Friday, July 25, 2014

Change Up

I needed to shake things up today so when I met Hunter Moore, his brother Heath and their friend Alex down at the Fernandina  Harbor Marina, we headed up the Bell River to fish a spot that I had never fished before.  I had passed it on the way back from a previous fishing trip and thought it's be a good spot to try on a high and incoming tide.  Once the guys got the float rigs unlimbered we baited up with live mud minnows and tossed them out to some grass clumps.  I believe it was Alex's first cast when he had a hookup!  He worked the fish patiently to the boat and we netted a nice Seatrout.  For about an hour we worked the area and the anglers had bites constantly both Hunter and Heath landed keeper sized Seatrout and all of them had some that were just shy of the 15" mark.  We hit one more spot in the Bell, made a pit stop for some more bait, then headed up to Jolley River.  We picked up a few feisty Redfish before making one last stop back at Tiger Island.  Hunter had the hot hand here and put two more Redfish in the boat while Alex added a Flounder to round out the trio's Amelia Island Back Country Slam. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Hard Fishing Nets a Big Flounder

I did a double yesterday, getting out on the water in the afternoon with John Greco.  We ran straight up to the Jolley River to fish an incoming tide and right off John hooked up with a feisty Redfish.  I was thinking, "all right, here we go!"  But we fished and fished, had a few bites, but no takers so we ran back to fish the logs of Tiger Island.  We fished the pockets between the logs from one end of the island to the other, had a few nibbles, but no real takers, until after about an hour of fishing we had a weird bite and a hookup!  John worked the fish patiently up from the bottom and when it surfaced we saw that  it was a nice big 21" Flounder!  this fish puts John in 2nd place in The Anglers Mark 2014 Bragging Rights Tournament-Flounder Category(scroll down right side of this report for standings).  We then made a run around to Lanceford Creek to fish some dock pilings.  We picked up another small Flounder.  We fished some flooded oysters further up the creek then again ran around to fish the outside of Tiger.  Although it was some tough fishing both John and I agreed that it was a beautiful afternoon and a lot better than sitting behind a desk! With that, we counted it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Fish'n and a Tour

Yesterday morning I was able to get out on the water with Mike Polcari for a couple of hours of  fishing. We made our first stop just on the outside of Tiger Island on the very first of an outgoing tide.  Mike's first cast netted a nice Seatrout!  He was tossing a live mud minnow under a float rig , got a bite here and there, and landed two more hungry Seatrout. We made a run up to fish the Jolley Bank, this time fishing minnows on a jig, and Mike picked up a couple of feisty Redfish.  We then returned to the dock and picked up Mike's wife Susan and did a tour of the north end of Amelia Island.  We cruised Old Town Fernandina, Burbank Net Shop, Fort Clinch,  and Cumberland Island (and saw a few wild horses).  We eased up into Beach Creek and were treated to a variety of bird sightings including Egret, Blue Heron and Rosette Spoonbills.  After swinging by Tiger Island we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Slot Redfish Make the Day

You may have noticed in the Reports that we've been catching fish the last few days but haven't been getting any "big" ones!  But today turned the tide on that subject!  I met Sal Digenario, his daughter Kasen and his nephew Logan down at the Atlantic Seafood dock this morning and we headed up river to fish the outside of Tiger Island with float rigs and mud minnows on a high and outgoing tide.  As it has been, it wasn't long before the anglers were getting bites.  Kasen led the charge and landed a nice hungry
Seatrout.  We moved around to a creek inlet and Logan picked up a feisty Redfish.  We caught a couple of those then headed over to the Jolley River and again had some decent bites.  Sal got on the board with a hungry Bluefish then we moved back to the mouth of the river and began a slow troll of the marsh grass and now exposed oysters.  Almost immediately the anglers began to get bites.  They landed a couple of small Redfish then Sal had a strong hookup and this was a bigger fish, FISH ON!  He played the fish patiently and after a good battle landed a nice Slot Redfish!  Shortly after that Sal
put a keeper sized Flounder in the boat to round out the group's Amelia Island Back Country Slam.  Kasen was staying neck-and-neck in the fish count total as we had a good bite for a while there.  We made one final stop around at the expose logs of Tiger and here Sal put one more Slot Redfish in the boat.  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Variety of Fish

