Second trip of 2013 and it is about time. Matt & Jim are aboard the AF today with me to bend some rods and enjoy the water and sun and locate some fins. Had an awesome sight this morning. The bait guy is back in the Manatee Pocket. He rolled in at 4:30am. Due to fuel prices he had to raise his bait prices to $15 per dozen. I grabbed $20 bucks worth and so did Matt when they arrived on time at 5:30am.
First order of the day is to safely navigate out and through the inlet in case they did some re-arranging of the smaller buoys since January. I found that they narrowed the exit of the SLI with the small buoys since January. The small green buoy has been moved northward closer to the red buoys.
We met good conditions at the SLI evening though it was an outgoing tide. The slight westerly winds helped knock down the waves and we busted through the northern edge in darkness with no issues.
We headed to the buoy out front to see if it was holding any baits. Scared off the flock of birds that were napping on the buoy and found zero baits. The dirty outflow of water from the river was no help I am sure as well as the 67 degree water temp didn’t help either.
Dialed in the Bullshark Barge and ran south in hopes of loading up there. Marked a lot of baits on the bottom but with the dirty water they couldn’t see the lights so we headed south to the two remaining yellow buoys with zero luck there as well.
Ran back to Bullshark as it is now daylight and tried again with no luck. Ran to Shrimpers with only hornbellies to show for us there. Ran to (2) other spots with zero luck as well. Did see one small school greenies break the surface but was unable to score any before they disappeared at Evan Crary.
It was now 8am so we pointed the bow east and started looking for debris and temp breaks. Came across this sad site on the way out. Never seen a dead bird offshore before.
Continued east and ended up at Push Button Hill. Dropped in some greenies and drifted the ledge with nothing liking what we had to offer. Heard some fins being caught in 200ft from My Other Honey (Capt. Pete). Decided to run deep first being that we were already out in 300ft.
Found a solid weedline in 550ft. We first tossed in some chunks and set-up a drift of livey’s. Unfortunately the winds made us drift away from the weeds instead along with the weeds. We changed over to trolling some hoos. Did that until a barge came through and busted up all the weeds.
Changed up and headed back north were we seen the larger mats of weeds and started slow trolling some livey’s around. Spotted the USCG Cutter out deep. That’s two trips in a row now we have spotted them out there. That is a great site to see :USA
After about 2 hours of working this area we opted to turn back west. Got to the AJ spot and spotted some fish breaking the surface so opted to make a drift first with live bait…
Seen a few of these today and they usually mean good luck for us.
After a ˝ hour drift north with a 2 knot current nothing was chewing. Decided to make a few drops on the AJ spot and again, nothing chewing. Heard another fin caught in 200ft so we headed back out but didn’t see any fishable conditions but there was a lot of boats around.
Opted to drop in the dredge and put on a mixed bag of hoos, live bait and my Bluewater lure from G-Spot. Jim’s greenie immediately gets nailed right behind the dredge and it’s the first FISH-ON of the day at 11:45am. Matt’s ballyhoo gets nail moments later and it is a double header now.
Jim reels up a shark and with a quick release gets another bait out. Matt reels in another shark.
We continue working the area and then Matt’s Bluewater lure gets nailed by this small Bullet Bonita. Matt’s Shark bait for Sunday morning. Let me know how you made out Matt.
We trolled for the next 3+ hours ending up ˝ way to Fort Pierce with not a hit. We dialed in the Sandpile and continued trolling Southwest when all the sudden Matt’s Bluewater lure gets nailed again. It looks like a fin but as quickly as it got hooked, it came unglued.
We decided to pull in the trolling gear and run in to the Sandpile. We make it about a mile when we locate large weed mats once again but this time in 119ft of water.
Dropped in some livey’s and Jim immediately hooks up to a remora. We worked these weeds for about an hour without another bite.
Seen another dead bird mixed in these weeds. That makes about 6 or 7 dead birds we have seen today. Anyone ever seen this before? There were spinners jumping everywhere you looked today…
This guy was close by his partner.
We dialed in the Sandpile again and pointed the boat Southeast to make the 13 mile run. Started off running at 30 mph but about 15 minutes into the run we had to dial down to 20mph and another 15 minutes we are down to 15mph. The seas (as predicted) started building.
We arrived at the Sandpile a little after 4:30pm and made two drifts with nothing being able to see our baits with only 1 foot visibility. We picked up the boat and headed in and arrived at the ramps at 5:30pm. Although we had nothing in the fish box but ice and a Bullet Bonita for Matt’s shark adventure on Sunday, good times were had by all.
1 Bullet Bonita
It was so awesome to finally get offshore again even though the fish didn’t cooperate for us. Your welcome again anytime and hope we do better fish wise next trip out.
Long, how did you make out today? Also got a shout out today by another forum member but I couldn't hear your name. I thought you said Larry but your radio was breaking up How did you make out today?
How did you all make out today?
Tip of the day
It is that time of the year again. Get your VSC (Vessel Safety Check ) done once a year. Before you do, here is a link to the checklist they use. Do yourself a favor and run down this list before you get your inspection. This will make the process go smoother and it is something you should do a few times a year anyhow to insure everything on board is in working order and up to date.
I use Microsoft Tasks to remind me when to replace my flares and to inspect the fire extinguisher and other important items. I will be calling my local inspector this week and will let you know if his number is still correct. He handles the inspections in the Port Saint Lucie area. James Ward comes right to your house and does the inspection.
There is no reason you should not have this done. It is free and it could save your life or the life of someone who is on board your vessel.
Random pics on the day