Home in Port Charlotte
Highs in the low 90's, chance of storms every day, lots threaten...not many actually rain on us.
I went fishing but got shut out today.
I didn't want to burn alot of fuel today because we have more guests coming next month and I'll need it for them. I normally buy my non-ethanol marine fuel on the street at the Marathon station on PC Blvd & US 41 but was so tired after my week in Boston, I didn't feel like humping jerry cans, 5 gallons at a time. I drove through the Marathon and saw their price last night was 3.99 and decided to get gas on the water at Fishermen's Village. MISTAKE! $4.64 per gallon today. I only bought 10 gallons to get me through the day.
My boat holds 60 gallons of fuel, so 65 cents times 60 gallons is $39 per tank savings. That's like 10 gallons free! I've bought the Marathon fuel many times and can attest to it's quality. In my last boat I had a problem with ethanol so I won't use it ever again.
Anyway, back to my fishing report. I stayed up on the north end of the harbor. I started in Rocky Creek at 8AM. There was great water flow coming through, 3 hours before high tide. I anchored down in 2' of water at the mouth of the creek. I alternated between casting a Skitter Walk on 10lb mono, 15lb floro leader, and a Zara Spook on 30lb braid, 30lb floro leader. After 30 minutes with no strikes I pulled up my anchor pin (if you haven't seen the shallow water anchor pin called "Stick It", as a $100 alternative to a $1500 power pole, you should check it out) and I trolled about 100 yards into the creek anchored down next to the mangroves. I started casting the Spook across to the flat on on opposite mangrove shore.
I wasn't there 5 minutes before I felt something biting my leg. I looked down and was HORRIFIED to see hundreds of mosquitos covering my entire body. I am pretty sensitive to the noseeums and skeeters but I'd gotten used to them being an occassional pain in my ace. This was nothing I could stand. Keep in mind, it was 9:00AM and there was a decent 10 knots of wind blowing. Not the usual conditions you would expect to find skeeters hunting in, although it was 77% humidity. I've been to this spot 3 times before and only got lit up there right at sundown.
I quickly pulled the anchor pin and fired up the Minn Kota, fleeing for my life! I got back outside the creek and tried to pin down again there, but there were so many bugs on me and the boat, I had to fire up and get running to blow them off. No, I didn't have any spray or lotion to put on me. I've never been lit up like this in the daytime, so I don't keep deet or anything on board. I don't think it would have helped this assault, anyway.
The winds had picked up to 15 knots and thunderstorms were looming so I wanted to stay close to home. I went over the Charlotte Beach complex and trolled around there. Seeing numerous pilings lined up with white stripes on them made me wonder what these were for. I wanted to anchor down and cast toward the beach but wasn't sure what these pilings were for. I called the Sheriff's Marine patrol and was told this was a swim zone, no boats allowed. I asked them how a boater would know this, with no signs posted, and was told that the Charlotte County public works is responsible for the signs. And this answers my question, how? I got out and got legal, nontheless. There must be 8 pilings marking this area, without signage. I finally found ONE sign, right next to the fishing pier. I used the trolling motor to work this area from my bow seat but couldn't even find a lady fish to bite.
I spent the next few hours just trolling the mangroves north of the beach complex, in Alligator Bay. It was fun to find all the 2-3' water I could navigate and I tested many a spot by anchoring and casting toward the mangroves but got no hits. I also threw a Badonkadonk Pinfish lure for a while but got no interest. I did see a huge stingray (skate) come next to the boat. I didn't want him to bite anyway. Incidentally, none of the mangroves around Alligator Bay held any bugs. One little cove had a lot of fish activity but none would bite. I know they weren't mullet jumping because living on a canal, I'm pretty much an expert in identifying jumping mullet. These fish were not jumping, they were striking at the top of the water, or doing little flaps in one spot, without leaping. They had white bellys and some had grey bodies and some had black bodies with white bellys. I don't what they were except not hungry for hard plastics.
So at 1:30PM I called it a day and headed in. I used my trolling motor, at 2.5 knots, to traverse the canal back home, taking over an hour but it was so peaceful and quiet. I never got any of the rain that threatened all around me for most of the day. The breeze kept the temperatures from getting too miserable. I got more use out of my trolling motor than ever before, saved lots of gas and, while I never found the fish, I found out where they aren't.