Boating at SI?

I've fished SI several times a year for the last 7 years, but I've either fished from the jetties, or back on the riverside in the flats for reds and trout.

I'll be down there for a few days next month, and I'm thinking about renting a boat so I can actually get in the inlet where the big boys play. It will just be my wife and I. I know the current is quite strong through there while the tides are kicking up.

I'm just asking the experienced people how hard it is to maneuver a boat out there. I'd like to get right at the mouth where the big snook hang out. I don't want to be getting myself into something I can't handle. I know I could drop the anchor, but I may try drifting a little with some large croakers or mullet. I'm guessing while drifting I should keep the engine idling to avoid slamming into a piling.

If its too windy I probably won't even bother. The boat I'd be renting has a 60hp motor. Most of the boat driving I've done has been on Lanier.

any tips here? The last thing I want to do is capsize. I plan on popping for some trout in the flats, then moving on the ocean side for the real fish.
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Replies

  • screamin seamanscreamin seaman Posts: 1,492 Officer
    How does your wife do driving the/a boat? If your drifting, drift the incoming tide and you don't need to start at the end of the jetty.

    And please oh please don't anchor in the channel or in the center east of the bridge.

    Good luck!
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  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 19,737 AG
    Doesn't sound like a great idea.....

    Better would be to charter one of the top guys that do that fishery for the best weather/tide day....then fish the Jetty the other days.
    You will be much safer and catch more fish.
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  • beachsideandybeachsideandy Posts: 899 Officer
    And please oh please don't anchor in the channel or in the center east of the bridge.

    Yeah it was a minefield out there coming back in on Saturday...
  • Mako_OneMako_One Posts: 216 Officer
    I was out satrday for a couple of hours. The inlet was packed and idiots anchored inside the channel. I wish the FWC wuld have passed through and advised them to move. Then they get mad when they get rocked by someone shooting through during the fastest moving current.
  • screamin seamanscreamin seaman Posts: 1,492 Officer
    Yea I've anchored just outside of the channel west of the bridge many times in my 17' flats boat (I would never anchor my boat on the east side). I know what it takes to safely navigate a larger boat through the inlet and definitely don't blame them for the occasional wave I get over the side of the boat. I make sure to be aware and warn everyone on board my boat. I do hawever get pissed with ignorant fks out there when I'm "navigating" the channel.
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  • telsonmantelsonman Posts: 44 Deckhand
    Well, depending on whichever route I take, I'm hoping it will be a nice calm day.
    "Success is the happy feeling you get between the time you do something and time you tell a woman what you did."
  • GrillaGGrillaG Posts: 1,259 Officer
    duckmanJR wrote: »
    Doesn't sound like a great idea.....

    X2
  • bigoldredfishbigoldredfish Posts: 482 Deckhand
    I have no idea what was going on Saturday. I came back in and usually expect to see one or two boats in the channel, but saturday it seemed like EVERY boat was sitting or anchored in the channel. So much so that I had to do several double takes to get my bearings and see the bouys. I had never seen it that moe-moe'd up before.
  • SpinfisherSpinfisher Posts: 756 Officer
    You can do it!

    Go at the top of the tide, when its starting to come in. One person on the Wheel/Throtle at all times, and another fishing.

    Begin at the tip of the Jetty, drift into the bridge.

    Have several rigs ready to, as you will get snagged, many many times and loose your terminal gear.

    Live bait, hang on to your rod and be ready to lock the drag and pull hard. I use Calcuttas, 25# Momoi line with 60# leader.

    When the current gets too fast, get out of the drift, go inside stay away from the mouth of the inlet.

    Make sure someone is at the helm and looking around at all times and make sure you can think and fish fast.

    On a good day and at the right tide flow you can do it on a Kayak, and an hour later you may not want to do it in any type of boat.

    I'm new to the inlet and am learning, but dont shy away from trying. Its a challenging and very rewarding water system.
  • Off Shore DudeOff Shore Dude Posts: 303 Deckhand
    Thanks for that Spinfisher. Are you using any weight when drifting? That looks like a gheenoe.
  • ChumbagChumbag Posts: 381 Officer
    Spinfisher wrote: »

    You can do it!

    Go at the top of the tide, when its starting to come in. One person on the Wheel/Throtle at all times, and another fishing.

    Begin at the tip of the Jetty, drift into the bridge.

    Have several rigs ready to, as you will get snagged, many many times and loose your terminal gear.

    Live bait, hang on to your rod and be ready to lock the drag and pull hard. I use Calcuttas, 25# Momoi line with 60# leader.

    When the current gets too fast, get out of the drift, go inside stay away from the mouth of the inlet.

    Make sure someone is at the helm and looking around at all times and make sure you can think and fish fast.

    On a good day and at the right tide flow you can do it on a Kayak, and an hour later you may not want to do it in any type of boat.

    I'm new to the inlet and am learning, but dont shy away from trying. Its a challenging and very rewarding water system.

    Good, informative post with a nice picture to demonstrate results. Great contribution to the forum.
  • Final PointFinal Point Posts: 459 Deckhand
    Good looking fish there Frank. I've never seen that gheenoe out there before. You get that big red recently?
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  • SpinfisherSpinfisher Posts: 756 Officer
    Good looking fish there Frank. I've never seen that gheenoe out there before. You get that big red recently?

    Ryan, That was two weekends ago. We were trying for snook around the St Sebastian, but was very slow. Caught and released one small around where your boat is tied up to....

    The pompano are also running in and around the inlet
  • SpinfisherSpinfisher Posts: 756 Officer
    Thanks for that Spinfisher. Are you using any weight when drifting? That looks like a gheenoe.

    Yes we use weights, the inlet channel is around 16-18 feet deep, you want the live bait in the water not the surface. Send it down, you will loose many rigs, but its part of the game plan.
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