Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Mangroves Make The Day

 We probably had the prettiest day today that we've had in the last two weeks! I had met Bart Mathews down at Sawpit Creek on a tide that was low and just starting in - we had clear skies and just a very little breeze as we headed up the intercoastal. We made our way up to the mouth of Jackstaff and turned into the current and began pitching jigs and live shrimp. We got all excited when Bart had a good "hookup", thinking it might be a Flounder by the way it was fighting, but as it got closer we saw it was a determined Blue Crab, which we netted and released. After bringing in a small Catfish Bart again got some excitement going with a bigger fish which he played expertly to the boat, only to find it was a bigger Catfsih!

We ran thru Horsehead and over to some docks at Seymore's and fished the pilings out of the stern. Here Bart hooked and landed a handful of Mangrove Snapper, a couple of which were of keeper size, and he also battled a feisty Black "puppy" Drum to the boat.

Our next stop was down at Broward Island, fishing the first of an incoming tide. He caught and landed another keeper Mangrove, then we moved down the way, worked it thoroughly , then moved on. Back at Pumpkin Hill we drifted float rigs long and did pick up one small but feisty Redfish, then we continued back down the river to some rocks at Nassauville where Bart finished his limit on Mangroves. We started culling smaller ones and ended up with a nice catch of the Mangroves, good enough for "Fish Tacos"!

Our final stop was over at Twin Creeks, drifting floats and after landing another Ladyfish, Bart finished the day off with a feisty Flounder catch. We had had some pretty good action, had caught a variety of fish (and crab), so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Monday, June 24, 2024

Grandad and his Grandson

 It always makes my heart warm when I see a grandparent taking their grandchildren fishing and today was just such a day. I still have vague memories of fishing in Lake Sante Fe with my Grandfather - we were Crappie fishing, on the bottom, out deep, with minnows. I don't remember if we caught anything, but I do remember the trip. I met Len Pelletier and his grandson Scott down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp in a light drizzle of rain but as we headed up the intercoastal and into the Nassau it slacked off and stopped. 

We pulled up at Spanish Drop and turned into the tide that had been coming in for about an hour. The oyster shell were still exposed so we started off with jigs and live shrimp, working the bank slowly as we eased into the current. Things started off positive with a couple of good bites, but they never took, so we moved on.

Our next stop was up at Seymore's Point, fishing some dock pilings. Scott was on the stern and he got hot catching fish!  He first landed a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum, then added two ore to his catch (all fish caught today were released). Len picked up a Seatrout out deeper then Scott was catching some nice, keeper sized Mangrove Snapper.. They also added a small Seabass, a Jack Crevalle and a Pinfish to the variety.

We bumped around and fished some rocks at Nassauville and again caught some very healthy Mangroves Then we had a stronger hookup - Scott was on the Rod - he played it perfectly and after a good battle landed a Slot sized 12 Spot Redfish, probably enough to place in most Redfish Spot Tournaments.  We moved down the way, fished between a couple of docks to no avail, then made run down to Pumkin Hill and drifted floats. Not much was happening there.

Our final stop, after running thru Horsehead, was over at the mouth of Jackstaff. The duo added a couple of Ladyfish catches and another Seatrout catch to their variety. The sun had come out, we had some action here and there, so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida 

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Jacks Rule

 We did our third windy day in a row today when I met John Cipriani and his brother David out at
Goffinsville Park. The wind stayed in the 15-17mph range - I'm about over it! But the Cipriani brothers were up to the challenge so we first headed over to Pumpkin Hill and fished a stretch of flooding marsh grass on a tide that still another hour or so of coming it. Drifting float rigs the duo put a handful of hard fighting Jack Crevalle in the boat. 

After moving around the corner we caught another Jack or two but then John hooked up with something strong - he expertly battled it and brought it to the net, a feisty Black Tip Shark.  We worked that area pretty good and despite the wind John and David were getting pretty good casts to the marsh line.  After running back to Seymore's we fished a large drainage and dueled with what turned out to be smaller Mangrove Snapper. 

