Friday, October 31, 2008

by Robin

The 5-day forcast is pretty much 5-7 ft waves every! single! day! Fishermen are suffering along the entire coast from withdrawls. It may be a Mosquito Lagoon day again next week.

Tuesday, we're going to be voting, but Monday is possible.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

by Robin

Tuesday is Jack's next day off and the seas are forecasted at 4-6 ft. Not good. Thursday will be 1-2 ft. Unfortunately, that is NOT a good day for us.

We'll keep trying until we get another good weekend...... I'm having wishful thinking of filling the cooler with red snapper.

Friday, October 24, 2008

by Robin

Today, the wind is kicking hard and bouy reports say the seas are 7-10 ft. I was desperate to look at fish (ha ha) while I ate lunch so I looked at some local fishing forums for more reports.

Inshore: LOTS of redfish & snook season is open. Special permit is needed but it is well worth the $2 for the permit. Snook make delicious eating. Flounder are making their way back around the port. Gigging & fishing is good. Pretty soon, the mullet will be making their migration and then fishermen will load up on those bait fish.

Offshore: I saw a couple reports out of Sebastian Inlet which is south of me. The last reports I saw of Port Canaveral were from the 18th. Many reported "washing machine" waves but those who got outo were fortunate to find Red & Mangrove Snapper eating as if they were STARVED. Folks were limiting out on the Snapper in record time. Cobia are coming back through the area on their way back to warmer waters. This is one of those nice benefits of fall. It's not as strong as the spring migration northward but still, you get chance at another species to add to the cooler. Sharks are still pretty plentiful so move to the next spot if you find them.

Seas should be 3-4 ft next week. We'll see if we will be able to make a trip out.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

by Robin

I didn't take a picture of a mangrove snapper yesterday BUT I'm going to post one up here, just so you can see what one looks like.
In search of this picture, I'm sad to recall that it's been since Nov '05 since we caught this mangrove. THREE YEARS!! That's way too long between catches of such a good eating fish.

by Robin

Left by 9am, stopped for fast food breakfast, 4 dozen live shrimp and then dunked "her" in the Indian River. Captain Jim Ross - fishing guide - had already beaten us here. I'm sure he gets up at the crack of dawn each morning. LOL.

I need a polarized lens on my camera for high glare moments like this. Here we're zooming up the Indian River heading north towards Haulover Canal and eventually Mosquito Lagoon.

Here is one of the many islands that lead to the entrance of Haulover Canal. Snook fishing is said to be excellent in this area because of the fast flow of water on each end.

I love when Photoshop overrides my command to straighten up a picture. Sorry. I had the camera angeled and thought I could crop out my mistake. But, nooooooo..... Kinda artsy. Here, we are past Haulover Canal and back onto the Indian River, which is better known at this intersection as the Intercoastal Waterway.

Because it is the IC, we saw boats coming down from Canada, NY, MA, VA and NC. Nice yachts, sails & cats. Everybody wants to cruise in protected waters because the seas are still 4-6 ft. Below is the city of Oak Hill. The mainland has primarily small houses or trailers waterside.

This entire area is a No Wake Zone (so is Haulover). In the winter, we have hundreds of manatees and young dolphin hanging in this area, feeding on easy fish dinners and staying warm. There is also plenty of grass bottom for the manatees to feed on.

Here is a home in Edgewater which is the next city north. We fell in love with this sailboat with a tug-boat wheelhouse. Very unique and antique. It was soooo antique that I felt the need to make a version of it in sepia too.

I can definitely see something like this adorning the walls of our house. Looks like you just stepped back in time and visited Olde Florida.

Here is more of Edgewater. Next city up is New Smyrna Beach which is famous for the title "Shark Bite Capital of the US." We stopped before we got there but we could see their Causeway over to the barrier islands.

We ended up at a little spot called Big Snapper Cut which promised loads of Mangrove Snapper. And loads of them, it did have!! Unfortunately, legal limit is 10" and above and all ours were 9 3/4". Soooo close but we had to throw one after another back to their mangrove homes.
Below, Jack gets a much nicer strike on his shrimp.

Oh my..... my mouth is salivating at this point..... it's a sheepshead.

