Friday, June 1, 2012

5/31 & 6/1 - Where's the ___? Fill in the blank

Had a great, and I mean great crew on Thursday. Brad R. his dad from Chicago and Brad's 9 year old son Logan.
Yeah, it was day two after the storm. I had planned to fish from now on, down river out of Goodby's Creek. But after spending a 1/2 day down that way and couldn't even give away a live shrimp. I had to call Brad and tell him, forget about that!

So we departed out of Mayport. And ran to where I've always caught trout, especially after a major storm. About 10 miles south of Mayport. But as we fished down that way it was very evident, that there was NO difference between down river at the Buchman bridge, or south of the Dames Point in Arlington!  Zero action.

My crew were fishing newbies, although Stan, from Chicago Bass fished back home. Add difficult conditions and this style of fishing being your first time........well, there's always a learning curve. So we went to Float-rig fishing and were on a decent trout spot.  Stan hooks up  BIG TIME, and I see a "swoosh" in the water. I'm thinking  the storm had 40 pound Redfish cruising this bank????  No, that was dream land. Instead Stan was hooked up on a Manatee!!  They sure can swim fast when they want too. And it took off with several of it's buddies.  If we were somewhere else, in another land, it would have been that "kicker fish of the day" and actually been a BIG fish, rather than a 1200 pound mammal!!

Then, later I was casting for Logan and he hooked up on a really nice fish. But it got off the hook. Then we tried several other places, had a run in with some asswipe in a Ranger bass boat who believed the river belonged to him, (and pay back do come) and then I was seriously fed up and ran all the way back to the north jetty. That was a total waste. All that running and fuel.

Fishing shrimp on the bottom keeping it as simple as it gets, just to prove to myself that the storm really had the waters all messed up. We had a Croaker or two. Which weren't at the rocks before the storm. Had  a Croaker eaten by a shark.
Then had a 27" Redbass, caught by Brad. And then Stan had a good hook-up and had a shark eat his fish below the boat.
Logan holding the Redbass.

Brad and Logan and the Redbass
Brad, Stan and Logan and the Redbass

Friday June 1st:

Had a one man solo trip. And with what I know now. It was stay at the jetties and hunt for action. Turned out that Stanley C. had some time on his hands before heading home to Texas.

So we made a b-line straight to the jetties. No need to go up river and chase, WHAT?

The morning got cloudy fast, then cloudy and windy. But we stuck to it. I wanted some live mullet, because the day before they were everywhere. Other boats milled around looking for bait, I gave it maybe 15 minutes and said forget it lets anchor up. I brought the heavy duty tackle. And of course while just bottom fishing with shrimp, we had fish bit in half.

So after being able to catch no live baits, we fished for baits. Catching a Croaker and 4 Whiting. Then, we used these for cut bait. Catching several nurse sharks, and having many a fish hooked up on 200# mono leaders and 16/0 circle hooks and they still broke us off like we were fishing bluegill tackle. Every time, the 65# braid was broke.

Then later we finally hooked up a really big fish? (sharks are sharks, they aren't fish!)
Stan had the shark spooling him and never stopping. I pushed the drag lever on my Accurate twin drag reel up to about 30 pounds of drag pressure and it just kept going. Stan thumbed the spool and the line parted.

The wind and waves were pretty sporty as we tried to stay anchored, which was a chore. But that was really it at the jetties. It was a really nastified day out there. Compared to 24 hrs earlier.


The Buoys that sit at the ends of the south Jetty and north Jetty are not there any more. They were picked up and moved by Beryl.

The red north can is over where the south green can usually is, and the south green can is off to the south west in the sand.

That's how strong T.S. Beryl was at the end of the Mayport Jetties. No surprise there's no fish around. The sharks are fierce and it'll be awhile before the trout can be found again, I guess. EVERY single storm is different. I remember storms where it pushed all the fish to the inlets. I remember storms that had the Trout chewing like no tomarrow in the river.

If life on the St. Johns ain't tough enough already. Now I have to deal with this. My life isn't the same as the every other Saturday fisherman. I depend on that river and it gives up nothing easy especially this time of year.


Right after "Tropical Storm Beryl" : (finished this day at Hooters!)

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