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.