Monday, August 29, 2016

Cast Iron Cobbler Cooking

A month ago I had purchased the Summer Edition of a quarterly magazine Southern Cast Iron published by Hoffman Media and found so many recipe's that looked delicious. I had also been stopping off at some of the roadside vegetable and fruit stands and have been getting some very fresh and juicy peaches. One of the recipes that caught my eye in Southern Cast Iron was a Blueberry-Peach Cobbler. So yesterday afternoon we texted neighbors and asked them to leave room for some desert after their dinners and plan to stop by for some homemade cobbler and vanilla ice cream. I wanted to cook and I wanted to cook from scratch - in my cast iron skillet. Judging from feedback, it turned out pretty good!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Just A Grande Slam

I had the pleasure of fishing with Cindy and Barry Shelor again this morning and I met them down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp. Although the weather report called for some stiff winds today, it turned out that we had excellent fishing conditions. There was a enough breeze to make it very pleasant to fish the entire morning. We made a run up the Nassau River to the Spanish Drop area and began to fish a marsh run out right at the middle of an outgoing tide. Both anglers had bites early on, and even a couple of hookups, but they threw the hook before we got them to the boat.
OUCH! We moved down a 1/4 of a mile and found a couple of converging runouts and things heated up. Cindy had a strong bite, one that bent her rod double and while she was patiently playing the fish, Barry hooked up, too - we had a double! Barry's came in first, a nice Seatrout then Cindy landed hers, a large Flounder! We fished the area thoroughly and they picked up a good handful of fish with a 4-5 of them being keeper sized Flounder (all fish were released today). As we worked on up the bank Barry had a good bite, a hookup, and landed a feisty Redfish which gave them an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Flounder, Seatrout and Redfish. As we fished the Nassau they also tangled with Ladyfish, out smarted some Mangrove Snapper, caught and tossed a couple of Stingray's, and Cindy reeled in a slimy Catfish. We moved on up near Seymore's Pointe and within a few casts Barry landed a Flounder then a large Seatrout, then a Black "puppy" Drum (making it a Grande Slam). We fished up to Bubblegum Reef, picked up a couple of more Snapper, then wrapped the day up over at some docks where we left the Snapper biting. The wind never did cause a problem and it turned out to be another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island Florida.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Couple of Slot Reds

After a couple of days off I was back fishing today, meeting Brooke Jordan and her son Christian and their friend Mike, down at the City marina. For bait, we had live shrimp to begin with - some really nice ones - although I would have preferred mud minnows. There was a little more breeze than we've been having so we ran up to Tiger Island to get a little shelter and with the very last of an outgoing tide, it was a good move. The three anglers were tossing their baits on 1/4oz jigs up to the bank and fishing them slowly back and in a short time Mike had a strong hookup. He played the fish perfectly and in short order "knocked the skunk off" with a nice Slot sized Redfish! We fished up and down the bank, dueling with "bait stealers", but still managed to land a couple of small Flounder, a keeper
Flounder and Christian added a nice Croaker to the box. We were going through shrimp fast so we made a run back to a bait shop and picked up some mud minnows then ran back around to the Jolley River. The oysters were still showing, now on an incoming tide, and the "fish catching" heated up. Mike caught a Flounder on his first cast, then added a handful of small, but feisty Redfish. All three anglers tangled with Ladyfish then Christian had a strong bite and, FISH ON!  This was a nice fish  and it was pulling hard but Christian kept the pressure on and even though it made a dash deep and under the boat, Christian turned it's head and brought it back out. After an epic battle, Christian landed another nice Slot sized Redfish, boy what a fight! We worked that bank, picked up another Flounder or two, then ran further up the river and wrapped things up tossing float rigs. It was another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

