Friday, April 12, 2024

Wind Made It A Challenge

 I wrapped my week up today, fishing with Bob Kossman and Larry Westfall before they head north forthe summer. This was a a "Share-A-Trip" - contact me if you'd like to be added to the list. We met down at Sawpit Creek boat ramp with a weather forecast that called for clear skies and 8mph  west winds to start, increasing to 13mph. We made the long run up the Nassau and around to Broward Island and fished a stretch as the tide was still going out. I could tell right off that the water was real murky which didn't bode well for a our chances and sure enough, we had no bites. We moved down the way a bit and fished, trying to stall for the tide to turn around, but eventually we had to leave - that west wind, the murky waters, and no bites made it the smart thing to do. 

We headed back to Seymore's Pointe, somewhat out of the wind, and found a dock to fish on that lower incoming tide, and this did the trick. The duo caught a few feisty Redfish, a keeper Seatrout that had only a few spots(I called it a weakfish initially) and Bob landed the 2nd Mangrove Snapper of the year while Larry put probably the biggest Black Sea Bass I've ever had caught in the boat. 

After fishing back around at Nassauville with jigs and live shrimp and getting a couple of small trout, we came back around to Seymore's and fished float rigs now that the tide was up. No luck with them but Larry found that we could set up out deep and get Seatrout off the bottom,  one of which was 17", and we also got  a couple of Blues. By now that wind was kicking! I checked my weather App and saw that it was at 17mph!  We had struggled to stay out of the wind, but it was a beautiful day and we had caught a few fish so was we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

She Should Have Backed Away From The Table

 Storm a'coming tomorrow!  But we the water was like glass this morning when I launched at Sawpit
Creek and after meeting Allen Webb, we made a long run up the Nassau, all the way to Broward, and pulled  up to fish jigs as the tide had been coming in for about an hour.  It didn't take long and Allen was on a fish - he played it perfectly and landed a "just in the slot" Redfish. He also picked up a keeper sized Seatrout down deep with the jigs. We moved down the way and fished the bank close and this paid off with a couple of more feisty Redfish catches and a good handful of just undersized Sheepshead. After fishing down with the Bald Eagles, we moved on. 

Our next stop was back at Nassauville, fishing between a couple of docks and here we had a handful of Seatrout caught, again, down deep, and also a Catfish.  We then made the run way  up the Nassau, and into a creek to fish a log lined bank. We both marveled at the beauty and peacefulness of the area, but I think we only had one bite that was a fish, and one Blue Crab that we brought to the boat. 

Our final stop was back down the Nassau, around at Seymore's, fishing the last of an incoming tide with float rigs. We caught another small Trout or two, a Bluefish, and then our float disappeared with a vengeance. Allen fought it patiently, kept that rod bent while it ran and the drag ripped, and we both were guessing, "Redfish". But when Allen got it to the boat and I went to dip it, Boy What a Trout!  We got it in the the boat and she measured right at 24.75". A whopper of a Trout -she just couldn't pass up one more shrimp for her morning meal!  That fish moved Allen solidly into the Anglers Mark 2024 Bragging Rights Tournament-Seatrout Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings).  

We fished a bit more but the wind was now up so we headed back. We had a few good fish in the box, Bragging Rights in the bag, so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Against The Grain

 Bob Blalock and I decided to squeeze in an afternoon trip, knowing that winds would probably be an
issue. We met up at Old Town Bait and Tackle ramp and after easing out of Eagans Creek we made the long run up the Bell to fish some docks with jigs and live shrimp. 

Bob worked that first spot over really good  but we didn't have a bite. But after moving in close and fishing back to some dock pilings, Bob's first cast produced a bite and, Fish On!  He played it perfectly and brought to the net a Slot sized Redfish. That easy!  But we fished those pilings thoroughly and only managed one more fish, a feisty Black "puppy" Drum. 

