Monday, June 27, 2016

Slam And Sharks

(Pics to come)
I fished with Chris Jones and his "boys" this morning, Alex and Andrew and son in law John, meeting them down at the City marina. We eased through the no-wake zone and made a brief stop at the mouth of Bell River to fish some exposed oysters on the last of an outgoing tide. Young Andrew put the first fish in the boat, a hungry Croaker, but that was all that we caught. We ran around to Tiger Island, fished the logs thoroughly, had no bites, then ran up to the Jolley River. Alex's first cast produced a fat and still hungry Seatrout and later Chris worked a feisty Flounder to the boat. Then Alex caught a slightly undersized Redfish and John added a Black "puppy" Drum to make it an Amelia Island Back Country Slam. We ran further up the Jolley, made a stop at Snook Creek as the tide started back in, and here John had a strong bite, and FISH ON! It was a big fish but John kept the pressure on and patiently worked it to the boat. After multiple runs and some serious patience, John landed a 3"+ Bonnethead Shark. During the commotion, Andrew caught and landed a nice Flounder. We made one more run around to Bell River Where Chris added to his catch when he landed a Seatrout then Alex wrapped things up by catching a feisty 2' Black Tip Shark. With that, we called it day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Following The Almanac

I had the pleasure of fishing the afternoon with Louis Welch again who this time brought along his wife Sue. We met down at the City marina and eased through the No Wake Zone to fish some exposed oyster beds on the last of an outgoing tide. Bait was moving and fish were blasting and it wasn't long before Louis had put a keeper sized Seatrout in the boat. He then landed a small, but feisty Flounder. We ran down to Lanceford Creek, fished a dock, and here Sue put a Seatrout in the boat and Lou landed a hard fighting and "almost legal" Black "puppy" Drum.  Then we made a long run
around to Bell River and fished some docks. We had caught fish at each spot and the sun was getting lower, we had a breeze and things just seemed "fishy". Louis told me that he and Sue had checked the Farmer's Almanac and it said this afternoon was the time to fish! We picked up a hungry Seatrout off the docks and landed another Black Drum then bounced up to another dock. Louis put his jig and shrimp between two dock pilings and BOOM! BIG FISH ON! This fish was ripping drag and staying deep and I thought for sure that he had a Bonnethead Shark. We worked our way out from the dock
pilings then Louis began to put the pressure on. I saw a big flash in the water with my Breakline Polarized sunglasses and was still thinking "shark" when it came to the surface and we saw that it was a massive Bull Redfish, measuring in at 31.5"! And boy was it thick! This fish puts Louis in 2nd place in the Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament - Redfish Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings). After getting photographs and releasing it Louis went back to the same spot and with just a few casts, FISH ON! He worked this one to the boat a little quicker and we soon netted a nice 21" Slot Red, with 9 spots. We fished for a while longer, ran around and made a brief stop at the MOA, then continued on around to Tiger Island. After a cast or two we had a hookup - Louis worked it to the boat, and landed a fat 19" Flounder. This gave the duo an Amelia Island Backcountry Slam and again, put Louis in 2nd place in the Bragging Rights Tournament - Flounder Category! We fished on and Sue got in on the action. She made an excellent cast to some logs, worked it slowly and BOOM! Another nice fish on! She played it patiently and soon landed a nice 19" Slot Red of her own. We fished the island thoroughly then headed in as the sun was getting low, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters.

Trip Saving Mangrove Snapper

We fished out of the South end today...there's not a lot of boat traffic and it was convenient for Shan Venable and his friends Bobby and Kirby to meet me there. We left the ramp and ran north up the Nassau River and with the tide just starting in, made our first stop at Bubblegum Reef. When Bobby had a strong hookup right off the bat, I was thinking, "allright! Here we go!"  He played the big fish patiently and after a good battle landed a....huge Catfish! It was a big one! Then he tangled with a Ladyfish and put a small Sea
Bass in the boat. We bounced over to some docks, fished the pilings briefly, then ran down to Broward Island. The anglers picked up a couple of small Redfish and "quick released" a Flounder at boat side. Although we had a few fish caught, it wasn't one of those days where the fish were just jumping in the boat, so we made our way back to the docks at Seymore's Pointe and set up with some float rigs. And here things got hot! The trio quickly began to put one nice Mangrove Snapper after the other in the boat. And most were 14"-15" in length, so some nice fish for our back waters. They had the catching down pat and after about an hour we limited out and moved on. Our next and final stop was over at the mouth of Jackstaff, tossing float rigs to the now flooded marsh grass. After fishing a good stretch Kirby had made a good cast to a sparse grassy area. I saw his float bob a couple of times then it slowly went under. Kirby quickly took in his slack, lifted the rod and firmly set the hook and, FISH ON! He fought the fish expertly to the boat and landed a nice 20" Slot Redfish to wrap up another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Flounder Each Day

