Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Banner Day On a Cool One

The last time I checked my truck thermometer this morning before I hitched the boat it was 34 degrees! But the forecast called for sunny skies and almost no wind and warming to the low 60's, so Tim Parker and I decided to brave the early cold and get out and fish the backwaters of Amelia Island.  We launched from Dee Dee Bartels and made the short run around to Eagans Creek and set up current from some crusty dock pilings. As I was getting the trolling motor locked on anchor Tim was already tossing his TBC "Temptation Bait Company" shrimp colored fluke and....BOOM! Fish On! Tim
worked it patiently to the boat and landed a nice feisty Redfish. Now that's the way to start a fishing trip!

We fished that dock for over two hours and put  umpteen Redfish in the boat - I lost count at 7 Slot Reds with the biggest being 23".  While Tim continued to work the dock I went deep and found a few Seatrout and for the day we landed a good handful of them, the biggest being just 16", but we did have few of them that size.

Then, just when I thought things might slow down, the Black "puppy" Drum began to bite. It was non-stop action and more than once we had a "double" hookup. Tim and I were handing off the catch net as we landed our limit in 18-24" Drum. Things finally slowed down so we made a run around to Tiger, fished a bit, landed a few more Redfish and a Trout or two, then called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Sunday, December 3, 2017

December Snook Fishing

Yep, we got another Snook here in North, north Florida! I had met Duane Schumacher and his daughters Jasmine, Samantha and Savanah out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp early this morning on the very last of an incoming tide and we popped down to Pumpkin Hill and set up off some flooded oysters. I think the demo cast produced a hungry Seatrout which young Savanah reeled in!
Duane and Samantha figured out that they could let their floats drift down along the marsh grass with the current and BOOM! 
Seatrout caught! We picked up a few there then eased on around the corner and Jasmine got on the board with another Trout catch, too.

The tide was still coming in so we ran back to Christopher Creek and fished the docks and rocks, now switching to jigs (we had both live shrimp and mud minnows). Duane made an excellent cast up to some marsh grass and immediately hooked up with a nice feisty Redfish. He went back to the same spot and landed another Red. He went back to the same spot and hooked up with what we thought
was going to be a Seatrout, but no, it was a sleek Snook! It's always cool to catch one of those.

We fished on around the bend, hit some docks, and the Redfish bite got real hot. All four anglers were catching fish, and they were biting on both shrimp and minnows. Although the bite was fast and furious, so was the "no-seeum" bite! We took all we could stand then cranked and ran!

Our next stop was outside some flooded oysters at Seymore's Pointe and again, we found some Trout and a couple of Redfish. We then bounced down the Nassau River hitting marsh run outs and each stop produced Seatrout. Although the day stayed overcast and cool for the entire trip, we had some good action throughout and we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Assassin's Cove Hot For Redfish

Today was like "fishing on a pond" - the rivers were so still the water was like glass. I met Brian Parent and his friends Pat and Brian up at the north end boat ramp early this morning at dead high tide and we ran over to the outside of Tiger with plans to drift float rigs and live shrimp over some flooded oysters. We had only been fishing for a short while when the anglers began to pick up some Seatrout. Most were undersized but we did put one or two in the box.

We crossed over and fished another marsh line and here things really heated up. BOOM!  Seatrout. BOOM! Seatrout. BOOM! Seatrout. We caught one after the other. Again, most were smaller, but we did get another keeper to go in the box. We decided to move on, breaking one of the cardinal rules, "never leave fish to find fish"....but it paid off!

After leaving the Tiger area we cruised up to the Jolley River and found a nice bank to fish, one that had submerged oysters. It was on
fire with Redfish. Pat, the "Assassin" went in and hooked up, FISH ON! He played it patiently to the boat and landed a nice Slot Redfish. Both Brian's followed him in and from then on for about an hour is one Redfish after the other. I quit counting Slot Reds at #12 but I'm sure we had a few more than that. Dozens of smaller Reds were caught and tossed back. A couple of Trout were caught, too.

When the bite finally slowed we cruised around to the Bell River, picked up some small Mangrove Snapper around some docks, then came back to Fernandina for a reload of bait. We fished mud minnows for a few stops, had a one Trout, then called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hot November Fishing

The weather has been warming over the last couple of days - I heard on the radio we're having record highs - and the fishing is staying hot, too!  Today, I met Dale and Kay Bullard up at the north end boat ramp and we then made a quick run over to Lanceford Creek to find some docks to fish on an outgoing tide. Both anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp up to the dock pilings and picked up a couple of small, but fat Seatrout. Then Dale had a strong hookup and he had a battle on his hands. He played it perfectly and soon landed a big 18" Black "puppy" Drum.  We also had a couple of feisty Redfish. Moving
on to a second dock, Kay caught the only fish there, a keeper sized Flounder.

The tide was still going out so we took a trip over to and up the Bell River with plans to fish some more dock pilings. Kay switched to a traditional Trout "slip float" rig and caught a small Trout then we dropped moved around, fishing docks until we found fish. Kay, still working the float rig, landed a nice Seatrout - the biggest of the day - then Dale and I had a "double" keeper Trout hookup. We  had a good flurry of Trout catching ( some were keeper sized)  then some Dolphin moved in and everything shut down.

Our next stop was around in the Jolley River, and we made a quick stop at the MOA where Dale landed one small but feisty Redfish. We continued to bounce down the Jolley, now fishing oyster beds, but the tide was coming to a standstill and we had no real bites.

The sun was getting up but the tide was turning as we eased up to the logs of Tiger. It was a slow bite but we did pick up another small Red, and a hungry Trout before we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Making A Run At Bragging Rights

What a beautiful day to get back to work after a great birthday weekend! I met Jane Carver, her friend Clay and is son Brook up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park early this morning and we had clear skies, sunshine and just a slight breeze to greet us. With only about an hour of an outgoing tide left, we made a quick run over to Lanceford Creek and found a dock to fish. I think first cast produced a feisty Redfish then we picked up a few more as the tide went slack.

We ran back to Tiger Island and began fishing the logs as the tide started back in and things picked up. Both Clay and Brook put a few more Reds in the boat, with one of them being of keeper size, then Jane landed a keeper sized Seatrout. We had just a few more Trout - not many as I expected. After working the island thoroughly, we pulled up "anchor" and made the quick trip around to the Jolley River and set up along the "bank", still tossing jigs and live shrimp, but this time to the base of the oysters. After working along the bank about half way back to the point with no real bites,
BOOM! We were in to fish. The trio of anlgers caught Redfish after Redfish, sometimes getting doubles, and at least having a "triple" hookup. It was on fire. Then, as Brook was fighting a feisty Red on the stern, Clay had a strong hookup and, FISH ON! This was a big fish. It wasn't coming in. His line zipped down the bank then zipped back up the bank, then ran deep. Clay kept the pressure on - that's all he could do for a while. But we had the fish out deep and we chased him down as we needed, and after a good battle, Clay landed a huge, oversized 33.5" Redfish - big enough to slide him comfortable into 2nd place in the Anglers Mark 2017 Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings). Boy what a fish! We continued to fish until we ran out of bait, and left 'em biting. For a while.

After making a pit stop at the bait shop for some more live shrimp, we  came back to the Jolley, but continued on down to Snook Creek where we switched to float rigs. Although it wasn't as hot as the "bank", we still caught fish, and added one more Slot sized Redfish.  We hit the docks in Bell River, added a Redfish and a couple of Trout, then cruised back towards Fernandina to make a stop at some flooded oyster Beds. After one fish busted on Jane's bait, Clay went in behind her and picked up another Slot Red. The wind was really beginning to kick so we ran through Tiger and back to Tiger Island. I don't normally like to fish the island on a high tide but it was blocking the wind and I thought we might pick up a Trout out deep. As we worked along, we knew there were one or two spots we could pitch in to, and sure enough, Brooks made an excellent cast, worked it out deep, and BOOM! Big Fish On! He played it patiently, worked it slowly to the boat, and landed a big Slot 24" Redfish. Now THAT's the way to wrap up a fishing trip here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Cold and Dreary Makes for a Good Day

After a rainy and windy Thanksgiving day, today was somewhat bleak when we launched early this morning. Rain was on my windshield as I headed for the boat and luckily that quit, but the skies remained overcast for much of the trip, and the wind stayed steady at around 11mph - not the perfect day you'd think for fishing!

