Monday, July 30, 2012

7/30 - I just had to go.......

As I said in my last video. You have to go when they're chewin. Be it 100 degrees or 20 degrees. And today that meant "sun-rise". And ya have to fish, with your ducks in a row! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

7/26 - A day these kids should never forget!

Had John & Terrie S. aboard the Jettywolf, today. I've know John and Terrie for a long time. They were members of the Jacksonville Offshore Sport Fishing Club, years ago. Own a boat and everything. But the boat was under the weather and John told me he just wanted to get his kids out, for some shark fishing before they went back to school.

I told him, no problem. Let's try Thursday. His kids are boat savvy, and know about fishing.

Hating to do much wasting time, so I just take a bag of Boston Mackerel with me as cut bait. And we'll "run & gun" behind the shrimp boats. To start out. And go with the flow.....

The first shrimp boat we got behind, didn't have much going on. So we ran to the south. The next boat was pulling it's nets. "That's what we want!", so we pull right in behind and instantly we get little Lucas hooked up on a shark.

We were right next to the CAPT. TREY, the fella running the boat asks if we want some chum.
He says, "I wanna see those kids catch sharks!". I yelled up to him that "I'd appreciate enough for fresh baits at least, and would appreciate it."

The CAPT TREY drops anchor and the fella running the boat says, "I'll get ya some chum in a bag. And do you all want some shrimp??"

Wow, John and Terrie and I were surprised how nice this guy is. After we released a small shark, I pull over to the anchored shrimp boat. And the same guy asked if the kids wanted to jump up and check out the deck and the shrimp?
While holding on to the side of the shrimp boat

"Heck yeah!!" Lucas and Loren (7 & 10 years old) jump up on my bow deck and then climb over the side of the shrimp boat with Mom and Dad watching. They come back with starfish, ribbonfish and a live baby stone crab.

Then, he drops us a bag of chum. Then, the whole crew stands on the side of the shrimp boat and they hand us a big bag of fresh caught monster shrimp. John goes to give him a $20 bill and they say, "No man, we just want ya to have it, you owe us nothing..."

Wow, again! What a nice person this guy was. That's when I asked him if he was CAPT TREY?  He said no, I just work here and run the boat.

They were going to clean-up and shut down and go to sleep, he said. They caught all the shrimp they needed all night long, he said.

So, off we went and fished the area, behind a few more boats, and with our nice juicy bag of shrimp boat by-catch we chummed. Many times having all the sharks the kids would ever want sometimes right behind the Jettywolf.

The kids and Mom, Terrie reeled in no less that 10-15, before the breeze dropped and the heat poured on fast and hard.
The kids were looking tired. So we headed in, from what was a great day of Sharkin'.

And of course many thanks to the Captain of the CAPT TREY shrimp boat for his generosity.


Yeah, the heat is only for DIE-HARDS. Just like when it's 22 degrees in Feb at 7am and the Trout are chewin', ya better be ready if ya want to catch them.

There's alot about fishing that's for real die hards, and 110 in the shade is one of them. But those fried Trout sandwiches, and cold PBR's after a good day make it all worth it for me.

Here's a L-O-N-G video of my R&D day. And finished the day as both camera batteries went dead, with 4 Yellowmouth Trout.

NEVER took any bait. Jus' soft plastics and jigheads. From first to last cast!

Yeah, can believe it. The float-freak left his float-rig rods at home.

Enjoy....and crack open a cool one. Your gonna need it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

7/23 - The Matrix of a Speck Fest ....

It's not often that a spinner reel, a spinning rod and a 3/8ths ounce jig head with a Dockside bait & tackle MATRIX shad, in my mind, will out fish a N.E. Florida Float-rig and live "local" shrimp.

But it did, and it can, when you're prepared. "And experimenting."

Remember this ole saying;


I had Jim T. and his daughter Mackenzie aboard the Jettywolf today. At first, Jim wanted to go hit the shrimp boats in search of Blacktip Sharks. But then called me back and said, "Instead, let's go after Trout. I have some relatives who want some fish fillets."  

I was sort of glad Jim changed his mind. Because the forecast for 10-15 SE winds probably meant a day of bobbing in the heavy duty swells, running from shrimp boat to shrimp boat. And what happens when there's no sharks to catch?????

That's when my most hateful thing happens. Playing switch up, and floundering for something else to do, after wasting hours and hours...My foresight spidey-sense was kicking in before I even left the house this morning. Feeling the stiff breeze. I was gonna switch our trip to river fishing anyhow, even before I listened to Jim's phone message.

