Wednesday, January 28, 2009

February = Closed Trout Season

Don't forget that there is a closed season on Spotted Seatrout in the month of February for the N.E. Region of Florida, which includes Amelia Island. You can catch 'em, but you just need to throw them back! During all other months, the bag limit is (5) per person and they have to be at least 15" in length, but not longer than 20". However, each anlger can keep one of those (5) over 20". The photograph at right is of Tad Miller holding up about a 19" trout. Of course, you can always practice "CPR": Catch, Photograph, and Release!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Slow start, BIG finish.

I picked up Vigay Raghavan and his son, Arun, at the Southend boat ramp Saturday afternoon. I don't know if the air tempature got up to the 70 predicted, but it never really felt like it. We had a fairly stiff west wind blowing as we ran up Nassau River to our first stop at Broward Island. The wind and outgoing current made keeping the boat in line and casting very difficult so we decided to leave and try our luck out of the wind at the docks around Seymour's Pointe. No bites. I cruised up Jackstaff to a likely spot with some deep water and oyster beds; no bites. With two hours into the trip and the tide stalling at dead low, we pulled up anchor and ran back to Broward Island. Luck would have it: the wind died down, the tempature seemed to rise, and the fish bite turned on. Arun boated a nice 17" redfish - his first, then a trout. His dad, Vigay, got in on the action and began to pick up trout, and then Arun boated a another 17" red. There were a couple of times when both anglers had trout on as they got the hang of using the jigs and shrimp. When Arun's pole bent and drag began to rip off I new that he had a nice fish on the line. Vigay hooked up during the battle and told me to forget about his trout so we turned our attention (and net) to Arun as he reeled in his biggest fish to date -a 25" Redfish. We snapped pictures and released the fish to be caught another day. Although the day started out slow, we ended up catch 18 fish and ending the day with a bang. As the sun set, the west breeze caused the river to appear almost like glass as we cruised back to the boat ramp. What a great day of fishing!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cold Water Boot Camp video

I saw this link to a Cold Water Boot Camp demonstration and thought I'd post it:http// The last time I checked, inshore water tempatures were around 58 degrees - probably enough to take your breath away if you fell in. Sure does make you think! A buddy of mine got one of those automatic life vests to wear; I think I may just get one, especially if I'm fishing by myself. I do a mini safety/emergency reveiw with all of my customers before we begin our trip and I like to point out the life vests and throw cushion. Here's another video that explains the different life vests available

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Progress of new County park and Boat Ramp

Construction at the new County Goffinsville Park is well underway and tentative completion is expected around March or April. Nassau County Maintenance and Recreation Department Director Daniel Salmon said the park will have a boat ramp, fishing pier, canoe/kayak launch with a floating dock. There will also be a building with restrooms and a section for a vendor to have a bait and tackle shop - which may come somewhat later after the park opens. A concrete bulkhead is being constructed to prevent errosion which has been a traditional problem at Goffinsville and the County is planning a space for a potential residence for a security person in hopes that their presence would deter dumping and vandalism. Trails, playground equipment, and picnic tables will also be part of the park to comlete a great family recreation area.
Mr. Salmon said that the Contractor is Hashman construction and the project cost is estimated at $2.17 million dollars. Funding has come from grants, Regional Impact Fees and the 1 cent fund.
I snapped some pictures on my last fishing trip, one of the boat ramp and one of the fishing pier.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Recipe of the Month: Grilled Trout with Shrimp Sauce

Suspiciously similar to last month's recipe, but simpler; and when you've got fresh trout fillets...

(2) Big 'ole trout fillets (1) Can Cream of Shrimp Soup

(1) Tblsp olive oil (1) Cup diced celery

(1) Cup diced bell pepper (1/2) Cup diced red onions

(1) Teasp. lemon juice. Salt, Pepper, Konriko

(1/2) cup water) (1/2) Cup white wine

Sprinkle the fillets with Konriko. Heat olive oil andStir fry the celery,

bell peppers and onions; add lemon juice and white wine.

Add the Cream of Shrimp Soup and add some water.

Bring to boil, then simmer until the sauce begins to thicken again.

Grill the trout fillets and smother with Shrimp sauce. Serve.

Fishing Trip Salvaged

Anticipating a great day, I tried to launch The Anglers Mark Saturday morning early. I'd purchased six dozen lively local shrimp from the Bait House and had the boat backed down at the ramp by 7am. When I turned the key and heard the slow sluggish groan of the engine I knew that an early morning of fishing was not to be. After about an hour of trying to charge my starting battery with jumper cables up in the parking lot I decided to run to the Super Walmart in Yulee and get the battery checked out or replaced (it was less than a year old). The battery checked out good and the mechanic set up a quick charger on it. Being out that way, I changed my plans and ran to the Holley Pointe boat ramp and launched by 9am. The tide was high around 8:30am and I decided to try some new areas on the falling tide. Running up the Nassau River, past Pumkin Hill Creek, I came to what the map said is Broward Island. The river ran along side it similar to the way it does at Tiger Island - deep water with a shoreline of downed trees and stumps. Except this was a lot bigger island. Starting on the southside of the island, I drifted along the shore, tossing live shrimp under floats. The wind was out of the SE so the tree line broke the 10mph breeze and I had "lake-like" conditions. On about my third cast I was hooked up with a nice fish that ripped the PowerPro braided line off of my new Stradic 1000 reel. This fish hooked up so soon that I hadn't had time to get my net out of the locker so I reeled the 20" Redfish up to the gunwale of the boat, leaned over to lift it in, and....BAP...the fish gave one last lunge and broke the leader....and lazely swam off to the depths of the river - I watched him go! OUCH! I fished the entire bank of the island and ended up catching another five redfish, most undersized, but at least one a nice slot sized fish. These fish were real aggressive eaters with one of the Red's even coming out of the water like a Largemouth Bass. I checked some other area's out - Pumpkin Hill Creek and on up the Nassau to Lofton Creek, but came back to Broward Island in the afternoon to catch the incoming tide. Now that the river was low I could see all the tree's, stumps, and limbs on the bottom so I switched to a jig with live shrimp. I had just thought to myself that, "hey, the tide has gone slack", when I felt a heavy tug on my bait and the battle was on! This fish pulled strong- running back to the bank, down deep, up to the bow of the boat, back to the stern of the boat....and came off! I couldn't believe it! A few minutes later, another hookup...and another fish lost. And then another. These last two felt like nibbles until I raised the rod tip and I began to think that maybe I was in a mess of flounder, so the next "nibble" I got I actually let the line go slack, counted to ten, then raised the rod tip firmly and ...FISH ON! After a good battle I netted a beautifal, fat, 22" Trout. I ended up catching about seven more trout, losing a few, and having a great time. Once they were hooked they put up a ferocious fight and I really believe that first one that got away was probably bigger than the 22 incher. As the sun went down I was treated with a visit from America's national bird - a bald eagle that landed in a dead pine tree on the island. What a great day of fishing!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Salty Feather - a real Fly Shop!

If you haven't had a chance to visit The Salty Feather in Jacksonville, then you're missing a real treat as an angler. Owner John Botko has years of experience fishing the NE Florida waters and stocks a complete line of fly fishing equipment and fly tying materials. In addition to fly fishing, The Salty Feather carries other inshore equipment, kayak's, clothing and anglers gifts. The store is located at 2683 St. Johns Bluff Road, suite 127, in Jacksonville, Florida. The phone number is 904-645-8998 or 888-847-2589. The Salty Feather is also sponsoring a number of classes for aspiring and even experienced anglers. Their Advanced Inshore Fishing School has classes January 9-10 and March 7-8. John offers a Beginning Fly Tying for NE Florida class that begins Tuesday January 13th. I took this class years ago and learned a whole bunch about tying flies that I can actually use here in the area. There's also a Fly Fishing 101 class on January 24th if you're interested in starting the sport or getting some extra pointers. The Salty Feather - a real fly fishing shop!