Fish News: Fisherman's Island
June 14, I ran to Fisherman's Island with a couple of pop-up tags to get out on red drum. I trolled spoons for hours and caught sharks (small duskys I think, toothy things). Set up and started bait fishing in the evening and caught more sharks on some live perch and cut bunker (really fresh, I had snagged them with my spoons). Switched over to all crab baits and stopped the shark madness. Then on half peelers, started catching rays. Caught my first eagle ray. Stopped that by going to all live, whole crabs about sunset. Had 5 rods cast all over. SE chop was hitting the boat side-to, not real big but enough to rock that boat pretty good. I have myself braced in and anything that is going to fall down has. Settled in to fish through the sunset and beat the storms home. All five rods went off. Must have been a big school of drum because those baits were scattered all over. Everything is tangled, two broke off because of the lines cutting each other. I got 3 untangled somehow and then activated a tag (they were sitting in my red boat bag on the captains chair beside me). I fought one fish and left the other two in the rod holder. When I got my first look and confirmed I had drum, I one handedly activated the second tag. The first was sitting on the chair, the second was in the open bag. Current was running in pretty good and none of these fish liked the look of the boat or the net. I managed to get the first one in, 43 inches, put the first tag in and released the fish. The other two fish were still on. I cleared the net of the sinker and hook of the first fish, (just cut the line, no time to untangle) and started on the other two. I fought those together, one rod in my hands and taking turns cranking the other in the rod holder. I wanted them both in about the same time so I could choose the largest to tag. I managed to get them both in with difficulty. Both were larger, 45 and 46 inches. Got the hooks out and went to tag the larger. Found the tagging stick up front, where I had left it, looked at the red bag and did not see the tag. Well, there is a lot of stuff, it must have just fallen down inside. I ripped everything out of there, looked all over the boat where it could have fallen, no tag.
The only thing I can think of that happened is that on one of the netting attempts, the tag caught on the net and went overboard. I never saw it. Figuring that out, I got the anchor up as fast as I could. It was getting dark, I went looking for that tag down current until I could not see (I just chunked the other two fish over). I did not find the tag. Coming home, I did not beat the thunderstorm.
June 13, Wes Blow and Chris Boyce chummed for cobia. They caught 2 nice fish and missed a couple more.
June 12, Danny Forehand ran to 26 Mile Hill and fished for bluefin tuna. There were a few caught around them but they just managed on Bonita.
June 12, Capt. Jorj Head, (757) 262-9004, did a half-day of cobia fishing. They caught one fish. They should have caught two but broke off a very large fish near the boat after a long fight.
Dr. Ken Neill, III writes a weekly column for The Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman's Association (www.pswsfa.com).