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Thread: Salty Swimbait Donkey 1-11-19 Crystal River

  1. #1
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    Default Salty Swimbait Donkey 1-11-19 Crystal River

    Caught a pig today. Showed up and starting casting along the way to my spot. I saw another car there and I kept hearing splashing.
    Thought it was another angler in his waders, didn't sound big, just a swoosh and a woosh every now and again. Sounding exactly like somebody in their waders in the tidal river.
    They were near my spot, so I kept inching closer to see if I could see anybody. I finally made it all the way to my spot and didn't see anyone. So I'm casting my lil Vudu Mullet swimbait and trying to keep it near the surface so I don't lose it. All the sudden I see the source of the sound. Mullets running for their life and a big old fish busting them to pieces.
    I looked down in my hand at the mullet swimbait and giggled. I knew what was about to happen.

    I cast the 4.5" Vudu Mullet straight into the boil back in the creek. The moon was up. The sun wasn't up yet. It was grey light. I pretty much knew it was going to be on.

    Thump,... THUD! *rod starts to double over, so I lift a few inches to pop the hoook through the lip and lean back getting ready for the ride*
    Zip zing boom the fish jumps all over and tries to ditch me on the structures up the bank into the current. I didn't even let him pull drag this time. I just let him swim into the current around the bank and right up into a cut out of the current and grabbed his lip, then hit record on my phone. The following is what you see in the video:
    He was fresh out the water and VERY ANGRY he didn't get to eat that mullet. Shredding my fingers to pieces.

    https://youtu.be/HIDh_BrTn8k

    I caught some more fish as well. I couple trout and a flounder (I was actually going for a flounder so that was great!) while bouncing super flukes on the bottom with some flounder jigging techniques I learned last night on youtube. This one was a bit bigger than my last, but he came unbuttoned at my feet. Would rather that, then have to unhook him and rape him with my hands before I throw them back anyway. We all seen a flounder!

    I also got a little tiny trout on the Unfair Lures Suspending Shrimp 85. That thing is actually pretty cool. It sinks really slow and when you pop it, it flies back and up like a real shrimp. When you give it slack, it actually travels away from you back out into the water. So for a suspending crankbait you can get a really long time to work each cast from it because it keeps gliding back away from you after you pop it. Have to see to understand. the youtube videos don't do it justice. Neat idea, but maybe not a bait for giant fishes. Who knows..

    Super good times. Short video today, lots of mumbling as usual. I love Saltwater.
    I'll be back soon. I thought this fish was 26" and a slot sized fish, but I was wrong. It was the same size as my last donkey snook at 24".
    I hope I can find a keeper before I leave. I have a few ideas how I might make that happen.... at night... while the moon is up.....
    Stay tuned
    Last edited by tacklejunkie; 01-11-2020 at 01:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    Going back tonight from midnight to 5am.
    huge incoming tide all night long, moon up all night, nice 70* temps all night, 10% chance of precipitation. (Probably a couple clouds).

    things looking good. Gonna nap during the day and rest up. Let’s see what happens.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by tacklejunkie; 01-12-2020 at 03:34 AM.

  3. #3
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    The water will be higher than usual.
    I may not be able to wade out to my normal spots in the water in the middle of the night. I have to be really careful... this is Florida. I have no idea when, if or where I might see an alligator. I’m literally creeping around in the marshy grasslands with mostly salty and some brackish waters so I don’t know if there is gators nearby or what. But I do see huge flattened trails in the grasslands that look like they could have been made by gators. However, I have yet to see any gator tracks. I’m sure they have to leave tracks... they can’t just be undetectable.

    so I’m not really sure what’s going on with the gator thing and the flies are literally eating me alive if I don’t soak myself in my special potion I concocted by watching YouTube videos from essential oils at CVS pharmacy.

    this stuff is pretty damn wild. I’m being stalked while I’m stalking. I feel like I fit in well to the food chain right now. Just gotta watch my back real closely lol. I have no idea what I’m doing in Florida.

    when the water is higher, it’s also harder to catch baitfish. Like it was the day I caught this swimmy fish yesterday. I was not able to catch any bait with the net at all. So the artificial baits were the day savers.

    seems easier to catch bait at lower tides when they all get trapped in the estuary. You find the fish busting on them and simply throw the net near some boils and you have baits. No such thing at higher tides... everyone is scattered out and there is ten different types of bait in the water. I have to check all my bait to make sure it’s not baby gamefish. My cast net has 3/8” netting... the little minnows get away from me. I’m only able to nab baits that are pretty fair sized. I’d like to look into finding a cast net with finer netting, but I’m sure at some point you’re asking for trouble going too fine.


    this is nothing like back home. So wild.

    when I do get back home to the PNW, the only thing I’ll have to contend with there is the cold. And maybe one or two mosquitos. It will seem trivial compared to Florida. Lol


    i did some research and I guess the peacock bass are four hours further south.. or something like that. I don’t get much chance to fish the salt water. I really love salt water fishing for its “never know what will happen” style. I have pretty much decided to forget about the Florida Freshwater scene while I am here. I can catch bass, trout and bluegills back home. Let’s get all these craaaaaazy wild salty fish while I’m here and have the chance.

    A “keeper” or “slot” Snook would be one hell of a fight. Probably a 6-8lb fish, giant fins and raised in the current.. even has that streamlined body. Puts our fat little SoCal bass to shame.

    These fish have to contend with dolphins. There’s a video of a dolphin chasing a large snook around in the surf on YouTube. https://youtu.be/L3mfMHvNAyk
    Last edited by tacklejunkie; 01-12-2020 at 04:16 AM.

  4. #4
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    TJ’s No See ‘Em spray: (shamelessly jacked from somebody on YouTube and added extra ingredients)
    half cup witch hazel
    half cup regular yellow original listerine
    15 drops lavender essential oil
    10 drops tea tree essential oil
    10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
    10 drops lemon grass essential oil

    shake well. Apply with sprayer.
    if you need it to work for ticks and mosquitos, you’ll also want to add some deet.
    you will smell like Cambodian Lemon Grass Chicken when applied properly.

    enjoy.
    Click image for larger version. 

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