Saturday, December 16, 2017

Demo Cast Pays Off

We had an afternoon trip today, and a beautiful one it was! I had met Richard Morris and his friends Eddie and Dalton in town and we made the short run up to Dee Dee Bartels Park, launched, and then made a short run around to Eagans Creek with plans to fish the last of an outgoing tide. As always, I made a "demo" cast to get things started and when something picked up the live shrimp on a jig...I handed it off to Dalton and BOOM! Fish ON! Dalton worked him in and landed nice feisty Redfish! From then on it was non stop
catching for about 2 hours. This was the same dock we fished Monday and we never did run into any big Black Drum, but the Reds were more than enough!

Rich got  hot and put 2-3 Slot Redfish in the boat, Dalton added a Slot, and Eddie added a Slot
Before it was over we were "culling" Reds to stay within our limit. The anglers did catch a few smaller Black Drum while we were there. and had one Sheepshead to round out their Amelia Island
Back Country Slam.  With the limit in the box, we decided to make a run around to Bell River and set  up outside a deep hole.

Again, Rich hooked up and this one was big, ripping drag as it dove deep. But Rich kept the pressure on and soon landed the biggest Red of the day - a 23" fish.  They caught a few smaller Reds, a Seatrout (Grande Slam) and a Flounder (Super Grande Slam) before we moved on. Later, we fished some oysters beds with float rigs but the bite had died. The sun was creeping down and the temperatures were following it so we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Banner Day On a Cool One

The last time I checked my truck thermometer this morning before I hitched the boat it was 34 degrees! But the forecast called for sunny skies and almost no wind and warming to the low 60's, so Tim Parker and I decided to brave the early cold and get out and fish the backwaters of Amelia Island.  We launched from Dee Dee Bartels and made the short run around to Eagans Creek and set up current from some crusty dock pilings. As I was getting the trolling motor locked on anchor Tim was already tossing his TBC "Temptation Bait Company" shrimp colored fluke and....BOOM! Fish On! Tim
worked it patiently to the boat and landed a nice feisty Redfish. Now that's the way to start a fishing trip!

We fished that dock for over two hours and put  umpteen Redfish in the boat - I lost count at 7 Slot Reds with the biggest being 23".  While Tim continued to work the dock I went deep and found a few Seatrout and for the day we landed a good handful of them, the biggest being just 16", but we did have few of them that size.

Then, just when I thought things might slow down, the Black "puppy" Drum began to bite. It was non-stop action and more than once we had a "double" hookup. Tim and I were handing off the catch net as we landed our limit in 18-24" Drum. Things finally slowed down so we made a run around to Tiger, fished a bit, landed a few more Redfish and a Trout or two, then called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Sunday, December 3, 2017

December Snook Fishing

Yep, we got another Snook here in North, north Florida! I had met Duane Schumacher and his daughters Jasmine, Samantha and Savanah out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp early this morning on the very last of an incoming tide and we popped down to Pumpkin Hill and set up off some flooded oysters. I think the demo cast produced a hungry Seatrout which young Savanah reeled in!
Duane and Samantha figured out that they could let their floats drift down along the marsh grass with the current and BOOM! 
Seatrout caught! We picked up a few there then eased on around the corner and Jasmine got on the board with another Trout catch, too.

The tide was still coming in so we ran back to Christopher Creek and fished the docks and rocks, now switching to jigs (we had both live shrimp and mud minnows). Duane made an excellent cast up to some marsh grass and immediately hooked up with a nice feisty Redfish. He went back to the same spot and landed another Red. He went back to the same spot and hooked up with what we thought
was going to be a Seatrout, but no, it was a sleek Snook! It's always cool to catch one of those.

We fished on around the bend, hit some docks, and the Redfish bite got real hot. All four anglers were catching fish, and they were biting on both shrimp and minnows. Although the bite was fast and furious, so was the "no-seeum" bite! We took all we could stand then cranked and ran!

