Friday, March 16, 2018

Wondering If the Cold Weather Has Affected The Fish Catching

We had a beautiful morning today - clear skies, sunshine and only a slight breeze, but "cool", again, for the 3rd or 4th day in a row. I met Russ and Olga Figman down at Sawpit Creek boat ramp and we headed up the Nassau River, making our first stop to fish some rocks along Seymore's Pointe.  We had only fished a short while with float rigs and live shrimp on an incoming tide when Russ's float disappeared and he had a fish on. He played it perfectly and soon landed a nice feisty Redfish.

But we had no bites after that so we continued on to Christopher Creek. The tide was still coming
in and we began tossing jigs and shrimp to some dock pilings. Both anglers were making excellent casts but we didn't have any takers until we got around to some marsh grass. Almost at the same time, Boom! Both had hookups. Olga caught her hungry Trout on a jig while Russ was working a float rig and Russ's fish ended  up being a nice keeper sized fish.  But again, no bites after that.

We fished docks along the Nassau River, docks back at Seymore's Pointe, docks along Black Hammock, the bridge at Sawpit and even Sawpit no avail.  The fish had just quit biting.
But it was a beautiful day and we did catch a few, so we called it a day, another great one to be fshing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Big Trout a Nice Surprise

The wind has finally subsided and today was an absolutely beautiful day to be out on the water!  I met Murray and Dan Bonitt down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and I thought it would be a great day to try our luck out at the small jetty on the south end of the island with a very light west wind blowing. Didn't work. We ran out and fished it briefly and even though the swells were not too bad, we had not a single bite on jigs and shrimp so we buzzed back around and headed to the backwaters.

Our first stop was up Christopher Creek and as we fished some docks the two anglers finally began to get some good bites. Dan was the first to strike when he landed a feisty Redfish (most all that were caught today will probably be in the Slot in another month!). He added another then his dad, Murray hooked up and landed. We worked our way around bend and got into a sweet spot when the two anglers caught and landed a handful of Reds, then Dan had a good bite, his drag ripped, and we thought, here's a Slot Red! But after Dan expertly worked it to the net, we found it to be a big 20" Seatrout, caught shallow over a mud flat!  This is the 2nd biggest Trout caught on the Anglers Mark and moves Dan into the 2018 Bragging Rights Tournament (scroll down the right side of this report for standings).

We caught another fish or two then headed out to fish a flooded grass line along the Nassau River with float rigs and live shrimp. Dan landed one trout before we moved on. Our next stop was around along some of those rocks that line the Nassau River and here, while Dan was fishing a fixed float, Murray switched to slip float and that proved to be the difference. Dan landed a good handful of Reds, fishing about 8' deep along the rocks.

Our final stop was around at Seymore's Pointe and we wrapped up the day, landing a good many Seatrout with two of them being of keeper size, one of which, caught by Murray, was right at 18" - a great fish catch to wrap up another good day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Low Pressure High Pressure

I fished with Dwayne Craig and  his buddies Jeff and David two days in a row. They were on a "road trip" down from Illinois and I think they may have brought the latest cold spell with them! Yesterday it wasn't too cold but the wind was increasing from 9mph at start time with a forecast to 23mph (and they were right!)  David had noted that the barometric pressure was dropping which should have made for some great fishing and with overcast skies and  misty rain, we would have thought that the Trout would be on fire.

We fished Bell River, then behind Tiger, then ran back to Bell and
further up the river to fish some docks. Finally, we began to catch some Seatrout on jigs and live shrimp and the Jeff put a keeper sized Sheepshead in the boat. We worked the docks thoroughly and caught a good couple of handfuls of 14" Seatrout. We came back to Lanceford Creek, fished some docks out of the ever increasing wind and somewhere in there Jeff added a keeper sized Weakfish. By the time we got back to the Dee Dee Bartels ramp, the west wind was kicking, enough so that it made it very dangerous to disembark
from the boat, but we made it!

Today I met this crew down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp, with the temperature hovering just above 40. David reported that the barometer was now climbing, not such a good thing.  The tide had just started out so we flew up the Nassau River and dipped in to Christopher Creek and fished the deep bend. We had two good bites and hookups but they threw the hook. Then, as we got around to some docks, Jeff got hot and landed a few 17 3/4" Redfish. But the tide was going out so we got out of there so as not to get stranded.

Our next stop was around at Seymore's Pointe and we fished float rigs over flooded oysters and jigs down at the base of pilings. David kept the skunk off of that spot when he landed a fat Seatrout. We bounced around the corner and fished some rocks. Dwayne got hot with a slip float, fished a little deeper than the other two, and landed 3-4 Reds. 

The final stop was down at Broward Island. The tide was still high and ripping out, not ideal, but we made the most of it and it was David who's perseverance paid off when he caught a big Trout down deep, on the bottom.  The sun was up, the temperature had warmed and even though we had only a few keeper fish, we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Slow Start BIG Finish

It was another "Chamber of Commerce" weather day today when I met Pete Nolan, his daughter Tatum and her friend Victor down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. We cruised up the Intercoastal on water that was like glass and turned in to Jackstaff to fish a still flooded bank with float rigs and jigs and live shrimp. The three anglers fished the bank thoroughly but we had no takers. After crossing over to fish a sandbar pointe and having no luck, we ran thru Horsehead and over to fish some docks at Seymore's Pointe.

It was fairly slow fishing until finally, after Tatum had landed a small Bluefish, she and her dad simultaneously hooked up with two hungry Seatrout. Skunk was off the boat! We hit another dock on the rock side, fished the float rigs exclusively, and Victor go on the board with a nice feisty Redfish catch.

Our final stop was down at Broward Island. It took a while for the fish to begin to bite, but when things got going, the anglers landed a
good handful of them. Both Pete and Victor put "keeper sized" Trout in the boat while Tatum worked on the numbers. Then, just as we were about to wrap up, Victor thought he'd hooked a log but when it began to move an drip drag out, FISH ON!  This was a big fish and stayed deep for a good while. But Victor stayed in the battle and after a long fight, landed a big 29.5" Redfish. Boy what fish to wrap up a great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Spot Tourny Sure Winner

I fished today with Mike Perry and we got an earlier than usual start with the bait shop opening a tad bit early this morning. After getting our live shrimp we launched down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and ran up the Nassau River to fish some docks at Seymore's Pointe with a few hours to go on an outgoing tide.

Mike was  making excellent casts to the base of some pilings and it didn't take long before he had "bump" on his jig and shrimp and he had a hookup. He neatly landed a nice fat Seatrout. We worked up
and down the docks and both of caught a handful of Trout with two being of keeper size. When things slowed we crossed the river and fished some exposed oyster beds and although we had abite or two, we had no takers.  So we ran further up Nassau and down a ways to fish some rocks along the Nassauville side and here we had multiple Redfish catches  floating a live shrimp along the rocks.

That slowed and after a short trip down to the Broward Island, we were back fishing, jigs and shrimp.
My hotspot was cold but we persevered and worked the bank and began to catch Trout. Then Mike had a strong bite, his drag ripped, and BIG FISH ON!  This was a big one - it ran deep a few times, ripping drag, but Mike kept the pressure on and worked it slowly to the boat. It ran deep again and made its way down current but Mike was up to the task and let the rod do the talking. After a good long battle, Mike landed a Tournament sized 26 1/2" Slot Redfish. And to top it off, it was loaded with spots! We counted a total of 28, a sure winner in most any Redfish Spot Tournament.

The Safe Harbor Boys Home Redfish Spot Tournament is fast approaching, to be held Saturday April 7th. Click Here for more information. Our Amelia Island Guides Association Redfish Spot Tournament is Saturday Sept. 8th and will be held at the Amelia Island Yacht club. Click Here for more information.

We wrapped up the trip catching one Seatrout after the other, most in the 14" range, but we did pick up one more of keeper size. And with that, we called it  day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Baked Oysters from CCA

I saw this recipe come thru from a Coastal Conservation Association email and thought it looked good..
Featured Recipe: Simple Baked Oysters 


2 dozen fresh, unshucked oysters

3 c rock or ice cream salt

1 12 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

4 strips bacon

1 c yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c celery, diced

1 stick salted butter

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

1 c panko bread crumbs

1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

Lemon wedges
OYSTERS: Preheat to 450 degrees F. Fill an ovenproof serving dish large enough for all the oysters with the rock salt. Nestle oysters in it as you shuck them. This will prevent them from tipping and also retains heat after removal from oven.
FILLING: Remove any excess water from the frozen spinach by wringing out with your hands over a strainer in the sink. Set aside.
Chop bacon and add to a large skillet on medium heat. Cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels for later use.
To same skillet with bacon grease add onion, garlic and celery and saute about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through.
Turn heat to low and add butter. Stir until butter is melted then add salt, pepper, panko bread crumbs, grated cheese, spinach and cooked bacon bits. Remove from heat and combine all thoroughly until cheese is melted.
Top each raw oyster with about 1 tablespoon of topping, then sprinkle each with grated Parmesan.
Place serving dish of oysters in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
TO SERVE: Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Big Start Hot Finish

March winds are really aggravating! But Tom Hardy and I had a plan and that was to meet early this morning when the winds were still right at 10mph and buzz over to Tiger Island to fish the first of an incoming tide with jigs and live shrimp. We had only been set up for a short while and with Tom making excellent casts, BOOM! Redfish on. He played the feisty Red perfectly and after pictures, we tossed it back (all fish caught today were released).

