Friday, October 27, 2017

Redfish and Black and Red Dogs

I wrapped up my Georgia Florida week today fishing with Hugh Haston and his buddies Randy and David who were all down for the big game tomorrow. As the week has gone by the weather had gotten better and better and today was the best with just a slight breeze, a cool nip in the air and then warm Florida sunshine! We met down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and made the quick run up the intercoastal and dipped in to Jackstaff on the last hour of an outgoing tide.

The three anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp and mud minnows up to the exposed oysters and before long David had "knocked the skunk off" with a hungry Seatrout catch. He followed that up with a Redfish catch then Randy matched it with a Trout catch. We picked up a couple of more fish - Seatrout and Reds then ran through Horsehead and around to some docks at Seymore's Pointe.

With the stern of the boat towards the pilings, the three anglers
tossed their jigs and let them sink  and fished them back slowly. All we found were hungry Mangrove Snapper. After landing a handful of them we crossed over to some shell beds, fished them, caught a Catfish then headed down to Broward Island.

The tide was almost at the bottom when we got there. David's first cast to a sandy bank produced a fat and feisty Redfish.  Randy pulled out another Mangrove, then.....BOOM! Hugh had a hookup that ripped the drag and, FISH ON!  He played it patiently, working it out from the downed tree limbs, got him out into deeper water, then kept the pressure on until the fish was subdued. After a good battle on light tackle spinning gear, we landed a thick 25" Slot sized Redfish. Now that's a nice fish.

Randy and David both went back to the Sandy bank and both pulled out keeper sized Flounder. Both Randy and Hugh caught smaller Reds off the same bank. When the bite slowed we worked down the island a ways then headed back towards the ramp.

Our final stop was at Twin Creeks. The tide had been coming in for a while here and the oyster hump was covered. I switched the anglers to float rigs just to give them a taste of that style of fishing and it paid off with all three fishermen hooking up with a good handful of Seatrout. If we could have kept 14" fish we would have had a "mess"!  One was right at 17" - a keeper. And with that, we called it day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Dog Gone It, We Caught a Bunch of Fish!

The "pre-Georgia Florida Football Fishing Week" continued today when I again fished with Bob Blalock and his brother-in-law Tommy and his wife Martha. We met up at the north end ramp but this time we made the long run out Bell River with plans to fish some docks. Although the wind had lessened somewhat from yesterday, it was still blowing, but here at the docks it was like fishing on a pond!

The anglers started off tossing jigs and live shrimp (whooeee, we had some shrimp) to the dock pilings on the very last of an outgoing tide and it didn't take long before they were getting some bites.
All three anglers put some hungry Seatrout in the boat and we ended up with a handful of them. Then the "baitstealers" took over so we decided to run over to the Jolley River.

We made a brief stop at the MOA, still tossing jigs, and here Bob picked up a keeper sized Seatrout. After bouncing around the corner and setting up alongside some still exposed oysters, I switched the trio to float rigs and live shrimp. That's when all heck broke loose. Redfish, Redfish, Redfish, Redfish, Redfish. Small but feisty and fun to catch. Then Tommy had a hookup and when that drag began to rip we knew he had a good fish.  It was a long and crazy battle where we had to deal with some lines getting tangled, but it all
worked out and with some patience on Tommy's part, he landed a nice 24" Slot Redfish.

Martha had caught Trout in the Bell and here she was matching the guys catch fish for fish with Redfish. She added 3-4 Black "puppy" Drum to here catch, a couple of Mangrove Snapper, then she too had a strong bite and, FISH ON! She played it perfectly and after a good battle, landed a nice Slot Redfish. Then it was Bob's turn. BOOM! Big fish On! This fish was ripping drag and digging deep but Bob kept the pressure on. After a long and patient fight, Bob put an Oversized 28.5" Redfish in the boat. After pictures it swam off in a blink.

We caught fish until we ran  out of bait! Now that's a good problem to have. We still had about thirty minutes to fish so we made one last stop behind Tiger Island and rigged up with soft plastic Egret Baits and fished the same runouts that had produced Flounder yesterday. Boom! Bob pulled a 17" Flounder out of the spot then Boom! Tommy reeled in a 19" Flounder. Bob was using a white with chartreuse tail minnow and Bob was using a chartreuse and brown minnow.