The beautiful weather continued today when I fished with Greg and Jodi Lane out of the Fernandina Beach City marina. We made our first stop up at Tiger Island, fished it thoroughly, and Jodi finally "knocked the skunk" off the boat when she landed a nice keeper sized Flounder. We ran up to the Jolly River and fished "the  bank" with float rigs but had no real bites. We came back to the outside of Tiger and stayed with the float rigs and here Jodi put a feisty Redfish in the boat then rounded out her very own Amelia Island Back Country Slam when she caught a hungry Seatrout. Greg put a
couple of Trout in the boat before we headed over to Bell River to fish a still flooding oyster bed. He had made an excellent cast and let his float drift naturally up to a grassy point and "BOOM", he had a fish on. He worked it patiently to the boat and landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout.  We had a nice variety and a couple of keeper sized fish to round out another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Manatee Sightings

Today was the second day in a row that we've seen Manatee working the grass edge, and one was down at Sawpit Creek yesterday while today's was up around Tiger Island. I had met Joe Gasper, Adam Blanning and Adam's daughters Eliza and Megan at the City boat ramp with plans to make a run up to Tiger Island to catch the tide still coming in. The anglers were tossing shrimp and mud minnows on jigs to the pockets and even though it was an outstandingly beautiful morning...we had no bites! But we went to the outside of Tiger and switched to float rigs and they began to get fish almost immediately. Eliza was the first to hookup and it was a nice Trout. She worked it patiently to the boat and landed an 18" Seatrout (all fish were released today). Then all the anglers began to get hookups. Megan caught and reeled in a few Trout and Eliza added another couple. Adam had a Trout and also landed a Flounder. Then Joe had a strong hookup and the reel began to sing as line ripped out - this was a big fish! He fought the fish for a good while as it took him all the way around the boat. Joe let the rod do the work and after a good battle, brought to the boat a 4" Bonnethead Shark! We bounced across the river, stayed with the float rigs and Adam spotted a big mass, fins, and a nose -a Manatee working the grass. It's always fun to watch these gentle creatures and it's especially easy to see them in the water with my  Breakline Polarized sunglasses! We ran around to Bell River where Eliza landed a hard fighting Blue Fish and Adam put another Flounder in the boat, this one of keeper size. After one final stop we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Jack Crevalle On Light Tackle

We wrapped the week up fishing out of the Big Talbot Island Park where I met Paula and Dean Eldridge and their sons Malachi and Josiah. We had a little wind blowing already but we made the run up the Nassau River and made our first stop at Twin Creeks and began fishing with live shrimp under float rigs on the very first of an outgoing tide. It didn't take long before Dean's float disappeared and he had a hookup!  He worked the fish patiently to the boat and landed a nice hungry Seatrout. Then, shortly after that, I saw a splash at Josiah's float and it too disappeared and, FISH ON! Josiah
held on and began to work the fish in slowly. His mom jumped in and they teamed up on this big fish. It ran right then left and went under the boat a few times but they kept the pressure on and eventually landed a hard fighting Jack Crevalle, boy what a fight! After fishing there for a while we ran up to Seymore's Pointe and got out of the wind. Although we had a few bites we had no takers so we bounced around and hit a another dock. Here, the anglers got into some Mangrove Snapper and it was like playing "cat and  mouse" - the float would drift along, go under, and we had to be quick to hookup. But Malachi was up to the challenge and landed a handful of the sneaky fish. Dean put a nice keeper sized Snapper in the boat, too. We fished some more docks as the tide got down, ran through Horsehead and fished the mouth of Jackstaff, then headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Her First Fish

