Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Hurricane Blew In Some Good Fishing!

Now that every thing has settled down from hurricane Irma, I was able to get out on the water with Adam and Patty Garner this morning, meeting them up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park on the north end of the island. There were a few logs in the river as we ran, some docks  up in the marsh and a boat here and there washed up on a sandbar.

We made our first stop over in Bell River with plans to fish a flooding oyster bar on the last of an incoming tide. Both Patty and
Adam were tossing live shrimp under a float and although we had a bite or two, there were no takers.  We started to run around to the outside of Tiger but saw that we had a really good flood tide happening so we put the bow of the boat into some flooded grass flats look for tailing Reds. The first two spots were vacant but the third was the charm!  I saw a small tail popping up now and then so Adam and I got out of the boat and began to wade slowly to the fish. But as we inched closer we began to see more tails and BIGGER tails - a couple were some huge Redfish!  We tossed a
gold weedless Gator Lure spoon to a fish here and there, spooked a couple, but had a few excellent shots that they just didn't eat. After a while the water got too deep to see any fish so we continued on around to the outside of Tiger and went back to the float rigs.

Patty was the first to strike, and strike big she did! She  had a strong hookup and her drag began to rip, FISH ON! This fish was heading to Georgia! But Patty kept the pressure on as we turned and gave chase and after a good battle she subdued the fish and we boated a
big 4' Bonnethead Shark. And shortly after Patty caught her breath she had a another strong hookup. She was an old pro by now handily landed a Slot Sized 21" Redfish!

Adam had been filming and taking pictures and soon realized that he had better get on the ball! After we crossed over to Manatee Creek his rod heated up and he put a couple of hungry Seatrout in the boat then he too had a strong bite. Another big fish on! Adam played it expertly and worked the fish to the boat, landing another Slot 22" Redfish. We also picked up a smaller Red and a couple of smaller Mangrove Snapper.

Our last stop was up the Jolley River and although we didn't get many bites along the first bank we fished, we did see a wayward baby alligator (looking for a volunteer?) drifting down the river. We bounced across a creek mouth and found a "honey hole" of some Redfish. Adam pulled in 3-4 small but stout Reds out of one spot then Patty eased in with her cast and she too picked up a couple. Adam went further up the river and BOOM! Big Bite! Fish On! He played it patiently and put the third Slot Red in the boat, this one measuring at 25". The two tagged teamed a good handful of smaller Reds, sometimes getting double hookups, then we headed back to the ramp, counting it as another great day to be out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mangrove Snapper Come Through

It appears today's trip may be my last before Hurricane Irma figures out which way she's going to head. I fished with Nick and Misty Irma, meeting them down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early this morning and after run up the Nassau River we eased in to Pumpkin Hill with plans to fish the still flooding tide with float rigs and mud minnows.  Both anglers were making excellent casts and we got nibbles right off. Misty got things started when she snagged one of the pesky fish, a small 6" Mangrove Snapper. We found no Trout
along the edge but as we repositioned along another flooded marsh line, they began to get more bites. The small Snapper were still there but they also landed a couple of Ladyfish then Nick hooked up and landed a feisty Redfish.

Our next stop was over in Christopher Creek, taking advantage of the last of that incoming tide, and here we switched to jigs and minnows. We worked the rocks and docks and finally, Nick hooked
up and landed a small Flounder. We treated to the sight of a flock of Rosette Spoonbills roosting on a downed tree.

We came out of the creek and back to Seymores Pointe and began fishing some rocks with the float rigs again. Although the anglers got a nibble now and then it took a while to begin to catch fish. I had just suggested that we move on and BOOM! It was like someone flipped a switch. They began to catch big, keeper sized Mangrove's - up to 14" and once they got the technique down, landed enough to fill out their bag limit - now that's a mess of fish!

After running through Horsehead we fished a small creek off of Jackstaff and here Nick added a keeper sized Trout (note the damage a predator did to its tail) and rounded out his personal Amelia Island Back Country Slam. And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Friends, Fishing and Football

Nothing like getting out of town and out on the water on the first NCAA football weekend. So friends Tripp Miller, Kevin and David all came in from Atlanta and spent the morning fishing with me before they took in some football games later in the evening. We met up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park and made a short run over to Tiger Island and fished the outside marsh grass as the tide turned out from a high.  The anglers were tossing mud minnows under float rigs and begin to get bites right off.
We picked up some high-flying Ladyfish and a couple of hungry

We bounced around that area, caught more Ladyfish, a handful of Mangrove Snapper and another Trout or two then we ran up to the Jolley River and eased along the "bank" and found some feisty Redfish to tangle with.

Our last stop was further up the Jolley and as we eased along some now-exposed oysters, we began to pickup one Redfish after the
other. There wasn't a lot of size to them, but there were a bunch of 'em! It was fun to be catching and it made a great way to kick off the football season here at Amelia Island, Florida!