Wednesday, May 29, 2013

5/29 - A little "MacGyvering"

All to make YOUR fishing charter video's better. (and my R&D fishing video's too)

Oh, you're new here?

Okay. I'll explain.

Many of my customers not only get a report here on my daily reports blog, to show everyone back home. That usually includes photos...."but photos, are so 1990's....hahahahahaha"

But, you'll also get a video of your day too. That get's posted to my YOUTUBE CHANNEL so you can really show folks back home your day's adventure.

Not every charter day do I produce a video. But, if all goes right. I just can't keep the camera box closed!

Compare that to what you get with any other guide service around here....Go ahead. I dare ya!

-26' loads of room comfortable boat.
-A report to share
-Photos to share
-A video to share
- and much much more.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Yeah.....pretty boooring around here.

My busy'ness doesn't start till Friday and the next week after that. (you know in the world of John Q. Public. Everyone is the same, sort of. At least they all want to fish on the same week)

So, what do I do. I play with new toys. And spend huge amounts of time researching them.

Yes, this is how you get not only your day on the water. But if you give me time. I get to do a video of your day as I have many so far.

So, photo of the week is;

A new addition to my Camera Box:

Actually, 2 photos....

I went to the dark-side twice in one year. GoPro Hero 2, and a Apple Iphone 5.

What's next?

5/28 - 1st Kings and a Cuda caught off Jax Beach Pier

It's officially Spring when the Spanish Macs hit the area....which was awhile ago.

And now it's officially Summer, when the 1st King Macs are caught off the end of Jax Beach Pier.
Along with this one there was another and even a large Cuda, taken.

I mentioned a technique, if ya want to call it that, on Facebook, that worked for me one time. And by doing it I saved alot of run time, fuel and sanity, during a J.O.S.F.C. tournament.

The Kings were supposed to be on the beach. They had already caught a few off the end of the "old" and longer Jax Beach Pier.

So myself and my tournament partner decided to stay close and keep lines in the water as long as we could.

I bought a gallon of Pogie oil, not sure if this was really necessary or not. But it was insurance. I ran down to the pier and set up shop 1000 yards off the end. I tied the gallon jug of Pogie oil to a sash weight, and sent to the bottom. With holes punched in the jug, and a tiny float on the surface tethered to the jug of oil.

I trolled 3 live Pogies. From in the prop wash, to far out behind the boat. As we did the "put-put" just barely trolling along with baits out. I said we'd cut up 3 Pogies into pieces and chum them over the side every 5 minutes or so.

Doing a figure 8, from where my little float was, to where the oil rose to the surface making a nice long slick.

As usual, beach fishing for King Mackerel isn't full of action. But rather a waiting game. A few small pesky Sharks is all we had for the longest while.

It's been said that beach fishing and especially live bait fishing, while going NO where fast is the longest day you'll ever spend on a boat fishing, for only 10 minutes of excitement.

That's why back in the day of $1.50 fuel (I'm guessing) I was a Cigar Minnow troller. Instead, I'd rather do 3.5 kts at 1500 RPM's was I think, the key speed and rotations for me, on my old Sitex/Koden LORAN-C. And 200 Evinrude, smoker engine.

Okay, back to oil slick trolling outside the Pier...

We got to talking and eatin' lunch or whatever. And finally the prop wash pogie got ate by something with a forked tail. The drag ripped on my ole Daiwa 50H reel.

It was a Kingfish. And as it was gaffed and dropped on the deck.

Out of it's mouth flew 2 pounds of perfectly cut square Pogie pieces.

Yep, my chum chunks.

That fish was following along behind us. Having itself some snacks for who knows how long!!
And when we stopped chunkin' Pogies to eat lunch ourselves. There was no more "snack paks" coming from the stern of my boat.....obviously.

And that goes to show ya. These fish are just plain lazy. Because it took a bit of effort to eat that live swimming Pogie in the prop wash. Why do all that when chunks of breakfast and lunch are just falling out of the sky?

The fish was just 19 pounds. But good enough for 3rd place. With the 1st place fish only being something like 23 or 26 pounds. But did come from nearly St. Augustine.

It was just a club tournament. I'm sitting here writing this story and have the 3rd place plaque on the wall in front of my desk.

Yes that was a long time ago......1993 as a matter of fact. But, when it's right. Why couldn't that same thing work all over again. There's no reason why not.

Only thing I will and would do different is less chum chunkin. That's about it.

I get the right day, the right crew, I may try it out again soon. Jus' for the good ole times...

Sorry. I have no idea where the photo of our fish is. But I know I was younger and thinner.

It's a good way to attract a Cobia, Tarpon, Cuda, Spanish Macs, and a Kingfish.

No long boat rides, I like that!

But be prepared to be very patient and HOT.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

5/25 - This weekend last year:

Memorial day holiday, last year:  "T.S. BERYL"




Friday, May 24, 2013

5/24 - New feature:


Now you can understand how todays trip went.
Bye,bye, $40 worth of PowerPro!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

5/23 - a week of boredom......

Wow, can I tell everyone burned their wick in April. I was so busy. But I guess that was the "cabin fever crowd".

Soon another Holiday will pass and in Jax that means; "People will think I'm standing at the dock at parade rest".  The smartphone generation will call, and then I'll have to say. "I need a deposit", and then their noses will get all out joint, because I got straight to conducting business.  They have no idea on my end. I'll need FUEL again. And no I don't have a fuel tank at home. During the summer, I have a much lower making dollars ratio. Because each day I'll drop that whopping $100 bill in the tank and thet gets me to and from and up and down the river maybe twice.

Heck, $100 is only like 26 gallons! Add in a holiday and they raise the fuel costs on the street. And those gas stations are such fun to get in and out of, anyhow.

So, if ya wanna go, and ya call me with less than 24 hrs notice. Don't get your nose outa joint when I ask for a $100 deposit straight away. The words "yes", means ya want to actually go. The words, "well let me think about it", has me onto doing something else....

Rates are clearly published on my website. So there's no mystery. There should be not even hardly a question mark, if you look and see all I have there for you to read. Then call.

If this sounds like a rant, and I use the words YOU....I don't mean, YOU. I mean "everyone out there".
And yeah, so what if it is a rant. Am I not allowed?

I have been watching so many YouTube video reviews on Cameras that my laptop is actually tired. The guys with a in yer face, tell it like it is review, of a thang-a- ma-jig brand camera is the guys that get so many hits that they earn a monthly salary from the ads on their YouTube channels, they are so popular!!

So this is kiddy stuff. Me describing late notice 8:30pm calls for the next morning at 6:30am. C'C'mon...I'm allowed right. Who's BLOG is this anyways?

There's a "front coming". But that's okay. If I get any traffic I'll be huntin & sniff'in for them down river as I always do this time of year. I decided, I'm sticking around where I know best.

Weekend weather synopsis:


Monday, May 20, 2013

5/18-5/19 - Rough days

Not rough, as in getting beat up from wind or heavy waves. Just rough trying to catch a bunch of decent fish in the thing, we call a "river".

I have not tasted any salt in the water, except when at the jetties. I'm putting the salinity gauge back on the boat, again. Just to act scientific. Not that my "tongue" lies to me....But, I like to offer you all facts, instead of just vague observations.

That's why you come here right? To see if I'm doing anything different than you are?

After each days adventure of trying to find any fish around here, since the big rains. In my head I usually come up with what I call "Blog Report Titles". Ya know, something that quickly explains each days  pursuit of what makes Dave and his crew members happy.

On 5/19 - With Dale C. and his two sons. I came up with the title:

"Long boat rides and Teflon hooks" 
Seeing that my largest expense right now is GASOLINE! Yeah, can't use my motto of "no long boat rides", now. 

Because #1- I gotta get out the H.I.B. Defined as the jetties to the ICW. There's just not enough water, and every spot has a Humans-In-Boats, on it. Guess that's why I love deep winter so much, only the tuff fish in Grundens rather than board shorts. So we've been travelling.

Then, a theme of the day was lost fish, by Dales son's. I keep asking them if they were switching out my wicked sharp Matzuo hooks with hooks that were teflon coated? They'd hook up, they'd make a few turns of the reel handle and then fish would come off. After numerous times, it starts to not a be a joke, I start to get concerned...but I don't believe they were as fluid as they needed to be, and didn't keep a bend in the rods.

We worked really hard to get some Specks (some shorts and keepers), but also found Yellowmouths. And on the first spot it was all the 12" Yellers you'd ever want.

The water was dark brown, and still dirty looking. But at a super structure spot, one of the son's nailed this fish. 

The best Trout of the day: 19-1/2 inches

Yeah, look at that structure!!!!  And besides a Mangrove Snapper or two. That was the ONLY fish that came from such a sweet spot:
Took this pic with my satellite. Hooked up to my Apple Iphone 5, in conjunction with NASA, and the FWC, St. Johns River research group, River Keeper and STOP dredging our river inc. Because that's what we needed it seemed, to find a bite!

They ended up with a bag of fillets. But thank goodness I have a fillet knife that's damn near dangerous.

Yep, down yonder is where I've been each day. (hence the long boat rides) And have come to the realization that finding some small 3-4" Finger Mullet just may never happen. I keep looking. But "bait" is damn near absent from down river.  Now at the jetties, there's all the bait anyone could ever want. But there's no one around to eat it. Bait fish: Mullet and Pogies, sure are safe at our inlet!!  Ya wonder, how could that be. But, "it be alright!" 

I'll explain, in the second half of this two day report.....

Next day:

May 19th. 3 good guys. Trying something different. Because I was supposed to have a full boat, and have 4 guys. But only three showed.

Title we came up with:  "Long Boat Ride, for JACK!"

Went to jetties with 8 rods for bottom fishing. Four lights, and four heavy's. I was prepared! Left the live shrimp and float-rig rods, out today.

Shouldn't have done that! (I'll get to that later)

All the Pogies you'd ever want outside the north rocks and along the rocks. Falling tide, and a VERY stiff S.E. wind blowing. The end of the jetties had me down to an idle unless we wanted to take a bath with the wind blowing the large swells into our face. Inside the jetty rocks, was just plain NASTY!

Outside the jetties there was a decent swell. But getting Pogies on my first of the year Banana cast of my 8' Pogie net was sufficient. I caught all my livewell could handle.

We then anchored in the only calm water there was on the outside of the north rocks toward the tip. I pitched out some pogies, and even had my 3 guys "dabbing" pog's straight down to the base of the rocks. A few hours went by with out a decent bite at all. And the swell was making one crew member a bit seasick. We had a few bluefish chop and shred some of the baits, when I chucked them out behind the boat on to the sand. But that was it.

AGAIN...this is where bait fish feel safe I guess. Because besides a Dolphin (aka: "Flipper") or the occasional Shark. There's no one around to eat them. It's amazing how it is here...any where else, predators would flock to eat all that EZ bait.  Schools and schools of pogies, Mullet swimming down the rocks, large mullet (12" types) and  you'd think, "This is where every Cobia, Spanish Mackerel, Jack Crevalle, and Jumbo Redbass would be, right?"  You'd be correct, if this was elsewhere in the world!

So, we left.

With Pogies in the bait well, I ran 12 miles. Down past the Dames Point bridge and fished areas that in the heat of July & August I personally have filmed video's of myself catching 20 pound Reds, on cut Mullet.  Plus, the effects of the wind would be a whole lot less down yonder.

We get there. And No bites. I even had the guys using dead shrimp on the bottom as we soaked live pogies out the back of the boat. Never lost a bait!

Worked our way around, fishing where ever I could grab some decent current and anywhere I marked some kind of life on the bottom. Never caught a fish!

Totally disgusted.....I came up with a RULE, until this river straightens out, which who knows when that will be?  If you are a two person charter (optimal) or even a 4 person charter (a crowded charter), we are float-rig fishing with live shrimp. PERIOD!!!  I will not waste valuable time getting baits that don't get eaten, like pogies! I will not waste time looking to catch non-exsistant finger mullet in the river. We're going with what produces bites, lost fish, caught fish, small fish, big fish....any fish!

We finally ended up in a creek near the river. A spot I have never fished pogies on the bottom before. A place that's not even a "summer spot", but rather a cold water spot in deep winter. And there is where we had our only taker the whole day......A Jack Crevalle!

We soon packed it in and went back to the boat ramp, after this...

Our Pogies got chopped in half by a few Inshore saltwater Piranha's, and that was it.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

5/15 - Thinking about additions:

W-O-W, have ya ever looked at the prices of some of these New Electric trolling motors out there?
$1,200.00 for a electric bow mount trolling motor? Trolling motors with GPS, positioning?

I believe the last trolling motor I purchased was $300. Which tells ya how long ago that was.

That's $1200, for the Troller, then Batteries $200 each, and of course a on-board charger at least $300. Then, if you want accessories it's another $300-$400 bucks on top of that.

You could almost get a 10 HP 4-stroke Kicker motor for the same money.

I could just do this instead......

It's a "kicker motor" bracket. 1/2" alloy plate welded to the swim platform on a Pacific boat like mine.
Add a 10 HP 4-stroker, and I'm in the club!

The economy "trolling club"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

5/13 - Long Haul......"Search"

Had Paul and Ann Marie on board the Jettywolf from Las Vegas. Paul did everything right. He checked blog posts, and my Youtube video's. And booked his trip well ahead of time. Got to the boat ramp on a few minutes before departure time. So everything on land, went very well.

Now, Monday was a "COLD" front, that blew in over night. And when they (the weather guessers) said Cold Front, I didn't think they actually meant REALLY cold air. But yeah, that's what it meant!

As we flew down the river at 7am. I was really cold, in just a T-shirt. Personally, I'm liking this spring/summer so far as the weather goes. Since, we're kinda setting records for "LOWS", in the last few months. By now, it's usually 90+ degrees. So that means sweating by 8am.

But that storm (week of rain and high winds at the beginning of the month) has taken it's toll on the river. Just like last summer when we had Tropical storm Buryl and Debby. Right after and for what seemed like weeks after. Finding consistent action was like asking the fish gods for a miracle.

We searched and searched today. Putting alot of miles under the Jettywolf. So much that I actually lost time, and when we packed it in to head back to the dock, it was 6pm!!!!!!!

"We left the dock at 7am!!!"

And for all our efforts. I could not find the nest of Trout. A good majority of the day we fished a rising tide. And the most fish were caught on the falling tide. So right there was a major hurdle.

We float-rigged live shrimp 99% of the time. Yes, my crew caught Ladyfish, Jacks, and Trout, and loads of small ones. (under 15 inches)

AnnMarie laid the Ugly Stik to a 28" Redfish, and we knew that she'd catch the largest fish of the day. It's a "gender" thing!  The last couple I had aboard, the fella's wife caught the most and the largest.

But, for me, it was a struggle on a personal level. I went to all the places the big trout should be. Places I don't even have to normally fish. And all we could find out of a "ALL DAY VENTURE" was 5 keeper Trout. That's not good.

The reason, we were out so long was probably because we were having such a good time. But at the same time, I take very difficult Trout tracking "personal". I'm a machine when pursuing my Trout friends. I do not want to be defeated. But, the way it looks. I better get used to it till things straighten out again.

JUST LIKE LAST SUMMER.  The nice thing about my blog posts is I can go back and see and review when things were the same as it is now. And right after the two storms last summer it was exactly the same as RIGHT NOW!

Then came a point when all hell broke loose. And I started catching Gator Trout and lots of Trout in between.

So, that's what I'm standing by for.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

5/9 & 5/10 - Stayed Eastward

5/10 -  Had some kids on the boat with dad on Friday. We tried to duplicate the float-rig Redbass I caught the day before. But it proved difficult. So we spent the rest of the day in the river, float-rig fishing and bottom fishing and caught lots of Ladyfish and Jacks of all sizes.  This young boy Larry Jr. was a great kid. And was very inquisitive, and a great bait caster. All at the prime age of 11 years old. "To tell ya the truth, he and I could have gone by ourselves and would have had a great time."  I saw myself in him, even if no one else did. It's a real rarity these days to get a young boy like him on the boat.

His dad said he hopes to bring him back on his Birthday in late October.
It was his sisters birthday trip, this time.

She became an official "fish kisser".


Mom's day on Sunday if the weather's right. And Monday with hopefully with just 2 Adults.


Do not wait till the last minute for any HOLIDAY charters. Memorial day is coming and so is July 4th.  BOOK NOW!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

5/8 - Makes me feel better.....

After the screwing we had yesterday by the weather guessers. Looks like we should have gone today, instead!


This is the only thing that makes me feel much better after yesterdays weather and fishing:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

5/7 - Great Crew...Really Bad Forecast

Had Jason and Robin on board today from Bozeman, Montana. Talk about Landscape and probably Culture shock!

The forecast for the day was SUN, HIGH UV RAYS, WARM, 10 KNOTS OF WESTERLY WIND.


Where was that at????

We headed out early this morning at 7am. Rising tide. First thing I did, was taste the water at the boat ramp. Since this was my first day out since the storm.

I tasted NO salt.

So we headed down river. Robin caught two small Trout and a Bluefish at spot one. Spot two we didn't get bit. And on spot three....(we were doing the world tour already)....more Bluefish. Spot four, nothing. Spot five, wind was heinous!! And just wasn't working. Spot six, completely fed up already with the weather, it was a hide away from the wind spot. And there is where Robin caught the first keeper Trout.

But on this spot I quickly noticed a huge change. Last time I fished here NO Mangrove Snappers. Now?
Jason and Robin's shrimp were equally and relentlessly murdered constantly. And as I tried my luck, so was mine.

Time to shinny-up those "stopper knots" and get the live shrimp higher and away from the bottom. It didn't work. But I did catch a decent 17 incher.

The Mangrove's sent us packing. So we moved, but not far. And by now it was raining. The same ole story. When there's "weather", the game fish quit and here comes the bait snatchers. Personally, I was sick and tired of it already. Sick and tired of leaving the dock with no predictable weather or known action. Or let me say, I know what the deal is. So there's no mystery. But that's this time of year, that's for sure.

Has me already longing for deep winter days along the jetty rocks, again. At least I know what we're in for then.

And now add in the Mangrove Snappers, OMG!

We fished our way back, and Robin and Jason and I caught a few more small trout, a few Ladyfish, and a mini 1/8th pound Jack Crevalle....Whoa! Variety!

So our day ended with two keeper Trout in the box out of 8 dozen live shrimp. YOU do the math.

Jason was actually "schooled" by his low key, and secretly intense wife. And she was great to have along. Because if it was just jason and I, we would have quit from boredom. But Robin kept a pace.

We had fun, but the weather guessers were so wrong, and that's what really pissed me off. I was so looking forward to a kick butt day after cancellations and reschedules because of the forced weeks vacation I had.....Loosing too much $$, because of it.

No video, No photos. Too busy working to put a fish in the cooler.

Monday, May 6, 2013

5/6 - The HD Croaker float...."its time"


Welcome again to the Wolf Den for a Tech-Tip. It's time to build a few more HD Croaker Floats for summer.

Here's how I do it:

.051 heavy SS lure wire - Obtained on Ebay always from seller:
(edgara1106salguero on Ebay)

4" Pear Floats - In bulks can be obtained at: - Comal

A few beads, and a heavy swivel to be used as weight to get float to stand straight up.
A vice is handy.

A live 3-4" Croaker, or a large Mullet and you're ready.

This is just "ONE" way of rigging a float for the job. SURE, there's loads of other options. I just like these, because I've used them for Croaker fishing to chunking baits to 100 pound Blacktip sharks, behind a shrimp boat over the nets. Emphasis is on "H.D."

(disregard "time stamp" on video. I was using a brand new Sports-Vue 360 HD, and had not cleared the un-wanted menu items just yet)

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Well, my Sunday charter didn't want to go. They called last night and in the midst of serious down pours. They don't know the weather as well as "their Guide does". I told them, "I was still on. I have faith it's over on Sunday according to all forecasts." But they didn't want to go.

And as it turned out....I was correct. We could have gone today, on Sunday 5/5!!

So....Here's the new policy:

NO charters will be cancelled or rescheduled because of weather, until the morning of. So, unless notified by Capt Dave, via telephone call. Be prepared to stay with plans and show up at the boat ramp, 15 minutes prior to departure time. And no matter what, come prepared with proper attire, because you will be in the great outdoors.