We Ran Out of Bait Catching Fish

I wrapped my week up fishing with the Sutherland's - Sherry and Randy, who had brought along their daughter Holly and her husband Skyler. We had clear skies as we ran down the Bell River with plans to fish some docks as the tide crept in. On the second dock Sherry got things started by landing a nice keeper sized Seatrout, caught on a mudminnow and jig. Shortly after that she tangled with a high flying Ladyfish. After fishing those docks thoroughly, we ran around to the Jolley River and fished some flooded oyster beds with float rigs and the minnows. Although
these anglers were making excellent casts, the fish just weren't cooperating. We may have picked up a Trout or two and some Ladyfish, but there wasn't too much to brag about. Yet. Our next stop was on the outside of Tiger Island and they quickly picked up a couple of Trout. We worked the bank, switching back to the jigs and the catching heated up. Randy was in a groove and landed a few keeper sized Flounder and some smaller Trout then all four anglers were catching fish. Skyler put the biggest Trout in the boat and after Randy had landed a larger Flounder, Holly put an even
bigger one in the boat. We went through all our minnows catching fish then switched to an array of artificial baits, and they too caught fish. For bragging rights we summed up the trip as Sherry catching the first fish, a keeper; Randy had the most fish; Holly had the biggest Flounder; and Skyler had the biggest Trout. It was a great way to finish up another Amelia Island fishing trip.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Flounder Assault

I had the pleasure of fishing again with Ken Peck, who brought along his buddy Brian to fish the back waters of Amelia Island this morning. I made  the quick run to Oyster Bay Yacht Club to pick them up then we made a short hop over to Bell River to fish some flooding oysters on an incoming tide. The two anglers were tossing mud minnows under float rigs and Brian had a fairly quick bite, landing a feisty Redfish. After tangling with a Ladyfish, we picked up and ran further up the Bell to fish some docks with jigs before the tide got too high. Brian again had the hot rod, landing a couple of more feisty Reds and a small Seatrout. We continued on around to the Jolley River, fished around Snook Creek, caught a couple of small Reds, then moved down to the mouth of Jolley. Both Brian and Ken put some smaller Trout in the boat. Somewhere along in there they put a small Jack Crevalle in the boat. So we're thinking "4-5 small reds, 2-3 small trout, a few Ladyfish, and a Jack". Not such a great trip, we caught some fish, but Ho Hum. We made a stop on the outside of Tiger and all heck broke loose! BAM! Trout.
BAM! Flounder. BAM! Flounder. Flounder, Flounder, Trout, Flounder, Flounder, Trout, Trout, Flounder. Most of the Flounder were of keeper size and one Trout that finally got Brian's drag to "rip" ended up being a little over 19" in size. It was a full hour of fish catching and we left them biting! Now that's the way to wrap up a great day of fishing on here at Amelia Island, Florida.
If you ever need a sign, especially military related, contact Ken thru his website at

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Rainbow Trout

We had another excellent morning to spend out on the back waters of Amelia Island. I met David and Sandra Wilke down at the City marina and we made an easy run up to the outside of Tiger Island to fish the peak of a high tide with float rigs and fresh mud minnows. Sandra was along to enjoy the scenery and David was up on the bow with the whole marsh to himself! The current wasn't really moving but David was able to pick up some high flying Ladyfish to get things started. We ran up to the Jolley River and fished the "bank", trolling along the marsh line and David found a couple of
hungry Seatrout and a feisty Redfish. Sandra took time out from relaxing at the stern to reel in a small but hungry Mangrove Snapper. We ran further up the Jolley, fished the mouth of Snook Creek, slipped in to Snook Creek and fished it for a few minutes. There was a couple of rain storms off in the distance and we saw two nice rainbows along with them.  We then ran out and around to the MOA. Sandra did battle with a hungry Catfish and David put another Seatrout in the boat. The tide was down now so we made a stop back at Jolley Bank and fished jigs on the bottom. David was making excellent casts and staying just beyond the oysters, fishing his jig slowly, and landed another Trout and Redfish. Our last stop was back at the Tiger Island logs and even though the tide was almost perfect, the sun was up and it had gotten rather hot so the fish were through biting, and with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Day One: Tournament Redfish

Fontis Clark was celebrating his first day off in retirement with a fishing trip in the back waters of Amelia Island today, and he brought along his daughter Tiffany and friend Eric to help enjoy the day. I met them out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp early with a bait well full of live shrimp and mud minnows and we made a quick run around Seymore's Pointe, through Horsehead and to a creek off the mouth of Jackstaff. All three anglers were tossing float rigs up near the flooded marsh grass on the very last of a high tide. It took a while but they began to pick up some fun-to-catch Ladyfish, the poor man's Tarpon.  Although they caught a handful it was kinda hard to call them "skunk off the boat" so when we eased across the creek and started  up another bank we were hoping for something a little more substantial. And substantial we got! Frontis had made an excellent cast to a likely pocket that was boiling with baitfish and almost the minute his rig hit, BOOM! A big fish crushed his bait and FISH ON! His rod bent double and the drag on his reel sang and when the big fish rolled up near the shore we knew it was a big Redfish! Frontis kept the pressure on and patiently worked the big fish closer and closer to the boat and even though it made some hard, deep runs the leader held. The fish came to the surface and I could see with my Breakline Polarized Sunglasses that this fish might even be oversized! Then the fish made a deep run behind the boat and got in the now, outgoing current so Frontis had to work his way to the stern of the boat. After  good battle he was able to land a nice 26.5" Tournament sized Redfish. (Redfish over 27" have to be thrown back so anything close to that limit could be a potential winner in any Redfish Tournament). Now THAT'S skunk off the boat! The anglers got their baits back in the water and minutes later, at the same spot,  Eric hooked up, patiently fought, and landed another Slot 20" Redfish. We stayed at the same spot and Tiffany got on the board with her own Slot 22" Redfish. After that, we worked the bank, picked up some smaller Reds, a Seatrout, and a small Flounder to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam, then made a run back through Horsehead to fish some banks down at Spanish Drop. The anglers caught a few more Reds, another keeper sized Flounder, a couple of Mangrove Snapper, and Tiffany did battle with a beast of Bonnethead Shark. It was a great way to spend the first day of retirement and a great day to be out on the water and fishing with family here at Amelia Island, Florida

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Fighting Through To Catch Fish

Matt Miles and his fishing buddy Paul were in town on business and wanted to squeeze in a fishing trip before their conferences started. They pulled in within minutes of our scheduled start time, said goodbye to their spouses and we were off! Unfortunately, the last of incoming tide was not my favorite and with a stiff wind blowing, I knew we were in for a tough go at it. But these two anglers were looking forward to getting out on the water so they toughed it out and ended up with some nice catches. We started out fishing a flooded oyster bed in Bell River with float rigs and mud
minnows, but had no real bites. Our next stop was at the Tiger Island logs. They were flooded and I knew it would be difficult fishing with jigs, and sure enough, it was. We bounced outside of Tiger, went back to float rigs and had a few bites, but no takers. Crossing over the river and hitting another flooded marsh line, the bite picked up. Paul landed a high flying Ladyfish, then added a feisty Redfish that was laying up near the grass. Matt put a fat Seatrout in the boat then both anglers tangled with a few more Ladyfish. We then ran up to the Jolley River, slipped into Snook Creek, and here Paul put a keeper sized Trout in the boat. He got us all excited when he had a big fish hookup which he battled successfully, but unfortunately it turned out to be a large Stingray. We had been fighting the wind all evening but our last stop over at some Bell River docks was perfect with the wind being blocked and the sun creeping down. Both anglers were making excellent casts to the pilings and when we got to the "hot dock", they began to put fish in the boat. Trout were schooled up and they added a handful more of keeper sized Trout. It was dusk and getting dark very quickly so we called it an evening, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Big Red For Young Angler

