St Augustine Birthday Fishing Trip - FINALLY!

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  1. #1
    Senior Member jacqueo's Avatar
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    St Augustine Birthday Fishing Trip - FINALLY!

    First of all... let me thank everyone on the forum for ALLLLL of their awesome advice.

    About a month ago I posted on here questioning about St Auggie fishing - AND the dreaded inlet. Growing up in South Florida the inlets are INSANE - narrow, and zig-zaggy (Boynton Beach Inlet to be specific). I hadn't taken our new boat offshore since getting it about 4 months ago. I'll admit, I was terrified of the inlet in St Aug and the more that I read, the worse my fears became. You all talked me down and gave me a little "YOU CAN DO IT!" inspiration. As was suggested, I drove past it the night before and scoped it out. Pair that with a wonderful weekend of 1-2 foot seas and I can tell you that we spent ALL weekend OFF SHORE! WOO WHOO! So thank you for that. Also, thank you to Brad for all of the heads up on the area since he used to live around there. I am SO happy that he warned us about the shallows and when we could go in/out from the house's dock. This only became a small problem ONCE while we were there - the girls had dropped off the boys to go take a nap... so we stayed out until low tide and then picked up the boys at the vilano ramp so no biggie.

    We found a house to rent on homeaway.com - just south of the bridge of lions and directly across from the lighthouse. It was awesome. I would HIGHLY recommend it if you want a fun place to go and do some fishing. It's a 3 bedroom and we paid (high season) $300 a night - then split that 3 ways!! Then on Sunday we had a HUGE low country boil and party for my birthday. I believe that starting next weekend the price for the house drops to like $230 a night - which is incredible seeing as how you have a dock right there to leave your boat - so no marina fees!

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    We got a late start on Friday because the mechanic didn't get the boat back to us until 6:30 that night. Whatever - it was fixed and worked GREAT all weekend. My husband dropped me off at the vilano ramp and he drove the trailer down to the house while I took the boat. Let me just tell you that I have never taken the boat out alone - and driving it alone as the sun was setting was just magical. This was my view...
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    I got to the house and Allison, my fishing buddy, had the dining room all set up for my birthday.

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    The girls went to the dock and fished in pitch black as the dock light was blown out - ugh this was frustrating. Allison ended up catching an eel. Now I'm not a squirmy girl when it comes to animals... EXCEPT for reptiles or reptile looking things. Luckily my best friend, Lani who is an educator at the zoo and has NO fear of just about ANY animal (the girl kept hissing cockroaches as pets for crying out loud), was with us and we were able to get him off the hook in time for dinner. UGH - no pictures of this as I was too busy jumping around on the dock saying "CUT THE DAMN LINE!!!!". lol

    SO - now onto the fishing report. Saturday we woke up to THIS view...
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    And this little guy was there to great us good morning at the dock

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    We decided to go off shore. We were about 2-3 miles off shore (I'm a little slow and just realized that my garmin fish finder shows me the distance lol) and boy do I ever regret saying "I just want to catch a shark. I think that would be cool." UGH. I think we caught about 35 sharks between the 6 of us. Lani caught the first one - a 4 footer, possibly a sand shark. I tried to take a photo like the forum members suggested, but it dove down just as I snapped the photo and you weren't able see the shark. I learned a very valuable lesson with this shark. IF POSSIBLE, remove the weight from the line before taking the shark off. Lani isn't exactly the most experienced fisherman and she had a hard time holding the line steady for me. The shark went NUTS while I was working on him and she let the line loose... but not before I got WACKED in the face with a 8oz weight. My nose had a little bleed (not sure why no one had the bright idea to take a picture of this) and I swear that there's a piece of the upper part that is chipped. Oh well. Lesson learned. With each little guy (about 14-15 incherers) I grew more and more fearless. lol I ended up spending most of my time dehooking these little guys for the rest of the boat.

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    Then Allison caught another 4 foot sand shark. I was able to get this one off pretty easily. We tried to get it on the boat but we weren't able to due to the STRONG opposition of the rest of the party. lol So we had to take the hooks off with the fish OFF the boat. Easier said than done.

