Monday, June 23, 2014

These Girls are Anglers

It was nice fishing today with just a little over cast skies and a good breeze.  I had met Joe Gasper, Adam Blanning and Adam's daughters Eliza and Megan down at the City docks this morning and after a quick safety orientation, we headed north to fish Jolley River on the first of an outgoing tide.  We had just gotten started and even though the young ladies were just getting the hand of casting, we began to get bites!  After a few float disappeared young Eliza had a hookup and this was NOT a bait stealer! She fought the fish valiantly and after a good battle landed a nice Slot sized
Redfish -her first fish ever!  Whoooeee!  We continued to fish and after just a short while her Dad Adam and Megan hooked up and together landed another nice Redfish.   Most of the fish were biting on live shrimp.  We continued to fish Jolley "bank", had some good bites, and Adam landed "the poor man's Tarpon" - a Ladyfish.  Then Megan hooked up and reeled in on her own the only Jack Crevalle of the day.  In between all of the fish caught the anglers landed a handful of pesky Croaker.  We fished Snook Creek, had some good bites, the moved around to Bell River to fish the last of the outgoing tide.  The conditions were perfect and I thought surely we'd have a good bite, but the sun was up, it was getting hot, and not much was biting.  But Eliza was on her game and after an excellent cast, had a nibble and she set the hook, FISH ON!  She worked the fish to the boat and we soon landed the Sneaky Sheepshead to our variety count.  With that catch, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Big Fish Saturday

We had a good one yesterday morning, fishing with Doug and Leslie Phillips, here at Amelia Island.  The couple were staying at the Blue Heron Inn, just a short walk to the marina and some great fishing!  We left the City dock at 7am and headed north to fish the logs of Tiger Island on an outgoing tide.  I think the first two casts produced fish, and maybe the 3rd!  Leslie hooked up with a Seatrout and Doug landed a nice feisty Redfish and from then on they were getting bites and landing fish.  Leslie must have found a
"puppy" Drum hole because she reeled in a few small ones then, BOOM!  FISH ON!  This fish was big and gave Leslie a fight but she was up to the challenge and played it beautifully.  The fish took her from the bow to the stern and from port to starboard then ran deep into the current.  But Leslie kept the pressure on and we soon landed a nice 23" Black (not so puppy) "puppy" Drum!  Wow what a fish!   We made a run around to the Jolley River, picked up a another Redfish, Seatrout and Ladyfish, then it was Doug who had the strong hookup.  His rod bent double and the drag on the 1000
Shimano began to sing as the line ripped out.  Doug too, was ready for the fight and this one seemed to last forever.  Doug was patient and let the rod do all the work and after a long battle, landed a 3'+ Bonnethead Shark!  Went further up the river to fish a large creek mouth and Leslie landed another feisty Redfish, then we made a run around to Bell River.  Leslie had caught a Trout or two then Doug had a strong hookup.  Another Battle!  Boy what a fish!  He fought this fish until it was subdued and landed a nice 26" Slot "Tournament" Redfish, wrapping up another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Big Trout Makes the Trip

I had an afternoon trip with George Youmans and his son Gus set up Friday so we met down at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina at 2pm and ran up to the outside of Tiger Island to fish the last couple of hours of an incoming tide.  The anglers were tossing float rigs  and live shrimp and started off with a bank, landing a couple of Jack Crevalled and a nice hungry Seatrout.  We moved around to fish the inlet of Tiger Basin and picked up another Seatrout.  The tide had peaked so we made our way around to the Jolley River and fished the "bank" for a while, moved further up the river and fished
the mouth of Snook Creek, then eased up into the creek to fish with some jigs and shrimp on the bottom.  Although the weather was beautiful and just getting out on the water was great, the fish "bite" had been kinda slow but George made up for it when he had a very strong hookup, and BOOM! FISH ON!  George was using a light 6' rod with a size 1000 Shimano Stradic reel, 10lb braid and he had a battle on his hands!  But George played the fish patiently and we soon landed a big 21" Seatrout!  Now that's the way to wrap up a day of fishing here at Amelia Island!

