Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beat'n the heat with late afternoon fishing

With a heat wave pushing tempatures to the mid 90's, I scheduled a fishing trip with visitors Belinda and Don Pottorff for late afternoon yesterday. They were in from Kansas City on a work related trip and were eager to soak in some outdoor experiences along with the ambiance of Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach, Florida. When we left the dock at 4:30pm it was still hot so I cruised over to Cumberland Island and up Beach Creek in hopes that we'd see some manatee, but they were the smarter mammal and were hiding out somewhere cool! We left Cumberland, crossed Amelia River and cut our engine at the mouth of Jolley River. Throwing a live shrimp on a leader under a cork, Don was getting his casts up near the marsh grass with a tide high and going out. It wasn't long before his cork disappeared and Don boated a nice Speckled Sea Trout. We eased along the shore line for about 100 yards and he expertly hooked up and played a number of trout, with some of them in the 19", 2lb range. We went further up Jolley, anchored at the mouth of a creek and Don caught some more trout, a few keeper sized, but the rest rather small. We did hook up, catch, and release a hard fighting 2 1/2' Bonnet Head shark. Playing with the small trout and croaker was fun but we wanted more of the larger variety so we pulled up anchor and headed around to the "MOA" - Mother of All - spots, and sure enough, the trout were there! Don caught a couple more on the shrimp, then we switched to an all white Zara Spook topwater plug and had some fun watching the trout hit and miss and finally hook up. We ended the day as the sun was going down over the marsh and got back to the dock with just a little bit of daylight. This was one of my more "prolific" trips in a long while and makes me want to do some more late afternoon trips!

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