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Post Info TOPIC: Report for the Week Ending 12/05/09 for Pine Island Sound


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Report for the Week Ending 12/05/09 for Pine Island Sound

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I had three trips scheduled for this week, but weather claimed Friday. Seems I can't get past the two trip barrier. Both trips were very enjoyable with old friends.

First up on Monday was my old friend Jim “Termite” Turman, from Manchester, Iowa. We've been fishing together for years, and we always seem to do well and have fun. He's laid back and fun to have in the boat. This was his first time to be here at this time of year, though, and the fishing is different from spring, when he's usually here. Jim often brings his sister and or her girlfriend. This time he brought along a long time friend from back home. Her name was Donna, and she turned out to be loads of fun, as well.

We headed over to B span in darkness to get bait. Guess I can begin a little later now that it's getting light later and later. We went to work trying to figure out the current and breeze, which were working against each other. Bait was tough, not because it wasn't there, but because of the strong current. It took a while but we finally got some good strikes on the bait, and had a pretty good mess of bait in the well. And, then. We were out of the bait, and the current seemed to have reversed itself. I quickly realized we'd come off the Power Pole anchor, but it was too late. We'd left out bait behind. We decided it was a message from the bait gods, and cleaned up and went fishing. We had enough bait.

We headed up in to the Sound with an eye on snook. But, a funny thing happened as we rode along. The wind became still. By the time we got to the first snook hole, which was in the mangroves, it looked like a June morning out there. The water was glass slick, and the no-seeums were rejoicing at the fresh load of meat that had just arrived for their dinning pleasure. That was us, of course! The place was full of snook, but they were having no part of us, and even if they had been on a wild bite, I'm not sure we could have stood much more of the no-seeums! We boogied! I explained to Jim and Donna that our plans for snook would necessarily change, as we wouldn't be able to fish anywhere near mangroves until there was enough breeze to keep them in the bushes.

So, we turned our attention to trout, which we could do out on the open flats away from the mangroves.

We caught quite a few trout and a few ladyfish at our first stop, using both live bait and jigs, but didn't have the real hot bite that I usually get there. Once it slowed we moved on.

At our next stop, which usually gives up big, fat trout in the winter, we manged a handful of nice trout, but the bite was basically off. I was surprised we didn't have a snook bite, as they're usually there this time of year.

At our next stop it was more of the same. We caught quite a few trout and a lady or two, but it wasn't the hot bite I was looking for. The tide was coming in hard, and soon things were getting right to chase some redfish on the flats.

We moved on north in the Sound to a mangrove island that has a nice trough on one side of it where the redfish love to hang out. Yes, we finally had a little air moving! We carved up one of our ladyfish and put out two steaks, and one live shiner. Jim caught one snook and a small redfish, but it was obvious that although the reds were there, they weren't interested. We moved on, again.

We were running out of tide before too long. With trout closed and snook lock-jawed, we needed a couple of nice redfish to go with the flounder we'd put in the well at an earlier stop. Fortunately, our last couple of holes did the trick for us. At the first we caught a few snook, but nothing big enough to keep (28 to 33 inches). At the next and last stop for the day we caught some more snook, but most importantly two redfish. One was just under the maximum, and the other at 27.5 inches, was too big, and had to go back. But, that was OK. We had enough fish in the well to feed Jim and Donna, and had managed to make a pretty good day out of a post front full moon affair. I fully expected it to be a tough bite. We'd managed to do pretty well.

Now it was time for us to enjoy a lunch at the Waterfront Restaurant. It never disappoints. It's the perfect end to either a great or tough day of fishing.

My Tuesday trip was with George Chingery, of Edison, New Jersey. We schedule our first trip back in 2007, and poor George was blown out no less than three times, and we didn't get to fish. We finally got out last year, and fished right behind a big cold front. It wasn't easy, but it gave George and I a chance to get to know each other, and we managed to have a great time doing so. He's a great guy, and I was excited about fishing with him again. We were again fishing behind a cold front and a day before the full moon. Well, at least we were fishing!

Actually, it turned out to be another beautiful weather day before it was over. And, a pretty good day of fishing. It started off slow, and ended with a bang, as full moon fishing so often does. You just have to wait on the fish, be patient, and be on fish when the are ready to eat.

We went back to B span for bait, and before it was over had enough for three days of fishing! It was a good mix, but we didn't have as many of the outsized shiners as I've been getting. We were ready though, and we had a breeze, and I knew where there was this pothole that was slam full of big snook.

George told me as we rode along he'd been on an offshore grouper trip, and although he'd caught reds and gags, he'd not gotten a keeper. But, he liked how they fought. I figured he'd get a kick out of catching the inshore gags on light tackle, and we went straight to a grouper hole to see if they would eat. Although the gags weren't much interested, we did manage four of the feisty guys, and George was amazed at how much fun they were on that light gear.

Once the grouper lost interest we moved on, and turned our attention to trout and ladyfish. I wanted to make sure we had a few ladyfish for bait later on the tide. The hole was full of fish, and we caught plenty of trout, but only one ladyfish. We could feel them taking pop-shots at our lures, but they just didn't want to eat them. I hoped we'd find another one or two along the way.

At our next hole we were looking for big trout and a chance of snook, as well. But the big trout weren't eating. None of the trout were eating! As we prepared to move on to the next spot, I decided to sneak up on the hole on the trolling motor and have a look. There was a pod of monster snook laid up in there, that we had thrown baits all over. The fact that they didn't want to move until I was almost on top of them with the boat told the story. Cold water and full bellies! We moved on.

Things were slow at the next hole, too. So far, it was much slower than Monday had been. We did catch a few trout, but it didn't last very long. Finally, the water was getting right to go visit those big snook.

The tide was running hard, and everything looked good. We were no-seeum free. We could see something on the order of 30 big snook milling around in the hole a cast away. We had seen many others! Big females manifest as big black slow moving shadows in a hole that's four or five feet deep. Sometimes you don't even realize they're fish until they move. Well, those big girls bitch-slapped us and spit in our faces! They weren't about to eat anything we had in the boat, live or artificial. We'd drop baits on their noses and they'd just move out of the way and ignore it. That's fun and frustration at the same time. You don't want to quit trying although you're getting a clear message. I guess that's what makes fishermen, fishermen; eternal optimism and anticipation! Finally, we'd had enough abuse and tossed in the white towel. We moved on.

It was coming up on crunch time; that last hour or two of the incoming full moon tide when the fish will usually finally think about eating. We snuck up on our hole as quietly as possible and went to work. We were a little early on the tide, but I wanted to be baits in the water when the fish heard the dinner bell. It took about twenty minutes for the action to begin, but once it did, George was one happy camper. From then until the tide quit George caught a dozen or so big trout of 3.5 to 4 pounds, around a dozen redfish, and one snook for the Slam. The catfish that came at the end, all the lizard fish he'd caught earlier, and that one ladyfish that we used over and over to catch redfish and trout, gave him the Trashcan Slam, as well. We left our honey hole with two top-o-the-slot redfish in the well, and smiles on our faces. We had started off slow, but finished strong.

It was our turn at the trough, now. Off we went to the Waterfront Restaurant for lunch with JD and the girls. It had been a great day with George. It had been a great two days.

It rained literally all day Friday. And, it's still raining as I write this on Saturday morning. But, it will clear out sometime today, and then it's going to get cold and tough. My friend Billy Herrington and I will have our work cut out for us on Monday.

Best Fishes! Capt. Butch
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