Our next stop was outside some flooded oysters at Seymore's Pointe and again, we found some Trout and a couple of Redfish. We then bounced down the Nassau River hitting marsh run outs and each stop produced Seatrout. Although the day stayed overcast and cool for the entire trip, we had some good action throughout and we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Assassin's Cove Hot For Redfish

Today was like "fishing on a pond" - the rivers were so still the water was like glass. I met Brian Parent and his friends Pat and Brian up at the north end boat ramp early this morning at dead high tide and we ran over to the outside of Tiger with plans to drift float rigs and live shrimp over some flooded oysters. We had only been fishing for a short while when the anglers began to pick up some Seatrout. Most were undersized but we did put one or two in the box.

We crossed over and fished another marsh line and here things really heated up. BOOM!  Seatrout. BOOM! Seatrout. BOOM! Seatrout. We caught one after the other. Again, most were smaller, but we did get another keeper to go in the box. We decided to move on, breaking one of the cardinal rules, "never leave fish to find fish"....but it paid off!

After leaving the Tiger area we cruised up to the Jolley River and found a nice bank to fish, one that had submerged oysters. It was on
fire with Redfish. Pat, the "Assassin" went in and hooked up, FISH ON! He played it patiently to the boat and landed a nice Slot Redfish. Both Brian's followed him in and from then on for about an hour is one Redfish after the other. I quit counting Slot Reds at #12 but I'm sure we had a few more than that. Dozens of smaller Reds were caught and tossed back. A couple of Trout were caught, too.

When the bite finally slowed we cruised around to the Bell River, picked up some small Mangrove Snapper around some docks, then came back to Fernandina for a reload of bait. We fished mud minnows for a few stops, had a one Trout, then called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hot November Fishing

The weather has been warming over the last couple of days - I heard on the radio we're having record highs - and the fishing is staying hot, too!  Today, I met Dale and Kay Bullard up at the north end boat ramp and we then made a quick run over to Lanceford Creek to find some docks to fish on an outgoing tide. Both anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp up to the dock pilings and picked up a couple of small, but fat Seatrout. Then Dale had a strong hookup and he had a battle on his hands. He played it perfectly and soon landed a big 18" Black "puppy" Drum.  We also had a couple of feisty Redfish. Moving
on to a second dock, Kay caught the only fish there, a keeper sized Flounder.

The tide was still going out so we took a trip over to and up the Bell River with plans to fish some more dock pilings. Kay switched to a traditional Trout "slip float" rig and caught a small Trout then we dropped moved around, fishing docks until we found fish. Kay, still working the float rig, landed a nice Seatrout - the biggest of the day - then Dale and I had a "double" keeper Trout hookup. We  had a good flurry of Trout catching ( some were keeper sized)  then some Dolphin moved in and everything shut down.

Our next stop was around in the Jolley River, and we made a quick stop at the MOA where Dale landed one small but feisty Redfish. We continued to bounce down the Jolley, now fishing oyster beds, but the tide was coming to a standstill and we had no real bites.

The sun was getting up but the tide was turning as we eased up to the logs of Tiger. It was a slow bite but we did pick up another small Red, and a hungry Trout before we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Making A Run At Bragging Rights

What a beautiful day to get back to work after a great birthday weekend! I met Jane Carver, her friend Clay and is son Brook up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park early this morning and we had clear skies, sunshine and just a slight breeze to greet us. With only about an hour of an outgoing tide left, we made a quick run over to Lanceford Creek and found a dock to fish. I think first cast produced a feisty Redfish then we picked up a few more as the tide went slack.

We ran back to Tiger Island and began fishing the logs as the tide started back in and things picked up. Both Clay and Brook put a few more Reds in the boat, with one of them being of keeper size, then Jane landed a keeper sized Seatrout. We had just a few more Trout - not many as I expected. After working the island thoroughly, we pulled up "anchor" and made the quick trip around to the Jolley River and set up along the "bank", still tossing jigs and live shrimp, but this time to the base of the oysters. After working along the bank about half way back to the point with no real bites,
BOOM! We were in to fish. The trio of anlgers caught Redfish after Redfish, sometimes getting doubles, and at least having a "triple" hookup. It was on fire. Then, as Brook was fighting a feisty Red on the stern, Clay had a strong hookup and, FISH ON! This was a big fish. It wasn't coming in. His line zipped down the bank then zipped back up the bank, then ran deep. Clay kept the pressure on - that's all he could do for a while. But we had the fish out deep and we chased him down as we needed, and after a good battle, Clay landed a huge, oversized 33.5" Redfish - big enough to slide him comfortable into 2nd place in the Anglers Mark 2017 Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings). Boy what a fish! We continued to fish until we ran out of bait, and left 'em biting. For a while.