Not any ol' sheepshead. It's at least 4 lbs! Big guy! Not only are their nice mangroves around the Mosquito Lagoon but this particular area has many oyster shells for bottom. The sheepshead love shells, coral, anything crunchy. They have the monster sheep teeth to bite through whatever they want and eat the goods inside. Speaking of teeth, the mangrove snapper have 2 fangs like a vampire. I was trying to be kind to one of them and remove a hook from his mouth and he turned and bit me with his needle-like teeth. I promise, it was like a chihuahua bite!

Fortunately for us, this one bit through the line right as we got it in the boat. We were so glad to have a net around him. He's going to be dinner tonight.

Don't you love those classic bars on him? They are sometimes called the Convict Fish. They have delicious filets great in part because of their high shellfish diet. They don't strike aggressively but they sure do fight nicely because of their flat body.

Here is another guy with a flat body and non-aggressive strike. The Summer Flounder. These are also delicious but again, this one was just a hair short of the legal limit. Legalities aside, we wouldn't have kept this one anyhow because there just wouldn't have been enough meat on him to justify the kill. If he'd been another few inches bigger, he'd probably come home with us.

Here is my eldest with his catch before we released him.

Here he is with another popular catch of the day. Clump o' Oyster shells. I sure do wish they were filled with oysters and it was legal to harvest them. We'd be eating REAL good tonight.

I just realized I didn't take a single picture of those small mangrove snapper. They very pretty mahogany/red.

By 3:30pm, we were out of the 4 dozen shrimp. Jack washed down the deck while I got a late lunch out of the cooler. Sun was getting lower in the sky and we had intended to get back to church; however, that didn't happen. We were much further north than we had realized and it took over 1.5 hrs to get to the dock.

Big Snapper Cut Point - above. Isn't it beautiful? It it is so peaceful there too (except for 2 chatty boys). I think we saw only 2 boats while anchored there. They passed by slowly and waved. Boaters are friendly people.
Oh, while I'm thinking of it, let me interject here. There are several hundred islands in this area. Most of them only accessible by flats boats. "Skinny water" is about 1/2 - 2 ft deep. Some areas need a pole to push the boats through. This was one of the few areas where we could fit our big offshore boat through 4 ft+ water. (Dad, I felt hesitant to navigate so many nooks & crannies for fear of getting lost. It reminds me of Lake Lanier.) Maybe some people are more comfortable inshore but give me the big open ocean any day (& a compass).
Jack was kind enough to let me pose with his sheepshead.
It was a great family day. Couldn't have asked for nicer weather & scenery. We love seeing all the wildlife. We even saw a Bald Eagle on the way home.
I'm sure the boat was happy to be in the water too. She ran fine with the exception of the trim tabs. There's always something to fix on a boat, right? I was very relieved to find out that the fish finder worked and that whatever blip is had 2 months ago is gone now.
Happy Fishing!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

MOSQUITO LAGOON - cruise & light fishing
by Robin

You'll have to forgive me that this is a very imperfect movie and I'm too tired to make it more perfect. The sun played against the camera. I have no fish pictures on here. This is primarily to give you a feel of our cruise up & back. The waters were filled with dolphin & manatees everywhere, settled in for the winter. It was too hard to actually catch it all on camera. By the time you get up close to either one, they dive under.

Fish pictures to follow next.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY on Tuesday..... ha ha

We're heading out in the morning.

Monday, October 20, 2008





Wednesday morning could be a possibility but it's a long-shot for sure. Northeasters are never very good for fishing. The Gulf Stream will be grumpy. Oh how I long for those smooth summer days.

On another note, Snook season opened up and so that seems to be the hot bite while offshore seas are blow up. Redfish are also a good catch right now. You catch these in the river and at the mouth of Port Canaveral.


UPDATE: New plan.....

I love Jack's new idea. Wed or Thurs, we're going to go through Haulover Canal and head north until we make it to Ponce Inlet. A simple pleasure ride but we'll make a nice picnic and bring some spinning poles in case we come across some schools of fish. We're also going to bring our chihuahuas for their first boat ride. I promise to take lots of pictures.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

by Robin

As you can tell, we've not been fishing in quite some time. We were hoping that we could fish on Tuesday next week but only if the wind calms down. Right now, they're calling for 4-6 ft. (Not good for my stomach)

We are all ready to go but our free time doesn't ever match the weather. We're praying for good weather soon!!

Still, we're enjoying frozen mahi from back in August.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

by Robin

Thursday evening, our family went out to Brevard Community College to listen to a lecture on underwater archaeology. It was part of a larger "In the Dirt" fall series presented by the Florida Public Archaeology Network.

Because we were in a dark lecture hall, I was unable to take personal photos so all these photos you see here are taken from the website. Thank you. Our speaker for the night was Jeff Moates who spoke specifically on preservation & nominating specific sites as underwater museums or parks. These aren't just Spanish Gallions which carried treasure chests of gold but everyday industrial vessels carrying precious cargo like mahogany wood, molasses, sometimes hidden treasure & everyday people.

In the above link, there are also interactive tours of the underwater shipwrecks for several of the 14 ships that are registered underwater museums around the state of Florida.

Below is a photo of the U.S.S. Massachusetts, which is the oldest existing battleship. Her career with the military was from 1906-1916. She was later used as a training ship in the VA area until 1920 when she was brought down to Pensacola, FL to be used as target practice. She is an icon of Pensacola Passe and currently owned by the public citizens of Pensacola as of 1994. She makes one of the best dives in Florida, sitting in 26 ft of water.

Below is the Copenhagen which went down in 1902. She was coming down from Philadelphia with her cargo when her captain ran her aground onto the reef. A salvage ship was sent to pull her off the reef but instead pulled her apart. Her bow still sits on the reef and the back end of her sits a little bit further offshore.

Below is a lumber schooner named Lofthus. She has fake, painted gun ports on her side. She originated in the city of Manalapan, NJ, but her remains can be found on the West Coast of Florida. She was dynamited and her wood salvaged. Her scattered debris is sometimes covered by sand, depending on what blows through the area.

Please feel free to browse the website above. Enjoy the videos of the underwater museums. Learn more about the history of the ships. Some videos are not up but will be up by the end of the year.

For example, the Urca De Lima, off Ft. Pierce's shores, had gold wedges smuggled in the bottom of a barrel back in the 1700's. This is one reason why they call that part of Florida the Treasure Coast. The City of Hawkinsville was a steamer than went down right at an Olde Town dock in 1922. The SS Tarpon traveled from New Orleans to Panama City. It & its Captain went down 9 mi SW of P.C.

The Half Moon was a Germania racing sailboat, seized by the British in war times, remodeled as a restaurant then sunk in Miami. This vessel carried over 15000 sq ft of sail. Amazing history there! There was lots of mystery surrounding the Vamar in Port St. Joe when it sunk back in 1942 in the middle of the channel. It its youth, it has been to Antarctica. The Regina, AKA Sugar Barge, lies off the beaches of Bradenton, FL. She gets her name from the 350,000 gallons of molasses that went down with her, the cook & his dog. The George Valentine sunk in 1904 off the coast of Stuart, FL taking down loads of mahogany wood which was later salvaged.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

by Robin

I know I left you here all week, with baited breath I'm sure, waiting for some inspirational story on Stormwater Treatment. Sorry.

Here's the short short story.... Rain falls, seeps into the ground, is then drilled for and then filtered for city use. OR Rain falls, creates run-off, goes into sewer pipes, is then filtered out, cleaned and then returned back to the Indian river or used for city water after some chemistry is done to ensure it is all safe. I could bore you with more details but I won't.

Water treatment is a BIG NATIONAL SECURITY. We were not allowed to take photos inside the facility. Here is one I can show you from the front of the building.

We had over an hour of lecture from within a conference room and then toured the facility. Wow. While most of it was over my head, it was fascinating stuff I never gave any thought to previously. It will help the boys immensely with the research they are doing for the FIRST Lego League.

Gas is going down so I'm hoping to have a fishing report in the near future. I sure do miss fishing. After the first cold snap, many of this big offshore bottom dwelling fish should be moving further into shore, making for a nice day of fishing for us. Can't wait to do all that.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

by Robin

Sorry, there has been no boating the past month so you will have to put up with water-related topics. At first, we were breaking in the new suburban's engine. Now, we're still waiting on weather to clear. It looks like it is going to rain again this weekend (or technically, Jack's new weekend).

Our eldest is in the F.I.R.S.T. Lego League studying Climatology and more specifically flooding effects. Our last field trip was the NOAA weather station. Today's trip was on stormwater treatment. I have a couple pictures that I'll post up tomorrow. It's been a long day of lessons & field trips & club activities. Hopefully I'll be more fresh tomorrow.