Sunday, June 2nd, my dad Dan and my buddy Randall decided to head to Cedar Key to see if we could pull in a few redfish. This was my second day in a row over at Cedar Key, my previous day being out on Adam’s jetfoot with Travis near Channel 4. We didn’t have the best of days as far as redfishing goes, but it was fairly productive and a good time like always, so I didn’t hesitate to head west again when my dad and Randall verbalized their want to hit the water. We took my dads 19′ Carolina Skiff with a 75 Honda 4 stroke pushing it.
High tide was around 1:10 pm, so we didn’t leave Gainesville until 8 am. It was a nice day as far as weather was concerned so we weren’t surprised to see a gang of folks already piled up in downtown Cedar Key. We headed to our usual haunts and gave it our best go. Fishing was fairly slow most of the day, as far as game fish goes. If I knew someone who would buy saltwater catfish from me for .50 cents a fish, I could consider retiring early. Between the catfish, ladyfish and sharks our lines stayed taut for most of the day. This can help alleviate the boredom of not catching anything for a while but eventually it just pisses you off. Proponents of artificial baits don’t have to worry about this like us shrimp slingers do, but the juice is worth the squeeze once you land any of your target species.
One of the main issues we were having was a porpoise (maybe it was a dolphin, I’m no Ace Ventura) was on our ass for a good hour and a half. It was like he knew where we wanted to fish for about 4 different spots and decided to join us. Porpoises or dolphins are pretty cool when you are out on the boat and riding to where you want to fish, but once you get there, they need to kick bricks. Not only do they scare the hell out of any type of fish you are targeting, but they can make a fair amount of racket in the process. I have to admit, having him around was kind of cool because he (I’m assuming it was a “he”, what do I know) was swimming on his side and absolutely thrashing the top of the water with his tail. After about 45 minutes of him being within a child’s cast away from the boat, I got pissed. I started yelling at him to get the hell out of here so I had a chance to catch a fish. Randall and my dad thought it was pretty funny and so did I afterwards. He literally followed us to 4 fishing spots. At one point we had the dolphin/porpoise, a manatee and a gator all within a stone’s throw from the boat. Since we weren’t on a National Geographic nature shoot, we hoisted the anchor and ran a ways to shake free of our pesky water mammal friend.
Randall ended up being the first to reel in a redfish. It was right at 21” and ol’ Randy was super proud of himself. He also caught him a spotted sea trout (look at me using technical terms) a few minutes before he landed the redfish. I caught an undersized redfish at the same spot. We call it the two-fish hole because we used to always catch two keepers there. The hole didn’t live up to its name that day, although technically we did catch two redfish there.
My dad ended up catching a nice redfish and a nice sized trout at the very next spot we stopped. It was another hot ass day, so we decided to head to the hill around 3:30 pm. The wind changed to an almost completely opposite direction during the course of the day. When we got to Cedar Key it was coming out of the NE and by the time we were leaving it coming from the SW. That made it an interesting and wet ride back to the ramp.
It wasn’t one of my finer fishing performances, as I didn’t have a keeper in the box when everything was said and done. All this did was provide fodder for my dad’s comedy routine on the way home. Even Randall got in on the festivities of giving me shit for not catching a keeper. If I had some Robitussin or even some purple drank on me they would have had it in their cups on the way home, simply so I wouldn’t have to listen to their shit talking anymore. Luckily they both fell asleep on their own on the way home and I only had to hear it while we cleaned the boat. Even though I didn’t catch a keeper, I wouldn’t have traded it for getting ready for the upcoming week by doing laundry and other domesticated chores at home, that’s for sure.