Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hard Fought Fishin

I know folks who think of fishing in the winter time can only imagine bitter cold winds and nasty weather, but when Al Emerick, his son RC, his brother-in-law Joe, and friends Patrick and Kirby met me at the Goffinsville dock this morning it was just perfect weather. The sun was coming up and causing the marsh grass to glow gold, and as we turned the corner heading towards Horse Head a dolphin rolled in the water; the gulls and pelicans and cranes were out and all I heard was oohs and aahs- what a great way to spend time with friends during the holidays! First stop, after the customary round of hot cider, the guys all grabbed rods, some with topwater plugs and some with Cajun Thunder float rigs. We fished the oyster flats during the last of the incoming tide and then moved on to some creek run-outs. We fished "Poteat" cut, then the first stretch of Jackstaff. The guys were "game" and continued to cast and crack jokes and have a good time....but no real bites! I couldn't believe it! So we cranked the engine and ran through Jackstaff, around Seymour's Pt. and out to Broward Island. By this time the wind had picked up and fishing the downed trees and roots was made more difficult, but these anglers, as a buddy of mine says, "endeavored to persevere". RC lead the way and soon hooked up with a hard fighting Trout, then followed it with a frisky Redfish. Then Patrick got in on the action with a large Trout and Kirby followed it up with a Redfish. RC continued with the hot rod and wrapped up the day picking up another Redfish. Then the guys planned to head in to Fernandina for lunch and count it as another great day out on the water!

Have Oyster Roaster Will Travel

Carol and I "put on" an oyster roast the other day for a birthday party and everything went off without a hitch. This roaster is an outdoor firepit with a custom stainless steel grill that has an external ring with a inlaid "faux oak" wooden shelf. We dump the washed oysters on the grill and put the cover over it to roast them 'till they sizzle and are ready for opening. The shelf is handy to place the hot sauces, oyster knives, crackers and gloves. I also made my world famous "Gumbolaya", 20qt version, and the pot was scraped clean, good when it's hot!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cold day, Hot fishing

I fished today with Mark Laurint and his son Brent from the San Marco area of Jacksonville, Fl. When we launched the boat at Goffinsville boat ramp just before sunup, the temperature was still in the mid 30's, but it was clear and we had no wind. We "puttered" down Nassau River until we could see the crab traps then cruised through Jackstaff to troll the mouth with our live shrimp/jig combo (after a round of hot cider). We were using the Shimano Stradic 1000FH's on a light rod with FINS Windtamer 12lb Slate Green braided line. The line is tied to a 17lb test fluorocarbon leader using a Uni-to-Uni knot. The tide was low and had just started coming in; we had only made about 50 yards when we had a nice hookup and boated a undersized Redfish. We fished the stretch up then back and boated a slot sized Redfish and Brent reeled in a hard fighting Blue. After the second run we picked the trolling motor and headed to Seymour's Pointe, anchoring along the rocks. Mark hooked up with a couple of Redfish then we were off down the river. With the sun beginning to warm things up, we trolled the docks at Goffinsville, picking up a couple of small trout on jigs, then headed for Broward Island...and a bonanza. Our first cast of live shrimp under a Cajun Thunder float produced a Trout and then we picked up a couple of more Reds, one in the slot, then BOOM! Brent with a Redfish. Mark with a Redfish, Brent with a Redfish (and maybe another - we lost track). Most were just undersized but very aggresive and fun to catch. We ended up catching a few more trout to wrap up with (11) total Redfish, (6 1/2) total Trout, and (1) Bluefish, another beautiful day to be out on the water!

Newest Angler Arrives

My daughter Ashley and her husband Nathan Taylor of Holley Pointe, NC are the proud parents of Burgandy Elizabeth, born Saturday December 18th at 5:28pm. She was a "keeper" weighing in at 8lbs, 10oz. She's so beautiful and I'm really excited to meet her.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tough Conditions...but Fish On!

Although today's weather report called for highs in the 60's, sunshine and 7mph winds, Lowell Berry, his future wife Paula (tomorrow's wedding) and myself eventually figured out that weathermen aren't always right! It probably did get in the 60's but we only saw the sun peek through the low clouds once or twice and the wind was more like 10-15mph. Never the less, we gave it a good go, with Lowell and Paula working the shore line of Jackstaff with the jig/shrimp combo on a low and incoming tide. They only had a few nibbles so we moved around to Seymour's Pointe, anchored, and fished the rock line. It took awhile to get our float rigs positioned up near the rocks, but eventually we did and it wasn't long before Paula was battling a Slot-sized Redfish. She worked the fish to the boat and the waiting net for pictures and release. Shortly we had another Red on, this time taking the bait up near a grassy bank. In between stops we sipped on hot Apple Cider! Although we were leaving the windbreak of Seymour's Pointe, I wanted to give Broward Island a try so we pulled anchor and ran to the south end of Broward and began our troll back up river. With Lowell making good casts up between the downed trees it wasn't long before he had a hookup and worked to the boat a nice 11 spot Redfish. We had a few more bites as we trolled the shoreline, working in an out of the roots and trees. Paula had a nice, hard pulling hookup that quickly headed for a log, wrapped up, and broke off! That was a nice fish! (The big one that got away). As we passed the north end of the island and began to work the grass bank, Paula hooked up again, played the fish to the boat and Lowell netted it for a team effort. We called it a morning and headed back to the ramp, counting it as another great day out on the water!

The tide had gotten so high that I couldn't get my truck down to the ramp without dunkin it in water so with a livewell with a couple of dozen shrimp in it, what do you do? Go Fishing! I ran south down the intercoastal, into Gunnison Creek and anchored at the mouth of a runout. With three rods out, I eventually picked up 5 small Trout and 3 hard running Bluefish. If you want to take the kids out and catch some small trout, go on the first of an outgoing tide - they're out there.