The wind laid down on Sunday, so Tania and I got a boat to fish in the morning. It’s been about three weeks since Tania and I were able to fish on the boat together because of her work schedule and the weather being horrible on the weekends.
We arrived at the dock about 6:30am and while we waited for our boat, Tania threw the Moonwalker in hopes to start the day off with a decent fish. Unfortunately, on her third cast a huge wind knot formed and I had to cut the line and rerig. While I was putting on the leader and topwater bait, a nice Snook swam under the dock where we were. I had Tania toss a live shrimp on a jig head, but I think we spooked it.
After all the excitement at the dock, I was hopeful the day would be a great day! We loaded up the boat and headed out. It was a beautiful sunrise and the ICW was smooth as glass. We pulled up to our first spot near the waste treatment wall. We fished here for about 30 minutes. Tania caught a short Mutton Snapper, was broken off once, and I had a few bites, but the action was pretty slow.
As the sun came up higher, we could tell the water was pretty dirty. I am assuming the high winds, 20-25kts, stirred up everything and that was why the water was dirty. I believe the dirty water, and the cold front that moved through turned the bite off.
About 7:45am we decided to do a drift south of South Causeway bridge. This drift produced a single catfish, so we moved over to the Smithsonian Dock. We fished the dock for about 30 minutes with only a handful of bites and two short Mutton Snapper caught. At this point Tania suggested to drift the Turn Basin, so we headed over there.
With the current shifting directions and the SW wind, it was a bit difficult determining which way we would actually drift. The first attempt at drifting we ended up drifting more west than south like I had hoped. I repositioned and we did a second drift. This drift produced two Gafftopsail Catfish, one was pretty large, and it had a 5/0 circle hook in its mouth. I removed the hook and released it. My buddy Steve Smith of Forest to Sea Adventures, has a video cleaning and cooking a Gafftopsail and asking people what they thought. No one was able to guess it was a catfish. I put a link below to the video if you’re interested in seeing it.
Tania mentioned going to the inlet and try drifting. Once we got to the inlet, it was a bit rough, so we decided to move back into the river. While coming back in, we decided to fish the day marker. This turned out to be a good decision as we ended up running out of bait at this spot. Tania was happy to finally be catching fish. In this spot we caught many short Mutton snapper, a juvenal Black Margate, a juvenal Black Grouper, several short Mangrove Snapper, and two 11in Mangrove Snapper.
It was noon when we returned to the dock. The bite was slow for us, but the weather was absolutely beautiful. All in all, we had a great day on the water spending time together and getting a few fresh fish tacos! Tania and I pray all who make it out this week have a blessed and safe trip. May you have tight lines and good times!
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