Monday, February 23, 2009

Put Out A Bait, Let The Fish Come To You

Ahoy there Anglers,

I want to take a moment to tell you all about a project I'm putting my heart into. It's the Dinsmore Elementary School Library. I know it doesn't have anything to do with fishing but it does have something to do with seafood, fish, shrimp, crab, clams, scallops, etc. So please, take a moment to see what I'm talking about!

With all these cold windy days I've had off, I've been going to my granddaughter's school helping out and attending the awards ceremony for the kids, etc. My daughter said she wished she could do something about their school library and their lack of books for the kids. So one day I visited their school Library. What a shame! They hardly have any books. Shelf after shelf is empty. What books they do have are quite a few years old and are in bad shape. My kids also went to that school quite a few years ago and so I know it's a great neighborhood school out here in Dinsmore, on the far North side of Jacksonville. There are almost 700 kids at that school from Kindergarten to 5th grade.

I think a great idea would be to get as many seafood and dessert recipes from my fishing report subscribers, our Just Fishing Radio Show listeners, the school's faculty and parents of the kids at the school and then compile them and make a Seafood Recipe Cookbook to be sold and all the profits go to the Dinsmore Elementary School Library to buy books for these young kids. I believe it'll make a huge difference in some young children's lives.

One morning my daughter and I went back to the school and spoke with the teacher in charge of their library about making the project a reality and she was overwhelmed with gratitude. She said she could arrange a "take home notice" for the kids to give to their parents for sending in recipes and would talk to the Principal about having a yard sale Saturday, May 16th so people can bring in books that they'd like to donate for sale, (the library has to have certain type books made for school libraries that are thread sown bound not glued) and maybe purchase books and other items during the yard sale to help these kids. Hopefully May 16th will give us enough time to get enough recipes for the seafood cookbook, have it designed, printed and bound and have them for sale then too. My wife said she'll set up a database for the recipes and I believe people would like their names and City, State at the bottom of each recipe so they could feel they're a big part of this too. Might make more people want to buy them knowing they get recognition for contributing. I'm open to any ideas you may have too. I took some photos of the library so you can all see what I'm talking about.

How does "Just Fishing Gets Hooked On Reading Cookbook" sound?
I'm going to talk to a couple of printers to see if they'll be kind enough to print them and bind them for free or at least a very reduced cost because of it being a school fund raiser in exchange for a full page ad in the front of the book or their business name on the cover or whatever we can work out. If you know of any printer companies that may be interested in helping out please let me know!

I'm going to donate the first $100 to the cause and then do fishing seminars at the yard sale and see if I can get some give-a-ways, tackle, etc. from my sponsors to bring more people to the yard sale that day.

Let's all make a difference in these kid's learning abilities. Reading is so important and when they don't even have enough books to go around it's a shame. The young minds of tomorrow needs us. Send me whatever recipes you can. Please help !

With this water temperature still going up and down, it's hard to get the fish to cooperate every time you're out. We've been doing better just putting pieces of quartered up blue crab and letting the fish come to us. I have a surprise bonus you'll be able to catch in the creeks with this method also. Very large sheepshead. Yes, I said large sheepshead in the creeks. We've been catching sheepshead from 6 to 10 pounds in the shallows on the first three hours of the incoming tides. I don't know why the big ones are in there. I don't remember catching such huge sheepshead in the shallows before this year but it sure is happening this year. A great bonus since trout season is closed this month. The redfish are schooling up, as usual for this time of the year, and so finding a school and just tossing out a piece of crab and waiting on them to smell it and come to you is a whole lot better than spooking a school that's sitting still when you're trolling across a flat. Spotted sea trout are in the creeks and are taking liver shrimp, Gulp! baits and a few lures too. There are a few flounder around but they are few and far between.

Sheepshead are on rock banks, bridge pilings and dock pilings and the big ones are still on the hard-bottom spots in the river. While you're targeting the nice sized black drum from 4 to 17 pounds we're experiencing right now in the rivers you'll also catch sheepshead from 6 to 12 pounds in the same locations with the same baits. Crab, dead shrimp, clams are all making the drum and sheepshead bite. Don't be surprised if while you're catching drum and sheepshead you all of a sudden hook into a giant drum. I know it's early but there are reports of some around, even North of us already. It's been a strange year so far. Whiting and a few yellow mouth trout are also in these same locations. Remember you can harvest yellow mouth trout but not the spotted sea trout yet. A few nice croakers are around but most of them are tiny. Bull Redfish are few and far between in the river but there are some to have fun with. I've even seen a few nice mangrove snapper lately.

Sheepshead, black drum, oversized and slot reds are all biting out at the rocks when you can get out there. With the winds we've been having this year already we can't even get out there half the time. When you can make it out there you can catch the drum, large sheepshead and redfish on the hard-bottom areas and if sheepshead fishing on the rocks, sheepshead, black margates and ringtail porgies are all biting slowly. I'm looking for all the species I just mentioned to fire back off in only about a week or two at the most as they usually do. Yes, it's getting that time of the year and I just can't wait. They WILL fire up as usual. Whiting off the tip of the rocks on the sand and also up inside the North jetty West of the red buoy on the sand.

Spotted trout and black drum are what's happening in the Cove right now. I like to target both of these species on the last hour or so of the incoming and the first hour or so of the outgoing tides. I like to target the redfish during these same tides with live shrimp under a Cajun Thunder or a regular popping float but you can also target the reds in the shallows just before, during and just after low tides you just have to really watch where you're going in there on those tide phases. It's really low in there. Not many flounder in the Cove now but a few yellow mouth trout in the deeper areas are eating dead shrimp.

Whiting and a few black drum are being caught in the surf. The way the winds are right now it's really a hit-and-miss situation though. One day they're doing good and then the winds change direction and speed and the bite slows right back down. It's very hard to predict how good you should do when you go. You just have to go and see for yourself until we get some sort of consistent weather and winds.

You can say what you want about the South but,
you never hear of anyone retiring and moving up North,,,

Captain Vic Tison
Co-Host of WOKV's 'Just Fishing' Radio Show, Saturdays 6:00am to 8:00am
United States Coast Guard Licensed Captain
International Game Fish Assoc. Certified Captain
Regional Director for the Florida Guides Assoc.
Member of the National Assoc. of Charterboat Operators
Member of the American Professional Captain's Association
Sponsor of The Inshore Saltwater Anglers Club

Vic2Fish & Adventures, Inc.

P O Box 28208
Jax., Fl. 32226
Web Site

Neither Captain Vic nor Vic2Fish & Adventures, Inc. claims any responsibility for any injury or loss of property arising out of any party using these Fishing Reports.

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