My brother Darin had been out of town for the last month working. He finally got back and had a few days off so he called me to take him fishing. Say no more. He met me after work on Friday around 4pm at my house and helped me finish loading the boat. I thought we might hit the jetty until it got dark looking for some Mangroves. I wasn't sure if it was fishable or not due to the storm offshore. I then thought we would move down to the North bridge in New Smyrna and see if the big reds were home.
We headed out about 4:30 and first stopped at Donald's Bait and Tackle to pick up 100 live shrimp. While we were in there, the heavens opened up and we had a deluge on our hands. There was almost 6" of water in the parking lot! We must have been in there 20 minutes until it started to slow down. We were starting to wonder if we were going to get to fish or not. Then we rememberd that this is Florida. Wait 5 minutes and the weather will change. Well the storm was moving South, and so were we so we actually ended up heading back into the thick of it. This time we were at least in the truck. It seemed to take forever to get to Ponce Inlet with all of the flooded roads down there. We could only drive 5-10 mph. When we finally got there, it was still raining and we were hungry. I put my rain suit on, launched the boat and tied up at the restaruant next to the ramp. After a seared tuna steak sandwich and a Jack and Coke, it was finally time to go fishing. The rain had stopped and the skies had cleared. It was a beautiful night out.
We pulled into the inlet to find it pretty calm. We could see 5-6 footers rolling in at the New Smyrna jetty and there were some decent sized sets rolling over the North jetty, but we were good to go inside the inlet with only 2-3 foot gentle rollers. I pulled up at my spot on the North jetty with an outgoing ripping tide and anchored up. There were 3 or 4 boats up near the life guard tower, but we had the inlet to ourselves. That was just fine with us. I needed to re-tie a hook on my pole so Darin was the first one down with a medium live shrimp. He had an instant hook up. It was ripping line and bending his rod good. I was thinking Redfish, but he instead brought in about a 4 pound Yellow Jack. As I finish tying my hook, Darin goes down with another shrimp and again has an instant hookup. Same story, the drag is screaming and the rod is bent over double. I joked about him finding a school of Jacks when he shows me a 26 1/2" Redfish.
I help him with the landing and finally I get a shrimp on my hook. I cast out and within 5 seconds I have a huge hook up. My first one pulled the hook. While I re-tie my leader and hook, Darin boats another Redfish right at the 27" mark. I finally get ready and I'm on again. My brother cast out and we had a double. This was only the first of many doubles we would have today. For the next hour, we boated somewhere between 15-20 redfish. We had a 27" and a 26 1/2" in the cooler. I also added 2 large Spot Tail Pinfish to the cooler, but we were having a problem getting our bait past the Reds. What a problem to have, right? We were looking for some more meat to add to the cooler, so we ended up moving. Bad move!
We went to the North bridge, but the wind was blowing too hard to see any finger mullet. The only thing we could find on our shrimp was catfish. We were tired from pulling on all of those big Reds, so we called it a night and headed back to the trailer.