|Posted on November 7, 2009 at 5:05 PM||comments (1)|
Rich booked a place on Boca Grande at the Boca Grande Club and booked me to be his guide for Snook & Reds. The pickup would be at Placida Boat Ramp Sunday. The time that looked good to me was 10:00 a.m. with tides in that area. Being Sunday with good weather the ramp most likely would be jamming and fill up quick. So with no afternoon storms predicted I decided to travel by boat from Punta Gorda.
Rich called me while I was catching bait and asked what time was I on. I replied whatever time it is now. (Uhh…standard or daylight savings, it changed Saturday night, I am either ahead or behind) with a bucket of chum and a net in my hands, I stared into the morning sun. He asked was the tide and other factors talked about still held. With nothing on my mind but netting the bait I had chummed up for fifteen minutes I replied yes the time is right.
I thoroughly enjoyed the long smooth boat ride to Placida after I caught bait. It worked out. The Placida boat ramp was full and boats still coming through then to Elderidges. Glad I came by boat. Off we went through Gasperilla Sound. Rich wanted to get a keeper Snook & Redfish. First stop was a Snook hole for sure, maybe a red even. Three casts in a row produced 22” to 24” Snook, fourth was a 31” Snook and his first keeper size since coming to Florida.
Snook still biting and plenty caught, we decided since he had a keeper Snook we would target Reds. Off to fishing hole #2. This time we switched from live Sardines to the iced down shrimp I picked up at Fishing Franks at 6 a.m. Second cast got a Red on and landed, took a photo of Rich with his keeper Red and gently released into the livewell. (The Snook didn’t like the company and almost escaped). This was also Rich’s 1st Red since coming to Florida. Spent another or so hour of catch and release. Time to head back to the dock. Half way back I stopped so Rich could call his wife for pickup. His tote bag was gone with his new Blackberry Storm in it. Sad moment.
Call the wife on my phone. Who knows phone numbers anymore; Rich like me and a lot of other folks just pull up the name and hit the call button. My truck was in Punta Gorda so no ride from me anytime soon. So I called my wife to try and run down the number of the place they were staying at. We got the number and Rich called but no answer. Well I am starting think maybe we could just keep fishing till they send out a search party. It would likely be his wife calling out the search party. My wife would probably call me a few choice words, get a good night sleep and call out the search party tomorrow. She knows sometimes I’ll keep fishing till a storm runs me in or I am hungry. No sushi for me. While I am still wondering if she really would wait till tomorrow Rich remembers is sisters home phone number and calls her to get his the wife’s cellphone number. By now we are at the boat dock and sometime between my daydreaming and his phone calls I managed to clean the fish. The wife is on the way. Rich asked me so how much did the Snook weigh? A quick reach with the gaff to recover the Snook carcass. It is 8lbs filleted.
Still it was a great time for both of us.
Captain Jerry Gillespie
Comment from Rich:
Jerry, thanks for a great trip! My best ever in Florida. Every spot we picked produced fish. I think we had around 14 snook, one red, one spec trout (broke off just before landing), and some catfish and snapper as well. The chef at the Boca Grande Club cooked up the snook for my wife and I that night - it was delicious!
Jerry really knows his stuff and it really paid off for me. He also taught me a lot about fishing these waters for snook and reds. I will definitely go out again with Jerry next time I am down there (next time I'll try not to lose my Blackberry!)
|Posted on October 30, 2009 at 9:45 AM||comments (0)|
Tim, a veteran whose tour of duty was in Iraq helps out at Fishin Franks were his dad Chris a good friend of Franks has helped out at the store for 20 plus years.
Tim has been wanting me to take him fishing for some time but we were not able to hook up till now. I could see it in his eyes about the excitement of getting to go with a fishing guide. He also said he’ll have another fishing story to tell cuz he just doesn’t have many.
We met up at Fishin Franks before the sun came up and I picked up some shrimp. We launched out of Ponce de Leon boat ramp. A good early morning start, we were running the flats with a beautiful sunrise coming up, it was going to be a good day.
I pulled into a favorite spot, anchored and 5 minutes later Tim hooked up on a nice red. This was a good start to a promising day.
Tim got in fight with a big red that refused to give up. He didn’t realize they could put up such a battle. It was the biggest red he ever caught. After catching several more Redfish and Trout, Tim had His keeper Red and a Trout in the live well. The tide was getting low and the Reds had stopped biting so we decided to move on and go catch some live bait. We found Sardines to fill the live wells.
We took a run to Pine Island to look for some bigger trout and whatever else we could hook up on. We fished one of the deeper flats and caught several trout, snapper and lady fish.
The tide was coming back in and a problem came up. The rear live well pump had gone out and we had dead bait. So with one live well down with dead bait and one full with live bait and our keeper fish we headed back north towards the boat ramp.
Tim said he was going to help out at Fishin Franks at 6:00 so he would need to get back and pick up his car by 5:00. So running low on time we stopped at one of the hotter spots to get a Snook to finish off the day with a slam.
We cleaned out the dead bait from the live well and started fishing hard and fast. Shortly after getting there Tim hooked up on his biggest Snook ever. After a few more fish it was time to go. The fish were still biting so I asked Tim if he would consider calling Frank and say he was too sick to come in. But everyone knew he was out fishing with me so that was not going to fly. Earthquake? Tsunami? Boat sank? Frank’s probably heard them all or came up with a few of those too. Oh well my wife never believes that stuff either.
We got to the boat ramp and I cleaned fish in record time and got Tim back to Fishin Franks by 5:00 and we transferred the fish to his car. Tim was helping out at Fishin Franks that night from 6:00 to midnight and wanted to go home first and get cleaned up. Seemed like an extra hour we could have fished but guess he didn’t want smell and look like he had been fishing all day. I am sure he had a long night. He said it would be worth it because this was his best fishing day yet catching fish. That said I had a great day to so I headed home.
Captain Jerry Gillespie
Comment from Tim
Thank you for the GREAT day of fishing! I dont get out on the water that much, but i got to say- it was the best fishing day i've had in many years.