Sunday, August 31, 2014

Finally Some Slot Reds

This morning we fished out of Big Talbot Island Park.  I met Bob Funk and his son Brad, and daughter-in-law Tiffany at 7am and we headed up the Nassau River to beat the holiday crowd.  Our first stop was at Bubblegum Reef and although the tide was perfect -the first of the incoming- we caught no fish.  We then made a run to Broward Island and being further up the river, the tide was still going out.  The anglers were making pin point casts to the downed logs and it didn't take long before they began to get hookups.  They
were catching a pretty good mess of feisty Redfish then landed a couple of Seatrout.  As Tiffany worked her jig and mud minnow slowly out from the bank something big hit it out deep and, FISH ON!  She fought the fish patiently and despite the coaching landed a nice 23" Slot Redfish!  Bob got in on the Slot Red action a little later and put another one in the boat.  We continued to fish the area and just when we'd think the bite was over the trio would begin to catch more fish.  Brad seemed to have the hottest rod of the day and landed both Redfish and Seatrout regularly.  The sun was up and it was getting hot and the bait had run out so we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Young Captain Puts Us on The Fish

I also fished yesterday afternoon, this time with Bill Gower and his grandson Aaron and Aaron's Uncle Jeff.  We again headed north to Jolley River to fish an outgoing tide with float rigs and live (kinda) shrimp and mud minnows.   Young Aaron almost immediately had a hookup and landed a nice feisty Redfish!  We had a really good flurry there for a while with all three anglers getting bites and hookups, landing Reds and Croaker and Perch.  We fished further up the river, had some nibbles, then dropped back to "Jolley Bank" and switched to jigs to fish the oyster beds.  We again had some
Redfish and you could almost count on a Croaker if your jig was baited with shrimp.  From here on Aaron wore the Captain's hat and guided the boat to our next stop behind Tiger Island to fish the deep waters.  They had some bites and it took a while but eventually they put a couple of hungry Seatrout in the boat. After that, Aaron took us in, driving the boat all the way to the marina, and with that, we called it  a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Lot's of Fish

We fished Saturday morning, the Buben family and I, leaving out of the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina to head north and fish the Jolley River area on an incoming tide.  We hit the "bank" first, fishing jigs and minnows and almost immediately began to get fish.  Both Hunter and Austin picked up feisty Redfish and their mom Lisa did too!  The group also landed  Seatrout, a big handful of Croaker, and then Ben landed a Flounder to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam.  Austin had the weird fish of the day, a
Stingray.  We move up to Snook Creek and picked up a couple of more Redfish and Croaker then made our last stop outside of Tiger Island where Hunter wrapped up the trip with another feisty Redfish.  With that, we called it a morning, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Picture Perfect Weather

I'm pretty sure I heard on the radio this morning that we had a record low temperature for August and you sure could tell it out on the water.  I had met Phil and Rachel Shaw down at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina at 7am and we headed up the river with just a slight breeze.  Boy did it feel good!  Our first stop was the Jolley River and the anglers began casting float rigs with live shrimp and mud minnows up to the edge of the marsh grass on an incoming tide.  It was only a few minutes when Phil hooked up and landed a nice Seatrout.  Then he caught another one!  He was getting good bites but Rachel was not to be out fished and she too had a hookup, this time landing a feisty Redfish.  The duo had some good bites for a while and landed a few more fish.  Before we left the area, Phil caught a stingray and had a Flounder to the boat while Rachel caught one more Redfish.  We ran further up the river and fished another bank.  The bait was really moving along the grass line and both Phil and Rachel were putting their baits up close but had no takers, until Phil's float disappeared and, FISH ON!  This was a bigger fish that put up a good battle, but Phil was patient and took his time landing the fish but land it he did, a nice fat keeper sized Seatrout!  We fished Snook Creek briefly, made a stop at Tiger Island and fished the jigs, then ran through the marsh to fish Bell River.  Phil again found some fish and they landed a couple of more Seatrout and Bluefish.  With that, we called it a dy, another great one to be fishing Amelia Isalnd waters!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

