Saturday, September 30, 2006

9/28-29/06 Tales of our No-Fish Trip (part 1)

First off, let me preface this by saying that sometimes the NOAA officials make a call earlier in the week and then as late as the morning of, can change the forcast. That is what happened to us on Thursday. (Jetty Park Pier in picture)

Capt Jack was asked to work this and next weekend for a coworker. That is a long time without any sort of break, so what we did was look for a fishable 2 days that he could take only 1 day off of work. Next week, it looks like we'll have high seas from H. Isaac passing by in the Atlantic. We made a decision that Thurs/Friday would be our days to see if we could capitalize on the migrating cobia & mahi mahi. As it turned out, Thursday was not so good a choice for fishing. Because of the cool front that blew through the night before, the winds were directly from the west. Nice at the shore, but pretty sloppy offshore. Wind and wave action fighting each other, along with a current difference. We made it only 9 miles in following seas before we turned around at a shrimp boat and decided to follow it slowly back in towards the oncoming waves while looking for scavenger cobia looking for by-catch. There may have been cobia around, but it was really hard to concentrate on that and hold on. The water was a cloudy green and I'm sure anything pelagic (surface feeding) was well below our view. We did take in a spectacular wild dolphin show who seemed to enjoy the topsy-turvey water. Some went full airborne and some did side-slams onto the next wave. I'm sure they had their fill of bycatch from the shrimp boat and were simply enjoying life. We did catch a broken weedline that lead back towards shore. Looked that over carefully for a few miles before it ended. As we approached the beach, the water settled down enough to pick up speed and land very close to the beach. We threw the anchor down and proceeded to use up some shrimp. Jack found the right spot that was holding whiting. Me....... I found nothing.
Eventually, we moved the anchor a bit closer to shore and handed the poles over to the kids. I guess an hour went by and nothing. It was going to be a slow day! We started at 8:30 from home and now it was about 1:30. We were lulled into thinking maybe we could try going offshore one more time. We got about 2 miles and turned around again. This time, we anchored just inside the inlet, near the northside, but not close enough to get in trouble w/ the Coast Guard but far enough over that the big cruise ships could pass by us. Thursday is a big departure day.

The kids and I continued to fish our new spot while Jack went into the "sauna bath" cuddy to take a nap. While we only had two bites, which both stingrays released on their own, it still was fun in it's own way because the young stingrays were migrating through and doing their own aerobatics. Some went as high as 5 ft out of the water and then come down with a hard smack. I don't understand the purpose in this, but it was fun to watch. I had thought that it was possible to have one land in the boat accidentally. Meanwhile, the kids were thoroughly bored with the lack of bites and turned their attention to playing with shrimp in the livewell. They were giving them names like Snap, Crackle, Pop, Snap2, Crackle 2, Pop2 and Jane. They were making them walk on their hands.

Finally, this gianormous Coast Guard boats passes by us. Hmmmm..... he's got a lot of buoys on the deck. So, I grab the camera and catch them changing out Buoy #12A. How cool is that?

It certainly was entertaining for a short while as we tried our best to be quiet and let the Captain catch an afternoon nap. Jack had been up since 10pm the night before working. It was worth the effort letting him sleep. Because he was rested after an hour or so, we were able to stay out until dusk.

To the right is the same Coast Guard ship pulling up the buoy. It is so hard to tell on this blog uploading. It was not nearly as far away as this picture makes it appear.

After Jack woke up, we headed out about a mile and the seas were still building so it dashed any hopes we had of getting offshore on Thursday. We reanchored on the southside of the Jetty Park rocks. Every cast (using shrimp on a 3/0 hook or smaller) produced a nibble. Some big. Some little. Mostly, we were robbed. I did land this good size Black Margate which is in the Croaker family. They are good eating but he was released after we I.D'd him. We only put him in the livewell to keep him healthy while we fumbled through the book.

When we ran out of shrimp, we took a slow cruise down to Cocoa Pier and back up. Actually our eldest son was the Captain for the trip. Daddy and I got to enjoy a few minutes of sunset and conversation alone.

Once we got back to the docks, little M and I picked up the trailer and it is my job to get our Mako out of the water. We have some pretty nifty teamwork going. Of course, less current and wind always is bonus.

Upon getting to the (un)staging area, somebody had carelessly parked their truck/boat rig blocking the majority of the entrance. I pulled up to the exit and backed in, which was a first for me. I must admit that I did better than I thought I would. Anyhow, even by the time we were totally stowed and ready for the road, a couple of the folks were returning to the truck. I would appear that they took their cooler over to the cleaning tables to clean fish. Niiiiiiice. Not so ironically, their boat was named Redneck Yacht. You might be a Redneck if.........a) you name your boat after it b) you leave your rig blocking the road to the staging area. If this had been a weekend, there would have been 250 lb men waiting on the driver to have words.
Part two to continue above.............

No comments: