My dad and his girl friend Kelli decided to head up here to see if I could put them on some of the big reds I have been on recently and the inlet did not disappoint. We anchored up around 7:15 with a light outgoing current. I knew we would have to wait a little bit for the current to start moving so we soaked some baits for awhile and had a hookup that lead to a thrown hook around 8. At about 9 the current was moving how I liked it and we finally got tight on a good fish. Kelli was working the rod and after a nice fight with a few good runs, this 45in red comes in the boat.
This was the biggest length-wise on the boat so far and Kelli was stoked. She is in a competition with her dad to see who can catch the biggest of each species and she beat her dad's 42in personal best with this one. She has some impressive catches under her belt with an 87lb black grouper and a 85lb wahoo to name some notable recent ones.
We set back up and within 5 minutes we were hooked into another fish. Kelli was on the rod again and this one fought differently than the previous 7 fish. Instead of heading out to sea it ran across the channel towards to rocks. We almost got rocked up but we got the fish turned and it continued out to sea to finally get in the boat after clearing the end of the jetty. This one measured out at 41in.. The head looks huge in this picture..
At this point it was time to head in so we packed up and headed back to the ramp. So far I cant seem to get more than 2 in the boat per trip due to time restrictions but it will happen. I am hoping to get a 50in red one of these days, but that seems like it could be a long shot. Both of these fish came on the anchor using big chunks of mullet on 6ft, 30lb test fluorocarbon leaders with 3/0 owner light circle hooks using a 1.5oz egg sinker..
For this trip, Josh and his brother in law Oog joined me for some Ponce reds. we got to the inlet it it was way to rough to fish the normal spot so we anchored a little more west and the wait began. It was painfully slow out there and after a few hours we were about to call it when we get a solid hit.Oog is on the rod with his first red and then we have a problem. For some reason, my 2.5 year old Saragosa 6000 strips its gear drive and we can no longer reel. At this point I am upset being as this was supposed to be a good reel which I expected to last forever, especially since is a Shimano . We have 14 year old TLD 20's and even old Penn 4000-8000 class spinning reels from 14-16 years old that have never had a problem. Anyways, I quickly took my shirt off(no gloves on board) and grabbed the braided line while we figured out what to do. Josh then suggested we pull my 6000 spool off, take the reel body off my rod, and put his Stradic 5000 reel body on my rod and put my Saragosa spool on it. Josh makes the switch while I fight the fish by hand. We get everything back together and eventually get the 41in red in the boat.
This fish was caught on a bluefish chunk. I was glad to get it in but disappointed that my reel stripped a gear. We pulled it apart later and found the problem. Apparently a bunch of little screws that hold a part of the gear together simply sheered off. This amazed me since this reel has really not seen any huge fish in its short life whereas I have caught a few 200+lb sharks on my old similar sized Penn reels back home. Thereplacement part is $35 but I am going to talk to someone and see if something can be done because this is simply unacceptable to me. Any suggestions or similar experiences from anyone?
This trip was done following an x ray lab final. I brought out Sudeep, Dheeraj, and Casey, all of whom are from my class at Palmer. Casey has caught redfish before but I wanted to get her on her personal best. We set up and fish for 1.5 hrs with nothing but a catfish to show. It has definitely slowed down out there. Just as we were about to give up, I put the rod down and start telling the story of how we got Oogs fish by putting the rod down almost giving up. Well, like clock work the rod gets slammed and the fight is on. Casey makes quick work of the red and we have another 41in red in the boat. I was happy to see we caught one and another person got their personal best red on my boat. Josh and I went out on the 9th and got skunked and I am fearing the run of the bigs reds has all but stopped.
Friday, we had no school due to finals coming up this next week, so Sudeep, Josh, and I decided to head down to Mosquito lagoon. We have yet to catch a red from ML but were optimistic since it had been over a month since we fished there and it is now much cooler. Unfortunately, the wind was howling and the sun was hiding but we had to make the best of it. At first, we tried crossing the lagoon from Haulover to get out of the wind on the east side behind some small islands. That was a no go due to the roughness and after a nice soaking we turned around and headed the the IR side of Haulover . We headed south and fished on some flats around a few little islands. We decided to poll right through some cuts in a small island and as we neared the opposite side of where we started, Josh spots a red. I quickly get a shrimp out in the general area of the fish and it gets ignored. I begin to reel in to recast and the red charges the shrimp. I let it sit, the fish takes it and in my excitement I forgot I was fishing a circle hook and I set the hook! Luckily it stayed on and I make quick work on the fish and Josh nets the first slot red on my boat, a 26in fish. At this point I forgot my baitwell was open and stepped right into it soaking my shoe which was oh so lovely in the cold, windy weather.
At this point I figured I should just hop right in and wade the side of the island looking for more reds. That ended up not being so smart as my legs went numb and I saw no fish the whole time I was out there. After this, we decided to head back over the the ML side and fish behind the spoil islands on the west side. Josh caught a decent trout which was released and Sudeep set the record for the smallest trout I have ever seen followed by an 8in redfish. It was cool to see one that small and it was interesting to see how dark it was. it was a purpleish/black color and I have never seen one this dark. I wish I got a pic of it but we wanted to get it back in the water. We fished for a few more minutes and then had to head back because Josh had to work. All in all a good day despite the conditions. I wish it was calm and sunny so we could fish properly and catch more reds but I was content with 2 reds since this was the 11th or 12th trip out there without any reds to show for it. Now it is time to study hard for finals so I can get back to Palm Beach and hit up the Bahamas wahoo run!
Almost forgot, when I cut open the red I was surprised to see all the mud minnows and a finger mullet in the reds stomach. I wouldn't have even expected it to eat with how full it was but glad it did and it sure was tasty.
GT, If the weather cooperates we will be going this coming weekend. Either fri-sat, sat-sun, or sun-mon depending on the wind.. We will just be doing BMC and not Walkers. Maybe once the tuna start running this spring we can figure out a Walkers/Grand trip...
Mudfish, were the waters still sturred up? It was hot today, I am surprised the fish were not in the shallows warming. Then again the warm winds could have thrown them off..
Early in the morning the lagoon was glass. We hit the pole and troll zone first, saw little bait, no reds or trout and one dolphin that was tearing up the flats.
Around 10:00 the wind picked up from the southeast so we moved behind the clinkers north of the pole and troll. The water was very cloudy, again with little activity.
After that we moved south, but due to the wind we needed to again fish behind the clinkers. The water was still cloudy, but we saw many reds as we drifted right over them and they took off. Once we located them we staked out and fished cut mullet, still not a single hit. At that point we knew we were beat so we
I have found the 3rd hour of outgoing tide to be best. If you can get acceptable sized live bait that would probably be optimal but the last 10 fish have been 40in or above all caught on mullet or bluefish chunks. I have had my best luck anchored east of the 5A buoy can but make sure you dont get in the channel if you do anchor..