Monday, January 16, 2017

Quick Start

Wow what a pretty day today! It was dead calm and the water was like glass when I met Ed Boner and  his two sons Nolan and Landon. We made a short run over to Tiger Island and fished the first of an incoming tide with jigs and live shrimp. It was a good move - Nolan's first cast to the bank was hookup and, FISH ON! We could tell that this was a big fish by the way the drag was ripping, but he took his time and played the fish patiently, letting it run when it wanted to run - and slowly worked it to the boat to land a nice 22"+ Slot Redfish! First cast! That woke us up fast! We got
the other two anglers fishing and in just a short while Nolan put another feisty Redfish in the boat. I was thinking, "here we go", but it was not to be. The anglers had a ton of "nibblers" (Landon was the only one with enough skill to hook one) and Ed was able to put a hungry Seatrout in the boat that was right at the size limit. We fished the area thoroughly but had no more fish. The tide was getting up we ran around to Bell River and fished a point of flooding oysters with float rigs, and again, just nibblers. Back to the outside of Tiger and same thing. We made one final run over to Lanceford Creek, fished some dock pilings with no luck, and wrapped up back over the oysters fishing floats and live shrimp. Again, no luck. But it was an absolutely beautiful day and a great one to be out on the water fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dock Pilings Are The Trick

I wrapped the week up fishing an afternoon trip today, taking advantage of the last of an outgoing tide. After meeting John Tonetti and  his friend Wayne down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp we ran up the Nassau River with plans to fish the same docks that I fished yesterday - where we had an outstanding Redfish catch. After "anchoring" the trolling motor the two anglers began to pitch to some pilings in 10' of water. I think it was the first cast and, FISH ON! Now that's the way to start a fishing trip. Wayne patiently worked the fish in and landed a nice feisty Redfish. John followed that up with one of his on, then they combined for a couple of more. We bumped down a dock or two and again, found fish. They were up under the dock and we lost one or two but we won a few. They landed two Slot Sized Reds and one keeper sized Seatrout, along with a smaller one. The bite slowed so we ran down to Broward Island and fished the very last of the outgoing tide, and had no luck. We made one last stop over in Jackstaff with the sun going down and the breeze easing off - a absolutely great time to be out on the water - but again, no real bites.  All this week the Redfish have been under the docks. It was a great way to wrap up another week of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Beautiful Day. Redfish on Fire.

Wow what a beautiful day! We postponed yesterday’s trip to 10am to take advantage of the first of an outgoing tide. I met the young Isaacson group down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp – Alison and Zander and Nathan and Abigail. We ran up the interoastal waterway and into Jackstaff with plans to fish a large marsh runout with live shrimp under float rigs. The water was like glass as the anglers began to toss their baits…but we had very little action until Alison hooked up and landed a feisty Bluefish. We crossed over the creek and trolled the marsh grass fishing with both float rigs and jigs on the bottom, but had no real bites. After a run through Horsehead we set upstream from a dock at Seymore’s Pointe and this did the trick. Alison put nice Seatrout in the boat then Zander had a bite and, FISH ON! This was a big fish. It ripped drag and took line and I saw it roll up waaaay out in the marsh. But Zander was up to the challenge and applied the pressure and slowly worked it in. This fish was wiley. It ran towards the boat and for few seconds we thought it was off but Zander reeled in the slack and FISH BACK ON! After a good battle Zander landed a nice 26” “Tournament sized” Redfish. Boy what a fish! We continued to fish the area and picked up a good handful of feisty Redfish and another Trout or two, then Zander put another big Redfish in the boat. After a while we bumped down to another dock and the fish catching continued. All four anglers got in on the action. Abigail put a couple of Slot sized fish on the boat, Nathan had a couple, and Alison caught some, too. When the bite slowed we moved down a few docks to “Margaret’s Secret Spot” and BOOM! Fish on. Alison picked up the biggest Trout of the day, a nice 17” one (ALL fish were released today) and then all of the anglers were catching fish.  A good handful of Reds were caught and a couple more Trout with Abigail landing one of those. Again, the bite slowed, and with just minutes to go we moved back to a previous dock and sure enough, caught a few more Reds, a couple which were “slots” and Nathan’s being the biggest! Boy what a day!  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

