Fish seem to be marking better despite cold-water upwelling
|Calamari a la Dennis.|
The weather is the typical summer-time fishing weather. Some are saying that we are starting to see a suggestion that the end of the col- water upwelling is approaching, but we still are having the west winds that blow the warm surface water offshore and allow the colder water to upwell. Fish seem to be marking better, however.
The dolphin have moved north with only very few stragglers. SST’s are 80-82 degrees Fahrenheit. The King Mackerel continues to be the main trolling fish - mostly on wrecks and artificial reefs. Capt. John Krall did well recently on the King Mackerel despite the west wind and the full moon. Cobia are under debris and loggerhead turtles and it you can approach within casting range of those big reddish brown shelled creatures, you can get a cobia or two into the boat. Barracuda are too plentiful and are making themselves a nuisance.
Several sailfish have been caught this past week off the USS Mindanao and three sailfish from around the 340 culverts. Little tunny have been testing the endurance of the light line anglers. The bottom bite for vermillion and Lane snapper, back sea bass, trigger fish, continues to be good. Many genuine American red snapper were landed this week. Capt. Bruce Tippins reported that he caught a 19 inch vermillion snapper a few miles from the PG. Amberjack continue to give anglers great fights. A little deeper the gags and red grouper are being caught. Past the 28 fathom curve, big red porgies, as well as snowy & scamp grouper have been boated.
In the surf some whiting, quite a few flounder and many black drum have been caught. A bluefish or two was also reported; and, lo and behold, the “Yankee Rich Brothers” heard about it and were planning to “catch a whopper”. However, before the date was set, by some strange twist of events, while shopping in a Food Lion, Rich C. ran into our old friend Dennis, who suddenly reappeared in Southeast Volusia again after a few months visiting some aged relatives in the great state of New York. Dennis was shopping for hot dogs telling Rich C. that he could make hot dogs so that people would think that they were eating calamari. Rich C. refused to believe him and then they got into prevaricating to each other about their great triumphs in the river, surf, and inlet. Rich C. was absolutely a hair short of being totally mesmerized by the lies and fantasies that spewed from Dennis’ lips. Rich C. mentally exhausted from listening to Dennis tell him lie after lie and fantasy after fantasy, finally offered the big mistake – “Why don’t you go fishing with my friend, Rich A. and myself.? He is from New York, too, and we will all have a blast."
Dennis, always glad to go fishing at someone else’s expense, gleefully accepted his offer. “What days are best for you?” continued Rich C? Oh, I prefer the afternoons or evenings and even like to go under the docks at night.” answered Dennis coyly not hinting that he loves to stay up into the wee hours of the morning and then does not get up until ten or eleven later that morning. “How will Thursday afternoon around three work?” Rich C. uttered. “Great”, replied Dennis. “I will arrange it and call you.” said the duped Rich C. as they exchanged phone numbers. Well the stage was set, the actors were chosen and all that was missing was the scenery and the events that took place. Now, picture this, you have three retired yankees - all of whom are over-weight and all of whom are tight-wads -. an Italian from the Queens, an Irishman from Long Island, and a Pole from the Bronx – going fishing together.
The Italian, Rich C, seems to be the guy, who has taken the Pollock, Rich A., fishing for the last seven times and has sworn not to do it again until Rich A. coughs up some cash for gas. The fact that Rich A. always brings a bucket of KFC’s fried chicken, a case of Budweiser beer, three 8-10 pound bags of ice, plenty of live shrimp as we’ll as mud minnows, and a bottle of sunscreen did not begin to count towards covering Rich C.’s expense for the gas used to go the five to twelve miles of water they covered during the day. However, what really aggravated Rich C. was that every bucket of KFC fried chicken that Rich A. brought always contained an odd number (11) of pieces and that Rich A always grabbed the last piece. Rich C., also knowing that KFC offers a 10 and a 12 piece bucket of fried chicken but not an eleven, highly suspected that Rich A. probably eats an additional piece of chicken while driving to meet Rich C. at the ramp and by grabbing the last piece in the bucket gets two more pieces of chicken than Rich C. every time they go– and nobody loves KFC fried chicken more than Rich C. (except for Rich A.).
Naturally, the Italian called the Pole and told him about his chance meeting with this wonderful Irishman, who was willing to go fishing with them and would give them wonderful information about where to and how to catch fish. Rich C. would never have to come home empty-handed to his wife and hear her complain. Further, Rich A. would never have to go to the fish market again and buy fish for dinner again. He also informed Rich A. that his boat was broken down and that they would have to use Rich A’s boat. Having not used his boat in two years, Rich A. wisely decided to check out his boat before putting it into the water and discovered that the gas was bad and the battery was shot. After two hours of hand pumping out the old gas and illegally dumping it in a near by field, buying a new battery and putting new gas and oil in the boat, Rich A. was ready. The time had come. Telephone arrangements had been made to meet at the NSB ramp on the east side of the bridge.
