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;
"SUCCESS IS WHEN PREPARATIONS MEETS OPPORTUNITY"
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.