Today I took my buddy Perry fishing. We arrived at the dock about 6:30am. It was still dark and a bit chilly, but we were both happy to be heading out. We loaded the boat and set out about 6:45am, just as the sun was cresting the horizon.
Before we left the dock, I wanted to teach Perry how to retrieve a top water lure, so I tossed my top water bait, the Moonwalker. On my second cast, I ended up catching a small Jack Crevalle, about 14 inches. I bled it out and threw it in the cooler, so I could make some fish dip with it as we have friends coming into town tomorrow. At this point I gave Perry a Moonwalker, and I showed him how to tie a loop knot. Once he was all rigged up, we headed out.
I started our day off at the Fort Pierce Yacht yard. It was a little windy, but it was manageable. As we pulled up, I deployed the trolling motor. At this point I learned there was something wrong with the trolling motor. I tested the batteries, and it showed full charge, but the motor would barely turn, and spot lock would disengaged immediately. This changed everything I had planned for the day.
With the trolling motor not working I decided to anchor for a bit to see what we could catch. Perry and I both threw the Moonwalker for about 10 minutes before Perry decided to change it up and fish the bottom with live shrimp. Shortly after Perry started to bottom fish, I had a pelican dive down on my Moonwalker. Unfortunately, It was right after I casted and I had to pull some line out to get a loop out from my spoil, so I wasn’t able to jerk it from the pelican before I got it in his mouth and tried to fly off. I was able to pull the pelican in and get the hook out of its mouth. Watch the short video below if you want to see me pulling in and releasing the pelican.
After another 10-15 minutes with no bites, we decided to head south of South Causeway bridge to do a drift and see what we could catch. Well, the drift only produced catfish. We caught about 20 catfish in all. At one point Perry brought up a 12-inch Mutton Snapper, so I was hopeful we would get into something other than catfish; however, it was not meant to be.
We ended up moving back near Thumb Point to try a spot known for Sheepshead. Perry caught a few short Mutton Snapper but other than that the bite was dead. At this point I told Perry we were going to drift Thumb Point for snook, Redfish, or Trout.
I started off throwing a 5-inch Slam Shady and Perry was throwing a 3 ½ paddle tail. About halfway through the drift I looked at Perry’s paddle tail as it had a bend it. I told him to let me fix it. At that point I realized it was rigged upside down. I fixed it and his first cast after fixing it, he caught a decent Redfish! I did not catch anything drifting, but I did see something chase my bait a few times and we spoked up a flounder as the boat drifted over it.
After the drift we went to the entrance to Harbor Isle Marina and did two drifts hoping for a Croaker or even a Sheepshead. But with the winds and current the drift didn’t go well, so we moved to the area south of Harbor Isle. We fished here for about 15-minutes with a single short Mutton being caught.
I decided to end our day at the Smithsonian Dock in hopes to put some fish in the cooler. We ended up going through the rest of our bait pretty quickly. We caught several 12-inch+ Mutton Snapper, a bunch of shorter Mutton Snapper, a 9-inch Mangrove Snapper, and a 3 Sheepshead (Two 10-inch and one 14-inch).
Perry and I ended up back at the dock around noon. All in all, it was a decent day on the water. I was pretty happy to have two fish in the cooler; however, I got pretty deflated when one of the other club members pulled up and had a cooler full of big Sheepshead and Croaker! It is good to see bigger Sheepshead in the river, now for me to find them!
I pray all who made it out today and make it out over the weekend have a safe and blessed trip with tight lines. The marine forecast looks questionable this weekend with 15-20kt winds, but we shall see if the forecast is accurate!
Click the link below to see my Jack Crevalle fish dip recipe. I am also providing a link for a free 10-day trial for Salt Strong as well as a BOGO for the Moonwalker.
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