After making a pit stop at the bait shop for some more live shrimp, we  came back to the Jolley, but continued on down to Snook Creek where we switched to float rigs. Although it wasn't as hot as the "bank", we still caught fish, and added one more Slot sized Redfish.  We hit the docks in Bell River, added a Redfish and a couple of Trout, then cruised back towards Fernandina to make a stop at some flooded oyster Beds. After one fish busted on Jane's bait, Clay went in behind her and picked up another Slot Red. The wind was really beginning to kick so we ran through Tiger and back to Tiger Island. I don't normally like to fish the island on a high tide but it was blocking the wind and I thought we might pick up a Trout out deep. As we worked along, we knew there were one or two spots we could pitch in to, and sure enough, Brooks made an excellent cast, worked it out deep, and BOOM! Big Fish On! He played it patiently, worked it slowly to the boat, and landed a big Slot 24" Redfish. Now THAT's the way to wrap up a fishing trip here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Cold and Dreary Makes for a Good Day

After a rainy and windy Thanksgiving day, today was somewhat bleak when we launched early this morning. Rain was on my windshield as I headed for the boat and luckily that quit, but the skies remained overcast for much of the trip, and the wind stayed steady at around 11mph - not the perfect day you'd think for fishing!

But my anglers were ready to go  - Tripp Brown, his dad Eddie Brown and  his nephew, Bennett. We met up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park and ran around to fish the back side of Tiger with a tide that had been coming for a couple of hours. Wouldn't you know it, first cast of the day with a jig and shrimp, BOOM! Big fish on! Bennett was on the rod and he played it patiently - this was a big fish. He worked it slowly to the boat and soon landed a nice 25.5" Slot Redfish. Now that's the way to start the day. Coincidently, it was in the exact same spot as the first fish caught on Wednesday,  another big Redfish.  From then on, the anglers were catching fish. Tripp put a handful of feisty Reds in the boat, and another handful of Seatrout, a couple which were keeper size. Eddie added some Trout and Reds then Bennett landed a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum and more Trout and another Slot sized, six spot Redfish.

When things slowed we made a quick run over to Bell River and found some more Trout, this time drifting float rigs and live shrimp along a marsh line. When Bennett hooked up with a drag-ripping fish I thought for sure, at first, that he surely had a huge Seatrout. But after expertly working it to the boat, we saw that it was a large Black Drum, boy what a  fighter!

We moved on, making a run up Lanceford Creek and hit a small grassy island. It took a while but we found some fish, and caught Seatrout after Seatrout, with a few of them being keeper size. Bennett added a small Sheepshead which gave him an Amelia Island Backcountry Grande Slam of Redfish, Seatrout, Black Drum and Sheepshead. He also had a Whiting!

Our last stop was at the mouth of Eagans Creek in attempt to get out of the wind an get some last minutes of fishing in. Again, we found Trout and landed few. And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Stuffed Redfish For Thanksgiving

After checking the weather forecast last night we slightly thought of not fishing today. But boy what a pretty day it was!  I met Doug Mackle and his granddaughter Montana up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park and we scooted around to the logs of Tiger to take advantage of an incoming tide. Perfect conditions, perfect tide, and good casters made for some outstanding fish catching on jigs an live shrimp. With only a cast or two Doug had a strong hookup and, BIG FISH ON! This fish was not going to come to the boat easy! But Doug played it perfectly and after a good, long battle, subdued
the "Tournament Sized" Red Drum and landed it. It measured right at 26.5" - now that's the way to wake up a fishing trip. And it must have because Montana began to put one fish in the boat after another. Her fish of choice for the moment was keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum, then a few feisty Redfish. Doug caught his share too, then the breeze became a calm and the "no see-ums" attacked us, so we move on up to the Jolley River.

