Friday, November 30, 2012

11/30 - Nicer day....Nursery

Had Tom O. and his 6 year old son Drew aboard today.

I was excited over yesterday's trip in Mill Cove, because the calm shallow water where anchoring isn't a hassle and where I have more anchor chain than it is deep.......Was a complete 180 from yesterday!

Sure little Drew reeled in twice the fish we caught yesterday. Trout and Redfish. B-U-T, everything was so small.
Loads of small Trout, and Reds.

Drew didn't care. But adults Dad and I, did.

It was super nice. Alot warmer, no wind, but the two areas we fished yesterday never gave up a fish, today.

Well, that's one thing out of my control. But "oh so common" here in J-ville. Over night a whole area can change.

I guess from now on, I'll only be going into the cove when it's cold, 20 knots of wind, and a new or full moon. Today we had one out of three of those conditions. Without the wind, the current was 1/2 of what it was yesterday.

Little Drew did get to reel a 22 inch Redfish. Dad was proud of him.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

11/29 - Mountain Timers, in Mayport

Had Tom & Margie from Colorado aboard the Jettywolf today. They won a free trip to J-ville, via Visit Jacksonville, and I was there fishing guide for the day.

We departed at 7:30am. But before they arrived I took a few photos as I usually do of the conditions:
WIND "HONKING" the flag at the Pilot Station

FULL MOON, up and glowing at 7am!

NO FEAR....I specialize in fishing all kinds of K.O.D. - "kiss of death" days.
As Dr. Phil says on TV. "This ain't my 1st Rodeo."

No pun intended, but many moons ago when I got started in this business, having to fish on days that someone else choose, and then those days not really being under very good conditions. Was really the first, HERE'S YOUR SIGN, that taking the public fishing, wasn't as easy as it sounds.

But that was a long time ago. These days it's the norm, and I really don't sweat it at all any longer.

So with that said, I did what I call the "MOON OVER MILL COVE".  It's protected from the wind. When the tides extra high, I can go about anywhere in that shallow "mud hole", and in the fall and winter. There's always some action in there.

I told Tom and Margie......"we need a SLAM. Redfish-Trout-Flounder!"  And Margie told me, she's never fished a day in her life. And if she catches a fish. It will be her absolute, first.

Hmmmm, that's good to know. But, not uncommon either.
B-A-M...well her's her first ever fish. A keeper 16" Speckled Trout. Which was the first fish caught this morning.
And she didn't stop there. She kept catching!
Hubby Tom, finally played catch-up and scored a few also. They weren't all keepers (over 15 inches) but I was just glad a plan was coming together.
The two caught a few more Trout. And when that action slowed. We made a move about 100 yards.

Margie then nailed this 23 inch Redfish, while Tom caught a few more Trout.

Then, Tom had 3 Flounder damn near in a row. All keepers that hit the ice.

Each one was larger then the last.....

As the tide slowed, it was time to move on and go into the river and hide from the wind. So we hit the Croaker hole. Last Monday it gave up some big Croakers from 12-18 inches. So let's see what happens today.

Yep, solid 13 inchers, along with a few smaller ones. So we kept 4-13 inchers for the fish box.
Tried something new.....putting all the fish we kept on a "stringer" so they'd all be easier to hold up for a photo. Even though, now we can't really see them all very individually. Hmmm, maybe a 1/2 a good idea?
Margie, wants everyone to know that the Gal who's never fished a day in her life before, caught the largest fish. By "pointing it out to everyone who see's it." Her Redfish.
As it turned out, they didn't want any of their fish. They didn't have the time to head over to Singleton's and have them fried up for lunch. So they let me have them.
And I cleaned them all up, and had them hit the oil by 4:00pm at home in my deep frier, that's permanantly ready on my back porch.
A few cold PBR's later. They were all done, and ready for mass consumption. THANKS, Tom & Margie!!!
Next up: a 1/2 day with Tom O. and his little son on Friday morning.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I learned a few things, over this very busy week.  For starters, I get alot of phone calls and inquiries from my YOUTUBE channel. Which is GREAT!

But at the same time, there's things I have addressed on my YOUTUBE video's that have a concerned me, that I find out people should also know.

Bob the "Traveler", who I had out on the Jettywolf on Wednesday the 21st had ethanol problems with his boat. Being he stores it for a long time. I asked him, if he ever tests the fuel he puts in his boat. Because alot of people are blaming ethanol in fuel for everything. From paint falling off the house to why they didn't win a local tournament. But when you test some fuels (as I do) many times there's not even 10% ethanol in the fuel. And 10% ethanol is the maximum allowed, in the state of Florida right now. Can't speak for other states.

With that being said. If I find 3%, or 5% ethanol in my fuel. I'm inclined to think, since a modern outboard is made to run on 10% or less.......the key words: "even less than 10%", can't be all that bad."
I did several YOUTUBE video's on this topic, showing two different testers. And have even posted the "how-to" video's here.


I did this, because I also talked to a fella at the boat ramp this week who said, "I read your........" but at the same time. Didn't know that this is the BEST time of year for fishing inshore in all of NE Florida. And didn't know that we use shrimp for bait.

Well, I use alot of shrimp for bait. Because everything eats shrimp! And I constantly push that this is the best time of year. EVEN in July! Because in July, I'm dreaming about when it's cold and the trout are chewing. Hence, I have many a YOUTUBE video, that show the fishing, this time of year.

Especially Oct thru May, I do mostly "float-rig fishing". Because it's fun and productive. I'll receive emails afterwards of a week of charters, asking "how do I rig up myself a float to do what we did on the Jettywolf??"  Again, I have posted that same video here several times. It's also on my YOUTUBE channel. Of how to rig a float.

Yes, I know. Each video isn't titled "FLOAT RIG TECHNICAL STUFF HERE!"  Every video is titled Jacksonville fishing. Because that's the title that helps ME. And helps all the people that find me on youtube.

So, you'll have to LOOK, and read the video's discription.

Today, YOUTUBE is like Google. Want to watch reviews of a certain Pick up Truck, looking for a vacation destination, buying a boat and want to learn about what others think?  YOUTUBE can be very useful. I use it almost every single day!

You'll notice, since Google owns Youtube. that under certain searches on Google, you'll see listed Youtube video's on Google.  That's why I have JACKSONVILLE FISHING as the name of each and everyone of my video's. When someone wants to know about Jacksonville Fishing. My videos usually pop up in the search.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

11/25 - 2 hr Kids trip

Had Rachel B. and her two boys aboard this morning at 10am for a few hours. Didn't want to leave too early. Because it was kind of chilly this morning early. Plus, I just wanted some decent falling tide.

Turned out it was super nice. NO WIND, and hardly anyone around. I really love that! Guess everyone burned their wicks  down by today on this big Holiday.

But this Holiday is the start to the finest my comfortable fishing of the year. Having to wear a Jacket, and maybe even a pair of long johns is always better than sweating at 8am.

We went to the Jetties. Ran all the way to the tip. The Ocean was green and calm. Then, we went back and anchored up in 8-10' of water and I showed the kids the float-rig.

They caught 4 Trout right away! And we also pitched out shrimp on the bottom to see what was going on, and caught 3-4 small Whiting.

They got to see the little Turtles that hang around the Jetties, and the Dolphins. On this short trip that's just a "Taste" of what I do, this time of year......


11/23 & 24 - Trout Mayhem on the Jettywolf!

THIS IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR, BAR NONE....ACCORDING TO "ME". And if you're reading my reports. That's all that matters.

Many, many years I have been preaching this. And it seems like this year, people have listened. Evidence that I have been booked for the whole week, except for Thanksgiving day.

Yes, the weather isn't always perfect. But FISHING isn't a perfect endevour. Especially, if the winds blowing and it's cold. Well, I say....."suck it up and let's go catch some GATORS!"

Or you can be like Tim and his son Steve that were aboard the Jettywolf on the #1 day of the entire year. THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING DAY.

We departed under skies that were lighting up, and SLICK CALM conditions.


Departing, we went west. I knew the tide wasn't right yet. But gave it a try on the first spot. FIRST DRIFT of the float-rig and live shrimp.....Steve was hooked up and handed his butt, by a big Redbass that went where ever it wanted with the slack current.
After that, the bait stealer drove us crazy, and we only had enough LIVE shrimp for catching what was on the menu of the day, and that was TROUT!
So off to the jetties we went....and it was a parking lot of sheepsheaders as usual. And if they only knew what was swimming under their boats. G-A-T-O-R, Trout!
As the tide poured eastward. The games began......
Our LIMIT was 18 Trout.....and none were throw-backs, and everyone was in the "sweetheart" catagory.
Trout up to 24 inches were not uncommon.

We finished up and had a three person limit of Trout, and our three Trout over 20" that were allowed. Loads of 18-19" fish, by 12:30pm. And also had one Sheepshead.
We decided not to push our luck. And end this glorious day on a high note. So we headed back to the dock. Finishing what I called an EPIC day. And I don't use that term loosely. 
11/24 - Could it happen again??????  YEP!
Had Ed & Ron aboard the Jettywolf.
Wasting no time up in the river, I headed straight for the Jetty rocks. But in the game of fishing around here. NO DAY is ever like the one before. Local anglers get used to that. You have to always be rigidly flexible!
We were early on the spot. But because of what I saw yesterday with all the rock dabbers lined up, and it being a bit extra cool, with a NW wind blowing quite stiff. I knew I had my flexiblity challenged, for sure. But I was NOT going to deveate from my plan of attack.
Anchoring was a royal pain. Close to the rock we'd be too close, and would get sucked into the rocks. To far out, meant that the NW wind would blow us out too far. So before the tide really started to pour. I was a real cussing machine! If there's one thing that I'm totally sick of, is the tides around here......"been there, done that, got the T-shirt!"
I had to change anchors and use my 25 pounder and heavy chain to grab. My 26' boat isn't like a little 15 footer. With total comfort comes some anchoring issues.
The fish came rather slowly. Ed banged the first 15 at least......"he and his float became one." He had it down pat, and fast!

They weren't all big ones. And we did have a few smaller 14-3/4" Trout today. But most were 16 inches up to Ron's 24 he said, "I'm waiting on the BIG ONE, and he wasn't kidding."  He caught the largest of the day. And the heaviest, while hooking a Sea Turtle!
I helped out, working for that LIMIT OF 18 TROUT.......
We had to make a few moves around. Nothing was as EZ as it was yesterday. But we had our 3 person limit, and some throw-backs and one Turtle by 12:45pm.
At one time, we all drifted our floats behind the boat. 3 floats all heading away from the boat at the same time. All three floats went down at the same time, and we had a TRIPLE HEADER!
Now that doesn't happen all that often. But that quickly sealed the deal on having our limits in the fish box.
next up:
11/25 - Two hour kids trip
11/29 - two adults, mid week
I'd be thinking real hard about getting your day booked for December.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

11/19 thru 11/21 - Holiday week, "the start"

I had the whole week booked except for actual "turkey day". A few new customers,  and a few regulars. And will finish up the week on Sunday, with a "two hour Kids Trip", on mid-morning on Sunday.

These are the first three days of reports:

But starting on Monday 11/19, I had Thomas J. and some family. It was cold, and over-cast. Had all kinds of Mill Cove Trout plans after Moose and I had such a nice day up in the cove on last Thursday. But, first we started off with just some FUN fishing. And as it turned out. A Trophy sized "FUN" fish was the first fish caught.

Anchored up on my "CROAKER HOLE". Hoped to see that they were still around. Sue dropped down with some shrimp and was pounded straight away. Photos may not show it as good as real life, but when the "fairy-wand" rod bowed over in the shape of a horse shoe, and she reeled as hard as she could, I was thinking Black Drum, or Redbass!

But, it turned out to be the LARGEST CROAKER of the year, so far.

Here you can see a "normal" Croak'  compared to her, 18 INCH CROAKER!

We remained in the larger Croakers, as the last of the tide ran under the boat. Most of them were way larger than we've caught earlier in the year. I tossed all the largest, into the fish box. Because this made for a good start.