As Rich A. got ready to launch the boat, he noticed a reddish faced, Irish looking. Overweight. bald aging man – who had that ‘Long lsland look” about him (which only a true new Yorker can immediately recognize – certainly not something that an old country boy from the South would be able to do – so I have no way to describe what that look is.) He was standing by the ramp with a spinning rod in his left hand, a bucket of KFC fried chicken in his right hand, a case of Budweiser beer and three 8-10 pound bags of ice
at his feet and was watching a large bait bucket full of live shrimp as we’ll as mud minnows tendered to the dock at the ramp. “You must be Dennis.”, greeted Rich A. “Yeh, who the $&*# are you?” – as only the way Dennis could say it. “Hi, I am Rich A. Nice to meet you” said Rich A. “Yeh, same here.” replied Dennis with the intonation of some Chicago gangster. “Where is Rich C.?” Dennis continued. “I suspect he will – oh, here he comes now.” replied Rich A.
A brand new Chevrolet truck drove up blaring songs from over a half a century ago by Ricky Nelson. After closing the electric windows, out stepped Rich C. cordially greeting Rich A. and Dennis. “Let’s go” said Rich C. and the three of them launched the boat, loaded it with the gear, food and beverages ready to ‘slay them’. As Rich A. backed the boat out of the slip, Rich C. shouted “I forgot the rest of the stuff – it is still in the truck.” Rich A. drove the boat back to the ramp knocking it against the floating dock first on the starboard side and then bouncing it off towards the one on the port side. Dennis managed to grab hold a cleat while Rich C. went up to the truck and came back with a bottle of sun screen. Rich A. asked, “Is that all you brought?" Rich C. smiled like the cat, who ate the canary. Holding his tongue and keeping his big mouth shut, a major task for a New Yorker – especially one from the Bronx, Rich A. got the vessel under way.
Like a sea captain of old, Dennis stood by the console shouting and pointing directions to Rich A as to which way to go. “Look, Capt. Hook, I know port from starboard” scowled Rich A. in response to Dennis’ shouting that he was on the wrong side of the marker about five seconds before running aground. With nearly 750 pounds of weight holding the vessel in place all but Rich A. had to jump off the boat into the mud and allow Rich A to free the vessel. They spent the next fifteen minutes dumping bucket after bucket of river water into the vessel in order to get the muck to go out the scuppers. At the first stop, 15 minutes was spent drowning shrimp and mud minnows and then they had to move because Rich C. was checking to see if the fish were nesting in the mangrove bushes by casting his bait firmly into the center of the mangroves. Having no success freeing the end of the line from the mangroves which were shaking like they were afflicted with the Saint Vitus ’ dance As Rich A. eased the boat forward as far as he dared, and Rich C held the line taut, Dennis tried to balance his round body in the center of his two skinny legs. His attempt to defy the laws of physics was disrupted by the wake of a passing boat causing a tremendous splash and counter-wake in the shallow water as Dennis once again wallowed in the muddy bottom. After pulling him aboard again, the three commenced the bucked scene again to rid the boat of the muck.
Several hours of one snagged small towel, four salt water catfish, one sting ray and two mother-in-law fish as well as the heat and the frustration from jumping from one of Dennis’ hot spots to another only to drown more bait, it was suggested that they relax and have some of that wonderful KFC fried chicken. Drooling at the mouth, Rich C. reached for the bucket and popped the lid. A face of glee went to one of horror as Rich C.’ s eyes fell upon one small breast, one thigh, one leg and a wing – not even enough to cover the bottom of the biucket. “Is this all there is to eat? That is not even enough to eat for one person” said the man, who routinely consumes five big pieces of KFC fried chicken for lunch and bemoans Rich A.’s getting the extra two pieces. Stuffing his mouth with the breast, he handed Rich A. the thigh and then gave Dennis the wing and said: “Rich, we will flip a coin for the leg.” Not understanding what they were upset about, Dennis got every speck of meat off the wing and even chewed on the soft part of the larger wing bone sucking out some of the juices. Detecting the unhappiness in the air, Dennis said, “I am not feeling that well; let’s go home. The trip home was draped in silence as they pulled up to the ramp. Rich A. banged the boat once more against the docks on both sides of the small ramp Dennis jumped out and held the boat still while the others stepped out. He patiently waited for them to get the trailer into position. He then grabbed his rod and bait bucket, walked to his old Cadillac and drove off into the night. The Rich “brothers” bid adieu and Rich A. headed to the house while Rich C. headed for KFC.