We then ran thru Horsehead and over to Pompano Point, fished it pretty good, added a small Catfish to the catch then came back over to Jackstaff and fished another drainage, this time to no avail. Back thru Horsehead we went and down to Twin Creeks where we switched to jigs and shrimp and this did the trick. I think David's first cast produced a bite, he hooked it up, and landed a hungry Seatrout. We fished there, further east at a drainage, and then finished up down at Spanish Drop and added a couple of more Trout to the catch total, and another Jack. Then wind had been a challenge, but we made the most of it so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Down To The Wire


We've got some wind kicking here at Amelia Island! When I spoke to Andew Perrin last evening I warned him that we'd be bucking the wind today if they wanted to give it a try. But he and his son Sam were willing to brave the wind so we met up at Old Town Bait and Tackle and after easing out of Eagans Creek we already had 15mph winds. We made our way over to Lanceford and to Soap Creek and fished a drainage with the winds at our back, tossing float rigs with live shrimp on a high tide that had reached it's peak. I don't think we had a nibble. 

We moved around the corner, fished a grassy island, then came back and fished between a couple of docks with the floats. We may have had a bobber go under a couple of times - it was hard to tell with the chop! After running thru that chop, back towards Fernandina, we turned down the intercoastal and made our way down the river to fish some structure with jigs down on the bottom. Here we did get some bites here and if we were keeping score, the fish won!  Sam did manage to put two nice keeper sized Mangrove Snapper in the boat.

After fishing back around Piney Island with only a few nibbles to show for it, we made our way back to Fernandina and found a somewhat sheltered spot out of the wind and went back to the float rigs with just short time to fish. Sam had made an excellent cast up near some rocks when his float disappeared - he tightened up and let the circle hook set and Fish On!  Sam played it expertly, battled it when it ran, and in a short while landed a nice 20" Slot Redfish. And only minutes later it was Andrew's turn to battle the big fish. His was ripping drag and digging down river then it would turn and head for the structure. Andrew would work it out, it'd go deep, then head back for the structure. Andrew stayed patient, worked it out and eventually landed an Oversized 27.5" Redfish, boy what a fish!  We photographed and tagged and released this fish, see Grey Fish Tag Research  and enter GFR62498 to follow.

To top things off, we were treated with a sighting of Manatees that came up in front of the boat!  With that, we headed back to the ramp and counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Limited By The Wind


I know it's difficult to tell conditions when were at our homes - we see the flags flapping and the trees swaying and think, "this is such a nice day"  but when you get out on the river with 17-18 mile/hr it can make for some difficult fishing, even in the back water. I was hoping we'd have an early window of lower winds this morning when I met Charlie Dickens, his brother-in-law Nick Pucci and Nick's son Chris down at Sawpit Creek boat ramp. We ran up the intercoastal and all the way around to Pompano Point and set up tossing float rigs with live shrimp on a tide that had just started out. Although we did have a good bite on the first cast, the wind blowing in our face was pushing our baits off the grass and we were getting zero drifts. After trying on the other side of a point with no luck, we moved on. 

Our next stop, after running thru Horsehead, was over at a large drainage at Seymore's Point and here we had some action with what turned out to be Mangrove Snapper. All three anglers had their patience tried, but it was Chris who hooked up and landed a nice keeper sized Mangrove. The trio added a few more smaller fish, and Nick landed a slippery Catfish. 

That wind was kicking as we made our way down the Nassau but when we got to Broward Island it was somewhat blocked. We fished it good with jigs - Chris put a Flounder in the boat that would have been legal a couple of years ago, then Charlie added another Mangrove to the box. 

