I have to say that 2008 continues to be the best year of fishing that I have ever experienced – it seems like just about everything we try to do rewards us with good, consistent fishing. It’s time to go fishing – the giant drum might be hot but everything else is hotter.

[b]Nearshore/Offshore[/b] – The AJ fishing is still RED HOT (fly and spin!) just about everywhere you try – and on the wrecks are plenty of Kings, big spanish, cudas, sharks and everything else that swims. I had a nice day and ran offshore and did very well with a GIANT sailfish, lots of mahi,a blackfin tuna and lots of wahoo bites (getting 1 to the boat).

The giant spanish mackerel fishing is also EXCELLENT on the nearshore wrecks and reefs.

[b]Backwaters[/b]- Things have been excellent for the past couple weeks. We’re smack dab in the middle of a bunch of great tailing tides and we have been finding great numbers of fish getting plenty of shots each trip – the fish range in size from 22 to over 30 inches…all in less than 6 inches of water!!

We have been also doing very well with the drum in the shallows – casting topwaters and spinnerbaits to fish busting on shrimp – very exciting stuff!! It’s also been no problem to cast net plenty of big shrimp for dinner – usually 5-10lbs takes little to no time. There are also great numbers of ladyfish (which are very fly friendly) and good numbers of speckled trout in the marsh. The drum bite has also been very good on bait around the docks…and we’re catchign a decent number of flounder as well around the hard structure.

[b]Sat 9/13[/b] – It was gorgeous day and Katie and I really have been wanting to get a pretty day to get out offshore and bust a wahoo or a sail.

I put out my dredges and a quad of naked dinks for sails and two big skirted hoos – one deep, one long for the hoos. Within 10 minutes of deploying baits, I saw a sailfish airing out a half-mile off my bow – i point right for him. I mark a little bit of bait and the break-away planer pops and the reel starts to dump. Thinking hoo, i tell katie to get it – seeing the reel smoking, she says she wants to practice her line clearing skills and tells me to get it. I pick it up and a BIG billfish goes airborne – looking at the size of the fish, i immediately think its a white. 20 minutes later, with countless jumps and full 5 tail-walking episodes…we get her to the boat. Only its not a white, just a MASSIVE sailfish. He was all I could handle to try to get a picture – i estimate the LGFL at about 78-80 inches. He needed no reviving – i got his head in the water, and he thrashed out of my grip within 10 seconds and swam away at mach 5. Katie reminded me that she has easily caught 5 times the amount of sails i have (but i still have the biggest!).

We get the baits back out, foundd some good bait marks and scattered grass – and we find the mahi in good numbers. We put about 12 in the boat (all nice tossers in the 5-10lb range) – releasing 9 and keeping three. During this time I have 3 wahoo bite offs on my dink baits while the planer is ignored. So i go to wire and big baits up top…and as soon as i get lines out, the planer bait trips and the reel starts to smoke. In 60 seconds I watch 450yds of line disappear from a TLD25 and we get down to single wraps on the spool. We scramble to make chase and start to get line back.

…to make a long story short. A GIANT mako (or white shark or whatever kind of giant pelagic shark can swim 50mph) tried to eat my wahoo….he got the whole thing in his mouth. I got part of it back – see pics below – and the remains weighed about 36lbs. It would have gone about 50-55lbs.

After that, i put one bait out and it gets smoked by a pint-sized (6lb) blackfin! SUSHI! It’s late so we decided to go home – awesome day that i got to spend with my favorite fishing buddy, my wife katie. She also let me catch a sailfish this time!

On another note – katie and i have gone out and targeted sails three times this summer. We have been successful on two of those trips – she will be happy to tag along on any trip, for a modest surcharge of $500 – just so she can grace you with her good luck. 😉 😉 😉

[b]DINNER:[/b]

[b]GREAT AJ Fishing:[/b]

Win and Dave had a great day with the jacks on fly rod poppers and popppers on the spinning rod. Also got into a little butterfly jig action…and had 4-5lb false albacore busting on our huge poppers (weird!). I also had a 12 weight explode today – busting right above the grip. Those AJs will really destroy some tackle!

Jason and crew had a great time wrecking for AJs – we also had a giant cuda and several kings that all got eaten by cudas. I am also pretty sure we had a sail bill a bait – can’t say for 100% certainty. We even hooked a nice king on a butterfly jig…and a cuda skyed on it. Good thing we were AJ fishing!

[b]EXCELLENT LARGE SPANISH[/b]

Wright and Karen killed ’em today – we had bites on just about every live bait we had. We pulled the hooks on a few, had some short strikes and i knocked a few off boat side…but we had constant action with these 3-5.5lb spaniards (no citations today but we were close!). It’s a ton of fun on light tackle. When using the live bait – you’ll have them slashing at the baits mere feet from the engine. Incredibly exciting. We also saw a boat hookup a sailfish – not more than 2 miles off the beach!

[b]AWESOME backwater drum:[/b]

[b]Tailers:[/b]

Look at this crawler in 3-4″ of water!

3’s the charm!

Jason with his hard earned red – we had a an awesome night. It slick calm, gorgeous and we found a nice lot of ladies early in a creek..and when the tide rose, we found a lot of fish waving their tails at us on the flats

Good pal Capt. Gordon with a lil’ guy

[b]Drum everywhere else…[b/]

Larry and crew tore them up this morning, getting a bunch of strikes on topwaters and finding a good, consistent bite of fish on spinnerbaits. We had a lot of strikes and put a lot of fish in the boat on this half-day!

On my off days and free afternoons, my wife, katie, and I have been running around all over the place – find drum in the shallows (on the banks and flats) busting on shrimp and around the dock. We’ve also been working the lady fish with the fly in the creeks and along the beach. …and we’ve able to cast net all the shrimp we’ve wanted for dinner.

Wading for big Ladies and Trout along a secluded shoal…