Sunday, August 4, 2013

Jensen Beach Causeway: Bad Weather, Low Salinity

With the lake level emergency in place, Lake Okeechobee has all the spillways wide open.  This is to reduce pressure on the Herbert Hoover Dike that surrounds the lake and prevent the potential of a collapse due to piping of water or hydraulic pressure failure.  Unfortunately, this ruins the salinity level of the various river outlets like the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, and significantly reduces the salinity of the ICW as well, regionally.  Water temperature is in the upper 80's, and silty, with poor water clarity doe to the freshwater runoff.

The effect this has on the fishing is essentially, catastrophic.  Saltwater species head out tp the ocean for the salt, and what fish are left are the freshwater tolerant ones like baby snappers, and grunts.  There was one relatively small Crevalle Jack caught, yesterday, maybe a 5-7 pounder.  My catch was 1 very small red snapper (3 inches), and a 5 inch grunt I streamed on the big pole as swim bait, to no avail.  I spent the entire day in the rain being generated by the remnants of Dorian, just up to the north.

 By the way, Stearns Dryware is some pretty decent foul weather gear.  It breathes pretty well and it kept me dry and comfortable.  Even in the tropics, you can get a bit hypothermic in an all day rain, and I was just the right temperature....not so hot I sweated badly, and not clammy, either.  Exposure to the elements can be the worst enemy of a fisherman.  Just be aware that if you wear in out in the boat, have a life jacket on at all times.....your foulies can drown you if you go overboard.

One good point, I've been making my own bottom rigs, and I did get to test them for snaggability, and I can report that they don't seem to snag up as easily.  I use 80 pound test monofilament and the clip end is a Snell loop.  I use both pendulum bank weights and/or egg weights, and Kahle hooks or Circle, or Octopus hooks.  You get a good positive hook set with this and I do plan on making these for sale through the site when I have them in their final form.

I'm also working on a needle hook that you can use to draw a Snell line through a live fish's dorsal area in line with their long axis to be able to set a tailhook that the line exits the body ahead of the dorsal fin and allows a natural swimming motion for larger freeline live baitfish from grunt size up.  Essentially, you will be creating a "live" lure.  It will also work with whole dead bait.  Just Snell it and freeze it on a flat and toss it in Ziploc bags.

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