Monday, May 20, 2019

19, 20, 22, 25.5 and 26.75 (inches) They just kept getting bigger!

I fished on a beautiful morning today with Bob Blalock, meeting him out at the Goffinsville Park
boat ramp. We made a bee-line for some flooding oysters where Bob had put a 36" Redfish in the boat about a month ago. Bob was tossing live shrimp under a float and we had some good action right off- landing some small but feisty Jack Crevalle, a keeper sized Seatrout, a big Bonnethead Shark, one Slot 19" Redfish, and a keeper sized Flounder (all fish caught today were released).

As the tide got up we then came back to Pumpkin Hill and fished a small grass patch. Boom! Bob picked up a 20" Redfish. Boom! Bob picked up a 22" Redfish. Then he boated a nice 18" Seatrout.

We came back around a point and drifted in
close so that we could work the flooding marsh grass and, FISH ON! This was a big fish, ripping drag and digging deep. Then it made a run for the grass, got tangled up, but came out to the deeper water. Bob worked it patiently to the  boat and soon landed a big 25.5" Redfish, boy what a fish. Not minutes later, after he went back to the same general area, BOOM! Big Fish On! This one really messed up - it came out deep fairly quickly  and it was only a matter of time before Bob had subdued the beast and we netted a nice 26.75" Redfish. Now that's the way to have a great time of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Ladies Get Things Going

I fished with Joanne Esch, her husband Frank and their friends Kim and Jim this morning, meeting them down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. We ran  up the Nassau River and eased in between some docks and began to pitch float rigs with live shrimp to a marsh line on a  high and outgoing tide. We had zero bites at the first spot, but when we eased around a dock to fish the other side it was only minutes before Joanne hooked up and landed  feisty Redfish. Then she caught a small Jack Crevalle (the first of the year for the Anglers Mark)(and by the way, I saw Rosette Spoonbills for the first time yesterday)
and then she added a Seatrout.

We ran back east on the Nassau and set up fishing some flooded oysters. Kim and Jim were fishing the stern and it was Kim who hooked up - a nice keeper sized Seatrout. And shortly afterwards she caught another Trout.

I was beginning to think if the guys had come to fish! But sure enough, they got busy - Frank caught a Flounder, then Jim tangled with a high flying Ladyfish. And later he caught a small Sheepshead down at Broward Island. We had a beautiful day and it was great fun to get out on the water her at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Stern Of The Boat

Even though the weather forecast was calling for 70% chance of rain by mid morning today, we went fishing anyway - and I'm glad we did because we didn't have a drop of rain the entire trip! I met Gregg and Dannie Fitgerald and their dad Guy up at the north end boat ramp and after making a short run to the outside of Tiger we began fishing with jigs and live shrimp at a nice marsh run out on an outgoing tide. Only minutes later, Guy, fishing from the stern,  hooked up and put a good tasting Whiting in the boat.

We eased around the corner and fished Jolley "bank" and shortly Dannie's float slowly went
under. She lifted the rod and hooked up and soon reeled in a  small Flounder.  Then Guy hooked up with a nice fish that was pulling some drag and, Fish OFF! Ouch. But he was not to be deterred. Just a minute later he had another hookup and caught a nice keeper sized Trout. Then,  as we eased along the bank, I heard a drag being ripped and when I looked back I could tell that Guy had a big fish on. He played it perfectly  and even though the fish got back in the current he eventually landed a nice 24" Redfish, boy what a nice fish!  Dannie added a high flying Ladyfish to the catch then we moved on up the Jolley, fished Snook Creek and did battle with a Bonnethead Shark, then made a stop at the MOA.

It was Gregg's first cast to the oysters and he said as his jig came down the bottom, BOOM! A fish  hit it . Gregg worked it to the boat and landed a nice 18" Seatrout. Gregg landed one more hungry Trout there before we moved on.  Our next stop was around at some docks at Bell's River but we had no luck there. After making the run back towards Fernandina, we made a stop at a huge pointe of oysters and here Gregg wrapped things up with one more keeper sized Trout.  Although the fishing wasn't "on fire", this trio of anglers ended up with a nice catch of fish so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

That's What Friends Are For

Boy what a pretty morning we had today when I met Wade Kirkland and his buddy Greg up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp. We left the ramp early and made the short trip over to Tiger Island with a plan to fish the downed logs on a tide that had been coming in only about an hour. I was impressed at how good both anglers were casting ( we didn't lose a single jig fishing the logs - probably a record!) But the bites were few and far between until Greg finally hooked up and landed a feisty Redfish.

Our next stop was up the Jolley River, fishing some still exposed oysters with float rigs and live shrimp. Wade was on the bow and Greg was at the stern and shortly after we started our drift Greg had a hookup and it was big enough to pull some drag. Sure enough, after an efficient battle, Greg landed a nice 21" Slot Redfish.

