But we weren't the only ones. LOL. It always feels better when you're not the only one.
Of course, we were only half-trying and half-making a trial run on a boat. There wasn't a chance we were going offshore without checking the engine work inshore first. It sounds like a lot of other fishermen were saying the same thing. "Trial run to get the cob webs out."
We traveled about 20 miles south of Port Canaveral down past Patrick AFB. Glassy seas. Lots of clouds though, which made it very hard to see through the water.
Still, it was a gorgeous day to be on the water, except for the cold air. These pictures make it seem warm, but it was still a bit cold Saturday.
Water temps were 58 deg on the beach. 61 a few miles offshore. Friends said they never saw 70 deg even far, far offshore. We only heard 1 report of a guy catching cobia off the surface, south of us. Mostly, people were either skunked, bottom fished & had to release their snapper/groupers or stayed around the jetties for sheepshead & blk drum.
We couldn't buy us a nibble of anything with live shrimp. You know the fish are cold if you can even get a nibble.
The wind wave picked up by 2:30pm so we traveled back up the beach to home. We had a great time chatting with our friends that were gathering signatures to fight fishing closures. So many people were willing to sign the petition. We've even got a Congressman on our side. Plus, "they" shut down NY fisheries, which has caused our Northern friends to also join in the fight.
I'm telling ya, this is not a small battle. Fishermen (commercial & recreational) are in a fight for their lives against these liberal, anti-meat/ save the world nuts. What's wrong with this world were you can't go out and catch a little dinner from time to time?
By the way, tomorrow is the Fishermen's Protest on Capitol Hill. A couple local guys are speaking with our Representative to get her on board. The news is beginning to pick up the story as well.
We pick up the boat at 9:30 am and then head to the port to test her new work. As long as we're at it, we'll join the team of boats heading out looking for cobia. Mostly, I'm thinking the water surface is too cold, but it never hurts to give a look. The weather is great. 1 ft seas at 14 sec (period). If nothing else, we'll have a beautiful picnic on the boat. I'm hoping the temps will read mid-70's too.
We're so desperate for being on the water anyhow. Pelagic (surface) fishing season is music to my ears since all the bottom fish closures this winter.
Our 248 Mako has been taken over to a marine shop to be given some lovin' this week. Normally we do all our own maintainance, but Jack has been busier than normal. He's looking at possibly working some of this weekend and then he has to leave out for Dallas for training. By the time March gets here, the cobia may start their run and we want "First Choice" to be ready to run too.
Dana, owner of Mullis Marine, was shocked that this was the same boat that he last saw back when we bought it. Gee, he saw it before we even put the Opti-Max engine on it, which seems like years ago. It's so nice to see people really appreciate the hard work we put into restoring her. We know that he'll take good care of her.
Happy Fishing!! Warm weather is right around the corner.
What in the world do you think he is saying to the pelican next to him?
"Got fish?" "Did you see the beak on that girl?" "I heard they closed Snapper fishing and now, we don't get any free food any more." "Get a load of that tourist walking by." "Don't look now, but she's taking a picture of us." "Crazy papparazzis"
PITIFUL FISHING DAY (glad we didn't waste the gas) by Robin
Jack and I went down to the port for our Sun evening date where we listen to some live music and grab a nice appetizer or two for Valentine's Day.
I brought the camera in order to take pictures of fish coming in off the boats, but I had no such luck. Most boats didn't even go out. Then, we saw the Orlando Princess (?) heading for her dock. We walked the road until we met up with those getting off the boat. Most were sooo disappointed. Only a couple people waited for fish.
One man asked another how they did.
He replied, "Only little stuff. Nothing big at all."
So, my subjects for he day are pelicans and one mockingbird.
Even the birds are bored because no one is cleaning fish.
We debated for a while if this guy was missing a leg or just holding up a good one.
Sure enough, he had 2 legs, but I sure couldn't find the other until we forced the issue and made him hop away.
Oh my goodness! I'd be remiss if I didn't introduce you to Jerry.
Ok, not them. Those people are my family. I'm talking about the bottle. That day we caught all the drum, sheepshead, red fish, we also found a bottle in the ocean while searching for tripletail. We even took this memorable photo of it. It even came with the classic treasure map in there.
Once we were home and done cleaning fish, curiousity got the best of Jack. I was in the kitchen when Jack came to me with a hand full of what looked like sand. Jack didn't look so hot, like he'd seen a ghost. He asked me if it looked like sand or something else in his hand. I closely examined it and then admitted that it didn't look like sand.
"What is it?" I asked. That's when he handed me the treasure map, errr.... uh... note. It was a farewell message from the friends of Jerry who had drunk this bottle of rum on a casino boat, put the remains of their drinking buddy, Jerry, into the bottle and then sent him over the rail to sail the ocean seas and see the world. Much to Jerry's demise, part of him was in the grass and the other half still in the bottle back on dry land.
The only problem with their send-off was that they threw the floating casket out with an west wind, taking the bottle right back to shore.
To our surprise, on the note was a cell phone number. We called it and got the story about how Jerry was a drifter, dying of cancer. No family and no real friends to speak of. After he died a poor man, Jerry's drinking friends did what they thought was appropriate as a funeral. BUT, they did not love Jerry enough to do it again. So, we were stuck with Jerry.
Jack scooped up as much of Jerry's remains in the grass and we transferred everything to an old lemonade plastic container. Jerry sat on my dryer for a couple weeks while another storm passed by and the seas were high. It was really hard to do laundry that month. Creepy really. So creepy, I couldn't take it after a while and I had Jack move Jerry to the covered sidewalk outside the house. Sorry JERRY!
Eventually, we were able to take the boat to an undisclosed distance offshore, add some lead to the recyclable, non-breakable casket and turned off the engine. For an untrained funeral pastor, Jack did a really nice job speaking at the funeral while the three of us stood silently. It was hard, but we sent Jerry back to the sea, only not floating. He is still resting in the Cape region (I hope). We came back home feeling weird. So sad for Jerry to be so alone in this world. Yet, we felt called by God to at least give Jerry a decent 'burial at sea'. I hope that God never has us serve Him this way again.
A couple years later, we found another floating bottle in the sea with coquinas all over it. There were no remains in the bottom of the bottle. We did read that note and let the owners know we had found their message in a bottle. The bottle had actually traveled all the way from the Yucatan peninsula, set adrift by some English folks. We never did hear back from them.
Here is my then-8, now 13 yr old with his first Red Snapper ever in his life. This one had to be released to grow up, but he has since caught a few keepers.
Sometimes while fishing for snappers, we end up with sharks. Our first shark in Central FL was a Scalloped Hammerhead, whose pictures were lost in a hard-drive crash years ago. We've caught a couple Nurse sharks as well. This one is a smaller spinner shark which was released inspite of the bloody lip I gave him for eating my hook.
It make Jack so nervous that I like to try to hold the smaller sharks. Many varieties of fish have given me teachable moments with our children. I like for them to get to feel the sandpaper skin, look at the Ampules of Lorenzini on the nose and notice body shape. Remoras are always fun to show visitors as they will stick right to the side of the boat we removing the hook. I have countless reef fish I've photographed so we could ID later at home. We have a favorite shark nursery reef to take cousins so they can catch their own baby shark. They love that.
Oh gee, here's a good one. They day we taught our son to stick his fingers in the eye of a flounder. Yep, those are some good times. (LOL) He wasn't buying it though.
As long as I'm going back to 2004, I thought I'd grab more for the rest of the week.
This was Jack with his 15.5 lb Tripletail. As you can see, the water was like glass. Heat was unbearable - but we love that sort of thing. We were motoring around looking for tripletail when we came across a branch in the water. This guy was hanging out underneath it.
One live shrimp, a deadly cast past the fish, then dragging the shrimp into view and....... s/he was ours!!
Nothing beats the meat of a tripletail. They are still one of my most favorite fish to scout for. You really have to be stealthy in a several thousand pound boat w/ engine running. Jack is a much more accurate caster than I, so he throws and I'm his eyes while standing on the cuddy. We have to whisper. Kids are still & silent. You'd think we were hunting an eight-point buck who was walking by us.
Teamwork really paid off that day.
It also paid off this other day. Jack's tripletail is on the left. Mine is on the right. LOL. Seriously, Jack was very gracious to cast for me, make the hook-up and then let me bring in my 14 lber.
(Gee, I wish I'd put on some make-up once in a while.)
I thought it would be fun to travel down memory lane while the seas are still over 5 ft and snow is covering the entire Northern East Coast. It helps me to fight the "homesickness" for the sea by looking at these adorable pictures of the day when our, then 8 yr old, son outfished his Mom & Dad.
After Hurricane Francis destroyed our county and then H. Jeanne continued along the same path in 2004, we needed a day out on the water. The beautiful Jetty Park pier was closed because it was structurally unsound. Most people were still in recovery mode. I can't even remember if we had power back on, but we went fishing.
Jack picked up a tripletail off the beaches and then we moved in by the pier to see what we could find. Little man & I scored big. He scored bigger!
We both got 5 lb Black drums.
We both got sheepshead. (Look at that cute smile. "Look Mom, the fish weighs a lot!")
Then, he scored a Triple Header with a legal Red Fish.
That was such an amazing family day on the water. (That was our old boat too!)
I was reminiscing last night some favorite pictures from back in 2008. This was the day I (with Jack's help) caught my 61 lb cobia. It was as tall as I was. Jack caught a Warsaw grouper about 25-30 lbs, too. What a day!!
But then I looked at the 16 lb mahi which we had caught first. It was overshadowed at the time by our personal best cobia.
But.... look. Here he is when being first landed in the boat. I've always read about mahi camoflague, but didn't realize I had caught it on "film" myself. This fish is silver/blue.
Here it is backed up so you can see these are back to back photos.
Look at this fish..... he's going blue to green.
And here he is in the 4th picture - a beautiful light green/yellow.
I found these today online. I love them both for totally different reasons.
I am truly in fishing withdrawls. I don't think we've ever gone this long without fishing since owning our boat. I'm highly anticipating clean blue water, mahi spotting & fishing and much warmer days ahead. I don't think I could ever live landlocked ever again. The ocean is in my blood and it will stay with me forever.
Then, this one........ it makes me laugh. Jack has a favorite song where the lyrics start with, "If you ain't been aground, then you, ain't been around. Just pray to God the high-tide will set you free." Yep. This is the poster-child for that song.
How much longer must I wait.........
(Part of me really hates this strict schedule that I've gotten myself into with teaching a class at the co-op. Sigh.)