Thursday, April 28, 2016

Great Fishing to Wrap The Week Up

We've had great fishing weather all the week and for the most part, the fish have cooperated!  Reggie Mason had lined up an early morning trip today so he sent his daughter Khaliah, her boyfriend Jake, and their friends Herbert and Robert to fish the back waters of Amelia Island on the Angler's Mark. We launched out of the Dee Dee Bartels boat ramp and headed over to Tiger Island to fish the very first of an incoming tide. Herbert started things off by landing a nice keeper sized Seatrout then all the anglers joined in. Both Jake and Khaliah landed some feisty Black "puppy" Drum then Jake had
a strong hookup, a good battle, and after expertly playing the fish, landed a nice 19" Slot sized Redfish! We fished the island up and down, picked up another smaller but feisty Trout, then made the run over to Eagans Creek to fish some dock pilings.  Jake and Robert stayed with the jig and shrimp combo while Khaliah and Herbert fished deep slip floats drifted by some docks. Both had bites from time to time then Khaliah hooked up and landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout.  Fishing the dock pilings with jigs produced another
strong hookup - this time Robert was on the rod and he worked in another Slot Sized Redfish. We eased down the docks with the tide and when Khaliah's float drifted by the end of one and went down, she lifted her rod, set the hook and FISH ON! This was a big fish and it was ripping drag!  But it was no match for Khaliah and she applied the pressure, keeping her rod tip up and slowly working the fish in. After a good battle she brought to the boat and landed a fat
20" Seatrout, man what a fish! We worked further down and Jake's rod heated up when he landed a couple of smaller but hungry Seatrout. Our last stop was over at the Jolley River and even though I thought the bite would be better, Khaliah did wrap things up by catching one more Trout with minutes to spare, making it another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Big Trout Tops Slot Red

We had another beautiful morning to greet us today when I met Matt Kloepfer, his fiancĂ© Kaleena, and his parents Allen and Jane down at the Atlantic Seafood dock to do a half day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. On a tip from Capt. Jim Johnson owner of Amelia Island Bait and Tackle, we made the run over to Eagans Creek and fished some dock pilings deep - I had two anglers drifting slip floats with live shrimp and two anglers tossing jigs and shrimp to the bottom. It didn't take long before we started getting
bites. Both Kaleena and Jane had hookups but the fish threw the hooks then Allen had a strong bite, and FISH ON! He fought it for a while before teaming up with Jane and they both worked it to the boat - a shark! After Matt put a Toad Fish in the boat he had another strong bite and again, FISH ON! Matt played the fish perfectly and patiently and soon landed a nice 20" Slot sized Redfish. Now we're fishing! We had a few more good bites as we bounced up and down the docks then Kaleena hooked up. This was a big fish! Her drag was ripping and the line was shaking and we all
felt comfortable it was a big Trout. She worked it slowly to the boat and sure enough, once landed, the big Trout measured to 22" putting Kaleena tied for first place in the Anglers Mark 2016 Bragging Rights Tournament -Trout category(scroll down the right side of this report for standings). Boy what a fish! We continued to fish the area and picked up a few more smaller Trout, then we ran around to the Jolley River and fished the "bank", picking up more Trout here and there. Matt added another keeper Trout while Allen slowly built a commanding lead in the "quantity" of fish caught, as he continued to work the jig. We made our final stop over at the outside of Tiger and again found a fish or two, all Trout. With that, we wrapped it up and called it another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Two Casts Two Fish

I had the pleasure of fishing with Rod Chin and his daughter Amelia (who happens to have an island named after her) this morning and a fine one it was. We had just a slight breeze that kept the sand gnats off and nothing but sunshine to fish all morning with. We made our first stop at Tiger Island and then  baited up with live shrimp on jigs. The first cast produced  a nice, keeper sized Sheepshead, which Rod and Amelia teamed up to bring in.  Then on the second cast, Rod hooked up and landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout. Now that's the way to start a fishing trip out. We fished
the area thoroughly, had a few good bites, but no takers, then we ran up to Jolley River to fish the "bank" with live shrimp under floats on the incoming tide.  It was perfect conditions but kinda slow until we got ready to leave then the duo landed another Trout. Our next stop was back to the outside of Tiger and again, we caught a Trout or two, and also had a visit from the FWC checking licenses! Our final stop was around at Bell River and here Amelia reeled in a Seatrout of her own, all by her self! It was a beautiful day and another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Trout Trip

I fished another group trip, this time with just three boats running, and I had three anglers who met me down at the City marina. We ran north and into Tiger Basin to fish the first of an incoming tide with jigs and live shrimp. We had fished just a short while when Bill hooked up and landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout. Shortly after that Colin put a Trout in the  boat, too. The tide got up so we moved around to the outside of Tiger and switched to float rigs and had a real good flurry of Trout catching, with one more of them
being of keeper size. Kim got in on the action and landed a nice Trout of her own. We hit another flooded marsh bank outside of Tiger, had no real bites, then ran thru Tiger over to Bell River fished a point of grass, and here Kim hooked up and landed the biggest Trout of the day. We had another Trout or two or three then ran over to Lanceford Creek to fish some flooded grass islands. The trio of anglers wrapped the day up by landing another couple of Trout, with one more being in the keeper sized range.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Not One But Two Snook at Amelia Island!

If I told you that the only two fish that came in the boat today here at Amelia Island were Snook would you believe me? Well believe me, because that's what we had today! I had the pleasure of fishing with Doug Mackle and his son Doug, and Doug jr's two daughters "Orange Sunglasses and Blue Shirt". We met down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp with an absolutely beautiful morning to greet us. Our first run was up the Nassau River to fish some dock pilings on the first of an incoming tide. We had just a few nibble but no takers so we ran through Horsehead to fish the mouth of Jackstaff. Here
we had some really good bites and at least two strong "takes" - enough to have the drag sing, but both broke off during the battle. No telling what they were but my gut tells me they had some sharp teeth - maybe Jack Crevalle's, or small shark, or feisty Blue fish. We hit a couple of area's around Jackstaff then made the run down to Christopher Creek. Here, the angler's patience paid off. Doug had a nice bite, a hookup, and a good fight but he soon landed a .....Snook!  This was the third Snook I've had on the Anglers Mark since I've been guiding. We fished up and down the bank, came back to the original spot and, BOOM! Doug had another good bite and...another Snook!  Number 2 for the day and number 4 for the boat.  You just never can tell what you're going to catch here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Trout Come Alive Part Two

I fished again this afternoon, this time running a trip as part of a group of 5 boats taking 16 people fishing. In my group I had Nick, his two kids Austin and Annabelle and his brother Michael, a very able crew! We headed up to Tiger Island with plans to fish the outside but there were a lot of boats out this afternoon so we eased inside and set up to fish the downed logs with jigs and shrimp on a falling tide.We didn't get any Redfish bites up close but the anglers picked up some nice Trout out deeper. Both Austin and Annabelle reeled in some fish. We fished the area for a good while then ran out and around and up to the Jolley River to fish some exposed oyster bars. The area looked good but we had no bites so we slipped around to fish the MOA, but again no real bites. Kinda slow right? Our next stop was back at Eagans Creek to fish some dock pilings and this did the trick! I believe it was Nicks first cast and BOOM! FISH ON! He and Annabelle worked the fish in patiently and soon landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout. From then on the anglers were catching fish down on the bottom with jigs and shrimp. They got enough for a meal then began to throw even keeper sized fish back. Austin added a hard fighting Black "puppy" Drum to the catch total before we headed in, counting it as another great afternoon to be fishing Amelia Island waters.

Trout Come Alive Part One

I fished with Tim Ayers again today, along with his son Andrew and his dad Stan, so a three generation fishing trip! We met down at the Atlantic Seafood dock early and headed north and up to the outside of Tiger Island to fish some flooding oyster beds with live shrimp under floats. Tim "knocked the skunk off" when he landed a nice keeper sized Trout, then both Andrew and Stan landed one each, too. We fished that area for a while, had  few bites, but no takers then crossed over to fish another area, and had no real luck.
We ran through Tiger and around to Bell River and again set up to fish the edge of some flooding marsh grass, and again, no real bites. Our next stop was over in Lanceford Creek and this did the trick. Tim made a long cast to the other side of small grass island and had a strong bite and, FISH ON! He played the fish patiently and soon landed a nice big Seatrout. From then on it was a fish catching time.  Both Stan and Andrew landed big Trout and all three landed smaller Trout, then they added a few more big ones (to 18").  Andrew had a weired bite and after a good battle, landed a Bonnethead Shark. We had a good stretch of Trout catching there for a while and it was a great way to wrap up a good day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Mixing Fishing and Sightseeing

We had a beautiful morning today, a great one to get in a little fishing and some sightseeing to wrap things up. I met Joe and Barbara Conlon down at the City marina and we headed over to Bell River to fish some still flooding oyster beds with live shrimp and float rigs. And wouldn't you know it, first cast, BAM! Fish on!  That's the way to start a fishing trip!  Joe worked the fish in patiently and landed a nice hungry Seatrout. We fished a grassy point for just a while then moved around to the  outside of Tiger Island and now that the tide had started out we were set up in a
good spot. We had another float go under and this one came in fairly easy. After fishing one more stretch of grass we ran out and toured Fort Clinch then cut across the inlet to the south side of Cumberland Island where we were greeted by a herd of wild horses to view. We eased up the island then into Beach Creek and sure enough, there was a little alligator in his same spot. Can you spot him in the pic below? On the way back we toured the old Pogy Plant and Old Towne then we headed in and counted it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

From Nice to Breezy

We were back fishing today after a long stretch of high winds that kept us off the water. Today's forecast started out with about 2mph winds increasing to 12 but it felt like 15+ before the day was over. But the three anglers I had today were all about getting out on the water and wetting a line and that we did! I met Kurt Miller and his friends Bob and Steve down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp and we made our first run up the Amelia River to dip into
Jackstaff and fish some flooding marsh grass on the last of an incoming tide. Kurt was tossing a topwater lure up on the bow and Bob and Steve were using float rigs with live shrimp to fish the edges. We fished a good stretch with no bites so Steve switched to a jig and shrimp and this did the trick when he "knocked the skunk off" by landing a fat Seatrout. And seconds later Bob picked up a Trout of his own, this one on the float rig. We fished that stretch pretty good then moved further up into a creek. Bob found a hot spot and landed a couple of  more Trout, then Steve landed another. A couple of these were in the keeper sized range. We ran through
the marsh and stopped at a dock to fish some pilings with the jig rig. It wasn't long before Kurt had a strong bite and FISH ON!  He played it perfectly but this hard fighting fish had a mind of its own and made a dash to the pilings and sure enough, wrapped around one of them. But Kurt worked the fish carefully, gave it some slack, and it came out, then Kurt applied the pressure as we eased away from the docks. I thought for sure it was one of the Drums - Red or Black, but after a good battle Kurt landed a nice hard fighting Jack Crevalle. The wind had really picked up so we ran down to Broward Island to get some relief and it was like fishing on a still pond. The trio caught a few more Trout beyond the island along the marsh, but we had no real bites around the logs. Our last stop was back towards Seymore's Pointe, fishing an old oyster bed and here Kurt landed a feisty 9-spot Redfish. We fished Jackstaff one more time but the wind was kicking up the mud so we headed in and counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

First on a Fly

There was a fog warning this morning on the radio but when we launched it was cloudy but not fog. The wind was forecast to pick up so when I met Mark Deprimo we planned to hit Eagans Creek with a fly rod in hopes of picking up a Seatrout down deep and be out of the wind. Mark was making excellent casts and stripping the fly back slowly, letting it fall down the river bottom, but we had no hits. When the tide  hit rock bottom we ran around to Tiger Island and began to fish the exposed logs as the tide started back in. Mark made a pinpoint cast to the edge of some logs and as his fly slipped
along he felt a thump and a heaviness and, FISH ON!  He worked the small but feisty fish to the boat and put his first fly caught Flounder in the boat. We fished up and down the island, staying out of the now brisk wind, but had no real bites. On our third pass we switched to live shrimp and spin gear and this did the trick. We had a strange and subtle "bump" out from the limbs and immediately knew that this was a big fish. Mark played it perfectly and when the fish took him from bow to stern and from port to starboard, he stayed with it, keeping the pressure on. After a good battle, Mark landed an exhausted 29.75" oversized Redfish, putting him in first place of the Anglers Mark 2016 Bragging Rights Tournament -Redfish category (scroll down right side of this report for standings). Boy what a fish. And it had 25 spots on it which would have made some one very happy to be fishing in the recent Spot Tournament -IF it had been caught about a year or two ago! After fishing the island we ran around to Bell River, fished some still exposes oysters, and Mark picked up a feisty Bluefish and Spotted Seatrout to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Flounder, Redfish, and Trout. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.