We then ran back towards town and boy was the wind whipping, especially running into it. It's been fifteen years I think since I fished up near structure around Fernandina, but it was out of the wind, so we stuffed our pride, went against (my) grain, and fished it. And it paid off. Bob hooked and put a smaller Slot Red in the boat, then hooked and battled another - a "thick" 25"er, then put another smaller Slot in the boat. We worked along there for a good while, out of the wind, and got into a good handful of those Puppy Drum. 

As the outgoing tide came to a standstill we made a final run over to Tyger Island, to fish the logs, and had to "putter" thru the shallows to get there, and when we did, we fished a good while and had only a few bites, but no real takers. But it ended a good fishing trip at a beautiful location so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Bluefish Bonanza -Don't call me Crabber


I fished this morning with Leah and Brian Newsom and their grandson Caleb, meeting them up at the Old Town Bait and Tackle boat ramp. We put out 3 crabs traps on the way to the first stop, over at Tyger Island, but when we got there we began fishing jigs and live shrimp on an incoming  tide. We didn't have a whole lot of action but we did snag a nice Flounder that Leah and Caleb teamed up to reel in. 

Our next stop was up the Jolley, sticking with the jigs, fishing Snook Creek for a bit, to no avail, then we came out and drifted float rigs down the bank and here Brian had a strong hookup going long and expertly brought to the net a keeper sized Seatrout (eventually released).  We had a few good bites along there then fished back at Tyger Cut with the floats, then made our way back around to the outside of Tyger. 

Here we had good action catching Bluefish, putting a good handful in the boat. Leah did have one bite that took it all -float, leader and hook so we don't know what that was!  We then checked the crab traps with Brian pulling them up and Caleb supervising, but we had no luck. Don't call me a Crabber!  But we had a beautiful morning, had some action and so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Monday, April 8, 2024

We Were On The Hunt


We had a beautiful morning today when I met Chris Pyle and his fishing buddy John down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp, and after running up the Nassau we pulled up at Pumpkin Hill Creek to try our hand with some float rigs and live shrimp, drifted down the bank with a high and incoming tide. It didn't work - I don't think we had a nibble. We then fished a point, doing the same thing down the other side, then dropped back and fished a grassy patch and, to no avail.

Our next stop was over in Christopher Creek at the last of that high tide, where we tossed jigs and the shrimp but had not a nibble. Once the tide was high we came back out and around to Seymore's Pointe, switched back to float rigs, and here our luck changed. Both anglers had good hookups and played to the boat some keeper sized Seatrout. We had a few "hungry" but small trout and we had probably the biggest of the day to the boat before it tossed the hook. 

After running thru Horsehead and over to Pompano Point we tried the floats - no luck - then moved
back to Jackstaff and fished a large drainage where we did pick up another Trout or two. Back thru Horsehead we went and down to some docks at Nassauville and again, our "action" picked up. John put another keeper Trout or two in the boat and Chris added another keeper or two. We had two small Flounder brought to the net, too. 

Our final stop was back at Seymore's on a lower tide, fishing dock pilings with the jigs and we had a bit of action.  John put a couple of Bluefish in the boat, another Trout and then we battled something big, had it to the boat, and again, hook thrown! Ouch.  But these anglers had a a good handful of Seatrout in the box and as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Friday, April 5, 2024

Out of Nowhere

I wrapped my week up fishing south, meeting the Williams family - John and Mary Margaret and their kids Hadden and Ruth down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. It was a bit cool as we ran up the Nassau and I made beeline for a large drainage knowing the tide had just started out. Sure enough, were were on fish almost from the start. These anglers were tossing float rigs with about a 3' leader and circle hook up beyond a grassy point, letting it naturally drift and BAM! Fish On!  We caught a good handful of Seatrout, a couple were of keeper size, and Ruth reeled in an impressive 16" Sheepshead. We also had a few Bluefish caught, and few good fish that threw the hook. 

Our next stop was around at some docks at Nassauville and here things started slow, but boy did they heat up. John found rhythm and began to feel the "bump" and set the hook and landed a number of Seatrout, one of which was right at 19.5", a fish big enough to move him into 2nd place in the Anglers Mark 2024 Bragging Rights Tournament-Seatrout Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings). They also caught a couple of Flounder, one of which was of keeper sized. Then, as the fished deeper John hooked up and we both thought it may just be a clump of oysters, but then the rod bounced and the jigs ripped a
bit and we knew it was a big fish!  Hadden jumped in and worked the rod - they fought it valiantly together, and after a good battle brought to the surface and to the net a Big 22" Doormat Flounder, boy what a fish. This fish moved John and Hadden into first place in the Bragging Rights Tournament. 

We finished up fishing down at Broward Island on a tide that was still going out and here Mary Margaret put a nice feisty Redfish in the boat to wrap things up. We had a good handful of fish in the box, some Bragging Rights and as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Thursday, April 4, 2024

:Handicapped from the Start

After I got the boat ready and was having a cup of coffee I saw AIBT's Facebook post that they were out of live shrimp and minnows and I knew we'd be a bit handicapped from the start. But I luckily I had some fresh frozen shrimp in the freeze, which I grabbed, and I loaded up with a quart of fiddler crabs at the bait shop and then met Doug Massey, his son Mark and grandson Evan up at the Old Town boat ramp.  And then Capt Jesse Scruggs gave me a dozen mud minnows, so we were set!

We headed out of Eagans and over to Tyger and set up off a point to fish float rigs and drifted the mud minnows across an oyster flat with the outgoing current. The trio of anglers were getting good drifts but if we had a nibble, it wasn't much.  We crossed over the creek and fished a corner of grass with the floats, but again, no bites.

After coming out of Tyger and around to the outside we did pull up at a drainage and switched to jigs and the minnows and worked it pretty good, to no avail.  The wind was supposed to start picking up and sure enough, it was as we headed around to the Jolley River and fished another drainage, this time with the floats, and again, no bites. Ouch.  We were two hours in to the trip and the skunk was still on the boat!

But our next stop was around at Bell River, fishing the jigs with everything we had -live minnows, fresh dead shrimp, and fiddler crabs and this did the trick. Just a few minutes in Evan "knocked the skunk off" when he hooked up and landed a hungry Seatrout. He followed that up with a small Sheepshead caught on one of the fiddlers, then Mark got in on the action and expertly played a keeper sized Trout to the net. After a good cast up into a pocket behind some pilings he had another good bite, a hookup, and fought to the boat a nice Slot sized Redfish

We were getting bites now with the tide down and we were blocked from the growing wind.  Doug found a couple of Trout that were almost legal, Evan garnered a type of Slam with a Black "puppy" Drum catch (Trout, Sheepshead, Drum) and then he wrapped things up with a Whiting catch. As we headed back to the ramp, and out from the land mass, we soon found that the wind was howling, but with some good fish catches, we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Making the best with Fiddler Crabs

 The last thing I expected when walked in to the bait store this afternoon was for them to be (temporarily) out of live Shrimp AND Mud minnows. Oh lordy!  But they did have some fiddler crabs so I purchased a pint and a few packages of artificial baits and headed out to Goffinsville Park thinking we may be in for a long afternoon of fishing. I met William and Dara Blalock and their friends Brian and Janet Roach and we headed over to Broward Island to fish a tide that had been coming in for about an hour and half.

 I did have have some left over mud minnows so we used them and the crabs and it didn't take long before Janet "knocked the
skunk off" when she hooked up and landed a feisty Redfish. And just minutes later Dara had tossed back to a large drainage, had a bump, set the hook, and landed a keeper sized Flounder. 

We fished that area pretty good and caught a good handful of fish with William adding a keeper sized Seatrout to the box. The fiddler crabs were getting fish - Reds, a small Sheepshead, and even a Seatrout hit 'em.  We then ran way up the Nassau and dipped into a creek and fished the bank, alternating between the minnows and crabs and both caught fish. They added another keeper Flounder, another keeper Trout, and three small Slot Redfish to their catch. 

