Tom and I were eager to get on the water this weekend so we looked at the forecast and decided to give it a shot Saturday and Sunday. I got to Tom’s around 6:30 on Saturday and promptly got four fingers stuck in his garage door while trying to close it, ouch. It had been a while since we had been on the water so it took a while to get back in our rhythm. After we double checked a few things we were off and got to the ramp about 7:30.
The good’ole weather man reminded me last night that it might be a little rough on Saturday after a recent cold front. He couldn’t have been more wrong and the weather was fantastic. Tom and I were excited to see only a handful of boats at the ramp and we put in without a wait.
Our first spot was just west of the channel on a sandbar we have had a lot of success on in the past. The bite started slow with only a few noticeable tugs on the line. We decided the tide was still a little too high and motored east 3 or 4 miles to the spot we affectionately call “Our Island”. After a few casts we were on the fish and the trout started spilling over the rail and into the cooler. Trout ranged in size from 17”-20”. Once the tide started to shift so did the bite. We checked a few more spots east of the lighthouse with good results.
After a few hours we decide to give our original spot another try before heading offshore for some trolling. Tom sailed a nice cast on the edge of the bar and waited, a few jigs later and it was on, the drag on Tom’s reel sang and we knew that this was no trout. Once the fish was close to the boat we peered in the water and both said in unison, Jack. We thought for sure this was a big Jack Crevalle. After a few more runs we boated the fish, looked at it, and said what the hell is that. Looking at the color and shape my first thought was a Permit, surely Pompano don’t get this big. As it turns out it was a Pompano and a big one at that.
Besides the Pompano there was still little action at the sandbar so we headed offshore. After about a 45-minute run we set up the troll. Tom’s deep diving plug plunged to a 30 foot depth and started doing its thing and it wasn’t long before we got a tremendous pull on the other end. I battled the mighty fish for only a few seconds before the line went slack. We still don’t know how big the rogue fish that took tom’s plug was on Saturday but we surely will go back another day to find out.
We hit some spots on the way in with success and decided to call it a day. Overall the count for the day was 8 Trout, 3 Blues, 1 Pompano.
Sunday Day 2
I was excited on Sunday because my longtime friend and happy hour regular Jon was coming with Tom and me for some fishing at St. Marks. We all got to the ramp around 8:30 and the wind was up so our first spot was closer to shore for some protection. Only a few ladyfish wanted to play so we moved to a little grass flat south of the lighthouse.
The bite was slow all day but more so in the morning. We boated only a few small trout and picked up and moved further east. I managed to catch a few pinfish for Jon to throw out on the big rod and he immediately hooked up with our first keeper trout of the day. The next cast he hooked up with a small shark which he proudly displayed before throwing it back in.
Tom caught a puffer fish on a gulp and gave it a kiss before releasing it, photos will be posted soon. The company was great and we had some interesting conversations as we searched for our next spot. We drifted on another productive bar but it was hard to fish with all the chop on the water. I cast out my favorite top-water plug and immediately hooked up with the biggest trout of the day a 20” hoss.
The weather and slow bite was getting to us so we called it a day at 4:00 and headed in. Overall a decent day with 4 Trout and 1 Spanish Mackerel.
><(("> Kyle Freund
Kyle is a former ><((“> Team Member at Catch Your Limit, a management and marketing firm with offices in Tallahassee, Florida and Richmond, Virginia. To learn more, visit www.catchyourlimit.com.