Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fly Fishing Shrimp Pattern

Last week I fished with a guest who wanted to fly fish here at Amelia Island, Florida. He was making excellent casts with a "shrimp fly" (right) that I had tied in years past. We had a good tide but we were getting no takers. Luckily, he was open to tossing a live shrimp on a spinning rod and wouldn't you know it, BOOM! Redfish on the first cast. He went on to catch  a few handfuls of feisty Reds and a couple of Slot sized fish and some nice Seatrout. So why wouldn't they eat the fly? If the Reds were relying on smell then there's not a whole lot I can do about that other than squeeze some scent on the fly. There's a chance the fly was getting pulled out of the zone too fast so I think I'll try a longer leader and maybe invest in a sinking line (we were using a floating line at the time). And then I got to thinking I needed to tie a fly that at least resembled a live shrimp color. So I stopped by the fly shop this morning and here's what I came up with:


Here's the "recipe" for my Live Shrimp:

Mustad 1/0 O’Shaughnessy Hook                                
Grey Thread
(2) Mono Shrimp Eyes
(2) Rust tentacles
Brush and Wing Fibre -grey/natural
½” Stream Brush streamer material – natural
Large Dumbbell eye
Tan Marabou
Place hook in vice, hook point UP.
Tie thread at hook bend, then wrap up to eye of hook, then back to bend.
Bend mono shrimp eyes and tie one on each side of the hook at rear.
Tie in two pieces of rust tentacles at rear, sticking out 1-1.5”
Glue thread
Tie a bunch of Brush and Wing Fibre, splitting hook at the rear (the shrimp head). Trim about a half inch from hook.
Turn hook over.
Tie another bunch of Brush and Wing Fibre on at hook bend.
Tie  the ½” Stream and Bush material on.
Wrap thread up to hook eye.
Tie on large dumbbell eyes.
Wrap Stream and Bush material forward to dumbbell eye, tie off, and cut.
Fold Brush and Wing Fibre over to dumbbell eye, tie off, and cut.
Tie on behind the dumbbell eye some marabou.
Whip finish behind dumbbell eye.
Glue Eye top and bottom.  Press marabou down into glue so that it faces forward.
I've got a couple of fly fishing trips coming up...I'll let you know how it does!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Big Trout, Tourney Red, Most Variety

I got to fish again with Dave Little this morning and this time he brought along a couple of other friends, Chris and Rob. We met again down at the Big Talbot Island Park ramp and after a good start yesterday, decided to repeat the plan, so we headed over to Broward Island. There was less breeze and more gnats when we got there but the fish were biting. All three anglers were making excellent casts and began to hookup with feisty Redfish and hungry Seatrout. A few of the Trout were of keeper size (all fish caught today were released). Chris was biding his time, getting his casts down when, BOOM! FISH ON! He played the fish expertly to the boat and landed the biggest Trout of the day, a nice 22" fish. We worked up and down the bank, picking up a fish here and there. They added a small Black "puppy' Drum to the catch, a small Sheepshead, then Rob put a really nice Sheepshead in the boat. We made a run back down the Nassau River to the Spanish Drop area and worked some flooded oysters. They again put Trout in the boat. Our next stop was over at some docks at Seymore's Pointe. It
seemed like every fish caught by Rob was a different species- he had a Bluefish, a Flounder, a Ladyfish, and a Snapper. The trio even landed a Blue Crab! But as that was being hauled in Dave had put his jig and shrimp up near a piling and BOOM! Another Big Fish on!  This was a big fish! He played it patiently and let it make a few big runs, but as it made it's way to the pilings he applied the pressure and worked it out. After a good battle Dave landed a 26 3/4" "tourney" Redfish, boy what a fish!  We finished the day over in Jackstaff and landed another handful of Seatrout, a great way to wrap up good day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Trout Swarm The River

We went south today, fishing out of the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp. I met Dave Little, his brother Andy, and their friend Hal early and we headed up the Nassau River with plans to make the long run around to Broward Island.  The anglers first cast got a nibble and the second got a feisty Redfish -  not a bad way to start the morning. From then on and for about an hour and a half, they were catching fish! They landed a good handful of small but feisty Redfish, then they'd put a Slot fish in the boat. Interspersed were hungry Seatrout with a keeper sized one now and then. Then another Slot Red (all three anglers were using 1/4oz jigs and shrimp, either live or recently dead). Dave added a feisty Black "puppy" Drum and a Sheepshead to garner his very own Amelia Island Back Country Grande Slam. We fished it thoroughly then headed over to Christopher Creek where Andy put two fairly nice sized Blue Fish in the boat. Our next and final stop was around at Seymores Pointe fishing some dock pilings. We began to get Seatrout almost immediately and burned through the bait, catching one after another, with a few of them in the keeper sized range and then the largest of the day caught by Hal. When we ran out of bait I switched them to jigs and Contender plastic grubs and they continued to catch Trout right up until closing time! Now that's the way to have a great day fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Super Grande Slam

We had a cool morning today, with just a slight wind that was supposed to pick up as the day went on. Greg Bancroft and I launched up at the Dee Dee Bartels boat ramp and ran around to the Jolley River to fish some structure as the tide continued to come in. Greg was making excellent casts with an 8w fly rod and shrimp pattern, but had no takers. The minute we switched to live shrimp and  a jig, BOOM! Fish On!  Crazy. But that's what they wanted and Greg caught fish after fish: feisty Redfish that just missed the
Slot, then he put a nice 19" Slot Red in the boat. He picked up a Trout now and then, and finally got a keeper sized 18" one. We worked the bank thoroughly with Greg catching a feisty Black "puppy" Drum to make it a Slam, then he added a keeper sized Flounder to make it a Grande Slam, then he added a Sheepshead to make it a "Super Grande Slam"!  And to top it off, he had a strong hookup and a Big Fish On! Greg played it patiently and worked it slowly to the boat. The fish rolled up and we saw it was a really nice Slot Redfish. It was no match for Greg and he landed the 24" Slot Red -biggest fish of the day. We fished the area a tad bit more then ran around to the Bell River, found a Trout and a Blue, then continued over to Lanceford Creek where we wrapped the day up catching one hungry Trout after another - another great day fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fight'n The Wind But Finding Fish

We pushed our trip out to 9am today, with plans to fish the first of an outgoing tide. I met Roger Pickett and his friend David up at the Dee Dee Bartels boat ramp and we ran over to the outside of Tiger to fish some flooded oysters with live shrimp and float rigs. First cast - Boom-Seatrout! So I was thinking, "here we go!". But it was tough fishing after that and these two anglers were up to the task. We worked along a marsh line, tossing our baits and we had a bite here and there, and picked up a Trout on occasion. When it slowed, David switched to a jig and shrimp and tossed it deep and up
current and he picked up 3 Trout in a row. We ran around to the Tiger logs and even though it was still a very high tide, we pitched jigs to pockets and caught a few fish, including a couple of feisty Redfish and a couple of Trout. The wind was really kicking by now so I made the long run over to Bell River and continued on to Lanceford Creek in hopes of getting out of the wind, but no, it was right in our faces. We dropped back and fished some docks and picked up one Trout then bounced around and fished Oyster Bay and picked up another Trout. Although we were out of the wind we were catching more "baitstealers" than anything so we went back to Tiger Island. The tide was getting just right, down enough where you could see the stumps and logs, and we wrapped things up with another couple of Trout catches - one caught by Roger was the biggest of the day. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Lower Tide Makes For Better Fishing

Back to fishing after a long Thanksgiving weekend! Doug Mackle had set up a trip to fish with his friends Bruce and Paul and we met up at the Dee Dee Bartels boat ramp. The morning started out with just a slight breeze and clear skies as we ran up to the Jolley River with plans to fish a large outflow with float rigs and live shrimp. We had timed the trip to begin a tad bit later and catch the outgoing tide, but my timing was off - it was still coming in...and we had just a bite or two at that first stop. We dropped back and fished Jolly
Bank and again, just a nibble here and there. We came further back and fished the outside of Tiger, had a some better bites and finally, a fish! Paul had something big roll at his bait and take it and as he was re-baiting, Doug went in and BOOM! FISH ON! We could tell by the way the fish kept rolling up that it was big. The drag was ripping and the fish was holding its ground. But Doug kept the pressure on and worked it slowly to the boat and after a good battle, landed a nice oversized 27.5" Redfish. Boy what a way to knock the skunk off! After that we picked up a couple of Seatrout then we
moved on around to behind Tiger and here things really heated up. The trio of anglers began to pick up some Black "puppy" Drum, with a few keeper sized, they landed a handful of Redfish, many right at 17 3/4", but a couple in the Slot, then Bruce started finding keeper sized Trout out deep, slowly bouncing a jig down deep on the bottom. What started as a very slow day turned out to be a good day of fishing when the water got lower on the outgoing tide.
We counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Trout Are Biting

My final fishing trip of the week was with Candice Horton, her husband Shawn, and their son Jonathan. I met them down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp early this morning and it was a tad bit warmer than it has been this week. We made a run up the Nassau River and stopped to fish a large marsh run out with jigs and shrimp and mud minnows  on a tide that had been going out a few hours. Within minutes the whole trio of anglers were catching fish. They landed a good handful of Trout, with most of them slightly undersized, but they did catch one that was of legal size. We moved
down the river to an oyster edge, fished it thoroughly, and picked up one more keeper sized Trout. Our next stop was way around to Broward Island where the tide was still going out. Again, they found Trout, a good handful of them.  I felt sure we'd get a Red or a Black Drum  but it seemed like Trout were going to be the fish of the day until Shawn had a strong hookup and, FISH ON! After patiently working the fish to the boat he landed a nice 20" Slot Sized Redfish. We bounced down the island and both Jonathan and Candice added  keeper sized Trout to the boat, and Shawn put
another one in, too. Our last stop was back at some docks at Seymore's Pointe here, Candice landed another Trout and then had an unbelievable BIG fish on for a while, but it got through the pilings, bound it tight, and broke the leader off, OUCH! But it was a good fight and made a great way to wrap up a fun fishing trip here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Grande Slam

Pete Nolan had his daughter out fishing today during their
Thanksgiving holiday. Taylor, Tatum and Sidney were all dressed for the cool morning as we headed up Lanceford Creek to fish some dock pilings with live shrimp and mud minnows. The tide was still going out as the anglers began to slowly fish the bottom and it wasn't long before they hooked up with fish. I thought we'd be getting Redfish but it was Seatrout that they were catching, and a few of them were of keeper size. Taylor "knocked the skunk off",
catching the first Trout, then both Sidney and Tatum put a couple in the boat, too.  As the tide hit bottom the bite slowed so we ran around to the outside of Tiger and fished some structure. Things heated up here. They caught a couple of feisty Redfish then Pete hauled in a nice Slot sized one. They picked up a couple of Trout, added a small but fun to catch
Black "puppy" Drum, then Pete rounded out the Amelia Island Back Country Grande Slam when he boated a couple of Flounder, one of them of keeper size. We made a final run up to Jolley River and Sidney landed another handful of Trout.  It was a beautiful day that ended with a very comfortable temperature which made it  another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cold Morning, Red Hot Fishing

Talk about a nip in the air!  It was downright cool this morning, with the temperature hovering right around 40 degrees when I met Bruce and Sharla Newkirk and their adult son Tyson down at the City marina. We eased out of the marina and made a run up Lanceford Creek with plans to fish some docks as the tide started back in. There wasn't a cloud in the sky when we started fishing, the tide was low and coming in, and the conditions were perfect for some Amelia Island Back Country fishing. However, the fish didn't get the message! The three anglers were making excellent casts and
they did pick up a few fish, two of them being keeper sized Seatrout, but it wasn't the action I was hoping for. We made a run over to Bell River and found some structure to fish and this did the trick. They started hooking up with Redfish and they got bigger and bigger the more they caught them! Just when I thought things would slow down, BOOM! Another big fish on! Then the Black "puppy" Drum started biting and they caught them for awhile. Then Bruce, who was quietly experimenting out deep, started catching Seatrout with a couple of them coming in at around 19". Sharla was
holding  up her end of the boat, catching Slot Reds and she added a 19" Drum to the catch. Bruce put a keeper sized Flounder in the  boat which gave them a "Grande Slam" of Redfish, Black Drum, Seatrout and Flounder. We caught fish for about two and half hours in that one spot but eventually the bite slowed to nothing as the tide and sun got up, so with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

First Cold Day But We Caught Fish

Kinda cool this enough that I went back to the truck for another layer! I met Will Wingate and his son Gabe down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early this morning and we made a short run up the Nassau River and began fishing some exposed oysters with jigs and live shrimp on the first of an incoming tide. Both anglers were  making excellent casts and after a short distance they had a hookup. Young Gabe reeled it in expertly and landed a nice feisty Redfish. But a wind had already picked up and made things difficult so we ran further up the river to fish some docks as
Seymore's Pointe. This helped somewhat - they caught another Red or two and Gabe added a hungry Seatrout to the mix. We then ran down to Broward Island and the timing was perfect - the tide was just changing to come back in - and we had a lull in the west wind - and the fish bite got hot! The duo caught Redfish, Redfish, Redfish then after we thought were some "baitstealer" bites, they hooked up and landed two keeper sized Sheepshead, rounding out their Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Seatrout, and Sheepshead. They had a "double" catch at least once...then as quickly as the bite started it stopped! We ran back to Goffinsville and fished some docks, found one Trout then finished up fishing some float rigs over in the Horsehead area. And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.