But my anglers were ready to go  - Tripp Brown, his dad Eddie Brown and  his nephew, Bennett. We met up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park and ran around to fish the back side of Tiger with a tide that had been coming for a couple of hours. Wouldn't you know it, first cast of the day with a jig and shrimp, BOOM! Big fish on! Bennett was on the rod and he played it patiently - this was a big fish. He worked it slowly to the boat and soon landed a nice 25.5" Slot Redfish. Now that's the way to start the day. Coincidently, it was in the exact same spot as the first fish caught on Wednesday,  another big Redfish.  From then on, the anglers were catching fish. Tripp put a handful of feisty Reds in the boat, and another handful of Seatrout, a couple which were keeper size. Eddie added some Trout and Reds then Bennett landed a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum and more Trout and another Slot sized, six spot Redfish.


When things slowed we made a quick run over to Bell River and found some more Trout, this time drifting float rigs and live shrimp along a marsh line. When Bennett hooked up with a drag-ripping fish I thought for sure, at first, that he surely had a huge Seatrout. But after expertly working it to the boat, we saw that it was a large Black Drum, boy what a  fighter!

We moved on, making a run up Lanceford Creek and hit a small grassy island. It took a while but we found some fish, and caught Seatrout after Seatrout, with a few of them being keeper size. Bennett added a small Sheepshead which gave him an Amelia Island Backcountry Grande Slam of Redfish, Seatrout, Black Drum and Sheepshead. He also had a Whiting!

Our last stop was at the mouth of Eagans Creek in attempt to get out of the wind an get some last minutes of fishing in. Again, we found Trout and landed few. And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Stuffed Redfish For Thanksgiving

After checking the weather forecast last night we slightly thought of not fishing today. But boy what a pretty day it was!  I met Doug Mackle and his granddaughter Montana up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park and we scooted around to the logs of Tiger to take advantage of an incoming tide. Perfect conditions, perfect tide, and good casters made for some outstanding fish catching on jigs an live shrimp. With only a cast or two Doug had a strong hookup and, BIG FISH ON! This fish was not going to come to the boat easy! But Doug played it perfectly and after a good, long battle, subdued
the "Tournament Sized" Red Drum and landed it. It measured right at 26.5" - now that's the way to wake up a fishing trip. And it must have because Montana began to put one fish in the boat after another. Her fish of choice for the moment was keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum, then a few feisty Redfish. Doug caught his share too, then the breeze became a calm and the "no see-ums" attacked us, so we move on up to the Jolley River.

We fished up at Snook Creek with live shrimp under floats but had
only nibbles. Then we fished on the outside of Tiger, north at a small marsh run out, and had no luck. We came back to the mouth of Tiger and fished some flooded oysters and again, no luck. The breeze had picked up so we thought we'd try the logs again, even though the tide was up and this did the trick.

I think it was Montana's first cast, she felt the bump and set the hook and reeled in a nice keeper sized Flounder, garnering her an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Black Drum, Red Drum, and Flounder. Then she followed that up with a keeper sized Seatrout to claim a "Grande Slam". Both anglers teamed up to land a handful more of Seatrout, then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Little Anglers Big Trout

We launched today under some gloomy skies, but the crew were in good spirits and ready to get out on the water! I met Tim and Meagan Wieher and their two kids Winnie and Fitz down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp this morning and we headed up the Nassau River to make our first stop at Twin Creeks on a  high and incoming tide. We were tossing live shrimp under floats and it wasn't long before all were catching fish. Meagan and Winnie were fishing the bow while Tim and Fitz took up the stern and both
parties caught some hungry Seatrout for a good while.

When the bite slowed, we moved on up the Nassau and just north of a dock system and began tossing our rigs to some sparse marsh grass. Again, we found fish! The young anglers were taking turns reeling in fish and netting fish. Then Winnie had a strong hookup and we could tell this was a bigger fish. She reeled the fish in all by herself and landed the biggest fish of the day, a nice 20" Seatrout (All fish were released today). Then Tim put a keeper sized fish in
the boat. Then we had a couple of nice feisty Redfish caught.