The wind had picked up as we came back down the river and fished Seymore's Pointe with float rigs, which produced nothing. But in behind the land mass, we were out of the wind and  it was pleasant fishing so we decided to work the docks with those crabs and it paid off. They caught Trout, a couple of feisty Redfish, then Brian topped things off with a good bite, and better fight, and he eventually landed the biggest Red of the day, a nice 23" Slot fish. We had made do with what we had and we had a nice box of fish so as we headed back we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Monday, April 1, 2024

Dara's Super Duper

 Back at it today, fishing south early this morning. I had met William and Dara Blalock out at Goffinsville as the sun came up and we made a quick run down the river to fish between two docks on a tide that still had a few hours to hit bottom. The two anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp and makjng excellent casts and it paid off. 

Dara kicked things off with a nice, keeper sized Seatrout catch, then added another, then another with each betting respectively bigger, the biggest measuring right at 19". All fish caught today were released. Dara also added a keeper sized Flounder to her catch total. 

We moved around the corner and fished some dock pilings and here William hooked up and landed  Sea Bass. We moved over to fish Bubblegum Reef, a spot I hadn't fished in years, and it was a good move. William caught and landed another, bigger, Sea Bass, then Dara put a small Sheepshead in the boat, then hooked up and landed a respectable 17.75" Sheepshead to give her a Slam for the morning. But She wasn't finished!

After running down to Broward Island we fished a spot on the last of the outgoing tide, really just killing time, and boy did we get into some fish. Dara found some nice Seatrout deep, then William began to get feisty Redfish off the stern. Then Dara's drag went off and the battle was on!  Dara played the big fish patiently, let it run down river, then worked it back slowly, let it run, worked it back, and finally brought to the net a big oversized 28.5" Redfish, boy what a fight, boy what a fish!

The duo continued to catch fish - I lost count at 8 keeper sized Seatrout, but Dara did add a couple of Black "puppy" Drum for her Grande Slam, then later, fishing a jigs and Gulp minnow, added a keeper sized Weakfish to get her Super Duper Grande Slam for the day. The Redfish, Trout and Sheepshead put Dara on the Bragging Rights list in three Categories - maybe a first! (scroll down the right side of this report for standings). We had caught a bunch of fish, had a beautiful day, and as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.  

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Recipe of the Month: Butter Beans and Shrimp

I saw this recipe pop up on Facebook and thought it looked like some real "comfort food"!  It was at a really cool site,  I cooked it, it was outstanding!

Butter Beans and Shrimp


2   tbsp oil
2   tbsp flour
1    lb large lima beans, cleaned and soaked (I used frozen, follow directions)
2    lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (save tails to make shrimp stock)
1    onion, chopped
2    stalks celery, chopped
4    cloves garlic
2    chilis (optional)(you won't taste 'em cooked), chopped
2     quarts of water (make shrimp stock out of tails)
1     cup cream
2    tbsp vegetable base
1/2   bunch of green onions, chopped
1    tbsp parsley, chopped
2    tbsp shrimp dust (I tried three stores and couldn't find this, hence the shrimp stock)
2    tbsp Creole seasoning (there was enough salt in my seasoning that I didn't need to add any)

      White Rice


1.   Wash beans and soak them overnight
2.   Heat oil over med. heat and whisk flour, cook until light brown in color
3.   Add in trinity, garlic, chili's, stir and cook until soft
4.    Add in beans and water (shrimp stock)
5.   Stir in Creole seasonings, vegetable base and shrimp powder
6.   Simmer for 3-4 hours until beans are tinder. Add liquid as needed( I cooked the frozen beans          for about 30 minutes. The package called for about 25)
7.   Add in heavy cream and simmer 20 minutes
      It was about along here that I cooked my rice
8.   Add in shrimp, green onions and parsley and cook 15 more minutes
      It was about here that I cooked the sausage
9.    Serve over rice with a side of sausage