya out of your bubble, for a second huh? Welcome to Cappy Dave's World.)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

4/22 - Newest addition to Trackin' arsenal

...why cast a lure, for small fish? ( I have a 7" 4 oz. subsurface Dahlberg Wide-glide from River2Sea) So yeah this ones large, but not really big.

Newest "large lure" for my Trout Trackin' adventures.

When it comes to "Lures & Trout". It's okay with me, not to get bit, as long as when the bite comes, it's from a big fish.

Caught a Trout on my 5" 2 oz. Dahlberg Wide-glide the other day and it was the largest Trout of the day at 21".

Saturday, April 21, 2012

4/20 - Back to business....Troutz Trackinz

Had Jimmy S. and his two sons out today. Departed early and headed.......WEST.

OH, THE BAIT!  It's everywhere. Mullet and Pogies abound. (but as usual, the perfect mullet isn't always easy to catch)
More on that later.

First thing was to FLOAT-RIG FISH, primarily. No B.S.'n around. Because float-rigs catch fish. Period.
So on spot one two nice fatties were banged, I had one suck-up my Larry Dahlberg River2Sea "wide glide", and a keeper Redbass made it's way to the fish box.

B-U-T, there should have been even more, in my book. But as the tide rose it was great to not have a single Ladyfish or Bluefish. The reason for the long morning run.

DOUBLE HEADER....Float-rig against the "wide glide".
We hopped from spot to spot. Lots of boats on the spots. But we picked a nice Trout here and there. Caught our fair share of Ladyfish, too.

Then, I ran over to my "mullet hole". Yes, mullet are everywhere. But I have a spot in shallow water I can just drift around and toss the net at them as they swim around the boat.

We got a livewell full of perfect baits, and I then went and anchored on the same "hump" that a few weeks ago Traveller Bob and I sat on and had 40 lb Redbass.
Only difference it was still rising tide current. And we caught the BIG RB's on the first of the falling tide. But what the heck, the guys were easy. We gave it a shot and only had a "dumpster lid" aka: StringRay hook up. We gave it awhile, but "bait-n and wait-n" can sure be BOOOOOOring when your not catching. So we picked up and moved on.

I tried a few old Float-rigging spots. But was unsure if we were on the exact tide or not. So we kept "poking" around. Picking a few here and there.


It was a really nice calm day. And afforded us lots of poking around. On the last spot right away the guys caught a few more trout, and I tried it out on the float-rig and caught two shorties. They caught the keepers.

THE MASKED ANGLER......."is that Jimmy, or the illusive Trout bandito?"
NEXT UP: Monday and Tuesday. Th winds Monday are supposed to be 15-20 knots. And if need be, I can move Tueday till later in the week. But the winds are supposed to be UP all week long. We ain't all clear just yet. Seems like we get a week of winds and then it lays down for a long while, and then another week of winds, again. We'll see what pans out.

Just moved Mondays trip to Tuesday and Tuesday to Wednesday.
Because of HIGH winds.

Thanks Jimmy, had a really fun day with you and the sons.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Super busy this week with a whole set of various challenges. From "where did the trout go" too, 4 person trips that I should have in hind sight did nothing but put the float-rig rods on the boat and left those bottom rods at home.

A few highlights, thought. Left out with 4 guys and bottom fished. Started way down river. Kept them pretty busy with just Whiting and yellowmouths. But all were smaller fish. Finished the day along White Shell rocks, and Dave (an EZ name to remember) was pitching a jig and shrimp on a light spinner to the rocks and he hooked up a good sized Tripletail. Probably around 5-6 pounds if not more.

But, it jumped and he lost it. The hook flew right out of it's mouth. Besides that the river is slap full of "junkers". We ended up catching a bunch of small Jacks and ladyfish. After cleaning the Martin Groups fish they went on over to Singletons Seafood and had a fish fry late lunch. Which is always a nice way to end a big day on the water.

Then the next day I had a solo'ist. Adam was visiting all the way down in St. Augustine and came up to see "ME". Great guy and we had alot of fun and stayed at the jetties all day long.

First spot, first drift of his float-rig........Float Gone!

From that point on, on that spot it was solid Ladyfish!! I thought we'd be in the "meat". WHY, because I remember and have th photographic PROOF, that there was a time when April was a seriously HOT month for monster Yellowmouths and Specks exactly where we were fishing. BUT not any more. The water's too warm and the junkers are extreme.

So I made a move. I told Adam well get a Redbass here. And he did, a 20" red.
Not exactly what I was looking for but it will do. As the tide was now falling and all wrong for the spot.

We moved and I caught Mullet and we fed the perfect sized ones to Bluefish after Bluefish over at the north jetty.
Then came back to the south and threw jigs and shrimp and left out a few mullet on the bottom.

