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.
But, "I FOUND YOU MISTER TROUT!"
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?)