Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fish Caught: Sugar Trout, Sail Cat, Lady Fish, Gar
High Tide: 3:00 PM 2.4 FT
Low Tide: 11:45 PM -0.5 FT
Wind: 5-10 E
Air Temp: 71/88
Water Temp: 81 Clarity: murky
We had a little BBQ for Memorial Day and all our guests came by boat. After dinner we packed up a couple boats and ran out to the El Jobean bridge. I had some shrimp from El Jobean Bait & Tackle Shop and a couple others had been catching and freezing mullet and rays for a few days. Shark was our goal.

The sun was down but the sky was still brightly colored when we anchored up just a few hundred yards north west of the El Jobean bridge in the Myakka River. The tide was ripping out so our baits were carried towards the bridge and the El Jobean fishing Pier. In the top photo on this page we’d have been just in the right edge of the picture. We set up some IV drips (literally) of menhaden oil, tossed out a bunch of varied baits both on the bottom and under corks and settled in for the night. The radio played some great classic rock, the wind blew just enough to keep bugs away and keep us comfortable on a nice warm night.

It was a night to catch big sail cats and that started immediately. I think Beth probably got the first and the most but I think I had the biggest. The sail cats kept us busy all night long. I know most people don’t like them but they are really very good to eat. They need to be quite large to make it worth the effort of filleting them but we were catching some of the biggest I’ve seen and we ended up with a cooler full which are headed for the dinner table.

There was also a school of sugar trout and I seemed to hit that hole with a shrimp on a lead head jig. I pulled in just shy of ten sugar trout and tried a few as bait under a cork. But they only attracted the attention of some big sail cats. The bait was about half the size of the sail cats but they ate them anyway.

Julie hooked into what we had hoped was our first shark. But when it got into view of the boat lights it was a huge, nearly 4 foot long, gar. It was almost scary thinking about bringing that thing into the boat to unhook. But luckily, after playing with it for a while, it released itself.

And that’s about it for the night. Sounds kind of uneventful as a fishing trip but I assure you it was not. It was midnight before we decided to head home. The hours passed in what seemed like minutes. Good weather, good music and most importantly good friends made for an extremely enjoyable evening on the water. I hope to do it again soon.