Friday, November 27, 2015

The Tide Made All The Difference

I also got to fish this afternoon, this time with the Joseph family - Kevin, Philip, Elaine and their dad Mike. We had the last of an outgoing tide and we also had a baitwell full of live shrimp and mudminnows.  Our first stop was up Eagans Creek and out of the wind and it didn't take long for Philip to "knock the skunk off" the boat when he caught a hungry Seatrout, The anglers picked up another Trout or two then Kevin added a Flounder to the mix. We then ran around to Tiger Island and although it was windy and choppy in the River, when we got to Tiger we again had some comfortable fishing and the tide was just right . I think it was Philip's first cast and BOOM! Redfish on! He played the fish perfectly and landed a nice Slot sized Red. It might have been the second cast and another Red bit. From then on they were catching fish. Kevin added a Slot Red then they all began to get Seatrout, with a good handful being of "keeper" size. There were a couple of times when we had "double" hookups. Elaine persevered and put a few fish in the boat, too. We were about to wrap the trip up when
we went back to our original spot and Philip was on the rod when he had a strong hookup. This was a BIG fish! He fought the fish away from the logs as it made one strong run after the other. We got out deeper then Philip was able to subdue the beast by working it in slowly. After a good battle he landed a big Slot 23.5" Redfish. Now that's a great way to finish a fishing trip here at Amelia Island, Florida!

Flood Tide Fishing In The Wind

After taking off for Thanksgiving day it was good to be back on the water today, although it was somewhat windy, a week long condition.  I had met Brian and Amy Easley down at the City marina and we ran up Bell River to fish some flooded oyster beds with float rigs and live shrimp. Brian picked up a lone Seatrout then there wasn't much biting after that. We peeked at some flooded grass flats but there was nothing stirring so we ran around to fish a grass patch in Lanceford Creek. The tide was really up and with the wind blowing there wasn't a whole lot biting but these two anglers
were out to enjoy the being on the water. We ran over to Eagans Creek which got us out of the wind and made for some very pleasant fishing. Brian added a Seatrout then Amy got on the board with not one, but two Seatrout of her own. Although it wasn't a big morning of catching it was still a great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Trout, Trout, and More Trout

We had a huge high tide this morning which made it difficult to launch and even get to the boat, but we made it! I had met Kern and Twila Davis along with their two daughters Hanna and Sidney, down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp this morning and we headed north and west up the Amelia River to fish the Horsehead area with live shrimp under float rigs. From the start, all anglers were getting bites and hooking up with hungry Seatrout.   Young Sidney started it off with a nice Trout catch then Hanna followed that up with one of her own. It's a little unusual but we stayed in
that general area for an hour and a half but the fish were biting and these anglers were catching. They picked up a hard biting Blue fish now and then but most of the catches were Trout. We moved over into Jackstaff to get a different look and here the bite continued. I seemed like almost every marsh runout  - "dump" as my friend Tim Parker calls them- had Trout hanging around. I switched the two girls to jigs and shrimp and they picked up a Trout or two on those. We finished the day around at Twin Creeks then headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Braving The Florida Cold

We had clear and sunny skies forecast for today, but it was also our first "cold" day of the year. The thermometer in my truck showed 40 degrees (ok, I said Florida cold) as I was launching but we also had 10-12mph winds which added to the chill. But Pete Nolan and his daughter Sidney were game to go fishing so we  met down at the City marina and headed  up Lanceford Creek to fish some flooded marsh grass on the first of an outgoing tide. I think we had a Trout hookup on the first cast or two which Sidney reeled in then both anglers were getting bites. Sidney was new at fishing but she picked it right up and quickly found a nice spot to catch hungry Trout after hungry Trout while her dad slipped his bait in once in a while. Most of the Trout were on the small side but we did have one bite that ripped some drag off. Sidney played the fish patiently and soon landed a nice 18" Trout. And shortly after that she had another big bite - this fish was pulling harder - but she kept the pressure on and landed a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum. We fished the area thoroughly, picked up a few more Trout, then ran through the wind to Eagans Creek where each angler caught a Trout. Our last stop was back at Bell River then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Best Ham Sandwich Ever