After the Storm

High winds and rain cancelled my trip yesterday but we were able to get out on the water today.  I fished with Buddy and Beth Farrell this morning, leaving the Atlantic Seafood dock at 7am and heading around to fish the logs of Tiger Island with jigs and mud minnows.  We had some pretty good bites but no takers so we made a run through the marsh (the sound was still windy and choppy) and fished some flooded oyster beds with float rigs in Bell River.  Again, no real bites!  Our next stop was a grass patch in Lanceford Creek and this did the trick.  The duo were still tossing the float rigs
and Buddy "knocked the skunk off" by landing a hungry Seatrout.  He followed that up quickly with another then Beth got in on the action and landed a feisty Redfish then Buddy landed one, too.  They caught one or two more then we moved down the way to fish some flooded oysters and here they caught a few slashing Bluefish and Beth put another Redfish in the boat. Our next stop was down the Amelia River and even though we had a few nibbles, the water was way up in the grass, so we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Chasing a Float

I fished today with Rick Diggs and his two adult sons Rick and Todd.  We met at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina and headed north up to the Jolley River to fish the first of an outgoing tide with mud minnows and shrimp at a large creek run out.  The anglers almost immediately began to get bites, catching a few bait stealers then a couple of feisty Redfish and tangling with some high flying Ladyfish.  But then young Rick hooked up and this fish was Big!  Rick played the fish patiently and perfectly and when we saw it roll and boil up near the marsh grass we knew it was a big Redfish.  But there's a reason those big Reds got big!  Sure enough, after a good but brief battle, the big fish must have buried the braided line down in the oysters and when it made another run, "POP", and it was gone with hook, line and float!  But then we saw the float moving around at the edge of the grass and we decided to try and track it down, grab it and land the fish.  But as we got close to it the float took off down the marsh grass and we could see it about a foot under the water.  We chased it for about 50 feet then it disappeared.  We decided to continue to fish and keep an eye out for the float.  The anglers picked up a couple of more fish then we saw the float 75 yards away!  We eased up to the float with a game plan:  I was going to get a running start then pull up the trolling motor.  Rick was going to reach down and grab the line and float and Todd was going to net the fish if it came to the surface.  But when Rick grabbed the float it came up with hook and line, and no fish!  We missed him twice!  We fished Jolley Bank and picked up another feisty Redfish then made a stop at Bell River to pick up one more Red before heading in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

First Fish BIG Fish

Friday morning I fished with the Felipe family - Ileanna and Giovanni and their adult kids Karel and Lauren, who were visiting Amelia Island and wanting to take in some back country fishing on
 The Anglers Mark.  We had met down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp and headed up the Amelia River and into the Horsehead area to fish the first of an outgoing tide with mud minnows under float rigs.  There wasn't a whole lot of movement at the peak of the tide and it took about 30-40 minutes to begin to even get bites.  But then Lauren had made an excellent cast up near the grass and soon her float disappeared
under the water.  Lauren lifted her rod tip firmly and FISH ON!  The big fish made a hard run along the grass line and as the rod bent over the drag zipped, zipped, zipped!  Lauren held on and when the fish began to tire she began to slowly work it in to the boat.  We had seen the big Redfish boil up near the bank and knew that it was going to be a nice fish and after the extended battle, we netted a big 29 3/4" oversized slot Redfish as the first fish put in the boat for the day!  Boy what a fish!  After measurement and photographs we made sure the fish swam away to live a longer life.  Shortly after that fish Ileanna had a strong hookup but this fish was having none of it and broke itself off in the oysters.  We fished another grass line and both Karel and Giovanni got in on the action, catching a few feisty Redfish and tangling with high flying Ladyfish.  Karel had a big Redfish on for a good battle but it too found a way to break the line.  Lauren found a couple of the feisty Reds too along the same stretch of marsh grass.  We ran around and fished Seymore's Pointe and Bubblegum Reef then called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Celebrity Fishing

