Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Just never understood why we don't see these around here. #1 it's ALUMINUM, #2 it eats mud for dinner. And we have no lack of m-u-d around here. That's my buzz word usually for creek fishing,
aka: "been fishing back in Mud Valley Creek?" Is usually how I call it. Call it like ya see it, I always say. I'd love to have one with even a "single" on the stern. Even if I'm not on the bayou.

Damn, Not Great!

"Rest of week Marine Forecast Link"

Monday, April 29, 2013

4/28 - part deux: Spring T'routz in 20 kts!

Had a early morning "2 hour kids trip", with the Wong family with special guest Grandpa visiting from California. And had a hard time even giving a fresh shrimp away for the kids bottom fishing in the wicked pissah of a "fool" moon flooding tide at the jetties.

They caught a few small Whiting, and tiny Yellermouths, and that was it!

Afterwards, my afternoon ended up being open. So I gambled and went on a "speckley bastard" hunt.
Whoa the dinks were ferocious. Fourteen inchers galore. I did manage my measly limit of 6, but lost a  BIG Trout on the first spot, in the first 5 minutes of fishing. I did scrape a limit together of 15-17 inchers. Had a bout with the spring/summer scourge fish species, Jacks, Ladyfish and Blues.

And then the ride back to the dock on the last of the falling tide buckin' a due East 20 Knot Wind.
That's the reason YOU will not be fishing in a flat bottom or a small skiff. I just hammered through it at 4800 RPM's. Not great fun, with no load and hardly any fuel weight. But I made it in one piece.

- if you'd like to receive email notification of new uploads of mine.

Monday, April 22, 2013

4/22 - TECH-TIP.....blustery day project

Blustery day project:

EZ...riggin. "The Dropper-Loop".  Not just for party boats. But a great rig for all bottom fishing.

Keep bait off bottom, away from stingers, perfect Croaker, Whiting, Drum, Redbass Rig.

4/22 - Full blow......B-L-O-W O-U-T!

Now, this a something...a full blown Nor-Easter in the last of April.

Wind speeds to 30+ knots!!!!

keep in mind:  1 knot = 1.15077945 miles per hour

Ya wanna know the super duper BRIGHT SIDE of this blow-out?
 Hopefully these little bastards will be blown around and scattered. So we can get back to "real" fishing, rather than feeding them .20 cent live shrimp.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My WICKEDLY sharp hooks that are lean

Sharp hooks are absolutely essential. But, they can come at a high price, too!
Well, as I tell many people. I am a professional tackle shopper. I always look for the best value.

The hooks I use spark a lot of attention, on my boat by my charter customers. From my float-rig hooks to my bottom fishing hooks. I use ONE brand, and I use only ONE style of hook.

Because these hook are not expensive, they are not at ever tackle shop, and many times people are spending way too much for their hooks. I give you this info.

I refer to it as staying, LEAN. Less tackle, less consumption, a good product that can do it all. I have confidence in, and have proved their worth. All at a great price!

Thinking lean, can , also be "mean"....especially when it comes to the Matzuo Sickle Bend "turned in eye" hooks. That I have been using for years. Mean, as in you have confidence, and more cashola in your pocket afterwards. Because, you won't have to even think about what hook to use. You'll have plenty and know they work.

So...what hook am I talking about?

Here it is, being tested.  BIG TIME!

- watch this video! These hooks can catch monster fish.

MATZUO...many have never heard of them. 


The super benefit of these style hooks with the "turned in eye", is these are made to be SNELLED.
Snelling is the STRONGEST connection you can make. If you do not know how to snell a hook easily.
PRACTICE, and watch this Video: http://youtu.be/sj0QY8mXDVw

Much of what I'm talking about here has been already covered. "Were YOU paying attention?"

The only place I find a very good selection of these hooks is here on Cabelas.

I just ordered more hooks for this summer. And I found these non-sickle bends on sale. I like the "sickle bends", but heck for float-rig fishing these will also work great:

Non-sickle, but same hook on SALE - "LINK"

You asked (if you fished with me over the last few years) so here it is. All laid out for you.
A great reason to be a Capt Dave's Blog reader!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring Week of: "After Tax day"

Had great weather....until the weekend. Saturday brought rain, cold, and 20 kt. winds. Not a great combo. BIG front came in.

But prior, it was sweet!

Lots of action.

Here's the highlights....


