Abstract: the fishing was pretty good and consistent, but the camping was uncomfortable.
Its October and the mullet run has commenced. They are in the surf, and in the river. I reserved a campsite for Tue-Fri, and headed out at 5am for the 2 hour drive. Launching the boat at the campground I noticed an unusual proliferance of mosquitoes. But thats not a problem on the water. I pitched camp in the afternoon, got some groceries, and headed back out in the boat for the consistent sunset bite.
We’e got an unusual heat wave this week, temps in the 90’s every day, and the bugs were so bad that it was difficult to hang around the campsite. Building a smoky fire helped a bit at night, so I still managed some camp cookery. I didn’t bring my window AC, so I sweated through each night in the tent. In the midday, I headed to the beach to chill under an umbrella and keep a live finger mullet out in the surf. The beach bite was pretty good too, and I got a 24″ spanish mackerel and many bluefish. Slideshow below, or go to photo set http://www.flickr.com/photos/baribob/sets/72157622431172647
Small photo set here. Since I had scheduled time off work, I took a break from helping Linda set up her practice and reserved 5 nights at Long Point park. I booked Sun-Fri hoping to avoid the weekend crowds. I’ve never camped down there in the dead of summer, but I used a window AC with my smaller tent, which meant sleeping on the ground. The bigger tent in which I can fit a cot is designed with massive ventilation which makes the AC less effective. The campground was surprisingly crowded and I had RV neighbors on either side of me in the latter part of the week.
My eye problem flared up the morning of my departure and bothered me most of the day, but it got real bad around late afternoon when I think some sunblock leaked into the eye. It was really bad after that and I spent a miserable Sunday night and endured two violent storms. My RV neighbor had internet service and warned me about the second storm line coming our way, and I rode that one out in the car and then finally turned in to the tent about midnight. My eye problem kept me up most of the night. I went home on Monday to nurse the eye and left my tent and boat at the campsite. I took a pain pill Monday night, and slept through, then saw a doctor Tuesday. He said “It is what it is” . I was able to complete a lot of business chores for Linda, and went to a quartet rehearsal Tuesday night. I was better Wednesday and returned to camping.
I found outstanding bites Wed at dusk and again Thu at dawn. Lots of bluefish, ladyfish, with some trout mixed in Caught numerous slot sized trout, and lost some tackle to the cutting teeth of the bluefish. Love me that topwater lure action! Outboard motor conked out late Thu morning, so I pulled the boat and took it to a mechanic in Melbourne. They quickly diagnosed water mixed in with the fuel. They drained 2 gallons of gas, charged me a half hour of shop time and sent me on my way. I can recommend Boathouse Discount Marine.
Had a bluefish for dinner Wed eve and it was not very good. I prepared trout Thu eve that turned out really well! I drenched the fillets in salad dressing, then coated with ground pistachio nuts, wrapped in oiled foil and cooked over the campfire for about 15 minutes. It was delicious, and I wolfed down all the fish with a white wine and cheese on the side.
Packed up and came home Friday.
Went fishing yesterday with a new acquaintance from Sebastian, FL. He’s got a go-fast off shore boat, and we went about 25 miles out looking for dolphin and kingfish. Didn’t find any, and while hightailing it back to the inlet, we were pulled over, boarded and searched by federal agents with the Dept. of Homeland Security. I was totally on edge because I forgot to bring my fishing license, but these guys didn’t care. They were looking for drugs or weapons. After calling in our ID’s and finding smelly bait on board, they gave us a cursory lookover and bid us on our way. We saw them later in the day checking other boats, so it wasn’t just us.
Their vessel was an incredibly hot chase boat with 4 large mercury outboards mounted on the stern. I asked permission to take pictures, and they said ok to take photos of the boat, but not of the agents.
Here’s the agent who asked not to take photos of his face:
Here’s a photo-worthy shark we caught later in the inlet:
Beyoooooooooootiful morning on the water! Fishing not so hot, but mullet are everywhere in the N. Indian River lagoon. I brough one barely legal troutie home to put on the grill with the ribs.
I just slipped away for a couple days at Long Point, my favorite getaway. Although this time of year, the place is overrun with snowbirds in RV’s, I got this little slice of waterfront beauty. Only $27 bucks a night, and it comes with electricity. I had great weather, no bugs, bratwurst on the campfire after dark, and a full pot of hot coffee at dawn.
I’ve been out several times this holiday break, but catching has been really poor. Christmas eve, I made an early morning surf trip, and the highlight was spotting these feral pigs on the road when leaving the Canaveral Wildlife area.
On the 27th I spent a half day fighting winds down in Sebastian area, and the day was saved by a sailcat I landed on my final cast prior to heading in. I was never so happy to catch a catfish.
On the 28th, Linda joined me for a half day launching from Long Point park, and the weather was beautiful, but it was maybe the worst fishing I’ve ever had down there – totally skunked.
On the 30th I took the day off to go to New Smyrna. Another gorgeous day, and I did find some action and had one good fight with a bluefish in the currents of Ponce Inlet. Here’s a nice sunset shot across from the boat ramp just before I called it a day.
Linda and I are in Fort Lauderdale for the weekend while Linda attends a yoga conference. We’re staying at a swanky Westin resort hotel, (cellphone photo) where its not really appropriate to carry a fishing pole around. So I went off premises, and went out on a drift boat this morning with no success at all. But this afternoon, I poked around old Fort Lauderdale, and wound up at Dania Beach where I landed this under-slot snook.
In the evening we had dinner at a divey place on the intra-coastal, where two quarter-million dollar boats had tied up to drink and party. The band was pretty good, but the real show was when one boat pulled out and collided (kind of bounced off) the other. Then we got to watch the two owners go head to head and exchange insurance info.