Thursday, October 1, 2015

Flood Tide Fishing

We had another flood tide this morning, forecast to be around noon, so when I met Brian Cohen down at the City marina at 8am, we made a quick run up to Tiger Island to get in some jig fishing before the water got too high up. Brian was making excellent casts and picked up a few fish before we moved around to the outside and switched to live shrimp under a float. This was very productive with Brian landing a good handful of hungry Seatrout and a feisty Redfish and then he battled a nice size Bluefish to wrap up our bait fishing. We then began to check the flooding grass. It took three
spots but on the third as we eased way up in the marsh we both saw a couple of tails working through the spartina. Just like yesterday, they seemed to be on the move and just didn't like what we were throwing. We moved around to another spot (one we had checked earlier) and their was another Redfish, this one "backing" as it cruised through the flat. It too didn't want what we were tossing. And like the last couple of days, the tide was pouring in so fast, the flats filled up quickly and made the water too high to see anything. It was a beautiful day, we caught some fish, we chased some fish, and had another great day out on Amelia Island waters.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Outgoing Tide Makes for Good Fishing

I fished an afternoon trip today, meeting Keith Trammel, his dad Gene, and his brother-in-law Kevin down at the Atlantic Seafood dock with plans to go fishing for Genes "birthday week celebration". The tide had been going out for an hour or so but it was still extremely high so we headed up to the outside of Tiger Island with a bait well of live shrimp. The anglers were tossing float rigs at first and had no trouble finding some hungry Seatrout and a feisty Redfish, catching a good handful of them. We ran up to the
Jolley River, fished the "bank" and picked up one more fat Seatrout then ran further up the river where Gene put another feisty Redfish in the boat. The oysters were beginning to show so a couple of the anglers switched to jigs, but we had no real bites. We ran back to Tiger Island, fished the logs, and here things heated back up. All three anglers were catching fish on the jigs and shrimp. Keith put a few Flounder in the boat, Kevin picked up a couple of more Reds and they also had a small Grouper. But then Gene had a strong hookup and as his drag ripped out, we knew he had a big fish, FISH ON!  He played the big fish patiently, as you can see in the below video, and eventually landed an oversized Redfish, boy what a fish!  He followed that up with his own Flounder to claim and Amelia Island Backcountry Slam then upped that when he put a Black "puppy" Drum to make it a "Grande" Slam. We fished the area thoroughly, picking up a fish here and there, then called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Chasing Tails in the Grass

We finally had a break in the weather today and it made it a nice day to get out on the water. I had met Keith Lutz and his friends Bill and Don down at the City marina early this morning and we headed north up the river to fish some flooded oyster beds with topwater lures and live shrimp under floats. The two guys( Keith and Bill) tossing topwater lures had a handful of spits and Don picked up a Ladyfish on his float rig. Then Bill had a good hit that smashed his lure and then a hookup. He played the fish patiently to the boat and landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout. We ran up to the
Jolley River, fished a flooded bank then headed back to fish behind Tiger Island for tailing Reds up in the grass. The grass was flooding quickly and I believe it was our second stop when we all saw tailing fish. They were a little too far to cast to so we got out and waded, tossing weedless spoons on spinning and fly tackle. Although we had a shot at a few fish, they seemed to be on a mission and moving awful fast through the grass - we had no hookups. We checked a couple of more spots out but the water was already up too high, so we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Squeez'n In a Fishing Trip

We had a window in the weather this morning and Betsy Tansey and her son Ryan were able to squeeze in a fishing trip prior to Betsy's work engagement so we met down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and headed up the Nassau River to fish an extremely high tide that just started out. The grass was flooded still and on our first stop at Twin Creeks just had one feisty Jack on our live shrimp under a float. We fished a dock at Seymore's Pointe then ran through Horse Head to fish the mouth of Jackstaff, sticking with the float rigs and
shrimp. It took a while but eventually both Betsy and Ryan hooked up and landed some nice fat Seatrout. Then, after Betsy had made an excellent cast to a small grass island, her float went under with a vengeance and, FISH ON! The drag was ripping and I saw a big Red boil up on the edge of grass but it was not to be, FISH OFF! Ouch! But it was a good battle while it lasted.  We fished the area for a while, picked up another Trout or two, then moved over to fish another flooded bank.  Ryan switched to a lighter jig rig and soon got the hang of hooking up fish. He landed a couple of Croaker, a Whiting and another Seatrout with the rig. We fished back at Seymore's Pointe, picked up a couple of more fish and then ended our day down at Broward Island where Ryan wrapped it up with one more Seatrout. The rain held off, we had a nice breeze, over cast skies and another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Two Anglers Combine for a Grande Slam