Todd and Oliver Johnson were back in town this weekend, specifically to get some father/son fishing time in. I met them at the City marina, just a short walk from their hotel room at the Hampton Inn and Suites and we headed north and up to the Jolley River to fish the first of an outgoing tide. Oliver was tossing mud minnows under a float and within a short time hooked up with a couple of hard fighting Jack Crevalle. We switched to jigs and minnows when the oysters began to show and he landed a nice keeper sized
Seatrout. Then his dad got in the action with a big Jack Crevalle battle and catch. We moved around and made a stop at the MOA (Mother of All) and both anglers found some feisty Redfish to land. We were about to move when Olive's rod bent double over and his drag began to rip - a big fish had bit his minnow out deep. But Oliver was up to the challenge and played the big fish like a pro, keeping he pressure on and letting the rod do all the work. After a good battle he landed a nice 24" fat Slot Sized Redfish, boy what a fish! Our last stop was around at Bell River and here the two anglers caught a few more Seatrout, and with that, we called it day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Redfish On Fire

I had the pleasure of fishing again with Dennis Brizzi and his buddy Hal today, meeting them out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp. There was a shortage of bait this morning so we started out with about a dozen mud minnows, tossed the cast net for a dozen finger mullet then ran down the river to toss out a minnow trap - then we went fishing! At the first stop at S;panish Drop Hal had a strong hookup that bent the rod, ripped the drag and broke the leader. Although things appeared to be getting right, we had no more bites so we moved down the river another bump or two. Dennis knocked
the skunk off with a keeper sized Flounder catch, then he tangled with a Lady Fish then both anglers put a few small but feisty Redfish in the boat. Then all heck broke loose! Hal had a strong bite, a good battle, and landed a nice 24" Slot Red. Then he put another Slot Red in the boat then Dennis got in on the action and landed a couple - they had 5 Slot Reds total, plus another handful of smaller rat Reds. Then Dennis had a big bite and his dragged ripped -his light tackle rod bent over and Dennis was in the fight of his life! But he was up to the task and after an extended battle, Dennis landed a thick 28" Oversized Redfish. We checked our minnow trap and had a couple of dozen minnows then moved on up the river, NE of Bubblegum Reef and began to work the now exposed oysters.  Dennis landed a nice 14" Mangrove Snapper that was good fight then it was Hal's turn on a big fish. When he first hooked up we thought, "well this is nice fish", then when the big fish dug deep we knew it was going to be a fight. Hal kept the pressure on as the fish took him from bow to stern and after a good battle, he landed another 28" oversized Redfish. Now that's the way to wrap up a great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Slot Reds For The Angler

After a 5 day absence due to my boat needing service, I was back fishing today with Josh Thompson and his son Noah, meeting them down at the Big Talbot Island park boat ramp this morning and running up the Amelia River to ease into Jackstaff and begin fishing on an outgoing tide. The oysters were already showing so the two anglers began to toss mud minnows on jigs up to the bank. It was a slow start but when things got going they began to catch some fish. Josh landed a feisty Redfish then Noah put an even bigger one in
the boat to "knock the skunk off". They picked up a handful of those feisty Redfish and when we found a sand bar edge Josh landed a hungry Seatrout. Then Noah had a strong bite - one that took him deep behind the boat, but Noah kept the pressure on and after a good fight, landed a big 'ole slimy Catfish! Then he put it's little brother in the boat, too!  We ran through Horsehead and down to Spanish Drop and here things really heated up. Josh had a good bite and I thought, "another feisty Red", but then this one began to rip drag and, FISH ON! This was a big fish but Josh played it
patiently and after a prolonged battle, he landed a nice 24.5" Slot Redfish. By now I could tell that Noah was natural Angler and as we continued to fish the spot the two put another handful of small Reds in the boat, then Noah had a strange bite and hooked up and caught a small but keeper sized Flounder to round out the duo's Amelia Island Back Country Slam (all fish were released today). Then Noah had a strong bite again. this was a big fish and ripped the drag but Noah applied just the right amount of pressure and after the fish went from bow to stern and from starboard to port and back up to the bow, he landed a nice, big Jack Crevalle, boy what a fish! We ran up and fished some docks briefly and Noah added a Mangrove Snapper to the catch, then we crossed over to some old oysters thinking we'd wrap up the trip and BOOM! Josh had another nice fish on. He worked it to the boat and landed Slot Red #2. After pictures and release with just a few minutes to go, BOOM! Josh was hooked up again. This one turned out to be an 11 spot, slot Red. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Catching Some Surprises

I wrapped my week up today, fishing with Jake Dyal, his grandkids Lucius and Kinsey, and their aunt/cousin Kathryn. We met at the Atlantic Seafood dock (which was really hopping with outgoing charters) and headed up to the Jolley River to fish with a baitwell full of live shrimp and a few minnows. Three anglers were fishing while Kathyrn filled it as "first mate", baiting hooks and untangling lines. We began to get bites right off and it was Julius who "knocked the skunk off" when he landed a feisty Redfish. The baitstealers were out in full force but these anglers had the patience
and began to get a nice fish now and then. Jake and Kinsey both had bites and the same time and we had a double! They expertly worked their fish in - Kindsey had a hungry Black "puppy" Drum and Jake had a Seatrout and they all had an Amelia Island Back Country Slam. We fished the bank for a good stretch then we ran further up Jolley and into Snook Creek and switched to jig rods and here Kinsey hooked up and caught a nice 17" keeper sized Seatrout. Our next stop was back at the outside of Tiger Island and when Jake had strong bite that ripped his drag, we knew that this was a nice
fish. The big fish took him from the bow to the stern and around the engine. But Jake kept the pressure on and soon landed a nice, hard fighting Jack Crevalle. Shortly after that all the anglers began to get bites landing hungry Seatrout, pinfish and then they put wayward Weakfish in the boat! After one more stop we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

High and Incoming

I'm not a big fan of a high and incoming tide but when those are the cards your dealt, then you make the best of it, and that's what the Thomson family did this morning. I met Scott and Kimberly and their two sons Conner and Sawyer down at the City marina and we made a run up and around to the Jolley River with plans to fish the "bank" with float rigs baited with live shrimp and mud minnows. They began to get bites right off but it took awhile before a decent fish, one that Sawyer hooked up with and brought to the boat, a
feisty Jack Crevalle. And a little later he put a hungry Seatrout in the boat. Scott was patiently working the bank when he had a strong hookup, and this was a nice fish. It brought him from the bow to the stern but he kept the pressure on and expertly landed a nice Slot sized 20" Redfish. We ran further up the Jolley to Snook Creek, fished the outside and Conner got in on the action when he caught and landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout. We moved to the inside of the creek, switched to jigs and briefly hooked up with what surely was a Shark. After hooking a couple of baitstealers, we ran back to
the outside of Tiger Island, fished it thoroughly, landed a few Ladyfish, then finished up the day behind Tiger where Sawyer landed none other than a small Grouper! For me, that high and incoming tide is a tough one but these anglers stuck with it and were able to put a good handful of fish in the boat, making it another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Big Jacks Get Things Going

Back to work today! I met Edward Hadley and his son Cooper down at the south end and with the beautiful weather holding, we went fishing! After running north up the Intercoastal and dipping in to Jackstaff, we peeled off into a side creek and began fishing the flooded marsh grass on the last of an incoming tide. Both Edward and Cooper were tossing float rigs with live mud minnows up near the grass with Edward on the bow and Cooper at the stern and it was Cooper that picked up the first couple of fish, big, hard fighting Jack Crevalle. But Cooper was up to the fight and handily played
and landed some pretty big fish, for light tackle. Then Edward joined in when he too caught a big Jack. We crossed the creek and switched to jig and minnows and after a bit Edward had a strange bite, a hookup, and a sluggish fight. When it came to the surface we netted a nice keeper sized Flounder. We ran around to the Nassau River and fished some dock pilings and the two anglers "played chess" with some sneaky Mangrove Snapper. We called it a draw then ran east down the river to Twin Creeks. Here, things heated  up as the tide started out. They landed a couple of feisty Redfish, a couple of Trout (to round out their Amelia Island Back Country Slam) and another small Flounder. We made one final stop down at Spanish Drop, picked up a couple of more Reds, a couple of more Trout, then Edward wrapped things up we he boated another keeper sized Flounder, making it another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.