Home Again

What a great spring break fishing trip!! We left Sunday at 11AM and were casting for snook or whatever else we could attract, by 4PM. This trip was a bit upscale from our previous camping trips by virtue of staying in a cabin at Johnathan Dickenson State Park in lieu of a tent or VW camper. We fished on the Loxahatchee River Sunday evening and Monday morning, catching a few each time, bass and snook. One of the bass was fairly nice but nothing worth talking about on the Snook front. One good thing was that we found the source of a persistent problem with the electric trolling motor which made life and fishing a bit better. Ditto electrical problems with the trailer lights and the depthfinder – all fixed and working perfectly. The motor trim still needs a little work but Tom found a broken switch there and that too will be fixed soon. All of these problems were there from the get go so this trip turned out to be a good clean up.

Monday afternoon we traveled north to the Stuart area and launched into the St Lucie River, the place where Tom landed a substantial snook last year. The last hour there turned hot, fishing hot, when schools of really large jack started smashing into schools of mullet. Both of our lures hit the water in the middle of the feeding frenzy at about the same time and both of us hooked up to substantial fish immediately. It took me about 5 minutes to land mine but Tom was still a ways from getting his under control. And with good reason – turned out he had two fish on the same lure, each of which were about the size of mine. We landed those and a few more before it started turning dark. The next morning we were back at the same spot and the jack were schooling again, but this time about half the size of those the night before. Still lots of fun and we spent most of the morning chasing schools of fish. One of the highlights was inadvertently flushing out a substantial gator who was hiding behind some trees up on a bank. We got close without having any idea he was there. He charged off the bank and into the river, crashing through the trees. That got our hearts started.

We left the St. Lucie a little after noon and headed up to our next spot, the Sebastian River just north of Vero Beach. This leg of the trip was like homecoming to me since I started fishing the river with my dad when I was a teenager. Other than the pain in the butt speed regulations all along the river, and other than the new homes built in spots I used to fish, it was mostly as I remembered and the fishing didn’t disappoint. Again we caught plenty of jack and I also landed a few large, sail cats, and a gar that was close to 4’ long. The catfish each took about 5 minutes to land and I think we wrestled with the gar for 10 minutes before we knew what it was. The catfish and gar were surprise catches because I was fishing for jack which means retrieving the lure with hard jerks and at high speed. I wouldn’t have thought either of these varieties would attack something like I was using.
The culinary high point was finding a place called Squid Lips near Sebastian. It’s one of those fish camp, over the Indian River, kind of seafood restaurants where you have pelicans and seagulls eyeing your food and squawking when you finish without paying any tribute to them. We spotted several other places that looked interesting in the general vicinity so a return trip to Sebastian is assured.

We finished the trip a day ahead of our original plan due to Tom having a work overload but it turns out, the weather would have shortened the trip in any event so it worked out perfectly. My reel cranking hand was getting a bit sore too!

As a side note – Tom’s new Jeep performed flawlessly. Very comfortable and the electronics are amazing. His iPhone is completely integrated into the car’s system by virtue of the wireless bluetooth connection so things like text messages sent to the phone can be read on the nav screen or spoken by the gal buried in the nav system. Too many high techy things to begin to describe.

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