We fished up at Snook Creek with live shrimp under floats but had
only nibbles. Then we fished on the outside of Tiger, north at a small marsh run out, and had no luck. We came back to the mouth of Tiger and fished some flooded oysters and again, no luck. The breeze had picked up so we thought we'd try the logs again, even though the tide was up and this did the trick.

I think it was Montana's first cast, she felt the bump and set the hook and reeled in a nice keeper sized Flounder, garnering her an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Black Drum, Red Drum, and Flounder. Then she followed that up with a keeper sized Seatrout to claim a "Grande Slam". Both anglers teamed up to land a handful more of Seatrout, then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Little Anglers Big Trout

We launched today under some gloomy skies, but the crew were in good spirits and ready to get out on the water! I met Tim and Meagan Wieher and their two kids Winnie and Fitz down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp this morning and we headed up the Nassau River to make our first stop at Twin Creeks on a  high and incoming tide. We were tossing live shrimp under floats and it wasn't long before all were catching fish. Meagan and Winnie were fishing the bow while Tim and Fitz took up the stern and both
parties caught some hungry Seatrout for a good while.

When the bite slowed, we moved on up the Nassau and just north of a dock system and began tossing our rigs to some sparse marsh grass. Again, we found fish! The young anglers were taking turns reeling in fish and netting fish. Then Winnie had a strong hookup and we could tell this was a bigger fish. She reeled the fish in all by herself and landed the biggest fish of the day, a nice 20" Seatrout (All fish were released today). Then Tim put a keeper sized fish in
the boat. Then we had a couple of nice feisty Redfish caught.

There was a rain system approaching so we pulled up and ran down to the Goffinsville Park boat ramp and sought shelter under a picnic pavilion. After that we cruised Broward Island to see if there was any wildlife and we were treated with a sighting of a pair of Bald Eagles. Now that's the way to wrap up a great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Fish For Thanksgiving?

The Pete Nolan family was back in town for the Thanksgiving holiday - Pete and his wife Joanne, their daughters Taylor, Sidney and Tatum and her boyfriend Victor. We did a "split" trip, taking four anglers the first couple of hours then stopped back by the boat ramp and exchanged a crew. Pete got to fish both sessions! Smart man!

Our early excursion was with Pete, Joanne, Tatum and Victor. We left the Dee Dee Bartels park and made a quick run over to the take
advantage of the last of an incoming tide at Tiger Island, All four anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp to the pockets. It only took a few casts and Tatum had a hookup!  She played the fish perfectly to the boat and landed nice feisty Redfish. From then on it seemed we were catching fish. Victor got hot and put couple of keeper sized Seatrout in the boat. He also had a Redfish and a keeper sized Flounder to garner an Amelia Island Back Country Slam. Joanne was keeping the stern of the boat busy - she too had a Slam which included one fat keeper sized Seatrout. Pete landed a nice Redfish
and a Flounder, too.

We hit one more spot over in the Bell River, now fishing the very last of an incoming tide. Both Pete and Joanne found some Seatrout out the stern while Tatum added one more Trout to her catch.
After a brief pit stop back at the boat ramp, we were back at it again, this time with Pete and his daughters Taylor and Sidney.

We made a quick run to the outside of Tiger Island. Sidney had made a good cast up to some sparse marsh grass as I was getting the other two anglers set to fish and...FISH ON! This was a big fish! Any time the drag rips and the fish doesn't want to budge on this light tackle, you know it's a big fish. Sidney worked it slowly to the boat, even as the fish made some surging runs - and after a good battle, landed a "Tournament Sized Redfish" 26.5", boy what a fish!  But the wind had begun to really kick up and we had no
further bites so we ran around and fished the same Bell River spot as the earlier crew. The tide had started out and we had no real bites.

Our next and final stop was around in Lanceford Creek, fishing a small grass island and a tide that was now going out. Things started off slow but Pete found some fish on the others ide of the island and all three anglers began to get some Seatrout. Taylor found her
groove and landed three of the hungry fish.  Pete wrapped things up with one more keeper sized fish. And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida