Saturday I focused my fishing in the North Indian River, today, Sunday I focused in the South Lagoon and the Indian River between a couple of bridges; Max Brewer and NASA causeway.
The wind was supposed to be from the east, said the wind maps I looked up the night before. Having my little 95 Gheenoe Highsider, I wanted to be out of the wind as much as possible and scouted Google Maps to find a ramp on the South-East side of the lagoon. I choose Eddy Creek ramp. When I got there around 9 am Sunday I was surprised to find an almost North-West wind blowing. Already there and with a bit of a later start than anticipated, I was not going to drive around so I put in anyway.
My intention was to fish Max Hoeck Creek, associated entry ways; islands and such, maybe even the grass along Gallinipper Point up towards Playalinda Beach- due to the east wind we were supposed to have.
The crab trap that didn’t produce the night before was also brought along. This time I had different bait than the day before, fresh filleted trout heads and caucuses- maybe the crabs wanted fresh food instead of frozen, bland mullet. It went for a short boat ride and I gave it a heave-ho overboard along the eastern shore of Pelican Island. It look pretty fishy there and saw fish scurrying about so I decided to start fishing there too.
The only thing I had was shrimp for live bait so I started with that. Those brave little shrimp were being pitched into the pothole looking areas that had grass around them. I used a fan type pattern to offer my shrimp to anything that was swimming close by. After striking out, I switched to a 4″ swim bait, again, repeating the fan pattern in an effort to find hungry fish. Strike two! Strike three came after putting on a silver bladed spoon and repeating the fan pattern yet again.
The next spot I tried was a grass flat. It was out of the wind a bit and I stopped there because I saw fishtivity happening. Still only having shrimp for live bait I started with that. A few casts later, I got something on the line. Finally! It was a nice, slightly undersized Red. It was about 14″. I put up a good fight with the light tackle I was using. I parked it there for a bit after that. I had some mullet left over from the night before that I kept and froze so I cut that up to throw on another rod into the deeper water on the edge of the flat; in case something swam by and wanted an easy bite. As that was pointed out of the back of the boat, I put another shrimp on the line and went back to work with the live shrimp. I repeated the fan casting pattern with the live shrimp on the flats, with no success other than feeding a couple annoying bait fish. I moved to a few spots on the flat but didn’t have any luck at any spot.
After an hour or so of fishing the flat after landing the red I decided it was lunch time, it was almost noon at this point, so I went to pick up my crab pot. It has been 2 to 3 hours of soak time by now. When I picked it up, it had two crabs in it. Good sized ones too. Whoo Hoo! I got excited and decided to give it another hour or so soak time.
I had to go somewhere, so I went to fish Gallinipper Point’s grass lines. I used what I had, live shrimp and cut mullet. The mullet was cast into the “channels” on the deeper end of the grass lines and the shrimp, again, into potholes and the shallower side of the grass lines. I lost my shrimp a couple times to bait fish but nothing good enough to bring into the boat. 45 minutes after arriving to this spot, my stomach grumbling and beer hand shaking, I headed back to grab my crab trap, pull the boat out and grab lunch. There were no more than the two crabs I had in the trap an hour earlier.
Lunch break. However, before lunch I didn’t want to take the crab trap with me to lunch so I stopped by the Parrish ramp and tossed it into the water around the seawall to be retrieved later.
The Lagoon not being the most productive earlier in the day, I scrapped the plans to go to Haulover and instead hit the River up after lunch. Well that and the fact I had to retrieve the crab pot helped make that decision. I re-launched at Parrish Park and headed West and fished Sand Point and the bridges and docks just West of that. I threw into the current, out of the current, at the bridge supports, against the rocks, in the light of the bridges, in the shadow of the bridges, weightless, weighted, along the sea wall; zilch. I got some bites from bait fish but to my dismay, no keepers.
I had an hour and a half left of light so I went east from there. I went island hopping around the creeks on the east side; gator, catfish, and brock.
It was there I hooked the last two keeper-fish of the weekend. Two black drum, one upper slot one lower slot. My first Black Drum! I caught them both on the same bait, live shrimp. The one that hooked the smaller drum was weighted down with a ping jig head and I caught it after the bigger one. The upper slot black drum ate a weightless shrimp. At first, since I had not caught a black drum before, I thought I hooked the biggest Sheepshead I’d ever seen. Once it was brought on-board it started drumming so I knew it wasn’t a Sheepshead. Its gotta head like a Red gave me a clue too. After catching those two, I stayed around the area for about another hour. With no other bites I watched the sunset and heading in after the sun went behind the high-rises on the west side of the river.
That’s the end of my not so productive fishing weekend, hope you did better than I. Hope you guys get a chance to get out there … can’t wait till next time!