You know the old saying, A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of....Uhhh?....well anything really!
I went out Saturday evening with plans to do a little night fishing at the Amelia Island State Park, with the intentions of catching a big shark. The conditions on the ocean side of the park were choppy and the water was pretty murky, so I decided to fish the river side instead. The conditions on the river side were calm, but with a pretty strong current.
Just as night was falling the local giggers started making their passes, walking along the shore and were reporting decent luck, I spotted a few with a couple of average size Flounder. As I set up my gear I noticed the wind was continuing to strengthen out of the East. I set up two PENN 850 SSm Spinning Reels with 12 ft. Prevail PENN rods, rigged up with Ol’ Salty Shark Rig – Medium Jawz and fresh cut mullet. And two PENN 330 Bait Casting Reels with stout Shakespeare Ugly Stik rods and again used an Ol’ Salty Shark Rig – Medium Jawz and fresh cut mullet.
As soon as I got my poles in the water a large school of mullet came swimming by, and I grabbed my cast net and went to work. Mullet is one of my primary bait sources in the Northeast region and when the mullet run is in full swing from, Mid July to October, I catch as much as I can. I use the live ones right away to target Trout, Redfish and Flounder and the rest get bagged and frozen to later target Shark, Jacks and Blues. I usually freeze enough to last me the whole year, until the next annual mullet run. I have also found that once the mullet start running so do the large game fish that eat them, so to spot the beginning of the mullet run, is to say that the supreme summertime fishing has begun!
As the wind continued to pick up, I moved my position three times, moving further west down the river bank each time in an effort to seek refuge from the wind behind the tip of the island. I had yet to hook up on anything significant, only catching a few Sail Catfish and Rays thus far. Finally at about 10:00 pm, I had a strong hit on my 12’ pole, presumably a Shark. The Shark had two strong runs then pulled the hook. Then about an hour later another Shark hit, I set the hook and the fight was on. After only a few minutes the shark tail whipped my line and broke me off.
That was the only action I had the whole night, however it was not a complete wash. I essentially spent the entire night replenishing my bait surplus. I also pulled in a couple small stingrays, which will be put in the freezer as well because they make excellent shark bait.