We couldn't have asked for a better day for fishing this morning:  just a touch of breeze and some scattered clouds that kept thing real nice out in the back water.  I was at the Atlantic Seafood dock early to meet Roland Langley who was visiting town to participate in the Amelia Island Great Southern Tailgate Cook Off as a Celebrity Judge in the events. Roland had along with him his two adult sons Aaron and Russell and after loading up, we headed out and north to fish the Jolley River during the first hour of an outgoing tide.  I had
the anglers tossing live mud minnows under float rigs up near the grass and it wasn't long before they began to get hookup.  Roland had the hot hand early and landed a few high flying Ladyfish, a couple of Jacks, and a Bluefish.  But the two younger anglers were not to be out done.  Aaron picked up a Jack while Russell landed a Blue and then a hard charging  Bonnethead Shark.  We continued to fish the area and although the trio were getting a few bites but no real takers until Russell's float disappeared and, FISH ON!  We knew right off it was a big fish the way his drag was ripping and
when it stayed up near the shore I felt pretty sure it was a big Redfish.  Russell played the fish patiently and worked it out deep where it bulled down then out, but Russell kept the pressure on and we eventually landed a nice 22" Slot Redfish!  We fished the mouth of Jolley and picked up a keeper sized Seatrout then Russell landed a small Flounder to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Seatrout and Flounder.  He also had another Flounder to the boat but it flipped off at the last second.  Roland hooked up and landed a feisty Redfish along the same stretch.  We made our last stop at Tiger Island and here Aaron had had the hot rod.  Fishing near some logs he hooked up with a nice Redfish then later landed a keeper sized Flounder.  After Roland landed another Redfish we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Monday, August 18, 2014

I Dropped the Ball

We had a beautiful morning today as I launched The Anglers Mark down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp.  Michael Allen, his dad John, and their friend Chuck met me at the ramp and we headed up the Amelia River and into Jackstaff to fish an outgoing tide with jigs and mud minnows. I took a little while to get rolling but we eventually began to get some bites.  Chuck first tangled with a couple of Ladyfish then landed a feisty Redfish.  Michael followed that up with a couple of Redfish, too, then landed a couple of Seatrout.   We ran around to the Nassau River, fished Twin Creeks,
had no real bites then hit Bubblegum Reef.  The anglers picked up a couple of Croakers then we fished some docks at Seymore's Pointe.  Michael boated a keeper sized Snapper then we made the run to Broward Island.  This did the trick!  We were only there for a few minutes when Chuck caught another small Redfish.  Then I thought I heard Michael yell, "Fish ON" but after I grabbed the net and looked at the water it was Chuck fighting a fish!  When mentioned that I thought Michael had the fish, he said, "I do have one!"  We had a double and I didn't even know it! So I went around the console to net Michael's Flounder but before I could get there, Fish OFF!  It was a nice, keeper sized Flounder, too!   But Chuck had worked his fish patiently to the boat and we soon netted a nice 20" Slot Redfish!  Shortly after that, though, Michael had another hookup and we got that Flounder in the boat to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Seatrout, and Flounder.  We fished the area for jut a little while longer then headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

AIBC Slam

I fished out of the south end today, launching from the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp.  I had met Todd Billmire and his son Seth, their friends Trip and Andrew, for an Amelia Island back country fishing trip.  We headed up to fish Jackstaff Creek on the very first of an outgoing tide.  The anglers were tossing mud minnows under float rigs as I eased along the flooded marsh grass.  Todd was fishing out of the stern of the boat and knocked the "skunk" off by
landing a nice feisty Redfish.  The anglers were getting a bite here and there but no real takers so we switched to jigs and minnows and made another pass.  It wasn't long before Todd, again fishing out of the stern, picked up a nice keeper sized Flounder.  A little while later his son Seth landed a hungry Seatrout to round out a Billmire Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Flounder and Seatrout.    We made a run around to Seymore's Pointe, had some bites on the float rigs but the current was making it tough to fish so we jumped over to Twin Creeks to fish.  Again, some bites, but no takers.  Our final stop was at Broward Island and in just a short while Trip was on the board with a keeper sized Snapper.  The anglers picked up another Redfish or two then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island Waters.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Catchin Fish Right Out of the Gate

Boy what a pretty morning!  I met Barb van Beyrer and her two kids Baylee and Cooper down at the Atlantic Seafood dock to fish the Amelia Island back waters on a high and falling tide.  We made our initial run up to Jolley River to fish a large creek outflow and almost immediately did the anglers begin to get bites!  Cooper put the first fish in the boat, a high flying Ladyfish and from then on all three anglers were catching fish.  They had a good handful of feisty Redfish, a Blue Fish, a couple of Ladyfish and Croaker.  Then, as Barb was reeling her float rig in, BOOM!  A nice fish took her mud
minnow and this time she new she had a good sized fish.  She worked the fish patiently to the boat and landed a fat keeper sized Seatrout!  We continued to fish the area, had a lull, then found a marsh outflow and the Redfish bite picked up.  After landing another handful we made a run back to fish Jolley Bank.   Baylee got her line out first and it paid off.  As she was reeling it in she had a hookup and landed a keeper sized Flounder to round out the trio's Amelia Island Back Country Slam!  We fished the whole bank, had some good bites, found another Redfish or two, then Cooper
wrapped the day up by catching a couple of hungry Seatrout.  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Tourney Champ

We went south today, fishing out of Big Talbot Island Park with plans to hit the Horsehead area on an outgoing tide.  I met Keith Yeager and his son Reece early and we headed north with cloudy skies and just a light wind.  The first bank we fished proved to be stubborn for the first 50 yards, producing no real bites.  But these two anglers were patient and soon to pick up fish.  After Keith landed a small but feisty 2-spot Redfish we decided to have an informal "Redfish Spot Tournament".  We found that the Reds were
holding at oyster humps and creek mouths and the two anglers landed a good handful of them.  Then Keith had a good hookup and boated a nice keepers sized Seatrout.  Young Reece caught his share of Reds but when he put a 4-spotter in the boat he took a commanding lead in the "Spot Tournament".  Keith landed a keeper sized Flounder then we ran around to Seymore's Pointe to fish the last of an outgoing tide.  I was expecting the Mangrove Snapper and they caught a couple, but when Keith's drag began to rip on a good fish, we had our doubts that it was a that big of a Snapper!  Sure
enough, after a patient battle, Keith landed a nice 20" Slot Redfish!  We then ran up to Broward Island where we picked up a couple of more Redfish and Reece reeled in another keeper sized Seatrout.   Our last stop was at Bubblegum Reef and again Reece found a Redfish.  With that we called it a day, proclaiming Reece the winner of the Redfish Spot Tournament with his 4-spotter!  It was another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Nothing Big But Catching Fish

I started the week off this morning fishing with Robert Smurthwaite and his wife Marcie, along with Robert's brother, Richard.  We met down at the Atlantic Seafood dock at 7am and headed up to fish the Jolley River on the first of an incoming tide with mud minnows and jigs.  It's always cool when your demo cast catches a fish and that's what happened, a nice feisty Redfish!  We fished the oyster lined bank and the anglers traded turns catching small but feisty and fun to catch Redfish.  Richard caught a fish that turned out to be a  hungry Seatrout and as he worked it to the boat another bigger fish attacked it!  He had both on for a short while, landed the trout, which was scarred up, then released it hopefully to have a better day!  Darcie landed a hard fighting Jack Crevalle then we move on up the river to fish a large creek mouth.  We had a few good  bites but when we found a drainage area through some oysters they really began to catch the "rat" Reds.  We hit the MOA, picked up some finger mullet for bait, then ran back to fish the Tiger Logs.  The anglers had a few good bites, caught another couple of Redfish, then we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Friday, August 1, 2014

New Technique

Brent Laurint treated his girlfriend Molly to a morning out fishing the back waters of Amelia Island today. We met down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp and ran up the Nassau River to fish Broward Island on an incoming tide with mud minnows on jigs and light tackle spinning gear.  Molly was a little rusty with her casting but picked it very quickly and was soon tossing to the bank like a pro.  However, on one cast her braided line floated over a small tree branch with her bait landing on the other side.  When she pulled it
off, she yelled, "FISH ON"!  Brent and I didn't believe it at first but sure enough she had a fish!  She played the fish perfectly and landed the first fish of the day, a feisty Redfish!  Brent followed that up with one of his own.  That formed a pattern with Molly catching a fish, then Brent, then Molly, then Brent.  The two anglers put 7-8 of the Redfish in the boat before we pulled up and ran back up the river to fish Seymore's Pointe. The Snapper weren't on fire like they have been but they were there and just as difficult to catch. But Brent was up to the challenge and landed a couple of real nice ones.  Molly also landed one of them.  We made a run through Horsehead, fished a flooded marsh bank, and Molly caught the last fish of the day, a hard fighting Jack Crevalle.  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters.