Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sheepshead Slam

Dennis Thomsen and his family visited Amelia Island for the holidays and scheduled a backwater fishing trip on The Anglers Mark yesterday.  Dennis, his son Kendall, and granddaughter Andrea met me at the Atlantic Seafood dock at 1pm and we headed up to Lanceford Creek on the very first of an outgoing tide.  At our first stop at some flooded oyster beds we fished with live shrimp under float rigs and soon began to catch Seatrout.  All three anglers joined in on the action and ended up catching 8-10 Trout with a couple of them keeper sized.  As the tide dropped we moved on to fish some dock pilings and the "catching" heated up.  Andrea had the hot rod early and picked up a couple of feisty Redfish, Dennis caught a couple and then Andrea and Dennis had a double hookup!    Kendall saw an opening and he too began to catch Redfish.  The three anglers caught 12-15 Redfish with two of them in the Slot.  The bite slowed so we made a run to Tiger Island to fish the downed logs and it wasn't long before we were catching fish again.  The tide was now almost out and the Redfish were biting.  Kendall was at the stern and had a strong hookup, FISH ON!  This one was ripping drag and Kendall played it perfectly but as he fought the fish, Andrea had a hookup, another double!  Andrea brought in her Redfish to be measured and released and soon we were able to net Kendall's 24" Sheepshead, rounding out an Amelia Island backwater Slam!  The anglers caught about 8-10 Redfish here and Kendall added another, even larger Sheepshead and as the sun headed down, we called it another great day to be on the Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Amelia Island Christmas Fishing

My daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter were in town for Christmas so the day after Nathan and I found a little time to get out on Amelia Island waters and do some fishing.  We also had their dog, Brindle with us.  We waited until later in the day, launching around 11am at Atlantic Seafood on a high and falling tide and headed up to Eagans Creek to get shelter from a 10-15mph wind.  We fished one new spot and had no bites so we headed over to Lanceford to fish the still flooded oyster beds.  We weren't there long before we had a good hookup with a Redfish but after a brief battle it broke off on the oysters, OUCH!  We did pick up a couple of small Trout.  We found some docks to fish on the last of an outgoing tide and this was the ticket.  Nathan hooked up with a feisty Redfish then I caught one, too.  We ended up catching 5-6 Reds and Nathan had one in the Slot and he also picked up a hard fighting Puppy Drum.  We ended the day at the Rayonier warehouse and caught some keeper sized Trout, then headed in, counting at as another great day to be on the water!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Aerobic Fishing

The Creswell family was in town, visiting Amelia Island from the Houston area, and scheduled a backcountry fishing trip on The Anglers Mark today.  We left the Atlantic Seafood dock with no clouds in the sky and with temperatures in the mid 60's, heading up the river to fish the outside of Tiger Island on the first of an incoming tide.  There wasn't a whole lot of breeze and the anglers were able to toss their live shrimp under floats to the flooded oyster beds.  We fished the area for a while and had no real bites.  We moved on around to the mouth of Tiger Inlet and anchored and fished the float and shrimp rigs again, to no avail.  Courtney and Morgan were not to be deterred and broke into an impromptu Aerobic session to liven things up!  We ran up to Jolley River and fished a creek runout where Courtney broke the ice with a small but hungry Seatrout..  The little guy didn't have any friends along with him so we made one last stop in the area over at "The Mother of All" spots.   We may need to change the name because nothing was biting.  I was beginning to wonder what was going on as we made a long run back to Lanceford Creek with the oysters beginning to show.  We switched to jig and shrimp rigs and it wasn't long before Morgan hooked up and had a good fish on the line, FISH ON!  She played the fish perfectly and we soon netted a 19" Flounder.  We made another stop at some dock pilings and here things heated up.  All four anglers began to catch feisty Redfish (rounding out and inshore Slam) and then Morgan put the bread on the table with a large 26" Slot Redfish!  We fished until the shrimp ran out then called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Triple Double

Cary Sorensen was my fishing partner yesterday, visiting Amelia Island with the same group on business from Saturday's trip.  Boy what a change in weather from the previous day!  It was in the low 40's and even though the forecast had called for 5-10mph winds, it was blowing 10-15 out of the west.  With that in mind, we made a change of plans and ran up Landsford Creek to get out of the wind and fish in comfort!  Our first stop was at Oyster Bay and after anchoring we tossed some live shrimp on jigs up to some dock pilings.  It was only a few minutes when UMPH! FISH ON! and we had a battle with a big fish on our hands!  Unfortunately, the fish got  up in the pilings and broke us off. Ouch.  We continued to fish and Cary was putting his bait right at the pilings and it paid off.  He hooked up with some feisty Redfish, one in the Slot, and played them perfectly to the boat.  After about 5 Redfish the bite came to a complete and noticeable halt so we pulled anchor to head up Lanceford, still thinking about the big one that got away and wondering if we had missed our chance at a big fish.  We dropped our anchor south of some dock pilings and began to fish them and the adjacent oysters as the tide continued to come in.  Little did we know that we were in for some serious fast and furious fish'n and catch'n!   WUMPH!  FISH ON!  Cary hooked up and fought to the boat a nice Slot 26" Redfish!  WHUMPH! FISH ON! A Slot 23" Redfish.  WHUMPH! WHUMPH!  We've got a double!  A 25" Redfish and a Rat!  We got another double!  A 26 1/2" Redfish and a 23" Slot Red.  We were catching and releasing and catching Reds until I noticed that I was actually breathing hard trying to keep up with the excitement.  We ended up catching (7) Reds in the 23" to 26" range, a few smaller Reds, but still in the Slot and a whole "mess" of Rat Reds.  Boy what a day.  The sun had come up and warmed us, along with the fish catch'n, and we wrapped it up, calling it one of the best days of Amelia Island fishing!

Dinner for 5

Jeff Bailey and Mike Rugen were visiting Amelia Island on business and scheduled a backwater fishing trip on The Anglers Mark. Saturday.  We left the Atlantic Seafood dock at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marine at 7:30am and boy what a beautiful day it was.  The day started out with a cool mid-50 temperature, no wind, and gradually warmed to the high 70's.  We headed up to Tiger Island to fish the downed logs, starting our 1st pass on the south end, tossing quarter ounce jigs with live shrimp up to the shoreline and bumping them back real slow.  The tide had just started back in and it wasn't long before Mike hooked up and battled a feisty Redfish to the boat.  He picked up another in the Slot a while later so we dropped the anchor and began to fish in earnest.  Mike had the hot rod early and caught another couple of Reds but Jeff persevered and after both anglers lost shrimp to a "nibbler", Jeff hooked it up and pulled in a keeper sized Sheepshead and then added a couple of Redfish.  After the bite slowed we pulled anchor and thinking that we may have missed a Red or two, we went back to the south end of the island and made a pass.  It was a good thing we did because soon Jeff's rod bent and drag ripped, FISH ON!  This Redfish was bigger and was taking drag and Jeff had a battle on his hands.  He played the fish perfectly and after a couple of passes around the stern of the boat, we netted and nice 24" Slot Redfish!  After another Red or two we moved on to the outside of Tiger to fish the now flooding oyster beds with float rigs and live shrimp and the anglers immediately began to catch Seatrout.  Almost every cast produced a bite and every other produced a catch!  These Trout were in the 12"-14" range and we probably could have sat there another couple of hours catching fish, but we were looking for something bigger.  We moved to the south of Rayonier and with the water now completely covering the oysters, were able to fish a grass line where Mike picked up our final Redfish. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Number 7 and 8 on a Fly Rod

I had a free day to fish before a weekend of "work" fishing so I launched The Anglers Mark this morning at Atlantic Seafood and ran up to Jolley River to, "Get away from it all"!  The sun was just up, it was cool, but comfortable with a sweatshirt, and there was very little breeze.  The tide had been coming in for a couple of  hours but the oysters were still showing so I started easing along the bank tossing a jig and shrimp to the oysters.  I worked a good 75 yards of bank and had no bites!  What's with that?  My next stop was at some pilings on the outside of Tiger Island and again, no bites.  I moved in to behind Tiger Island and began trolling against the incoming tide, fishing in and around the downed logs and tree stumps and...FISH ON!  I picked up a slow biting, but hard fighting Redfish.  After my second hookup I dropped the anchor and began to catch Redfish after Redfish and was having so much fun that I switched to a fly rod and after a few casts and strips, had a hookup.  I went back and forth between the spinning rod and the fly rod.  A few of the Reds were in the smaller range of the Slot but most were 16"-17".  My next stop was on the outside of Tiger where I anchored and fished some flooded oyster beds with live shrimp under a float.  I wasn't there long before the float disappeared and I had my first Trout of the day.  The Trout were plentiful and I probably could have stayed there for a couple of hours catching 12"-14" Trout but I was hoping for a few a little bigger.  My final stop was at Temptation Cove which was like glass with the light breeze coming out of the south blocked by a land mass.  I tossed one float rig over near the marsh grass and one out behind the boat over some oyster beds and soon found it was difficult to man both rods!  The Reds were up near the grass and each time I got my bait up close the float would soon began to start moving sideways then disappear and ...Big Fish On!  The drag ripped out and a couple of times I could see the grass moving as the big Red tried to escape but I worked them in and netted them.  Out behind the the boat, Trout were biting and this time I had a few get over the 15" mark which was kinda nice.  A disabled military veteran neighbor had hinted about wanting some fresh fish so after the day was done I dropped him off a fillet of Redfish and some Trout fillets.  What a great day to be out on the water!

Big Talbot Island/Sawpit Creek Boat Ramp Closed Temporarily

The boat ramp and adjacent parking lot at Big Talbot Island at Sawpit Creek will be closed at least through January 9th for erosion stabilization work.  I assume that one of the things they are fixing is the sinkhole in pavement down near the ramp.  What's the chances of them putting in another floating dock on the south side of the ramp?  That would be nice wouldn't it?  To follow the construction schedule click here!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Angler Gift Samples

Here are a few samples that are available for last minute Christmas gifts for the angler in your life!  I have a whole lot more in stock so contact me and I'll send you pictures of the entire stock. I've got a whole bunch of flasks, a few journals, a couple of money clips, and a fly wallet.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nice Boat for Sale

For Sale, 1998, 17.6 Key West Stealth, flats boat, fully rig, Very Clean. New 2011, 115 Mercury Opimax, less than 80 hours, 3 year warranty, mounted on a 6 inch offset plate, with a spare SS 4 bladed pop. Motorguide Trolling Motor, 82 pound thrust Great White, 24 volt system, with a quick release mount. Power Pole, 6 foot, with new upgraded mounting bracket. Optima Batteries, 4 New 2011, Size D-31, cranking and trolling. Stiffy Push, Pole, 21 foot. New 2011 HumminBird # 560 death finder. 98 LoadMaster Boat Trailer,with I-beam aluminum construction, torsion axel, new tires, aluminum rims, and spare tire.


$10,500.00

Please call Capt. Russell Tharin at ph # 904-4914799.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hunkered Down Redfish

Joe Lukasik and his family were visiting the Jacksonville area for over this Thanksgiving week holiday so Joe and his two teenage sons, Alden and Christian, took in an Amelia Island backcountry fishing trip on The Anglers Mark this morning.  We met at the Atlantic Seafood dock in downtown Fernandina Beach at 7am and headed down the Amelia River to fish the still flooding oyster beds and marsh grass with some live shrimp under floats.  The wind was blowing pretty good so we anchored and the anglers pitched their rigs up near the marsh grass.  Alden was the first to hook up with a hungry Seatrout then Joe caught one, too.  They went back and forth catching a few Trout with Joe landing a nice 19" one.  Christian was feeling a little left out but not for long!  We had a cork disappear and when Christian grabbed the rod the drag ripped out and the fight was on!  He battled the fish for a while then all of a sudden the fight came to a halt.  We even questioned whether Christian even had a fish in the first place!  His line was tight but wasn't moving and Joe and I both wondered aloud that maybe he was just hung in the oysters.  Well, he was hung but the fish was still attached, hunkered down tight in the oysters.  Soon he came out and the battle was on again!  Christian played the big Redfish perfectly and brought it to the net to be measured at 26", in the Slot.  Later we fished Lanceford Creek in three spots and picked up a Trout or two then tried behind Tiger Island where there seemed to be an armada of fishing boats, then we headed over to Eagans Creek to get out of the wind.  The anglers picked up a few more small Trout, then we made our last stop at some flooded oysters on the outside of Tiger Island on the first of an outgoing tide.  There wasn't much going on until Joe's float was yanked under and then he too had a fish fight on his hands!  He worked the fish in and to the net and we measured another nice Slot Redfish.  The anglers perseverance had paid off and helped wrap up another great day of fishing on Amelia Island!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sand Gnats for Breakfast

Ted and Bonnie Simendenger were visiting their daughter, Gracie and other family in Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday and took in an Amelia Island backcountry fishing trip on The Anglers Mark this morning.  Although it was a cool, there was no breeze at all and when we anchored at our first stop in Lanceford Creek, the sand gnats soon found us.  But these anglers were game and we fished the area for awhile, picking up some hungry Seatrout on live shrimp floated over the flooded oyster beds.  We moved to fish some of the Lanceford docks and it with the first cast we had a good Redfish hookup and Bonnie fought the fish perfectly to a waiting net.  Then Gracie's float rig disappeared and the drag ripped out, FISH ON!  She played the fish expertly and after a good battle, brought a Slot sized 23" Redfish to the net for pictures and release!  The anglers picked up a few more Redfish and Ted added a few keeper sized Seatrout to the catch, but the gnats had overcome any fear of the bug repellant and Skin-so-Soft and we were all covered with the swarming critters!  It was almost unbearable so we pulled anchor and left fish biting at this great fishing hole!  We made a long run up to Jolley River and when we arrived we found that there was a nice breeze and NO GNATS!  The shoreline looked real fishy with the oysters now exposed but the anglers worked an entire bank with their jig and shrimp combo with no real bites.  We tried a creek run out and had no bites but on the next stop we found some good Redfishing!  Ted was the first to hookup and he played the fish perfectly then all three anglers got in on the action, catching 7-8 more Redfish.  At one time both Ted and Bonnie had a fish on and then Ted and Gracie had the double hookup, making for a great way to wrap up a day on Amelia Island waters!