It was a beautiful day and a great day to be catching fish here at Amelia Island, Florida

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

It Got Dog Gone Good

It's Florida Georgia Weekend....a....Georgia Florida Weekend and the Georgia fans are in town and ready to fish! I met Bob Blalock, his son and daughter-in-law William and Dara and his brother-in-law Tommy up at the Dee Dee Bartels park this morning. There was a cool nip in the air and a westerly breeze that made things even a bit chillier but we had a plan and it worked!

We ran south and west and got in behind Blackrock and fished some dock pilings and it was like fishing on a pond! It wasn't long
before William "knocked the skunk off" when he landed a feisty Redfish on a jig and minnow. The other anglers got in on the action - Tommy put a Red in the boat, Bob put a Red in the boat, and Dara snagged a fat Mangrove Snapper. They had a "double" a couple of times and caught a good handful of the small but feisty Redfish. 

When the bite slowed we worked down the docks, pitching the pilings but the fish were not hungry so we pulled up and ran north and around to the outside of Tiger, thinking that we'd be out of the
wind. Nope. It was blowing a tad bit more north westerly and made for some difficult fishing with our float rigs and minnows.

I didn't think that the back side of Tiger would be any good with the wind but the tide was down so we inched around behind it and it wasn't too bad. We went back to jigs and fished the pockets. Our first stop didn't produce but the second sure did. It was like someone turned a light switch on! These anglers put a couple of feisty Reds in the boat, then BOOM! William hooked up with a bigger fish, FISH ON! He played it perfectly and after a patient battle, landed a nice 23" Slot Redfish. Again, a good flurry of fish catching went on with Dara adding a Redfish catch to her total, then she followed that up with a Flounder.  Bob went to the same spot and brought in a small but keeper sized Flounder then he went back in and BOOM! Another big fish! We knew right off that it was a Flounder- Bob was up to the task and worked it to the boat - a nice 19" flattie. Tommy added an "almost keeper Red", then Bob tossed to small runout. BOOM! Big Redfish. 24". Now that's a nice fish! William and Dara wrapped things up with some Seatrout catches then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Bulldawg Invasion

It's that time of the year...the Georgia Bulldawgs come to town and luckily some of 'em want to get out and fish the waters of Amelia Island! Today I had Greg Brown and his buddy Eddie fishing with me and we met early this morning down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and headed up the Nassau River with plans to fish the first of an incoming tide with jigs and mud minnows.

Our first stop was at some docks at Seymore's Pointe. Both anglers were making pinpoint casts to the dock pilings and it wasn't long before they were getting bites. But it turned out to be some small and hungry Mangrove Snapper. We ran down to Broward Island just as the tide started in there and fished the downed logs (there's a few more trees down since hurricane Irma).  After Greg hooked up and landed a feisty Redfish, we counted that as truly knocking the skunk off.  Although we had a nibble here and there and picked up a Mangrove or two, we were looking for bigger fish.

We dropped back to Pumpkin Hill and fished some flooding oyster beds. Within minutes Eddie had a put another Redfish in the boat, this one measuring just a tad bit under the Slot. He followed that up with a hungry Seatrout.  We worked along the bank and added one more Redfish to the catch.

We'd fished docks and logs and oysters so I thought we might as well fish some rocks, so we made stop at Seymore's Pointe and "played chess" with a school of Mangrove's. After putting a good handful in the boat, Greg landed a "keeper" sized one. We fished some flooded oysters along the Nassau River, fished some more docks at Seymore's - had some nibblers, then called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Against The Wind

I flipped a coin today and lost. The forecast called for some fairly high winds but it also indicated that it'd be nice day, other than the wind. The winds made it really tough to catch a fish. I met Jeannette Socket and her husband Jimmy up at the north end boat ramp and we ran with the wind down to Lanceford Creek, thinking we could tuck in behind a land mass and get some float fishing in on a high and still-incoming tide. Both Jimmy and Jeannette were making excellent casts but we had no real luck, and the wind followed us.

And it got stronger. After trying to fish a flooded
marsh bank we ran back through the wind and into Eagans Creek. After puttering up the creek to some likely docks, we switched to jigs and shrimp and worked the docks. Although it was a tad bit easier it was still pretty tough fishing. When you cast to a spot in one direction and the jig is blown 30' off, that's pretty difficult to fish dock pilings!

We ran back to the Eagans Creek bridge with the tide now flowing out and both Jimmy and I had some good bites and hookups, but both came off as we worked them to the boat.

I knew the NE wind was really kicking by now but we gambled and made the run back to Bell River, through Tiger Basin and around to Tiger Island and even though the tide was all wrong, the wind was blocked somewhat. After making a cast to one of the hidden pockets, BOOM! Fish ON! Jimmy played it perfectly and after a good battle, landed a nice 24.25" Slot sized Red. Skunk off the boat!
Crazy day. Tough fishing, but with that one fish we were able to count it as another great day to be out on the water (and not at work!) here at Amelia Island, Florida

Monday, October 16, 2017

Hot Redfishing Early And Bigger Fish Come Later

We got in a fishing trip this morning before a big blow comes through. I met Jim Merkey and his son Derrick up at the north end ramp and we headed over to the outside of Tiger Island to fish a marsh line on the first of an outgoing tide. The two anglers were tossing float rigs and live shrimp and I think the first cast produced a hungry Seatrout!  We worked the bank slowly, picked up another Trout, then it was like a wildfire of Redfish catching!  Both Jim and Derrick landed one Redfish after the other. We had a couple fish just a tad bit under 18" and most were in the 16-17" range. A good handful had multiple spots with one of them totaling 18 spots. A legal entry would be a sure winner in this weekend's upcoming Redfish Spot Tournament.

When the bite slowed we ran out and up along Tiger and made one short pit stop at a marsh runout with plans to fish jigs on the sandy bottom. After getting a Trout on the initial cast, Derrick landed a large Stingray and a small Flounder to round out the duo's Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Seatrout and Flounder.  We got a good cast net full of finger mullet then headed up to the Jolley River - all the way to Snook Creek.

It didn't take long for bites. Derrick hooked up and landed a keeper sized Trout and shortly after that Jim did too, an even bigger one. They caught a couple of more Trout and a good handful of the small but hard fighting Redfish. After hitting one more spot in the Jolley (and getting one Red) we ran around and made our final stop at the logs of Tiger.

Fishing the pockets with jigs paid off! Another first cast and BOOM! Big Fish On! We had been waiting all day for that drag to rip and rip it did! Derrick was on the rod and played the big fish patiently. I though once it had made its way  up into the logs but Derrick applied the pressure and worked  it out and after a good battle landed a Slot sized 23.75" Redfish. Now that's the way to wrap up another great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Eco-Fish'n-Crab'n Trip

We still haven't seen cooler temperatures here at Amelia Island yet, but that hasn't adversely affected the fishing! Today I met Craig Feiberg and  his sons Asher and Rory up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park and boat ramp and we had a plan! I had loaded three crab traps and had some dead Mackerel to bait them with and we also had some live mud minnows and shrimp - so we were ready to go!

We ran over to Tiger Island and set out the traps then turned around and made our way up to the Jolley River to set up just off some
expose oyster beds. There was a fairly stiff wind blowing away from us so it made for perfect casting and drift of our float rigs. Wouldn't you know it, first cast, BOOM! Fish on! Young Asher worked it in and landed an feisty Refish! From then on we were getting hookups. Both Craig and Rory reeled in Reds then Cory caught and landed a hard fighting Black "puppy" Drum.  We fished that bank for a good 45 minutes until the bait stealers took over.

Our next stop was back at a Cumberland Island beach. I eased the
Anglers Mark up close to shore and we tossed out the anchor and waded ashore! The Feiberg boys did some beach combing and came back with a great bucket of shells!

The wind was kicking so we ran back to Tiger Island and the shelter  and behind it and set up with jigs and shrimp and minnows, fishing the bottom. We had bites on almost every cast but they seemed to be bait stealing Mangrove Snapper.  We decided our best luck would be to check the crab traps. The first trap had no crabs, OUCH! But the
second trap had a nice large Blue Crab. The third trap had a small crab and a fish! It was a fun day to mix things up  -do some crabbing, do some fishing, and do some beach combing and we counted it as another great day to be out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, October 9, 2017

tails, Tails, TAILS

I fished with Jake Karamol today on a planned fly fishing for tailing Reds trip. We met at 8am up at the Dee Dee Bartels boat ramp and headed up to the Jolley River to do some blind casting while we waited for the tide to come in. Jake worked an exposed shell bank with a 8w outfit, tossing a shrimp fly pattern to the edge and letting it bounce naturally down the slope. We worked it thoroughly but had no strikes.

We hit another bank, did the same, switched flies, but had no luck. After running back to the Tiger Island area we checked out some grass flats but they just weren't high enough to have any fish. We blind cast some more around some now flooded grass then ran back into Tiger Basin to check out some more flats. Finally, the tide was up and Jake was the first to spot a Redfish tail . But it must have ate what it was after and the tail never showed again.


We moved to another expansive flat and sure enough, way off in the distance, there was another Redfish working the flat. Jake and I got out and waded towards it as it fed from right to left and as we got closer we saw another couple of tails pop up. We were in the thick of things! We waited patiently to see if they would come our way - the didn't - so we move on to try and head them off. These fish must have had sense about them because they fed just out of casting range. A couple of these fish were HUGE!

Finally, a darker tail was working towards us. He was coming right at us! As it got closer I guessed - Sheepshead - and turned out to be right! That fish fed right up to us  but wouldn't eat the Dupree Spoon Fly that I had tied of for the Redfish. He got closer and closer so all Jake could do was try and drop the spoon in front of it like we were using a cane pole in a pond for bream! It came closer and closer, right up to us - I could have dipped him if I had a net, then it moved on off. Crazy!

We continued to stalk, but the tide got up, then we didn't see tails but huge wakes. They moved here and there but never in range. It was an awesome morning ( we had a Bald Eagle fly by-see boat pic) and a great way to spend a day fly fishing out on Amelia Island waters.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Drum Time

After fishing a windy morning trip Friday - a day that had some pretty stiff winds and a super high and incoming tide, and a day that garnered just a handful of Trout - I went out again in the afternoon with Howard Mclure and his friends Kirk and Pete, this time fishing a tide that had been going out for a couple of hours.

We made our first run up to the Jolley River and fished an exact bank that produce nothing on that higher tide. These anglers were tossing live shrimp under floats and making excellent casts to the
bank and getting great drifts over the submerged oysters.  Pete got hot early and put 2-3 Redfish in the boat with one of them being in the Slot size - a keeper! Then Kirk found his groove and he too began to get fish, but his were nice, keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum. The trio put a good handful of Blacks and Reds in the boat, keeping me busy for a good while. We worked that bank over good then moved back to the mouth of Jolley and fished it too.

Our last stop was back at Tiger Island, fishing the logs on the very
last of an the outgoing tide and had good bites. We picked up a handful of feisty Redfish then we had strong bite. Howard worked it in patiently and landed one of the bigger Black Drum's of the day. And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

A Trout Here. A Trout There.

I fished with the Pete Nolan group Friday morning - a group of guys who came down for a weekend of fishing here at Amelia Island. I took three anglers while Captain Jim Johnson took 2 and we headed our separate ways to fish the back waters of Amelia Island. I ran my guys around to the outside of Tiger Island and set up along some marsh grass on a high and incoming tide. A real high and incoming tide! Not the best of conditions, especially with the wind blowing 12-13 and forecasted rain showers, but these anglers
were game to get out on the water and fish.

They began making casts with their float rigs and live shrimp to the marsh grass and it wasn't long before we picked up a couple of Seatrout. I thought, "oh boy, here we go", but that was the extent of our catch. So we ran around behind Tiger, peeked at some flooding flats, then continued on around to Bell River, but to no avail. We buzzed back through Tiger and around and up to the Jolley River and fished some more grass and picked up another Trout.

Continuing on, we made a final stop in the upper reaches of Bell River, fishing some docks with jigs and here we found a couple of more trout down on the bottom. Although it was an overcast day with a wind blowing the water further up into the marsh, we made the best of it and were able to put a few fish in the boat, and counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.