Thursday, March 5, 2015

Tournament Red First Cast

With winds projected to be well over 10 mph today, we almost didn't go. But go we did and it turned out to be one of those "banner" days! I had met Tom Gaslin and his buddy Steve Foss down at the Atlantic Seafood dock and we headed up to fish Eagans Creek to stay out of the wind. The tide still had about an hour of going out so I set the two anglers up with jigs rods. Steve was out first and before we could even get Tom in the water we heard the ripping sound of a drag and Steve had a FISH ON! This big fish did not want to be caught, diving deep and driving back to some dock pilings. But Steve was up for this epic battle and after a good battle, he subdued this 26 7/8" "tourney red". Boy what a fish! The two anglers went back to the dock and caught fish after fish after fish. Many were small but feisty Reds, but every once in a while both anglers would put another Slot sized fish in the boat. But all good things must come to an end and when the bite slowed, we moved on to another dock, fished it for a while, then ran around to fish Tiger Island as the tide started back in. The fish "catching" was slow for just a few minutes, then like a light switch being flipped, the bite began. Redfish after Redfish were brought to the boat - then Tom battled another big Slot Red -and landed it. Then more Reds and a couple of Seatrout were caught. All together, Tom and Steve had six Slot Reds and umpteen smaller Reds - a really great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Slot Red Caps Off a Good Day

I fished again this morning, this time with Wallace and Rebecca Kenny, fishing out of the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina. We had a high tide just starting out so we made a run up Lanceford Creek to fish some flooded oyster bars and marsh grass. The two anglers were tossing live shrimp under floats but we had no bites. We then fished some dock pilings with jigs but I think the tide was still too high and even though we had a few bites, there were no takers. We
then made the run around to Tiger Island and within a few minutes we had a hookup. Rebecca had been fishing a jig and shrimp slowly on the bottom when she had a strong bite, and, FISH ON! She played the fish patiently to the boat and we netted a nice feisty Redfish, the first fish of the day. We had a good flurry of fish biting from then on. Wallace put a Seatrout in the boat, then a Redfish. Rebecca added another Seatrout then Wallace had a whole handful of Reds and Trout. Then we had a really strong hookup. This big fish did not want to come to the boat, especially when it got out deep and back in the current. But Wallace was patient, kept the pressure on, and slowly worked the big Red up. After a good battle we eventually netted a nice 25.5" Slot sized Redfish! Now that's a fish! After picking up a few more Reds and Trout, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bragging Rights Busted

We finally had nice weather today and boy was it a good one to be out fishing here at Amelia Island. I met Brian Cochran and his dad Stan down at the Fernandina Beach Harbor marina. Although there were cloudy skies there was very little wind. We headed north to fish the Jolley River and after running a good ways up the river, stopped to fish a marsh runout with float rigs and live shrimp. The two anglers were making excellent casts but we had no takers. We then eased along a flooded marsh line and after good stretch Brian had a hookup and "knocked the skunk off" with a nice feisty
Redfish catch. We then moved up into a large creek, probed the bottom with jigs and shrimp, came back out and fished the shoreline, then made the run back to Tiger Island to fish the downed logs. As usual this time of year, this did the trick. Brian picked up a few more feisty Reds then his dad Stan had a stronger hookup. He battled the big fish a patiently and soon put a 22" Slot Red in the boat. Brian followed that up with a keeper sized Seatrout then Stan found a good hole of Seatrout. We relocated, fished for just a short while, then Brian put a big 24" Slot Red in the boat. It wasn't but a few minutes later when he had another strong hookup, and FISH ON! We could tell right away that this was an even bigger fish - it didn't want to budge and ran at will, pulling against the drag. It came out deep, ran back towards the tree limbs then came out deep again. Brian kept the pressure on and after a long battle, landed an oversized 32" Big Redfish! This fish put Brian in first place in the Anglers Mark 2015 Bragging Rights Tournament -Redfish Category (scroll down right side of this report for standings). Boy what a fish! We continued to fish the area, picked up maybe one more feisty Red, then headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Kinda Cool Today

Michael Purser and I had already postponed one fishing trip this week so when we saw a window of low winds predicted, he and I and is wife Robin made the plan to meet early this morning and squeeze in a fishing trip. It wasn't that the air temperature was that cold, but with the wind blowing, we knew we'd be in for some tough fishing conditions. But Both Michael and Robin were up for the challenge and it paid off. We made our first stop up in Eagans
Creek and the two anglers hadn't been fishing but for a short while when BOOM! Robin had a strong hookup. BOOM! Just like that. She worked the fish to the boat nonchalantly and before we knew it, she had a nice Slot sized Redfish in the boat. And just minutes later Michael got in on the action, landing another feisty Redfish. We found that his presentation had to be right up to a specific spot and if he got it there he was almost guaranteed a fish. Both he and Robin had a quick nibble on occasion and their bait was gone and finally Michael outsmarted the bait stealer and landed a keeper sized Sheepshead. In between Redfish he caught a nice 17" Seatrout to round out his personal Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Sheepshead and Seatrout. The bite slowed so we made the run into the wind and around to Tiger Island where we were somewhat sheltered and again the two anglers found a handful of feisty Redfish and one more Sheepshead, this one even bigger than the first. It was a cool, blustery day but we made the most out of it and it ended up being another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Beautiful Day to Fish

After a week of severe cold and strong winds, today turned out to be an outstanding day to be out on the water. I had met Jeff and Virginia Wood down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp early and we headed up the Nassau River to fish Bubblegum Reef as the tide was coming in. Although we had no bites here it was a good warm up! Our next stop was down at Broward Island where we had just enough of a breeze to keep the gnats off. Both Jeff and Virginia were making excellent casts and after a while they had a good
flurry of fish catching. They started it off with a "double" hookup of feisty Redfish then they picked up a few more of them. Virginia had made a cast and was working the jig/shrimp back slowly to the boat and caught a nice hungry Seatrout. We fished the area thouroughly then hit Christopher Creek where Jeff found another Redfish. After fishing Seymore's Pointe and then the mouth of Jackstaff, we called it a day, another great one to be out fishing Amelia Island waters!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Big and Bigger

I fished this afternoon with Jeff Kantor, his wife Melinda, and their daughters Chelsey and Shoshana, leaving the docks around 1pm to fish the outgoing tide. We hit a marsh runout a short distance from the marina but had no real bites then we made the run around to Tiger to join a couple of other boats fishing the deep waters. Although the tide was looking good the anglers had to work at it to get a fish. Finally, Jeff knocked the "skunk" off the boat when he
landed a nice hungry Seatrout. But it must have been a scout because we found no more! We continued to work the available bank and after a while the bite turned on. Jeff found a feisty Redfish, then another, then another. The Melinda and Chelsey got in on the action and reeled in a couple themselves. Jeff had a stronger hookup and after a good battle, put a nice 23 1/2" big Slot Red in the boat. After some good action and the tide dropping fast, we made the run around to Eagans Creek to fish some dock pilings. This turned out to be a good move as Melinda hooked up and battled an even bigger 24 1/2" Slot Red. Although water tempertures hovered around 49 all day, the fishing was good which made for another great day here at Amelia Island!

Big Reds Out Deep

I fished this morning with Randall Lockhart and his girlfriend Chelsie, beginning early this morning with some pretty cold temperatures, but warming nicely as the day went on. We made our first stop at Tiger Island with as the tide had been coming in for a few hours and....BOOM, FISH ON...the first three casts! Randall was doing the catching at first but Chelsie stepped up to the challenge and began to put feisty Redfish in the boat, too. Randall was fishing his jig and shrimp slowly back to the boat and found a
big Slot Redfish out deep a couple of times. The couple ended up
with about a dozen feisty Reds and three Slot Reds to 24 1/2" before we moved on to fish the flooded oyster beds. The sun was up by now, the temperature was getting milder and we had very little wind. Even though we the fish were scarce around the marsh grass, it was still a great day to be fishing out on Amelia Island waters!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ice on the Windshield

We fished yesterday morning, Tom Gaslin, his wife Teresa and I, meeting down at the City marina at 8am. Earlier I had to stop my truck in the dark and scrape the ice off the windshield to continue the drive to the boat, but I knew it was going to be a sunny day with no real wind predicted and even though my truck thermometer was showing 29, I new it would be a great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island! Tom and Teresa were bundled up as recommended and we headed up to Egans Creek to do some dock piling fishing. The water temperature was just above 50, about 4 degrees cooler than a few days ago, and I think the fish were feeling it! Teresa had the hot rod and reeled in a hungry Seatrout and then a feisty Redfish. We made the run around to Tiger Island and fished the downed logs and almost immediately began to catch fish. More feisty Reds and Seatrout. We found that the Trout were out deep and would take a jig/shrimp but you had to fish it so slow, barely taking up the slack on your reel. The Trout bite was subtle, only a slight bump, and then a heaviness on the line. It was a cold but sunny day which made it a great time to be fishing here at Amelia Island!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cold Morning Heats Up with Big Fish

We knew it was going to be sunny and cold this morning and that there were 11mph winds forecast but that just made things a little more interesting. I met Tim and Jontelle Forbes down at the Atlantic Seafood dock at 7:30 this morning and with all three of us bundled up in layers, we headed out to fish the first of an incoming tide. Our first stop was at Tiger Island and it wasn't unusual for a fish to bite our jig and shrimp combo on the demo cast, which is what happened this morning! After that first fish the two anglers got busy and in no time were landing small, feisty and fun to catch Redfish measuring up to 17 3/4", just under the Slot size. We worked the entire island, finding Reds in most spots and then both Tim and Jontelle began to catch hungry Seatrout down deep. Every once in a while we were able to get into some sunshine and warm ourselves up. Jontelle spotted a huge Otter coming down to the shoreline to enter the water then she pointed out a majestic Bald Eagle that had landed in one of the oak trees to keep an eye on our catch. After we fished the area thoroughly, we made the run around to Eagans Creek and fished some dock pilings and boy was this the right move! I think it was Tim's first cast and BOOM! Big Fish On! He applied the pressure to keep the fish out of the pilings then played the fish patiently as it ran deep a number of times. But the fish was no match for Tim and after a good battle we netted a big "Tournament Redfish" that measured right at 26", just in the Slot. Tim went back to the same spot and again landed another big Slot Red and then he landed another! Finally there was a break for Jontelle to get her bait to the spot and she too had a strong hookup - and even stronger! Her fish fought hard and big but Jontelle worked it out of the structure, keeping the pressure on using her light tackle, and after long battle landed an Oversized 30 1/2" Redfish, putting her squarely in the lead of the 2015 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament (scroll down right side of this report to see standings). We continued to fish and I believe Tim and Jontelle had about 7 Slot Reds, the Oversized one, and we lost a couple of big ones to the pilings. We fished float rigs later over flooded oyster beds but had no real bites but as we headed in we knew we'd just had another great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Beautiful January Day of Fishing

I fished this afternoon with Di Dier DeBruyn and his wife Dominque and his daughter Fran. Unlike yesterday, we had very little wind and it had warmed up nicely for our 1pm launch. We made our first stop a short distance up Bell River and the anglers tossed some float rigs with live shrimp on an outgoing tide with some oysters just beginning to show, but we had no takers. Our next stop was further up Bell River, this time fishing some dock pilings and after a good amount of fishing, Fran finely"knocked the skunk
off" and put a nice Seatrout in the boat. We continued to fish the area and may have picked up one or two fish, but they just weren't biting. We then made the long run around to Tiger Island and as usual this time of year, this did the trick. Almost immediately the fish began to bite. Di Dier put the first Redfish in the boat then all three anglers were catching fish. There was a nice flurry of fish catching, then things slowed down, but everyone in a while they'd get a hookup. Dominique was fishing deep and caught a nice keeper sized Seatrout and all three anglers caught Trout. We worked the bank thoroughly, picked up a few more fish, then called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!