Deep water Redfish

Andy and Katrina Herrin were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this week and included an Amelia Island backcountry fishing trip on The Anglers Mark.  I met Andy and Katrina at the Goffinsville Park and Boat ramp yesterday afternoon at Noon and we immediately made a run to Broward Island to catch the first of an incoming tide.  When we got there we found the tide was still trickling out so we started easing along the bank from the north end, against the tide, with the anglers pitching their jig/shrimp combo to the bank.  Although Andy did have a strong bite, the fish didn't hookup and we had no other good bites until we reached the sound end of the island.  The tide started back in so we anchored out from some tree limbs and Andy tossed a deep Trout rig up beyond the limbs and let the float drift with the current and, FISH ON!  He played the fish perfectly and brought the feisty Redfish to the net.  Andy had found a hot spot because for 30 minutes he could duplicate the same method and usually get a hookup.  In addition to a few smaller Reds, Andy boated two Slot sized keeper Redfish and a couple of nice 18" Seatrout. Both Katrina and Andy had some of the smaller Trout, too. We trolled the  south end of the island for a little while and had no real bites, so we made a run to Seymore's Pointe where Andy added a keeper sized Sheepshead to the well.  Our day ended over at "Bubblegum Reef" with Katrina catching Seatrout until we ran out of bait, and with that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on the water!

Father Daughter Grandfather Fishing

Jevon Anderson and his family was visiting Amelia Island for the Thanksgiving weekend and scheduled a backcountry fishing trip on The Anglers Mark yesterday. Jevon and his young daughter, Ginger, along with grandad Tom met me at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp at 7:00am and we headed up the Nassau River on a high and falling tide. We made our first stop at Spanish Drop and anchored to fish the nice creek run out with live shrimp under floats.  Tom was the first to hookup with a lively Seatrout, which he played perfectly to the waiting net.  The anglers picked up a couple of Trout there then we moved back down the river to fish an oyster outcrop to pick up a few more Trout.  The anglers found that Ginger turned out to be the perfect fishing partner as she was more than eager to fetch a new live shrimp for her dad and grandad!  We made a run to the mouth of Jackstaff and trolled the now exposed oysters and again, the anglers caught a couple more Trout along with a feisty Bluefish.  Ginger commented that the "Bluefish" was actually green!  We ended the day fishing the Longpointe docks but had no real bites, so we called it a day, another great one to be on the water!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

SEC East Champs and Amelia Island Slam Fishing

Tom Pool and his son, Jackson kicked off a great weekend by taking in a Georgia Bulldawg win between the hedges in Athens to secure the SEC East Championship, then they hopped in their car and made the trip to Amelia Island to take in some backcountry fishing on The Anglers Mark.  I met Tom and Jackson at the south end Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp and we headed up river to the mouth of Jackstaff to fish a high and falling tide with float rigs and live shrimp.  The anglers were making excellent casts and were getting some action, but the trout seemed to be wary and would make hit and run attacks on our baits.  This put us on our toes and we soon boated a couple of nice Seatrout.  We tried our hand at Bubblegum Reef, picking up a handful of baitstealers, and then fished  few of the oyster outcrops in Nassau River where we had a few bites but no takers.  Our next stop was at Broward Island and although the tide was schedule to be low at Sawpit at around 9:45am, we still had an outgoing tide at Broward.  We had only been trolling and pitching to the log strewn bank for a few minutes when Tom had strong bite and hookup, FISH ON!  Not to be outdone and only seconds later, Jackson yelled, "FISH ON!" and we had a double hookup!  Both anglers played their respective fish perfectly and we soon netted Tom's feisty Redfish then we had Jackson's in the boat, too.  After some picture taking we released both fish to be caught another day.   We continued to troll against the tide which was still going out at 11:30am.  Jackson caught a another nice Seatrout and as we reached the southern end, Tom had a good hookup but the fish immediately headed for the logs and broke itself off!  OUCH!   But Tom went right back with his jig and shrimp combo, got a hookup and had a good fight on his hands.  He handed the rod off to Jackon who completed the catch of a nice 15" Sheepshead, rounding out an Amelia Island  Backcountry Slam of  Seatrout, Redfish, and Sheepshead.  With that, we called it a day and headed in, counting it as another great day of Amelia Island fishing!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Redfish Bite on Fire

 Randall Cobb was visiting Amelia Island with his wife and scheduled a light tackle backcountry fishing trip on The Anglers Mark. We left the Atlantic Seafood dock at the Fernandina Harbor Marina and headed up to Tiger Island to fish the outside oyster banks as the tide began to fall. I was somewhat surprised that we had no real bites on our live shrimp under floats, but the afternoon was young so we headed on up in to Tiger Basin. Randall switched to a jig and shrimp combo and began to pitch it to the exposed logs and FISH ON! His drag ripped on the Shimano 1000 reel and the 10lb braid held as Randall fought the 17" Redfish to the net. For the next hour Randall caught Redfish after Redfish, all in the 16"-17" range, just undersized, but fun to catch. We decided to ease on up the bank and then Randall had a really strong hookup and a battle on his hands. He fought the fish expertly and even when the fish got up into the downed logs, Randall held on and eventually the fish came out and once he was subdued, we netted an nice 23" Slot Red! We fished the area more and Randall picked up a keeper sized Sheepshead, some more Rat Reds, and then another strong bite, FISH ON! This time we pointed the trolling motor to deeper water and Randall had all of the water to fight the fish. When it came to the net we found that it was even bigger, a fat 24" Redfish! We eventually move on to Jolley River, hoping to find some Seatrout and we did, catching 10-12 trout, all undersized, but fun to catch, and they rounded out an Amelia Island Slam of Redfish, Sheepshead, and Trout for Randall. We headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island!