Tom continued to fish the pockets, picked up a few fish, then
BOOM! BIG FISH ON! And boy what a fish! Tom had to gamble and "horse" the fish away from the downed limbs but once he got it out to deep water he could take his time, be patient and let the rod bend do all the work The big fish dug deep a good handful of times but Tom was up to the task and eventually landed a....2018....Anglers Mark.....Bragging
Rights.....Leaderboard....Oversized 33.25" Redfish!  Scroll down the right side of this report for standings. This was a huge fish to catch on light tackle spinning gear. It was photographed and

We continued to fish the bank, catching a couple of more Reds, a few Seatrout, and one small Flounder before the west wind picked up and drove us away.  We fished a tad bit in Egans Creek, then ran up to Lanceford Creek and fished some docks, but had no luck at either place. We were protected from the wind in Lancford, but the fish weren't biting, so we ventured back out into the wind, running to Bell River to fish some flooded oyster beds. And things heated up!

The wind was howling but it was come from behind us so all Tom had to do wasto  toss his float rig accurately towards the grass and let the wind take it. He had some good drifts along the grass and it paid off with four more Redfish, a Seatrout and another Flounder, all in quick succession.  It was really blowing but we left the fish biting and counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

4th Spot is the Charm

We had a cool morning today but it was fairly clear and we expected the sun to warm things  up. I was fishing with Bryce Mitchell and his friends Brady and Daniel and Jessica, meeting up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park and heading over to Tiger Island to take advantage of the first of an incoming tide. The anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp and it may have been Jessica's first cast when she hooked up and landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout. That was too easy! But it got tougher after that - we worked up and down the
bank and found, not a single Redfish! Very unusual. But Daniel outsmarted a couple of Black "puppy" Drum and Jessica added another keeper sized Trout.

We ran to Soap Creek and fished some piling with jigs but had no takers. We ran to Lanceford Creek and fished some flooding marsh grass, but had not takers. Our 4th stop was back at Bell River and here things got wild and crazy!  I think Bryce may have put a couple of small Redfish in the boat when Jessica, after letting here
float and shrimp drift into a small pocket, had a big boil on her bait and, BIG FISH ON! This fish was pulling deep and hard but Jessica kept the pressure on. She worked it in slowly and soon Daniel scooped it up, a 26.75" Tournament sized Redfish, boy what a fish!

We continued to work that shoreline and it was a feast. The group landed small but feisty sized Redfish, Bryce added a keeper sized Trout, Brady added a keeper sized Flounder (to make it a Amelia Island Grand Slam of Trout, Redfish, Black Drum and Flounder)
then both Jessica and Brady had strong hookups. They were side by side and both expertly reeled in some identical Slot sized 20" Redfish!  Then Bryce added another Slot fish. This was some hot fishing!  But things finally slowed, and after hitting two more quick spots we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

I'm Getting Tired of This Wind!

Today was absolutely beautiful out on the water, but the high winds made it very difficult to fish  and catch fish successfully. When we have high winds predicted I make a plan to find areas that will be protected  and that tends to work, somewhat, but if the fish aren't there you're stuck with, "now what?

I met Eddie Okeefe and his work associates, Scott and Kerry,  down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp under clear skies and ripping 18mph winds. We busted through the north wind heading up the Nassau
River and made a our first stop on the outside of Seymore's Pointe and started tossing float rigs with live shrimp on the last of an incoming tide. It didn't take long before Eddie had a hookup and patiently worked in a nice feisty Redfish. Piece of cake, right?  We continued to fish and not a few minutes later Eddie had another hookup and landed an even bigger Redfish, this one in the Slot. So thirty minutes, two Redfish, not bad, right?  We worked up and down the bank but had no more bites so we continued on down to Christopher Creek.

Here we switched to jigs and shimp, working the bank, the rocks and the docks. All three anglers were making excellent casts, working their baits slowly, but had no takers as we slowly trolled around the bank. We then fished our way out of Christopher, still getting no bites, then headed back towards Goffinsville to make a stop at the old sunken barge. Finally, Kerry had a bite and neatly landed a keeper sized Seatrout (all of the fish were released today). When we had no more bites, we moved around the Point and into the wind, fished some submerged oyster beds briefly, then headed over to Amelia City to wrap up the day  out of the wind, but with no real bites.

Although the wind made for a not-so-good fish catching day, it was still a great day to be out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida

Extreme Low Tide Causes Issues

I also fished yesterday afternoon, meeting Dick Miree and Katherine at the north ramp on the last of the outgoing tide. We made the long run up the Bell River and fished some docks with jigs and live shrimp. The current was still ripping, blown even faster by the wind and even though we had a bite or two, we had no takers. We continued on, around into the Jolley and made stops at three different banks of oyster beds on the very last of the outgoing tide.  I don’t know if I have ever seen the tide so low. We had no real bites.
When the tide hit bottom we went around to the mouth of Tiger and tried to enter but the water was too shallow and we couldn’t get in to fish that first of the incoming tide. So we changed our plans and went over to Eagans Creek and fished some structure, which paid off. Katherine landed the first fish of the day, a feisty Redfish. We put a couple of those in the boat, a small Trout or two, and did battle with a huge Seatrout that was wiley enough to throw the hook right at the boat! Boy what a fish!

The tide had come in a bit so we ran back to Tiger, slowed for a passing submarine, then made our way to the backside to fish the logs. Both Katherine and Dick put some “almost big enough” Redfish in the boat and both landed a couple of Black “puppy” Drum. The last two stops and submarine viewing saved the day and made for a great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Water Warming Jack Crevalle Are Here!

We’ve had high winds forcast the last couple of days and we faced more of the same today when I met Keith and Annette Sawyer up at the Dee Dee Bartels park boat ramp this morning. But we had a plan and we stuck to it….for a while! Our first stop was over at the outside of Tiger Island and the land mass blocked the NW wind. Both Annette and Keith were making excellent casts to the flooded marsh grass on a high and incoming tide…but we had no takers.
We ran through Tiger and around to Bell River and set up a long a grassy point and in short order Annette “knocked the skunk off” when she landed a nice fat Seatrout. Keith followed that up with an even bigger Trout, this one of keeper size.  We ran up Lanceford Creek, fished a small grass island and here Annette got hot! She landed five more Trout, one here, one there, one here.  We were about half way through our trip and were running out of options to stay out of the wind so we decided to make a long run south to where I had gotten some big Trout yesterday.

It didn’t take but about 15 minutes and we were fishing. Keith was getting good casts and good drifts and when his float shot under with a vengeance, Keith set the hook and, FISH ON! This was a big fish! Keith played it patiently and let the big fish run, even as it made a dash under the boat. We were both thinking “big Red” at first, but then I saw a yellow-white flash….and Keith soon subdued a big hard fighting Jack Crevalle – the first of the year. But we had no Trout so we moved on.

Bouncing around the corner, we set up with floats along the bank and Keith continued his hot streak. He landed one keeper sized Slot Redfish and a whole handful of others that were just a hair undersized. It made for a great way to  finish another day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Bigger Trout Coming Shallower

I was down at the south end this morning, meeting Mills Gallivan early and running up the Nassau and into Christopher Creek to take advantage of the last of an incoming tide...and some wind blockage!  Mills started off tossing a fly, blind casting to some marsh grass, and even though he was making excellent casts, we had no real bites. We trolled the bank and switched to spin and live shrimp on a jig and this did the trick. Mills picked up a handful of hard fighting Redfish. After a couple of passes we came out of the
creek and ran back to the Seymore's Pointe area.

The tide was coming out of the marsh and we set up at a grassy pointe that was a perfect ambush spot and sure enough, the Seatrout were there. As long as Mills got a good drift we both expected a bite as his float came across some flooded oyster beds and, BOOM! Float down, fish on! Mills landed a good handful of Trout, many over 15, and a few over 17 (all fish were released today).  We thought we might try some other areas and maybe get some bigger Redfish so we moved on and fished some dock pilings with the jigs, but to  no avail. We left the protection of the land mass, got out into the wind and tried the floats again, but quickly realized that it was a bad move.

After fishing some more docks with the jig, and picking up one more Red, we called it a day, another great on to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.