We got out to fish this morning before the storms hit...kinda! I met Brian Severin and his daughters Rhegan and Maddi down at the City marina and we headed over to Lanceford Creek to fish some flooded marsh grass on the very first of an outgoing tide. The three anglers were tossing float rigs with live shrimp and I believe it was 7 year old Maddi's first cast when she had a nibble and her float went under. She reeled in her very first fish, a hungry Seatrout! We fished there for a while, had some bites, then moved around and
fished some dock pilings. We had bites and young Maddi put another fish in the boat, this one a Croaker. The wind was kicking up somewhat so we elected to stay behind the land mass and ran around to Bell River to hit some  more docks. Here, we switched to jigs and shrimp Rhegan got in on the action when she fought to the boat a nice Stingray. Then she hooked up and landed the biggest Trout of the day. We ran around to Tiger Island and had just begun to fish when the bottom dropped out and some rather large rain drops began to fall. We picked up and ran back, got soaked on the way, but counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Daylight Topwater Fishing

We had a plan, meet early and fish the very first of a falling tide with topwater lures. I met Kye Stepp, his brother in law Matt and his father in law Tommy "Big T", down at Sawpit Creek boat ramp and we headed up to the Horsehead area to fish the grasslines. I could tell right off that these guys were anglers - they were calling their shots and making pinpoint casts to points and pockets. We worked a long stretch near Bubblegum Reef but had no real "spits" at the lures. We ran around to Jackstaff, fished another stretch and again, no bites.  I had a few shrimp left over from the day before so we switched to a jig and it wasn't long before Big T had a hookup. After patiently playing the fish, he landed a fat but hungry Seatrout. And shortly after that he landed another. We worked a bank with the jigs for a while, ran around and fished some docks at Seymore's Pointe, fished the "Snapper Hole" to use up all of our bait, then fished one more bank with jigs and plastic grubs. Although this trio of anglers fished it hard, the bite was slow, but it still was a great day to be out on Amelia Island waters.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer Time Variety

I had the pleasure of fishing today again with Paul Landahl who brought along his friend Kathy, meeting them down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp. We ran up the Amelia River and into Jackstaff and to a large marsh run out to begin fishing with float rigs and live shrimp.  The two anglers had only been fishing a short while when Paul had strong bite that bent his rod over and, FISH ON! We new it was a big fish when the drag kept ripping, but Paul kept the pressure on and soon the fish slowed. He fought it for a good while then landed a nice 4’ Bonnethead Shark. We fished that spot just a short while then jumped over and trolled another bank, to no avail. We crossed back and fished a point and here things heated up a bit. Kathy hooked up, using a jig fished deep, and landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout. Then Paul followed that up with one of his own. We had a few good bites and after Kathy picked up a Shark of her won, we ran over to some docks at Seymore’s Pointe. Tossing jigs, both Paul and Kathy had some Mangrove Snapper bites. We bounced around to another dock where Paul tangles with a high flying Ladyfish, then Kathy found her groove and began to put legal sized Mangrove Snapper in the boat. She was even able to coerce a large Blue Crab into the boat! The sun was up and we were hot so we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Hard Work Pays Off

Back to work today! I had Zach Luckie, his young son Tate, and his father in law Tommy fishing with me today. We had met at the Atlantic Seafood dock at the City marina early this morning and made our initial run over to Egans Creek to fish some docks on the last of an outgoing tide. All three anglers began to get bites right off and then they landed a handful of "almost legal" Black "puppy" Drum. Tommy had a strong hookup and he and Tate valiantly fought the big fish for a good while. After a good battle they landed a fairly large Stingray. Zach had a good hookup and he and Tate
hauled in a keeper sized Flounder. We ran over to Tiger Island and fished the logs, picking up another Puppy Drum then Zach had a good bite and with a little help from Tate, they put a nice Slot Redfish in the boat. After working the island thoroughly, we ran up to the Jolley River, fished Snook Creek and Zach landed a small, but feisty Redfish. We bumped around to the MOA, Zach found another Puppy Drum, then we made our last stop over in Bell River. The bite had slowed to almost nothing when Zach made a "bounce" cast off of a dock and BOOM, FISH ON! He applied some pressure and kept the big fish out of the pilings then Tate jumped in and together they fought and landed a big Slot Redfish, rounding out and wrapping up another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.