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Pentanque and Fishing

Anthony and Cindy Alejandro along with their friend Charlie were in town for the the 2011 Pentanque American Open and scheduled a day of fishing yesterday after playing in the weekend tournament.  They were staying at the Hampton Inn and Suites for the tournament and it made it real convenient to participate in the event, enjoy the downtown area, and take in a fishing trip by just stepping out the back door and walking to the Marina!  We left the dock at 7:30am and headed up Lanceford Creek to fish the flooding grass and oyster beds with live shrimp under floats.  The Seatrout were biting and all three anglers began to hookup with the hungry fish.  We stayed there for about an hour, catching Trout after Trout, but they were all undersized so we headed over to "Temptation Cove" to see how the fish were biting there.  I was a little surprised that we had very few bites as I had fished there this weekend and had done great.  I was almost ready to leave when Alejandro's float went under, he set the hook, and FISH ON!  He fought the fish perfectly and after an extended battle, brought to net and nice 24" Slot Sized Redfish!  We caught one other undersized Red then move on to the outside of Tiger Island.  The grass was flooded and the Trout bite was hot and this time there were "keeper" sized fish mixed in with the smaller ones.  The anglers guestimated that they ended the day with about 40 Trout and almost a dozen of those were up to 17".  Both Cindy and Charlie hooked up with feisty Redfish as well.  With Trout and a Redfish to clean, we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island!

Late Evening Fishing!

Lee Williams, his wife Helen and their friends Caleb and Sondra Didriksen were visiting Amelia Island from Texas and took in an Amelia Island backwater fishing trip on The Anglers Mark.   We left the Sawpit Creek Boat ramp Sunday afternoon at 2pm and headed up to the Horsehead area to fish the entrance of Jackstaff Creek on a high and outgoing tide.  I anchored at a runout and the anglers unlimbered with some float rigs and live shrimp "hangling" and it wasn't long before they were all having hookups with Seatrout and Bluefish.  The Blues were feisty but the Trout were just undersized so we moved across the creek to find that there were Trout, but still undersized.   We made a run through the creek to the Nassau River and pulled up to troll the now exposed oyster banks with jigs and shrimp.  The anglers had some good bites then Caleb's line went taunt and he had a strong hookup, FISH ON!  he played the fish expertly and after a good battle, we netted a nice 21" Slot Redfish!  We fished the area a 2nd time, had good bites, but no takers and then headed up river to make a pit stop at Goffinsville Park.  Here we found that the FWC game wardens were writing citations for undersized Trout and there were a couple of glum faced teenagers on the receiving end!  We made our last stop at Broward Island and even though we had no real bites, we were all treated to a nice sunset that cast a glow on the island.  We headed in after dark counting it as another great day to be fishing on Amelia Island!

NSFA Backwater Tournament

The Nassau Sports Fishing Association held their annual Backwater Tournament Saturday and I fished it with friends Tim Parker and Brian Nicely.  Tim and I met Friday morning early to get out on the water and see if we could find some fish, and we did!  Our first stop was at the Rayonier warehouses and we tried some jigs deep along with a live shrimp floated deep, but had no bites.  We moved to a different spot and were really exposed to a 15-20mph wind, but this was where the fish were!  We caught a number of Trout in the keeper sized range and had large Slot Redfish taking our shrimp under a float.  We also had a 14" Flounder, so if the Tournament was on Friday, we'd have done good!  Another spot produced fish, too, with Tim pulling in a nice 25" Slot Redfish, and we both added Seatrout.  Saturday morning, day of the actual Tournament found us, along with Brian, launching at 5:30am, with very little wind.  After checking in we made a bee-line to the spot where we had caught fish, and sure enough, BAM! Fish on!  We caught Seatrout in the legal range until we didn't want any more and added Redfish up to 26 1/2" with all anglers pitching in. Brian was using Tim's Temptation Bait and was keeping up with the live bait catches.  Tim picked up a Flounder but it was just undersized.  "No Problem", we thought.  It wasn't even 9:30am and we had a large Redfish, some decent Trout and we just needed a Flounder to enter the Slam category of the Tournament.  It was not to be!  We fished Tiger Island, Jolley River, Jefferson Smurfit, and Old Towne and could not find a Flounder.  Ouch!  But we all agreed that it was probably the best two days of fishing we had ever had  and we went home satisfied that we had given it our all and had some great stories to tell, fishing with friends and catching fish!
 
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

We Didn't Even Try to Count 'em All.

Martin Evans was visiting Amelia Island with his wife, Ruth and staying at Elizabeth Pointe Lodge.  If you have never stayed at this oceanfront Bed and Breakfast, then you don't know what you're missing!  The staff at Elizabeth Pointe Lodge give 5-Star service that rivals any high-end hotel or resort and it's only a bike ride away from Historic Fernandina Beach, Fort Clinch and all the restaurants, shopping and attractions that make Amelia Island such a wonderful place to visit.  For more things to do or places to eat, see Amelia On The Water!  Martin met me at the Fernandina Harbor Marina early this morning and we headed up Lanceford Creek to try and get out of the 15-20mph NNE winds on the first of an outgoing tide.  I slipped around a land mass and anchored up to fish the marsh grass with live shrimp under floats.  No kidding, on our first cast, after a few seconds, the float disappeared and FISH ON!  Martin played the fish expertly and after an extensive battle with numerous drag ripping runs, we netted a 5lb, 25" Slot Redfish!  The wind was blowing, but the sun was peaking out and the fishing was great!  Martin landed another of the large Slot Reds, a few "Rat Reds" and we also had a couple of Seatrout.  We moved on up the creek and anchored up to fish the still exposed oyster beds and boy what a spot!  Martin caught Redfish after Redfish, most in the 16-18" range, but every once in a while he'd hookup with a "Big Un" and after a good fight, he'd bring to net another large Slot Redfish.  On occasion he'd catch a Seatrout, most in the 14-15" range, but a "keeper" sized fish here and there.  As the tide reached it's bottom the fishing slowed so we called it a day, another great one to be on Amelia Island waters!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wind? No Problem for this group!

When Mills Gallivan and his wife Carol Anne, along with their friends Bill and Kathy Coates walked up to the boat ramp at Atlantic Seafood yesterday afternoon I gave them the same disclaimer I'd given that morning, "the wind's howling, but we can run west and get in behind a land mass, but that's where we'll be all day".  These anglers were game and ready to have a great time out on the water, so we headed out, got a little wet crossing the river, but eventually found some protection from the wind.  It was so nice that most of us shed wind jackets and enjoyed the sunshine!  The fish were still biting and soon all the anglers were catching fish.  We had a few keeper sized Seatrout and a whole bunch of 16-18" Redfish.  With 12-15 fish caught and released and the bite slowing down, we made a move to the south, but to a spot still protected from the wind.  Upon anchoring, the lines weren't out for more than a few minutes when floats started disappearing and the catching commenced again!  Kathy was keeping an eagle eye on her float and was hauling in fish, but Carol Anne, Mills, and Bill joined her to catch their share, too.  Then, Mills made a pin-point cast up by some marsh grass, his float disappeared, and the drag ripped out, FISH ON!  He played the fish perfectly and after a good battle, brought to net a nice 24" Slot Redfish!  Again, the group landed another 12-15 fish at this spot and the big slot Red rounded out another great day to be fishing on Amelia Island!

Can you believe 35 Redfish?

When I met George Bowlin and his friend Ray at the Fernandina Harbor Marina yesterday morning there was a light mist and the wind was "howlin".  We talked about our options and all I could come up with was to head to an island and get out of the westerly wind.  We'd be there all day but hopefully we'd catch some fish.  Boy that was an understatement!  We suffered through the trip across the river but when we arrived we found that most of the wind was blocked so we anchored up and started fishing with live shrimp under floats.  It wasn't long before both anglers were hauling in fish.  I thought, well there's 3, 4, 5 Redfish and then they caught a couple of  keeper sized Seatrout.  Then things got fast and furious with a couple of "double" hookups and George and Ray were catching them as fast as I could get them de-hooked and back into the water!  We were wondering if maybe we would catch at least 20 Redfish, but then the anglers easily surpassed that number and kept on going!  We had a few "keeper" sized Reds, but on the low end of the slot and as the tide changed the count was up around 30 fish!  We made a slight relocation to account for the incoming tide, picked up a few more smaller Reds, then Ray had strong hookup out in deeper water and a Big fish fight on his hands.  This fish was wily and eventually found some structure to break itself off!  OUCH!  But Ray had found the big fish and George followed up with a good, strong hookup and this time he knew to keep the fish headed away from the structure.  He fought the fish like a pro and brought to net a nice 25" Slot Redfish!  Then Ray hooked up with another one and he too played the fish perfectly and landed another 25" Slot Red!  They caught another of those big Reds and added a 18" keeper sized Black Drum to round out the trip with 35 Reds, 2 Seatrout, and one Black Drum!  Boy what a great day of fish catching, especially when we almost canceled the trip!
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Fishin is Dawg Gone Good!

John Nuckolls and his friend Dick were visiting Amelia Island this weekend to attend the annual Florida/Georgia football game and pre-scheduled a Amelia Island backcountry fishing trip on The Anglers Mark. We met early at the Atlantic Seafood dock at the City Marina and headed up Lanceford Creek with a baitwell of live shrimp, an armory of tackle, and a whole lot of hopes for a good fishing day! We anchored just south of a dock on an incoming tide and fished the already covered oyster beds with Dick throwing a jig and white Gulp Shrimp while John was tossed a a Strike King Spinner Bait and I was using a live shrimp under float. We all got bites and boated some nice, fat Seatrout, a small Redfish, and a Flounder. Our next stop was to the outside area of Tiger Island and as I trolled up to the spot John made a cast and had an immediate hookup and a good battle on his hands. He played the fish perfectly and we netted a keeper sized Trout. Both he and Dick caught a few more Trout and I picked up a couple, too. We made a brief stop behind Tiger to check the flooded grass, fish the log strewn bank, then headed up to Jolley River to fish the now flooded grass line. It wasn't long before we were hooking up with aggressive Trout and we again boated some keeper sized fish. Then John's float slunk under, he set the hook and FISH ON! This fish didn't give up as easily as the Trout and his drag ripped out, and John worked him back in and eventually brought to the net a 4.5lb Slot Sized Redfish! Dick stayed with the white Gulp Shrimp and he steadily picked up Trout. When the Trout began to get small we moved on to "Snook Creek" and anchored to fish the first of the outgoing tide. Again, we caught Trout, some of them keeper sized, and then Dick had a hookup that wanted to hang to the bottom. He played the fish like a pro and worked it to the boat and we soon netted a nice 16" keeper sized Flounder. He also picked up a Puppy Drum and I picked up hard fighting Bluefish. Our last stop around the corner produced a couple of more Trout and then we called it a day. The anglers estimated that they had caught about 40 fish this morning. The skies were overcast from time to time - we got sprinkled on once or twice, but the temperatures were great, there was very little wind, and the water was very clear. Although all fish were released, I tallied "keeper" sized fish of our 3-man bag limit of 15 Trout, one Slot Red, and two keeper sized Flounder.   That's Dawg Gone good fishing!  What a great way to hookup with fishing friends and spend time out on Amelia Island waters!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Doubling Up

Kathryn Birmingham and her friend John Denton scheduled an Amelia Island backwater fishing trip yesterday afternoon on The Anglers Mark.  We headed up the Nassau River and made a dash straight for Broward Island to catch the first of the incoming tide.  It couldn't have been a better guess because the anglers immediately began to pick up Seatrout on a jig/shrimp combo.  As we neared some downed logs Kathryn's rod bent and dragged ripped out, FISH ON!  Then John yelled, FISH ON! and the couple had their first double of the day.  Kathryn played her fish like a pro but the large fish was just too much for the tackle and broke off after a good fight,  but John still had one on and he worked the fish in and we soon netted a nice 20" Flounder!  We fished the log strewn shoreline for the next two hours and both Kathryn and John caught Redfish, Trout and even picked up another Flounder, nailing down an Amelia Island backcountry Slam.  They had at least one, maybe two more "Double" hookups with both playing fish to the boat.  Most of the Redfish measured to 17" with a couple within a hair of being Slot sized.  We moved on to Seymore's point, anchored,and the anglers picked up a few more Redfish on live shrimp under floats, then we ran over to Jackstaff Creek and although we were now out in a wind that had picked up, Kathryn and John persevered and picked up a couple of more Trout. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Two Men and a Boat

Kevin Gannon and his wife were visiting Amelia Island for the first time on vacation and Kevin arranged a backwater fishing trip with me on The Anglers Mark yesterday. We met early AM at the Sawpit Boat Ramp, Big Talbot Island Park, and headed up the intercoastal on a beautiful but cool morning. I thought I'd stop by a new spot a fellow captain had told me about so we eased up to the marsh grass and began casting a live shrimp under float on a still high, but outgoing, tide. We had no bites but the spot was looking good. As we motored out of the area the Captain (me) wasn't paying attention and soon realized we'd found ourselves on a mud bank! Folks, this doesn't happen too often, but fishing the backwater you're always bound to find an oyster bed or mud bank. I don't advertise that I offer complimentary exercise options but Kevin was soon given the opportunity to participate in a strenuous morning work out! We both were in the water up to our thighs at times and after 30 minutes of pushing and pulling and tugging and motoring we had the 3700lb boat floating in deep enough water to continue our fishing trip with both of us a little wet and muddy but ready to catch some fish! Kevin couldn't have been a better sport about the whole thing and with his great attitude it paid off because later we found a few Trout in Jackstaff Creek then after we moved around to Nassau River and fished some oyster outcrops the fishing got better. He hooked up and expertly played a Slot sized Redfish to the boat then picked up a keeper sized Flounder. When we reached one particular oyster outcrop he hooked up again, his drag ripped and after fighting the fish perfectly, we soon netted an even bigger Redfish. Kevin found that he could let his jig/shrimp combo fall into a hole outside the outcrop and when it did, BAM! FISH ON! His third Slot Red was the biggest, coming in at 25+ inches and on a 1000FH Shimano and light rod, that's a nice fish to end a trip with!  Kevin also added another Flounder and a small Puppy Drum to round out a "Grande Slam" of inshore fish.  We called it a day, and a memorable one at that! Another great day to be fishing on Amelia Island!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Becks Outboard Inc. to the rescue!

