Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Son and Father Fishing

(Pics to Come)
We had another outstandingly beautiful day today as we left the City docks to fish a high and outgoing tide.  I met Derek Carter and his dad Bobby early and we ran up the Bell River to fish some flooded oyster beds that I had spotted yesterday on a lower tide.  I think the first stop the tide hadn't started moving yet but as it started to come out of the grass the two anglers began to get bites. They both picked ups some nice size Bluefish then a couple of Seatrout then Bobby pulled in a feisty Redfish from the grass line. We then made a run around to the outside of Tiger Island and again found a couple of Trout and a Redfish.  We moved closer to the mouth of Tiger and had a good flurry of Seatrout bites and then picked up a couple more Redfish.  We moved to behind Tiger and fished the logs and here both Derek and Bobby found some small flounder (although one was of keeper size, released) to round out their Amelia Island Back Country Slam.  And again, another Redfish.  When I thought about the whole day the two anglers actually caught a bunch of fish, just like the last couple of days which has made for some fun fishing.  There just hasn't been a whole lot of size to them.  Sooner or later some big one have to show up! Never the less, it was a great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Two Guys Fishing

(Pics to Come)
I fished this morning with Tandy Morton and his buddy Tommy after we had met at the Atlantic Seafood dock and headed up to the Jolley River to fish the very first of an outgoing tide.  The two anglers were tossing finger mullet under float rigs and at the first stop, a small creek run out, Tommy hooked up with a lively Seatrout on his first cast!  I thought to my self, "oh boy, here we go"!  But although it was a beautiful morning with just a slight breeze and overcast skies, the "good" fish didn't want to cooperate.  I think we picked up one more Trout at that spot then we moved down the river about 100 yards and set up outside a larger creek.  Here, both Tandy and Tommy got bite after bite after bite after bite, but they turned out to be small "yellow tail" perch. We moved around in Jolley River, caught a couple of more Trout and Bluefish then we did find a nice feisty Redfish over some flooded oysters.  We made the run around to Bell River to fish some docks and all three of us landed fish right off, then it slacked to nothing. We move to an adjacent dock and picked up one more Redfish.  Our last stop was at a large group of exposed oysters and here the bite was decent.  Both anglers found Seatrout biting as the river rushed around the oysters.  When this bite slowed, we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Trout on Fire

(Pics to Come)
Boy what a beautiful afternoon we had today!  I had met Gene Roudachevski and his son Ira and Ira's friend Lucas at 1pm down at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina and we headed up to fish the logs of Tiger on an incoming tide.  We hit two areas with jigs and mud minnows and had exactly zero bites! OUCH!  We then made a run up to Jolley River to fish the "bank" and again fished a couple of areas with no real bites other than when Gene hooked up and battled in a rather large Gar Fish!  It was a good battle but not what we were looking for.  Our next and final stop was back to the outside of Tiger Island and this did the trick. And boy did it!  The three anglers had hardly had there float rigs out over some flooded oysters for a few seconds all of them started getting bites and fish.  There must have been hundreds of Seatrout in the area because they couldn't cast without getting a hookup. Gene and Lucas were on the stern of the boat catching fish but Ira was up at the bow tossing to a grass line and he was the one that put 4 keeper sized Seatrout to 18" in the boat.  We fished right on up until we were almost out of bait with Lucas having the hot rod there at the end, boating Trout after Trout.  It was a great way to wrap up a fishing catching trip here at Amelia Island!

Bull Redfish

(Pics to Come)
I fished the river with neighbor Brian Parent yesterday afternoon using heavy tackle and blue crabs for bait.  We got out there a couple of hours before high tide with the wind blowing 10-15 and dropped an anchor to fish the edge of the channel.  The wind was blowing out of the northwest and the current was running against it so we had to stay on our toes to manage the lines.  We had no bites at our first two drops but we kept adjusting our location and as the tide went slack Brian saw one of his poles begin to bounce.  He slowly took up the slack and when he felt the line go tight he applied just a little stronger pressure and the big circle hook did its job, FISH ON!  And boy it was a big one!  He played the fish patiently and applied the pressure as it tried to run under the boat and after a good battle landed a big Bull Redfish!  Skunk off the boat!  We continued to fish and soon found out that we needed to be on the channel side of the boat with our baits and not long afterwards picked up another even bigger Redfish.  Brian commented that both fish had bit hooks baited with a full crab rather than the half we had on some of the other hooks so with the sun heading down we re-baited all of our lines with a full crab and sure enough, BOOM!  FISH ON!  We landed an released one more of the big Bull Redfish then we headed in with the sun going down, counting it as another great day to be fishing North Florida waters!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Amelia Island (fishing) Honeymoon