Our final stop was down the Nassau, fishing Twin Creeks where we had a small Flounder caught, then further down at a drainage Chris had the strongest bite of the day!  He played it like a pro as it took him from bow to stern and with the drag ripping, he kept the pressure on and soon landed a nice 20" Slot sized Redfish. Now that's perseverance! We headed back to the ramp and counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Monday, June 17, 2024

Slam at First Spot


I was back to work today, fishing with Chris Sneed and his buddy Chuck, meeting them up at the Old Town Bait and Tackle boat ramp early. We eased out of Eagans and then ran up to the outside of Tyger and set up a drainage to pitch jigs and minnows on a tide that had been going out for just and hour. It didn't take long before we got bites then Chris put a Flounder in the boat, then a Seatrout, then a Redfish to get a Slam started right out of the gate. He added another Flounder there before we moved on. 

Around the corner along Jolley "bank" we tossed float rigs with mud minnows and live shrimp and here Chuck got on the board with a feisty Redfish catch.  After fishing that stretch and catching a Bonnethead and Bluefish,  we moved up to Slip Creek, fished it a bit with floats, then eased on up to Snook Creek and fished it. We caught a couple of small Redfish then moved on. 

Around at Bell River we fished a deep area for a bit with the jigs, then moved in closer and fished the
some dock pilings Chris found a hot spot that produced three Flounder, one after the other. After moving down a dock he added another Flounder, this one a ice 18" keeper. The wind had picked up so we made a long run back to Fernandina and got in behind Rayonier warehouse which stopped the wind, but we had no luck. But as we eased around it Chris had a strong hookup and put a fat keeper sized Mangrove Snapper in the boat. We worked that bank, got another Flounder, then moved up to some rocks at Cooks where Chris caught a feisty keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum. After Chris put one more Flounder in the boat (I think we had caught 7-8 during teh trip) we headed back to the ramp and counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Flounda Pound'n

Kinda of a weird fishing day today!  I met Bob Blalock out at Goffinsville Park early and I skipped across the river to the mouth of Back River and we fished float rigs on a tide that had been going out a few hours - the oysters were showing. Bob commented that this was the spot where we really "tore them  up" a year ago, but not today. We worked the bank pretty good, fished around some small oyster beds, but had not a bite.

I stopped back at a sandbar and we tried to get drifts with the float and here we were seeing good amounts of bait being popped, but we had no takers on our mud minnows. We then ran down the Nassau to Twin Creeks and with the "skunk" beginning to waft over the boat, we fished the two drainages with jjgs. Still not getting bites we began to work along the bank, tossing to the exposed shell beds but also "trolling" a minnow on a jig off the stern. And that did the trick! We hooked up and landed a nice 19.5" Flounder. Using the same method of tossing the jig up to the bank but letting it troll behind the boat produced two more keeper sized Flounder in just a few minutes. One of those came unhooked right at the boat but a quick scoop before it knew it was loose brought it in!

We fished a drainage further down and caught a couple of Catfish, then moved down to Spanish Drop and worked that bank. Bob had made an excellent cast up into a pocket, at a small drainage  and BAM! He hooked up the old fashioned way!  Bob patiently worked it to the boat and landed another 19" Flounder. 

The wind was picking up but the tide was right at the bottom so we made our way down to Broward Islanda and fished the logs. Unfortunately that wind was rocking us a bit but Bob did manage to find a  feisty  Black "puppy" Drum to land. After fishing Pumpkin Hill for a bit we headed back to the ramp with a nice mess of Flounder and counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Mother Of All Pays Off

 I was back up north for the first time in about a week, fishing with Bob Blalock out of Old Town Bait and
Tackle an a tide that still had about an hour to hit bottom. The water was like glass as we left the mouth of Eagans Creek and headed north and west up to the Jolley - we made a "Bee-line" for the MOA (mother-of-all) spot and set up with jigs and live shrimp and minnows.

It was crazy. Their was bait everywhere, moving around, getting "popped", rolled, and spit at  Wakes were moving in and around the oyster beds and we had a Tarpon rolling back behind us. Bob was making excellent casts and it soon paid off - he hooked up and landed a Slot Redfish.  After picking up a keeper sized Seatrout (all fish caught today were released), he had another strong bite -set the hook and, Fish On!  Bob played it perfectly as it bulled deep around the boat. It made a run towards the bow, then the stern, then under the boat, but Bob kept the pressure on and eventually landed another Slot Red, bigger than the first. 

We picked up a couple of more Reds, fished thru the change in tides, then moved on. Back around at Snook Creek we worked the bank but the wind had picked up and was pushing against the bank so we ran down to the the "bank", fished a runout and here Bob picked up another Redfish. WE fished the entire bank and had one small flounder to the boat for a quick release.

I had planned to fish the outside of Tyger but that NE wind was just a tad too much so we went around to the logs and fished them. Bob had two more Flounder bites, both just a bit undersized. Our final stop was over at Bell River where we added one more Seatrout to the fish catch total. The day had started out beautiful, we had some good action early, so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing her at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Flounder Sandwiches, Plural

 I fished the Barker boys, Jim and his son Harris, meeting them down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early, and after running up the Nassau, we made a stop at Spanish Drop and fished the very last of an outgoing tide with jigs and live shrimp and mud minnows.  They worked that bank pretty good and did battle with a couple of Bonnethead Sharks. After moving up the river and fishing a large drainage they caught a handful of small but feisty Redfish, then Jim put a nice 17"+ keeper sized Flounder in the boat perfect for a couple of "Flounder Sandwiches".  When we moved on up to Twin Creeks we added another keeper Flounder and had a Manatee drive by.

Our next stop was down at Broward Island where the duo caught another keeper Flounder. Harris outsmarted a feisty Sheepshead and then they added a keeper sized Mangrove Snapper to the box. We fished Pumkin Hill and boated a small Black Tip Shark, added another Jack, and then caught a keeper sized Seatrout. 

After fishing Seymore's Pointe but only getting some hand sized Mangroves, we ran thru Horsehead, floated baits, to no avail, then switched back to jigs. After putting two Catfish in the boat Harris hooked and landed the fourth keeper Flounder. We wrapped things up over in the Nassau, then headed back to the ramp, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Mixed Bag Makes For Great Trip

Amelia Island

I was back to fishing today after meeting the Hutchens Fishing Team - Dan and B and their daughter Zoey down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early. We made a quick run up the intercoastal, up the Nassau, and pulled up at Spanish Drop and worked the exposed bank of shell at the last of an outgoing tide. Dan and B were getting bites were and there but no takers which left the "skunk knocking off" to Zoey - she had a good hookup and expertly brought it to the boat - a nice keeper sized 17" Flounder!

We moved up the river a quarter mile, fished a drainage and here Dan caught and landed a feisty Redfish.  After making our way up to some docks at Seymore's, we pitched to the pilings and here B go on the board by landing a keeper sized Mangrove Snapper and she also added to her catch total with small Black "puppy" Drum catch. Our next run was down to Broward Island, and after making a "pit" stop at one sandbar to toss jigs in hopes for a Flounder, we made it to the island on the first of an incoming tide where Dan promptly hooked up and landed a Slot sized Redfish. We fished that bit then moved down to the other end and sure enough, B hooked up and landed another Slot Redfish. 

Our next stop was back at Pumpkin Hill and this saw us some action. Dan, drifting long, had a strong take and when the hook set the drag began to rip! Dan played it patiently, worked it to the boat, and landed the largest Jack Crevalle of the year, boy what a fish! Zoey followed along with her float and BAM! Fish On! She worked it to the net and landed a keeper sized 17" Trout. Dan battled a Bonnethead for a bit and brought it in for pictures and release, then B had her shot at good fish, played it perfectly and added another keeper Trout to the box. 

We finished the day over at Twin Creeks, drifting floats and here B had here on Battle Royal with a Bonnethead. She and Dan both caught high flying Ladyfish then Dan added one more big Mangrove Snapper to the box. We had caught a good variety of fish and as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.