Saturday, November 30, 2013

Beating the Wind

After getting in a great Friday morning fishing trip I also had the opportunity to get out that afternoon, too.  I met Doug and Joan Paul along with their college age son Lawder at the Atltantic Seafood dock down at the City marina just after lunch and with the wind whipping whitecaps we eased out of the marina.  These Connecticut anglers were game as we crossed the river to the safety of the marsh and eased in behind a land mass to get in some jig and shrimp fishing on the first of an imcoming tide.  It was still a little windier than the morning trip but we made the best of it and the anglers began to hookup.  Lawder "got the skunk off the boat" first by landing a very nice Flounder then they all joined in catching feisty Redfish.   We hit a couple of other spots but they were all buffeted by the wind so we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Post Thanksgiving Fish Catching

Fat from yesterday's Thanksgiving meal(s), we decided to get in some Amelia Island back country fishing Friday morning.  I had met Matt Block and his sons Dempsey, Copeland and Hunter down at the Atlantic Seafood dock and with a pretty good breeze blowing we headed north to fish the Tiger Islands.  I had thought we'd get in some float fishing but as we entered Tiger Basin I saw that the oysters were well exposed on the outoing tide so we went with the jig and shrimp combo.  And boy was the fishing on fire!  These young anglers didn't waste any time putting fish in the boat, almost one after the other.  They landed umpteen Redfish with at least three going 23", 24" and 25" and probably had a few others in the slot.  Copeland had the biggest Red  while Dempsey put the most in the boat.  Hunter added a very large Flounder and caught a nice fat Trout, too.  The Block brothers had what I'd call an "Amelia Island Grand Slam" by landing Redfish, Seatrout, Sheepshead and Flounder.  We had a great time catching fish and headed then headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Wet'n a Line

That's what Patrick Verner's dad used to say when he needed to get out of the house and go fishing.  That was our plan yesterday when I met Patrick and his wife Michele down at the marina to get out into Amelia Island's back waters for an afternoon of light tackle fishing.  Patrick and Michelle were visiting Amelia Island from the Orlando area and staying at the Elizabeth Pointe Lodge to celebrate their 17th wedding anniversary and knew of no better way to top the weekend off than to get out on the water and "wet a line".  We had somewhat of a breeze out of the north east so I headed up to Tiger Island to have the land mass block the wind but when we rounded the island there were at least 3 boats fishing the area, maybe even 4.  I knew that there was a Trout Tournament going on and knew that there would be more boats than the usual weekend traffic.  Nevertheless, we found a spot to squeeze in and set out to toss some live shrimp on a jig to the shoreline.  Our first cast was up near some logs and as Michele worked it back slowly, BOOM! FISH ON!  And a big fish it was!  She played the fish patiently  and after a long battle, landed a nice 24" Slot Red!  From then and about 2 1/2 hours it was FISH ON!  FISH ON!  The couple caught and landed at least 9 Slot sized Redfish, more than we could count undersized Redfish, a good handful of Seatrout of which at least one was keeper sized, and then Michele rounded out her personal Amelia Island Backcountry Slam by boating a 14" Flounder.  (IF we had been in the Tournament,  Michele could have entered her catch in the Slam category).  Crazy.  That's what we were all saying about the fishing trip.  Just Crazy.  With only about 45 minutes to go before sundown, we headed around to the outside of Tiger and set up behind an oyster bed and immediately began to catch fish on float rigs and live shrimp.  Here, Patrick had the hot rod as he boated Seatrout after Seatrout with three being keeper sized to 17".  He also had a feisty Redfish which we hoped was going to be a Big Seatrout then he hooked up with something even bigger, FISH ON!  He played this fish perfectly and patiently and eventually landed another big Slot Red, measuring in at 24".  Crazy. Just Crazy.  We headed in as the sun was going down, counting it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Father Daughter Fish'n

Jacksonville Florida  resident Mike Kaiser had set up an Amelia Island back country fishing trip for yesterday morning with his daughter Kathryn so I met them at the Atlantic Seafood dock at 8am to fish the first of an outgoing tide.  We headed north to fish the flooded oyster beds outside of Tiger Island with live shrimp under float rigs.  Good for me that Mike and Kathryn were patient anglers because the water was still way up in the grass and we had no real bites at the first areas we fished. But we were treated to the procession of a submarine leaving Kings Bay and heading out to the ocean.  We eventually made run up to the Jolley River and found a nice marsh runout to fish.  Mike hooked up with a nice hungry Seatrout then Kathryn followed it up with one of her own.  We fished Snook Creek with no luck then headed back to fish Jolley Bank.  I switched the two to jigs/shrimp even though the oysters were still covered but these two worked the rig perfectly and both landed some feisty Redfish.  Our last stop was at Tiger Island and here the anglers patience paid off.  Kathryn had the hot rod, landing a number of Redfish, Seatrout and a Sheepshead to round out her very own Amelia Island Backcountry Slam, and Mike got his too, by picking up a Flounder along with Reds and Trout.  It was a beautiful morning and a great day to be fishing out on Amelia Island waters!  Can you find the raccoon in one of the pictures?

Friday, November 15, 2013

BIG Red Tops On Early Morning Fishing Trip

Jay Bogdan was in town for work and we squeezed in a super early Amelia Island back country fishing trip this morning.  We met down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and launched the boat with a high tide pushing water up into the parking lot.  After running north up the Amelia River we eased off into Jackstaff and tossed a topwater lure with no luck.  We moved on up into the marsh, switched to live shrimp under a float and began to fish the flooded marsh grass.   We found a nice run out to fish and Jay began to hookup with hungry, hard fighting Seatrout.  He landed 5-6 in a nice flurry then as the bite slowed we moved on to fish a bank with the oysters beginning to show.  Jay commented it was his 3rd cast with a jig/shrimp combo and something bumped his bait then bit it hard, FISH ON!  This fish bulled down deep then rolled at the top, nd I knew it was a big Redfish!  Then the line went slack.  OUCH!  Fish Off?  Nope, he was running right at us!  Jay quickly reeled up the slack and he was back in action, keeping the pressure on the big fish.  We battled the fish down the creek with Jay going from bow to stern to midship to stern and back to midship before we landed the big 32 1/4" Redfish!  Boy what a fish fight!  This fish placed Jay in 3rd place in The Anglers Mark 2013 Bragging Rights Tournament(scroll down right side of this report for standings). We continued to fish the bank and it's runouts, had a few nibbles, then called it a day, another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Catch'in Fish Before The Wind Blows

We had a very nice day forecastd today, except for the wind.  I'd set up a morning trip with Kent Hendershot and his friends Nick and Mark and we met at the Atlantic Seafood dock.  They were staying at the Addison on Amelia, just a short walk to the marina.  It was already blowing but there were clear skies so we decided to give it a shot.  And a shot it was, almost like one of those Red Bull's!  We headed up Bell River to fish some dock pilings and after turning The Anglers Mark into the current and wind, the anglers began to cast a jig/shrimp combo up to the pilings and an adjacent oyster bed on an incoming tide.  It wasn't long before the fun started!  All three anglers began to get hookup after hookup.  I had pruchased 6-7 dozen live hrimp this morning and we were going through them like wildfire.  Redfish, Seatrout, Black "puppy" Drum, and Sheepshead were caight, one after another.  In an hour and half time iI guestimate these anglers landed 30-40 fish!  They weren't real big -only about 4 were "keeper" sized (and all were thrown back), but they were real aggressive and fun to catch.  However, the wind changed directions and picked up and the party was over.  WE tried one more spot but it was just too difficlult to fish so we all agreed it was time to head in and count it as another great morning to be fishing Amelia Island!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bonnetheads Still in the Backcountry

Yesterday morning was some really tough fishing.  The Northeast winds had blown the water in and made the high tide even higher and we struggled to find a bite, much less to find a fish!  But yesterday afternoon as the water came out of the grass we found some fish.  The Raynor group had set up two boats through Captain Jeff  Crumpton and I was the lucky 2nd boat!  I had Anne Raynor, her sister Judy and brother in law Herb and their friend Mary on my boat and we pointed it south to fish the Horsehead area on the outgoing tide.  We found an oyster bank to cruise and when Mary hooked up with something big I thought "big Redfish".  But this fish kept going then held on the bottom and I knew it was a late season shark.  It was group effort landing the 3 foot long beast but these ladies were up to the task and after a long battle we landed the fish, snapped some pictures and threw it back.  Again, Mary had a strong hookup and a long shark fight insued.  And again the ladies landed an even biger Shark.  Then a third shark was caught by Anne and landed.   Three big Bonnethead Sharks were landed on light tackle by these ladies!  When Judy had a strong hookup I thought, "oh boy, here we go again", bu this fish, even though it was putting up a good battle, didn't hang to the bottom but zipped around the boat.  Judy played the fish perfectly and we soon netted a nice Jack Crevalle.  We made a move around to the Nassau River side of Horsehead, fished a nice runout, and here Anne pefected here jig fishing technique.  She landed three feisty Reddfish, a hungry Seatrout and a keeper sized Flounder.  We hit one more spot, caught a few baitstealers, then headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Counting on Fingers and Toes

Boy, yesterday sure was a pretty day with the sun shining out on Amelia Island waters.  I had Fernandina Beach resident Bill Mooney and his son Cody meet me at the docks at 8:30am, just as the tide peaked, and we headed over to Lanceford Creek to fish some flooded marsh grass.  We only had a nibble or two so we made a run around to the outside of Tiger where Cody got the "skunk off the boat" by landing a hungry Seatrout. Bill followed that up with a hard fighting Bluefish.  We moved on up into Mantatee Creek and fished a couple of spots but had no real bites.  I next stop was on the south end of Tiger Island even though the anglers had a few nibble ( and one Whiting)  I was beginning to wonder if the day wasn't going to be made for "catchin".  But luckily both Bill and young Cody were out to have a good time and practiced their patience and it paid off!  The tide had dropped  and the logs were showing and the fish began to bite. BOOM! Fish on!  Boom! Fish on! Cody found a secret spot and landed a couple of feisty Redfish.  Bill picked up a Snapper and Cody landed another Redfish.  Then Bill began to catch feisty Redfish one after another at his spot and Cody joined him.  I had lost count of how many Redfish they had caught but Cody was keeping track of them as his dad told him he'd have to count on his toes!  Bill landed a nice Slot 25" Redfish and before we left Cody added a big 19" Sheepshead.  With that, we called it a daym another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Dawg Gone Good Fish'n

I had another group of Georgia Bulldawg fans in for some Amelia Island fishing Friday afternoon. David Martinez, his son Garrett, and David's brother in law Jeff met me at the Atlantic Seafood boat ramp at 2pm and we headed up to the Tiger Island area to fish an incoming tide with a jig and shrimp combo.  It wasn't long before all three anglers were hooking up with feisty Redfish, Black "puppy" Drum and a couple of Sheepshead.  It was great fishing but when then we had a real strong hookup with drag ripping, FISH ON!   Young Garrett worked the fish patiently and after a good battle he landed a nice 26 3/4" just-under-the-slot Redfish!  The anglers added a couple of hungry Seatrout to the mix then we headed up to Jolley River to fish and exposed oyster bank.  The fish catchin heated up and the anglers landed a good amount of Seatrout and feisty Reds. We fished Snook Creek with no real bites then wraped the day up back at the outside of Tiger with a few more Trout on float rigs.  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be on Amelia Island waters!

Honeymoon Fish'n

Friday I had as guests Chuck and Sharon Sherrhouse, passing through Amelia Island on their honeymoon. We met early at the downtown Fernandina Beach marina and headed up to fish the outside of Tiger Island with float rigs and live shrimp on the first of an outgoing tide.  The two anglers picked up a few hungry Seatrout then we headed up to Jolley River where they picked up more Trout and had a good bite from feisty Redfish and a Sheepshead.  The couple continued to fish through the small ones and ended up taking a few nice keeper sized trout home to Lakeland.  What a great way to wrap up a new marriage and honeymoon here at Amelia

Georgia Florida Football Fishing

The Blalocks were back in town for the annual Georgia Florida football game this year and took in an Amelia Island backcountry fishing trip on The Anglers Mark.  This time William and Dara brought along William's parents Bob and Martha to round out a great group of anglers. The tide had just started in so we were fishing a jig and shrimp combo and our first stop was up at Tiger Island.  The anglers picked up a good  handful of hungry Seatrout and feisty Redfish and William added a keeper sized Flounder.  We soon ran to the Jolley River where they caught a few Trout and Martha hung a huge Gar Fish that wouldn't fit in the net!  We fished Snook Creek where Dara picked up a keeper sized Trout and William had  good strong Shark bite that just kept going.  We made our last stop in Bell River where we picked up a few more Redfish to round out another great day of fishing at Amelia Island!

Nice Slam at Amelia Island

I had Ray and Heidi Stone along with their brother in law Louis Fagre fishing with me last Thursday here at Amelia Island.  We met at the Atlantic Seafood dock down at the City marina at &:30 and headed north to fish Nissan's spot but had no real bites.  But when we made our way around to the outside of Tiger Island, it wasn't long before we had started getting bites and all the anglers were pulling in hungry Seatrout.  We made a run up to the Jolley River and here things heated up real good.  They were all catching feisty Redfish on a jig and shrimp combo when Louis hooked up with something big, FISH ON!  He played the fish perfectly and we soon landed a nice 23" Slot Red!  We conintued to fish and Heidi boated a keeper sized 19" Seatrout then Louis rounded out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam by  catching a nice 19" Flounder. We continued to fish the bank and at one time all three anglers had a Red in the boat - Triple Reds! We later headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!