There was a rain system approaching so we pulled up and ran down to the Goffinsville Park boat ramp and sought shelter under a picnic pavilion. After that we cruised Broward Island to see if there was any wildlife and we were treated with a sighting of a pair of Bald Eagles. Now that's the way to wrap up a great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Fish For Thanksgiving?

The Pete Nolan family was back in town for the Thanksgiving holiday - Pete and his wife Joanne, their daughters Taylor, Sidney and Tatum and her boyfriend Victor. We did a "split" trip, taking four anglers the first couple of hours then stopped back by the boat ramp and exchanged a crew. Pete got to fish both sessions! Smart man!

Our early excursion was with Pete, Joanne, Tatum and Victor. We left the Dee Dee Bartels park and made a quick run over to the take
advantage of the last of an incoming tide at Tiger Island, All four anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp to the pockets. It only took a few casts and Tatum had a hookup!  She played the fish perfectly to the boat and landed nice feisty Redfish. From then on it seemed we were catching fish. Victor got hot and put couple of keeper sized Seatrout in the boat. He also had a Redfish and a keeper sized Flounder to garner an Amelia Island Back Country Slam. Joanne was keeping the stern of the boat busy - she too had a Slam which included one fat keeper sized Seatrout. Pete landed a nice Redfish
and a Flounder, too.

We hit one more spot over in the Bell River, now fishing the very last of an incoming tide. Both Pete and Joanne found some Seatrout out the stern while Tatum added one more Trout to her catch.
After a brief pit stop back at the boat ramp, we were back at it again, this time with Pete and his daughters Taylor and Sidney.

We made a quick run to the outside of Tiger Island. Sidney had made a good cast up to some sparse marsh grass as I was getting the other two anglers set to fish and...FISH ON! This was a big fish! Any time the drag rips and the fish doesn't want to budge on this light tackle, you know it's a big fish. Sidney worked it slowly to the boat, even as the fish made some surging runs - and after a good battle, landed a "Tournament Sized Redfish" 26.5", boy what a fish!  But the wind had begun to really kick up and we had no
further bites so we ran around and fished the same Bell River spot as the earlier crew. The tide had started out and we had no real bites.

Our next and final stop was around in Lanceford Creek, fishing a small grass island and a tide that was now going out. Things started off slow but Pete found some fish on the others ide of the island and all three anglers began to get some Seatrout. Taylor found her
groove and landed three of the hungry fish.  Pete wrapped things up with one more keeper sized fish. And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fun Day Fishing With Friends

About four months ago four friends who played football together in high school made a plan to get together for a day of back water fishing here at Amelia Island. My buddies Tony French, Daniel Rhodes and Raymond Keen met me at the Dee Dee Bartels Park this morning. Although we have been keeping up with each other on Facebook over the years, I haven't seen Tony since a reunion a couple of years ago, I haven't seen Daniel in years and years, and Raymond and I just cross paths in Fernandina once in a while.
Luckily schedules lined up and the plan came together, and the fish cooperated!

We made a short run over to the outside of Tiger Island and set up with float rigs and live shrimp, tossing them to the flooded marsh grass on the last of an incoming tide.  It only took a few minutes before we began to get fish. Tony seemed to get the hang of it early and put a couple of nice Trout in the boat. Daniel followed suite
and began to get hookups. Then Raymond joined in. Many of the Trout were undersized, but it was nice to see many that went 15-18" and keeper size.

When the bite slowed we crossed the creek and fished another line of marsh grass and caught a few more Seatrout. We then ran up to the Jolley River, fished  the "bank", but only had a Gar fish for action.  After running further up the Jolley and now that the tide
had started out, things began to get right. Daniel had put his cast right up into the edge of the grass and in a short second, BOOM! Fish on!  He played it perfectly and soon landed a nice Slot Redfish.

