Tuesday, May 26, 2015

All Around Good Fishing Trip

I had a sole angler today - Tim Gula - who met me down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. The tide still had a few hours to get to the bottom so we headed up the Amelia River and turned into Jackstaff to fish the exposed oysters with live shrimp and a jig. Tim was an excellent caster and was putting his bait in perfect position but we had no takers along an entire stretch of fishing. But we moved across the creek to fish a sandbar point and found that we could go across the bar, let our jig drift with the current along the bottom and BOOM! Trout On! There was one area where you could almost
count on a bite and we caught a good "mess" of Trout ranging from 13"-15". We decided to move on in search of bigger fish and different variety so we made the run around and down to Broward Island. My "spot" was taken so we fished a little north, had some bites, picked up a small Trout, then drifted north with the tide. Then Tim had a weird bite that took his shrimp softly then, FISH ON! This was a lot bigger fish than what he thought! He played the big fish a patiently, even as it got back in the current, and after a good battle landed a big 20.5" Sheepshead! Boy what a fish! This fish put Tim into third place in the Anglers Mark 2015 Bragging Rights Tournament -Sheepshead caterogy.  Scroll down right side of this report for standings. And just a little later, Tim had another good bite and landed a fat 18.5" Trout. We picked up another couple of Trout then ran back to fish some docks at Seymore's Pointe. After landing another Trout and a keeper sized Mangrove Snapper we ran back to the dock to pick up Tim's son Wyatt and his father in law Dennis for another couple of hours of fishing and boating. We made our first stop at a different dock at Seymore's but the wind was making it difficult to fish so we moved around until we had some shelter. It wasn't long before Wyatt was reeling in a nice Snapper, then another. Later he had a stronger bite and this fish was bending the rod. But Wyatt held on and cranked in a nice feisty Redfish! We fished Jackstaff for a while then headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Monday, May 25, 2015

We Got Wet

I fished again this morning with George Bowlin who brought along his two sons Paul and Mark with plans to fish the back water during the last two hours of the falling tide. We headed up to Jolley River and fished the Bank, tossing jigs and live shrimp to the exposed oysters. All three anglers were making excellent casts but it was a slow bite. George did put a high flying Ladyfish in the boat, then a small Flounder, and a Croaker. We ran up river, fished another bank with no success then decided to run around to some docks in
Bell River. On the way we ran into a rain storm which drenched us pretty good. But it blew on by and we fished the docks. We did get some bites here and then Mark had a strong hookup, a good battle, and patiently landed a nice 20" Slot Redfish. George picked up a hungry Seatrout and then Mark landed a small Black "puppy" Drum". We ran back to fish Jolley Bank on the first of an incoming tide, picked up another small Flounder and a Croaker, then made our last stop at Tiger Island. The conditions were right and the anglers were making good casts but the fish just weren't hungry! We finally had a good bite and Paul worked in a feisty Sheepshead,.  The sun had come out and dried us out as we headed in, so we still counted it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Big Fish Here and There

We had some fairly stiff winds forecast today but other than there was no rain expected and there was no reason not to fish! I met Brad Hart and his brother Kyle and their dad Keith down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp with just few minutes of tide going out and we headed up the Amelia River to begin fishing the mouth of Jackstaff with jigs and live shrimp. There was a lot of bait movement up near the bank and Kyle did have one hookup at a marsh runout, worked the fish patiently in and as I went to net a fine keeper sized Flounder, it threw the hook! We fished the entire
bank then ran through Horsehead and around to Bubblegum Reef as the tide started back in. Again using jigs, we worked the area thoroughly, had few bites, then landed a slimy Catfish. But then we had another bite, this one a strong one, and the fight was on! Brad patiently fought the fish and after few deep runs and a battle that went from bow to stern, he landed a healthy 23" Black "puppy" Drum. We moved over to some docks, fished the pilings, and picked up a few keeper sized Mangrove Snapper. At the second dock I expected an even better bite from the Snapper but they never
showed. So we ran back through Horsehead and fished Jackstaff bank on a high and incoming tide. Almost immediately did we have a hookup. Keith was on the float rig and he played the big fish perfectly, letting it run against the drag and keeping a nice bow in his rod. It was a good battle but Keith was up to the task and landed a 19 1/2" Jack Crevalle. Later, Kyle had a good hookup, but this fish stayed close to shore and when it boiled to the surface I knew we had a Redfish! He fought the fish to the net and we measured it at 18 3/4" - in the Slot - but we released it to be caught another day. Brad wrapped the trip up when he landed a hungry Seatrout to round out the trio's Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Black Drum, Red Drum and Seatrout. With that, we called it day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Day Full of Surprises

We had another beautiful day for back country fishing here at Amelia Island. I met Ann and Rick Chambers down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp this morning and we headed up the Nassau River to fish the last few minutes of an outgoing tide. I made stop at Bubblegum Reef, fished it for a good 30 minutes, but had no bites. So we moved on to a dock over at Seymore's Pointe and here the fish catching began. Both anglers got in on the action early, catching a small Sea Bass and a small Black "puppy" Drum. Then Rick hooked up with something bigger and had a good battle,
and landed a nice hard fighting Jack Crevalle. Ann followed that up with one of the biggest Blue Fish we've ever had on the Anglers Mark. Rick had something strong take his jig but this fish new the ropes and headed straight through the pilings and cut itself off, leaving the drag singing! Later, Ann had a hard bite and this fish the rod double, FISH ON! She played the fish patiently as the fish ran deep and kept the pressure on to bring it to the net, a big 24" Black "puppy" Drum!  They landed a couple of keeper sized Mangrove Snapper then we ran through Horsehead to fish the mouth of Jackstaff. Rick quickly picked up a fat Seatrout then as we trolled the bank he had another strong bite. We know right off that it was a Shark because it zipped through the water, ripping drag as it went. But it was no match for Rick who knew how to use the rod to land the fish. There was a protracted battle with the fish taking Rick from the bow to stern and from Starboard to Port, and back, and Rick won the fight, landing our first Bonnethead Shark of the year, a three footer! We continued to fish and caught two keeper sized Flounder, albeit somewhat small, then we headed back to Seymore's Pointe to fish the now high and incoming tide. Right off the bat, fish on! The Mangrove Snapper were there in force and we obliged them by tossing live shrimp under floats. It became a game to see if we could hook the Snapper before they stole our baits and we did pretty good, catching our fair share up to 14" in length.  The sun was overhead now so we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Banner Day of Fish Catching

I had the pleasure of fishing again with Daniel and Donna Moore and their two kids Ansley and Landon who met me down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp this morning. The tide had just begun to come back in so we headed up the Nassau River and found a dock to fish at Seymore's Pointe.  I think it was the first "demo" cast and BOOM, BIG FISH ON! I still had the rod in hand and as it ran through the pilings I felt the line rubbing, then it locked up tight. We tried to give it some slack but it wouldn't budge and eventually
broke off. We were all a little down but it wasn't but minutes later the anglers were having to fight fish fast and furious, one after the other. Both Ansley and Landon and Daniel boated a good handful of keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum and then they began to hookup with fat 14" keeper sized Mangrove Snapper. There were a couple of times when we had two fish on at the same time. Donna was getting it all in with her camera and once in a while was called to action to help land a fish. After about an hour and a half of fish caching the bite slowed so we made the run down to Broward Island. The bite was slower here but the family added a keeper sized Seatrout, then a keeper sized Flounder, then a nice Slot sized 24" Redfish to round out an Amelia Island Back Country "Grande" Slam of Black Drum, Seatrout, Flounder and Red Drum! Our next stop was back at Seymore's Pointe and this fish catching just got better. All four anglers were catching keeper sized Mangrove Snapper until we got down to the last few shrimp- so we started breaking them in half - and still caught fish. We couldn't even guess how many fish we caught today, but we knew it was a banner day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. All fish were released except the Slot Red which would not revive so it went home with the Captain and contributed to a fine meal!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Not So Much a Puppy Drum

I fished this morning with Bryan Syme and his son Nicholas, getting out on the water to enjoy a birthday weekend for Bryan. We met down at the City marina early and headed up the river to fish the last two hours of an incoming tide. The tide charts called for a flood this morning so we were armed with topwater lures, float rigs, and weedless spoons for the marsh grass. The anglers started off tossing live shrimp under floats and a topwater but we had no hits on the outside of Tiger Island. We moved on around and fished a large creek outlet and here both anglers got some action. Nicholas
started it off when he landed a hungry Seatrout and Bryan followed that off with one of his on. Nicholas put another in the boat then Brian tangled with a high flying Ladyfish. When then checked some flooded marsh grass and even though there were a couple of areas that had enough water, most did not.  So we made a run over to Lanceford Creek, fished a flooded grass patch as the tide started out, then ended up at some docks where we had a flurry of bites. Nicholas caught a nice feisty Redfish and Bryan landed a couple of Seatrout. Then Nicholas had a huge bite but this big fish headed straight for the pilings and broke itself off. We converted one of the float rigs which has a 15# test braid and added a heavier 17# fluorocarbon leader and just a few casts later, FISH ON!  Nicholas kept the pressure on as I moved the boat out and away from the pilings. He played the big fish patiently and after a good battle we saw that it was a large Black "puppy" Drum!  But the big fish was a fighter and continued to dive deep. Nicholas was up for the match and eventually won out, landing the  25" 7lb Drum. Boy what a fish! We fished for just a short while longer then called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Getting Out On The Water

