There’s an old saying that notes that the more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know. No matter how long I’ve fished (which in my case is since I was about 4, which approximately dates to the stone age), I’ve always wanted to learn more, so I love fishing with people that are excellent at what they do. Capt. Tommy Thompson and I had the great opportunity to fish this weekend with the Zen Master of trout, DOA Lures “Director of Fishing”, Jerry McBride. As I mentioned in a recent blog post, Jerry has caught tons of over 30-inch speckled trout fishing in his home base in the Stuart/Jenson Beach area. While he fishes primarily out of kayaks and wading, he can on occasion catch fish from a boat, so we invited him on his way through the area to show us exactly how he fishes one of our favorite lures, the DOA Shrimp. We didn’t have ideal conditions….a bad storm came through and woke us up at 2 AM with lots of fireworks, and right behind it came the wind. Forecasted at 20 knots, we figured we’d find some places out of the wind in Tommy’s flats skiff “Photo Opportunity”. Addditionally we were faced with low water, keeping us away from some of our favorite places. We were fortunate in that the wind started out from the west and blew hard, keeping some of the tide in and giving us a little cushion before the rapid drop as the wind switched to the north.
We started at one of the small creeks, fishing the rapidly dropping water and quickly found a good number of small trout in the 14 to 17 inch range. Many people fish the shrimp very slowly and drag it across the bottom very slowly Jerry fishes the shrimp differently, with quick jerks and a slightly more rapid retrieve, but still slow enough to allow the shrimp to drop toward the bottom after each jerk. This mimics the activity of real shrimp, which jet upwards toward the surface and then drop down into the grass. Getting the weight of the shrimp is important and relates to several variables, primarily depth, but also wind (as it will bow the line and decrease the action). You can get a feel for Jerry’s technique from these Youtube videos showing Jerry fishing, and narrated by Mark Nichols, owner and inventor of the DOA lures.
We ran to some more sheltered areas as the tide dropped and continued to find some nice trout, the occasional flounder, and one redfish (I lost another at the boat). I love fishing with people with a good sense of humor and modicum of intelligence, but I liked fishing with Jerry anyway…to say nothing of the mango/key lime pie with which he donated to the Bite Me Fishing clubhouse. Looking forward to his return on a more congenial day. Thanks, Jerry!