Monday, July 10, 2006

7/ 9/06 Spontaneous Fishing trip

My hubby is very spontaneous person. Since he rises long before the rest of the family on the weekends, he spent a lot of time studying the weather and fishing reports. I awoke to a 6yo sitting practically on my head telling me to get up for fishing. Lovely. Since we still had uneaten sandwiches and chips in bags from yesterday's cancelled trip, we were loaded and out the door in an hour. I felt really badly for skipping morning service and telling the kids next door that they would have to spend the morning at home.

M drove us out of the inlet while Jack readied the poles. I take this time to sunblock everyone.

Here is a cute picture of my men. We're on the final feet of the no-wake zone of the inlet before hitting the throttle to head offshore.

We barely broke past the jetty rocks when we could see Tarpon rolling on the north side. What a sight. Too bad we weren't set up for that. That is one fish that we have never caught. They are not edible but for sport only.

So, we are heading south along the beach looking for bait pods. Looking, looking, looking and nothing we decided. So, we move out a few miles and see fish breaking the top of the water in a feeding frenzy. We put kingfish spoons out and trolled for a good 30 minutes with nothing to show for it.

About this time, we're 5 miles out and Jack's thinking that with the storm rolling through that it might be safer to stay close to shore and not venture further out for dolphin fish.

I took this spectacular picture of the one and only anvil cloud that poured out over the entrance of the port area. There were buildings to the left but they are pretty much washed out by the pouring rain. Since it was still gorgeous south of this storm, we continued to play around the area of 50 ft, approx 5 miles east of Cocoa Beach.

Again, we kept seeing these fish breaking the water and it was too good not to investigate. Every time we got close to the feeding pod, they would spook. So, we donned our stealthiest tactics and found another feeding group. I stood on the pulpit doing my best to catch a glimpse. They were so fast but I could see a forked tail and I was convinced it was kingfish. Well, I was warm but not hot. Jack put a plug that looks like a bleeding baitfish and let me cast out. I was so nervous. I'm a terrible caster when I'm excited or if I have poles and kids surrounding me. So, papa had everybody back off and put me w/in reach of the next pod. I no sooner put the plug right in the middle and whack!! I saw the fish plow over it and take it under. Line screamed off the reel and it went right, then down, then right again. Meanwhile, I'm looking like a drunk trying to get off the pulpit and down the side of the boat to follow the fish. I could not keep my balance, walk and fight the fish inbetween runs of line peeling off. No sooner did I go right and the fish went left. Then back right. Talk about confusing! I stayed put at the back of the boat and did my best to reel, reel, reel! Finally, what popped up was not silver but blue and silver!

What in the world was it? Something in the tuna family. It took our ID book to give us the exact name - the Little Tunny or as locals lump it w/ other similar types, Bonito. What a gorgeous dressed fish. It had irridescent blues & purples on top with squiggly black lines and then spots on the bottom. I wish I had gotten a close-up of his pattern & color on top. We actually ended up saving this fish because they make great bait for what we do want to catch. This one was about 2 ft, 5-6 lbs but you can't really tell from this picture.

The meat is blood red and the skin is smooth with no scales. While these are not trophy species, I sure did have my fun with bringing it 'home'.

After the storm passed, we headed back to the jetties and lost many sinkers and hooks to the rocks as we let M fish. We saw a nice size manatee round the rocks as if to be on a stroll. We saw some barracudas too today. It is a bit stressful fishing there (jetties) because the other boaters zoom past you and I have to worry about the anchor pulling up by a wave and putting us into the rocks.

So, I convinced the Captain to anchor off the north shore, inside the inlet. Our boat backed up nicely to an inlet marker with nice, big piling legs. Jack and I threw to it a few times and got nibbles. Nice. A couple more casts and Jack has a nice fish on. We see a small flash.......hmmm. We guessed a sheepshead. Pretty soon the fight is over and it is a tripletail. I quickly measured it to make sure it is legal and then put it on ice. The hook was swallowed far down the throat and that's why you see so much blood. Also, anything in the tuna family bleeds like a stuck pig. Kinda gross, huh? We caught a few more baby snappers and grunts before calling it a day at 2:30. Time to get the Captain home for bed & work.

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