High Tides Low Tides

Boy what a pretty day we had today! We couldn't have asked for anything better when I met Chip and Cori Slaughter up at the Dee Dee Bartels boat ramp at 8am -sunshine and just a slight breeze. We made a run up to the Jolley River over water that was like glass and eased into Snook Creek to fish a very high and just outgoing tide. Chip was at the stern drifting a float and live shrimp back over  some hidden oysters while Cori was on the bow tossing a jig and shrimp up current and then bouncing it on the bottom. We only had
a few nibbles there so we dropped back and trolled a grass line with the float rigs and this did the trick when Chip had a good bite and landed a hungry Seatrout. I was thinking, "here we go", but that may have jinxed us because we had no more bites. We moved down to the mouth of the Jolley, fished the "Bank" both with floats and jigs, but had no real bites. So I'm thinking, "go to Tiger and fish the downed logs", which we did, but had no fish. We'd fished flooded oysters, marsh grass, downed longs and not much to show for it so we made a run around to Lanceford Creek and found some dock
pilings to fish...and that did the trick. Both Chip and Cori caught a handful of Seatrout with jigs down the bottom. On our way out of Soap Creek it was so shallow we had to push the boat over a sandbar, but we made it! And at the mouth we were treated to a pod of 5-6 dolphin cruising by, which made for another great day to be out on the waters here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Less Windy Makes for Better Trip

George and Margaret Isaacson and I made the decision to skip fishing yesterday due to somewhat higher winds and plan to go today, which we did, and it turned out to be a good call. We had slight winds to about 7mph, sunny skies and it warmed up nicely to come out of jackets. We made our first run from Sawpit Creek up the Amelia River and into Jackstaff with plans to fish the bank with float rigs and live shrimp on an tide that had been going out a few hours. The oysters were just beginning to show. Both anglers were making great casts to the bank as we eased along but we had  not takers. We jumped across the creek and fished the deep side of a sandbar with jigs and shrimp and again, nor real bites. After a quick run through Horsehead we eased up to some docks at Seymore's Pointe and presented our jigs and shrimp to the pilings. Again, no fish. Ouch. We dropped down and fished another dock and here we "got the skunk off". You had to have your bait right up next to the pilings and if you got it there, FISH ON!  Both George and Margaret hooked up with a good handful of feisty Redfish and Margaret put one Slot sized fish in the boat. When the bite slowed, we moved down a few docks, pitched up underneath, and BOOM! Redfish on! George had the hot hand early, landing one after the other, then Margaret squeezed in and caught a few for herself. When that finally slowed we fished Bubblegum Reef then made one quick stop at Twin Creeks before we headed in and counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Beautiful Day Fishing Amelia Island

You couldn't ask for a better fishing day. I had met Mark Komorowski and his friends Phil and Colin down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp this morning. It was just cool enough for a light jacket and their was just a slight  breeze when we headed up the Nassau River with plans to fish some dock pilings on the last hour of an outgoing tide. It was a good call because the first cast produced a  nice feisty Redfish, which Mark reeled in expertly. We picked up a Trout at that first dock, moved back to another and
things really heated up. All three anglers were catching fish - Phil landed a feisty Red and Colin picked up a couple of Trout out deep. We bounced down another couple of docks, had no bites, then went back to the "hot" dock - and caught more fish. Colin had the biggest fish on - this one ripping drag and digging deep, and Colin had the rod bent, trying to keep it out of the pilings. But to no avail. Those big Reds didn't get big by being stupid! He wrapped around a piling, the line went taut, and BAP! Fish Off! But we were catching fish so it was chalked up as "the big one that got away".  We ran
down to Broward Island, fished some logs, and Mark found some Trout down deep on his jig and shrimp combo. We got a handful of them, another Red, then made one last stop back at Twin Creeks. Colin landed a couple of Trout on a float rig and Phil wrapped it up when  he put one more Redfish in the boat. With that, we called it day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Non Stop Action Kicks Off New Year

My first trip back to "work" after the New Year was one of those banner days of fish catching! I had met Chris Niewold and his long time fishing buddy John up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park and boat ramp and we had motored over to the Bell River to fish the first of an incoming tide with jigs and live shrimp. Wouldn't you know, the "demo cast" produced a nibble and so I quickly handed it off to John, who gave it a second, then set the hook, and FISH ON! And it was a big one, to!  John played it patiently as it ripped drag and dove deep- he kept the pressure on and let the rod do the work and
after a good battle landed a nice 24" Slot Redfish. First Cast. Big Fish. Now that's the way to start the day! Then both anglers were getting bites. We moved up and down the bank and it wasn't unusual for the to have a "double" going. Chris had stayed with a spot and he too had a strong hookup. His fish was pulling drag but wanted to stay deep and sure enough, after hard fought battle, Chris landed a big 20" Black "puppy" Drum. We caught fish for 3 hours, landing a whole herd of small "feisty" Redfish, with a couple of Slot sized one's to go along with those. They caught a good handful of the Black Drum, with four of them being of keeper size, and Chris found that he could fish deep along the channel edge and pick up keeper sized Seatrout, the biggest being 19.5" - a nice fish. Being that it was such a great day, they both deserve to claim Anglers Mark 2017 Bragging Rights for biggest fish caught, even if it was the first trip of the year! (Scroll down right side of this report for standings). It was a great way to kick off 2017 fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Great Trip to Wrap up the Year

