Crazy way to start the day

Stuck around the slow zone 1,000 islands area of Cocoa Beach this morning as I'm waiting for an eye to finish recovering from surgery and I'd like to see a bit better before running further. Water was 88 degrees and mostly brown so not much sight fishing.

I was trolling around trying to net some finger mullet for bait when I saw some stripes next to the boat. Tossed the cast net and pulled in these guys.



Let two smaller ones go and kept these for dinner. Surprised the heck out of me because the only convicts I see on the flats are super spooky and bolt if the boat even hints at getting close to them. Crazy way to start the day.

Never did find any finger mullet for bait so I trolled on over to a nice redfish spot to soak some frozen mullet chunks. On the way tossed a skitterwalk at some bait schools. Had a couple little trout take a swipe at it and follow it to the boat but no hookups. Nice to at least see some trout as they've been nearly non-existent around here this year.

Set two poles with frozen mullet chunks. One pole bent over and I had a barn door stingray on. Was getting it near the boat when the second pole bent over. Stuck the first pole in a rod holder, grabbed the second and had a big redfish on. I tried to horse it in fast because the stingray was still bending the first pole. Alas, my leader was a bit chafed up and I was working it too hard and the redfish broke off. Man, when they nestle down in the sand those big rays are hard to get off the bottom. Finally got him close to the boat and cut him loose.

Had a few fish runoff with the bait but no hookup. Had a couple of nibble the bait off the hook then finally a nice 26" redfish. Life is good.

Replies

  • saltyreefersaltyreefer Posts: 236 Deckhand
    Nice :-)
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 19,921 AG
    Nice...
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • FS ShelbyFS Shelby Posts: 688 Admin
    Great report, thanks for sharing with the FS forum community!

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  • bdolnikbdolnik Posts: 20 Greenhorn
    We were around Sykes Creek last week and also saw bunches of Sheepshead swimming around the surface like you mention. Seemed to me they were struggling, gasping for oxygean or something. It was weird. You could pull right up alongside them and they didn't seem to even notice.
  • straygeckostraygecko Cocoa BeachPosts: 77 Greenhorn
    These weren't on the surface gasping, seemed like slowly cruising in about a foot of water. But could be stressed and so not running away like normal. The water quality is not great and temp there has been high lately, 90+ at times, so probably low oxygen - I saw a few dead fish back there the week before. Had a minor fish kill in a nearby canal a week or so before too - a couple of hundred fish mostly mullet. Hope we make it through to cooler weather without anything more major.
  • captnmoecaptnmoe Posts: 20 Greenhorn
    Nice report, our poor river!
  • KelsoKelso Posts: 20 Greenhorn
    straygecko wrote: »
    These weren't on the surface gasping, seemed like slowly cruising in about a foot of water. But could be stressed and so not running away like normal. The water quality is not great and temp there has been high lately, 90+ at times, so probably low oxygen - I saw a few dead fish back there the week before. Had a minor fish kill in a nearby canal a week or so before too - a couple of hundred fish mostly mullet. Hope we make it through to cooler weather without anything more major.


    Last weekend I went out and fished the 1000 Islands area, and saw the same thing, mullet at the top gasping for air, and areas where I have been crushing the reds were now empty of anything but Tarpon.. and man there were a TON of tarpon feeding everywhere, probably because the mullet were all half dead. I did hook a nice tarpon and he broke me off, then had an awesome nice tarpon crush my skitter walk, ended up landing him, which I have no idea how I landed him considering he broke my skitter walk down the middle and the back treble was gone! I wish I knew how to post pics/videos on here I would put it up. I was pretty upset about the reds, but still got a nice tarpon. Terrible what is happening to the water over here....
  • THE"U"THE"U" Posts: 22 Greenhorn
    Thanks to our Elected leadership and alleged stewards of the environment we turned the Indian River into Orlando's sewer. I watched the River degrade over the last 13 years and cannot believe what has happened. Just got back from Tampa area and the grass flats are very healthy and expansive so there is hope? I pray the the river comes back!!��
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