4/30 – A couple of Katie’s friends had been asking me to take them out forever, and I could never quite get our schedules to line up. And, being that I was booked for the entire month of April, I decided that they could have the last day of April as their own. And we got lucky – it was slick calm and the conditions were perfect.
We left very, very early and arrived at my spot as the sun was just breaking the horizon. Within 5 seconds of arriving, the Bonito started busting and we had 2 fish on instantly. Alicia was the first to get her fish in – a pretty 4lb Bonito that took a green stingsilver. Nicole followed shortly and katie shortly thereafter. The action continued, like this, for the next hour and a half and we were able to pick away at the scattered busting fish, putting 8 Bonito in the boat before 7:30am.
After that, it got rather crowded as the hordes arrived last as usual. So we left to go to another location, and while we had some company out there – I was very proud of my girls today – they kicked BUTT and were the only folks to land any Bonito at all at the wreck between 5 other boats filled with guys and guides. Katie caught the first one, then alicia got a second, etc. Then something awesome happened – a great big school popped up about 50 yds from us – lures flew from all directions and only 1 person hooked up – my Katie. …and this fish was a smoker! He ran so hard he almost pulled the rod out of her hands and took her a good while to land – and when she did, he went a solid
We finished the day playing alongside a very curious mola-mola that stayed right next to the boat for close to 5 minutes. We even got to watch him eat a couple of small lion mane jellies.
What a day – in by 10:30am and we had a great dinner party that evening – seared Bonito and ceviche.
5/1 – The problem with taking friends out is, when you take a few – you have to take everyone. Katie is lucky I’m so nice – and so I took out her buds Lori, Beth and McDavid this morning. It wasn’t as nice as the day prior. In fact it was downright sloppy. But that’s why environmental folks are so cool – ain’t got to worry about sea-sickness with folks who work around boats and the ocean all the time.
Again, we had a very early start and again we found fish very, very quickly. They wera bit a more scattered the day prior and we really struggled to get hook-ups casting jigs and stingsilvers. While we had strikes, it was difficult to get lures to the fish in the 3-4′ footers and I think it was equally as difficult for the fish to see our lures in the chop – particularly since the schools appeared to be small.
So, we decided to go to the yo-zuris and troll up a bite. It worked very well. Clown, as usual, was the ticket and the larger sizes worked better. We ended up getting strikes every five to ten minutes and the fish also started to bust the surface in better numbers. With good action happening all around us, we put about 6 Bonito in the boat, losing several more but we accomplished our goal – Lori, Beth and McDavid all caught their first Bonito. We only kept 1 today (for McDavid’s dinner) and released the rest.
In by 9am to get these folks to class. Good job guys!
4/29 – Today I had ol’ Dave of Raleigh Rhino Linings on board for a little Bonito action – and he’s been dying to catch one for a good while. And, apparently, he’s cursed.
While it was really rough in the morning and the conditions perfect – the Bonito never gave us a show at all. The boat traffic was also really heavy and did not help things. We stuck with it for most of the morning and as the seas laid down to a nice calm, we decided to head a bit farther offshore and see if we could find some Bonito or anything else to chew a bait.
While it ended up paying of for us, a friend later called and told me that less than 10 minutes after I left the Bonito went crazy and stayed so for at least 4 hours. Go figure! The Bonito have cursed Dave!
What I did find, however, was a great flounder bite (and a few nice black sea bass). We first caught a short on a stingsilver and also lost a monster fish on a stingsilver before i decided to really give ’em hell. I sabiki’d up a bunch of perfect cigar minnows and we slowly drifted over the wreck – and it was very, very consistant. While we lost a bunch of fish due to the fact that our cigar minnows were too big, we boated 5 keepers inlcuding a 4.5lb Gulf and a 3.5lb Summer. We could have caught a good number more, but a group of rude SCUBA divers ran us off the wreck and proceeded to slow the bite…
On the way in, we watched the Condos in AB burn from about 3 miles out – it was an intense sight. We could see flames, plain as day, from almost 3 miles away!
Awesome fishing with you Dave!
4/28 – Today I got to fish with some good folks, Emmit, his father and Jay – wounded warrior whom they brought along (and a fine young man at that). But the weather man really put us to test. The 5-10 knot wind was a sustained 15-20, with higher gusts, the prevented us from chasing our intended quarry – Bonito – and we decided to go after the reds as i had a few good schools zero-ed in.
The fishing was tough, but on a fairly sheltered flat, I worked a very subtle drop-off at low tide – poling the boat with the wind at my back…going as slow as possible. We ended up seeing a good number of fish – probably 8 schools of 30-50 fish that we got good shots at. But in the building wind, it was tough to get accurate casts at spooky schools of fish that I couldn’t see until we were almost on top of them – once I saw a school, everyone had less than 10 seconds to react.
We still, with persistance, were able to get some bites – and Jay landed his first Red. Congrats man!
Tough day and we ended it a bit short when the winds hit 20 knots. It was still good fishing with great people and I hope to have y’all back some time soon.
4/27 – Again, I had the absolute pleasure of having some fishin’ fools on board – DAve and Sue who had fished me several times this month and had killed the ‘neeters (aka, bonito) the week prior.
The day started off a bit slow, Sue landed the first fish – a short flounder and pretty soon i found myself stuck in a shallow tidal creek (it happens to the best of us). After I got out of the mud, we covered a lot of water and while we found great conditions and crystal clear water – we weren’t seeing any fish.
So I went to an old reliable spot and after little work we found a good concentration of fish. We were fishing a windward bank and i could absolutely not see the fish until they were right under us. The did, however, love spinnerbaits would slam them like freight trains – and they bit particularly well when the sun went behind the clouds.
The action was fast and furious and came in quick bunches. Both Sue and Dave would hook-up, we’d land 1 or both and then we’d get a few more hits…and then we’d spook a big school of 50-100 fish. This happened several times. We did get a lot of hook-ups and were able to land a good percentage but there were a lot of LDRs and SDRs today (long distance release and short distance releases) – and i blame that entirely on the banana in y’alls cooler! (just kidding)
We did a put a bunch of pretty slot fish in the boat and lost probably 10 – including 1 really big over-slot fish that pulled Dave’s across an oyster bed and snapped 20lb braid!
I can’t wait to y’all again this October!