Day three with Richard & Corey was spent in the Fort Pierce inlet. While the guys really dislike using actual bait they succumbed to the realization that live pilchards/threadfin herring were the way to go and they filled the livewell with frisky critters from Dave’s Live Bait.
As morning glow became sunrise we stationed ourselves at the mouth of the inlet, with Corey on the raised front deck and Richard staying in the cockpit. Corey missed his first few bites trying to learn the subtle nuances of the circle hook before a five foot Silver King blasted Richard’s bait.
Fish-on; three magnificent jumps and a chewed through leader made for an exciting thirty seconds! Next cast and Corey hooks-up and brings a grouper to the boat. Baiting another pre-rigged rod for Richard resulted in a second break-off by who knows what. Corey, still on the bow tosses his threadfin into the kill zone with another explosive and short lived battle; three rods are now out of service.
I’m telling you, it can be an intense few minutes negotiating the boat’s position with an angler on the bow, the boat in an eddy, other boats zooming by and the Captain tying complicated knots all at once. With another rod rigged I hand Richard the outfit tell to drop it straight down as I mark a huge group of fish. I don’t tell him they’re probably jacks, but he figures it out pretty fast.
The tide has now slowed down to a trickle and we head back into the inlet’s slow speed zone. We hunt and peck our way to where I want to be for the tide change only to find another boat there and the Capt. and crew are busy catching under slot snook. We don’t crowd them as we set up in another nearby location. The guys are fishing hard with no luck as I re-rig the two rods needing leaders and hooks.
We move again, leaving man made structure to mangrove lined shorelines were we have plenty of action. Corey manages a snook and the jacks are plentiful. Again the bite slows the guys decide to take a lunch break. I toss a pilchard into a likely spot with no immediate action. As the baitfish drifts away from the trees and into the hard current flow I place the rod into a holder and have a seat myself.
You know what happened; it’s a given. An over slot snook eats the bait and beelines towards the trees. I’m the only one near the rod and I’m forced to pick it up and bully the critter out of the tangles. I actually felt a bit guilty for enjoying the battle, but only a little!
Until Next Time, Tight Lines!
Capt. Mark Wright