Wildlife and Fishing

It's hard to believe the outstanding weather we've been having here at Amelia Island, especially during our morning trips.  I had met John Allen and his son Andrew down at the City marina and decided to fish some dock pilings at our first stop on an outgoing tide.  It turned out to be a good decision because it only took a couple of casts for Andrew to hookup!  He landed not one, but two Seatrout, both of keeper size and then shortly after landed a nice keeper sized Flounder -even though all fish caught today were to be
tossed back to be caught another day!  Andrew was putting the pressure on his dad in the "fish catch category" but John picked up his game and began to land some fish. He put a couple of feisty Redfish in the boat then tangled with and landed a nice Slot Redfish.  After catching another Trout and Red we ran around to the MOA spot and although it looked real good with tons of bait, we had not real bites. Our next stop was at Snook Creek where we had a Ladyfish encounter then we made our way down to Jolley "bank".  As we began our first pass we had a Manatee come cruising by then shortly afterwards John spotted an Atlantic Saltmarsh Mink scampering along the shoreline.  John put not one, but two nice keeper sized Flounder in the boat, Andrew landed a rock of a Toad Fish, then John wrapped up the day by besting 3'+ long Bonnethead Shark.  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

His and Hers and Fish

I'd set up an Amelia Island back country fishing trip with Jonathan Vines and his brother-in-law Smith Marks this morning, and they had elected to do the "His and Hers" trip where we would fish for a few hours then come back in to pick their spouses up.  We left the Fernandina Harbor Marina at 7am sharp and headed up to fish Eagans Creek docks on an outgoing tide.  The two anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp and although it took a few minutes to begin to get good bites, they did come!  Jonathan hooked up with a large Black "puppy" Drum that gave him a good battle but Jonathan played the big fish patiently and landed it - measuring in at 22".  Later, Smith was fishing out deep and picked up a nice keeper sized Seatrout.  They both had big, big fish take their bait but there was no keeping them out of the dock pilings with our light tackle - there's a reason why they're big! We made a run out and around to fish the Jolley River and within minutes they were getting bites.  Smith hooked up with a "FISH ON" and then Jonathan had one too - a double!  Both of the anglers played their  fish perfectly and were able to land two beautiful feisty Redfish!  We fished the oyster Olde Town Fernandina, Fort Clinch, Cumberland Island and Tiger Island.  We had a just a few shrimp left so the guys began to toss them deep at the Tiger logs and were able to pick up a keeper sized Sheepshead to round out their Amelia Island Back Country Grande Slam of  Black Drum, Seatrout, Red Drum and Sheepshead.  With that, we called it a day, another great on to be fishing Amelia Island waters!
lined bank as the tide began to creep back in, had a bunch of nibbles but no real bites until, BOOM!  FISH ON!  Jonathan worked the fish away from the bank, let it wear itself out, and landed a nice Slot Sized Redfish.  Just a few minutes later Smith had a strong hookup that bent his rod double and caused the reel to sing - the big fish went deep and a long battle ensued.  But Smith was up to the task and after the fish took him from bow to stern, starboard to port, he worked the fish slowly up to be landed - a nice 36"+ Bonnethead Shark!  We wrapped up the fishing, headed in to pick up their wives Katie and Kristin, and toured
 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Good Mess of Fish

We fished the south end today, launching from the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp at Sawpit Creek to fish the last couple of hours of an outgoing tide.  I met Adam Garner and his son Ryan and Ryan's girlfriend Morgan and we headed up the  Nassau River to fish the oyster beds with jigs and live shrimp and mud minnows.  It didn't take long to get bites - first Ryan had a strong hookup and landed a huge Catfish then he picked up a couple of Croakers and then a  21" Black "puppy" Drum.  Morgan then had a strong
hookup that headed up river so we had to chase it with the boat!  She patiently fought and landed another huge Catfish.  Ryan added another nice keeper sized Drum and a few more Croaker, then Morgan landed a hard fighting Drum.   We made our next stop along some rocks at Seymore's Pointe and here the anglers had non-stop action,  catching keeper sized Grey "mangrove" Snapper.  We were getting low on bait, getting so many bites, we made the decision to run further up the river to see if we could get something bigger.  We picked a spot between the downed logs, began making casts and within minutes Ryan had a hookup.  He fought the fish expertly and after a good battle, landed our first Redfish, a slot 19" keeper sized one.  We fished some more, caught another Drum, a few Croaker and had what looked like a large Seatrout to the boat.  With that, we called it a day, another great day to be fishing Amelia Island, and with a mess of fish in the box!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

First Fish Ever for Two Anglers

An outstandingly beautiful day greeted us this morning for a fun day of fishing the backwaters of Amelia Island.  I had scheduled to meet Barbara Montressor and her friend Christine Knoblauch down at the Fernandina Beach city marina.  The ladies had donated the fishing trip for auction to raise money for United Way back at their work and the winners of the auction, David and Cecelia, had won the trip and were coming to fish as a group - a great way to "team" build!  We headed north to the Jolley River with plans to fish the exposed oyster banks with jigs and live shrimp or mud
minnows.  After the anglers knocked the rust off they began to get their casts up near the oysters and it wasn't long before they began to get bites.  Christine got the "skunk off" the boat by landing a nice hungry Seatrout  - her first caught fish ever, then Cecelia followed that up with a high flying Ladyfish, her first fish ever caught, too!  David was making excellent casts to the bank and he soon had a hookup and good battle with a Black "puppy" Drum, which he landed.   We made our second stop at the logs behind Tiger and even though all the anglers were getting bites and the tide was right,
we had  no hook ups!  Our final stop was outside of Tiger Island and here the action really heated up.  Cecelia landed a Ladyfish then Barbara hooked and landed a Seatrout.  Then all of the group were catching Ladyfish.  Time was running short when David had a hookup but this time his rod bent double and his line began to zip out, FISH ON!  This big fish ran under the boat and was heading south!  But David applied the pressure, went to the stern of the boat and managed to turn the beast.  The fish took him from bow to stern, from port to starboard then back to the bow but
it was no match for David and after long battle we were able to land the Bonnethead Shark for pictures and release!  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lot's of Action

I was back in the saddle today after taking off for Father's Day and was eager to get back to fishing!  I met David Smith and his son Andrew down at the Atlantic Seafood dock, downtown Fernandina Beach and we headed north to fish the first of an incoming tide with jigs and live shrimp.  We made our first stop at the Tiger logs and boy was it a beautiful morning!  The sky was clear, the air was still cool, and there was only a slight breeze.  The anglers got the hang of fishing the jigs quickly and soon David outsmarted a sneaky Sheepshead.  Shortly afterwards Andrew battled a feisty Redfish to
the boat.  We fished the island south then north and Andrew picked up two hard fighting Black "puppy" Drum.  Our next stop was up at Jolley "bank", still pitching the jigs and even though both anglers were getting bites, we had no takers.  Andrew switched to a live shrimp under a float and it only took three casts before he had a strong hookup, "FISH ON"!  This fish was definitely  not a "bait stealer" and Andrew patiently played the fish to the boat where we landed a nice 20" Seatrout!  We fished the rest of the bank picking up a nice Whiting and then a Flounder to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Grande Slam of Redfish, Seatrout, Drum and Flounder, then ran further up into Jolley to fish a now flooded oyster bank.  The anglers again had good bites but no takers so we made a run around to the outside of Tiger Island and this did the trick.  They began to get good strong bites, landing a handful of high-flying Ladyfish and also boated a rather large Bluefish and a hard fighting Jack Crevalle.  We then fished a grass line and between the two anglers they landed a handful of small but hungry Seatrout.  But on of the last ones turned out to be bigger and measured "keeper" size when we got him to the boat.  On the last cast David had a strong hookup but the fish was on the other side of a flooded oyster bed.  David played the fish perfectly but this fish was smart and as it got close the the bed it made a dash deep and cut the line!  So with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Blackened Redfish for Dinner

Dale and Kay Bullard took in another fishing trip today and this time they brought along their adult daughter Autumn.  We had a high and incoming tide when we left the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina and headed north to fish the outside of Tiger Island with float rigs and live minnows.  We had a nibble hear and there, saw a tailing Redfish in some sparse grass, but had no real bites.  We had planned to fish for Tailing Redfish  as the tide was predicted to be  high enough for Reds up in the spartina but it never made it with
the west wind pushing back against the tide.  So we continued to fish the edges and the three anglers patience paid off.  Dale knocked the "skunk off" by landing a hungry Seatrout and shortly afterwards Autumn yelled, "FISH ON" and her rod bent double.  She fought the fish perfectly despite the unwanted coaching from her dad and I, and eventually landed a nice 25" Slot Redfish!   Talk immediately turned towards methods of preparing the fish and we all agreed that it should be blackened, outside!  We fished the shoreline then made a run around to Lanceford Creek where Dale added to the box with a nice 17" keeper sized Seatrout.  We fished a while longer, picked up another couple of Trout, had a Flounder to the boat, then headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

She Married an Angler

My trip this morning was with Andrew and Jessica Piccirillo, newlyweds visiting Amela Island as part of their honeymoon.  We met at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina and headed up to fish the outside of Tiger Island on the very last of an incoming tide.  The anglers were tossing live shrimp and mud minnows under floats and began to get bites right off.    Jessica had a Ladyfish take her bait,  sling itself off, then she caught a nice Whiting on here retrieve!  This was her first fish she had ever caught!  Andrew followed that
up with a hungry Seatrout.  There was a ton of bait up in the marsh grass and even though we could see big fish attacking, they wouldn't take our offering, so we moved on around to fish the  mouth of Tiger.  Again, we had some decent bites, one strong hookup that cut itself off on the submerged oysters, then we eased around to fish the logs of Tiger on the very first of an outgoing tide.  This isn't and ideal tide to be fishing the spot but Jessica found a way to catch a hard fighting Black "puppy" Drum on a jig and shrimp.  We then headed up to Jolley River, fished a larger creek runout, picked up another Seatrout and Ladyfish, then Andrew had a good hookup.  The fish started it's fight like a decent sized Redfish but then it took off, bending the rod double and causing the drag to rip, FISH ON!  Andrew played the fish like a good angler, working the fish patiently through its runs until he subdued the beast, a nice 4' long Bonnethead Shark!  We fished a little move in the area then moved back to Jolley Bank where Andrew wrapped the trip up by landing a nice keeper sized Flounder, making it another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Double Slam

I fished the south end today, launching at the Big Talbot Island Park
on a high and still incoming tide.  Bill Walker had set the trip up and had his fiancĂ© Katie and her dad Ronnie, planning to do some Amelia Island back country fishing.  We ran north, up the Nassau River and made our first stop at some flooded oysters. The anglers were tossing live shrimp and mud minnows up to the marsh grass.  It took just a little while but Bill was able to knock the "skunk off the boat" when he hooked up and patiently played in a nice Redfish.  We fished until the tide peaked then made a run around and through Jackstaff then up into a side creek.  The catching heated up here with both Bill and Ronnie landing some fat Seatrout.  Further down the bank Ronnie had a strong hookup and landed another nice Redfish and then Katie got on the board by catching a Flounder to give the anglers their first Amelia Island Back Country Slam.  We crossed over to Jackstaff "bank" where Bill and Katie switched to a jig. This did the trick for Katie - she picked up a Trout and a Jack Crevalle.  After fishing a good stretch of marsh line on the outgoing tide, we made one final run back to
the Nassau River, fished an oyster outcrop, and Ronnie hooked up with a keeper sized Flounder to give the anglers their 2nd Slam of the day.  We ended the trip with Bill battling a Bonnethead Shark for a good 5-10 minutes, then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Big Birthday Finish

We had a high and outgoing tide this morning when I met Tim Vieke and his friend David down at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina to do some Amelia Island Back Country fishing on Tim's birthday.  The guys and their wives were staying at the beautiful Elizabeth Pointe Lodge - on the ocean, but just a short ride into town to the marina.  We headed north and fished the outside of Tiger Island, tossing topwater lures and had some really good strikes, but no takers.  Our next stop was up to Jolley River, fishing the "bank" with live mud minnows under floats and even though the conditions seemed right, we only had a few nibbles and one hungry Bluefish.  Another run up the river to a large creek outflow and boy was it
pretty!  David went back to the topwaters while Tim stayed with the minnows.  And he finally got the "skunk" off the boat, landing a nice keeper sized Seatrout.  We picked up another keeper sized Trout, then Tim tangled with a Ladyfish.  Our final stop was a run back to Eagans Creek where we fished some dock pilings with jigs/minnows and this was the ticket. Both Tim and David landed feisty Redfish then Tim put a Slot Sized one in the boat.  David picked up another keeper sized Seatrout then we netted another Slot Sized Red.  The anglers were picking fish up in shallow water near the pilings but many came from out deep on the outside of the floating dock.  They landed three more keeper sized Seatrout with the largest being 19 1/2".  It was great that both Tim and David stayed patient and it paid off with a great way to end an Amelia Island fishing trip!

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Hot Rod

Sometimes you just gotta count on the young guys to put fish in the boat.  I fished this morning with Gene Rice, his son Gene Jr, son-in-law Robby and grandson Will.  We met down at the Atlantic Seafood dock in downtown Fernandina Beach and headed up to fish the outside of Tiger Island on the first of an outgoing tide.  The anglers started off tossing live shrimp under floats and thanks to Gene Jr. we were able to "knock the skunk off" when he picked up a hungry Seatrout.   Later, Robby had a fish flash by his bait then came back to take it and began ripping the drag on his reel  He
fought the fish patiently and soon landed a Bonnethead Shark.  We then ran up to Jolley River, fished the "bank" and had a few tangles with high flying Ladyfish.  Then young Will, regulated to the back of the boat, hooked up, FISH ON!  This young angler fought the fish from port to starboard and back again, working the fish with his rod and after a good battle, landed a  nice 18 3/4" Slot Redfish!  We ran further up the creek where Gene Sr, fishing with a jig and shrimp,  picked up a Redfish; we moved around to the MOA and had very little bites.  Our last stop was over in Bell River, fishing some dock pilings with all anglers tossing jigs and shrimp and Will had the hot rod again, hooking up and landing another Slot Redfish, this one measuring 19.5".   His dad Robby followed that one up with one more Slot Red to wrap up another great day of fishing Amelia Island waters!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

One Big Trout

I had the pleasure of fishing with Mike Morrill and his buddy Ross this morning, leaving early to fish with topwater lures on an outgoing tide.  We headed up to the Jolley River, set up outside a large creek and began tossing Zara Spooks to the marsh grass.  Walking the Dog, the anglers had a few good rolls at their lures, but no takers.  We switched to live shrimp under floats and they picked up a couple of Ladyfish bites and feisty Bonnethead Shark.  We ran back to Jolley Bank and switched to jigs and shrimp and it wasn't long before Mike picked up a Feisty Redfish.  Our next stop was the logs of Tiger Island and hear the action picked up.  Both Ross and Mike landed a couple of Redfish then Ross had a strong hookup and a fight on his hands.  He played the fish patiently and after an extended battle, landed a 22 1/2" Seatrout, putting him tied for 3rd place in The Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament (scroll down right side of this report for standings).  We also picked up a couple of smaller Seatrout and Black "puppy" Drum.   We then made a  run over to Eagans Creek, fished some dock pilings, picked up a couple of feisty Redfish, a huge Stingray, then called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Drumming up Fish

Fish the dock pilings or fish the marsh grass?  That's what I was asking myself this morning as I was getting The Anglers Mark ready.  I was meeting Michael Furhman and his crew down at the Atlantic Seafood dock to fish the last 3 hours of an outgoing tide.  When Michael made it to the boat I found that most of his crew had "mutinied" but he had drafted his sister-in-law Erin to come along and fill their shoes.  I decided on "docks" so we headed over to Eagans Creek, found a likely spot, then began to toss shrimp and mud minnows on a jig up to the pilings.  It wasn't long before both
anglers were catching feisty Redfish but when Michael's rod bent double and drag ripped out, we knew he had a bigger fish, FISH ON!  The big fish tried to get back up in the pilings but Micheal was a savvy angler and worked the fish out. Once in deeper water it plowed deep but it was no match for Micheal!  He soon landed a not so "puppy"  Black Drum measuring at 22"!  Shortly after catching another couple of feisty Reds, Erin took a turn at a hard fighting Black Drum. She too had to keep the pressure on to keep the fish from getting back into the pilings but she soon landed a
nice 18" Black Drum.    They caught another couple of smaller Reds, then Erin had a strong hookup and, FISH ON again!  She played the big fish patiently, working it away from the pilings, letting it run when it wanted to run, but eventually landing a 25 1/2" Slot Redfish!  After photographs we released the big fish to hopefully make it to the oversized limit!   Michael caught a keeper sized Sheepshead to round out the anglers Amelia Island Back Country Slam, then we headed up to Jolley River, fished some exposed oyster banks, then BOOM!  Michael had a drag ripping hookup, then BOOM! Erin did to. We had a double!  Both anglers patiently fougt their fish, bow to stern, port to starboard, stern to bow, going 'round and 'round.  I had to shuffle from one angler to the other trying to figure out which Bonnethead Shark to net first but soon we had both of them flopping around the boat!  We got some good photographs then tossed them back.  After fishing another spot with no real bites, we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

After a long lunch break I met Michael again at the Marina and this time he had a brother-in-law
Andy and his daughter Ella.  We had planned to do a short fishing trip and boat tour so I headed up to the outside of Tiger Island to fish some now flooded oyster beds with live shrimp under float.  After just a few minutes Ella had a hookup and a fish fight!  She worked the fish in and we netted her first ever fish - a hungry Seatrout!  Her dad and uncle Michael joined in and in less than an hour we the anglers had caught 7-8 Seatrout, a high flying Ladyfish, and a hard fighting Jack Crevalle.  We then did a tour of Fort Clinch, crossed to veiw some wild horses on Cumberland, cruised up Beach Creek and saw two manatee, then headed in - another great Amelia Island fishing trip and boat tour!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Patience Makes The Angler

Another beautiful  morning found The Anglers Mark down at Sawpit Creek, south of Amelia Island, meeting Danny Genther and Zack and Ben Ford to do some back water fishing.  We headed up to the Horsehead area to fish "Jackstaff Bank" and although we had a few nibbles, we had no real good bites -other than a Ladyfish encounter that Ben had.  We crossed and fished a point and here Zack knocked the "skunk" off, landing a fat and still  hungry Seatarout.  We then made a run around to Nassau River to fish the very last of the outgoing tide and first of the incoming.  This proved to be better fishing.  Ben landed a couple of Catfish, Danny landed a plump Snapper, then Zack upped the ante by tossing a live shrimp under a float to an exposed oyster bank, and got a  hook up!  Fish on!  He fought the fish patiently and let the rod do the work, wearing out and landing a nice 21 1/2" Seatrout.  Later, we were letting shrimp sit on the bottom with very little movement when we had a hookup again.  This time Ben managed the rod and he to patiently worked the fish.  We weren't thinking it was very big but as it got closer to the boat it made some good runs deep, but Ben kept the pressure on and soon landed a nice keeper sized 16" Black "puppy" Drum.  We picked up another Snapper, fished a shallow slew, then called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Bonnethead Two Step

Boy what a beautiful morning we had today!  I had met Zach Peyton and his dad, Bob down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp with plans to fish the Horsehead area on the last of an outgoing tide.  We had a good quantity of live shrimp and mud minnows to fish with our 1/4oz jigs.   Our first stop was at the mouth of Jackstaff and even though the conditions seemed perfect - a slight breeze, oysters showing, sunshine, outgoing tide-we struggled to get some bites.  We did pick up a small Seatrout and Black "puppy" Drum.  But then Zach had a strong hookup that bent his rod double and made the drag sing, "FISH ON"!  He fought the fish valiantly as the beast took him from bow to stern, from port to starboard, and then back to the stern, travelling under the boat a couple of times. Zach and the equipment were up to the task and eventually subdued a 3'+ Bonnethead Shark!  Shortly afterwards, he had a similar battle with the same results.  As the tide started in we made a move over to the Nassau River which turned out to be the prime ticket.  We all had some strong hookups, losing something big in some structure, then we hooked up again and landed a nice 18" keeper size Puppy Drum.  And only minutes later we had a another hookup and landed a 25" Slot Red!  And a short while later, another 26" Slot Red!  We picked up a couple of feisty Redfish then moved in close and actually got out of the boat to fish a shallow slew from an old oyster bank.  I think it was Zach's second cast when he hooked up!  I was yelling "I'm coming with the net" and Zach paced himself until I got there to help land a feisty Redfish.  We then made a run over to Broward Island where Bob caught another Slot Redfish, then a very nice keeper sized 16" Sheepshead.  The sun was getting up but we still had a little bait so we ran back to Jackstaff and tried some float rigs.  Bob rounded out our Amelia Island Grand Slam by catching a keeper Sized Seatrout then almost at the same time both he and Zach had strong hookups, FISH'(s) ON!  We had a double!  Zach's fish zipped north and Bob's fish zipped south.  Zach's fish went to starboard while Bob's fish went to port.  The two anglers were passing their rods over and under and around each other, doing the "Bonnethead Two Step"!  We saw both fish surface and it appeared Bob's was the largest which made sense  because it eventually got tired of the whole thing and broke itself off.  Zach kept up the fight with his fish and soon landed another big Bonnethead Shark.  With that, we called it a day, another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Perfect 10

I had the pleasure of fishing again with Allen Reeves and this time he brought along his adult sons Jason and Jeff to fish the back waters of Amelia Island.  Last year when I fished with Allen we had what I call a "banner day" - just non-stop action with some really nice fish.  I knew it was going to be hard to live up to a day like that but with the radio station's weather report this morning calling today a "Perfect 10", we knew it would be a great day, regardless.  We headed north to Jolley River to fish a large creek runout on the very last of an outgoing tide.  The conditions were almost perfect but all we could find were some pesky Croaker.  We made a run around to the MOA (Mother-of-All) spots and this did the trick. Jason didn't take long to have a hookup and land a nice hungry Seatrout, then Allen followed it up with one of his own, this one of keeper size.  He also landed a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum and Jeff battled and subdued a hard fighting Bonnethead Shark.  We ran back to fish Jolley Bank and right off we had a double hookup!  Jeff had a Big fish on and then Jason did too.    But Jason's threw the hook while Jeff battled on. At first I thought it was a Shark, then when it rolled up I thought "Redfish"!  Jeff kept the pressure on, letting the rod do the work, then eventually landed a 21 3/4" Seatrout!  We fished on, catching a Jack Crevalle, another Seatrout, then another keeper sized Seatrout before heading over to fish the logs of Tiger Island.  Although we some good nibbles the fish just wernt' biting so we made a run and stop outside of Tiger where Allen landed one more Seatrout.  With that, we called it a day, a "perfect 10" to be out fishing Amelia Island waters!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Big Trout a Day

It was a guys trip, Grand dad Dave, son-in-laws Bruce and Chris, and grandson Griffin, all set up to fish the back waters of Amelia Island this morning on The Anglers Mark.  We met down at the Fernandina Harbor Marina and headed up to fish Jolley Bank on an incoming tide.  The wind was blowing out of the North East and keeping the stern of the boat out deep but we still worked the bank with the anglers on the bow having first shot at the fish.  Dave picked up the first fish, a nice keeper sized Seatrout, then he put a feisty Redfish in the boat.  Bruce hooked up and netted a high flying Ladyfish then we moved on up the river.  Again, Dave hooked up but this fish was Big! His rod bent over then the line went slack - but then bent again as the fish swam towards the boat then out to deep water, FISH ON!  Dave worked the fish patiently and after an extended battle, landed a 3' Bonnethead Shark on some real light tackle!  We fished that area and a large creek but had no real bites then made a run around to fish the logs of Tiger.  The bite was very slow but these anglers we patient and it paid off.  Chris outsmarted a hungry Sheepshead then Bruce picked up two keeper sized Whiting and just as the older anglers were beginning to poke Griffin, he hooked up!  This fish was giving him a battle and stayed deep but Griffin kept the pressure on and landed a nice 16" Flounder.  They continued to fish the bank and Bruce found another feisty Redfish.  We made the run around to Lanceford Creek to fish some docks and very quickly Dave had a hookup.  This was another big fish and we were all betting Redfish but it turned out to be a 19 1/2"  Seatrout.  After Griffin battled a huge stingray to the boat, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Three Generations

I had the opportunity to fish with Dave Howard and his son  Graham  Friday morning, and this time they brought along Dave's dad John to make it three generations fishing together!  There wasn't a lick of wind but the skies were slightly overcast so we had a beautiful morning to do some Amelia Island back country fishing. I pointed The Anglers Mark north and we headed straight to Jolley River to fish an incoming tide.  I had thought we may still have some oysters exposed but they were covered so the anglers began fishing with float rigs and live shrimp (and a left over minnow or two).  All three were getting bites but it took the older generation to "get the skunk off" the boat when John landed a nice Seatrout.  Young Graham followed it up with a hard fighting Jack Crevalle.  There's was some good natured ribbing going on between the two older anglers and I think Graham learned a few things about fishing that he didn't know about his Dad and Grandad!   At one time John had a strong hookup that bent his rod over double and made the drag ZIP, ZIP, ZIP - a Bonnethead Shark had taken the bait and was running up river.  John played the fish expertly but it was having nothing to do with the light tackle we had offered and eventually broke itself off. 
We tangled with some Ladyfish then moved on up the river to fish a big marsh runout.  Again the anglers had bites, tangled with Ladyfish, then Dave's float disappeared and the drag began to rip, FISH ON!  The way the fish was fighting and his drag was ripping out, I thought for sure it was a Redfish but when Dave fought the fish to the boat we netted a big 22 1/2" Seatrout! This fish puts Dave into 3rd place in the Anglers Mark 2014 Bragging Rights Tournament-Seatrout Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings).   We fished up a small creek where Mitchell picked up a Seatrout and Dave had a brief fight with another Shark, then we headed around to fish the outside of Tiger Island.  Dave caught a hungry Trout then we moved closer to the Tiger inlet and here John added another keeper sized Trout.  The anglers put a couple of Ladyfish in the net then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!