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.


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