Goin' Off

Goin' Off

Got to do some fishin this weekend down at the inlet. With the cold blasts we've been getting the bait is moving around and the fish are absolutely chewin.

Friday afternoon I fished the inlet until dark with a couple buddies. Started out jiggin for flounder in the back of the inlet to no avail. The tide was running out and the water dirty, not the ideal time for flatties. Headed out to the south jetty to try for the flounder in the surf, but soon changed tactics when we saw fish busting off the tip of the uncrowded jetty. The north wind and outgoing current were concentrating the run of bait from the jetty all the way out past monster hole. Hundreds of pelicans were diving along the tideline and underneath of them tarpon were leaping and crashing on the bait to join the feast.

My first cast yielded a strong hit and a long run. I was using 10lb power pro with a 20lb leader from flounder fishing. Needless to say I was worried I was going to lose whatever was on the end of my line. Well, my tackle pulled through and a few minutes later I climbed down the rocks to land a nice red around 34-36". Worked the hook out, let her go and kept on casting. I was getting hit on almost every cast. Next fish was a big snook that shook his head and spit my STORM jig back at me and after that I landed a short snook around 24". 

Kevo hooked into a nice snook right along the rocks. He kept getting hit as soon as his lure would pass by a current rip maybe five feet out. The snook were waiting right under our feet and would ambush our lures on the way in. You could see them busting finger mullet all along the rocks of the jetty.

We each caught a couple more small snook and I pulled in another nice red, a little smaller than the first. We watched some guys tangle with the cownose rays that kept attacking their bucktails. I decided to take one more cast before we headed out and I hooked a nice fish that ran me almost out of line on my tiny stradic. Palmed the spool and turned the fish around and soon got it to the rocks. My buddy Justin landed it for me and we measured the nice snook to be 32" and weighed it later at Whitey's at 13lbs. It was a really tall snook and heavy for its length.

Saturday I took my brother and my neighbor to try for the flounder on a higher tide. When we arrived the tide was coming in and the water was quite clean. Netted up a bunch of mojarra, finger mullet, and grabbed some flounder bellies from the guys cleaning fish. Using the strips of flounder on a twin tail jig is my favorite way to fish for flounder. You don't have to wait long between bites and when you do, its an instant hookset.

Fishing on the south side of the inlet we ended up pulling in a big spanish mack, a black grouper, a red grouper, a mutton snapper, 7 or 8 flounder, the biggest about 16", and some other inlet oddities. The flounder are definitely running, but mostly on the small side. Most were undersized or just at the limit. Try to let the small ones go, they'll be three times that size in a year so give em a chance and save our sandwiches.

Definitely get out there and fish. Those tarpon we saw could only be reached by a boat, so if your capable, your in for a heck of a fishing trip. The flounder will only start running stronger and bigger, and the colder it gets in the next few weeks, the better.

Whitey's is hosting their annual flounder tournament which runs from November 1st until December 31st. $5 entry fee and 100% payout. Big fish so far is 10lbs, a big one, but there are bigger ones out there. Sign up before its too late.

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