Shortly after that I noticed that Wade was "pulling" his bait. We'd see movement or nervous water and I'd point it out to Wade but when he cast he'd pull it up short and as we drifted by,  Greg would have a shot at it.  I guess that's what friends are for! And just minutes later, Greg had another strong hookup and, Fish On! I knew this was a big fish - it wasn't coming in and was ripping drag at will. But Greg kept the pressure on and after a long battle, landed an oversized 32" brute of a Redfish. This catch put Greg in a tie for 2nd place in the 2019 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category(scroll down the right side of this report for standings).

After that I think we landed only one more fish, a small Bluefish. We fished a few more banks, the outside of Tiger, and some docks down at Piney Island, but had no luck. But it was a beautiful day so we counted it as another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Trout Catching

I wrapped up my week today fishing with Kevin Malinowski and his aunt Joanne, meeting them up at the north end boat ramp on a clear morning with just a slight breeze- a perfect day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida! We made the run up to the outside of Tiger island to make our first stop at a large runout. Both anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp and bumping them back over a sandy bottom, but we had no bites.

We eased on around to the mouth of the Jolley River and worked the "bank", now tossing float rigs with the live shrimp. Kevin was on the bow casting ahead while Joanne worked the stern. We
had a few bites here and there but no takers until we got to a large runout where Kevin hooked up with a keeper sized Seatrout.  We fished further up the Jolley and found another Trout or two. Then we got into some high flying Ladyfish and boy did they put on a show trying to throw the hook!

The MOA produced one Trout, not quite legal, so we buzzed around to the Bell River and fished some docks, to no avail. We had a little time left so we made the long run back to Tiger Island and worked the downed logs with jigs. Kevin found another big keeper sized Trout and Joanne reeled in a feisty Redfish.

It was a beautiful day and a great day to be fishing here eat Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Kind Of Roll You Like To See!

Today was the calm before tomorrow's storm! I met Bob Blalock at out Goffinsville early this morning. We had clear skies and a falling tide that wouldn't start back in until about 10:30am, so I thought it best to hit Broward Island first thing.  Nope.  Bob fished it thoroughly, working his jig and live shrimp up near the downed logs, but we didn't have much action, other than a small Trout and a small Redfish.

But how cool is it to see the baby Bald Eagle chick has left the nest! Its head is still brown and it didn't fly much but it did venture out to one of the dead pine trees to watch his/her parents fish.
To top that, we saw one of the parent eagles dive on a fish out in Nassau River. The fish must have been too big to lift so the eagle "swam" its catch back to the bank. Really neat!

We ran back down the Nassau and set up along some shell banks as the tide started back in (we were closer to the ocean). Bait was running along the shore and when Bob saw a predator fish bust on some bait, he put his jig on the spot. He said he felt it catch on an oyster then BOOM! Big Fish On! It charged down the bank and I thought maybe it was a Jack Crevalle but when it rolled up along the bank we knew it was a big Red. Bob played it perfectly and eventually landed a nice 23" Slot Redfish. We released it and all other Red's caught today.

Continuing on down the bank we picked up another Red or two then Bob made a cast into the mouth of a large runout. It probably wasn't a foot deep and when the big Redfish hit there was an explosion as it came out  and then Bob's drag began to sing. Bigger Fish On!  This was a big fish and it took all of Bob's patience to work it closer and closer to the boat. It rolled up on the bank a time or two, came out deep, made some runs then Bob wore it out and landed a HUGE 36.25" Redfish - the biggest on the Anglers Mark this year which moved Bob into first place of the 2019 Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings).  We had to take a breather after that one!

But we did manage to catch another Red or two, one of which was slot size, then Bob landed a keeper sized 17" Flounder which ended up going home for the frying pan! And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Fat Trout and Monster Red

The weather guys were wrong again! I heard on the radio they predicted today would be a "10",  but it was  more like and 11 or 12! Just beautiful! I met Bob Blalock up at the north end ramp and we scooted over to Tiger Island to catch the incoming tide and boy was it perfect. Bob was tossing jigs and live shrimp and making pin point casts as we eased along the bank. When I saw Bob tighten up and set the hook on a good fish I thought, "oh boy, here we go". Bob worked it in and landed a nice feisty Redfish. But try as we might, we could only get nibbles here and there after that.

We made the run out and around to the Jolley River and ran up stream for a bit and set up along some still exposed oysters. Bob switched to a float rig and we worked along the bank, he began
to pick up Seatrout. They were fat and put up a good fight and when we hooked up with a keeper sized one, it put up quite the battle. After landing a 17" Trout, Bob found another one even bigger, this one measuring in at 19.5".  We fished that bank thoroughly and caught a handful of more Trout.

Our next stop was back towards Jolley entrance. Bob had just hauled in a crab claw - the guy sure was aggressive - and in a cast or two we both saw his float ease under. Bob caught up his slack and set the hook, and BIG FISH ON!  At first we thought the drag might just be loose. Bob had worked it out from the bank a bit but then it made a run back to the marsh line and rolled up along the bank. But we got it out deep with Bob keeping the pressure on and after a patient battle, landed a Slot sized 26.789" Redfish, boy what a fish. Afterwards, we commented that we didn't get another fish at that spot!

On the way back in we made a stop on the outside of Tiger and fished a large run out and picked up a couple of more Trout then we called it a day another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Tide Change

I fished with Todd Voelker and his fishing buddy Phil, meeting them down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp this morning.  The tide had been going out for a few hours and as we eased in to Jackstaff the oysters were already showing along the banks. Todd began tossing a float rig with live shrimp up current and to the bank while Phil flung a fly rod off the stern, first with topwater gurgler pattern, then with an intermediate sinking line and Clouser.  Todd did get a bite or two on the live shrimp but Phil had no hits on the fly.

We buzzed thru Horsehead and fished some docks briefly with both anglers fishing jigs and live shrimp up near the pilings. Again, we had some nibbles but no takers.

Our next stop was down at Broward Island and it was the very last of the outgoing.  Pitching jigs, we began to get some fish. Phil landed a feisty Redfish to knock the skunk off, then Todd put a fat female Trout in the boat (all fish caught today were released). The duo added a couple of more keeper sized Trout, some smaller ones, and a couple of more Reds. The tide had hit rock bottom and the bite slowed but when Todd's line tightened up, he set the hook and, Fish ON!  I advised Todd that this fish could be bigger than what it appeared, and sure enough, I was right! The big fish dug deep and ripped drag, but Todd kept the pressure on. We eased the boat out deep and took our time. Todd patiently worked it to the surface and landed a big, oversized 28.25" Redfish - the third biggest I've had on the boat this year, placing Todd in the 2019 Bragging Rights Tournament (scroll down the right side of this report for standings).

We continued to fish the area and shortly after we had a "double hookup" of Redfish, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Walleye Jigs or Tide Change?

We had a great morning that greeted us when I met Ed Johnson and his buddies Rick and Ken down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. We had just slight overcast but temperatures were mild and it made for a comfortable run up the Nassau River with plans to fish some dock pilings at the very last of an outgoing tide. We had "freshly dead" shrimp to bait our jigs with and while Ed and Rick fished the first dock, Ken unlimbered a fly rod and blind cast to some exposed oysters with some beautiful shrimpy flies that he had tide. Although Rick had one strong bite and both he and Ed had nibbles here and there, we didn't get a single fish at the docks at Seymore's Pointe.

It looked like the tide was about to change so we buzzed down to Broward Island and finally, Ed "knocked the skunk off" when he boated a hungry Seatrout. He then picked up an "almost legal" 8 spot Redfish. The tide changed and started back in and about that time I had broken out some beautifully painted jigs that a Minnesota Walleye guy had made and delivered with some of my Minnesota guests, and the fish began to bite. Both Ed and Rick began to catch a Trout and a Red here and there, then Rick put  keeper sized one in the boat. The duo landed a trio of Flounder, two which were of keeper size, then Ed had a good bite, a hookup, and, FISH ON!

None of us thought that it was going to be much of a fish but as it moved from bank to boat and from bow to stern it got stronger and stronger. BIG FISH ON!  There wasn't a whole lot Ed could do with it other than adjust his drag on the light 1000 Shimano Stradic reel and he played it perfectly. This fish was not coming to the surface but Ed was patient, let it run - we chased it a couple of times -worked it to the boat, and eventually landed a big 30.25" oversized Redfish - boy what a fish!  After a photograph it was released to swim away. This fish puts Ed in second place in the Anglers Mark 2019 Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category. Scroll down the right side of this report for standings.

Rick added another Slot Redfish to the box. Ken was making excellent casts with the fly rod but there just weren't any takers for the artificial flies - we tried Ken's shrimp fly's and some Clousers, but to no avail.  The tide got up so we called it  a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Fat Trout

I've fished the last few days and boy were they some pretty ones! I had Allen Harris along with two strapping young guys, fishing out of Sawpit Creek on a high and incoming tide. We fished float rigs with live shrimp up close to the flooding grass and did pretty good catching Trout, a nice Slot Redfish, and a keeper sized 17"  Black "puppy" Drum caught over some oysters.

That afternoon I fished with William and Dara Blalock on the
falling tide. The bite was somewhat slow for a bit, although we did catch a Trout or two. After making our way down to Broward Island ( and fish with the Eagles) the outgoing tide slowed to a stop and as it started back in, we began to pick up fish - Seatrout - some of them of keeper size (all released) and a good handful of small but "feisty" Redfish.

Yesterday I fished with Steve Buckley, his son-in-law David, and grandson David, meeting them up
at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp.  Again, we had that high and incoming tide, and some breeze to go along with it!  We had a good bite here and there, finally found a couple of Seatrout, but it was somewhat slow fishing. I noticed the rivers and creeks were real muddy.  We did find some shelter for a bit and here Steve landed a big Fat female Seatrout (all fish were released today, also).

I keep waiting for the wind to settle down, the water to clear up, and warm up, and then I think we'll see an uptick in some great fishing here at Amelia Island!