"Green-head" river Seabass

Good "eater" Drum

5 pound Gator Trout

Sheepshead on the Float-rig

From: 4/19 - Knight Charter

Sunday, April 14, 2013

4/14 - Doc went North.....

I sat Thursday morning listening to the NOAA weather radio while waiting for my customers to arrive.
And last Thursday in 2012, that day it was a high of 91 degrees!

Radical difference between what Ray, little 9 year old Mathew, and myself felt while struggling to catch any decent fish.......THE WHOLE DAY!!!

We started at the jetties. It was a bit sloppy. I had Mathew drift a float with a live shrimp behind the boat and 10 feet off the stern. His float..."bobbed". Hit by either a Bluefish or a small Spanish Mackerel. He reels in and YEP, the shrimp was clipped like it was cut with scissors.

2nd try - same
3rd try - same
4th try - same

They don't have to eat alot of my expensive live shrimp for me to get the message;

It's over as far as float-rig fishing shrimp at the inlet. If there was a Trout out there. You'll never catch it, anyhow.

That's when my "winter" Trout fishing buddy, Doc Miller heads North. Oh, he was actually out here on Wednesday. Back to N.C. and he won't pick up a rod and reel again till fall. Or when the frost starts in the mountains of  North Carolina. Then, he'll quietly slip back into J-ville put the boat in the water and rig up his float fishing rods once again.

So what's the morale of this story?

You guessed it......Dave's favorite part of the year is over. Just like it is for Doc.

In the last few trips it's been like an invasion of an alien race, in that river. Mother Nature is so outa whack it's incredible.

I say this every single year; "Someone needs to find a lucrative market use for a 6-12" Bluefish. Put a price on their heads. And then, it would be as if they never existed.  It would be worth bringing back inshore gill nets just to see these fish extinguished from our waters."

(actually....UN wanted)

Sounds harsh I know. But, I absolutely hate them. With every bone in my body!

Yesterday. I had a great crew...Rich, Kerry, Scott, local folks. No Kids. I made the effort to run 12-14 miles on way from the boat ramp away from the Mayport area. Just with hope, that I may...just may get far enough away from the Bluefish to actually catch some quality Trout.

NO DICE! The bluefish ate our  live shrimp, and Matrix shads off our jigs from the first spot to the last spot, and when there's all these teeth around the Speckled Sea Trout aren't coming out to play either. We caught a few trout. But it was a  struggle. And we even saw Spanish Mackerel jumping out of the water in the river, 14 miles from the inlet, also.

Now, I'm booked:  April 17-18-19-20....(a good thing after Tax day)

By Sunday the 21st, "pour me in a Dixie cup, I'm already looking forward to next November!" 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Yep, knives and fish cleaning go hand in hand...and like anything else you can take it to the limit or just go 1/2 way.

I can't afford to go 1/2 way. That's why I've been doing some studying up on fish cleaning, buying a fantastic sharpener, watching fish cleaning video's from experts, and getting better knives.

I did a video on the Worksharp belt knife sharpener. http://youtu.be/59u2M6JZTdk

At that time I took and old beat up Rapala knife and sharpened it with the Worksharp belt sharpener.
(say that 10 times fast!)

Then, I went out and did a weeks fishing. I had a trip where we filled the cooler slap full of Whiting and then filled the cracks left with Yellowmouth Trout. Then, I cleaned a Sheepshead and a Black Drum, and then did a whole bunch more Whiting.

I figured I cleaned 100+ fish, total. On that "re-honed-re-sharpened" old Rapala knife. And in the mean time I watch some Youtube video's on how the fish market experts clean fish. Under fantastic conditions I might add. Running water, good light, no bird attacks, no kids jumping around. Unlike how and when I clean fish!

I learned from a Youtuber that a skinning blade is an awesome fish cleaning tool rather than a think fillet knife. So I bought two 5" Forschner skinners. And used his fish cleaning techniques. Awesome!

Here's a follow-up video:

Check out this link to Capt Vince's Youtube channel and let a master show ya a thing or two.
Using a skinning blade. http://www.youtube.com/user/CaptainVincentRusso

Consider the passing on Capt Vince's Youtube channel about fish cleaning, a new TECH-TIP.
I learned alot. I think you will too.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

4/9 - This past weekend...

Wheww, was this past weekend brutal. To start, I had "kids" aboard again. Along with dad and Grandpa. Super nice folks and well behaved kids. The wind was HOWLING, of course. And there was no re-scheduling this time. Because this was already a re-scheduled trip from Feb. because it was too cold for the kids. Said Grandma'.

One Sheepshead and MUCHO Croakers, while hiding from the nasty 25 kt gusting winds.

The four person trips are a real bear. Then, add in young kids, then add in 25 knot gusting winds. But, I made it through all the "spring breaks", I guess. The next "group affairs" I'm sure will come over July 4th. And then, we'll contend with the heat instead.

I know it's mandatory to fill my capacity sometimes. But yesterday I had a call...."Hi, I've talked to people who've fished with you, watch your Youtube video's and would like to book a day. I have 5-6 people......."

"Whoaaaaa!! Let's stop right there", I said. "That's already 2-3 person past what I do and what's a quality day."

And at the same time, this person thought I did offshore charters. Which leads me to believe nothing about what he told me. No Youtube video's are offshore, and no one who has been with me on my boat in the last 5 years has been offshore.

I told him, personally I'd find a 40' boat with a mate with that many people. So not to be "shoe-horned in" a small boat with 6 people.  But hell, what do I know......?

Okay, back to this past weekend. And my observations, of such.  Sunday I had a very late notice booking. AGAIN, 4 teen-agers and grandpa. NOTHING was working out other than catching BAIT.

We hit a Croaker spot and loaded the livewell full of perfect bait sized Croak's. I had plans to get the hell outa Dodge City. "You know, the HUB. The area where all the boat traffic is. Where the Coasties are on the rampage and stopping people just minding their own damn business driving up the river. Away from the ghetto cruisers in constant crossing mode from ICW south to ICW north......You know?"

Yeah, that place I went is called 'past the Dames Point bridge'. Ahhhh, no traffic, no coasties, no ghetto cruisers.  But for us, fishing the High Tide on a NEW MOON. No current either!!!

Fished live mini Croakers along two rock piles without a sniff. While pitching jigs and matrix shads every now and then, if we could. Because the GNATS were chewing us to pieces!  There was zero wind. We could hardly fish.

I should have just went straight to the jetties with this crew. Three teen-agers and grandpa'. But we did manage a few Trout and blues on the Matrix shads, before giving up on the deal with fishing baby live Croakers, because the gnats were so bad everywhere we went.

After heading back eastward. Every 60 seconds the three teen-agers were tangled, stuck, snaggled, back-lashed, or breaking something, or wrestling on the bow. It wasn't what I'd hoped for, let me tell ya!

So that's what I did last weekend.

Is "spring break over yet"??

Looking to get back to a few adults and some actual light tackle sport fishing. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

4/5 - W-O-W

Ya know if you're visiting from "afar" and staying in a hotel or even at Grandma's house.
The easiest thing to do is head over to Singleton's Seafood Shack around the corner from the boat ramp docks where we'll be departing and going back to for any fish cleaning. And then have Singleton's cook up your fish for you.

At I think $3.00 a pound. It sure is a nice way to end the days adventure. Add in some Onion rings a pitcher of beer or sweet tea and you'll have a relaxing unwind from the day of bouncing around fishing and can re-cap the excitement by eating your own FISH!

Susan, just emailed this FEAST PHOTO from Singletons after their charter day. (COOLER SLAP FULL OF TASTY WHITING!)

Looks like Singletons had to break out the giant browny pans to serve up this hungry family of four (w/ two growing boys)

Well, that is what was left after my big day with the Fuqua Family from Georgia....

You remember them huh?

Just a few reports:

You too can do this.

I skin, de-bone, fillet all your fish for you "after" your days fishing trips back at the dock.
(on a gratuity basis, after charter is done)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

4/3 - Re-Run...heading to the Jetties!

Had Jim and his two sons Cole and Zach aboard today. Wasn't going to run down river, like yesterday.
But instead hopefully put these boys on fish right away. And thank goodness I didn't have plans to float-rig fish, as the bait shop from what I heard later didn't have any live shrimp. Although, I had some still in my livewell from yesterday.

So we went straight to the Jetties. The tide was smoking. And was glad I brought two heavier rods, because at one point we were up to 6 ounce to hold bottom. Throw the light tackle fishing out the window. This is the St. Johns "rapids" river, dredged to China!

The hardest thing for everyone, no matter if you're a tournament Bass fisherman from Alabama, or unfortunately a 12 year old or 9 year old from Michigan. Is feeling the bottom!

