I'll be doing a "talk" at my fishing club on Thursday night. The J.O.S.F.C at the Mayport Boat Ramp.
The River Tournament (for club members) is on Saturday 3/8. (Might have fished it. But I have a charter with a family, their boys 13th Birthday)
JOSFC RIVER TOURNAMENT: AGGREGATE of 3 eligible species, wins. Not sure if it was that way back in the day when I won it a few times. But, 3 heaviest fish shows you're a "rounded" angler. And my opinion is all tournaments should be that way.
average Jetty Black Drum
10 pound "in all her glory" clam caught sheeps
another 10#'er on Clam
"River Tournement stategies" in a nut shell.
-Go ASAP (or you should have already done this by Thursday) to Trout River Seafood as a good example. And order yourself a bag of chowda' Clams. If you can. BIGGER THE BETTER!
-Get some "people eating sized Shrimp". I like these for quality sake. Jumbo shrimp heads on. Each Shrimp provides at least two quality sized and firm baits.
-BLUE CRABS....the water's still cold enough now and the bait stealers aren't all that bad. But, I hate spending the BIG $$ on crabs to have all the Pinfish and 3" Seabass eating them up in 5 seconds. So, yeah Crabs are part of the bait arsenal too. Spend it if ya got it!
-Load the boat with 4-12 ounce lead bank sinkers, if you usually don't have them.
- Using Clams is my deal 100%. Have never not caught big Sheepshead on Clam strips. They suck it up with just a tap on the rod tip. No stealthy bites, but inhale it like a crack head on a bender. They can't stand it. Then, I use "elastic bait thread" to wrap my clam on to the hook with. Then, I pin on a big chunk of peeled shrimp.
Just ordered a bunch of bait thread on Ebay. I ran out, so I need it for the spring Drum and spawning Sheeps that is already in motion.
HERE IS THE LINK TO EBAY DEAL
- To circle or not circle......for me circle hooks get used when I am "rod holder" fishing. If people/persons are holding a rod (in lighter current) I won't use a circle hook. The ole saying is though;
"a circle hook is the best fisherman ever. A Circle hook with a rod in the holder, makes no mistakes."
- Where to fish? Personally, I have caught plenty of big Sheepshead anchored away, of the jetty rocks. YES, no where near a rock, "but adjacent too". Key words. Along the channel edges at the jetties. Looking for when the tides slows, is a key. Same goes for big Black Drum, and of course, same goes for larger Redfish. (usually NOT under 27") That's the Redfish problem!!
Same deal up in the river. Another ole saying; "H-A-R-D equals F-I-S-H". There's plenty of that hard bottom in the river. And that's where large Sheepshead & Drum can be found.
"DOUBLE-ECHO" on color sounder = hard bottom!
I know loads of people will fish the tips (submerged part) of the North and south Jetties for Drum and Sheeps. But can ya imagine after the El Cheapo Sheepshead tournament how many NEW anchors were left out there??? I've talked to 3 people who lost their anchor that day. So, I don't anchor off the North tip anymore. It's jus' me. Because every time I do, I get caught in someone elses mistake. And my anchor is special to me. I have to order them. I can't just get one at the bait shop.
It holds my 26' boat in almost all conditions, and I do not want to hang it in some other dudes 100' of balled up anchor line on the bottom snagged up in all the rocks and other debris. SO I FISH, ELSE WHERE. (again, it's jus me)
I think the rest of the "Strategies" are basic fishing, such as hooks, leaders, rigs etc.
Just plan those fishing hours, per the tides. And....KEEP THOSE BAITS IN THE WATER!