So, at the boat ramp I was shocked as I sat there getting ready I looked up in the parking lot and here comes Jim and Mackenzie, 30 minutes EARLY!!!!!! 

That's a change. Most people show up barely on time, and most are always late.
(something I've never understood for the past 16 years!) 

To make a long story short, we fished our way down river and caught some Trout on a Float-rig, then alot of ladyfish.
Then, we tried a new spot, where Jim got his butt kicked and lost a really big fish, seemed like a Redbass.

Then, on the next spot I had my crew fishing a float-rig still. I grabbed my brand new jig rod and tossed a Dockside bait & tackle Matrix shad on a jig head out behind the boat and hooked a big Trout. Turned out to be 4 pounds.

I made another cast and instantly was hooked up again. I handed the rod to Mackenzie, she fought the fish to the boat, I saw it, I went to net it and it was a 6 pounder! But it jumped at boat side and came off the jighead. Mackenzie didn't know that jig hooked Specks act like little Tarpon. Jumping and shaking and rattling their gills......and hooks go flying.

Okay, we'll get more. I had them both grab the two spinner rods, rigged with 3/8ths ounce jigs and Avocado Matrix shads. And then it was game on!

All but a few of 25 Trout were caught on the jigs and Matrix Shad soft plastics. To a die hard float-freak, (like me) this was just insane.

My crew easily started putting all keeper Trout in the fish box, making a 3 person limit of 18, on this spot and one more.

It was crazy. But GREAT. Trout like crazy on soft plastics. I almost though I was in another state....Louisiana!
No need for the shrimp in the livewell??????????????

We came back and I cleaned the fish, feed my bird buddies. And Jim even said, "Dave you have the rest of the Trout."
So I cleaned 5 for me, and just finished them after a deep fry and PBR party, on my back porch. Man, they were good!

Zaterains country fish fry mix, Freshly filleted Specks, a deep fryer, and a 12 pak of cold beer. After a great day of catching.

Moral of the story:
I always keep a jig rod handy. And during charters try to get in a few casts. Well, today it set a precedence. And continued the rest of the trip. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

7/21 - Quick inshore trip

Had John, his two sons Caleb & Noah from Virginia, aboard today. We just hit a bunch of spots in the river. And caught Speckled Trout, Yellowmouth Trout, Croakers, and a few Ladyfish. Drifting float-rigs and throwing jigs and shrimp.

It was the usual summer Saturday. Hot with people everwhere. (I keep day dreaming about cold winter weekdays about this time of year.....)

The only pics I took were of the little summer Sheepshead the guys caught along a rocky bank. Then, after that the Pinfish showed up and ate every bait.  It's funny how in two casts of jigs and shrimp, these Sheepshead came back to back.


Monday, gonna try behind the shrimp boats for Sharks with two people.


Filled the Jettywolf up again at the Exxon at Girvin rd and Atlantic Blvd. Tested the unleaded regular, as I always do and it's NOT 10% ETHANOL, but rather 5%.  I'm a stats kinda guy. I have the "want to know."
A big deal, today....a dying reality.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

7/17 - how do they do it?

Ya' know, when I started in this business back in 1996. I had many a rod built by a man named John Ogden. He lived in Mayport, behind the Elementary school. He wasn't a young hot shot, but rather a well seasoned fisherman and had to be back then, close to 80 years old.

He built alot of simple and well crafted bottom rods for people, including me. I had him also build some inshore (jetty) fishing rods of various lengths. And one set, (4 is a set) was very thin and very parabolic solid glass blanks with a new at that time, set of guides, which were complete graphite molded eyes.  No metal at all. A guide molded from graphite, with a ceramic insert. Which gave the "heavier than nomal" rod blank no added weight. A handful of these guides were like a handful of feathers. Which he said would really be a great addition to these massively durable thin solid glass rod blanks.

I fished these rods for awhile and for some reason went to all Shakespeare Ugly Stiks. Probably because I could get the same rod feel, durability, at a affordable price. And buy "sets" at a time....ya know, I.G. - instantaneous gratification? 

Things were cooking along for me as usual. And in those days Jacksonville seemed to have more fishing seminars going on. It seemed like every month there was some event somewhere that someone was hosting. And I attended many of them, and even did my fair share of doing the seminars. Also back then, everyone and their brother was coming up with a new free fishing magazine. To make a long story short, I met a guy who worked for one of these new magazines, who knew a guy who was a rep for G. Loomis rods in Florida. He put me in contact with him, and the rep added me in as a Pro-staffer for G. Loomis rods.