Then, we went into the Cove. And float-fished live shrimp. But we faced cold wind and hardly any current. It was hard to judge, when the tide would pour in here. Because as I moved around, it just never pushed very hard. The crew caught some Trout, but they were all "DINKERS". So we left out, and made a big circle back towards to Croaker hole. Instead I thought.......YELLOWMOUTH TROUT, let's try for them, and maybe pick up a Black Drum too. So we fished the bottom again. It was slow going, and no yellowmouths or Drum. Just more big Croakers.
When graced with alot of lemons.....then, let's make Lemonade!  So we finished the cold day filling the box full of big Croaks'.
After filleting, skinning and de-boning. The crew did leave for home with a big bag of fish fry fillets. No, it wasn't perfection. But, no one can say they DID'NT catch loads of fish.  This time of year, there's plenty of Hills & Valley's.
On Tueday 11/20 , I had a super fun crew made up of Mike and Ken. Mike was aboard the Jettywolf earlier this year, when it was still hot. And we fished live Mullet for Reds and Flounder on a 1/2 day. But, I told him, about Float-rigging in the winter and fall months. So he brought Ken, from Atlanta Georgia, out this time.
As we headed west on the river, we left what looked like all the nasty behind us. Today was gonna be much nicer than yesterday.
It was "clearly" Georgia versus Florida.....and as Ken said, "Georgia's beating Florida again, this year!" 
Because, no sooner that I showed the guys th how's and why's of float-rig fishing, then Ken slams dunks a five pounder on his first drift of his live shrimp!
But Ken didn't stop there. His next fish was a 31" Redbass!

I'm thinking now that Mike, was wishing he didn't brink Ken along......."Georgia", sealed the deal again this year.
But Florida, isn't going down without a fight. So Mike works hard and strikes back! 
Then, in between a few small Trout that were released. The two score a "DOUBLE-HEADER".
And Mike "Florida", strikes back with a sweetheart Trout of his own! 
The fish box was looking pretty damn good, by now. And the banter between these guys was hilarious. Mike's florescent "hunters" orange pointy hat, may not have helped?  The fish may have seen him.
As we lost our current we moved off and looked around some more. Catching a few small Trout. And then we went and looked at the Jetties. The ride out was "rollie". But we got out past the tip easily. We rounded the end of the south Jetty. And even though there was hardly any wind to speak of, the water was busting over the rocks, North and South Jetty. The water was all dirty. And the wash was foaming, like a washing machine pouring through the rocks.
We tried float-rigging a bit, but we never had a bit. So we headed back in the river and tried a few sports as the tide poured in hard and fast.
The guys caught more Trout, but they were small, and a few good sized Bluefish up in shallow water. But it was clear, the falling tide in the morning is where it's at, this week.  
Wednesday, 11/22, I had a regular customer that has never ever had a bad day with me aboard the Jettywolf. As a matter of fact, we've had some days together that were absolutely amazing. Be it in the fall or the spring time. And I look forward to having Bob "the traveller" Johnson aboard every time he calls or emails me, that he's coming. 
We've had days at the jetties and days up in the river that rival some of the most exciting days I have when I'm out by myself, even. Because Bob knows what he's doing. And is a good fisherman.
So it was just him and I this morning. Again, fishing the jetties was completely out of the question. No sense fighting that water out there. And like yesterday, we're gonna get a "WINDOW" of opportunity to catch some big fat Trout, and that's gonna be GO-TIME, for us. No messing around. I've seen what it's like this week so far. Time to have all your tricks in one sack!
We got on the spot. And had to wait a little....or at least the fish would have us waiting till when they were ready. Of course we were float-rig fishing. For Trout & Redbass.
Like yesterday, the Trout were all "sweethearts". Solid fatties. With today's best measuring in at 22 inches. Of course, I fish along with Bob, and I think I put the first Trout in the fish box, at 18 inches. But, I don't take photos of myself. I do plenty of that!
But Bob starts the day with a nice Redbass that measures in at exactly 27 inches, tail pinched.

Perfect "box" Red. And a great fight.
We keep fishing.....but the damn bait stealers seem to be a bit more on to us, today. That's one thing no matter what the season, how cold the water can be, we have no lack of. The Pinfish were doing alot of eating....."which is my soul complaint, about the fishing in the St. Johns river. TOO MANY, Pinfish!"  If only they had a "bounty" on their heads. There wouldn't be a pinfish, left in the whole river!  And the little Mangrove Snappers, wouldn't leave our shrimp alone either.
Bob caught a Trout that had a big hard thing in it's belly. You can see how thick the belly of the Trout is here in this photo. I told him, "when we clean fish, we'll see whatever that is, it ate."

We had a nice box of fatty Trout going.....
And before the current completely died off, I had another spot I wanted to try out. A big Trout spot. So we ran there. We both worked it hard. And never got a Trout bite! Then we moved over to another spot, I picked up a 15 incher. "Hmmmmm, that was depressing!"  I made a decent run, and there was just no action in this area.
When the tide turned. Here came the 20 knot North East Winds. It was like a light switch. The tide turned, the atmosphere changed, and the cold wind blew. All the while the green ocean water, high tide poured in.
So we looked around and hid against the north bank in shallow water. Literally trying a new to me, spot. We worked a range marker. I was thinking that the vertical structure would have some fish hanging around it. And it did......But they were all small Trout, with maybe one keeper in the mix. I pitched a jig and Bob worked the float-rig. And the litl Trout liked the jig, more.
We worked hard at it. Bob never says, NEVER....he stays hard at it all day long. "I LIKE THAT!"
So as the tide got high. We went back and cleaned our pile of Trout and Redbass. Bob brought his boat down from N.C. So I'll probably bump into him on my next set of three days......
Here's what Bob's big Trout had eaten:
A 6 inch Croaker was in it's stomach.
And it still took the live shrimp...."True Predators"
I start up again on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And then, on Thursday.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

11/17 - Much going on....

Just an FYI......



The next meeting directions, menu, etc "link".

-as it says you don't have to be a member of the club to enjoy the free dinner at 7'ish pm and the free seminars!
 That's 100% true. So C'mon by.

If you know me, then you know your first member!

Friday, November 16, 2012

11/16 - still out there....

My 40 minutes of fame? And it's still out there...Wow.

 Actually it was 80 plus minutes. Because I did two complete videos.

Just thinking about it. I did these before "super braid" lines were popular, I was still using mono. I was fishing my own 23' MayCraft, and the dealer provided 22' Seachaser bay Boats, I ran at 6-9 month intervals before they were sold, and then I picked up a new one. I learned Trolling motors (at least back then) constantly broke! And that no matter what, customers hardly ever stood up on the front deck with me as I ran that trolling motor.....why? I never figured out. No sea-legs I guess.

Now, I look back on it, and have learned alot. And even though it took a year to get both videos I did completed. I would have done it differently today.

I didn't even own or thought I'd have a water-proof video camera on the boat, and didn't even know what having a Youtube channel meant.

Time sure does fly....huh?

11/15 - LOVED IT!

And Moose did too!

Had regular customer Moose C. aboard today, for a impromptu TROUT TRACKIN TRIP....I'm liking those. The weather at the dock wasn't Good by no means this morning. The wind was howling, the air was cold and foggy.

And I had  NO PLANS at all, of fighting the conditions at the Jetties. Moose loves float-rigging the big rocks, as I do. But no sense fighting Momma Nature......"let's co-habitate, while we search for the Speckley Bastards."  The Pilot station flag was at FULL ATTENTION. Which said to me. "Jetties? way!"

As soon as Moose boots hit the deck, we were off. My plan was to stay out of the wind and use the "astronomical tide height" to my advantage, today. So we started off, with what I called the SHALLOW WATER FISHING TOUR.

First spot. Not 5 minutes away. But the wind direction was hitting us all wrong. So, we kept moving......

And in the next 5 spots we went too, the boat was in nothing more than 2-4 feet, and we were in Trout all day long! Yes, the water was high enough, that the 26' Jettywolf played "flats skiff", as we anchored up in water less deep than my anchor chain is long.

But that's where they were. Plus it was super pleasant. We were out of the North winds. On slick calm waters, fishing flooded grass edges and submerged shell and sand bars.

Not all the Trout were perfect keepers. But between us both there was no less than 20 caught, in the 14" to 22" range.
Had one Redbass on that broke Moose off. Caught a small pupper Red, along with a 23" Red. And a average Flounder.

All on the float-rig drifting live shrimp along the natural structures.

As the tide turned and headed the other direction finally, we worked a few river spots. And then hit the Croaker hole for some quick bottom fishing with just dead shrimp....."and yep, the B-I-G twelve inch and larger Croaks were still there!"
Along with masses of tiny Mangrove Snappers, which are always a pain in the ass. So after a handful of B-I-G Croakers, we packed it in and headed back to the dock for fish cleaning.
It was a fun day, and a different day. I actually enjoy these mega-high tides!! As long as I have one or two people, and we can get real versatile, like today.
Starting Monday-3 people, Tuesday- 2 people, Weds.- one person, Friday-3 people, Saturday-2 people.
Only day left open is Next Sunday.
-reports will be batched together as I can do them.