Although the day started out somewhat "cool", it warmed up nicely and made for a great day of fishing. I had the pleasure of fishing today with the Tesiero's - Don and Kelley and their growing kids Trey and Marie and we met at the Dee Dee Bartels boat ramp. I hadn't fished "Temptation Cove" in quite a while but the tide was right for it today - high and incoming - so we buzzed down the river and eased into the cove to fish the flooded grass with float rigs and live shrimp. And got not a bite. Ouch. We then ran up Lanceford
Creek and around to my favorite grass patch and here Marie got things started when she hooked up a hungry Seatrout. Then all the anglers were finding fish, tossing their baits out to drift over some flooded oysters, and catching Seatrout. When the bite quite we ran around to Bell River and fished a point, and again Marie put a Trout in the boat.  I had plans to run through Tiger and fish the outside as the tide started out but I couldn't resist stopping at the logs and I'm sure glad we did! Leave it up to Marie - she found a nice feisty Redfish. Trey had been making pinpoint casts all morning long and
here he went in right along side a log and caught the only Black "puppy" Drum of the day. We moved down the island and just when I thought the bite was done, BOOM, FISH ON! BOOM another fish on!  Don had a big one that was ripping line with no plans to come in and Marie had another at the stern. She worked her fish in expertly and landed a nice Slot sized Redfish, but her dad was still battling  his. He fought it valiantly and after a good battle, brought it to the surface where Trey netted and landed a nice 26" Tournament sized Redfish, boy what a fish! We continued to fish - Trey picked up a couple of nice Reds, Marie added another Slot Redfish and then Kelley got in on the action and landed the last Redfish of the day. With that, we wrapped it up, counting it as another great day, and great year, to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Cold Day Double Slam

Boy what a cold front will do! We had shirtsleeve weather yesterday then a front moved through with high winds and rain...then we woke up to 40 degree temperatures with the wind still with us! But my trip wasn't until 1pm and by that time it had risen to the 50's and the wind was just under my "cut-off" of 15mph, and we had a Plan!  I met Jeff Sousa and his father-in-law Skip down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp and we headed up the Nassau River. The wind was blowing out of the northwest so we eased in behind Seymore's Pointe and this did the trick - the wind was
blocked enough to make for some comfortable fishing. The two anglers began to toss jigs with live shrimp to some dock pilings and it wasn't long before Jeff "knocked the skunk off" when caught and landed a feisty Redfish. He picked up a hungry Seatrout then we bounced around to the other side of the dock and here the fishing got good!  Skip put a keeper size Seatrout in the boat (all fish were released today) then Jeff had a strong bite and BIG FISH ON!  This fish was ripping drag and doing its best to get back into the pilings but Jeff kept the pressure on and after a good battle landed a nice
22" Black Drum, boy what a fish! Skip put a smaller Drum in the boat and they landed a couple of smaller Reds - they  both had a "Slam" in the first hour of fishing.  We moved on down to another dock and this one was even better! They landed feisty Redfish after feisty Redfish the it was Skip's turn for a big fish. His hookup was strong and the big fish made some drag ripping lunges deep, but it was  no match for Skip. He worked it patiently to the surface, subdued the beast, and landed a nice 26" Tournament sized Redfsih! After picking up a good handful of more Redfish, we move a few docks down and again, a bunch of Redfish, and another couple of keeper sized Black Drums. Our last stop was down at Broward Island. The tide was still going out and the two anglers added another Trout and another Redfish to the catch total. We saw a Salt Marsh Mink AND a Bald Eagle(can  you spot it in the bottom picture?) while we were there, which rounded out another great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

In Search of Redfish on a Fly

The large version
Find the Mink!
I met Keith yesterday at noon up at the Dee Dee Bartels boat ramp with plans to target Redfish with a fly rod. We didn't have a "flood" tide so I knew it would be blind casting spots that we typically catch fish with bait and spin gear. I think everybody and their brother is off this week because the parking lot was packed with trucks and boat trailers. We decided to make a long run away from the area and up the Bell River to fish some dock pilings with a weighted "Live Shrimp Fly". It wasn't long before Keith was making excellent casts to the pilings and we worked them pretty good, but had no takers. We  moved around and into the Jolley River, stopped at the MOA, fished it thoroughly, then continued on around to Snook Creek. Boy was it a pretty day! There was only a slight breeze, the tide was down to the bottom, and it was easy casting...but again no takers!  We made our final stop around at Tiger Island as the tide started back in and this did
the trick. Keith was putting the fly up on the bank and between the stumps with an intermediate sinking line and he had his first hookup, a hungry Seatrout. We bounced up and down the island and after Keith had made a spot on cast, a nice fish chased his fly down and, FISH ON! He played the fish perfectly and soon landed a feisty Redfish.  After moving one more time (and spotting a Salt Marsh Mink) Keith picked up another Trout on the fly, then we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.