(Pics to Come)
Mary and Patrick Stewart-Hillenburg were visiting Amelia Island this weekend celebrating their new marriage and decided to take in a back country fishing trip and sight seeing tour. The tide was forecast to be high around 3:30pm so we did the tour first, cruising Old Town, the Pogey Plant, Cumberland Island seashore (where we saw a large herd of wild horses) and then we wrapped up the tour by cruising up into
Beach Creek on Cumberland where we were treated to an Osprey sighting.  We then crossed back into Florida and found some flooded oysters to toss float rigs and mud minnows.  It took a little while but then the anglers began to get bites.  Mary put the first fish in the boat, a small but neat Flounder then Patrick followed it up with a feisty Redfish.  We continued to fish that area and both anglers put another Redfish or two in the boat then we moved around behind Tiger Island.  Mary had the hot rod here and landed another Redfish and Flounder.  We then made a run around to Lanceford Creek to fish some dock pilings - and to get out of the wind -and here Patrick had the hot hand.  He picked up a Flounder himself then added a nice Seatrout to round out his very own Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Flounder, and Seatrout.  Mary added one more Redfish then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Walk Off Grand Slam

I kicked off the week fishing with Dan Tillotson, meeting him at the Atlantic Seafood dock, just behind the Hampton Inn and Suites in downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida.  We left the dock at daybreak and headed up to fish Tiger Island on the first of an incoming tide with jigs and shrimp and mud minnows.  It took a little while for the bite to turn on but eventually it did and Dan broke the ice by landing a nice keeper size Black Drum.  Shortly after that he put a small handful of
"feisty" Redfish in the boat and then landed two Flounder to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam.  Then he had a somewhat stronger hookup and this one wanted to pull some drag!  Dan played the bigger fish patiently and after a good battle that surged deep a couple of times, landed a Slot sized 21" Redfish!  We fished the area completely and landed a couple more of the smaller Reds, then pulled up and ran to fish a large creek in Jolley River.  We began to get bites but they were of the baitstealing variety so we made a final run around to Bell River to fish a flooded bank with float rigs. Here we picked up a couple more of the feisty Redfish then we had a really strong hookup and FISH ON!  This fish ripped the drag also and bulled deep then went from one end of the boat to the other.  Dan stayed with him and applied some gentle pressure until the big fish was wore out and we netted another Slot 23" Redfish!  The last fish of the day took a live shrimp up near the marsh and as it neared the boat I saw that it was a golden colored Speckled Seatrout, about 18" in length, a keeper size, and once landed made it an Amelia Island Back Country "Grand Slam"!  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Slot Sized Redfish

I fished this afternoon with Will Carlton and his friend Shea out of the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina. We met at 1pm and headed up to the Jolley River to fish a tide that has been going out for a couple of hours.  The two anglers started off with float rigs baited with live shrimp or mud minnows.  Although they had a few nibbles, there were no takers.  We made a short move to where some oysters were now exposed and switched to jigs and minnows.  It didn't take long and Shea had a strong hookup.  He played the fish perfectly and landed a feisty Redfish. We continued to fish the area and Shea must have had the hot rod because he picked up a couple more of these hard fighting fish.  Then Will got in on the action and had a good hookup.  But this fish was bigger and we knew it when it boiled up near the oysters, FISH ON!  Will kept the pressure on and played the big fish patiently and after a good battle that took him from starboard to port and back again, landed a nice Slot 24" Redfish!  The two anglers picked up a few more of these Redfish then we made a move back to the mouth of Jolley and fished a large creek runout.  Here Will put a keeper sized 16" Flounder in the boat.  We made our last stop at Tiger Island, fished a spot with no real bites, then made a move that put us on fish.  Both anglers were hooking up and fighting small but feisty Reds when Shea had a good hookup that put up more of a battle.  He'd caught enough of these fish today and he was ready and soon landed another Slot sized Redfish.  With that we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tarpon Under the Moon

I had another "flood tide" fishing trip set up for this morning, this time with Dale Bullard who has fished with me a few times in the past.  We met at the Atlantic Seafood dock at sunrise and with a bright full moon overhead,  headed up to fish the outside of Tiger Island with topwater lures as the tide crept in.  There was a lot of bait action but we had no real takers on the mullet pattern.  As we were fishing some flooded oysters both Dale and I noticed something big was busting bait at the point of some marsh grass.  I had initially thought it was dolphin but when we we saw something long with pointed fins we knew they were Tarpon.  We dropped an anchor at the point and within minutes saw that the Tarpon were rolling and busting bait right behind the boat.  Dale was casting the largest top water lure I had and within minutes he had a strong (I mean STRONG) hookup, and FISH ON!  The big 70lb Tarpon came out of the water shook his head then dove deep.  Dale's rod bent over and the drag ripped out and... FISH OFF!  Boy that was exciting!  We continued to fish the pod and had a few fish look seriously at the lure but had  no more takers.  We began to check the flooded grass and even though conditions were perfect again, we saw no fish.  As we were motoring to another grass flat we could see fish striking in the river and seagulls were diving to pick up the pieces.  Dale grabbed the lure rod again and within a few casts was hooking up with hard fighting Bluefish.  He had one on and we're not sure if it was another Tarpon or a big Blue because it dove deep and snapped the 17lb leader!  Dale picked up a couple of more Blues then we continued on our way in search of Reds.  All of my grass flat spots looked amazingly perfect but there were no fish!  But we ended up having a good time out on the water and counted it as another great day of fishing at Amelia Island!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Experience Angler Comes Through with Big Redfish

I fished this afternoon with the Ahrens family, Brian and Jenifer and their young son Henry, and they also brought along Jenifer's grandfather Richard.  We left the City marina and headed up to Jolley river to fish an outgoing tide with the oysters already exposed.  I set up outside a large creek runout and the anglers began to toss out float rigs with mud minnows or shrimp. They almost immediately began to get bites but they turned out to be small saltwater Perch and then they picked up a couple of Croake and a couple of hungry Seatrout.   For a while there the breeze died down to nothing and it almost felt like August again!  We made a run back to Jolley "bank" and fished it with jigs and minnows and shrimp.  We thought we had a good shot a couple of times at a Bonnethead Shark but it just wouldn't eat what we were offering.  Then, at a marsh runout, Brian hooked up and landed a nice keeper sized Flounder.  Shortly after that we had a another bite and young Henry fought the fish.  He did an excellent job of reeling it in and landed another nice Flounder, just a tad bit bigger than his dads!  But Brian wasn't finished yet and pulled another Flounder out of the same spot!  After catching a Stingray we made a run around to Tiger "pirate" Island and fished the downed logs.  Things heated up hear.  Henry caught a nice feisty Redfish to garner the anglers an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Seatrout, Flounder and Redfish.  Henry followed that up with another keeper Flounder then Great Grand Dad Richard got in on the action.  And boy did he!  He had a strong hookup and this one bent his rod double, FISH ON!  He played the big fish patiently and as it dove deep and tried to go under the boat he applied some gently pressure and brought it back out.  The big fish made a couple of drag ripping runs but it was no match for Richard.  He brought the fish to the surface and we netted a big 24" Slot Redfish!  Boy what a fish!  We continued to fish the area and Brian landed a couple more feisty Redfish.
And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Redfish No Show

We had a full moon last night and a forecasted high flood tide this morning at 9:12am so I met James Machado at 7 and we headed out with a boat load of fly rods to hunt for tailing Redfish.  We were on time and immediately saw that some areas were flooding so we eased up and began to look for tails.  At the first spot we saw none so we crossed over to where some mullet were cruising the bank and James tossed a topwater lure until he had a hungry Seatrout explode on it and he hooked it up. We then got serious about the flood tide and hit flooded grass flat after flooded grass flat - to no avail.  Everywhere we looked seemed perfect conditions, but not a one did we see.  Luckily I had a good handful of mud minnows left over from yesterdays trip so we rigged up some float rigs and began to toss them to the edge of the flooded grass. You gotta do what you gotta do!  We soon began to get bites and when James' float went under with a surge we knew he had a decent fish on.  He played the fish perfectly and soon landed a nice 18" keeper sized Seatrout.  We fished the area for a while and we both had a couple of Seatrout and then James landed a feisty Redfish.  We made a short run to the mouth of a large creek and tossed the minnows again.  James had a few more Seatrout with one of them being of keeper size.  We also had a Redfish or two.  The weather was outstanding, the fishing peaceful, and it turned out to be a great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!