Fishing reports for the entire United States coastline and freshwater systems.
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It was again a strange weather week, with early AM storms almost every day getting in the way of fishing. After canceling and rescheduling trips where possible, I was finally on the water Friday for a three boat trip with Dan Pease and his good friend Rev. Frank Roe, and four more friends, of Elkhart, Indiana. Dan and I first fished together back in February of 2008, and had a tough weather day, but caught some great fish. Dan was a super nice guy, and a very good angler, and I was looking forward to fishing with him, again.
Before I crawled into bed Thursday night, I opened the Bahama shutters so that lightning would easily illuminate my bedroom if it again stormed in the wee hours. As if on cue, I was awakened at around 2 AM by a brilliant lightning show, and window rattling thunder boomers! I laid there watching and listening to the weather until 4:30 AM, at which time I crawled out of bed and fired up the technology center. I did not like what I saw. There was all kinds of weather brewing up offshore and coming our way. I was pretty sure Dan and the gang had no rescheduling options, and went ahead with trip preparations. I was at the ramp by 5:30, watching quite a light show to the south and west.
Shortly after I arrived and launched, Capt. Pat Burns and Capt. Dave Gibboney, the other two Captains, arrived. Many of the guides and sport fishermen who had earlier launched had thrown in the towel, and were pulling out and leaving.
After several pow-wows weighing our options, we decided to go out to the bar just outside the causeway and catch bait, which would take roughly an hour, and then access the weather situation at that time.
Actually, by the time we'd all caught bait, the big weather system to our west had definitely moved much closer, and it seemed imminent that we'd have to deal with it. We took our bait back to the ramp where we would wait and see. But, after some time of waiting and seeing, the weather seemed to be closing in on us. We decided to head out and try to get some fishing in, while staying within a short distance of the ramp. If the weather blew up and turned ugly, we'd all be within a mile or two of the safety of the ramp.
We took off, eager to get out and catch some fish, and show our guys a good time. I headed to a spot I used to fish fairly regularly before the put all the manatee zones in the river. I rarely go there, now. But, the spot can be full of great snook, redfish, and monster size jacks. It was close to safety if the weather kicked up.
I baited Dan and Frank, and tossed some live chum. Their instructions were to toss a bait to exactly where anything blew up a chum. But, all the live chum that was hit was hit about 1.3 casts away. We (I) also saw numerous snook and redfish in the clear, but tannin stained waters. Frank repeatedly dropped live baits on more than one redfish, which were so lethargic they wouldn't even spook from the boat. Same with the snook! We saw them but couldn't get them to even consider eating a live shiner! We even had some jacks raid our chum, but not eat anything we offered with a hook in it.
After an hour or so, it appeared that the weather was finally clearing out, and we elected to head on up into the Sound. Once at our first spot, which always has plenty of snook and some redfish on it on a good high tide, we couldn't buy a bite. Meanwhile, we had another big cell of weather brewing and coming our way, and my new-found gadget, a belt-worn lightning detector, was getting hyperactive.
I took off, with the intention of navigating our way to a safe-house. But, as we rode I realized that the upper level wind was shearing the top of the anvil, and I knew the storm was going to collapse. So, I stopped at another spot a mile or so away. It was so dark and overcast that I had a heck of a time finding my holes. But, I did, and finally Dan boated the first fish of the day, a nice redfish of around 6 pounds on a piece of cut ballyhoo. After a couple of redfish were missed, a couple of catfish were put into the boat. The tide had quit running.
florida fishing reports
Desperately wanting to put Dan and Frank on some action, I elected to take the show to Matlacha Pass, where we could find some moving water. There we had fish blowing up our chum; snook, trout, and mangrove snapper. But, still the fish didn't want to eat. Dan and Frank managed a half dozen or so trout. Snapper could come up and run on our baits, but wouldn't eat them.
Dan was 2/3 of the way to a Slam. He had his redfish and trout. He only needed a snook, which would be an easy order to fill most of the time. I wanted a snook for Dan in the worst of ways. I chummed our spot like crazy trying to draw them into an eating trap. But, they were not about to fall for it. Finally, we had a call from Pat saying that everyone was heading back toward the docks. We wrapped it up and headed in. Hell, I would have stayed out there until dark trying to put Dan on a snook. I was completely frustrated. But, Dan had the keys to the vehicle!
Back at the dock it was amazing, but not surprising to see that we'd all had almost identical results in our frustrated quest to put the boys on fish. And, that wasn't saying much. Dan and Frank had managed a nice redfish, several trout including a keeper, and both gaff-top sail catfish and hard-head catfish. Both bring negative points! Dave's guys had caught a redfish, a few trout, a jack, and some catfish. Daddy Pat's boys had managed two mangrove snapper. It was a consummate case of complete and total lockjaw. Yet, Dan assured me that he'd had a lot of fun, and that as a veteran of many guided trips, he'd had many such days!
As for me, my guide side was frustrated that I couldn't get on a bite. But, my guy side had totally enjoyed the day with Dan and Frank. They were lots of fun, great conversationalists, and very patient with the weather situation and a slow bite.
I've got a full week on the books next week. I sure hope this weather gets back to our normal summer pattern over the weekend.
The only way you'll ever catch fish is to Go Fishing Forum (.net)!!
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