We of course wanted a BIG Redbass, but that's alot to ask right now as it seems. So Adam got hooked up on a Monster Ray that ate our Mullet, as usual.....
It finally broke off after Adam tested my brand new Okuma Trio-55 spinning reels on the "NON-stoppable" Hover vacuum cleaner.

As we continued to jig the mullet rod went off again with the years 1st Blacktip Shark, as we hooked baby Bonnetheads on our jigs.
This one "a-l-m-o-s-t" acted like a big Red. But of course wasn't. The jetties are alive with "stuff". We saw turtles everywhere, bait everywhere, a baby Cobia swimming across the surface. But over-sized Redbass were obviously absent.

So we headed in.

The next day was my 4 person per 4 boats charter. I believe this day was a game changer for me permanantly!
NO MORE will I be bottom fishing on the channel edges for monster Redbass.  WHY YOU ASK. Cuz, I'm sick of that current, in that river. We caught ZERO Big Redbass. I couldn't keep a 8 ounce lead on the bottom fishing cut Mullet. And even when we fished just some shrimp on the bottom in 40 feet of water the guys couldn't feel the sinker hit the bottom either.

And I obviously TRIED way too hard. I was out at 9am hunting bait........Mullet, Pogies, didn't care what.  The Pogies were all over off the north jetty in the chum hole. It was sloppy, whitecapping out there, and I couldn't run the boat and toss the net at the same time in the sloppy seas.

The charter wasn't till 1pm!!!!!!!! So I went and wasted alot of time and fuel doing nothing to benefit me or my guys.
Turned out I was so disgusted at the Bluefish out at the inlet, I wasn't about to go out there again. But 2 out of the 3 other boats caught pogies because the seas flattened out, and they caught Reds!  I feed cut mullet to nothing but Bluefish all day long anyhow.

I should have just brought my float-rigs, saved gas, time and alot of frustration. So, I won't be bottom fishing unless it's winter, or way down river in shallow water away from all Bluefish from now on. Four passenger trips or not. You'll just have to take turns. Because 4 floats out behind the boat is too much. And two persons trips are always better. I have two sides of the boat.

So, as you can see I'm a bit pissed and frustrated.

So on Friday I have 3 person, then here comes the WIND this weekend till at least Monday.  Then on Monday and Tuesday I have 2 persons on each trip........."we'll be float-rig fishing, or pitching Poppin corks" away from Bluefish the N.E. Florida scourage fish.     

Sunday, April 15, 2012

4/15 - There they go......

I'm doing my best to track the Trout. Basically a guessing game. My fishing buddy Doc Miller has the right idea, head to his other home come April 15th, up in the mountains of N.C. this time of year. Because as a "die hard" Trout man, they just get so hard to stay ahead of come Summer.

I've been fishing lately as far away as I can from the inlet. Because lately it's been pretty good action where I've been. But today was really tough. Yeah we caught Trout, but had to weed through all the undesirables too.
Hell, at least I'm not giving every live shrimp to a Bluefish. Like I was just a few weeks ago along the jetties. Yes, the Bluefish can, have and always will "run me outa town". Just the same way you won't catch a Trout in the middle of a bluefish bite!

Had Dave W. aboard today all the way from Hollywood, California. We did it all.....and some more. The wind was a huge problem when looking to catch some mullet for Redbass bait. Never could get any.

And at high tide the popping corks and live shrimp never found anything but a Flounder and a few ladies. So when all else fails I went to the float-rig and we finally found some trout.

Good size ones too. Even had a 23 incher with not the first "speck" on it. Totally, "speckless" was this Speckled Sea Trout.

One Flounder, we didn't bother to keep and a handful of small Sand Trout and 10 Specks. And my goodness did we work for them.

It's time to fish with mullet. Now only if I could catch me some!

I got Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday to try.

Friday, April 13, 2012

4/13 - Windy...."Kids trip"

Whewwwwwww.......was it blowing like hell out there today. Headed out early to R&D some of the lures I mentioned in yesterday's post.

Found that the "Jig Wobbler" has real quality problems. Caught two Ladyfish on it, but before it was even bit, the paint was wearing off, and by days end, or I should say, "by the time I gave up because of the wind." The lure had lost an eye, and 3/4's of the paint job. AND THAT WAS JUST FROM CASTING AND RETIEVING!!

So of course, without saying the fine folks at have been notified.

Here's a review link of some of the lures I discussed earlier.


Had my two hour KIDS TRIP, with two dads and two 5 year olds today, from 4pm-6pm. The 20 knot EAST winds put KYBOSH on anything like trolling the jetties for Spanish and Blues. So I tried it in the river. The tide and wind pushed me so fast a Bluefish would have to turn into a Wahoo to chase down the spoons I had out behind the boat.

So I went to a "tie-off" spot. So I didn't have to anchor up, and flipped out dead shrimp on the bottom for the kids. First fish was a Black Drum at 5 pounds.

Then, after a few good bites missed. A few ladyfish jumps, the boys reeled in a Small Jack and a Seabass. As the boat whipped back and forth in the wind.

The Drum was undressed and ended up in the fryer over at Singletons Seafood Shack, by 6:30pm.


Sunday: one person crew
Monday: 4 person crew
Tuesday: one person crew
Weds: 4 person crew
Friday: 3 person crew

Thursday, April 12, 2012

4/12 - Battle of the BIG BAITS.

Alrighty's getting into that season that has me as a "Angler myself" liking to experiement. And experiment with BIG BAITS for BIG FISH.

Yes, I get asked all the time from customers "Hey Dave, do you ever go fishing yourself......?" Guessing they are thinking on the mind set that, Auto Mechanics always seem to drive beat-up junky smoking cars. And Roofers have leaks in the ceiling of their houses.

My answer is YES. I tell folks, "I was a absolute die hard angler long before I went into the charter biz. And yes, I wish I could fish alone more."

With that said, the only difference between my customers and myself is; I don't have to go out and catch fish or get a bite consistently to be happy. As an "Angler", I like to do a certain style of fishing, on a certain tide, a certain day, with a certain bait, during a certain season. With certain tackle, for a certain species.  That "certainly" is spacific isn't it?

I go through phases, alot of them.

My new deal is checking out all the newest big fish lure. Baits for either monster Trout, Redbass, or even Cobia, Tarpon and King Mackerel.

You may have read lately on other posts, I'm facinated with Larry Dahlbergs WideGlide 200 Sub–Surface bait. At 5 ounces, and 8 inches this ain't for casting with your fairy wand. Larry developed this bait in his basement and now is availible from River2Sea. A serious Mullet imitator! The bait hangs just under the water, and when you snap the rod tip it glides several feet from side to side and shakes a bit at the pause.

This is a BIG FISH bait. But in my mind, it's no different than a 5 pound Trout I caught once along the bulkhead of the new port just past the Dames Point, that not only ate a live shrimp on a float-rig. But also had a 12" mullet in it's mouth. Tail sticking out the Trouts mouth, while the mullets body was wedged in it's throat. AND IT STILL WENT FOR A 2" LIVE SHRIMP!

I want my WideGlide to be that Mullet!


The other lures for inshore/offshore/off beach casting is the Shimano Waxwing. Unlike the WideGlide, that has to be worked with the rod tip, Shimano has come up with a "do nothing" bait targeted towards the offshore fisherman. The Waxwing comes in all kinds of sizes, so to "match the hatch" to bait sizes offshore. But all you need to do is make a long cast, let it hit the water and reel. By design it swims and swims eratically back and forth in long sweeping angles, then "kicks" and shoots off quickly. Like a "fleeing" bait fish.

But of course Shimano also has the complete Waxwing system, (it's a Japanese thing I'm guessing) because they continually do it. New rods, reels and gear to go with the Waxwing fishing.

Those wings are the secret formula, besides it weighing a certain amount. The lure has kingfish written all over it to me, when cast near a school of baitfish like cigar minnows or herring on the surface near a wreck or ledge offshore.
Lots and lots of Cuda's too, when in N.E. Florida waters!

When it's hot as all hell, the inshore fishing is like fishing in a steam bath. I'm going to reefs like JW, MR, NM, PG, PM, and my all time favorite RL, and will be doing some casting into those bait schools!


Next up is one I'm sure you haven't seen yet or even heard of. It's hard (ish) to find and is so different it could only come from Europe. The JIG WOBBLER.

Straight from Finland, where large Pike rule the waters, along with jumbo Salmon types. The Jig Wobbler is so cool I had to try it.

The lure has a heavy head, with that heavy wire to keep "bite-off's" from toothy critters at bay, then jointed to a heavy plastic body with rattles and a diving lip.  Check out this swimming action!

Out of all three lure I've shown you. If you're looking for a one-bait-catches-all option, the Jigwobbler is very worthy of consideration.

So stay tuned, this is what I do on my days off (especially when I have plenty of trout in the fridge)


I hope to do some "CHUM" fishing reef trips this summer. Get 30 pounds of Pogies, throw a few in the livewell, head offshore to place like I mentioned above. Anchor up or even drift if there's some wind. Get the "chum chopper" going.....


Then, wait to see who shows up! Have rods rigged and ready to either drift out a lively Pogie, Cigar Minnow etc. Or Cast with spin tackle to a sighted fish. Sounds F-U-N to me. And who knows what will show up. All the while I'll also have my NEW LURES ready.

Book your "DEEP" summer trips NOW!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

4/11 - After Tax day.

Well, it seems all is kinda quiet......Till April 15th! (TAX DAY, which falls on a weekend)

15th - one person trip
16th - 4 person trip
17th - one person trip
18th - 4 person trip, plus another 3 boats with 4 people each. A Company group.

But for now on the 12th, I go in for a new O2 sensor and a complete ECU (electronic control unit) change out on the ole Honda 225 outboard. "UNDER WARRENTY" , thankgoodness!

I can understand the O2 sensor. I've been replacing them since I had a HPDI 200 Yamaha, years ago. Why they fail? Honda claims water "mist" can get on it and give a false reading. What do they actually do, ya got me! But every outboard I've had with fuel injection seems to have one. Your vehicles have them.

But since mine has been acting up a little. I believe my fuel mileage has not been as good as it was a year ago.
Although I'm up to something like 1600 plus hours now, on the Honda. I hope that this gives me back the super mileage again that the Honda's are famous for.

Then, Friday late afternoon I do a 2 hour "KIDS" trip with two dads and a few litl' fisherman. We'll hopefully be heading to the jetties and do some fishing on the troll. For Spanish Macs and the Blues.

Had some great fun with a group of Cub Scouts the last time I had kids out this time of year, trolling for the Bluuuuuues.

Monday, April 9, 2012

4/8 - Easter....."calm"

Had John K. and his son John Jr. aboard the Jettywolf for Saturday. Well, those winds came in late Friday as forecasted, and stayed with us through Saturday. So we decided to go on Sunday instead. Which was WAY, better!!

No wind, cool, and not that many people around. I liked that.

Only problem, the FULL MOON. Or at least that was the only difference between my last trip to the same area where it was absolute mayhem on Trout & Reds, last Tuesday.

We started early. And when I got to where I wanted to fish, we were "early". The tide was'nt right yet. I wanted higher water.

Eventually, we got some current and started catching some fish. John Jr. was first. Using spinning rods and reels and casting popping corks and live shrimp. He found a Flounder along the grass edge.

The first spot we tried was the same spot that earlier back on Tuesday (3-4 days before the full moon and 3-4 days after is the ole general rule, when the big bite comes) we had Red limits and Trout limits all on one spot. But today, this morning it was just dead. So when we left, and moved to another bank. But, I still had plans to go hit it again, later.
The spot is just too good, not to have some quality fish on it.

But spot two, was giving up some decent fish. The Redbass were small ones. But we had current, structure and lots of bait in the area. A few more Trout came too. My goodness is the bait's almost as if there's too much bait around. And when you think about it, our lone live shrimp is like a potato chip amongst a pile of French fries and Hamburgers! So, you have to stay on top of your game. Keep PRESENTATION, and YOUR CASTS, perfect and accurate.  

We headed back to "spot one" where I initially started and was going to move till we hit caught three Trout! I believed the spot would give-up some nice ones. Turned out John and John Jr. weren't getting bit at all. So I had to fine-tune their approach. NO, POPPING THE CORKS! 

It's easy to over due  popping these "clicking corks". Making too much noise, and moving the shrimp too much. As soon as they just casted out, and let the corks drift, and the live shrimp swam really naturally, BAM.....the 3-Trout. Just what I wanted off this spot, went from the net to the fish box!

Every Trout today was gorgeous. 18-21 inchers. Not a single short. Not a single Bluefish. Not a single Ladyfish, Not a single Pinfish bite. That's the idea when fishing a high tide. Keep the bait over the structure, shallow and no where near the bottom. Make precise casts, and quality drifts of the cork.

But still, because of that giant moon it was a challenge and every quality Trout had to be worked for.

The river traffic is at a minimum, the air was cool in the morning. It was other-wise a really gorgeous day.

Later on we tried bottom fishing at the start of the falling tide, and gave it a shot looking for those 40 pound Redbass. for John Jr. But didn't loose a single Mullet to a big Red.  So being that the Mrs. was waiting on the crew, we headed back to Mayport. And that's where we ran into the afternoon forecasted N.E. 10 knots plus of wind.

I'm really enjoying fishing further up river. Getting away from the "hub" around Mayport. And it's such a joy not feeding all our shrimp to Bluefish teeth. Only down-side is the longer ride, there and back.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

4/7 - P-L-A-N ??

Well, as usual it's a HOLIDAY weekend and I get all kinds of last minute calls......

I already had a "past" customer scheduled for Saturday. Usually "past" customers have been briefed before. So they're in the know. And get the primo days first.

BUT, of course none of these callers had a clue about the weather report for Saturday.

Here's the conditions right now approx. 8am 4/7: 
(18 knots gusting to 21 knots in Mayport)


We rescheduled from Saturday, because of the winds, and will be hitting it Sunday instead.
2- persons, light tackle sport fishing! MY BEST TRIP!
Gonna go "poppin corkin'" again, and hope to load up on Trout.......again!!