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    Allison THEN caught another shark - but one that we still can't seem to identify. My guess was a baby tiger shark - do we even have those here? That one was tougher to get off the hook (would have been a LOT easier ON the boat lol). So instead I was able to unclip the hook from her leader (I know I could have cut it - but this was more fun and challenging). Man did I get my exercise! (I think this is my all-time favorite photo. I look fierce and PISSED! lol)

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    Allison has now decided that my name when on the boat is Sharkey. lol

    The boys were exhausted at this point so we dropped them off at the house and the girls kept going strong. We hit up a few places by the inlet, and some of the locations that were suggested on the board. We caught some small whiting, spot fish, and a ton of catfish and one sea bass keeper. We tried to pick up the boys but it was dead low tide. The sand bar that Brad had warned us about wouldn't let the boat get to the dock regards of which way we tried. Again - Thank you Brad for the warning! So the boys drove to the dock and we picked them up there. We headed back offshore and this time fell upon a whiting hole. We loaded up on enough to feed 6 people. Sweet!

    Sunday we managed to get some offshore action in before the birthday party. (Notice my AWESOME new Revere life vest! Thank you Kini!)

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    No photos as we just caught more of the little baby sharks and then over by the sandy shore in the inlet managed to get some MASSIVE catfish. Got back to the house in time to shower and get things ready. It was one hell of a low country boil and an amazing party. We lucked out as the food was cooked and we were all eating during that massive storm that blew through!
    My parents and grandma (who is 83) were visiting and came to the party. My grandma asked if she could fish off the boat at the dock for a bit. Here I'm setting her up to catch some. She LOVES to fish. It MUST be in the blood. haha
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    We managed to get some fishing in off the dock after everyone left. Lani caught a drum, I caught an undersized flounder, we caught a ton of spot fish, again tons of catfish and one large whiting. Not too bad for just playing around off the dock!

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    Monday morning we got in a few hours before we had to head out to pick up our daughter. Another BEAUTIFUL morning from the dock
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    We tried offshore and you guessed it.. more sharks. We decided to hit the corners by camechee cove as the tide was going out. One funky looking fish - maybe a toadfish and I caught something TINY (maybe a little sea bass?).

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    And then it was time to call an end to an awesome weekend of friends, fun, and fishing. What an awesome birthday. Next up - the girls fishing weekend on Labor Day Weekend! This time we are leaving the boys at home and heading on out!
    Last edited by jacqueo; 08-21-2012 at 07:26 PM.
    Yes, as a matter of fact I DO fish... like a girl.

  2. #2
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    Glad to hear you had a great weekend. The shark is a baby tiger. The funky looking fish is a sea robin. I love your enthusiasm. Keep up the good work.

    Brian

  3. #3
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    Allison, your such a ham------Alison's uncle neighbors say hi-----good job

  4. #4
    Moderator kajo's Avatar
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    Very Nice. Love all the pics
    julington creek carpet care

    www.jccarpetcare.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member pilingjunky's Avatar
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    Looks like a fantastic birthday weekend! Ever out beef broth in the boil? Try it!
    Happy Birthday!

  6. #6
    Senior Member jacqueo's Avatar
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    Wow - so it WAS a tiger! I'm glad that we took extra care in removing the leader so he didn't have a big weight and line to get trapped on something. He was truly one of the most beautiful animals that I have ever seen. We thought the funky looking fish was a toad fish but were confused as to the "wings". Thank you for clarifying that for me! Yes - very enthusiastic and LOVING every second of having our boat. I'd be out every night if I could!!!
    Yes, as a matter of fact I DO fish... like a girl.

  7. #7
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    Congrats, a very fun looking weekend.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Big Bend Brian's Avatar
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    You’re enthusiasm is infectious! Obviously your loving life!!
    Great post and keep at it!

    Happy belated birthday too!
    Brian

  9. #9
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    I loved seeing the excitement too, made me smile. Great report, keep them coming!

  10. #10
    Senior Member KINIB's Avatar
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    Congrats on a great trip, love the pics!! Jacket looks good, glad it worked out for you!!

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