At around mile marker 40, we saw the first large concentrations of birds diving into the water. They were in the 2nd gut already and out of reach of shore bound anglers. We waded out into the surf and saw Anchovies jumping out of the water. The skipjack were thick in the surf. One of the Houston guys invented a umqua fly pattern called the Rattling Minnow, which worked well in off colored water. He was the first to hook up with a skipjack. Soon afterwards, everyone catching skipjack on flies. As the wind picked up I switched to a spin casting rod. The skipjacks took gold spoons, spinnerbaits & mirrolures, but the best bait was a slender Yozuri that matched the size of the fish jumping out of the water. I walked to within casting range of the seagulls and cast towards the 2nd sandbar. Bait scattered as the lure hit the water. I retrieved the Yozuri and forced it up higher into the water column as a wave approached. The Skipjack could not resist the silver bait surfing in the waves and a pack of three big Skipjacks fought over the lure. I set the hook and watched the fish cartwheel thru the air and throw the bait, only to have it picked up by another ladyfish. Later that day, I hooked a nice fish on a black mirrordine and then thought about the jack crevelle that got sharked in the picture and started walking back to shore. As the fish came over the 1st sand bar I could see the speckled pattern on the shoulders of the trout. I walked him through the wash of the 1st gut and with a final head shake he freed himself from the end of my line.
The highlight of the trip was when one guy from the Houston group landed a snook in the surf on his 8 weight.
Unfortunately, we never got into any jacks on the trip. Puck ran into a fishing guide who said he had not seen any jacks in weeks, but they would return as soon as the water cleared up.
Although the conditions were not great, with high winds and chocolate surf, we still had a great time on our 1st trip to the PINS. After hearing stories of jumping Tarpon on fly rods and hooking into Jacks from the beach from the Houston flyfisherman, my buddies and I already decided to clear our schedule for next years PINS trip.