After finishing my fishing trip this afternoon I went to load the boat on the trailer and the engine wouldn't even fire!  OUCH.  I had to use the trolling motor to get the boat up to the trailer and winch it up.  The battery tested OK so I called Beck's Outboard Inc. located at 1257 Broward Road in Jacksonville, Florida and spoke to Charles who diagnosed the problem over the telephone with "sounds like you have a bad starter".  He advised me to bring the boat to their shop and he could check it out so I headed over and sure enough, Charles made a quick test and determined the starter was bad.  He removed the old starter and had a new one in stock to replace it - the test and repair was done in less than an hour!  I'm sure they can't get you in and out like that all the time, but I really appreciate them making the effort to get me back in business - they saved the two trips that I have scheduled for tomorrow!  Becks Outboard Inc.  sells Evinrude engines 25hp and up and they service Johnson and Evinrude engines.  They also have parts for those engines and trailer parts too!  They're a family business and give excellent service and most importantly, they know what they're doing when it comes to servicing Johnson and Evinrude engines.  Thanks Becks!

Logistical Slam

Charles Odom and his workmate Dennis were visiting Sawgrass in Jacksonville on business and scheduled an Amelia Island backwater fishing trip on The Anglers Mark today.  We left the Sawpit Creek boat ramp at 8am and headed up the intercoastal to the mouth of Jackstaff Creek to fish the oyster banks on an outgoing tide with jig/shrimp combos.  The guys were making excellent casts and soon began to pick up bites and eventually had some good strikes and hookups with hungry Seatrout.  We crossed the creek and fished a sandy point and the action picked up, again with Seatrout hitting their presentations.  We moved on to Nassau River where the bites continued and then Charles had a hard bite and fought the feisty Redfish to the boat.  A couple of more Trout were caught then we headed up to Broward Island to wrap the trip up on the very last of an outgoing tide.  Charles caught a small Flounder then his rod got really hot as he picked up a couple of keeper sized Trout.  We were almost ready to head in when Charles felt a heavy weight on his line and he set the hook expertly - playing a good sized Flounder to the boat to nail down an Amelia Island backcountry slam! With that we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Perfect 10

Bill and Joan Sank were visiting Amelia Island, Florida and staying at the Elizabeth Pointe Lodge this week and scheduled a backcountry fishing trip on The Anglers Mark.  As I was coming over the bridge this morning the weatherlady on the radio said today was a Perfect 10 and she couldn't have nailed it better!  I met Bill and Joan early, 7am, at the Atlantic Seafood dock and we headed up Lanceford Creek to fish the docks and get out of the still present wind coming from a front that came through over the weekend.  We anchored first south of a dock to fish the last of an outgoing tide and Joan was the first to hookup and boy what a fish it was!  She worked the hard fighting fish to the boat and we netted a 20" Flounder!  We tried the other side of the dock and had no real bites then headed on up the creek to try another dock system.  This proved to be the ticket as both anglers began to catch fish and once, both had a hookup and we had an exciting "Double Hookup" going on!  Joan's eventually threw the hook, but Bill played his feisty Redfish to the net for pictures and release.  Then Joan had a strong bite, her rod bent, and the drag ripped out - Redfish ON!  She fought the fish for a while and then Bill pitched in for a "teamwork" catch of a large, slot sized, 25" Redfish!  Later, Joan cranked in another slot Red, then Bill got in on the action with his rod getting bent and drag ripped - he played the fish perfectly and we soon netted another 25" slot Red!  Wow what a day!  We even had a couple of hookups that were big fish that found a way to throw the hook, but the anglers still were not done.  Bill caught a couple of more smaller, but feisty Redfish and then he caught a 15" Flounder.  All fish were realeased to be caught by some other lucky angler!  The weather was unbelievably great and the fishing was even better as the couple wrapped up another great day to be on Amelia Island waters!
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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Flounder on a Fly

John Stewart was in town with his family attending a wedding and staying at The Residence Inn here on Amelia Island and he squeezed in a fly fishing trip on The Anglers Mark.  We left the Atlantic Seafood dock at 7am and headed up Lanceford Creek with the air temperatures a cool 58 and wind blowing 10-14mph, but we felt like we could get out of the wind behind the land masses of the Blackrock area, and it worked.  John was making excellent casts with the 8 weight rods to dock piling on the first of an incoming tide, but we just couldn't get a hookup.  At our next stop, there were very good signs of fish feeding on the finger mullet staging to follow the tide up into the oysters so John patiently worked a shrimp fly across the bottom and FISH ON!  He made a strip set and hooked up to a Flounder which he played perfectly to the boat and net for pictures and release.  Although we had a couple of more bites we had no hookups so we made a move to run up to Tiger Island and fish the flooding oyster beds. Wrong move!  The wind was really blowing and it would have been a terrible experience so we ducked back in to Eagans Creek to fish the creek mouths.  Here, John had another hookup as a Trout chased down his black and green Clouser and he again fought the fish to the net for pictures and release.  As we wrapped up the fishing, the sun was warming the day up, the wind was blocked and we were seeing Rosette Spoonbills, Cranes, Egrets, and Osprey - what a great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!