Mullet run 2011 fishing with Chaos Charters, Long day in 6′-8′ rollers


Sent out a bunch of Saltyshores Stickers today. So those of  you that ordered the last few days they all just went out today. I even have one going to Japan very cool!

Monday evening I was driving to the east coast to do some offshore fishing. The goal was to get a sailfish and swim with it and hope to get some great shots. Driving to the east coast is a much easier drive than to Miami for me from Tampa. Mainly because there isn’t that dreaded alligator alley to cross. AA is so long, featureless and boring it is the worst part of my drive any time I head south.

On the way over I got a call from Captain Jonathan Earhart of Chaos Charters. He found out I was coming over and wanted to see if I wanted to get out for a couple hours that evening to do some fishing. I was a bit early anyways and I had my gear so why not.

Chaos 16 bonefish skiff

John has a neat looking skiff called Chaos 16 Bonefish made in the Carolina. This was one of the boat I was consider before I bought my first skiff the Maverick Mirage 2 a few years back. The boat looks unique and with some cool lines. I was a bit skeptical about how well it rides at the time and did not really follow up on it.

I met John and his buddy Chad at the ramp and our first priority was to get mullet. While looking for mullet we kept running into snooks. I tell ya, those guys on the east coat do not know how great the have it with nice snooks all over the place. Of course they way the same thing about us as far as red fish is concern.

With one cast of the net we had a live well full of mullets. We idle down to the area we saw all the snook and with one cast chad gets a nice fat snook. After a couple photos and few more misses with the snook we moved on to get some tarpon which usually holds a little deeper in the water column.

With the sun setting and the tide ripping out the bite was on. The mullet would float on the top and they were getting blasted by Tarpon and sharks. It was the best Tarpon bite I’ve even been on really. I mean in 2 hours we must have had 15 eats and landed 3 Tarpon. If we counted a blast and no hookups it would probably be closer to 30, yeah crazy stuff.

I manage some still shots but it is definitely not as good as it could be. They tell me the mullet run is just starting so I’ll be back there next week hopefully get more cool shots.

Oh one more thing. The Chaos boat for a 16′ rode surprisingly well. The winds were 15 mph and it was a very dry skiff. Very stable and efficient w/ the 60hp on there. Not sure how well it poles because we were fishing the deeper stuff today.

Speaking of deep water the Minnkota Ipilot was again super impressive today. We hovered in that ripping current for hours with out touching the trolling more. I have to get me one of these. There’s also another company with a similar product called Rhodan but I have not been on a boat with one on yet.

The offshore scene though was definitely a disappointment. Drew and I was up by 5am to meet the captain at the ramp by 6:30am. We get there and loaded the boat and it started to poooooooour down rain. We dawn our rain jackets and trudge on.

With this front coming in the seas were not kind to us. When we got out fo the inn let we are faced with 15-20 mph winds and 4′ sears. the rollers made it even worst. A constant 4-6′ rollers with occasional 8′ coming in to toss us around.

We were determined to get out there though. With a short 2 mile run we were fishing in the nasty seas. Jeff, the captain launched out the kites baited with goggle eyes. Out first couple runs were kings cutting us off. This means re rigging in the nasty rocking and rolling weather.

This went on a for a bit with a few more cut offs. We finally get a sail fish at the end of the line on one of our kited goggle eyes. We fought it for two jumps only to have it come off. We were bummed to say the least.

With all the bait gone we decided to troll. We hook a wahoo a little while later only to loose it at the gaff. A few bonita and one aj was all we could boat today. It was just one of those days it seems.

On the way in we ran into a sunken tree with Mahi all over them. Believe it or not we could not even get the mahi, which usually eats everything, to eat! … a long tough day.

You know the old saying “it’s better to have a bad day on the water than a good day at work”. Well that day.. I would take work all day. I was glad to see land.