Thursday, March 26, 2015

Foggy Fishing

We had another foggy socked in day this morning, making it kinda difficult to navigate to "spots". I started up Lanceford Creek with Doug Massey and his two friends Marion and Bill but I was having to go so slow I figured I better go ahead and hit my 2nd choice and fish it until the fog lifted. We eased around to Tiger Island and began fishing on the very last of an outgoing tide. Just as I thought it was a little slow but when the tide changes the three anglers began to catch fish. Dough "knocked the skunk off" when he landed a nice feisty Redfish. Then they were all catching fish - feisty Reds, hungry Seatrout and then they picked up a couple of Sheepshead to claim an Amelia Island Back Country Slam. They then made it a "Grande Slam" when Bill landed a Black "puppy" Drum. We fished the area thoroughly and put two keeper sized Seatrout in the boat before we ran up to Jolley River to fish a flooding oyster bed. Doug had one good hookup with what surely was a Slot Redfish but it buried it's nose in the oysters and broke itself off after a good battle. We had a good day of "catching" so we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Flordia!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Creatures of Amelia

I did a tour this afternoon, taking the Steve Buckley family on a "Creatures of Amelia" tour. We headed north and saw the historic sites of Old Town, the Pogey Plant and Fort Clinch, then crossed over to Cumberland Island where we saw a small herd of wild horses. As we cruised the shoreline Steve spotted a pod of Dolphin rolling out ahead of us. We cruised Beach Creek, saw some bird life, then crossed back into Florida and around behind Tiger Island. I had some live shrimp and mud minnows left over from the morning trip so we broke out a couple of rods and gave it a try. After a few casts we had a good hookup and Steve and his oldest son Christian reeled in a hungry Seatrout. We relocated a ways south and Grandad Frank had a strong bite, played the fish patiently, and landed another fat Seatrout. Our next stop was checking some crab traps. The first trap was empty but the 2nd had a crusty old Blue Crab. We made a stop to check a minnow trap and even though it had no minnows, Christian spotted small fiddler crab. Our last crab trap was empty, so we headed in, counting it as another great day to be learning about creatures of Amelia Island!

Big Sheepshead Grabs Bragging Rights

We had a great day of fishing this morning with some big fish caught and a whole lot of undersized ones. I had met Randall Gressett and his son James down at the Atlantic Seafood dock and we headed north to fish Tiger Island on the first of an incoming tide. The skies were overcast but there was very little wind as the two anglers began to pitch their jigs and shrimp up near the downed logs. It was a slow start but James finally got things going when he hooked up and landed a nice feisty Redfish. We fished up and down the bank and finally found a hot spot. For the next two hours it was
catching one fish after the other. Randall had a good battle with a 22" Slot Red, then he caught another. Both anglers were catching smaller feisty Reds then James put a 21" Slot Red in the boat. Randall had a really strong bite and as the line zipped across the water and the big fish dove deep we knew that this was going to be the biggest Red so far. NOT! Randall played the fish patiently as the fish continued to put up a fight and when it came to the surface we saw that it was a huge 22" Sheepshead! Boy what a fish. This
fish puts Randall squarely in the lead of the Anglers Mark 2015 Bragging Rights Tournament -Sheepshead category(scroll down right side of this report to see standings). And shortly after that James had a good hookup and again thought it was going to be a keeper Red, but it turned out to be a fat 18" Seatrout, garnering the duo an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Sheepshead and Seatrout. There was one more very large Sheepshead landed, along with more feisty Reds and hungry Trout, then we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

First Dog Fishing

I fished again with Richard and Cheryl Freshour, leaving out of the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina. Richard and Cheryl brought along "B-Gee", their little dog and it made for a great trip. At first B-Gee was a little annoyed at the remote controlled trolling motor and would emit a low growl as it move around to stay in position but once he got used to that, all was cool. The tide was already high and coming in so we made our first stop at Tiger Island to fish the
logs before they covered up. Richard had a good hookup and as he got it to the boat I saw that it was a nice Seatrout but it threw the hook before we could net it. Shortly after that he had strong bite and a good battle. This fish tried to stay at the bottom but Richard kept the pressure on and soon landed a nice 16" keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum, which we photographed and released. The bite was somewhat slower than it was last week but these two anglers kept on and it paid off when Richard had a really hard bite - this fish hit it hard and immediately ran, and FISH ON!  Richard played it patiently and after a good battle landed a Slot sized 24" Redfish! Again, after pictures, we release the fish to be caught another day. We continued to fish the area then ran up into Jolley River, fished some flooded oysters with float rigs. We then ran back to Tiger, checked some flooded grass flats for tailing Redfish and saw none, then wrapped the day up fishing floats again. Although it was a slow day, we can say we batted 1000, landing two fish that were both keeper sized!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Foggy Day Fishing Fun

Last week we had the sand gnats and this week we've had the sand gnats AND foggy conditions and today it held true. I fished today with Larry Beudry and Tom Sintes along with their friends Richard and Austin and it was foggy enough to alter my fishing plan. But we made the best of it and caught a few fish. Our first stop was in Jackstaff with the anglers tossing live shrimp under float rigs during the last of an incoming tide. Larry "knocked the skunk off" when he hooked up and landed  a hungry Seatrout. We made our next stop
around at a dock at Seymore's Pointe and here young Austin landed a nice Weadfish (Sand Trout) which was kinda cool to see.The anglers had a few more bites but no takers and the fog had lifted so we made the run down to Broward Island. Fishing with a jig deep, Tom picked up another Seatrout rather quickly but the tide was really high which made for some difficult fishing and it seemed like we'd have no more fish. But Richard volunteered to toss a float rig up near the shore line and this did the trick. He caught another fat Seatrout and went back to the same spot and caught a feisty Redfish
to wrap things up. The fog had cleared and we had caught a few fish and it turned out to be a great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Black Drum Makes The Day

The fog from this morning carried right in to the afternoon. I had met Eric Slavens at the Fernandina Harbor Marina and we chugged slowly through the fog up to Eagans Creek to fish an outgoing tide with an 8weight fly rod and intermediate line, hoping to find some Trout, but we had no takers. We then fished the logs at Tiger, again with the fly rod, and again no takers. We just couldn't get the fly down deep enough. But when Eric switched to a jig and shrimp it took no time to begin catching fish.  Eric noticed that his line started moving off and when he tightened up the rod bent over and the drag began to sing! It was a good battle and Eric was up to the challenge. He played the fish patiently and soon landed a nice hard fighting 20" Black Drum. We continued to fish the area and caught a good handful of feisty Redfish. The fog lifted somewhat at Tiger, but was still thick on the run back.

Trout on the Comeback

Talk about some fog! If last week we fished in soup, today would have been called stew!  Todd Pate, along with his two associates Kurt and Mike had met me at the Atlantic Seafood dock and when we got out of the marina we found we were socked in, so we chugged along to our first stop. Although the tide was already up and still coming in, we gambled and went with jigs on the bottom. This turned out to be right on the mark - the the anglers caught a good mess of  Seatrout down deep on the bottom and picked up a
handful of feisty Redish. Todd boated a nice 19" Trout that put him in first place in the 2015 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament(scroll down right side of this report to see standings). then Mike "called his shot" saying he was going after a big Redfish up near the bank and sure enough, BOOM! FISH ON! He played the big fish patiently and after a good battle, landed a nice 24" slot Red. The anglers caught a few more Trout then we checked out a flooded grass flat where we found the first tailing Redfish of the year. We took some shots at it with a weed less spoon but it eventually submerged and eases off to deeper water.
After a couple of more spots fishing float rigs, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Keeper Sized Fish and All Released

I fished again this afternoon, this time with Bruce MacLear, again out of the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. We ran back up the Nassau River and made our first stop at Bubblegum Reef. The tide was perfect but the wind was really blowing and made it difficult to present our jig and shrimp. So after a few minutes we moved over to Seymore's Pointe to get out of the wind and fish some dock pilings. We had only been fishing for a few minutes when Bruce began to get hookups and the bite stayed on for a good hour or so. Bruce expertly played keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum to the boat, landed a nice Slot Redfish, a couple of more Drum, a healthy 17" Weakfish, and a handful of Seatrout - all adding up to an Amelia Island Back Country Grande Slam! All fish were released to be caught another day. We then decided to brave the wind and headed down to Broward Island. Again, Bruce had numerous hookups of mostly feisty Redfish with a couple of Seatrout thrown in. The wind was blowing but Bruce was able to fish the downed logs with execellent casting and it made for another great day of fishing Amelia Island's back country waters.

Weakfish Catches

I fished this morning with Bill and Pat Collins, leaving out of the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early this morning to fish the first of an outgoing tide with live shrimp under floats. We made our first stop at the mouth of Jackstaff and fished the flooded marsh grass, easing along, casting to "fishy" spots. Pat got things going when she landed a hungry Seatrout. Although the conditions were right, we didn't have much more action. We made the run through the marsh and fished some dock pilings at Seymore's Point, and this did the
trick. Both Bill and Pat caught a handful of Seatrout and they put a couple of Weakfish in the boat, which was kinda neat. Our last stop was down at Broward Island. Although the wind had picked up a little bit, Bill was up to the challenge and landed a couple of feisty Redfish. It was a beautiful morning and another great day to be fishing Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Sun Was Shining

I finally got to fish with Gary and Sherry Elder and brother-in-law Jim and his wife Karen. We had tried to fish last year and got rained out but today was absolutely beautiful! We met at the Fernandina Harbor Marina and made the run north up to Jolley River to fish the first of an outgoing tide with float rigs and live shrimp. We're still not seeing much action up there but Jim was able to "knock the skunk" off when he caught a nice feisty Redfish. I think we had one
more in the area before we made the run back to fish Tiger Island as the tide had dropped. It wasn't long before Gary had a strong hookup and, FISH ON! This was a big fish and was ripping drag, but Gary was patient and slowly worked the fish to the boat to be netted and measured at 24", a nice bulky Slot Redfish! He added another one about the same size shortly after that then called Karen to the bow and she too put a big Slot Red in the boat. We were catching smaller Reds at the stern, but it was Jim's turn to take the bow and sure enough, another Slot Red! We continued to fish up
and down the island, catching a couple of small Seatrout, then a couple of keeper sized  Sheepshead, and even a small Flounder to garner the anglers and Amelia Island Back Country Grande Slam of Redfish, Seatrout, Sheepshead and Flounder.  Finally, Jim capped the fishing trip off when he fought a big, oversized Red that measured 27 3/4" to the boat. We took some pictures and released it back to get even bigger! We hit a few more spots, had some really good hookups, landed another Trout, then called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.