I read a bumper sticker once -- A Bad Day at Fishing is Better than a Good Day at the Office. Is that true or what?
I just got back from another week of deep-sea fishing in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast at Jupiter, Florida. It's the place to fish, since the Gulf Stream is closer in there than anyplace along the East Coast. I'm not sure of the numbers, but I think the stream is 7 miles out there, compared to about 70 miles out from Charleston. Why's the Gulf Stream important? ... Seems like that's where alot of the fish are.
This is about the 5th time I've been on this kind of trip to Jupiter and I haven't re-read the other chapters on the topic recently, but I'm going to try to avoid saying the same things all over again. To accomplish that, I'm going to try to show some new pictures and cover some aspects of a fishing trip that I'm sure I've missed before.
Sites have plenty of room for a 36' RV, 21' boat, and a vehicle (not shown)
Lots of shade trees, a picnic table, and a fire ring
Sunrise over the Atlantic
Coating with lotion to reduce sunburn
A craft with a familiar name - Enterprise
Just a few of the beautiful homes on the Inland Waterway
I just went back and checked -- this is the 5th fishing trip to Jupiter. Others are in Chapters 28, 45, 49, and 50. In each of the others, I went on and on about what happened each day, what fish we caught each day, yada yada yada ... This time, I've decided to give you a day in the life of a fisherman -- it's the way we do it, anyway.
Up at 5 or 5:30 and out as early as possible after that is the usual rule of the day. It sometimes depends on the weather, but that's generally our starting time. Although we don't actually see the sunrise every day, we did at least one day -- so here's a sunrise picture.
One of the first things we do is to "lotion up" to try to avoid too much sunburn. On the right is a shot of our Captain, with sun lotion blobs here and there.
Usually, we head straight out the inlet each morning, catch some bait fish, then head out a few miles and start trolling. Our first day on this trip, the wind was so strong that Jupiter Inlet was nearly impassable. We decided to cruise down the inland waterway and go out at West Palm, which isn't quite as rough.
To the right are some inland waterway photos. First, one of the many amazing homes that line the waterway, with their mandatory boats or yachts parked out back. Beyond that, for Star Trek fans, I noted a boat named Enterprise. If you're not a Trekkie, nevermind!
After we get a few miles out, we troll with ballyhoo, artificials, strip bait, and whatever else we think will catch Dolphin (Mahi-Mahi), Wahoo, Tuna, Sailfish, and others. If we have no success after a few hours, we may move in a little and bottom fish for awhile, usually with live bait.
I've included a few fish photos here -- it was a fishing trip after all.
Note the Shark picture on the right. All you see is a fin, but under that fin was about an 8-foot Hammerhead. A very impressive fish. We had put out some Chum to draw fish to us when we were bottom fishing, but we drew him instead. He circled the boat several times, looking very menacing. Finally, we moved on to another spot, knowing he'd grab anything we caught anyway.
At the end of the day, there are always a large group of Pelicans hanging around the inlet, hoping to pick up a little of the fish parts left when the fish are cleaned. I photographed a couple, just to finish the day's journal.
To the right of the Pelicans, you see the way many late afternoon drivers spend their time -- waiting for the drawbridge. It's on the main street through Jupiter and it gets raised every time a tall boat comes in through the inlet.
From there, it's on to the campground, cook a great fish meal, shower, watch about 30 minutes of TV, then get a little rest before 5 AM rolls around again.
Below, I threw in a dog picture. Met him in the campground. He was a Yorkie, just like we've got, but he was about 5 times larger. I like dogs, so there's that unrelated photograph.
Well, that's a typical day. We had six of them, caught about 40 fish, ate about 10 of them, drank a few beers/cokes/waters, and had another amazing camping/fishing/eating/drinking trip!
It occurred to me at some point during this trip that we each get different things out of it. I enjoy the fishing, but I think I probably actually enjoy the RV camping, being outdoors, and great food best. Buck and Bruce are true fishermen, however. They enjoy these same things too, but their main thrill comes in the hunting, hooking, out-smarting, and conquering the big fish! While we're on the water, they're constantly thinking, planning, and discussing how to find the next catch. I spend alot of my time napping, eating, sunning, and enjoying the outdoors. It all works out great though, giving each of us what we need for a great time!
One thing that struck me a few months ago is that I've never gotten pictures of the campsites at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, where we always camp. To the right, you'll find two shots of Site #33, the one we've used on 3 of the trips. I went to ReserveAmerica, checked site availability, input my credit card number, and the site was ours. Ain't technology amazing?
As usual, click any photo to see a larger version.
My two cohorts, showing a couple more nice Dolphin
Yorkie we met the first night in the campground
First fish on the first day, a nice Dolphin
The only Kingfish that we caught on the trip
An 8-foot Hammerhead that got really attached to us
A couple of Pelicans, waiting for a handout
Waiting for those pesky boaters to pass under the draw-bridge
58. A Bad Day at Fishing ...
My Travel Log
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