I fished this morning with Jeff Parks and his wife Penny, meeting them down at the Atlantic Seafood boat ramp and heading up Bell River to fish some flooded oyster beds just as the tide started out. We were tossing float rigs with live shrimp and both anglers were making excellent casts to the marsh edge. It took a while, but Penny finally knocked the skunk off when she landed a hungry Seatrout. We made a run through Tiger and then around to Jolley River where the anglers continued with the float rigs. Jeff "called his
shot" on one cast and put his offering at a point of grass and when his shrimp floated by, a nice Trout took it. Jeff played the fish patiently and brought it to the net. We moved on up the river, set up along another bank and Penny was soon getting bites. Her float went under once and her shrimp was gone. But she went back to the same spot and within a minute she had a fish on! She fought the fish to the boat and landed a nice feisty Redfish. Both anglers tangled with some high jumping Ladyfish then we made a run back to the other end of Bell River, fished some docks, then called it a day, another great one to be out on the water here at Amelia Island.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Trout Are Getting Bigger

We had a little more wind blowing this morning, and overcast skies, but it was kinda nice not having the sun heating things up. I had met Debbie and Jerry Corbett and Debbie's son Liam down at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina early and we headed up Lanceford Creek to fish some flooded marsh grass on the very first of an outgoing tide with float rigs and live shrimp. It took a little while but then Jerry's rod heated it up and he started putting one fish in the boat after another! I think it was his first fish that was his biggest, a nice 19.5" Seatrout that put him in 2nd place in the
Anglers Mark 2015 Bragging Rights Tournament-Trout Category (scroll down right side of this page to see standings) and he continued to find the Trout along the same edge of the marsh grass. Then he had a strong hookup and this fish fought differently. But Jerry played the fish patiently and soon landed a nice 20" Slot Redfish! I think he put a couple of more Trout in the boat and maybe another Red. Debbie added a Croaker to the catch then we moved down the river to fish some dock pilings. Debbie was the first to hookup on a jig/shrimp combo, landing a feisty Redfish, then Jerry found his one :"honey hole" by drifting his trusty float rig up by the pilings and landing a couple of more of the Reds. We ran around to Tiger Island, fished the deep water and picked up a Flounder to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam, then we also landed a couple of more Trout. Debbie fought a big Jack Crevalle to the net and Liam got in on the action by landing a Stingray then a keeper sized Seatrout. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island Florida!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Double Slam

The weather has been unbelievable great all week and today that held true. I met Scott Jones down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and we headed up the Amelia River, cutting in at Jackstaff to fish an outgoing tide with float rigs and live shrimp. We eased along the bank with Scott tossing the shrimp to the shoreline and after a short stretch he had a hookup. After playing the fish perfectly, he soon landed a nice Redfish. We continued to fish the area, tangled with a couple of Ladyfish, then crossed over to fish a sandbar that was still
covered. Scott picked up a keeper sized Flounder then we got into some Seatrout, finding that they were out deeper and that they would pick up our jig and shrimp as it swept along with the current. This gave Scott his Amelia Island Back Country Slam. We got a good handful of Trout and when Scott landed a big one we decided to move on and see what else we could find. Our next stop was at some docks at Seymore's Pointe where we had no real bites then we eased over to Bubblegum Reef where we each landed a hard fighting Jack Crevalle. We made the run down to Broward Island as the tide reached the bottom and picked up one more Slot Redfish and another keeper sized Flounder to give us a Double Slam. With that, we called it  day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Nice Variety Keeps Things Interesting

We had another beautiful day today - sunshine and  slight breeze, and no bugs! I had met Chris Moscoso and his cousin Rob down at the Atlantic Seafood dock and we headed up to Bell River to fish some dock piling on an outgoing tide with jigs and live shrimp. The bite was kinda slow but these anglers kept at it and it made a difference - they caught fish! Chris started it off when he tossed his offering up behind a floating dock and almost immediately he had a hookup. He played the fish expertly and landed a nice feisty Redfish. Rob got in on the action and landed a
Seatrout then the anglers had multiple Ladyfish catches. When Rob had a strong hookup I just knew we had a big Red but as he patiently worked the fish to the boat we saw it was a rather large Stingray! We made a run around to Jolley River and fished Snook Creek and here the anglers landed a big Whiting. We fished further down the river and saw some big Bonnethead Sharks cruising the bank but they wouldn't bite. Our final stop was at Tiger Island and when we had another strong hookup we knew we had a decent fish. We fought the fish to the boat and landed a nice Slot sized Redfish. Somewhere in there we had another Trout or two!  After a short tour of Cumberland Island, Fort Clinch and Old Towne, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida!