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.