Thursday, November 20, 2014

Getting cooler...

Hello friends,

I skipped a report (or two) but I didn't skip fishing!  We've had great fishing in the ICW as well as the North Fork of the St. Lucie River.  I had to wear long sleeves a couple days but at least we've not 6' deep in snow!

As usual I start my trips with a few dozen live shrimp and whatever my cast net brings me, last week the mullet were shy but I had plenty of greenies and sand perch.  The baby mutton snapper seem to have moved out of the ICW (only got one last week) and mackerel, croakers, and jack crevalle were plentiful.  We brought in a few mangrove snapper but only one was a keeper, the big boys seem to have gone further inshore to deal with the cold weather.  We had a school of ladyfish visit but we only kept one for bait, surprisingly we did better with cut ladyfish than we did with the live fish. 
The North Fork is holding plenty of keeper mangrove snapper as well as some fat croakers, Sunday one of the croakers my wife filleted plus some steamed broccoli and rice pilaf made a fine lunch.  We also caught plenty of jacks which will hit the smoker next week on Thanksgiving, since I'll be home cooking I might as well fire up the smoker.  The stinkier the fish, the better the fish dip. 

As always we're using 2/0 circle hooks, we miss a few because we don't set the hooks but since so many species are restricted (size, dates, etc.) I'd rather miss a few than release floaters.  The law might say I can't keep a small fish but my heart says I should be sure he matures, whether or not I or another angler get to catch him another day. 

Tight lines,
John Raasch(772)323-7773
Captain John Raasch Charters

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mack attack!

Hello friends,
The inshore action is stepping up.  We're still feeling the effects of all the rain we had a few weeks ago but the water in the ICW is slowly clearing, and the river looks more like coffee than chocolate milk.  In addition the the many, many undersized mutton snapper we're still getting a few keeper mangroves and the Spanish Mackerel have started to get hungry.  The mullet are running and the macks eat them like candy!  You can find plenty of them between the crossroads and Stuart causeway, and they're not always in deeper water like you might expect. 
Snapper are still hungry for shrimp but the mullet brought us plenty of jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, and ladyfish to keep us busy.  I aim to have my guests bring home supper but "junk" fish are still fun to catch.

I still start the day with live shrimp and whatever my cast net finds but instead of the usual white bait with the occasional mullet it's the other way around.  Saturday I actually caught a tiny snook in my net, probably only four inches long.  Before I worried about the bait fish I got that little guy back in the water, we want him to get nice and fat and make some angler very happy a few years from now! 
Tight Lines!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Rain, rain, go away!

The rain finally stopped but it will take a bit longer for the river to clear up.  As usual we're using live shrimp and whatever bait fish I manage to get with my cast net along with #2 circle hooks.  

In the North Fork of the St. Lucie River we caught more junk fish than keepers but it's better than not catching anything.  We had a few keeper mangrove snapper along with lady fish, jack crevalle, and a baby bull shark that was not happy to be hooked; he was even less happy when I grabbed him with the lip griper to get my hook back!  

Fishing near the inlet still produces more mutton snapper than you can shake a stick at but no keepers, the biggest one last week was just over a foot long.  Big enough to put up a fight, too small to take home for supper.  We also caught a few keeper and a few under-sized mangrove snapper, and a blue runner.  Like jacks, the runners can put up a great fight, making you think you caught a beast until you get it to the boat.  

Tight lines, friends!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The mangrove snapper are hungry!

The mangrove bite is on!  Both charters last weekend limited out on mangrove snapper between 10 and 13 inches, both were morning trips in the ICW near St. Lucie inlet with about half incoming and outgoing tide.  We started out with live shrimp and whatever I could catch in my cast net (a few pinfish, a few sand perch, etc) and had to switch over to frozen shrimp because the fish were so hungry.  There were plenty of smalls in the mix along with a few lane snapper, jack crevalle, and ladyfish... typical by-catch.  Saturday's trip lasted until 1pm and even though it was a scorcher the bite was steady, we just had to move to deeper water.  Both trips ended with fillets in the cooler and smiling customers, there isn't much that makes me happier.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


I've been slacking, I know, I hope you'll bear with me.  The photos are in order of the deliciousness of the fish, not the date of the trip.  Sheepshead might not give big fillets but I love the taste!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Reds, Jacks, and Black Drum, oh my!

I should have posted these yesterday but I've been slacking.  Friday's trip brought in a few jack crevalle, a few under-sized mangrove snapper and redfish, a few ladyfish (all of which threw the hook before we landed them), and a keeper black drum. 

Saturday's trip cancelled, but Sunday we landed the biggest jack I've ever had on the boat.  It took a while to land the fish, and for a little while I wasn't sure if he or the fish would win the fight, but at the end the fish was on the boat instead of the other way around.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Some more photos

My better half found a few photos that I neglected to post.

On this trip the only way to catch a fish was to ignore your line.  He caught more fish than anyone by telling stories and only fishing when we yelled "FISH ON!"

I've never seen someone so happy to catch a pinfish but this was his pinfish, and believe you me he fought it

What Manatee Pocket at 5 am in the summer looks like.  So calm, so quiet... I wish I had a better camera and the skills to show you how beautiful it really is.

I could kick myself for not getting pics of the fish but bonito were running in the ICW.  Actually there were bonito, blue runners, and ladyfish all feeding at once but we chased the bonito and landed two of them, a small jack crevalle, and a ladyfish.  The bonitos were smoked and became awesome fish dip, the rest were released.