We eased along the grass and found a small marsh runout and then things got crazy. All three anglers, if they managed to get their cast up near the grass, were almost guaranteed a fish. A couple of times we had a "double" hookup. Raymond put a couple of Slot fish in the boat, Tony put a couple of Slot fish in the boat, and Daniel did the same. We began to "cull" Redfish. The highlite was when Daniel hooked up and while he was talking his fish in, Tony hooked up and it was a big fish. The drag was ripping, Tony was playing the fish, Daniel was playing his fish, and Raymond hooked up! We got a Triple! We caught fish until we ran out of bait and called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Trout On Fire

I was off a few days but today was an outstandingly beautiful day and luckily I got to fish! I met Ron and Stacy "Trout Slayer" Cromer down at the Big Talbot Island park boat ramp early this morning and we headed up the Nassau River, making the run all the way around to Pumpkin Hill Creek with plans to fish the very last of an incoming tide with float rigs and live shrimp. Both anglers started off making excellent casts to a flooded island of grass and within minutes - fish on!  Both Stacy and Ron put Trout in the boat. We worked the bank thoroughly and got a good handful of Trout.

We eased around the corner and back into the Nassau River and here things picked  up even more. Both Tracy and Ron were getting good drifts along some marsh grass, and caught Trout. A few of them were "keeper sized" fish. When the bite slowed we ran back to Seymore's Pointe and set up where the water was draining, now on an outgoing tide.

Tracy got hot on the bow sticking with the float rig and landed one Trout after another. Ron was fishing some dock pilings with a jig and shrimp, working it slowly, but had no real bites. When he switched back to the float rig and fished it over some shallow oysters, boom! Fish on! They also picked up a few small but feisty Redfish and a hard fighting Black "puppy" Drum. Again, a few of the fish were of keeper size.

We worked our way back to the boat ramp along the Nassau River, fishing some runouts, and caught Trout wherever we fished. Most were in the 14" range but we did get another handful of keeper sized fish. The sun was up, it was a beautiful day, and we caught a bunch of fish, making it another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Thank Goodness For The Hot Spot

No one could have blamed us for cancelling today's trip due to the winds, forecasted to be blowing 10-14mph. When we launched I checked and it was already blowing 14!  I had met Scooter Digsby and his two sons Jake and Braden up at the Dee Dee Bartels park and my plan was to head over to Lanceford Creek to fish the last of an outgoing tide. Little did I know, the NE wind was keeping the tide from draining the mud flats and the conditions never got right for some decent fish catches. The three anglers were making
excellent casts to some dock pilings but we had nothing but bait stealers.

I thought running around to and up the Bell River might get us away from the dirty water but it wasn't much better up there. We worked a few docks with jigs and slip floats but had no real bites.

Our next stop was around in the Jolley River but here that NE wind had things kicking. We fished some oysters that were  now exposed
with jigs and a Cajun Float rig and again, no luck.

Our final stop was at old faithful, Tiger Island and this did the trick! We hadn't been fishing long before all three anglers were hooking up. Scooter got hot and put a handful of Redfish in the boat, then gave up his bow spot to his sons and they too began to get fish. Brayden hooked up with something that wanted to rip his drag - it fought hard and stayed down, but Brayden kept the pressure on and landed a nice 18" Black "puppy" Drum. Jake found his rhythm and landed his share of feisty Redfish.

We were using live shrimp but I had lost half my well when the drain plug came out so when we ran out of bait we headed back to the bait house and picked up some mud minnows. When we returned to Tiger the conditions hadn't changed much and the trio picked up right where they had left off. Scooter and Jake were catching Reds but Brayden diversified and tallied his personal "Super Grande Slam" of Black Drum, Red Drum, Seatrout, Flounder, and a wayward Snook! Now that 's the way to finish out another great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Drum Bonanza

I often offer to "local" anglers the option to pick another day if the conditions aren't expected to be so
great and that's what I did with the Newkirk's, Bruce and son Tyson. Today was forecast to begin with 8mph winds but creeping up to 14 which makes for some challenging conditions. But both Bruce and Tyson had the day off and had caught good fish in the past so we elected to go and boy were we glad we did!

We met at the Dee Dee Bartels Park and boat ramp and headed straight for Tiger Island knowing that we had the first of an incoming tide. We had a bait well full  of live shrimp and some jig
rods ready. Tyson set up on the bow and Bruce set up on the stern and they began pitching the pockets with their jig/shrimp combo. It took a few minutes, then the "baitstealers" began to peck, then the anglers began to put good fish in the boat. Bruce got things started by landing a couple of feisty Redfish then Tyson got in on the action and landed a couple, too. Bruce put a Slot Red in the boat then Tyson did, too.