Over the last ten years of my guiding "career" I've had guests bring me stuff - cigars, T-shirts, beverages and snacks. Fishing with Dale Bullard I'm almost guaranteed a good old homemade ham sandwich - glazed ham, a slice of cheese and old fashioned white bread - and I make the claim that it's the best ham sandwich ever! Today was true to form, and when Dale said he'd brought some extra ham sandwiches I thought  about them all morning long. We met down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp and with clear skies, headed
west and up the Nassau River. The weather forecast predicted that we'd have beautiful sunny skies for the day but it was also predicted to have winds of 9 mph to start with and rising to 20mph by noon, winds that can make fishing somewhat of a pain. Our first stop was at Broward Island and we found the conditions perfect with the last of an outgoing tide and only a slight wind. Dale began casting a jig and live shrimp combo to the shoreline and his first shrimp produced a nice 18"+ Slot Red! He was nibbled off on the second shrimp, but the third produced another 18" Redfish. That's the way to start a fishing trip! We fished the area up and down with Dale boating a feisty Redfish now and then and he also picked up a good handful of small but hungry Seatrout. After catching a small Black "puppy" Drum, Dale tossed to the outside of some tree limbs, let the bait fall, and BOOM, fish on!  He played the fish patiently and after a good battle landed a nice 19" toothy Sheepshead. And shortly after that he had another strong hookup. This fish was Big and made a surge to the downed logs but Dale kept the pressure on while I pulled us out to deeper water. This fish took him from bow to stern and from port to starboard and once it was in the outgoing current all Dale could do was keep the pressure on lightly.  This he did and after a good battle he landed a big 24" Slot Redfish. We fished the area thoroughly, catching another couple of Redfish and a Seatrout then we ran back to the Seymore's Pointe area. After fishing one dock where we picked up a feisty Red and a small Mangrove Snapper, we hit one last spot. Dale fished it with a jig at first and caught another couple of the Snapper and one small Grouper, then we switched to a float rig in order to fish the structure and it was Mangrover Snapper catching from then on until we needed to head back in. Two of the Snapper were a tad bit over 14" each. Although the winds had picked we found a way to stay out of it and turned out to be a great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters, and I had a great lunch of homemade ham sandwiches afterwards!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Another Big Red Starts The Day

Today was probably the prettiest day we've had in the last week - just a little cool, clear, slight breeze and sunshine as the day wore on. I had met Anthony and Cindy Alejandro down at the City marina and we headed north to fish Tiger Island on an incoming tide with live shrimp and a few mud minnows. At our first stop Anthony had a good bite that ripped his drag, but it didn't stick. Shortly after that, BOOM! FISH ON! We knew that this was a big fish because it was having nothing to do with coming to the boat. It stayed deep and tried to get up into the logs but Anthony kept the pressure on. He had a good battle that took him from the thoroughly after that, had some good bites but no takers, then ran up to the Jolley River to fish a flooded oyster bank with float rigs. Here, Cindy got on the board with a nice fat Seatrout. Our next stop was on the outside of Tiger and here things heated up. Both anglers caught a few Seatrout each and three times we had rather strong hookups but the fish must have crossed some oysters and they cut themselves off. But we stuck with it and Cindy soon landed a keeper sized Seatrout. Our last stop was over in Bell River. We had a few nibbles but no takers - the tide had gotten up in the grass - so we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Strong Start With Slot Red and Big Trout

"Breezy" is what the local weather forecasters like to call it. I always tell my customers that any wind over 10mph is going to be a "pain" but it's fishable, and that's what we had today with forecasted winds to be up around 12mph. But as it turned out, it was a very pleasant day to be out on the water, fishing with Don Norman and his dad, Don. We met out at Goffinsville Park early and with the tide still coming in, we eased on down to Broward Island to fish some downed logs before the water got up too. high. It wasn't long
before Don Sr. put a feisty Redfish on the boat, fishing with jigs and live shrimp then the younger Don put a nice  hungry Trout in the boat. He continued to pick up a handful of those small but hungry Trout then his Dad had strong hookup and, FISH ON! We could tell right off that this was going to be a big fish and it was. Don played the beast perfectly, keeping it out of the logs but staying patient. It went deep then ran to the stern and into the current to make it extra tough but after a good battle, Don landed a nice 24.5" Slot Red. And shortly after that Don Jr. had a good hookup and landed a big 18+" Seatrout. We fished the area thoroughly, picked up another Red and a couple of more Trout, then ran back to Christopher Creek. Here we had one Trout on a float rig. Our next stop was all the way over to the mouth of Jackstaff and the two anglers had a good run of catching smaller but hungry Trout.  Our last stop was back at Seymore's Pointe and although there were a bunch of nibblers, we no takers, so we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Ladies Day Out Fishing