We had another beautiful morning today when I met Katie and Derrick McDaniel and Derrick's mom Reba down at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina for an Amelia Island Back Country fishing trip.  We had a baitwell full of mud minnows and we headed up river to fish the outside of Tiger Island on a high and outgoing tide.  It didn't take long to begin getting bites and Derrick was quick to land a feisty Redfish, then another.  Reba got in on the action when she caught a hungry Seatrout.  The anglers had a good many small bites before we pulled the trolling motor up and headed up to fish a
large runout in the Jolley River.  Again we had a bunch of bites that cut the minnows in half (probably Blues) then the anglers tangled with a couple of high flying Ladyfish.  Derrick had the hot hand for the day and landed a couple of more feisty Redfish.  We moved down to fish Jolley Bank and Reba caught a nice keeper sized Whiting out deep, on a minnow!  We caught some more bait then headed around to fish some docks in Bell River.  Reba had a strong hookup that began to rip line out with no stopping in mind.  I got the boat turned around and headed in its direction but the big fish just kept on going and spooled the reel...and popped off!  We speculated that it was probably a big shark, but who knows?  With that, we called it a day, another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Strong Start to the Week

We started the week off with a strong start in the "fish catching category".  I was fishing with Ron Cerniglia and his son, Sam, again after having met down at the Atlantic Seafood dock here on Amelia Island.  We headed all the way up to fish a large outflow on the first of an outgoing tide with live minnows under float rigs.   I think the first cast we got a good bite and for about an hour and a half the anglers would catch a fish here and there.  Ron got things going with a feisty Redfish or two then Sam picked one up too. 
Both Ron and Sam landed some slashing Bluefish and then Ron put a very nice Seatrout in the boat.  We picked up a couple of more Redfish then moved back to fish Jolley Bank.  The conditions were almost perfect with the oysters beginning to show on the falling tide, very little wind, and slightly overcast.  But the fish weren't cooperating!  Luckily Sam was able to bail us out with a hard fighting Jack Crevalle.  We made our next stop around at the MOA.  Here, Ron had a good bite but no takers then Sam reeled in a feisty Redfish.  Dark clouds were forming and heading our way so we ran back to fish the small jetties at Fort Clinch.  But we had only been there a short time when we realized the rain storm was going to hit us so we ran for shelter and made it just in time to wrap up another great day of fishing here at Amelia Island!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

One Minnow One Slam

I wrapped my week up this morning fishing with Bob and Tom Owensby who brought along their wives Anne and Betty Lane,  for moral support, cheering squad, fly swatters, and all around good luck!  We ran up to Eagans Creek to fish the dock pilings with just a couple of hours of outgoing tide left.  The anglers were tossing mud minnows on jigs up to the dock pilings and even though it took a little longer than I expected for the bite to turn on, turn on it did!  Tom knocked the "skunk" off the boat with his first fish, a nice Slot Sized Redfish!  From then on the two fishermen picked up a fish
here and there - a lot of smaller Reds but a few in the Slot, three total, and a handful of hungry Seatrout.  The docks kept them busy and when the tide hit bottom we pulled up and ran around to fish the banks of Jolley River.  As I thought, we had a some good bites and both Tom and Bob landed umpteen fish.  The two had put 3 keeper sized Flounder in the boat to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam for each of them but then Bob landed a Redfish, then a Trout, then a Flounder, all on one minnow to initiate a new category:  The One Minnow Slam!  But it wasn't all about Bob!  We had a great time on the water, landing some quality fish, and wrapped up a great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fish Catch'n a Little Better