We had another beautiful morning today and you could feel Fall in the air as we headed down the river. I had met Stephan Moje and his friend Keith at the City marina and we made our first run up Bell River to fish some dock pilings on an outgoing tide. I kid you not, Stephan's first cast produced a fat Seatrout - a great way to start a fishing trip! The two anglers were tossing live shrimp on a  jig and picked up a few more Trout then Keith put a keeper sized Flounder in the boat. We ran around to the Jolley River and fished some exposed oysters, catching Croaker and a couple of more
Seatrout. Our next stop was the mouth of Jolley and after a few minutes of fishing Stephan had a strong hookup, and, FISH ON! He played the fish patiently and after a good battle on the light tackle spinning gear, he landed a nice 23" Slot Redfish, rounding out the duo's Amelia Island Back Country Slam. But they weren't finished! We fished Tiger Island on the first of an incoming tide and to my surprise, Keith caught a feisty Black "puppy" Drum to make it a Grande Slam! We fished the island thoroughly and after Stephan picked up a keeper sized Flounder, we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Coca Cola Colored Water

We've had tons of rain here at Amelia Island and it finally let up over the weekend. And after being gone on vacation for about 10 days I was ready to get back in the saddle and catch some fish! I met Chris Triponey down at the Atlantic Seafood dock early this morning and we headed north to fish the Jolley River on the last of an outgoing tide. I think Chris had two hookups the first two casts!  The first was a fast bronze colored keeper sized Seatrout (all fish were released today) and a fairly large and hungry Croaker. We
fished the oyster lined bank and picked up a couple of more Trout and a couple of more Croaker. We moved further up the river, fished a large creek run out and here Chris put a feisty Redfish in the boat. Moving on he got into a hot spot and landed a couple of more Trout, one being about 17" and extremely fat with roe. We hit the MOA, picked up a couple of fish, then ran back to Tiger Island to fish the logs as the tide started back in. Chris caught a hungry Flounder to round out his Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Seatrout, Red Drum, and Flounder, then he picked up another feisty Redfish. Later, we had a strong hookup and this one was pulling drag! Chris played the big fish patiently and perfectly and soon landed a nice 22" Slot Redfish! We fished he area for a short while longer then headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Thunder Rolled

With the remnants of Tropical Storm Ericka passing to the east and west of  us, Floyd and Tricia Davis and I left the Sawpit Creek boat ramp this morning and headed north, up to Broward Island to fish jigs and minnows as the tide changed and started back in. We could hear thunder rumbling and see lighting way off in the distance but we all felt safe as we began to fish. It didn't take long to began to get bites.  I had noticed that Floyd made an excellent cast where the currents were creating an eddy in between a downed log and some tree limbs and it seemed just at the bait hit bottom, BOOM! Floyd
had a fish on. He played the big fish patiently, enjoying the fight, and eventually expertly landed a nice 22" Slot Redfish. Skunk off!  I think he went back to the same spot three more times and each time picked up a feisty Redfish. Then he gave up the spot to Tricia and she pulled a keeper sized Flounder out of the same spot! We tossed this one back to grow some more, though. We fished the area thoroughly, picked up another fish or two, then ran back to Seymore's Pointe to fish some docks. The two anglers had a bite here and there then Floyd had another strong hookup. This fish was big but it was putting up a weird fight. I think it was a big Flounder but we never found out -as Floyd worked it patiently away from the dock pilings POOF, it was gone! OUCH!  We fished more and Tricia landed another small Flounder, she seemed to have the knack for catching the elusive fish. We fished Jackstaff Creek with float rigs, had a few bites but no takers, then headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Non Stop Action

I've always said that summer time fishing "we have to work for 'em" but today proved me wrong! I fished the the Galvin family, Pat and Sharon along with their two kids Kacey and Drew, leaving from the City marina and running up a short ways in the Bell River to fish some flooded oyster beds on an outgoing tide. The anglers were tossing float rigs with live shrimp and mud minnows and it didn't seem to matter because it wasn't long before all of them were catching fish.  It was a good mix of plump Seatrout, high flying
Ladyfish, hard driving Bluefish and some pesky Perch. We fished until it slowed a bit then ran around to the outside of Tiger Island and the fish bite picked up where it had left off. Again, Seatrout, Blues and Ladyfish were the norm. Both Kacey and Drew were making excellent casts and each had the entire variety of fish. After passing some trees with a zoo-like representation of birds, we ran up to Jolley River to fish a large creek runout. Drew tangled briefly with a Bonnethead Shark and again, all four anglers put Seatrout, Blues and Ladyfish in the boat. Sharon had a good bite and a different kind of battle: she played it perfectly and patiently and soon landed a nice feisty Redfish. The sun had gotten up and finally burst through the cloud cover, making it somewhat hot, so we did a short tour of Cumberland Island to see some wild horses, crossed over and took a peak at Fort Clinch, then eased around to check out the Burbank Net Shop and Pippi Longstocking's house. After that, we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Angler's Mark

I was thinking about it this morning and then it came up today while fishing with Walter and Maria Tabaschek and their son Axel - what is "the angler's mark"? I've found it hard to explain in a brief definition, but to me it's definitely NOT all about catching fishing. To be sure, catching fish is part of it, but when I think about the sport of angling, there's more to it than just hauling in a fish. I think about picking out my favorite fishing clothes, setting my "lucky" hat by the door, and maybe bagging up a lunch the night before. Sometimes I'll "treat" myself to some snacks, like a bag of boiled
peanuts or maybe some Pecan Sandies!  I'll have my tackle ready to go, my game plan for fishing in my mind: what's the weather forecast?  what's the tide prediction? what type of bait or lure will I start off with?  But I've gotten ahead of myself.  If there is a book or magazine on fishing or a TV show I'll check it out. Finding an antique lure or piece of antique tackle at a flea market is exciting. I like to stop in small towns that have an old time bait and tackle shop and meander it through it in search of some neat or obscure lure that I've never seen. Art festivals that have outdoor artists whether they be paintings, wood carvings or sculptures will always have me stopping by to see the beauty. When driving, rarely do my wife and I pass a body of water that I don't speculate out loud, "I bet there's fish in that water!"   The morning of a fishing trip should almost always have grits and eggs and bacon on the schedule. Meeting your fishing buddy early, before the hustle and bustle of folks going to work (aaarggh) and sitting down to some coffee, orange juice and a hearty breakfast is a great way to start off the day. The fishing trip begins with the sun coming up over the horizon with an anticipation of a great fish catching day. You'll never know what you'll see out on the water. Dolphin and shore birds for sure, but an occasional manatee, otter or salt marsh mink happen along from time to time. I've seen wild hogs and deer on our uninhabited islands and regularly see osprey (some with their catch clutched in their claws) and Roseate Spoonbills and Cranes and Herons.  It's not unusual to have some huge marine "being" to surface like a Tarpon rolling on the surface or massive Ray come flying out of the water. Sea Turtles will swim by and Blue Crabs, too.  Most days you catch fish, too, and you make take a few home to eat - I like a good fish fry (or blackening) as much as anyone, but even if you don't catch fish or don't keep any, the experience of getting out on the water with friends and family and enjoying your day of fishing can't be measured by how many fish you caught.

Today, we left out of Big Talbot Island Park, ran up the Amelia River, eased in to Jackstaff, and fished the bank with mud minnows under floats on the first of an outgoing tide.  After just a few minutes of casting Walter's float went under and, FISH ON!  He patiently played and landed a big 20" Speckled Seatrout!  We continued to fish the bank, had a few bites, tangled with some Ladyfish, then ran around to fish Seymore's Pointe. Here, all three of us parried with some sneaky Snapper but I believe they've wised up to us anglers! We bounced around to fish another dock and here Axel got on the board when he landed a nice feisty Redfish. He put a Ladyfish in the boat and hauled up a rather large eel. Axel has been interested in fishing since he was very young and we all agreed that he surely has "the angler's mark"!   

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Two Casts Two Fish

I started my week fishing with John Kenny this morning, meeting down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp and making the run up the Amelia River to slip into Jackstaff and fish the "bank" with float rigs and live shrimp on the first of an outgoing tide. Our first cast to the marsh line produced a strong bite and, FISH ON! John played the fish perfectly and soon landed a nice Slot sized Redfish (all fish caught were released today). He baited up again, made a cast and when the float went under we knew he had another fish - a nice feisty Redfish this time. Now that's a great start! We fished the bank in it's entirety and picked up a couple of more Reds then ran around to Seymore's Pointe and fished some docks. Here John picked up a big Croaker and a keeper sized Mangrove Snapper in quick succession.  There were fish busting bait everywhere and we even tried some live finger muillet but they wouldn't take our offering so we ran down to Broward Island and fished some logs. John picked up one more Redfish, this one on a jig and shrimp, then we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.