My brother, David, drove all the way from New Mexico to go fishing with me. Yesterday, we had a great time fishing in different spots! We started off with some small catfish, and then David caught a scar-mouthed croaker. Someone had obviously hooked him before and tore the hook right out through the front of his mouth. The fish did not want a front view posted online, but agreed to a side view. David then had a great time pulling in a hard fighting Jack Crevalle, and then belly-hooked a pinfish. I caught a sea robin, which took my shrimp, but I got my hook back. In another spot, the flounder were biting, and David pulled in dinner, not for him, but for us, since he was traveling. (It was delicious coming off the grill last night!) He hooked several more, but they played Houdini and disappeared when they got near the boat. At one point in our day, the tables were turned. A greedy dragonfly spotted me and decided he would try to catch me and carry me off for his dinner. It was about a ten minute struggle for him, but I guess he finally realized I was overslot, so he had to throw me back. Since David provided dinner, I treated him to lunch at Captain’s BBQ. Always delicious! We had a great time, and I’m glad I got to spend the day fishing with him!
Trip Date: 5/16/19
Yesterday, I took my other brother, Derryl, out on the water. He broke two records with the fish he caught. His catch was the smallest sea robin ever caught on my boat, and also, the smallest fish ever caught on my boat. It looked like the stork had just dropped it in the water. He did say, “A fish in the boat is still a fish!” Shortly after this record breaking catch, we started to move to another spot when a huge tarpon rolled off the starboard side of the boat. My best estimate is that it had to weigh around 70 pounds. It was a beautiful fish! Then we saw a large ray with a wingspan of 3-4 feet come flying straight up out of the water into the air about 5 feet high. It was a spectacular sight, but happened too quickly to get a picture. We then had to race back to the dock to avoid an approaching cell of bad weather and lightning. Although it was a relatively short trip, we had fun, and finished with a great lunch at Captain’s BBQ.
Trip Date: 8/1/19
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Trip Date: 11/7/19
When we arrived to fish today, the parking lot was empty, which I’ve never seen before. The tides were abnormally high, and with so much water, this may explain why there were no other boaters present. This didn’t stop us from heading out, and the pelicans even seemed surprised that we were invading their feeding grounds. I pulled in a small catfish, but he refused to have his picture taken. Next, I caught a mangrove snapper. Phyllis caught a nice flounder, but decided he would be happier going back to the depths with a story to tell his friends. Even though Debbie didn’t have any keepers, she had a good time introducing her shrimp to the bait stealers below. We completed the trip with a great meal at Captain’s BBQ! It was nice to be back on the water!
Trip Date: 9/30/19
Phyllis has become quite the "ladyfisher", pulling in this hungry one while keeping her shrimp ready for the next cast!
Trip Date: 3/8/19
Returning clients, Tom, President/CEO of Nark-O-Lures, and Bob, Senior Engineer of Nark-O-Lures, manufacturers of hand-tied Buck Tail Jigs, braved the weather this morning to get out on the water. Bob contacted me prior to going out because the radar didn’t look good. We did see, however, that the storm front was moving through quickly, and that by the time we reached Bing’s Landing, we would have a nice window of weather in which to fish. After a slight drizzle, it turned out to be a beautiful day! Bob caught a pearl of an oyster, but didn’t find a jewel in this one. Tom, however, showed Bob how to do it with ladyfish, bluefish, and a flounder. Bob managed to bring in a catfish and a whiting, so at least he wasn’t skunked. Tom was getting hungry and almost ate his last fish, so we came in and enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Captain’s BBQ! We had a great time, and I look forward to Tom coming back next year for more adventures!
Trip Date: 4/5/19
Pam gets the credit for taking these pictures from our trip on Monday. She was the oyster aficionado, pulling in two and hoping for pearls! Henry had the best seat in the boat, and I believe I actually heard him purr when he pulled this catfish out of the water! Phyllis didn’t catch any fish on this trip, but she caught a great lunch at Captain’s BBQ, compliments of Henry and Pam!
Trip Date: 2/11/19
Last Friday, as I was baiting a hook, I asked the shrimp to invite a fish to dinner. His invitation must have been cordial, because he came back with this delicious flounder. Sauteed in butter, with a little salt and pepper, he was paired with a plate of steamed shrimp, which was a nice addition to happy hour! Debbie caught a trio of reds on three consecutive casts, one right after the other! Although they were underslot, it was nice to see them hitting the bait! The weather and water was just about perfect!
Trip Date: 2/8/19
While others were having margaritas for Cinco de Mayo, I was on the water yesterday with Frank and his son Matt, getting some good fishing in before the storm front came roaring through. Frank’s first fish was a toothy lizard fish, which didn’t stick around long enough to have his picture taken. Frank followed up with some catfish, and then Matt joined in on the fun pulling in some cats himself. A nice Jack Crevalle gave Matt a good fight. Frank pulled in a sheepshead, which, unlike the lizard fish, was not sheepish about having his picture taken. On Frank’s last shrimp, he caught a nice appetizer, a mangrove snapper! After loading the boat and cleaning the snapper, we went into Captain’s BBQ right as the storm front hit. Normally, we like to sit on the porch for lunch, but the rain was coming in sideways! All in all, it was a very fun day! I look forward to taking them out again.
