Sunday, May 6, 2012

5/5 - Weekends.....

Wow, you could have sworn that the Mayport Boat ramp was the headquarters for a giant tournament this morning. It was so busy, it was rediculas. And again, as I headed home. There was trucks and trailers parked almost to Safe Harbor Seafood, and even on the side streets.

In all my years, I have never seen vehicles parked that far down the road. I guess you could park that far away and then call who ever's in the boat, and they could come pick you up a mile away at the docks at Sea Harbor Seafood??

Had Dallas and his mom and dad, and his 9 year old son. Original plans were to go offshore, get away from the crowds after getting some pogies and then a basket full of pogies as chum. But the best plans in the world don't always match up to Mother Natures plans.

The Pogies were everywhere. And very difficult to catch. BTW, did anyone else pay attention and see the SIZE of that moon around 5:30 this morning? It was low and the size of NY city!  All I could think about was the tide. When the tide turns and heads out those jetties, Oh it's gonna be a screamer.

I really wanted 50 pounds of pogies. We looked and looked, and finally I got about 10 monsters. They were way too big. But, time was a wasting....I wanted not only some live, but a basket for chumming too.

So we headed over to the Jetties and anchored up. I pinned on the monster Pogies on a 1/2 oz. jig-head and had my crew cast them out and let the pogie swim and drift around the jetty rocks. Where I really wanted to be, had WAY too much current.

They could cast the big pogies on my new heavier spinning rods I git for the purpose. But barely. I thought "spinner's" were America's reel?  I know I don't need one or even like them. And after awhile I had to give a few casting tips, before one went into the drink at 4 days old.

We finally got on top of the rocks where I wanted to sit in the first place, and Pop's had someone on running up current with his pogie. Then he got stuck in the rocks. One thing about taking a jig and tossing it around "OUR" structure. I can guarantee, 99.99% of America has never done anything like this before. So getting hung up was the routine. But it's also where the Redbass are.

But, I was thinking, used to be....this is all you had to do to get your butt handed to you by big Jacks! They are gone, but not forgotten. Yes, over the last few years, we've lost our big Summer Jack Crevalle's. Years ago in April and May. We've caught and or lost big Jacks from the beach, jetties, all the way to the mouth of Trout River.

-average Jetty Jack

I have the photo proof of catching 5 pounders along the Navy base on Float-rigs in May. Casting nothing but Gator Spoons along the rocks as we drifted out the jetties. Casting live pogies and having a ball catching them from 5-10 pounds off the north rocks. Wonder what happened?
Each year, I've said to myself "it's just a bit early for them." Till, July arrives and I see a few. But still, nothing like years ago. Usually, by Mother's day. They're just about everywhere and of all sizes.

Back to today. My crew finally pulled a 26" Redbass out of the rocks with a 11" Pogie. Just like last week. The difference from last Saturday was we had numerous bites. From what I gathered is Dallas' Dad was the only one who got bit, twice. Eater size too. Which like last week, seems uncommon. But a good thing.

The current was playing hell with us atop the south jetty. Spinning the boat in circles. So I dislodged my anchor and we headed back to the pogie pods, in search of shallower bait.

Easy, finally. I pulled up and made a few throws and put some monster Pogies in the baitwell and filled a fish basket with small ones. There was zero wind, and I need some to make a drift. So I ran out till I hit some breeze on the water's surface about 2 miles out.

I took two big pogies, put them on a balloon rig and sent them out about 6' deep. Filled the "chum chopper", and started one hell of a slick behind the boat. We had enough breeze to have us drifting right along as if we were slow trolling. Yep, the way I rigged the big Pogies on the balloons, is nothing more than having a boat in a slow troll with down-riggers.  Except way stealthier, and the baits are right in the chum slick!  An awesome concept, that has yet to POP! And I mean POP, with a Kingfish, Cuda, or Cobia on the line. Granted, it catches sharks.

BUT WE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A SINGLE SHARK IN THE SLICK! Which to me is a Bill Engval..."here's yer sign!" That something was majorly awry.

Drifting at least a mile or more, seeing people driving around looking for Cobia, and slow trolling pogies in and around the bait schools. You'd think we could have gotten a Shark for a our Jr. Angler aboard, at least.

So, we headed back to the rocks pitched out cut pogies on jig heads laid them on the bottom looking for a small shark for the boy. And had nothing bbut tiiny fish eat the pogies.

After that we headed in. Wow, what a day!

Next up:

Monday:  East 10-15 kts. and I'm heading back down river because of it. Float-rig fishing and maybe some live mullet fishing.
Tuesday: Same thing.....south 5-10 kts.

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