We had the prettiest day of the week fishing today which made it just right for Karen Reimondo and her friends Kim, Valerie and Mary Ann who were visiting Amelia Island with 8 more of their lady friends. And these four were up for fishing so we met down at the Atlantic Seafood dock and made a run north to fish outside of Tiger Island with float rigs and live shrimp and mud minnows. Typical of this time of year, the anglers had bites right off and picked up a couple of Seatrout and Bluefish. We fended off the baitstealers, caught one or two more fish, then ran up to Jolley
River and a large creek runout. After getting a bite here and there they landed a couple of more Seatrout then caught a few feisty Redfish. Valerie switched to a jig and shrimp and I think it was on her first cast when she had a strong hookup, FISH ON! This fish was big and made a strong run, heading for deep water. But Valerie was up to the challenge and after a good battle that took her around the boat a couple of times, she landed a nice 2'+ long Bonnethead Shark. Our last stop was back at the mouth of the Jolley and after catching one more Redfish, the bite slowed to nothing. All four anglers were making excellent casts at the end of the day and everyone had caught fish so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Late Season Shark

After a front came through the last couple of days, we had somewhat cooler weather to fish this morning. The skies were overcast, there was some fog and mist, but the forecast called for clearing skies later in the day. I had met the Pullen family, Ken and Kathy, their son Josh and his wife Julia, down at the City marina right at the peak of a high tide. We ran north to the outside of Tiger Island and the anglers began tossing live shrimp and mud minnows under float rigs to the flooded marsh grass. I think the first couple
of casts caught Seatrout, with Julia "knocking the skunk off" the boat with the first one. They picked up a couple of more before the baitstealing Perch moved in. We crossed the river, fed the baitstealers, then Ken had a strong hookup, FISH ON! This fish was ripping drag and running straight away from the boat, just like a Shark, which we haven't caught in a month or so. Ken played the big fish expertly and after a good battle, landed a 2'+ Black Tip Shark. We ran up to the Jolley River after that and fished a large creek mouth and here things heated up. They began to catch
Seatrout again then Julia put a feisty Redfish in the boat. Kathy got on the board with another Seatrout and she quietly caught one after the other. Julia was on fire with the feisty Reds then when we switched Josh to a jig to fish the bottom, he began to catch them, too. After one excellent cast to the bank he had a stronger hookup. This Redfish was somewhat bigger and after patiently playing the fish, Josh landed a nice 19" Slot Redfish. We fished the area thoroughly, picked up a good two handfuls of Seatrout, a couple of more Reds, then we made one last stop back at Tiger Island to fish
deep around the logs. The anglers had a few bites then Ken landed a small Flounder to round out their Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Seatrout, Red Drum and Flounder. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Wrapping up a week with Reds and Trout and Snapper

I fished this afternoon with Michael Bresler, meeting him down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp with plans to run up the river to fish the Horsehead area. But our first stop was all the way down to Broward Island to catch the first of the incoming tide. Michael was tossing a fly rod early, an 8w set up with an Intermediate line and a shrimp like pattern. He was getting excellent loops and nailing shots up to the bank, in and around the logs, but we got no takers. After fishing the area thoroughly with the fly rod, we switched to mud minnows on a jig and BOOM!  Michael picked up
a Seatrout then a feisty Redfish on the first two casts! We worked up and down the logs, caught another Trout, then Michael put a nice Slot sized Redfish in the boat. Our next stop was back at Seymore's Pointe and with the oysters flooded, we eased along the marsh grass, going back to the fly. Again we had no takers, and when we went to the live bait we found a couple of Seatrout. Our next stop was around the rocks of Seymore's and here Michael found big (for our backwaters) Mangrove Snapper. We ran through Horsehead, fished another marsh line, caught the biggest Trout of the day, then we wrapped it up as the sun was going down and counted it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters.