It has been a few months in the making, but it finally came, our trip to the Chandeleur islands aboard the Due South II. Judging from the response of our Team Jo-Jo crew, (all 11 of them) we made the correct choice in choosing Due South II and her crew, (Capt Jimmy, Capt Freddy, and first mate Big Thomas) as our provider & transporter to the island. So much so Team Jo-Jo crew thinking about making this trip an annual event, we already looking forward to next year.
Also need to shout out to Big Greg, who at Due South II put together & organized our trip for us, the results of our trip is a direct reflection of Greg & his crew & staff, thanks guys we really enjoyed it.
- Anticipation way to long
- Big Ronnie could not join us he a little under the weather
- Our crew was on time for 5 PM Sunday meet up, some where their at 4 PM, no late stragglers did we have, we all, ready willing and able to make the trip.
- Got all our tackle, gear on board the Due South II in no time, made our way to our rooms, had a little safety meeting, review the 10 or so rules for the Due South II, and we were then after to do what we wanted.
- We had a 11:30 to midnight departure from eh dock
- Passed out the sea sick pills, me ha 2 packs for all those that wanted them, I took mind daily as per the directions.
- Crew split off to eat, we ate at Saltwater Grill it was so, so, noting n to brag about, me think the hour are so wait may have help define me opinion of this place.
- Got back to the ship around 10PM tried to stay awake and watch the departure, but it was not in the cards for me, off to bed, and the next thing I know the anchor is being dropped, talk about a wakeup call.
- Around 5:30 AM Monday morning we got a light knock on the door, breakfast, breakfast was the call.
- Full belly now time to go fish, boats where loaded with our gear, drink box, ice chest and a net
- Me was a little concern about getting in and out of the skiffs, but Due South II pulled the bow up on the stern a little and dogged them off, so skiff was sturdy, but me don’t have the balance and/or legs me use to have, applying what was always told to me , stay low in boat, and me crouched down and made me way back to the stern, no problem at all,
- Off to star day one of our fishing journey & challenges of the Chandeleur Island fishery.
- South wind 6-8 mph beautiful for us
- Wind blowing parallel down the island
- Perfect drift, perfect speed
- Partly sunny or cloudy whichever one you prefer
- Water temp in the 80’s
- Temps in the 80-90’s
- Water level normal
- Clarity on a scale of 1-7 was a 7 plus, as the day went along it got a little messed up maybe 4 or 5 but not bad
- Tide not sure, don’t know the area, but me feel it was moving, looked like mid-day we may have had a slack tide not sure
- Skiffs where perfect with 20 HP Yamaha, got us on a plan and we were moving pretty good as we ran around.
- They had maybe 3-4 more mother boats out and about, so we had plenty company fishing around us. It was kind of funny the mother boats 8-10 miles south of us, all their skiffs running towards us, and all our skiffs running toward their mother boat, all of us probably running over the fish.
- We did not see the surf, but they said they could hear the surf rolling in, I don’t think any of our crew did any wade fishing at all. Me think it as going to be tough to get to the surf, water was low at the shoreline. You would have had to walk the skiff in, walk across the marsh, mud flats, sand to get to the surf, me think it was going to be to changeling to get to the surf from the side of the island us fishing.
TECHNIQUE / STRATEGY:
- Be safe
- Have fun
- This be me daily therapy for ALL me aliments
- Gather Intel for future trips, and to share with fisherperson, (on rodnreel.com) to help assist them in their choice of areas to fish, lures to use and presentation of same to the elusive Silverwonders.
- Me have always wanted to make a trip like this, many yeasr ago they had a mother boat in the Gulf Outlet mariner for years, , me use to say one day one day, me going to make a trip like that, so the weekend was the day.
- Always water to fish Chandeleur Island, wanted to see what it was all about
- Wanted to learn what techniques / lures that where best for that area
- Do some wade fishing, maybe next time we will brave that one
- Meet new friends, share some time with old friends, all the while exploring an area, techniques none of has experience before, well some of us.
- Have some quite time to exchange all the fishing and hunting stories without the cell phone, texting, computers getting in the way. It was said many time it was nice not to be in constant contact with the outside world, just peace of mind doing what you love best.
- Find a spot # with the seven fundamentals / criteria of catching:
- WIND AT YOUR BACK: (This trip to wind was at our back, we sued it like a trolling motor to move us along the island.)
- MOVING WATER: (Not sure, but did have some talk about current lines, we did not see nay ,. But other boats did.)
- WATER CALRITY: (Perfect in the AM, almost perfect in the PM)
- HOLDING FISH: (It was a 6-8 mile stretch of island that we just kept running up in the wind letting it blows us back down the island as we fished our way in various depths of water)
- PATIENTS: ( Need some, but the sheer beauty of the place, and not knowing what you were going to hook up with keep us interested all day, sun up to sun down,)
- SKILL: (Our ability to adapt & adjust our technique & presentation)
- LUCK: (Selecting Due South II to be our provider!)
- Anchor up cast & retrieve slowly along the bottom, with a twitch every now and then, tight lining…………………………………NONE OF THIS IN THIS AREA, ANCHORING UP NOT AN OPTION.
- River Troll (ORT)………………..DID ONT TRY
- Reverse Oak River Troll (RORT) ………..DID NTO TRY
- Oak River Skim (ORS) ……………DID NOT TRY
- Cork ……..YOU ONLY HAD 2 OPTIONS CORK OR SURFACE LURES, TIGHT LINE FOR US WAS OUT OF THE QUESTIONS. SHALLOW FHISING OVER GRASS BEDS, LET THE LRUE GO DOWN AND YOU WOULD GET CAUGHT UP IN THE CLUMPS OF GRASS. BIG T-DCO AND ME STAYED WITH CORKS & TOP DOGS, MOSTLY CORKS,
- Lake P Troll (LPT)…………….N/A
- Dead bait………BIG T-DOC BROUGHT 2 POUNDS OF SHRIMP FOR EACH BOAT, HE CAUGHT 3 t & 3 CATFISH ON IT IN OUR BAOT, ME NEVER USED ANY.
- Live bait…………………NONE
· LURE DU JOURE:
- 3” H&H Purple Beetle, matched up with H&H ¼ oz. round white head with gold hook…………….NOTHING
- 3” Chartreuse Glow Beetle, matched up with H&H ¼ oz. round white head w/gold hook………….DID NOT TRY
- Matrix Shad Lemon Drop, matched up with H&H ¼ oz. round white head w/gold hook……………THIS LURE PRODCUE ITS FARE SHARE OF FISH BOTH SILVERWODNERS & REDWORRIERS.
- Matrix Shad Lemon Drop, matched up with H&H 3/8 oz. round white head w/gold hook……………DID NOT TRY
- Matrix Shad Lemon Drop, matched up with H&H 1/2 oz. round white head w/gold hook……………DID NOT TRY
- Matrix Shad Lemon Drop, matched up with 3/4 oz. round lead head ……………N/A
- Marker 54 hard plastic shrimp……….. DID NOT TRY
AREAS / SPOTS / NUMBERS OF THE MAP FISHED:
Up & down island south to north up and down, inshore, away from shore shallow water to 3-4 feet deep water.
- Lived to fish another day
- While crew caught (91) Silverwonders, (30) throw backs
- (8) Redworries
- Crew made a bet ($5 each category) biggest Silverwonder & Biggest Redworrier
- Big T-Doc had
- Bunches of Silverwonders
- (3) Spanish Mackerel
- (1) Biggest Lady fish me ever saw, 3-4 pounds of it
- (3) Hardheads
- Big T-Doc reeling in a Silverwonder and big shark just gobbled it up.
- Me had
- Bunches of Silverwonders
- (1) Pin fish
- (3) Popped lines, at the cork, (2) fish where swimming around with the cork floating, but they would dive down to the bottom, bury themselves into the grass, pull tight and force the cork below the surface, they been down this game before, we never go one of them back.
- (4) bushels of grass if it was not the bottom ,it was the grass floating on top of the water
- We had (3) sharks circling our boat, this kind of negated any of our desires to wade fish, me talking 1 to 4 feet sharks.
- Some of the best cooking me have had in a long time, Capt Freddy be a cook, be he.
- All drinks & water provided by Due South II
- Spending the day on the water with some of the best fisherperson me know, all (11) of them
- Sharing a trip of a life time with old new friends.
- Me managed to take some pictures, but between fishing, eating, drinking & sleeping, it did not leave much time to take pictures.
- Best fishing trip of my life, until the next one.
FISHERPERSON OF THE DAY:
Today was not be we going to crown fisherperson of the day, but we did have a wager we needed to monitor to see who be catching the biggest Silverwonder & Redworrier.
Silverwodners where ranging from 12” to 2 to 2 ½ # Silverwodners, that what me seen and saw, each skiff (6 of them) had their fair share of nice Silverwonders, and some had Redworries too.
So says me what was the biggest to see who might be in the lead, everyone start talking about how big in inches, says me no we go by weight.
Me heard 1 ½ #, 2#, 2.5, 2.6, then all of a sudden me hear a 4.2 & a 4.8#, now me very interested on this claim. So me look into it, and it be Big Mike, Big Mike also incriminates Big Joe, says me who weighed them, Big Joys says he (Big Mike threw him under the bus quick), Says me can me see them they cleaning fish now (not true) and me would like to see them. Says Big Mike if you don’t believes us come see, says me me believe you, me don’t believe scale.
Now all fish in one box, so Big Thomas (deck hand, works hard all day & night) digs out two of the biggest Silverwodners, this them says me, yessum says Big Mike all (6’-7”, my mom no raise no fools that why me say me question scale & not him) anyway just looking at fish weight might be a little off. So we weight them again 4.2 & 4.8. Now become 2.2 & 2.8, that be a little different, but once again me say it must have been the scale, once again Big Mike throws Big Joe under the bus, Big Joe read the scale. We agreed may be it was the 5 gallon bucket full of water the fish was sitting in and that they used to weight the fish that may have cause the discrepancy.
They cry for the rest of the trip was, we want to use Big Mike’s, (no mention of Big Joe) scale to weigh our fish.
“YOU GOT TO GO TO KNOW” and know this, just do it, put this one on your bucket list for sure.
PONDER OF THE DAY:
It seems technology / texting has caught up with me, I have learned that my fishing prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.
O & A:
Does the study of philosophy of catching ever lead to answers or simply more questions?
TEAM JO-JO’S future stratagem:
Not sure, rest up, day 2 of our trip next.
Team Jo-Jo & Oneofthepack
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