Sunday, March 31, 2013

New Residents Enjoy Amelia Island

Zack and Nicki Welsh recently moved to Amelia Island and when Nicki's parents Greg and Darla planned a visit this week they decided to take in an Amelia Island back country fishing trip on The Anglers Mark.  We headed out of the Fernandina Harbor Marina at 1pm and headed up to the Tiger Island area to fish float rigs with live shrimp.  Our first cast produced a hookup with an angry Bluefish so all the anglers got busy casting and catching!  We
later fished Manatee Creek with no luck then went around behind Tiger to fish.  The current was rushing out and it was very difficult to fish so we made a run to Lanceford Creek to fish the dock pilings.  This turned out to be the trick because all of the anglers began to catch feisty Redfish and hungry Seatrout.  Zack had a strong hookup and I thought for sure it was another Redfish because this fish was really fighting.  He worked the fish patiently and we soon netted a nice big 19" Seatrout!  Later he added a 19" Slot Redfish to the cooler! The anglers caught a few more Red's then we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Big Reds and Big Trout

Stephen and Linda Lee and their friend Ray took in an Amelia Island back country fishing trip
yesterday morning - and a beautiful one it was!  We headed up to Lanceford Creek to fish the incoming tide with the oysters just showing.  It wasn't long before Linda hooked up and brought to the boat a nice hungry Seatrout.  Then both Stephen and Ray had strong hookups and reeled in a few feisty Redfish and Linda added a couple.  Then, Linda's rod really bent over and when the drag starting singing I knew this was a BIG fish!  She worked the fish patiently and after a long battle we netted a nice 25 3/4" Redfish!  But not to be outdone, Stephen had a big hookup and his fish too was BIG!  He played the fish perfectly and soon landed a 26 1/2"
Red!  The anglers also added a 18" Seatrout to the mix.  We eventually made a run to the outside of Tiger Island and played with Blues, landing about a dozen, then we went in behind the island and the anglers caught a few more Trout with one being of keepers size.  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Big Redfish 'n Blues

Oh what a beautiful day it was today!  When those flags are laying limp as you head towards the boat ramp you no it's going to be extra nice out on the water.  I met Dan and Chandi Nathanson and their son Nico at the Atlantic Seafood boat ramp, down at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina, this morning at 7:30am and we headed out under clear skies with the sun coming up. Our first stop was in Lanceford Creek, fishing the dock pilings on an incoming
tide with the oysters just covered.  It wasn't long before Chandi hooked up with a hungry Seatrout then Dan got in on the action by catching a couple of feisty Redfish.  Chandi caught a couple of these smaller but hard fighting fish, too, but when her rod bent double and the drag began to sing, we new she had a larger FISH ON!  She played the fish perfectly, taking her time, and we eventually netted a  25 3/4" Redfish!  This fish put Chandi in 3rd place in The Anglers Mark 2013 Bragging Rights Tournament - Redfish category!   The anglers caught a few more fish then we made a mover to fish some flooded oyster beds outside of Tiger Island.  Nico's first cast produced a bite and then it was non stop action as he and his mother reeled in angry Bluefish, one after the other. Nico had the hot hand and soon mastered snagging these Blues, even after they figured out that some of them were going missing!  They caught 10-12 of these fish then we ran around behind Tiger where both Dan and Chandi brought in a couple of keeper sized Seatrout.  It was a glorious day to be out on the water and a great day to be at Amelia Island!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Legend of Robert Redshirt....

began today when Robert rode into Fernandina (with his parents Rob and Jenny) to slay (not really)
the mighty Amelia Island Redfish.  The wayfarers met met at the rustic Atlantic Seafood dock in downtown historic Fernandina Beach and we pointed the old bow of The Anglers Mark out to sea (actually the back country waters of Amelia Island).  We made our first stop in Lanceford Creek  and it wasn't long after Robert Redshirt made his first mighty cast with the TFO Tactical spinning rod that he hooked up and did battle with a feisty Amelia Island Redfish.  He struggled mightily with  the fish as it fought valiantly,
but Robert Redshirt was up to the challenge and subdued the beast and eventually brought it to the net, for pictures and release!  He and his dad continued to fish the dark and murkey waters and each pulled a number of Redfish to the boat.  Rob Sr. added a nice Puppy Drum to the mix.  We made a run to the logs of Tiger Island and Robert Redfish rounded out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam by hooking up and subduing a couple of hungry Seatrout.  The slight wind was blocked by Tiger Island and as we eased away from the island we saw our first Manatee of the year crusing down the river - what a way to wrap a great day of fishing at Amelia Island!

