Here’s a nice recap of what’s gone on the last 10 days or so during which I’ve finally had a good, long stretch of weather to fish.
A few things of note:
1)Saw two Atlantic Right whales off of Atlantic Beach Saturday morning – i was so excited, you should have seen me. I also have some video of this i will be putting up shortly.
2)Hooked our first cobia on Monday 4/21 – ate a live bluefish that was hooked on the fly…he was on a couple of minutes before spitting out the blue. Water temp was 63 degrees.
3)I’ve seen leatherbacks and mola-molas just about every day.
4)Bonito are wacky this year – but they’ll be chompin’ real soon.
4/27 – Regular client Gregg came to fish with me, driving down at 3am for a 6am departure (ouch!)! He’s tried to get out for Bonito for 3-4 years now – getting blown out every year. Talk about some bad luck – I have a few folks who get out multiple times every year! Welp, we found a few Bones this morning – they were mixed in with 2-3lb blues that were destroying bait balls on the surface and we had trouble getting through them. We ended up positively hooking up two…and both threw the hooks. Disappointed, we decided to play with the big blues…and it was on, boy was it on. We exclusively used poppers…and had strikes just about every cast. When I was demonstrating how to work the popper – i had a strike 4 feet from the motor and ended up with two 10 pounders on the plug…one on each hook. We did this for a while until gregg could not stand to fight any more…and we decided to go bucktail some flounder. But two 3.5lb fish in the boat in less than an hour.
4/26 – I took Matt and Chad out – we found a few bones first thing but they were very scattered and mixed in heavy with bluefish. We managed to hook one on the spinning gear – with me seething with anger at the stupid tunas we decided to go play with the big blues. The boat traffic was heavy today (being a saturday) so it was somewhat keeping them down but the topwater poppers and the fly outproduced everybody else. We put 4 with several misses in the boat with the fly and a few more on the popper. We’d have done better if there weren’t a bunch of followers out there! We ended up closing the morning out with a few flounder on bucktails – Matt put a 4.5 pounder in the boat and Chad an 18incher and an undersized fish in less than an hour.
However, we got to see the most amazing thing this morning – just 2 miles off of Atlantic Beach we came across two adult Atlantic Right Whales….they were slowly moving, basking on the surface. Amazing creatures, simply amazing. I reported their position to the coast guard and we followed them for 30 or so minutes. I hated leaving them – with just over 300 still alive in the world…consider ourselves blessed to have been able to glimpse them. I’ll remember it forever.[b]Poor picture of a massive right whale – the delay of my digital camera hurt me today…i think i now can seriously justify a digital SLR. My photos would have been amazing.[/b]
[b]Hooked up on the fly! Thank you Cary (Natural Fly) for the photo![/b]
4/25 AM – Today, on his third day, it was finally calm enough for us to get Sean and his lovely mother, Rose, out on the water. No bones to speak of really, just lots of 1-3lb blues, we decided to go play with the big bruiser blues again. First cast – big blue for Rose. Then the topwater came out and it was game on in the very, very calm conditions. Tired and worn out from the fights – it was flounder time. Within a few seconds…Rose put a 4.5lb flattie in the boat. Then it was time to go home – awesome day y’all! 😀
4/25 PM – Day 1 or Matt and Chad’s trip – drum time. I showed them a few spots to try this summer and fall, first off, and then we decided to go after the fish on the low-tide flats. With hazy clouds and slightly cloudy water, we had trouble getting close enough to the fish. We did however spook several big schools and did manage to put a nice slot fish in the boat. Not ideal – but we can’t kill them everyday!
4/24 – Sean is one of my favorite clients – he’s also one of my youngest. We have a lot in common and really enjoy our time together. He comes down every spring, just about, for the Bones and other things and usually hits it pretty good. No Bones today. Just lots of little blues. So guess what? We decided to go play with all the big ol’ bruisers. It was game on from minute 1. In fact, it was incredible. Today was probably one of the most amazing fishing days I have had, ever…for pure fun and size. We absolutely destroyed the big blues and we had them all over the big poppers. We could catch as many as we wanted – we even took the hooks off of the poppers at one point…and i had the video camera rolling for a good while. At times we had them finning on the surface, busting bait and even tear through baitballs – it was epic all day long. [b]At one point, we were over-run by absolute behemoths blues with all of them over 30′ FL and we had several up to 35′ FL and 17lbs for FIVE citations.[/b] Mostly on topwaters – the big “man plug” popper was the ticket and I retired him today in honor of the awesome fishing (the blues also completely destroyed the plug). We probably landed over 40 – who knows, we werent keeping count and spent the entire morning and afternoon hooked up. Absolutely crazy.
At one point, I looked back…and sean had two on with different rods doing double-jigging. He got himself into that mess – i let him get himself out 8) 😀 Sean also landed two on one popper – one on each treble.
We also spent some time bucktailing for flatties, landing several legal fish (kept two – one at 4.2lbs and one at 18″). We had a few of short fish/16″ inchers we tossed and also lost a grouper.
4/21 – Reji and Jim decided to try the bones this morning – it was a no show even though the water temps were great, the water pretty and the bait available (every other year, we would have been covered up). However, we did find a bunch of small blues on the fly…and our first cobia encounter of the year (in 63 degree water)! Reji fought it for a minute or so, getting it right up to the boat (I estimated it to be 35-40″) before he decided to spit out the little bluefish that reji had previously been fighting!
After that – it was time for the blues. We had several bites on the fly and several on jigs and the topwater. While not as hot as it would be later in the week – it was a darn good time. We also had a few bones come up for us and we hooked 1…that threw the hook 👿
Awesome guys!! Can’t wait to have y’all again!
4/19 – Although Sean was a little beat up from a “tumble” he took the previous evening at a wedding reception, him and his brother Andy were ready for the reds. It was beautiful day, and we were covered up in fish for hte better part of 4 hours…school after school of 50-100+ fish in less than 18″ of water. They were spooky but we managed to hook a few – my goal was to get Sean one on the fly (his true passion) but, with an extremely sore back, he was having a bit of trouble – i felt terrible for him. They were treated to an amazing site though!!! 😮
I’ll stop the reports here – I do have one cool catch though…we found this 17″ little bugger (& released) in 50 foot of water on a bucktail jig!!! LOST OR WHAT???