|Posted on November 7, 2009 at 5:05 PM|
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!)