I struggle with that constantly. So, out came the heavier rods, 6 oz. leads and I cast and dropped the baits out behind the boat. Because fishing current like this isn't for the beginners.

But the tide as we all know changes constantly, and eventually we got back on the light bottom fishing rods.

I have learned after all these years that I can't really take the kids float-rig fishing. It takes too much paying attention and concentration. So, it's bottom fishing from here on out, really. Because it's kids aboard from now till September. So I'll leave the float-rig fishing to adults only.

The Whiting bite (as per my last report also) is thru the roof! And these are great action fish, that kids can reel in one after another, as well as providing excellent table fare.

And today was no different than yesterday's trip. Except we did get a Black Drum on the Whiting spot, when we were along the rocks, as the tide pushed pretty good.

Cole was the man, and it kicked his butt! So, even though the kids may want monsters. "Ya gotta watch out for what you wish for, sometimes." 

A good eater size!

This Drum along with a hand selected size and amount of Whiting, made their way into the cooler to be lunch over at Singleton's Seafood Shack, for the crew afterwards. Just like yesterday.

I even kept a few and fried them up when I got home. (Damn those Whiting are good!) After scrubbing the boat with soap/bleach and a heavy brush, cleaned and bleached the coolers, and detailed the rods and reels. Because after handful of day after day fishing. The Jettywolf needed some T.L.C. and so did my tackle!


More kids.....4- persons on Saturday the 6th, during the Redfish spots tourney. (OH NO!!!)

I guess the rain on Thursday and maybe Friday gives me enough time to re-coup???

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

4/2 - WHITING FEST...Serious fish fry cometh!

We tried first thing to do some float-rigging up river for a over-sized Redbass, or maybe a few Trout. But even though the tide was right for the spot. Nothing was happening. So we headed to the jetties. I was thinking Drum, Sheepshead, fishing deep at the north rocks.

Turned out that the Whiting were ON FIRE!  So, with kids and super action. I wasn't about to leave to find anything else. Plus, Mom was ON FIRE too!

They filled a 72qt. cooler with super fryer Whiting, and then filled the cracks in the box with Yellowmouth Trout later on.

I was wore slap out when I got home. But still pushed forward to produce this video for your viewing enjoyment. Then, I was up at 4am the next morning putting the finishing touches on it. And out the door for another day with some kids and Dad. To do it all over again...

(Now I still have to do Wednesday's report.)

Monday, April 1, 2013

4/1- TECH-TIP:

To clean your fish.

This tool is awesome!

3/31- Radical Change:

Had Dan Sr. & Dan Jr. out today for some "float-rig fishing". That's all we were going to do. And they might have been glad or might have been sad to be on the Jettywolf.

Because I went straight to the jetties and went on over to the southside of the south.


The reason I had the 'Wolfie built. So I could fish where I wanted when I wanted at the jetties.

Because NO ONE ELSE dared to come on over there and anchor up and fish. The wind was honking.....Not out of the SW as the weather guessers said. But out of the SE. Right into the rocks on the south.

It was slop & chop. A Soup sandwich. If it was January I would have been in all my glory. Because as hard as we tried we could hardly get a damn bite!

If it was January the big fat Gator Trout would have been there. But today, with the slop we worked hard for a few small specks and yellowmouth trout. That was it.

This was spot #2 actually. We caught one speck on the inside of the north jetty first as the last of the falling tide still dribbled out the jetties. And then the Bluefish ate us out of house and home.


I will not put up with any of the green scourge fish. So that's when we left to sit anchored in the soup over outside the south rocks.

We left there because of no bites and headed inshore. The wind was really blowing now. And experience was telling me, it wasn't us. The rest of the day searching for any decent trout bite was gonna be dismal. 

And it was. Over-cast skies and where was that 80 degrees? Not at Mayport that's for sure.

So we just kept moving around. I actually caught more Specks and a Yellowmouth up in the river on a 1/4 ounce jig and a matrix shad plastic tail then the two Dan's did on live shrimp.

That was something.

We ended the day with a few but the two Dan's didn't want them. So I cleaned the small Yellowmouths and a few Specks and went home and fried them up for supper.

Wheww...was a day. A kinda uneventful day. And the weather was far from Chamber of Commerce this time around.


4 person Tuesday all day'er
3 persons Wednesdayall day'er

During the Redfish Spots Tourney Saturday, 4 persons.  All day'er.