It seems like the fish bite is getting just a little better the last few days.  It may be due to the moon phase or the water being a little cooler, but we've had some pretty good trips lately.  I fished with Greg Adams, his son Chris, and their friend and work mate Kent today.  We met at the Altantic Seafood dock and headed up river to fish the dock pilings of Eagans Creek with jigs and mud minnows on the last of an outgoing tide.  It only took a few casts before the anglers were hooking up but the fish were big enough to burrow
back into the pilings and break themselves off!  But young Chris was up to the challenge and when he had a strong hookup he worked the big fish out and then patiently played it until he landed a nice Slot Redfish!  The two other anglers joined in and we caught fish for a good 2 hours - Redfish and some small Seatrout.  Many of the Reds were undersized but both Greg and Chris worked through them and were able to put a few more Slot Sized fish in the boat.  When the bite slowed we made a run up to the Jolley River and here Kent's rod heated up.  He was working the back of the boat and landed a good handful of feisty Redfish, a nice Seatrout, and a keeper sized Flounder to get his Amelia Island Back Country Slam.  Both Greg and Chris picked up fish too.  It was a good stretch of water with plenty of bites but not too many in the keeper size.  We made one last stop at Tiger Island before heading in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Florida Halibut?

I think these two guys were playing hooky from work but they picked a great day to do it!   I had met Tom Gaslin and his buddy Steve Foss at the Atlantic Seafood dock in downtown Fernandina Beach and we headed north and up to the Jolley River to fish with mud minnows and shrimp and jigs on the first of an incoming tide.  We fished a good stretch without any bites until Steve had a good hookup and, FISH ON!  He played the fish perfectly on the light tackle TFO rod and Shimano Stradic 1000 reel.  The fish put up a good fight but Steve was up to it and landed a nice Slot Redfish.  We continued to fish the area and the bite picked up as the tide really began to come in.  The anglers landed a few small but feisty Redfish, tangled with some high flying Ladyfish, outsmarted a few Croaker, and then put a keeper sized Flounder in the boat.  We made a run around to Tiger Island and fished the downed logs with not a whole lot of action.  But we worked the area thoroughly and began to get a bite here and there.  Tom had a couple of just slightly undersized Reds, Steve picked up another in the Slot and just as we were about to leave Steve felt something walking off with his minnow.  He even pointed it out to Tom and I and as he tightened his line and set the hook, he had the fish!  But the fish must have had a big ego because it didn't seem to believe it was "caught"!  Steve worked the fish patiently and when it came to the surface, he said, "It's a Flounder", and then "IT'S BIG!"  It wasn't until we got it in the boat that the big 26.5" Flounder realized that it had been caught and began to go wild.  This fish put's Steve firmly in first place in the 2014 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament - Flounder Category (scroll down right side of this report for standings)  and is the biggest Flounder to date ever caught on the Anglers Mark!  Now that's the way to wrap up a fishing trip here at Amelia Island, Florida!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Beast Spooled Us

We had a great morning today to fish.  I could tell the humidity wasn't very high as I was hooking up and loading the boat.  I met Jim Petchar and his son Hunter down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp and we made the run up Broward Island to make our first stop, fishing with jigs and live shrimp on the first of an incoming tide.  The first spot wasn't so "hot".  The two anglers were working their baits perfectly but all we were able to catch were a couple of Croaker and a Catfish!  We then ran to Broward Island and here the
tide was still going out.  I think it was Jim's first cast up to the bank and BOOM! FISH ON!  This was a big fish!  It ran deep a couple of times and I was standing next to Jim watching the spool starting to show under the line!  We took a chance and tightened the drag just a bit and Jim worked it closer and closer to the boat.  It ran deep a couple of more times but Jim finally subdued the beast and we netted a nice 26.5"  "tournament" Redfish!  Boy what a fish!  We continued to fish the bank and Hunter landed a keeper sized Flounder, a feisty 9-spot Redfish and a couple of hungry Seatrout to claim his own Amelia Island Back Country Slam.  Jim made it a "Grande Slam" when he put a hard fighting Black "puppy" Drum in the boat.  They each picked up a couple of small Redfish then we made a run back to Seymore's Pointe and set up along the rocks to fish with float rigs and live shrimp.  It took a few minutes but when the Snapper turned on, boy did they turn on!  The two anglers landed one after another and after an hour of fishing had their limit of Snapper up to 16".  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!