Old and New Waters

Had recently gotten a heavy duty set-up (Mojo Inshore Heavy rod/Cabo 40) for probing docks and wanted to put it to the test on the Peace River. Casting a lure has been a bit difficult. Also needed a change of scenery so I drove south for my annual trip to the PR. After dealing with an inoperative ramp fee machine (didn't pay), I launched around 8:00am. Water temp was 75. Had low water and slowly coming in. Worked a few docks, but no luck. Came up on a dock on a point. Cast in near the sea wall behind the dock at 8:23am and my 4" mullet got smashed. Set the hook and up comes a solid snook. She came in at 29 1/2".



Ok so off to a good start and thought I might be in for some very good dock fishing. Two hours later and I had only managed to catch one rat red at 10:05am. I did have a couple of pull downs, but no other fish in the 30 or so docks I worked. There just wasn't any activity on the river. No fish or bait moving. Low water and little water movement may have been the problem cause when I got back to the Whiddon Bay at dark, there was all kinds of fish activity, including a good fish I missed on the ssj.

So now what. Plan A had been to work docks, go out to CH and hit some areas I had luck at b4, come back and hit the same docks and probe Whiddon Bay right b4 dark. That plan was out the window. No Plan B so I had to wing it. Decided not to work the 75 bridge since bubkiss in the river other than a slot snook and a rat. Made the long ride (long for me) past 75, past 41 out to an area called the Myakka Cutoff. Had luck here previously and was hopeful. Water was still low and wouldn't reach 1' until noon and then not move higher till 2pm. Wind was rather brisk out of the south. Switched to a 3" mullet on 10# PP and this is what I fished with almost the entire rest of the day except for a few casts with the ssj in bone prompted by the excellent overcast conditions and boredom. Found some relatively deeper water and caught a 15" trout at 11:37 am and a smaller one at 11:47am. Well that was fun (sarcasm). So back out to the mouth and down Frank's Flat. Low water, no grass and waves from the south wind pounding the shorelines made the effort pointless. Down to Shoal Point and I had had enough of this wind. Contemplated my options. Over to the West Wall....no break from the wind there. Make the trek across open water to the East Wall and get out off this wind. That's the ticket!

Took a nice ride (it looks soooo far on the water) and stopped at a flat with sparse grass. No bueno. Moved farther west and ended up at Alligator Creek. Main reason I stopped there was I saw fishing boats near shore. Follow the locals when all else fails. Got behind the shallow bar and was running into a little bit deeper water, but still pretty clear. Apparently the area I was fishing is called the Skating Rink with the East Wall being just west of Alligator Creek. I went east and was pumped to connect with a small snook at 2:25pm. Kept probing this bank and found a little backwater pond area with very good depth. Worked mangroves lining the pond and came to a crab pot out in the middle. Cast past it. Just past the pot and my lure got blasted so hard the rod almost came out of my hand. The fish took off and it was a solid redfish. After a nice fight in which I saw his buddy with him, I boated the fish at 2:50pm. She came in at 28".



By this time, the weather had turned a bit uglier and most of the boats along the shore had gone. Went around and between islands to find another pond area that was 3 times as big. This could be good. Probed it for a while and no luck. Paralleled the shoreline with one cast and my lure got hammered. Set the hook on another solid fish that quickly moved out to deeper water. It was another solid red that put me to the test. After some drag-screaming and numerous violent headshakes, I slipped her in the net at 3:20pm. She came in at 29" and was so much heavier than the red I just caught. A beautifully spotted specimen.



Ok now I am good. Two solid overslot reds makes everything worth it. Unfortunately, no more fish caught in that pond and no pond-like areas after that. Still working east banging the shoreline. As I am going down the bank, I noticed the mangrove shoreline is much different than the ones I fish in TB. Down there, the sand may extend 15-20' out from the mangroves before it meets the grass. Grass is much closer to the shore where I fish. So I started to focus more on the intersection where they meet and not the shoreline. A bit of a lull before I caught a 21 1/2" red at 4:02pm that came right at me. Picked up a snooklet at 4:06pm. A small snook at 4:38pm. Five minutes later a nice 24 1/2" snook. Hooked into a small rat red at 5:11pm. Another small snook at 5:29pm. Cast down the grassline at 5:35pm and my lure got nailed. Set the hook and a solid fish took off towards the mangroves. Kept her just short and brought her out, but she surged towards the shoreline again and got airborne. Luckily, I had just loosened my drag or she would have popped my line. After a nice battle, I slipped her in the net. She measured 29 1/2". Another beautiful fish.



Kept working east down the shore, but the water depth was not as good. After another lull, I did catch a nice 17" trout at 6:48p. I worked it a bit longer, but needed to be getting back to the ramp soon. I left for it at 7pm. The ride to the 41 bridge was fine, but between 41 and 75 there were big rollers and the ride was rough. I worked around Whiddon Bay for a while and missed that good fish, but dark was on me and I headed for the ramp. It was a long day. I worked it hard and was rewarded with two overslot reds and two slot snook. So all in all, not too shabby. I will be back there soon to check out either the "real" East Wall or Bull Bay, which looks like LCRB on steroids.

Final Body Count

Reds - 5 (29", 28", 21.5" and two rats)
Snook - 6 (29.5", 29.5", 24.5", 2 smalls and 1 dink)
Trout - 3 (17", 15" and 1 underslot)
Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release

Replies

  • QuesoQueso Posts: 16 Greenhorn
    I always love reading your reports. Thanks for sharing and keep them coming!
  • Reel-LuckyReel-Lucky Oldsmar, FLPosts: 3,010 Moderator
    Great report, Dave. Thanks for that.
  • HondoHondo Posts: 50 Greenhorn
    You haven't lost your touch Dave.
  • skyway andeskyway ande Posts: 3,331 Captain
    Quite a nice report! Thanks for sharing...
    Will you go fishing / catchin' with me sometime?
    God, save the South!
  • dieselbeefdieselbeef Posts: 652 Officer
    yer THE man! where ya been fella. just got my boat back together and been out a cpl times but aint caught nothing to speak of..need a day like yours! nice work.
    16 ccf wellcraft.....
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,248 Officer
    Thanks guys!

    Not sure skyway ande. I have taken some guys out I never fished with b4 and it didn't go well. Met a guy from Canada one time and fished the Peace River. His ego was bigger than my boat and we didn't gel. He had no saltwater tackle either. Another guy showed up with dust and cob-webs on his rods. One guy was super nice, but his first cast hit the top of a palm tree. It was stunning and amazing at the same time. One guy popped open his first beer of quite a few at 10am and kept the fish I put him on. That was disappointing. It's like if you are a golfer and they pair you up with somebody you never met b4. Is this guy a hacker or a player? Spending 5 hours golfing with somebody you don't know can be fine or it can be a nightmare. It is the same with fishing. Then there are the other things to consider. Is this guy a live/dead-baiter or an arti guy? Does he have the rods/reels/tackle to fish the shallow water areas I fish? Can he make precision casts or are we going to be getting his lures out of the mangroves all day? Does he want to be Captain on my boat? I make that mistake also when I am on other people's boat and need to stop doing that. Will he respect my boat or trash it? Are his shoes dirty or have black soles that mar the boat? Yea I'm anal. Does he have the patience to stick with it or get frustrated easily? Does he make a lot of noise in the boat? Will our personalities gel? Is he a Republican or worse a Trump supporter? HA! I can be pretty intense and I'm not the easiest sob to get along with all the time. So that said, I mostly go fishing by myself. No pressure to put anybody else on fish other than myself and that's enough pressure for me.

    I have been fishing db, but have had inconsistent results. Some quantity days, but not quality and not really report-worthy. What was wrong with your boat? You did get a trolling motor right? I got boat steering problems now and believe my helm gears are getting stripped. Need to replace my steering cable and helm.
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 970 Officer
    Thanks guys!

    Not sure skyway ande. I have taken some guys out I never fished with b4 and it didn't go well. Met a guy from Canada one time and fished the Peace River. His ego was bigger than my boat and we didn't gel. He had no saltwater tackle either. Another guy showed up with dust and cob-webs on his rods. One guy was super nice, but his first cast hit the top of a palm tree. It was stunning and amazing at the same time. One guy popped open his first beer of quite a few at 10am and kept the fish I put him on. That was disappointing. It's like if you are a golfer and they pair you up with somebody you never met b4. Is this guy a hacker or a player? Spending 5 hours golfing with somebody you don't know can be fine or it can be a nightmare. It is the same with fishing. Then there are the other things to consider. Is this guy a live/dead-baiter or an arti guy? Does he have the rods/reels/tackle to fish the shallow water areas I fish? Can he make precision casts or are we going to be getting his lures out of the mangroves all day? Does he want to be Captain on my boat? I make that mistake also when I am on other people's boat and need to stop doing that. Will he respect my boat or trash it? Are his shoes dirty or have black soles that mar the boat? Yea I'm anal. Does he have the patience to stick with it or get frustrated easily? Does he make a lot of noise in the boat? Will our personalities gel? Is he a Republican or worse a Trump supporter? HA! I can be pretty intense and I'm not the easiest sob to get along with all the time. So that said, I mostly go fishing by myself. No pressure to put anybody else on fish other than myself and that's enough pressure for me.

    I have been fishing db, but have had inconsistent results. Some quantity days, but not quality and not really report-worthy. What was wrong with your boat? You did get a trolling motor right? I got boat steering problems now and believe my helm gears are getting stripped. Need to replace my steering cable and helm.

    I've found that the people who ask to go fishing suck and just want a free charter. Take it as a compliment :)
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,248 Officer
    I do take it that way. Another concern is that they only want to know where you are fishing so that they can go back with their buddies next time and you never hear from them again. Actually happened one day that just after I gave a guy some info about my spots that I ran into him and his buddy fishing one of them. I then went to my next spot and there he was again. My own fault actually. You really can't trust anyone to keep spots a secret. A good spot will eventually get out to many and soon it is no longer a good spot. I learned that the hard way.
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 970 Officer
    I do take it that way. Another concern is that they only want to know where you are fishing so that they can go back with their buddies next time and you never hear from them again. Actually happened one day that just after I gave a guy some info about my spots that I ran into him and his buddy fishing one of them. I then went to my next spot and there he was again. My own fault actually. You really can't trust anyone to keep spots a secret. A good spot will eventually get out to many and soon it is no longer a good spot. I learned that the hard way.

    I have about 3-4 guys I fish with and am very hesitant to take anyone I don't know very well. Thinking about all of the time I've invested in understanding the water and knowing how and where to fish is highly protected. I can tell pretty quickly after meeting a person if they are good and worth fishing with. I know it sound clicky and maybe high-minded but I really don't have the time. Now, I learned this after a hard lesson. Took a "friend" fishing a very secluded backwater bayou spot that I've figured out after 15+ years of fishing it. Very tidal dependent must have the right bait and must be in the exact area. No lie a few days after I took him, he brings his brother, cousin, etc. and they keep the fish out of the spot. This spot has produced multiple 36"+ redfish and 40" snook. Not a cool move. I keep all social media private and I don't add anyone I don't know / trust. The guys who know what they are doing likely already know where you're fishing. :)
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,248 Officer
    Definitely not a cool move. That's a monster fish spot and it's like finding gold. Did you swear him to secrecy or was it understood that this spot was to be shared with no one? If not, then he assumed it's ok to bring his family. If so, then he ain't no friend. The problem is too many people don't want to do the work and invest the time or money to figure out where to be on what tide etc. It's the instant gratification syndrome.
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • HondoHondo Posts: 50 Greenhorn
    Well Dave for what it is worth I have enjoyed every time I have taken you fishing on my boat and we have always managed to put a hurtin on the fish when we went. I am having knee surgery in a few weeks so I will be out of commission this summer, but we will have to make it a point to get back out again this fall and hopefully chase some redfish schools.
  • SouthshoreSlayerSouthshoreSlayer Posts: 408 Officer
    Nice to see a report from ya Dave, good fish.
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,248 Officer
    Thanks Bill. I appreciate it. Our times together have been good. I remember that first time you took me down to Joe's Bay early that morning and we hit that monster wave that we didn't see. OMG! Scared the chit out of me. Must have been from a passing ship. And that other time we hit my spot on the SS and had some good topwater action with you on the sw and me on the ssj. Look forward to fishing with you in the fall. Hope the surgery and rehab goes well.

    Thanks T.
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • Lt-DanLt-Dan Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    Hi,

    I enjoyed reading your report and appreciate your taking the time to share your experiences and knowledge.

    But, being new to the site and the area your abbreviations confuse me. You mentioned the following. Would you be so kind as to tell me what they mean please?

    PR, ssj, CH, PP, ssj in bone, TB, LCRB

    Thank you.

    Dan
  • FusionZ06FusionZ06 Posts: 970 Officer
    Definitely not a cool move. That's a monster fish spot and it's like finding gold. Did you swear him to secrecy or was it understood that this spot was to be shared with no one? If not, then he assumed it's ok to bring his family. If so, then he ain't no friend. The problem is too many people don't want to do the work and invest the time or money to figure out where to be on what tide etc. It's the instant gratification syndrome.

    Bingo - instant gratification syndrome. He's NOT a fisherman and doesn't even own really any equipment so I assumed it would be a safe bet. I did make it clear how much I protect the area. Live and learn the spot is still very good and produces consistently but I did feel betrayed.
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 667 Officer
    Lt-Dan wrote: »
    Hi,

    I enjoyed reading your report and appreciate your taking the time to share your experiences and knowledge.

    But, being new to the site and the area your abbreviations confuse me. You mentioned the following. Would you be so kind as to tell me what they mean please?

    PR, ssj, CH, PP, ssj in bone, TB, LCRB

    Thank you.

    Dan
    You got to be kidding me. That's the point, go figure out how to fish man. Then you will understand some of that code.
  • Lt-DanLt-Dan Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    TB - Tampa Bay
    PR - Peace River

    Boy, that was giving away some closely guarded secret spots!

    BTW, have you ever fished PBMH?
  • cseng123cseng123 Posts: 365 Deckhand
    Great report and one hell of a day on the water! I have two of the Cabo 40s and absolutely love them. Looks like it held up well on your end as well.
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,248 Officer
    Too funny lr. ha

    Well you figured out TB and PR Lt. Should have been pretty easy. Just used PR to abbreviate the already noted Peace River, which is the longest river in the state I believe. TB would seem to be very obvious since I live in Riverview and traveled south to the PR. The Peace River empties into CH or Charlotte Harbor, which is in Punta Gorda. My original text had 10" PP. That was in error and should have already corrected it. It should have been 10# PP or Power Pro. Just initials to save time. SSJ is super spook jr, which is a tremendous topwater lure with excellent walk the dog action made by Heddon. Walking the dog is a type of action imparted to a lure by an angler in which he uses his rod and reel at the same time to get the lure to dart back and forth across the water. Bone is the color of the ssj that I prefer to work. SSJ is a super spook jr....just messing with you lt. dan. If you are really new to the forum, then welcome. If you are not and have been lurking for years, then shame on you and where is a **** fishing report. I'll keep LCRB to my self, but others that read my reports know where I am talking about. If you do research, most people don't, then you will figure out what it stands for. Too many people suffer from IGS.
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,248 Officer
    Thanks cseng. The Cabo is really nice. Just wish I could have caught more fish off the docks with it to really get it broken in. In actuality, it wasn't that great of a day. I fished nearly 12 hours and caught 14 fish. That is not muy bueno. I did manage two over slot reds and 2 slot snook so the quality was pretty good, just the numbers not so much. Can't be lights out every time.
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • mcsnookmcsnook Posts: 162 Deckhand
    Thanks for the report. How do you get pics like that holding the fish with 2 hands and alone?
  • Lt-DanLt-Dan Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    Thank you Bassin Assassin. I figured they were shorthand but not familiar with the area I was not sure for what. I appreciate your response. And for the record, I have never been on this forum until I started looking for a fishing report for the 10,000 Island area yesterday. But I will probably stick around now.

    Let me give those interested a bit of history so you will all know a bit more of who I am. I was born in Eustis, FL in Lake County and I swear I had a Zebco in my hand when I came out! I have fished nearly every lake, inlet, canal or waterway within 150 miles. Well, lots of them anyway. Fished a lot from inland waterway from New Smyrna south to Fort Pierce on the east coast and on the west coast Crystal River, Chokoloskee and the 10,000 Islands which is my favorite place to fish. But, I have NEVER fished the Tampa Bay or Peace River area.

    I am living in SW Georgia now so I can't do what I love as often as I would wish, but can make the trip to the SW as often as I can.

    I am soon to be 69 years old and have fished since I was old enough to press that button on the Zebco 202. Dang, I went through a lot of those before I started getting better equipment.

    I have put in my years and put in my time and have caught a crap load of fish doing it. I have enjoyed nearly every minute of it and look forward to years more fishing till my body aches. I had to laugh at that pompous *** that decided to school me on my first post ever on this forum.

    Anyway, thank you Bassin Assassin for responding cordially.
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,248 Officer
    You are welcome Lt. Dan. I was being kind of a ****, but in good fun. Would love to fish the 10k islands one day b4 I die. Sounds like you have done a lot of angling. Bet things have changed a lot since you were young.

    Well the problem we and other forums have is people lurk or get on here and just read reports looking for information. Information on good fishing is gold to anglers. Unfortunately, they never contribute anything to the forum. They just want info and don't want to share any info. Hopefully you can understand where luckky was coming from cause it just gets old when a guy's first post is where were you fishing? I read and read on this forum and learned so much. So many good anglers on here, but many are tight-lipped because they have been burned by revealing too much info, including myself. Too many of my areas have been blown-up and no longer produce as well as they did. Tremendous pressure here in TB. You are living in God's country now. I am from Macon,GA.

    Well mcsnook. I have a Sony Cybershot and I bought an attachment that you can put on the rail above the windshield. It has a slot that fit over the rail and the rubber strap slides through and clamps onto the rail. The camera screws into the top of the gizmo. It is really pretty sweet and only cost like $15. Just found it on Amazon. Here is the link.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BDB1QSA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • dieselbeefdieselbeef Posts: 652 Officer
    hey ba...funny you mention steering cable and helm..that was my issue also..i replaced it with hyd steering. that was a night mare because the first helm stuck out too far and wasn't room behind it to stand and steer. the repl was no good..finally got the right one on and it is so awesome I cant stand it. also had some prop work done..like a new boat. recupping the prop made a huge difference

    been out twice caught some jacks and snappers...but aint really been trying..mostly just making sure the boat was right

    as for taking guys out..i took my neighbor out one day freshwater..to a canal in the middle of nowhere.. park and hike deal. I tell him its my secret spot cu its such a pita to get to but lots of places to scratch up bait..bugs and stuff..anyways a cpl weeks later he has me and the family over for a cookout and its a fish fry...him and his son caught at least 35 bluegill redears crappies outta that hole and the ones that didn't die in the cooler he threw in his pond...after I ate I told him that's a **** move and aint heard from him since..took along time for that hole to come back...I swear it hasn't been the same tho
    16 ccf wellcraft.....
  • Bassin AssassinBassin Assassin Posts: 1,248 Officer
    lol "**** move" is exactly right. At least he invited you to the fish fry so that is something. That's a lot of fish to take out of a pond at one time. Had to have an effect on the fishing for sure. Too many people just don't care and keep everything they catch....their limit, your limit,over their limit, under and over slot fish. Some have no scruples. Fish aren't an unlimited resource. Fishing as a sport will suffer if people don't follow the rules and regulations put in place to ensure we and future generations have the opportunity to catch the fish of a lifetime. If you have a freezer full of fish, why are you keeping more fish? I don't understand that mentality.
    Improve Our Fishery - Practice Catch and Release
  • dieselbeefdieselbeef Posts: 652 Officer
    yea man im with ya

    spend the money on the hydr steering..its is ssssssooooooooooooooooo worth it
    16 ccf wellcraft.....
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 667 Officer
    I know what you mean regarding the fish butchers. I do like to keep some fish from time to time, but only what I will eat fresh. Inshore fish never go in my freezer. I probably keep 15 percent of the legal fish I catch. I keep no trout under 17 or over 22 inches. No redfish under 24. As far as snook go if it's in the slot and in season, it's going home with me. Besides live Maine lobster it's my favorite treat out of saltwater. I know some are opposed to harvesting snook, but with 4 and a half months of season and a 5 inch slot, snook seem to be doing very well where I have been fishing.
  • Gypsies CallGypsies Call Posts: 172 Deckhand
    Interesting and informative post and comments by all. I always like reading the comments and recommendations from the forum users, and as said above, most of the knowledge I've gained is through reading, followed by on-water experimentation. It takes time, but fishing is a great hobby that can be learned by all.

    Thanks for the comments... I'll post some pics of some recent catches of my own soon... with most of the credit for the catches coming from tricks I've learned on the forum!
    Gypsies Call
    SWO LCDR, USN-Retired
    Sea Chaser 200 Flats Series
    Old Town Predator Kayak
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