Mullet Madness, Jacksonville Florida report
Capt. Dave Sipler
October 8, 2009
Jacksonville - Saltwater Fishing Report
10/7- The "Costanza" rule.....
Well, after yesterday's river trip hunting up big Redbass in that full moon incoming tide. I decided what ever I do today will be the opposite, just to see.....
So I attempted to do my version of the "George Costanza rule"; "If what ever you're doing is wrong. Then, the opposite must be right.
I didn't do anything wrong yesterday, but it just felt like it. Because the current in the river was kicking my butt!
Today, I had the Fuqua Family aboard. The wind was pretty stiff at probably a sustained 15 knots from the WSW. First, we tried float-rig fishing, along the jetties. And never had a sniff from a decent fish. And my shrimp were going comatose fast. They just are not living. Out of 10 dozen, I had maybe 4 dozen dead at 8:30am. So I decided to do my best attempt at "Occams Razor".....(for the non-history buffs out there.) That's another name for the K.I.S.S. system.
So we pulled out away from the jetties and set the anchor down right where I wanted to be after a second attempt, only after for the 200 time, catching someone else's 50' of anchor line tangled in an anchor that must have been sitting on the bottom for the last 25 years. It was now considered "structure". That's why I hate anchoring at the jetties any where near the tips.
So since I still had a bag full of live crabs. We started with them. Two rods, cracked Crab...and after a good while. Z-E-R-O Redbass or anything else. The boys needed action. So as I tended the crab rods, I pitched out a rod with one of the dead shrimp, I had.
What followed was: Black Margate, Mangrove Snapper, Keeper Redbass, Jumbo Redbass at 26 pounds, Bonnethead shark, Jack Crevalle, and possibly one Monster Shark.
Three rods went to dead shrimp instead of crab, because they were eating it up. All the while we were smack in the middle of,
FALL MULLET RUN MADNESS. IN FULL SWING!!!!!!!
Mullet coming around the jetty were being smashed by literally thousands of Jacks. We had Jacks running down the side of the boat. Mullet were flying through the air. There was Sharks, no doubt big Spinner's too. I decided to take a rod and tie on my favorite top water Trout lure.
A Luhr Jensen "Jerkin Sam" that's about 4" long, and looks exactly like a mullet jumping accross the surface of the water. I handed the rod to Dad, Craig, and he jumped on my front bow deck and made long bombing casts towards the packs of water wolves killing the mullet schools.
Just a low profile reel, a Shimano Citica and a Ugly Stik Tiger Lite rod is all I had besides my real light weight float-rig rods. After a cast or two Craig had a pack of 20 pound Jacks following the lure. I told him, "People go all the way to Brazil, to cast top water lures at those Peacock Bass with that lure. And you have fish 10 times better here by the thousands!" As he slurped the lure across the water on the third cast, he was hooked up!
Absolute smoking run, burning and churning that small low pro reel. Then, the fish came loose....at inspection the fish literally snapped one third of the front treble hook off.
Next up, was another smoking run. Lure lost. Busted 30 pound super braid line. So I broke out a Rapala jointed lure I have never even caught a fish on previously. Upped the mono leader to 30 pound. A few casts and Craig was hooked up again on the bow deck. This time there was no stopping this fish (I'm thinking big, big shark) and before ya know it, Craig's yelling "it's not stopping, I'm getting spooled!!!!" So he busted the fish off, thank goodness. "That's $40 worth of braided line on that reel." I said in relief.
Okay, one Rapala lure left. A few casts and he's hooked up again. And to my disbelief the small Citica reel scores again on a bigger fish then it was ever made for. A Jack. A good 10 plus pounder at least. All the while this was going on Craig's wife was on a nice Redbass at the same time. Can you say, MAYHEM???
The next cast was another freight train attack that ate the lure right off. Lure gone! Ands now I'm out of lures.
So we're back to all dead shrimp on the bottom, when Craig casts off the side of the boat versus the stern. Rod doubles, his eldest son is on it. He fights it, tiers. Then, mom comes and takes over. And it turns out to be a 26 pound Redbass, again on the light Citica reel and Ugly Stik Tiger lite rod. Man, I'm seriously impressed with my tackle choices.
Breaking the record catch size of Doug Wurster a few weeks ago with a 24 pound Redbass on the same light weight rod and reel. I love it!
The incoming tide started to slow and we had a few bites here and there. And even the Mullet/Jack/Shark brawl was fading fast. Totally, freaked out about their day. That was only half of it for the Fuqua Family.
We went back to the dock, I cleaned up all their fish and they hit Singleton's Seafood Shack with my reccomendation with a big bag of fresh fillets. A great way to end a perfect day for folks staying in a hotel room.
I was at B&M Bait and Tackle later on, and bumped into Craig again and he said "My goodness, that blackened Fish was awesome, Dave!" He was getting more tackle for surf fishing this evening and tomorrow. That's dedication.
Everything we did today was basically the opposite of what I had previously planned. And the main thing was to stay out of that strong river current. I only anchored up to fish twice really. And the second spot is where we stayed. Again, not what usually happens.
So don't discount the "George Costanza Rule." It works!
Jacksonville Fishing Forecast:
Don't think you'll need just one top water plug if you want to tangle with those big Jacks out at the inlet.
Take many.....old ones, but with new hooks.
From Jacks to tarpon & sharks they are all there.
And don't forget the sack of dead schrimps!
Reds, Drum, and more.....
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