Wow,  high class Loomis rods.....where the catalog was like reading a book and it was as thick as one too! Purpose designed fishing rods. Rods for Salmon, Halibut, Kingfish, Bass, Sail fishing. You name it, G. Loomis made a rod to catch it. Purposely designed. My decision to go ahead with Loomis rods was also influenced by a really good friend that had many of them and he loved them.

Like the J. Peterman catalog that Elaine Benes wrote for on the TV show "Seinfeld". Each rod series came with stories of the angling adventure through distant lands you will experience, with these high modulas graphite, cutting edge, hand crafted fishing tools. In this bible of all fishing rods .

Eight years, I used nothing but G. Loomis rods. And through those 8 years I never had so many rods snapped in half by customers!  It took me eight years to find out that my customers didn't care one bit that the rod they were using was cutting edge technology and cost MSRP $250!!!!  And yes, when they broke them, they would have to pay for the replacement fee, which was $60-80.00, back then.

Believe it or not, I had a guy break a rod at the jetties because he thought he would move a 10 ton granite boulder with the rod. When in reality, he had a Toadfish hooked up that back itself into a hole.

Thing changed a bit for G. Loomis. Even while I was still getting my rods from them. Gary Loomis sold out to Shimano. But they kept G. Loomis in the same place doing the same thing. The big book like catalog disappeared. No more rods for every single fish on the planet. And then, Shimano bought up PowerPro line.

I believe they call that "corporate packman?" Making deals, no one can pass up.

So now I get NO special deals, NO 60% off retail with free shipping. And  I order my rods, or scan the yokal local stores, just like everyone else. Because I sold all my G. Loomis rods and went back to Shakespeare Ugly Stiks.

And the most expensive Ugly Stik I've ever owned was maybe $60.00. And have had a customer only break one in 4 years. Because he walked the rod from the stern of the boat, to the bow of the boat just off the deck and ran the tip straight into my bow deck, bulkhead!  That one was a Ugly Stik "inshore select" spinning rod. And it seemed many were breaking when they first came out with this new rod. And it shouldn't have broke anyhow. But it was replaced FREE OF CHARGE, no questions asked.

I now can afford to have many Ugly Stiks.......about 48!  I can now have spares sets, just sitting there. In case.

One thing that I'll always remember in that G. Loomis catalog was a message from the founder, Gary Loomis. It went something like this.....

"I can build a rod, that no one will break. But then again, no one will ever want to fish with it."

Well, the man did know a thing or two about building rods, and the materials. Had top people working for him, too.
I'm not taking anything away from him. He is still a millionaire. And I'm not. So I respect that.

But, like the title of this blog post says, "HOW DO THEY DO IT?"


Well, it's a long story of how the Ugly Stik came to be. Many, many years ago.

So here it is: HISTORY LINK

But does it matter?

They're affordable, they're durable, and they don't break (very often) and they make people like me very, very happy at the end of each charter and solo day fishing.

My newest aquisition is two 6'6" Ugly Stik Lites. Casting rods of course. Medium action. Tossing jigs will be their job mostly.  And as I walked around looking at rods, I saw some pretty fancy rods. Green rods, orange rods, water-camo color rods, some with tiny eyes on them, and some that cost.......$250.00!

I compared a name brand IM-8 Graphite rod with cork grips that was also 6'6". I looked at the eyes, the action, the weight, the reel seat. And the price tag. I held it right next to the Ugly Stik Lite that was also 6'6". The Ugly stik had better eyes, and more of them, nicer cork grips, and of course it "weighed" a bit more, but not much. I compared the action, the way the eyes were wrapped, etc.

I grabbed two of the Ugly Stik Lites, put the other rod away, and walked out of the store with two rods for not much more then what the other one rod cost.

And I know for a fact that this rod is tough!

Yeah, I know all about actions, weight of a rod, and materials rods can be made with. And some people just hate the solid glass tip on an Ugly Stik. They look at them as kid rods, or too heavy for serious angling. That's all well and good. I guess to them, I'm not angling....?

I've heard and seen it all. So, I watch people. Observation is big in the world of fishing, and a habit for me when in tackle stores. There's people who are casual fisherman, and they pass right on by the rack of Ugly Stiks. And there's stores in this town, that just won't carry many of them. Because the profit margins just aren't enough. And Ugly Stiks aren't "high class" enough.

The story you just read is the reason why I love them.

And for entertainment purposes, I often read the customer reviews on Bass Pro Shops website, and Cabelas too. There's no doubt I'm not alone in my feelings. Just type in Shakespeare Ugly Stik in the search window on Bass Pro Shops or Cabelas, pick a rod, and read the pages of customer reviews on these sites.  


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

7/16 - Mid-summer slide.....

Had a nice family out on yet another 2 hour kids trip today. Dan P. and his family from Georgia visiting J-ville, and staying at OceanONE, at the beach.

The morning trip for the kids was perfect, as it was thier first time saltwater fishing and on a boat. We departed at 9am, due to I wanted a falling tide. But even at 9am, the tide was super slow. And after hitting 2-3 spots, we finally got the targeted species, while just fishing shrimp on the bottom. Yellowmouth Trout. The kids also reeled in Puffers and, Seabass. The Puffers put on a good show for the kids, inflating and spewing water all over them. Mom, took loads of photos.

We finished the trip, with me showing them the Mega Yachts, hitched up along Atlantic Marine. They don't have that kida stuff up in Stone Mountain, Georgia!

I had plans to go "Trout Tracking" afterwards. And had a baitwell full of live shrimp. Putting the blazing sun, hot temps, and summer tide to the test. Actually, to test myself!

"Could I find a limit of Speckled Trout today?"

The EAST winds  we've had obviously salted up the local Mayport water.  Salinaty  was a 28-30 PPT. Which is HIGH saline.  For a falling tide.

The chit-chat is that down-town, and Arlington area is Yellowmouth Trout, through the roof. But as I talked to Bill, from Arlington Bait and Tackle at the dock as he was getting water for his shrimp tanks earlier this morning. He said, he's heard of more Yellowmouth Trout coming from east of the Dames Point.  We both agreed, chasing hear-say reports in the middle of the summer is a huge waste of time.

So after dropping off Dan and family around noon. I took off to go make my own findings. My own report.
My first spot was near the White Shell rocks. I started by casting a soft plastic of a 3/8ths ounce jig, and was having the tail ripped off, over and over again.

I finally found out what was hitting, when I caught one. A 6" Mangrove Snapper!
Yep, on a few choice spots........THEY'RE BACK!!!

Oh boy. If Pinfish aren't bad enough around here. These mini-Mangrove Snappers, are really a pain in the ass! I dared to try a float-rig and a live shrimp. And yep, you couldn't get by the Mangroves, as they would eat the shrimp right out of the head shell.

So, I picked up and made a move.  (mental note: Rocks = mini-Mangroves)

I didn't go far, and I didn't head WEST. Because this was WESTWARD>>>>>>

Mid-day, Mid-summer, Trout....where might you be??

Not around rocks? In deeper water?? Where tons of bait is??

So my next stop on a new spot, first fish was a Ladyfish. Which actually in the summer is a GOOD sign. Where ever Ladyfish and Jacks are, is certainly going to also be Trout water.  Next bite, a Jack.  As I pitched my float-rig and live shrimp out into deeper water away from the structure.

Then, as I sat anchored up on this particular spot, it began to turn into a FISH FEST. The type of fish I'm hunting down.

Of course the FIRST ONE, was an almost 20 incher....and then, they got smaller.

I caught a Trout, or a Ladyfish for the next two hours on every pitch and drift of my trusty Float-rig. Burning through my baitwell of spunky local live shrimp!

Problem was......99.99% of the Trout were 14 inch skinny Males. And I fished furioiusly, keeping the bite going and even catching a few Yellowmouth Trout to get my (measily) limit of SIX Trout 15" and better.

But that's to be expected this time of year. Grunting, thin Male Trout out numbering the larger roe ladened females.

I had a ball, breaking in a New 7'6" Ugly Stik to be used for nothing but float-rig fishing. I finally got my 6 Speckled Trout, and three Yellowmouths. The current had faded, the current changed directions, so it was time to head home.

Total, I weeded through at least 30 to 40 Speckled Trout to get my limit of keepers, along with several ladyfish. And while doing so, hooked up something huge that just handed me my azz on a platter...."but broke my Ladyfish scuffed up leader." Probably, by the way it huged the bottom a over-sized Redbass.

I got home, and had a huge fish fry, along with a few too many 12 ounce PBR's. Now that's the way it's supposed to be, during the,  MID-SUMMER SLIDE.

From here on out, we're getting closer to that fall fishing season. Day by Day.


The word on the dock is:

-King Mackerel are closer in towards the beach now. (good reports from all the usual hot spots)
-Supposedly, the big Sharks are behind the Shrimp boats. (time to join the 100 pounder club?)

Friday, July 13, 2012

7/13 - Snake bit...?

Had a customer I have not had on board in 6 years. Chad S. and he brought his 14 year old nephew. Plan was since the river fishing has been so hit and miss. We'd head offshore. Yeah, first stop was to be somewhere around Montgomery's Reef. From the end of the jetties, 10.8 miles.

We broke the jetties early. Looked for Pogies off the north. And as we saw ZERO, I said hell with this let's go.
And the further we went, the less I could actually get on plane!!

It was "SLOP" city!  (as we watched the 70' Party boats pass us, heaving in the seas.)

Yes, it was windy about 10-15 kts. which isn't all that much wind, but out of the SE with the "5 second intervals" between the 4 foot back to back waves would have had me doing a fast idle, for the next 10 miles?  Heck NO.

So, hell with this....

I turned around and we fought our way back in the jetties, as it was a sloppy mess too. By this time, Chad and Dakota his 14 year old nephew were soaked. I was kinda pissed, by this point. Plans shot, to hell. All I had was cuttlefish for bait. And wanted absolute nothing to do with this nasty boat bobbing around, waking, waves at that inlet, either.

Rough water is worth it when you know, you have a chance at catching good fish. (IE: January at the Jetties) Be it inshore or offshore. This was gonna be neither.

We found out really fast that not even a Croaker would eat a Cuttlefish snack. So I ended up getting some dead shrimp and we finished the day with a good handful of Whiting & Yellowmouth Trout, caught bottom fishing. Which turned into a decent bag of fish fry fillets. And the day ended with getting rained on.

I think it's baitwell of live shrimp and float-rigging inshore for me, with bottom fishing or tossing jigs as a back up no matter what, or no matter how many people on my boat. Cause I'm  kinda tired of having to be jack of all trades, master of none, during long hot summer's. 


Before the Greater Jax Kingfish Tournament mess.....starting next week on Tuesday thru Saturday. I'm able to sneak in a 2 hour kids trip on Monday, with two boys and dad.

FOR THE KIDS ONLY TRIPS, still just $200 for 2 hours, max. 4 person (kids or adults)

Greater Jax Kingfish Tournament schedule:
Tuesday - Kids tourney
Thursday & Friday - General Tourney
Saturday - GJKT Redfish tourney day

-just don't like having to get in the mess in the morning, or afternoon. Don't feel like doing no wake/idle speed in the river and jetties.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

7/10 - Sticky & windy

Had Mike M. a regular customer and his brother-in-law Jeremy aboard. Their wives bought them a Father's day trip. So we went out today.

REALLLLLLLY, wished I had my Fish finder/GPS/Chart plotter display iunit back from repairs, because we would have headed out and did some "LT" bottom fishing on some near-shore ledges. But, I wasn't getting it till later in the day via Fedex.

So, instead we headed to Nassua Sound. Yep, 3rd trip flying by the seat of my pants up there, running the bars, but at least it's all sand. So all that could happen is taking more paint off the lower unit, and certainly a sand bar won't hurt the Jettywolf!

We ran the ocean up to the sound, but first stopped and tried to catch some Pogies that were off the North Jetty out deep.
A bit futile, so we left them and went looking up off Amelia Island. That was almost futile too.

Did find some, but they were so scattered. Found some nice chunky Threadfins on the rip line up there. And I actually caught some in my cast net, as they are usually too fast to catch.

We tossed out some cut shrimp for baits and caught some Whiting, while waiting on the tide to get the pogies corraled.
And then, it was so easy! In 6 foot of water, versus 46' of water catching Pogies is a dream!

We chummed and fished a new slew up there that runs from inside the sound to the south. But the action was really slow.
Wanting TARPON as usual, settling for some sharks. But it just wasn't happening. We caught a few small Bonnetheads, but that wasn't the target.

Made a few moves and finally got some line pullers. Bonnetheads of various sizes.

The action was good for about 30 minutes.

And FINALLY, we caught something in 3 trips up there that wasn't a Bonnetthead shark, but rather a Mini-Blacktip.

The action slowed to zero. So we went and fished the S. Amelia rocks. By now the ocean was kinda kicking up, but it wasn't even close to the south Jetty in January. So I anchored up outside the rocks and we gave it a try. I told the guys that in the spring time, I've had Black Drum and just about everything else here. So, being 100 degrees and windy. We just gave it a few minutes. The small bait stealers as usual in N.E. Florida were rabid. And Mike and Jeremy caught small Spadefish and a small Mangrove Snapper, on pieces of dead shrimp.

NO BIG FISH PRESENT.....seemed to be the theme of the day!

I picked up my Shimano Trevalla rod, with the Shimano TranX reel on it, with a Shimano Waxwing jig tied on and said,
"I bet if there's a Jack around here, it'll eat this in a minute"

I made a long bombing cast up to the end of the rocks and whammm-O. A Jack jumped on the jig. And a bunch were following.

A blind squirrel, finds an acorn every once in awhile, huh?  This was the first FISH I've caught on a Waxwing jig and have thrown it in the river and jetties for 6 months!!

Guess, I won't be making any Shimano Waxwing Youtube videos for Shimano any time soon huh?

I made another cast, and I caught a second Jack. Then, the Ladyfish were following it as I made more casts. I guess the Waxwing is another fisherman catcher?

I saw reds & Trout caught on them....but that was in Louisiana, not J-ville, Fla.
I'll keep trying..."for a Trout!"
Guess, I'll try it offshore some day and maybe I can do better with it.

Thank goodness for the I.C.W.

Because it would have been one wet and wild ride back via the Ocean in the 15-20 knot, SE seabreeze. Usually I don't stay out this long, but it was a tough ass day, and I worked very hard to get something, that never wanted to really get going, to start. And it took a long time to do it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

7/9 - another "KIDS" Trip

Had another 2 hour kids trip today, or rather this morning.....
Departed around 7:30am with a record breaking 4 kids, and don't think a one was over 4. But, two dad's had two each. So we made it work.

Started out at the jetties, then we worked outside the surf drifting a few bottom rigs. Catching the kids some Whiting, and a small shark. The kids were freaking out, of course.

Then one got a bit seasick, I guess. So we went back into the river and finished up catching Yelllowmouth Trout, Croakers and Jacks.

Let's see.... they screamed, cried, fought, yelled, ate, drank, and threw-up.

As I told the dad's, I don't need to "have any kids, myself". I get to have them out on the Jettywolf almost every trip, from May till late August.
During the falling tide at 7am this morning, I tested the salinaty of the river. It was a 24 PPT (parts per thousand) where as the ocean is a 32-34 PPT. I figured that since the river's so dark and dirty that it would have been alot less salty.

Next up:

Getting my sounder back from repairs on Tueday. (in which T.S. Beryl claimed with rain intrusion) But that won't help me with tomarrows charter 7/10. So even though I wanted to take regular customer Mike M. and his brother in law offshore to some near shore reefs. I can't, because I won't have my scope or GPS display till when I get home

So we'll go chum fish up at Nassua Sound, instead.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

7/8 - Jus' 5%

As usual during the summer I like to keep as much fuel in my boats tamk as I can.


Because I haven't a clue of what I'll be doing from week to week or day to day. Because summer fishing is just so wacky.
-One day I'm in the river, with a boat load of 6 year olds hunting Croaka's
-The next day I'm travelling damn near to the mathews bridge in search of Speckley bastards.
-Then, the next day I'm at nassua Sound.

So, I don't know if anyone ever visits my YOUTUBE channel. (via the link on the side bar of this BLOG.)

I even did a few video's about testing the ETHANOL content of the fuel "we're" buying on the street.
This couldn't be more important than in the intense heat of the summer. Lots of expansion going on in your fuel tank, because of the heat. Mine, being an aluminum tank in an aluminum boat, in 83 degree water may actually not be as bad as the glass boats. Because the aluminum bottoom of the boat quickly takes on the temp of the surrounding water. (?)

But, as in the video's. I TEST MY FUEL!

Last fill-up (almost 100 gallons) the fuel at the Exxon at Atlantic and Girvin roads, was a solid 10% Ethanol. Which is OKAY. Your engine is most likey made to run on it. But at the same time, as you've probably read. Ethanol is like a sponge and soaks up moisture.

So keep a close check on your Fuel-Water seperator filters. I have two, a RACOR, and another under my cowling.
I also treat my fuel with STAR-TRON. Heck, I don't really know if the stuff is "snake oil" or for real. But it's pretty cheap at Northern Tool on Atlantic Blvd, with the coupons I get in the mail.

Today, I went and filled her up (almost) again. At the same Exxon, and tested the fuel again as usual.

Jus' 5% today.  5% ETHANOL, not even the 10% allowed by law.  So, that a good thang!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

7/7 - Zoo Saturday....

Glad to of just been doing one of my 2 hour kids trips, with some nice folks this morning. And glad to be a super early bird too. The boat ramp was "Saturday Busy".  There was some kid of Mesquito Fleet, gotta own a flats boat, tournament going on as I backed off the trailer. They were lined up outside the ramp for check-out, it looked.

So alot of doings goin' on, of course on a Saturday.

In two hours, not fishing all that spacific, and just tossing some Shrimp out on the bottom for two 7 year olds. We caught a whopping 2-3 small Croakers. That was it!!

So, after a little roaming around we ended up at the jetties. The tide was smoking in on the bottom, and stagnet on the top.
Jus' wonderful. Nothing but a few tap-taps at the jetties, also.

After I got home at 10:30am, I made the effort to go get a new Hydrometer. (my old one broke) aka: Salinaty Gauge. The Instant Ocean brand, from Pet Smart (for all of you that'll ask where do you get one...DOH!)

Step 1- Slowly fill the Instant Ocean Hydrometer by dipping bottom corner fill port below water surface until water flows up and over inner weir.
Step 2 - Dislodge air bubbles by gently tapping hydrometer or pointer. Air bubbles on the pointer may result in inaccurate results.
Step 3 - Place the hydrometer on a level surface and read specific gravity (inside scale) and salinity (outside scale).
Rinse thoroughly in freshwater after each use to prevent mineral/salt buildup which can affect accuracy. Salt and calcium deposits that accumulate on the pointer will result in incorrect results. If crystallization occurs inside the unit, soak in lukewarm water or vinegar for 30-minutes, rinse with freshwater and air dry.

I believe, from my sample tastings. Yes, "Tastings". I was fishing in fresh water today. Here's always a GENUINE hint.
Take your hand and run it all over your boat. Do you feel the grainy ocean salt all over it?

(that's only if you wash your boat completely after each use)

Hence the fishing in a fresh water river, on the falling tide?  I believe so.

With my new Hydrometer, I'll start giving actual readings in future reports.

Oh back in the day......I used to find anything around 4-10 parts per thousand of saltwater from a surface test, and that meant one thing. T-R-O-U-T, were gonna be in the area.  The ocean outside the jetties would usually be a 32 PPT.
So, as you can see. The Trout loved that "Lesser" salinaty.

In Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana. The average salinaty is 5.1-10 PPT on the eastern side of the lake, closest to the Gulf.
And the Trout fishing there is through the roof! Partly because they just have so many more fish, then we do here. They easily live and THRIVE in non-salty water. Which we have way too  much of, usually in the summer. And lesser salinaty from my research means a better SPAWN. (Trout spawn in the summer months) Now, that's why we don't have the Trout populations here! Too much salt water intrusion into the estuaries during the spawn??  That's what my research (unoffical of course) reveals.

Saltwater intrusion, IE: dredged to China River which equals, allowing for too much Ocean tide. That's why in the summer, alot of Trout find thier way all the way down, to Doctors Inlet!  Plus that's usually where the shrimp are.
Itr's all about HABITAT, and successful spawns, year after year after year.

So far this year, after all the storms/Rain. I have failed to find a 50-100 count Trout day, and have basically given up on them. But, given the right customers in the next few weeks we may have to go hunting down some Trout, again.

Maybe since all the storms and rain it's gonna take forever and a day for it to be like it was YEARS ago. When a 50 Trout day was not unheard of after a summer time Tropical Storm and loads of rain fall. Here in that thing we call a river. It just may take a while for all that fresh water to do it's thing. But, I wouldn't count on it. Every storm with lots of rain seems to do it's own thing. You'd think it could be measured and relied upon. But not from what I've seen.

7/6 - Nassua chum fishing

Fishing and a wishing for a Tarpon bite at Nassua Sound. But it was Bonnetheads. Which were fun. Always, always, enjoy the Brandts. Even though we were missing Shirley, Don's Mom. Who's usually the fish killer. But she was under the weather. A fun thing to do on a July day, away from the crowds, in a nice area. No ships, tugs, or coneheads.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

7/5 - Same crew, same date

Had the Tanner crew aboard again today. Always after the 4th of July every year. That's why when people call with a late notice, I tell them 30 days notice to get prime dates, for most holiday weeks. My educated regulars know to call and get the same dates each year. I've been taking Greg and his boys since they were 5 years old. First Wes, then Duncan came along. And they're alot older now.

Then after a few years, brother in law Wayne, and his son John started to come. They had something like 30 people in a few condos up in Amelia Island.

I decided to fish Nassua Sound....."So why not just pick my crew up at the boat ramp at Sawpit Creek."

I was on edge, because of having no sounder back from repairs yet. But, just my "photographic memory" of the entire Nassua Sound. But, the area changes with each year, and each storm.

We made our way out slowly. Rounded Bird Island, and started fishing. Four lines out, with shrimp, so the kids could catch anything. Target species big bull "beach" Whiting. But the kids were all about sharks!

Well, they caught about 25 Whiting, a Jack, a few baby sharks, and a decent size Bonnethead. There was one spot that was a hot spot. We couldn't keep 4 lines in the water. Kids (3) everywhere, reeling,  while Greg and I tried to keep the rally going.

We kept 13 or so Whiting for the fish box. I had a goal of 20, for 40 sandwich sized fillets.

I saw Tarpon. More then just a few.

But not as many as I saw round the south Jetty tip back in the st. Johns River the other day, at high tide.

The kids were getting antsy. The tide slowed so we headed back to clean up the fish.
(sorry no pics.....I was steppin and fetchin all day.)

I brought a few dozen live shrimp (jus' in case) and still had a few live ones in the well, as I departed Sawpit creek boat ramp.

I ran down the ICW and stopped off at an old spot I used to fish alot, back in my "bay boat" running days. From my first cast to my last shrimp I caught Trout, a few Ladyfish, and a Jack. On a light spinning rod and a "Lemon drop" snap on cork. They were on fire. It was fun, but out of all these trout, I caught one (1) 17 incher, along with a 11" Redbass.

I guess the spot was more like a nursery. But it was so cool to watch small Flounder along the grass line "sky-rocket" on all the bait that was pouring out a small outlet in the flooded marsh grass, as I sat there.

I used all the shrimp and then tried a soft plastic and had no bites. Lures versus live shrimp,  live shrimp in Jax always wins.

Headed back and cleaned my one keeper trout in the intense heat at the Mayport Boat ramp. Called my Friday Charter another "regular" crew I've been taking for years.

Told them (all adults) we're gonna try "CHUM FISHING FOR NASSUA SOUND TARPON", on Friday.

Yep, "sport fishing". I keep getting calls from people who think July is the month that we stack them in the fish box, don't know that the storms/ with yards of rain can effect fishing.

Nope, that's "light tackle" winter fishing.....Starts Nov. 1

It's July, it's hot!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

7/4 - surfing a favorite website...what I do on July 4th

Good reason to NOT own a reinforced plastic boat or was it, reinforced?

The story: ripped from the pages of Louisiana Sportsman Magazine online.

Louisiana Sportsman "Fishing News" the story:
The pictures....


One guy gets it. Look and scroll down on that "post" and someone LOVES aluminuuuuuuuuuuum!

Louisiana boys love their ALLOY.

And another guy shows pics of his bad azz Aluminum "bay boat".
Many others post pics of thier aluminum ALLOY BOATS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Should I go on there and post a pic of "MY" 1/2 inch alloy transom
:idea: That might be "rubbin" it in, huh :idea:

-Other Louisiana alloyists, seem to be doing a good job of that.

I love the smell of a freshly built aluminum in the least it won't smell like chemicals

26' CC Pacific Southern Edition"

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Well, I'm still fishing by the seat of my pants. I keep calling to find out what's going on with my sounder/GPS/chart plotter that got drenched back the week after T.S. Beryl. Although my Raymarine C-120 display unit was "supposed" to be waterproof, obviously it was not.

I sent it to get repaired on the 14th of June, they recieved it on the 16th of June and found out today, Raymarine has ONE guy repairing all C-series units. I pitched a fit and asked them, "Will I be without my unit all summer or what??"

I was talking to someone the other day and we "joked" that maybe they have one person doing the work. Well, we were right!

(Finally heard back from Raymarine and Thursday they're shipping my scope back to me....whewww)

I can't head offshore, I can't go into really shallow unknown places. All the things I'm feeling I need to do since the river seems essentially bite-less.  It's been even hard to find steady Croakers this week!  Yesterday the current in the morning was smoking!

The tide has been very strong, being it's full moon week. The ONLY fish I see are coming from offshore, or Nassau Sound. I can go to Nassau Sound......and hope I don't run aground on a bar up there.

In my last post, I showed the way it was years ago after a huge storm. (only one, not nearly as bad as the two we had rain-wise)  Well, at this posting. That huge bite at the jetties, still hasn't happened.  (read post below this one)

Spent all day yesterday hunting from the Dames Point to the Jetties for ACTION. Never found any. Had a Dad, Mom and 14 year old son aboard.

Today, I had a 2 hr kids trip, with two cute Jr. Fisherman. They caught one Seabass after another. And reeled in most of the way a large stingray.

Tarpon rolled by us in a precession at the jetties. Just like usual, at a certain spot at a certain tide.   If I was float-rigging with live shrimp I could have probably hooked one up.

So on Thursday and Friday, we'll head to Nassau Sound and hopefully at least have some action up there.

ACTION. That's all I'm asking for!

Fish in the box will just be gravy.

Those two storms and all that rain was more than I asked for. Instead of  a nice wet summer, and maybe some great Trout fishing. Now, it's the opposite!

Where did they all go?