Saturday June 16th, I went out of “the hatchee” with my good buddy Allan and his dad. We had been checking the weather reports late into the night on Friday and everything indicated that we would have a strong wind out of the East most of the day. 15 to 20 knots was the general consensus. We decided to take a chance and give it shot.
We took Allan’s boat which is a 19ft Key West and handles the rough water better than my flat bottom Triton and obviously our kayaks. We got to the new public boat ramps around 8:30 so that we could get out and fish the incoming tide which was high at 11:35. I don’t know how true it is or how many of you have heard the same but, I have always heard that a strong wind out of the East on the gulf will be a very unproductive day. In other words, stay home, mow the grass, drink a few beers, and go the next day. Well for once the weather forecast was correct. Between the gusting winds out of the East and the incoming tide we had quite a chop but Allan’s boat handled it well.
We headed right out on some of the grass flats and tried various lures. D.O.A. terror eyes jig, Mirror lure Mirrodyne, and Allan’s dad was using the old standby Gulp new penny shrimp. I also tried out some of the new jerk baits and jigs that my dad is making at home. As I expected: plenty of sea bass, short trout and Jack Crevalle. By the way, the lower size limit for sea bass is 12 inches. Has anybody ever regularly caught any to keep? I swear on my beloved Zara-Spook that every sea bass in the Gulf of Mexico is exactly 11 inches long, no exceptions. We fought the wind all day but managed to catch fish unfortunately they were all small. Allan did manage to get one really nice flounder on one of the terror eyes jigs that went into the cooler along with the one trout we got that was legal.
We decided once the bite slowed that we would head down to pepperfish keys to fish the shallows. Before that though we thought it would be a good time to eat some lunch. I had my customary generic peanut butter sandwich thrown together in the morning with no care whatsoever along with whatever stale corn or potato chips were left in the cabinet. Allan on the other hand unsheathed a sandwich that was impressive to say the least. As I was choking down my fry PBJ, without the J, I spotted the masterpiece that I assumed he had picked up at Publix. I had to ask where the hell he got it. His response was -“I made it…..after a few stiff drinks, I threw everything I could find in the refrigerator on it”. He did literally.
Finally we went down to pepperfish and fished inshore a bit. If you have not been there, the place is awesome. At high tide there are some shallow areas behind the islands that would be outstanding for redfish on calmer days. We caught a few more trout in there and finally decided to wrap it up and head home. All in all it was a fun day and good to be out on the water with friends. Once we got back to the house and cleaned up the boat and cleaned a few fish, my wife and some good friends had a surprise birthday party for me at Allan’s house. So I guess you could say it was a near perfect day regardless of the fishing, wind, Gator baseball losing, and not getting half of that damn sandwich.