Last Saturday, August 11th, I took “The Captain” Don Scoates and Steve Bush out to Cedar Key for a fishing outing. I hadn’t had my boat in the water in about 2 months due to engine troubles. I don’t know whats worse for a motor, salt water or gas with ethanol. I found a gentleman that cleaned the carbs, the fuel lines and put new gas in it for a C-Note. I picked it up on Wednesday and was itching to test her out in Cedar Key the following Saturday, which we did.
We left Gainesville about 5:30 am. High tide was at 8:39 am, so we wanted to get over there to be able to fish the incoming and the outgoing. The weather was nice but the fishing was rather slow in regards to keepers. There was enough water inside by the time we finally hit the Gulf, that I couldn’t really see the covered oyster bars. This made for a slow trip when we got close to the area we like to fish.
My first cast of the day I caught a short red. I was hoping this would be a good sign, but it turned out to mostly be a sign of things to come. We didn’t do too well on what little time we had with the incoming tide. Lots of 16 and 17″ reds accompanied by sting rays, hard head catfish and the occasional short trout. Before the tide turned around, Steve caught a redfish like I’d never seen before.
It didn’t have a spot on either side. I’ve never seen a spotless redfish before. It was a damn Ghost Red. I wanted to call Steve a Ghost Buster, but I don’t think that would have went over too well. Unfortunately, she was a hair too short to keep, so she got let go. After that excitement it died down a while until the tide turned around.
We got into the mouth of a creek, with an oyster bar providing a nice cut with water rushing through it. This is where Don and I had a little luck. I wasn’t smart enough to manuever the boat further inside the creek. That would have been key because we would have been able to cast out of the creek with the flow of the tide, allowing us the pleasure of keeping our lines tight. This wasn’t the case and our lines kept coming back towards the boat, creating slack. Fortunately, it didn’t matter too much. I snagged a 20″ redfish about five minutes after we were properly anchored.
Caught him on a jig head with a “live” shrimp. I use the quotations because the shrimp we got left a lot to to be desired. They were small, immobile and nearly dead. I should have thrown the cast net a little for some mullet for cut bait. Don was up next with a red that just barely made the cut at 18″.
Thank you Don for reppin’ The New Angler out there on the Gulf of Mexico. After Don caught that keeper, it pretty much fizzled out in the way of fish. Even the catfish quit. The tide was leaving in a hurry and we kept getting stuck on bars, so we decided to make like a tree and get out of there. Steve needed to be back in Gainesville early so we called it a day.
All in all, I had a good time. I smoked some cigars, drank a beer, caught a keeper red and my boat ran better than it had ever ran for me. I wish we would have caught more keepers, but anytime you don’t limit out on your target fish, you wish you caught more keepers. That is if there aint nothing wrong with you.