In the Inlet, Capt. Fred Robert reports the water temperature is in the mid-70s at the inlet. He also reports there are many Jack Crevalle and more bluefish. The word is out that the big Tarpon (100 pounds and up) are now here. In the Halifax River, flounder, mangrove snapper, and Jack Crevalle are providing a lot of the action. Red drum are also being caught sporadically. Many disturbances on the water are being seen as the Jack Cravelle rip into the schools of pogies and mullet in the river. At night, the dock lights are still holding speckled trout.
In the lagoon redfish, gray snappers, Jack Crevalle and my buddy Dennis’ favorite fish – the mighty ladyfish – are providing anglers plenty of action. Most fish are being caught on shrimp and cut bait. There are a lot of crabs in the water.
In the Tomoka area, Capt. Kent Gibbens is tearing up the snook and tarpon. There are also reports of reds, trout and flounder. The same goes for the river but not too many pompano have been caught in the river. The old captain says to target the drop-offs which are usually found near bends in the river.
In the lagoon, Capt. John Tarr that Tarpon are all over from the north end of the lagoon to the inlet. He also stated that south of Tiger shoals they have been seeing large redfish schooling (as well as some black drum). Although a little early, he suspects that they are about to spawn. He says the water temperature is 70-74 degrees farenheit and the water is up.
The FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) announces upcoming workshops for women who want to spend a weekend learning a variety of outdoor skills. The first Becoming and Outdoors-Woman workshop will be October 10-12 at Wallwood Boy Scout Camp, 23 Wallwood BSA Drive in Quincy. The second workshop will be Nov. 21-23, at the Pine Jog’s Everglades Youth Conservation Camp in the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area, west of West Palm Beach. The third workshop will be March 27-29, at the Ocala Conservation Center , 7325 N.E. 170 Avenue in Silver Springs on Lake Eaton, in the Ocala National Forest, about 20 miles east of Ocala. The workshops are held at rustic summer camp facilities with basic modern amenities and the lodging is in dormitory style, with meals served in the cafeteria. Sessions begin Friday afternoons and end Sunday after lunch. The FWC invites women, 18 and over, to attend the workshops to learn or improve their outdoor skills and enjoy a few recreational activities. Four workshops, in three and a half-hour sessions, teach skills associated with hunting/shooting, fishing and non-consumptive activities like canoeing and camping, at all levels of physical activity.
TheBecoming and Outdoors-Womanprogramoffers the opportunity for women to enjoy a fun and supportive atmosphere to experiment and enjoy the camaraderie of others who want to learn about Florida’s great outdoors.
Although the program is designed with women in mind, the camp is open to anyone who wants to learn in an non-threatening, non-competitive, hands-on atmosphere, The camp’s instructors strive to make participants feel at ease. The instructors are there to guide the people through the activities without intimidation. Patience is the secret of success in the FWC’s Becoming and Outdoors-Woman Program. The cost is $175; however, there are partial scholarships available for low income, first time participants. Workshop are each limited to 100 attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. Sessions include introductory courses in bass-, pan- and fly-fishing, knot tying basics, handgun shooting and hunting, shooting sports, and shotgun shooting and hunting. Also offered are boating, canoeing/kayaking, map and compass, and small game hunting basics will be offered.
Those interested in whitetail deer and turkeys can attend sessions on those subjects. Also there are courses on bow-hunting, archery, conventional hunting and black powder hunting. Bow-hunting and hunter certification courses will be offered. Safety concerns are addressed in a personal safety course on map and compass basics and basic wilderness survival skills, wilderness first aid, and the reading of the woods. Other courses include outdoor photography, bird watching, and instruction on becoming a primitive chef. More information is available at HYPERLINK "http://www.myFWC.com/BOW" www.myFWC.com/BOW or by calling (561) 625-5122
It has been written; “In the wilderness is the salvation of mankind.” So whether you charter, ride a head boat, run your own vessel, stay in the river, surf fish, or fish from shore or a bridge- there are fish to be caught. Fishing is not a matter of life or death, it is so much more important than that.
About the Blogger
Capt. Budd Neviaser
Capt. Budd Neviaser is a life-long resident of New Smyrna Beach who has fished the Intracoastal waterways and the Atlantic Ocean most of his life.