Thursday, April 29, 2010

Summer Pattern

The last 4 or 5 days have been virtually unfishable. Not only has it been cold and rainy, but the winds on the bay have been consistently 20-30 knots. Today looked promising, so John and I agreed to meet at the boat at 4.30. After a few delays we headed out to the shoal. It was 70 and sunny, but the winds were still very high. The winds were from the west, which made for a difficult anchoring. The tide was coming in and the boat was pointing towards the eastern shore. There were a record 7 tankers anchored up and all pointing straight at us...a very strange sight on the bay. Fishing was steady and we each picked up 5 fish from 18-22. All of the fish appeared to be residents. All ten fish were caught on a white twisty on 1/4 ounce lead head. No topwater although we gave it our best.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nice Saturday Morning

I skipped fishing yesterday and with rain forecast for most of the weekend it looked like today would be a washout also. Woke to sunny skies and a mirror like river. Jumped on the boat around 9:30 and headed to Thomas Point. Arrived to find flat seas and a slack tide. Threw plugs for well over 2 hours as the tide began to come in. The skies from the south were looking ominous and a slight drizzle was beginning to fall. Finally I had a huge blowup on the bubba Chug Bug. The fish missed twice. I let the plug sit perfectly still for several seconds and then as I twitched it lightly the fish came back around and slammed again. Turned out to be a 29 that seemed healthy, but had quite a few wounds from going down into the rocks below. On my way in, I stopped at the pier at the mouth of Broad Creek. Had a huge blowup from above and had my first, and hopefully last, osprey of the summer. Birds are the one part of topwater I really dislike. She wrapped me around the trailer hitch of the bow and flew away with a brand new white Stillwater. I hope she is ok.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Waiting out the tide

Two of my friends, both named john, came out with me tonight. I forgot the card to my camera so I will have to post some Iphone pics John took later. We anchored up on the shoal around 5.30. It was perfectly flat and very pleasant. The tide was going out which really confused me because I had thought it was coming in last night. Apparently it was the wind that made it appear the tide was coming in last night. Anyway, we spent the first hour trying everything in the box with nary a swirl. Finally around 6:30 the wind picked up and the tide changed and we had our first blowup and a small 18 in the boat. We all started using plugs and the blowups began. We ended the night with at least 4 each but had many more spectacular blowups that missed. John A. picked up the biggest of the night in a 28 inch class fish.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Survival of the fittest

When I got home tonight is was raining and breezy, but the river looked calm from my living room. Somehow I talked myself into giving it a go. Texted my buddy John to see if he wanted to hop on. He said he would be there in 15, so off we went. As we passed the Rt 2 bridge the waves began slamming the boat and white caps were everywhere." Can you imagine what the bay will look like" said I. Well lets find out. So 20 minutes later we were anchored up at "the spot". Since it was so choppy, I started with a white twisty and immediately had on a biggun. It was hard to keep your balance and fight the fish, but I was able to bring her close enough to get a good look before breaking off. There was no doubt it was in the 30 plus class. We proceeded to boat 9 more fish in the next 45 minutes. They were all 18-24, but a blast in the wind, rain, and ocean like waves. Just as john was about to pull the anchor, I decided to give my trusty bubba Chugbug a go. Just as the plug was sliding down the face of a wave, I had a huge blowup and it was "yeah baby". Got what appeared to be another 30+ close to boat and John took a few swipes with the net. The fish took one last run and cut me off on the prop. Oh well..11 fish in an hour in those conditions was quite a feat.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Forget the Flats

Tonight started out with a stiff cool breeze so I planned on sticking close to home. I anchored up at marker 16 around 5:30 and tried some plugging. It was quite choppy, so I switched over to a white twisty. It took about 45 minutes, but I finally picked up a 16. By this time the wind had laid down and it was looking like a trip out to Thomas Point Shoal was in order. I arrived and anchored up "dead on" my spot. At 6:45 I had a nice swirl behind my white Stillwater Jr. I tossed back into the same spot and immediately the water exploded, but the fish missed. Back into the same spot and WOW the fish slammed like nothing I had ever experienced. I was using a med-heavy St. Croix with 8 lb braid, so the fight was not as long as the 30 from Sunday, but the fish was a lot fatter. Obviously a cow who had yet to drop her eggs. A couple of quick pics and back she went. Plugged for another 15 minutes or so and had one more blowup from the same class fish. It was getting dark, so I pulled up the anchor. My med-light rod was leaning against the gunnel so I decided to make one last cast before putting it inside. The second the twisty hit the water I hooked up with a monster. She was on for close to a minute and I got several good looks. The fish was not bigger than the 30, it was a LOT bigger. Oh well, I will never know because she straightened out the hook and was gone. Forget driving to the Flats. We have our own Flat right here in Mid bay.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Ending

After 3 days without fishing due to strong cold winds, I was anxious to get out tonight. Arrived at Thomas point Shoal around 6 PM and anchored in "the spot". The wind was blowing south and the tide was coming in so things were all discombobulated. I casted until my arms hurt..not a bump, swirl or any other sign of life. Pulled anchor and moved several times and finally gave up around 7:45. The winds in the river had really laid down and the sunset was beautiful. I stopped at marker 13 to make a few casts before heading in. Did not seem like the fish were there and I was just ready to call it a night, when I got a nice bump and it was fish on. She really reeled off some line and came to the surface several times with much fanfare. It turned out to be a very heavy 24 inch fish. Nice way to end the night.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Record

Headed out to the shoal at 6 PM. It was a bit warmer than last night, but wind hat picked up quite a bit. I anchored up at my spot and started with the same white twisty on 3/8 jig head. On the 3rd cast I picked up a nice 22. It was a great fight since the tide was coming in fast. Tried plugin for 15 minutes or so. Tried white, green, black and even the BIG chug bug...Nada. Back to the twisty and immediately picked up a 18. At 7 PM i was reeling in the twisty very slowly and felt several bumps. As the jig approached the boat, I paused for just a second or 2 and thats when my new record fish hit. The fish started off slowly with a few head shakes and then took off with the tide. The drag on my Stradic was screaming. Finally he turned and I began to feel that just maybe he or she could be landed. Not sure how long it took, but I was finally able to net my first 30 inch beast on light tackle (8 pound test, med light St. Croix in 3 feet of water). The guys that troll for these spring fish never get to see the speed and power they possess. Again, no TW action, but one heck of a night.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April Surprise

April has traditionally been my worst month. I had fished 10 days so far this april and had nothing to show for it except some beautiful sunsets. Tonight my luck finally changed. Jumped on the boat around 5.30 and headed to TP shoal. The air temp was in the mid 60's with 5-10 knot wind. Surprisingly when I arrived at the point conditions were almost perfect. Tossed topwater plugs for a half hour or so before switching over to white curly tail on 3/8 ounce jig head. On my third cast I had hooked up with a fatty about 10 yards from boat, so I got a good look at the fish. It was big (at least a 26). Unfortunately she straightened out the hook and I lost her. A few casts later I boated a 16. This was followed by a nice 24 inch football and a 18. Plugged until sunset with no luck. No TW action, but 4 fish. A nice surprise.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Boca Grande

My wife and youngest daughter spent Easter weekend at the Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande Florida. The concierge set me up with Captain Sandy Melvin. Sandy owns the Orvis shop in town and seemed genuinely excited about a all "topwater" charter. I met him at the marina at 2.30 and headed into the back country of Charlotte harbor. We were poling in 2 to 3 feet of water along the mangroves. It took a while, but we finally had a very nice blowup from a redfish that missed. Sandy seemed very excited and explained that the water had been too cold and this was a good sign. He estimated the fish to be in the 10 Lb range. Not long after that, I had another redfish blowup that came back around for a second try, but again missed. My heart was racing. About 15 minutes later I picked up my first fish of the day, a 2 pound speckled trout. They hit and fight a lot like a striper...lots of head shaking and the signature dance. My next heart stopper came from some kind of catfish that actually hit a plug and jumped like a bass. It was ugly but put up quite a fight. This was followed by another small trout. At around six I had a huge blowup but pulled the plug out the fish's mouth before hook up. I immediately threw back into the same spot and BAM "fish on". After a incredible show, I boated a beautiful 4 1/2 pound trout. Sandy said that it was the biggest he had seen all year and would put a pictue in the local Boca Beacon newspaper. A wonderful trip all around.

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