Friday, January 29, 2016

Big Fish At End of Trip

After a nasty few days we had clear skies, albeit somewhat cool for an early morning trip today. I picked up Steve Jones and his associate Jake at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort and we made the short (6 minute) trip down to Big Talbot Island Park, launched and ran up the Nassau River to make our first stop at a likely dock on the first of an incoming tide. The anglers were tossing live shrimp and jigs to the dock pilings and even though the conditions were  good and these guys were spot on with their casting, we had very few bites. But Jake finally "knocked the skunk
off" when he had a strong bite, a hookup and after a good battle, landed a nice keeper sized Sheepshead. We continued to fish the dock, moved around to the other side, had a few bites but no takers, so we left and ran down to Broward Island to fish the downed logs. After working the bank for a short while Jake had another hookup and landed a feisty Redfish. He went back to the same spot - just under a branch - and  had another hookup, another Red. Steve persevered and found a hungry Seatrout out deep then he too had a "bump" on his jig. He set the hook and found himself in a battle. He played the fish perfectly and landed another, but bigger, keeper sized Sheepshead. We ran back up the Nassau River and into a creek where we fished some marsh grass then began to work some rocks along the bank. Jake began to pick up Reds at the back of the boat and boated a few with a couple making it into the Slot (all fish were released today). Then he had a strong hookup and, FISH ON! This was a big fish. He played the fish patiently, letting the rod tip and drag do the work and after some deep runs he landed a big 26" Slot sized Redfish, boy what a fish! We worked the rocks and some docks and had a good flurry with Steve Joining in to catch his Red and rounding out his personal Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Seatrout, Sheepshead, and Red Drum. Then Steve had a stronger than usual bite and when his drag began to rip we knew, FISH ON! Again!  It was a big one but it was no match for Steve and after a good battle he landed a 27.25" Oversized Redfish - now that's what we were looking for! We fished the area thoroughly and realized that the sun was up and was warming things nicely and as we headed in we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hot Spot on a Cold Day

After two days of a windy front passing through we had clear skies but cold temperatures that greeted us this morning down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp. 31 degrees at launch time to be exact! But George Del Valle and I were both dressed for the cold and after the initial run to our first spot in Jackstaff, we knew the worst was over. George started off tossing live shrimp under a float rig on a high and outgoing tide. George was making excellent casts to the grass but we had not a single bite. We made the run through
Horsehead to find some dock pilings to fish with jigs and shrimp. Again, excellent casts produced on fish. We repositioned to the other side and I believe it was George's first cast and BOOM! FISH ON!  He played the fish patiently and after a good battle he landed a nice Slot Redfish. From then on, for about an hour, as long as George put his bait in the "Hot Spot", he'd have a hookup. And the fish got bigger, and bigger. George limited out on Slot Reds and we lost count around 10 (slots) and also caught and released a good handful of smaller "feisty" Rat Reds. Our last stop was down at Broward Island where we picked up one more small Red. The sun was up, the skies were clear, and as we ran back to the boat ramp we knew it was another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Winter Time Grande Slam Fishing At Amelia Island

Boy it was cold this morning with temperatures hovering right at freezing when I launched at the City marina. But I had two anglers waiting for me at Oyster Bay so I ran up the river and when I eased up to the dock they were ready to go! We made the run to fish Eagans Creek on the last of an outgoing tide and after I found a likely dock to fish the two anglers began tossing live shrimp on a jig to the pilings. It wasn't long before Allen had a strong hookup and FISH ON! He played the fish perfectly, patiently working it to the boat and after a good battle landed a nice 23" Slot Redfish. He
picked up a few more fish then Kenneth warmed up and began landing fish too, and adding to the "Slot Fish Total Count". They put a few more fish in the boat then they got into some Black "puppy" Drum with two of them being of keeper size, one that Kenneth caught was right at 20" - a nice fish! Allen caught a small but hungry Seatrout to make it an early Amelia Island Back Country Slam and after another Red or two we picked up and ran over to the Tiger Islands at the very first of the incoming tide. I thought it might take a while but  both Kenneth and Allen had hookup, we had the first of few "Double Hookups". Things really picked up  - Allen was catching Redfish on the bow and Kenneth found a spot where he put  three keeper sized Seatrout in the boat. Allen came back and added a fourth then went back to his "Redfish Hole".  The duo made it a "Grande Slam" when Kenneth found a Flounder out deep. They were also catching small but feisty Black "puppy" Drum out deep, too. We fished right up until we ran out of bait and tallied up that we had landed 11 Slot Reds (and released all but a few), 6-8 Black Drum, 6-7 Seatrout, and 1 Flounder. Now that's the way to fish here at Amelia Island!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Cold Hands Hot Fishing

I got to fish again with Bill Lavery and his buddy Joe today, meeting at the Atlantic Seafood dock, a convenient short walk from the Hampton Inn and Suites 50 yards away. It was still somewhat "cool" with the temperatures in the low 40's but we were all bundled up so we ran north to fish Tiger Island with the tide still low but coming in. Both anglers were fishing the jigs and live shrimp and within minutes we were in the fish! Bill hooked up and landed a nice 23" Slot Redfish then both he and Joe were putting
fish in the boat. And they kept getting bigger!  They had a couple of 24" fish, a 25" and 26" fish, lost a few big ones, then Bill fought a nice oversized 28.5" Red to the boat. This kicks off our Anglers Mark 2016 Bragging Rights Tournament with Bill in first place! We worked the bank thoroughly, catching Slot Reds and a good handful of undersized ones, and we also picked up a handful of Seatrout with two of them being of "keeper" size.  Most of the Reds were sent back to get even bigger but we kept count and totaled 9 Slot Reds, 1 oversized Red, and then the handful of smaller Redfish and the Seatrout. The only issue we had was keeping our hands warm!  We fished some flooded oyster beds after that and had zero bites but we all agreed that it was a great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Cold Day But Nice Day

We had the coldest day of fishing in a long time with temperatures in the high 30's when I launched down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp. But George Isaacson and his wife Margaret were not fazed, being "Mainers", and they were bundled and ready to go fishing. The sun was shining and there was only a slight breeze so when we hit our first spot we warmed up nicely. Margaret was tossing a jig and live shrimp back to some dock pilings and George was throwing a float rig with shrimp over some flooded oysters and it was George that "knocked the skunk off" when he landed a nice
hungry Seatrout. Then Margaret got in on the action and picked up a couple of Trout down deep. I think George followed that up with another Seatrout before we left and ran through Horsehead to fish some still flooded marsh grass. Both anglers were tossing the jigs and although they had a few bites there were no takers. We went back through Horsehead and down to Twin Creeks, fished the float rig up close and the jig out deep and again, no real bites. Our next stop was down at Broward Island and although the tide was still fairly high down there we got some fish. We had a good hookup and Margaret worked the fish in patiently. After a good battle she landed a beautiful feisty Redfish. Shortly after that George repeated the catch and he too put a Red in the boat. We worked the bank thoroughly and the two anglers picked up another Trout or two then George wrapped it up with one more Redfish making it another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Started With Trout Ended With Reds

David Thomas was in  town this week for business and they decided to take in some Amelia Island fishing before they started their work. I met David and his associate and friend Tom down at the City marina and we started our day mid morning with a high and outgoing tide. We had headed up to Eagans Creek to get out of the wind and this really helped but the two anglers had no real bites on their float rigs baited with live shrimp. We hit some dock pilings as the tide got down and it took a while but they began to pick up
some hungry Seatrout and then they really got the hang of it and hooked up regularly. Some of the Trout were of keeper size to 17" but we threw them all back to be caught another day. Then they had some stronger hookups and the fish fights ensued, FISH ON! The trick was to keep these big fish out of the dock pilings and I think it was a tie - David and Tom boated four Slot sized Reds to 24.5" and I think four other big Reds found their way into the pilings and broke themselves off.  There were a number of smaller "feisty" Reds caught. They also picked up two Black "puppy" Drum to round out their Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Seatrout, Red Drum and Black Drum. We ventured out into the wind to fish Tiger Island and even they we got buffeted around pretty good, they landed another small Redfish and one of the bigger Seatrout of the day, caught way down deep. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wrapping Up a Great Year of Fishing

We had another great day of fishing to wrap up a great week and a great year of fishing here at Amelia Island. Jeff Wood, his girlfriend Virginia and her son Will fished with me this morning, meeting me down at the Atlantic Seafood dock on the very first of an incoming tide. There was just enough breeze to keep the no-see-ums off as we pulled in to our first spot. There were ideal conditions with the tide creeping in and all three anglers were soon pitching 1/4oz jigs with shrimp or mud minnows to the bank. It was not  a "fast and furious" kind of morning but it was packed with quality fish when they bit!
Jeff got it started when he hooked up and landed a nice keeper sized 18" Black "puppy" Drum (all fish were released today).  Then he followed that up with a big Slot sized 22" Redfish.  We fished the area thoroughly, working our way thru  tons of  "baitsealers" then Virgina had a hookup and FISH ON! She played the fish perfectly and after a good battle, landed an even bigger 25" Slot Red. Shortly after that young Will had a good hookup and he too had a big fish on.  He worked the big fish patiently to the boat and we netted the biggest Redfish of the day, a nice 26"+ fish. Other than the
baitstealers, the anglers landed four fish and all of them were of keeper size. The wind had picked up so we ran around to Oyster Bay and fished the Tiki hut but had no real bites. Our last stop was around at a grass patch in Lanceford Creek with the tide still coming in. We switched to float rigs and our first cast produced a keeper sized Seatrout that Will landed like a pro. From then on all three anglers were catching fish - a Trout here and a Trout there. They caught about 10 of them and 3-5 of those were keeper size with the biggest being about 18". With that we called it a day (and a year) another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fun Fishing at Amelia Island

I had a window of opportunity to fish with some friends, Tim Parker and his brother Brian Knicely this evening so we met at the City marina and ran up Lanceford Creek to fish the first of an outgoing tide. We hit a small grass patch first, tossing shrimp and mud minnows under floats but we had no takers. We then fished some dock pilings and picked up one small but feisty Redfish. We had one more strong bite that broke us off in the pilings but after that there were  no more real bites, even though the tide was getting
down and conditions were ideal. We made a run around to Tiger Island and with the logs exposed we again worked the jigs. Tim struck first when he put a keeper sized Trout in the boat. He also landed  a couple of small but fun to catch Flounder then it was like someone turned a light switch on - BOOM, FISH ON!   BOOM, FISH ON!  BOOM, FISH ON! We caught fish after fish. Sometimes it would be a big Slot Redfish and sometimes a nice keeper sized Seatrout. We ended up with 5 Slot sized Reds, threw back a good handful of smaller ones, and had 5 keeper sized
Seatrout and a bull Whiting. Brian added a small Black "puppy" Drum to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Grande Slam and a great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

The Girls First Fish

We've had excellent weather this week and that included today -just a few clouds, a slight breeze and balmy temperatures. I had met Tripp Miller, his fiancé Carla and his daughters Kaylee and Lila down at the City marina and we headed up to Eagans Creek to fish the first of an incoming tide with jigs and live shrimp and mud minnows. It didn't take long for Kaylee to "knock the skunk off" when she landed a nice Seatrout. From then on it was some steady fish catching. Carla was taking pictures as the other three anglers boated fish. Both Tripp and Kaylee put Slot Redfish in the boat
with three of them measuring at 23", 22" and 22" with a total of 5 Slot Reds caught along with a good handful of smaller ones. Lila seemed to have the hot hand at catching Seatrout with her "down, up" fishing technique and she put at least three of them in the boat. We fished over at Tiger Island and although things were slower, Tripp hooked up with a big Redfish and landed it with ease - another Slot sized 25" Redfish, the biggest of the day! We toured Cumberland Island and saw a large herd of horses, eased by Fort Clinch and wrapped up the trip at Old Town to make it another great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

She Called For a Mud Minnow

I fished with Jesse Tanner and his family, splitting a 3/4 day trip to get 3 of the family out early then another 3 out for the 2nd stage of the trip. Jesse, Steve and Davis met me early at the City boat ramp and we headed up to Egans Creek to fish some dock pilings as the tide came in. It took a few casts with jigs and shrimp but eventually the trio began to catch fish. Jesse knocked the skunk off when he put a feisty Redfish in the boat then Steve followed it up with a nice Slot 22" Redfish (all fish were released today). They had a couple
more of strong hookups with one of them ripping drag and breaking itself off in the pilings. Our next stop was around at Tiger Island and things heated up. Both Steve and Jesse put some nice keeper sized Seatrout in the boat and a couple of keeper sized Flounder to round out a double Amelia Island Back Country Slam. Davis had had some good bites, picked up a small Trout then his perseverance paid off when he put a nice keeper sized Trout, one of the biggest of the morning. We dropped off this crew then picked up the 2nd set of anglers - Denny, Rowan and Allison. We needed to replenish our
bait and after that we cruised over to the outside of Tiger and set up over some flooded oyster beds. Dennis picked up a keeper sized Trout right off and later Rowan got her first fish, an hungry Trout. Allison had a few bites but no takers so she called for a Mud Minnow to try. When she yelled, "FISH ON" I thought for sure she had hung up in some oysters but she said it was pulling back! Sure enough, BIG FISH ON! She played the fish perfectly, fighting it from starboard to port off the stern of the boat and after a good battle, landed a big 25" Slot Redfish, the biggest of the day! We fished the area thoroughly picked up another Trout or two, then crossed over to fish a creek mouth. Both Allison and Denny caught Trout, Denny's on a jig and shrimp down deep. We fished Tiger Island and picked one more Trout, fished an oyster bed over in Bell River, then headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters.