Friday, July 31, 2009

Tail'in Reds

I have clients ask about when to fish for tailing Reds. The thing is the tide has to be high enough AND it needs to fall during the daylight hours. I try to target them if the tide gets to around a 6.7 height. With that in mind, September 18, 19, 20 and 21st have a high tide in the morning hours. We want to be on the marsh at least two hours before the high tide. If you like to throw a fly at tail'in Red's, it doesn't get much funner than this. If you don't flycast, we'll use spinning tackle with a weedless jig or spoon. Give me a call....we'll set it up. Don't forget your wading shoes!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Big Flounder and Manatee

Rick Larkin and his two sons, Andrew and Mathew, were in town from Virginia and wanted to get out on the water so I met them at the Dee Dee Bartels boat ramp at 7:30 with 6 dozen live shrimp. We ran up to the Jolley on the last of an outgoing tide and fished the mouth's eastern shore and immediately began to get "nibbles" - it wasn't long before Rick boated a Seatrout. We move on up into the river, catching Croaker, Seatrout and a small Redfish; shark were cruising the mudbanks and sure enough, Andrew hooked up with a hard running Bonnethead and fought it perfectly for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, the shark decided to quit playing and with a jerk, broke off and went on his way! We tried the MOA briefly, then ran around to behind Tiger Island, fished just a short while and were treated to a Manatee cruising the shoreline; it swam by us underwater, then turned around and came back and passed us again. We all enjoyed watching it swim peacefully by. Shortly after it passed, Rick hooked up and yelled, "this one has some muscle" and the fight was on. He eventually fought a nice 23" fat flounder to the net so that we could snap some pictures and then release it. Our last stop was on the other side of Tiger; the sun was getting warm and although we only had a few more bites, we were able to watch a couple of more Manatee rolling in the shallows.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Goffinsville Park and Boat Ramp Opens

The County held a ribbon cutting ceremony today with dignitaries opening the new Park to the public. The Goffinsville - Nassau River Park features a building that houses restrooms and a potential bait and tackle shop, a fishing pier, boat ramp with floating dock, covered picnic tables, a playground, bike/walk paths, boat trailer parking, plenty of trees, and long railed bulkhead for river veiwing. This is byfar the nicest County park to date. The area, known locally as Goffinsville, was originally a small community that grew up
around an oyster packing plant owned by Mr. Saul Goffin. His daughters made the property available to the County who along with help from the Trust for Public Lands, Florida Community Trust and the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection, put together funding to have the park built. Grandaughter of Mr. Goffin, Ms. Doris Mellion was on hand to help with the ribbon cutting, along with Mr and Mrs. Charles Albert and Mr. and Mrs. Mallory Wilder, longtime residents of the area. Mr Daniel Salmon, County Parks and Recreation Director, who oversaw the construction and saw the project to completion, was also in the crowd along with his grandkids.
Directions to the Park: If you're visiting, you will need to leave Amelia Island on S.R. 200, crossing the bridge over the intercoastal. From the bridge, travel west 1.7 miles to the first traffic light. Turn left here on C.R. 107 and travel south 3.6 miles. Turn left into the Goffinsville - Nassau River Park.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Everybody catches fish!

Redfish, Black Drum, Bonnethead Shark, Black Tip Shark, Vermillion Snapper, Jack Crevalle, Stingray, Croaker, and Ladyfish! Today's fishing started out kinda slow although we had about the nicest weather that you could want: blue skies and only a light breeze, slick water and a day of fishing! The Koszut family, Greg and Kelli along with their daughter Shelby and son Grant, were in town from Indiana and wanted to get out on the water and experience Amelia Island fishing so we left the dock early and headed up to the Horsehead area. The first stop only produced a few nibbles but Greg did have something roll on a top water lure. We headed into Jackstaff Creek, anchored up in a bend and it wasn't long before Kelli hooked up and caught a nice Bonnethead and shortly after Greg pulled in a Stingray. We moved down the creek where Grant caught his first Jack then we crossed the creek, trolled the bank and Greg hooked up, played masterfully and boated a keeper sized Redfish. We anchored up and the whole family joined in with Shelby catching a Black Tip shark and a nice Redfish. Greg caught Snapper, Black Drum and some really big Bonnethead's. In fact everyone got to experience the ripping runs of the shark bites. Grant wrapped up the day with an entertaining catch of a hard fighting Lady Fish. What a great day out on the water!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kayakers come to town

Steve and Sharyn Bush visit the area every year, bringing their camper, kayaks, and dogs to stay at Fort Clinch State Park. They wanted to see some kayak accessible areas and also do some fishing so as we left the dock I pointed out the Tiger Islands and some fishing spots that they could try. We then ran up guessed it, the Jolley River where we fished the east side of the inlet. It was a beautiful morning as the sun shone on the marsh grass, birds chirping, and light breeze. Steve hooked up to and fought to the net a nice "poor man's Tarpon" - a lady fish; it earned it's name as it thrashed to throw the hook. We had a few nibbles then picked up and ran up to a creek (I call it "Snook Creek" because that's where I caught a small Snook a few years ago). With a jig and shrimp on the bottom, it wasn't long before Sharyn had a fight on her hands with a 3' Bonnethead Shark. Althought we had some beautiful Roseatte Spoonbills as neighbors, we moved to outside of the creek where Sharon caught a small Redfish, Steve picked up a Vermillion Snapper, then Sharyn caught a larger Bonnethead. We made a stop at the MOA where Steve jigged up another shark then we ran to Tiger Island, fished the shore line with no real bites. We ended the day with a tour up Eagans Creek where Steve and Sharyn saw the opportunities for some kayak fishing.

Smorgasboard of Fish

Jo and Pat Devlin love to fish and having lived in the area for only a short while, said they only had one spot to fish and needed to see some new areas; it was Pat's birthday and so JO treated him to a day of fishing. With a high, falling tide, we left the dock Saturday morning and ran up to the Jolley River, one of my favorite areas to fish. Not only is it very scenic, there's very little boat traffic and plenty of areas to fish. We fished the eastern shore of the inlet with float rigs to unlimber then went up to a creek mouth where both anglers picked up some croaker then Jo hooked up to hard pulling stingray. Jo had the hot hand early, catching a nice Seatrout and two small Redfish. Pat hooked up to what had to have been a large Bonnethead shark that almost spooled the reel; Pat played him like a pro, but the shark must have found an oyster bed and got cut off. We anchored at the MOA spot, fought and lost another Shark, but otherwise had very few bites, then motored back Jolley and anchored at a small creek where we cast netted for finger mullet. We all noticed something coming out of the water on a mudflat and then realized that about a dozen Blue Crab were ambushing Grass Shrimp, so Pat eased the boat forward and I cast netted a few for bait.
We fished the mouth of Jolley, now with oyster beds showing and Jo caught a slimey but hard fighting Sail Cat. To end the day we ran to Lanceford Creek, fished a dock where Jo cranked in a Black Drum - caught on a piece of the Blue Crab!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Rat-a-tat-tat and a herd of Manatees

I had the pleasure to fish with Ken Broecker and his son Kyle this morning. They were visiting from Ohio and had tried to pick a day where the rain and storms might let up...and we almost made it. We left the City marina at 7:30 am and ran straight to Jolley River. After warming up a bit with the spinning rods, we started our troll along the marsh grass and it wasn't long before Kyle put the first fish in the boat, a nice trout. Ken hooked up with something big near a submerged oyster bank, fought it for a while, and it broke off. It didn't run like a shark and I'm sure it was a nice Redfish. We moved on up the river to a creek mouth, anchored, and picked up some "baitstealers". Unfortunately, a rain cloud moved in and we began to get wet, so we did our best to outrun the storm and ran to the east side of Tiger Island and anchored. We again picked up some baitstealers then Ken hooked up with a hard running Bonnethead shark which he fought to the boat to a waiting net. Dolphin and a "herd" of about 7-8 Manatee moved in, with a few swimming right under the boat. We also saw a neat plate-sized Sea Turtle and more shark. Off towards Cumberland Island it appeared the Coast Guard gun boats were practicing intercept manuevers on a "bad guy" boat, even firing off rounds to force it to stop. We all hoped that they were shooting blanks!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Blacktip Shark

The Loy family, Rick and Maureen, with their two sons Brendan and Sean, were in town from Orlando and took in a backwater fishing trip this morning. With rain forcast at 30% and increasing to 70% by noon, we were surprised to see clear skies when we left the dock. We ran to the mouth of Jackstaff, anchored, and unlimbered our spinning rods. It wasn't long before a jig tipped with shrimp enticed a Bonnethead shark and the whole family joined in taking turns cranking in the fish. The Loy's had done some crabbing yesterday and we were all excited to see an occasional Bluecrab crawling underwater on an old oyster bed next to the boat. It wasn't long before all of the guys were out of the boat and netting the crab to add to their catch from yesterday! One of the nettings produced a small "Pufferfish", too. We caught couple more shark, lost a few and moved on to "Bubblegum Reef" where Brendan hooked up with a Catfish while Maureen pulled in a keeper sized Croaker. Then something struck a bait furiously and Rick had a fight on his hands. With all the commotion, I called a "Ladyfish", but was proved wrong when we netted a nice Black Tip shark, which was a surprise as I haven't seen many of them in the backwater. The tide was almost completely high when we made our last stop at Broward Island, then we raced to the dock, beating the forecast thunderstorms just in time. What a great day out on the water with a smorgasboard of marine life to experience.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Goffinsville Park and Boat Ramp to open

A Grand Opening of Nassau County's newest park and boat ramp will be held Wednesday, July 22nd at 10:am at the park. Nassau County Building Maintenance and Parks & Recreation Director Daniel Salmon said there will be plenty of door prizes, snacks and drinks available and encourages folks to come out and bring their kids. The park contains hiking trails, the boat ramp, a fishing pier, floating dock, restrooms, six covered picnic tables. There is a building available for a vendor to sell bait and tackle and there is a possibility of having a security residence.