March to the beat of a different drum

Here on Amelia Island the charter boat Captains really do march to the beat of a different drum. To be more specific, that would be Black Drum, also known as Pogonias cromis to you fishermen who are fluent in Latin. Anchors Aweigh Charters on board “Ye Ole Pirate” has already scored a few of these big, beautiful fish with more memorable charters to come in April.

February through April the drum action is fast and furious in our local waters. Since “Ye Ole Pirate” is licensed in both SE Georgia and NE Florida, Captain Steve can offer the best of both worlds during the best of the drum fish season. Since the big drum are plentiful inshore, we get maximum fishing time with very little travel time. Who can resist bragging rights that include a 40+ minute fight to get that whopper to the boat?

That is exactly the story that four very seasoned anglers from Massachusetts are telling this week and it’s no fish story. Their 42 pound black drum was the highlight of their trip. This drum was caught on the poles rigged with light tackle being used to grab some whiting and sea bass , while waiting for the drum rigs to do their duty.

The 40 minute battle began for Arthur with the sound of his reel screaming and line flying off the spool. His many years of experience taught him the patience and Captain Steve talked him through the entire process required to successfully get the fish to the boat. Art worked that rod beautifully until the fish was tired out enough for Captain Steve to gaff it and lift it on board.

Previous to this AAC trip we had Joey and his grandfather along with 3 of Joey’s classmates joined us. They originally were set to go offshore but the weather didn’t allow us the opportunity that day. We stayed inshore and relaxed with a good assorted catch of a large variety of fish. Then lo and behold, one of the light tackle rods sang that all too familar song… ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzz. We hadn’t seen what had hit the bait but Captain Steve knew it had to be big. The proud holder of this rod was one of the teenage boys with plenty of enthusiasm and stamina. Once again, Captain Steve talked him through his sure fire procedure to assure netting this catch. We lifted the fish out of the water and the boys were all taking in the sight of a very large Red Drum  (redfish) or Sciaenops ocellatus. This specimine was quickly weighed in at 35 pounds, photographed and released according to regulations.

One of the young men was kind enough to send some pictures taken that day as my camera skills were not up to par. Thank you Jacob for these two shots.

Another Kodak moment on board “Ye Ole Pirate” and the hits just keep on coming folks….

During another inshore trip (I have to blame the bad weather again for our good fortune) we were joined by Jim and his son JJ from Georgia. We were scheduled later than normal for an afternoon of fishing and Captain Steve was sure that the weather would hold out for the next few hours to give it a shot. Now Jay is a ‘Man of the Cloth’ and I’m talking about a higher power than Georgio Armani if you catch my drift. His son JJ was recently accepted to the University of Georgia on his excellent grades and acheivments.

To be continued…..

Thanks for coming back to read the rest of last month’s blog. Things have been busy at Anchors Aweigh Charters, so I don’t get much time to blog but I do get plenty of time to get out on the water.

Now back to Jim and JJ and their late afternoon charter. The whiting were biting hard and they were filling the cooler with some good sized bull whiting when the rod rigged with medium tackle with half a crab for bait started to roar. JJ grabbed the rod and began a fight with a black drum in about 20 feet of water. Since the tackle was appropriate for the job, Captain Steve guided JJ through the process with every attempt by the fish to go back down to the bottom and as far away from the boat as he could be. It took JJ twenty minutes to bring the drum to the boat for identification. Captain Steve completed the catch by gaffing the drum and pulling it in to “Ye Ole Pirate”. The fish weighed in at whopping 32 pounds, the biggest fish JJ or his dad have ever seen, let alone caught.

The black drum should be running for a few more weeks and AAC has 5 more trips scheduled for April. Check back soon for an update on Zachary. Zachary has been going fishing with us for years. Zach is going to have to go some to beat out his last catch.

Zachary and his black drum-

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