We bounced down the way - Bruce found a nice keeper sized Seatrout, added a 14-spot undersized Red, then wrapped things up with a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum.  We had blown thru about four dozen shrimp so we made a quick run back to a bait house and picked up some more before heading back out.

Our next stop was over in Eagans Creek, now trying to seek shelter from the wind, and we set up down current from a crusty old dock and began to pitch the jigs. Tyson took the point and got hot, catching Redfish after Redfish. Then he put a couple of more keeper sized puppy Drum in the boat. Bruce stepped up and caught a couple then they had a "double" hookup. Bruce worked  his in quickly, an undersized Drum, but Tyson's was ripping drag. He played it patiently around the bow of the boat, kept the pressure on, and landed a 6lb Black Drum, the biggest fish of the day.

Somewhere in there the two anglers added two keeper sized Whiting.

We hit a couple of more spots, fishing float rigs over submerged oysters, but I believe the wind was kicking the mud up so much the Trout were no where to be found. So with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Flood Tide Fly Fishing A Challenge

I wrapped up a flood tide week of fly fishing today with Rick Klann, fishing out of the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. The tide was low and coming in so we ran straight to Broward Island to fish the downed logs. Rick was making excellent casts to the bank, to the logs, and to the creek mouths, but he had no takers even though the conditions were absolutely perfect to be fishing this spot.

We move back down the Nassau River and fished some shell banks, tossing an intermediate line with a shrimpy fly and this did the trick. As Rick let his fly bounce down the bottom he picked up a small but hungry Seatrout.  We moved around the corner, switched to a small gurgler pattern and fished the edges of some grass islands and exposed oysters, to no avail.

Our next stop was back toward the bridge, still in Nassau and again, Rick picked up another, larger Seatrout letting his line sweep down through the water column.

The tide was up and the grass was flooding so we switched to some floating line and began to poke around in the spartina grass. I think we had hit one or two spots and maybe the third as we eased up into the grass, Rick spotted a tailing Red! Whoooeee! He's was just out of range so I gave Rick three options: 1) Try to hit 'em with a long cast 2) Get out and wade to him or 3) Wait and see if he comes towards us.   We didn't have to decide because within seconds we could tell the fish was moving closer to us!  Rick made some excellent casts with a Dupree Spoon fly but the fly was having trouble getting down through the grass and the fished moved on and soon disappeared, darn it!

We bounced around again, hit a few spots and again, as we eased up to nice flat: Tailing Redfish. I had switched the fly to sinking black Troy James Fly  and this definitely got down thru the grass. But again the fish moved on and disappeared.

We moved up and down the Nassau, then ran thru Horsehead and around to the mouth of Jackstaff and poked the bow into a couple of the flats. The tide was up pretty high now but we had one final shot at a tailing fish, this one a Sheepshead. I thought Rick made one of his best casts of the day, putting the fly right on the fish's nose, but it snubbed it, moved on, and disappeared.

At some point Rick had commented, "this is a little more challenging than I expected" and that nailed it. When flood tide fishing for Reds all the stars have to align. The tide has to be right, the water and wind conditions need to be right, the fly has to be right, the cast has to be right, the fish has to see the fly and eat it....it's a challenge, but well worth it when you get that hook up! At any rate, we had a great time fishing the flats here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Back at The Fly

Peter Brookes and I did a second day of fly fishing today, but this time we met down at the Big Talbot Island park boat ramp at sunrise and made the short run up the Nassau River to set up at Twin Creeks on an incoming tide. The shell banks were still showing when Peter started out with a top water Gurgler to see if a Trout would hit, which they did not. He switched to a root beer colored Troy James Fly and worked it deep on an intermediate line and had no success with that either.

We moved back east, down the Nassau and fished a long stretch of shell bed that tapered off
into 13' of water. Pete stayed with the sinking line and figured out that he could make his cast  up current (the same as when we fish live shrimp on  a jig) and let the current take his fly down along the bottom and when he felt a thump, set the hook!  Sometimes it was just the bottom but a couple of times, BOOM! Seatrout on! It turned out to be the method to catch fish.

We ran down to Pumpkin Hill and fished some more shell beds, now flooded, and used the same technique. This time when Pete hooked up we knew it was a bigger fish by the way it caused such a commotion! He worked the fish in with
his line hand, keeper pressure at all times on the fish, and soon landed a fat 19.5" Seatrout. Now that's a nice fly caught fish!

The tide was up so we went back to floating lines and ran over to Horsehead to check out some flooding grass flats. It took a couple but as I eased up to a nice looking flat Pete saw it first - a tailing Red! We were debating on getting out and wading to it then we noticed that it was coming our way!  It fed nose down into range and Pete made his cast and put the fly perfectly out in front. The fish did see the fly and kept moving and again, Pete picked up and laid it down. The fish turned to the fly, seemed to take it and Pete set the hook....BOOM! The Slot Red boiled out of there. It appeared Pete had him on for a split second but the hook just didn't take. But it was a cool experience. We moved on, checking out a handful of grass flats but saw  no more fish.  The sun was up, Pete had a plane to catch, so we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Flood Tide Fly Fishing

Pete Brookes was in town and we had a scheduled fly fishing trip this morning for flood tide tailing Redfish. The high tide was expected around 10am so we met at 8am at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp and headed over to the mouth of the Bell River where a certain spot floods the quickest. The water was just about high enough but there was no sign of fish. We cruised up and around to behind Tiger, checked a couple of flats out, then came back to Bell and blind cast to some flooded marsh grass. No luck here.

We cruised back to Tiger, checked out 3-4 flats and even though the water was high and the conditions were absolutely perfect, there was no movement in the grass, not a fish. So we decided to run further west and up into the Jolley and again checked out some flats. After 3-4 looksee's we went back to blind casting.  I thought Pete was going to wear his arm slap off!

We made one more stop back at the outside of Tiger where two creeks merged and now that the tide was going out, we had some success. Pete was tossing a "Troy James Fly", but in root beer color, fished with an intermediate sinking line and this did the trick. He had a good solid "bump" and he strip set the hook, and FISH ON! Pete patiently worked the fish in with his line hand and landed a nice hungry Seatrout. Only minutes later he duplicated the same cast and go the same results.

It was a great day to be flood tide fishing, but even though the Reds didn't cooperate, it was a beautiful day to be out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

We Beat the Wind

The fishing's been pretty good the last couple of days but the forecast for today called for winds up to 14mph, and I think they were accurate. But father and son team Lester and Jason Johnson were up to the task so we met up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp and headed over to Bell River to fish a flooded oyster bar with float rigs and live shrimp. The fish didn't cooperate! We had no real bites. But the tide had started out so we ran through Tiger and around to the outside of Tiger Island and set up where tow creeks poured out. This did the trick!

Jason got hot quick, catching a
handful of Seatrout and a feisty Redfish or two. Lester hooked up and everyone was on the board! We ran back through Tiger, over to Bell and down the Bell River out to fish some docks. The anglers switched to jigs and shrimp and fished them on the bottom on the outgoing tide. We picked up some hungry Trout on the bottom then Jason tangled with a big Stingray!

When the bite slowed we worked around to the Jolley River and set up along some marsh grass as the tide went out. Things got hot! Both anglers were catching feisty Redfish, with a handful of them right at 17 3/4", just under sized, then Lester hooked up and when his drag began to rip we knew that this was a keeper fish! He played it perfectly and soon landed a nice 21" Slot sized Redfish.  The wind was kicking our butts but the fish were biting so we made do!

Our final stop was back around at Tiger Island, fishing the logs with jigs. I think Jason's first cast produced a Redfish. We had a couple of more Reds, a small Black "puppy" Drum, then Lester had a strange bite. The fish stayed down at the bottom, and I was guessing big Flounder but then all of a sudden it took off...we thought shark...but no, out of the water came a high flying Tarpon! It threw the hook but boy that was cool. Later Jason had another strange bite and his turned out to be a nice 19" Flounder. We added one more keeper sized Flounder then called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.