Are the March Winds Gone?

Spring Break visitors to Amelia Island were greeted with one last blast of winter and strong winds to begin the week.  Fishing guides had to push back trips to the latter part of the week and in some cases cancel trips all together.  But luckily, I was able to get out yesterday with Mark Friedman and his sons Jay and Josh and their friend Drew.  We met at the City marina just after noon and headed up to Lanceford Creek.  Our first cast produced a feisty Redfish!  The anglers continued to have good hookups and brought in 4-5
more Red's.  Then Josh went deep and fished on the bottom and caught a nice 18" Seatrout.  Drew followed his lead and he too brought in a keeper sized Trout.  We moved on down Lanceford and fished an oyster hump then made a run to Tiger Island.  Josh's first cast produced a nice 17 3/4" Flounder, putting him in first place in The Anglers Mark 2013 Bragging Rights Tournament! (scroll right side of this report) The anglers picked up some hungry Seatrout, another smaller Flounder, then Jay reeled in the last keeper sized Trout.  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Trout Machine

Today we finally had a little break in the wind and I was eager to get out on the water and see how the fishing was going to be.  And boy was I not disappointed!  I met Curtis and Emily Elliot at the Atlantic Seafood dock down at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina at 7:30 this morning and we headed up to Lanceford Creek to fish an outgoing tide.  The oysters were still covered as the anglers tossed their jig and shrimp combo to the dock pilings and...FISH ON!  Their first cast netted a feisty Redfish!  Both Emily and Curtis had numerous hookups with Redfish, then Emily brought in a keeper sized Black Drum.  With a Redfish and Drum in the boat, it wasn't long before she landed a nice keeper sized Trout, rounding out her version of an Amelia Island Back Country Slam!  Not to be outdone, Curtis added some Trout and then with his reel ripping, expertly landed a large 22" Seatrout!  This put him in first place in my Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament - Trout category and unseated Mark Pettijohn who had taken the lead yesterday!  Scroll down the right side of this report to see current standings.  Then Emily hooked up with a big fish and landed a 19" Trout that put her in a tie for third place in the Bragging Rights Tourney!   When the wind shifted to the northeast, we headed up to Tiger Island and fished the deep waters off the island.  Emily claimed the title "Trout Machine" as she landed one after another of the Sea Trout with a couple being keeper sized,  then Curtis landed a hungry Flounder to round out his version of an Amelia Island Back Country Slam!  The anglers also landed a few Sand Trout, a Snapper and a Sea Bass for a great variety of fish catching!  With that, we called it a day and another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Birthday Girl On Fire

Mark Pettijohn and his kids Gareth, Chloe, and Lincoln were visiting Amelia Island all the way from Kansas and using the weekend to celebrate Chloe's birthday.  We met at the Atlantic Seafood dock this morning at 7:30am and with a NW wind blowing, we headed up into Lanceford Creek to fish the last few hours of an outgoing tide.  Our first cast with a jig and live shrimp produced a huge bite but this craftt fish was more ready than us and headed into the pilings after a brief battle and broke us off, OUCH!  But it was a sign of good things to come because the anglers began to catch Sea Trout and Redfish.  Chloe expressed mild interest at first but when the bite got hot, so did she!  Her and her dad both put keeper Sea Trout in the boat and they also added a couple of Sand Trout.  Mark had a strong hookup and after a long battle brought to the boat a nice 19 3/4" Sea Trout to the boat, putting him in first place in my Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament - Sea Trout category (scroll down right side of this report).  Both Gareth and Lincoln added to the take total, catching Trout and Reds.  We eventually braved the wind and made a run to the logs of Tiger Island and these anglers continued to catch fish regularly.  Chloe added another keeper Trout and also picked up a nice Puppy Drum while Lincoln landed a frisky Black Tip Shark.  With the sun getting high, we headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Out of the Ballpark

Philip White had arranged an Amelia Island back country fishing trip on The Anglers Mark for this morning with his two sons, Charlie and Sam.  We met at the South End boat ramp at Sawpit Creek at 7:30 and headed up the Nassau River with two hours left in an outgoing tide.  We made a stop at Spanish Drop and both Philip and Charlie picked up a few hungry Seatrout.  Our next stop was at Bubblegum Reef and Philip quickly picked up a Seatrout and Sam brought one to the boat.  Then Charlie's rod bent over and, FISH ON!  His drag ripped out repeatedly but he played the fish perfectly on the Gary Loomis TFO Tactical rod loaded with 10lb braid and we soon subdued the fish and brought a nice 19" Black Drum to the net.  The anglers caught a few more Trout and some aggressive Blue's then again Charlie hooked up!  And boy was this a fish!  Charlie was fishing with a broken foot that had a cast and when the fish headed under the boat to deeper water  he passed the rod to his dad and made it a team effort.  Philip put the rod down and around and under the trolling motor and finished the fight, bringing in an oversized 29" Redfish!  This blew first place in The Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament - Redfish category "out of the ball park! (scroll down on right side for standings).  It also rounded out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Trout, Black Drum and Redfish.   The wind picked up so we moved in behind Seymore's Point,  had no real bites, then made a run to Broward Island to fish the very last of the outgoing tide.  The wind was beginning to howl and the boat was rocking and rolling, but  Philip picked up another Trout then 8 year old Sam got in on the big fish action.  He had made his own cast to the outside of a downed log when his rod bent and the drag ripped.  He played the fish perfectly and we netted a 19" Slot Redfish for the dinner table!  We made our way back to the shelter of Seymore's point where Charlie caught a Whiting and a Sand Trout then we headed in  just before the rains hit, counting it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tough Conditions for These Two Anglers

Anglers Eric Arnold and his longtime friend Keith were visiting Amelia Island for one of their other friends batchelor  weekend get away.  They scheduled a fishing trip with me on The Anglers Mark Saturday morning, the day after their big celebration!  OUCH!  But even though heads were throbbing these anglers were game so we headed up into the backwaters of Amelia Island with light tackle gear and some live shrimp.  I could tell these guys had fished before because their casting was right on and we soon had some strong bites and Eric reeled in a keeper sized Trout.  Then Keith got in on the action and caught a few feisty Redfish.   The tide was almost high and the wind was blowing close to 15mph so these were tough conditions and tide to be fishing, but they made the best of it.  We fished the outside of Tiger Island and made a run to Jolley River where they had a few more bites and picked up another Seatrout.  It was a beautiful day other than the wind and the headaches but it was great to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Brother Anglers Get Out On The Water

Paul Landahl and his brother John scheduled a trip to Amelia Island, coming all the way from Chicago to escape the last of some winter weather.  We had scheduled to fish on Wednesday but the wind was howling so we moved the trip to Friday afternoon and boy did it turn out to be a beautiful day!  We eased The Anglers Mark out of the marina and headed up to the Jolley River and fished an oyster lined bank with live shrimp under floats as the tide began to drop.  It took us a few spots but eventually Paul found a nice keeper sized Whiting.  We also caught a few Blues and a Puppy Drum. We returned to Lanceford Creek and the anglers picked up two nice Redfish and another couple of Puppy Drum as the tide reached it's bottom.  It was a gorgeous day at Amelia Island and a great way to spend some time with your brother!

Old Friends Fish Amelia


Friends Bill Lavery, Joe Harter and their long time buddy Tim fished with me on The Anglers Mark Friday morning.  We left the Atlantic Seafood dock in historic downtown Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island at around 7:30am and headed up Lanceford Creek to fish the dock pilings.  After only a cast or two Bill hooked up with a hard fighting Redfish and brought it expertly to the net - a Slot Red!  The anglers hooked up with 3-4 more Redfish and Tim reeled in a Puppy Drum before we left the area.  Outside of Tiger Island we caught a Seatrout and a number of Blues.  As we left the island we had a dolphin surfing our wake!  Tiger Island logs produced no bites so we headed in, counting it as another great day to be on the water.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

First Fish Redfish

Shree Prasad and his son Neal were visiting Amelia Island for a few days and scheduled an Amelia Island back water fishing trip on The Anglers Mark this afternoon. We met at the Atlantic Seafood dock at 1pm and headed up to Lanceford Creek to get out of the westerly wind.  Shree and Neal hadn't fished much but they picked up the casting and fishing and catching rather quickly!  They were both bumping live shrimp on a jig up near the dock pilings and it wasn't long before Neal was fighting his first fish.  He played it perfectly and we soon netted a feisty Redfish.  He caught a few more, with two being in the Slot, and then his dad got in on the action and picked up a couple.  Neal added a few more Redfish to total 9 nice Redfish for this spot.  We later motored around to the Tiger logs and even though the wind was blowing us around, Shree stayed patient and picked up one more Redfish.  We took a short tour of Cumberland Island, saw some wild horses, toured Fort Clinch and Old Town, then headed in, counting it as another great day on Amelia Island waters!

Big Red First Cast

John Brayfield and his friend Paula were in from Illinois and took in an Amelia Island backcountry fishing trip this morning.  We had a wind out of the north west so we headed over to Lanceford Creek in hopes that the land mass would give us some protection, and it did.  I set John up with a jig rig on the last few hours of an incoming tide and after he had made his first cast I turned to get another rod ready and FISH ON!  The drag ripped out and the rod bent over as John played the big fish and after an extended battle we landed a 26 7/8" Slot Redfish, just under the size limit!  This put John in the lead in the Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament - Redfish category.  We snapped some pictures and released the beautiful big fish knowing that he had only an 1/8" to grow before he was oversized and illegal to harvest!  John continued to fish and picked up a few more Redfish with one more in the slot.   He also caught his very first Flounder.  Paula kept track of two bottom rigs I had out the stern of the boat and reeled in two feisty Sharks.  We hit a couple of more spots but the wind was really hampering us so we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sharks Are Moving In

Bruce Brown, his wife Nancy and their son Jeff fished with me this afternoon.  It was somewhat grey out today and the longer we fished the wind picked up, but these anglers were game and persevered throughout the day to catch a nice variety of fish.  We were also handicapped by not having in live shrimp - all the bait shops were out today. So we went with artificial grubs and flukes on jig heads and made the best of it.  At our first stop in Lanceford Creek we had no real bites so we ran to the logs of Tiger Island and fished the last of an outgoing tide.  We were getting some bites here and when we move in close to the island it wasn't long before Jeff had a strong hookup and a fish fight on his hands!  He played the fish perfectly and we soon landed a nice Redfish!  I did have some dead shrimp on the boat so I rigged up a couple of bottom rigs and the anglers began to pick up some fish, with Bruce bringing in a keeper sized Whiting.  Later Jeff caught a small, but aggressive Black Tip Shark and then picked up two Puppy Drum.  The resident Raccoon was back looking for a handout!  We made a run to Eagans Creek and fished most of the stretch from the mouth to the bridge and eventually ended up back at the mouth where Nancy hooked up with  a hungry Seatrout and Bruce pulled in the final fish of the day, a nice Puppy Drum.  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Red, White and Blue and a Slam

Boy what a beautiful day!  Daniel Garcelon and his son Josh fished with me today and we met at the Atlantic Seafood dock at 8am this morning to fish the very last of an incoming tide and then the outgoing tide.  We made our way to just south of Rayonier (Temptation Cove) and although we had a few bites on our live shrimp under floats, we had no takers.  We moved around to south of the pipeline and here Josh began to get hot with his "catching"!  He picked up a few hungry Seatrout and some nice WHITE-ing.  We made a run to Lanceford Creek to fish some dock pilings and caught a couple of REDfish and a few more Trout, with one keeper sized.  We moved on down to Millie's Spot, had few bites but no takers, then made a run to the Tiger Island Logs.  Fishing was really good here.  These two anglers stayed busy catching Seatrout  and once in a while reeled in a BLUE.  Josh had made a good cast and was slowly retrieving his jig when his rod bent and...FISH ON!  He played the fish perfectly and after a good battle his dad netted a very nice 17" Flounder, which put's Josh on the board and in first place in my Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament - Flounder category and also nailed down an Amelia Island Back Country Slam!  We couldn't of asked for a better day and even had visits from a Raccoon, an Otter, and a Florida Wildlife Commission officer who checked us out and gave us an A+ in preparedness! We eventually wrapped it up and headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Amelia Island Bachelor Party