Trip Date: 5/5/19
I took my great-nephew, Sebastian, his mother, Linda, and my brother, Derryl, on a sightseeing tour today along the St. John’s River. Linda said that Sebastian has been talking about “boat ride, boat ride” since last night! At first, Sebastian was a little unsure of his life vest, but once we got going, he was all smiles! We put in at Lake Monroe Park on the north side of the river. The water level was fairly high, so when we went under the railroad bridge, I had to duck down, otherwise, I would have looked like a cartoon character getting whacked on the forehead. We cruised up to Blue Springs. We didn’t see any manatees, but he saw birds, a turtle, and an alligator! As we took pictures of the alligator, he kept saying, “Alligator, Alligator!” and kept pointing at it. The water was so still, that the alligator's reflection looked like he was holding another alligator upside down. When we started to pull away, he waved, and said, “Bye Bye Alligator!” He waved at other boaters and smiled as they went by. He also got a kick from the whistle that was attached to his life vest. He kept trying to blow it, and with a little instruction from his mom and granddad, he got it to work! It was his first time on a boat, and I was glad to share the experience with him, his mother, and his granddad!
Trip Date: 10/14/19
Today, I had the pleasure of taking Weston and his mom, Kelly, fishing and sightseeing. They were in Palm Coast on vacation from Illinois, and we had a great time together. Weston was such a cool kid, fun to talk with, and he knew a lot about fishing! We were hoping to see some dolphin and manatees, however, it was so hot out there, they decided to stay deep underwater where it was cool. Kelly and Weston caught a variety of fish throughout the morning: a lizard fish, a sea robin, a flounder, a couple of jack crevalle, a spotted seatrout, a sand seatrout, and a whiting. At the end of the trip, they cooled off at Captain’s BBQ with a nice lunch. It was a great day on the water!
Trip Date: 6/5/19
Last week, I had the pleasure of taking Ray and Cathy out on the water. They came down from Connecticut, and were staying in St. Augustine for vacation. They mainly wanted to do some sightseeing, with a little fishing mixed in. They got to see dolphins, the clam farm, Fort Matanzas, and some beautiful scenery! I kept asking Mark why he wasn’t catching any fish, and he said probably because his name was Ray. We all had a great laugh from that! After spending time on the water, we finished the day with some great barbecue at Captain’s BBQ. Can’t wait for them to return and go out again, and maybe, Ray “Mark” will catch some fish!
Trip Date: 4/11/19
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I had the pleasure of taking Teresa, Michelle, and Tammy fishing yesterday. Michelle caught the first fish, a dinner plate flounder. Just minutes later, Teresa caught a nice black drum. Michelle caught another flounder, then brought in a jack crevalle. Teresa followed up with another black drum. She then brought a flounder toward the boat, but it must have had dentures, because all that came in was one section of the teeth. Next, she had on what appeared to be a nice redfish, but it threw the hook and got off before reaching the boat. Tammy had some nice bites, but didn’t land any fish. She did, however, land the largest pack of oysters I’ve ever seen caught on rod and reel. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of Tammy’s catch. We did have a great time watching dolphins chase and circle fish. I enjoyed the day with the three friends, and want to thank Teresa for her military service in the army, as well as thanking Michelle and Tammy for the work they do to help victims of domestic violence. While they were eating lunch at Captain's BBQ, I cleaned the two flounder and the two black drum for them to take home and enjoy for dinner. Hopefully they found no bones!
Trip Date: 7/12/19
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking siblings Vickey, Rick, and their Uncle Jerry out on the water for fishing and sightseeing. Their family has an annual tradition of enjoying outdoor fun together! Vickey started the day with oysters on the half-shell! Rick pulled in a sheepshead, and also a rare Florida Under Armour floater. Vickey matched his sheepshead with one of her own, while Uncle Jerry pulled in several croakers. I learned a lot about Pittsburgh from them, and they got the opportunity to see some of historic Florida, along with the unspoiled wild Florida. We topped the day off with a great meal at Captain's BBQ!
Trip Date: 2/18/19
Fishing was slow this morning, with only a sailcat, several regular cats, and a sea robin. The most exciting part of the morning was seeing this Florida submarine surface to stalk a bird. He was rather large, about 10 feet long. Not sure if he ever caught the bird, but he wasn’t shy about getting his picture taken.
Trip Date: 6/3/19
Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day on the water! While everyone else was floundering around, Pam brought hers to the boat. A 13-inch keeper for her to enjoy! She also brought an oyster to the boat, but this time of year, those are catch and release only. Pam's husband, Henry, caught a "purrfect" catfish. After spending time on the water, they enjoyed a great meal at Captain's BBQ.
Trip Date: 8/22/19