Mau-En Lee had me set up 3 Amelia Island backwater boats to take he and his eight friends fishing today.   They are all visiting to help send off one of their friends who will be getting married soon.  We each had 3 in a boat an left the marina at 7:30 this morning.  I had Mau-En, Daniel, and "V" with me as we headed up into Lanceford Creek.  At our first spot I had the anglers tossing float rigs to a flooded grass patch but we had no takers.  We moved on to some dock pilings and this did the trick when V started it off by hooking up with a nice Redfish.  Then they all began to get hookups and we were able to stay at this spot for almost two hours.  Most were smaller but feisty and fun to catch while a few of them reached into the Slot and put up some really good battles.  Daniel added a nice18" Puppy Drum to the box.  We made a move around to the logs of Tiger Island where Mauen picked up another Red then all the anglers were catching Seatrout off of the bottom with jigs and shrimp.  This rounded out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam, but then Mau-En topped it off by reeling in a Flounder!  We also caught our first Bonnethead Shark of the year, a hungry 12" one!  It was a beautiful day, all sunshine, and a great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Friday, March 8, 2013

First Fish Big Fish

Chris Haines was in town with his friend Linda and took in an Amelia Island back country fishing trip on The Anglers Mark today.  We had postponed the trip from Wednesday when the wind was blowing to 25mph and boy am I glad we did!  We met at the Atlantic Seafood dock in downtown historic Fernandina Beach at 7:30am this morning and headed up to the Tiger inlet to fish a high but outgoing tide with live shrimp under floats.  We had no bites.  We moved to another grass line and had no bites. Ouch.  Our next stop was up in Jolley River with the oysters just beginning to peak.  Chris had tossed his float up near the grass and after it had been there for just a short while we both saw that the float began to move slowly along the grass.  Chris tightened his line and when the float went under, FISH ON!  He played the fish perfectly as the drag on his reel sang, letting the TFO Signature Series Rod do all the work.  After a nice battle Chris brought the fish to the net and we landed a nice Slot 25 1/2" Redfish!  This puts him in first place in the Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament, Redfish category.  We hit a couple of spots in Jolley with no more real bites then made a run to the logs of Tiger Island.  Linda was the first to hookup with a hungry, keeper sized Seatrout.  We dropped an anchor and fished the area as the sun warmed us up and both anglers put a number fo Trout in the boat.  Our next stop was the docks of Lanceford Creek and we weren't disappointed.  Both Chris and Linda caught feisty Redfish and more Seatrout and once had a "double" hookup with Redfish.  Chris also landed a very fat 18" Seatrout (2nd place in the Braggin Rights Tourney)  We fished a few more areas during the day and landed more Trout at each stop then called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Trout Mania

I fished today with Charlie Mclaine who is visiting Amelia Island again with his wife, down from the Atlanta area.  We met at the Atlantic Seafood dock at 8am and headed up to Lanceford Creek to fish the very first of an incoming tide.  I had thought we'd pick up some Redfish around the docks but they were having none of our live shrimp on a jig.  I noted that the water was real muddy, probably churned up by the south east wind.  We did pick up four nice Trout out deep on the bottom.  We fished a few minutes near Oyster Bay then headed around to the logs of Tiger where we picked up two feisty Redfish then got into a mess of hungry Seatrout.  We commented that it was like "fishing for bream in a pond" because we found that we could literally lower our jig to the bottom and wait for the bite!  Charlie guestimated that we caught well over 30 Trout as we enjoyed the sunshine while fishing Amelia Island!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Not Ice Fishing, But Close!

Denn Evans and Marilyn Curran were visiting their daughter in Jax Beach and planned to take in an Amelia Island Back Country fishing trip on The Anglers Mark this past weekend.  Denn and Marilyn were visiting from Minnesota and mentioned that their local anglers were beginning to bring in their ice huts off the lakes back home.  We didn't need an ice hut Saturday but the cool temperatures and 15+mph winds made us seek shelter from the westerly winds.  At our first stop we had some bites early on the last of an incoming tide and it wasn't long before we had a strong hookup.  Denn played the fish perfectly and patiently and we soon netted a 24.5" Slot Redfish that puts him in first place of my 2013 Bragging Rights Tournament - Redfish category! (Scroll down right side of the Report for standings)  He continued to fish the spot with 1/4 oz jigs baited with live shrimp and picked up a few more feisty Redfish.  We had a couple of really nice fish take the bait and hook and keep going so they had to have had some size to them!  We made a move to a grass patch at the high tide and picked up another feisty Redfish, hit another spot with no luck, then came back to the shelter of an island to get out of the wind where we again confirmed it was a great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

CCA Florida Boil and Brew

Carol and I had a great time at the Coastal Conservation Association Boil at the Brewery and Auction this past Friday night which was held at Intuition Ale on King Street in Jacksonville.  In addition to getting to sample some of the brewery's fine beer we had our fill of Low Country Boil!