Friday, May 7, 2021

Mangrove Snapper Fill The Bag


I fished with the Fitzgerald's again today, Gregg and Dannie, Guy and Ginnie, meeting them this morning down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. We ran up the Nassau and made a quick stop at Spanish Drop to toss float rigs and live shrimp to the marsh grass just as the tide started out. 

The anglers were getting excellent casts and drifts, although the west wind seemed to be blowing right down the pipe and both Dannie and Ginnie had hookups with high flying Ladyfish that they handily brought to the boat.

We fished a large outflow up at Seymore's and picked up a couple of Mangrove Snapper which got met to thinking...if they're here, maybe they're at the "Mangrove Hole". So that was where our next stop was and sure enough, we began to get some bites on shrimp under the float rigs.  They're sneaky as they can be but we managed to put a few in the boat over the 10" mark. 

Our next stop was down the way, along some rocks at Nassauville but here we were able to go to jig rods. Gregg got the hot hand and started pulling Mangrove's in one after the other. Then all four anglers got in on the action and caught fish until we had a good mess of Mangroves in the box.

We fished some docks later with jigs as the tide got lower then made the run thru Horsehead and around to the mouth of Jackstaff. Unfortunately the wind was really howling now, and right down the river, but we hung with it, trying to fish out the day. Guy was taking up the stern, fishing to the bank with jig and shrimp and BAM! Big Fish On!  His drag was ripping and he was fighting the fish over his shoulder but he kept the pressure on and subdued the fish and brought to the net a nice 21" 8-Spot Slot Redfish to wrap up another great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Good Start Better Finish


Under the threat of rainstorms for the day, I met Michael Williams and his fishing buddies Anthony and Chris down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. But the forecast had improved overnight and these anglers were game to be fishing so we headed up Middle River and around to Pumpkin Hill to set up alongside some flooded marsh grass and begin fishing with float rigs and live shrimp on the first of an outgoing tide. Chris struck first with a strong bite, and a fish that was ripping drag  - Chris went from the stern of the boat up the side, around the bow and back down to the stern but eventually subdued a nice Jack Crevalle to "knock the skunk off". 

Later, as we eased along another marsh line things heated up. Anthony was fishing long out of the stern and when his float disappeared he gently set the hook and, Fish On!  Anthony played it perfectly, took his time, and soon landed a nice Slot Sized Redfish. We had a couple of more hookups - a big Ladyfish and then something big that was smart enough to wrap itself around the trolling motor.

After fishing a bit under the Bald Eagles down at Broward Island, we came back to Nassauville and fished some docks and here we picked up a couple of Mangrove Snapper, then another big Ladyfish (down deep on the bottom, a bit unusual.  We then move around the corner and things heated up! Anthony had a strong bite and a hookup and at the same time Chris had one two - we had a "double". Both of the anglers worked their fish to the boat patiently and boated a Slot Redfish each. 

Michael had a good bite, worked it to the boat and landed another big Ladyfish, then Chris and Anthony went back and forth catching small but fun-to-catch Mangrove Snapper. Then, BOOM! Big fish on! Chris was on the rod and it was all he could do to keep the fish from running up into the pilings. But he worked it out, kept the pressure on and landed a "Tournament Sized" 26.5" Slot Red, boy what a fish!

We fished a few more docks then wrapped it up, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.   

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Short Stories


I'm slammed with trips right now so I've got to get to bed!  I fished with Greg and Dannie Fitzgerald who also had along Greg's dad Guy and long time friend Ginny. I meet them up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park and we made our first stop around at Tyger Island, fishing a tide that had been coming in for about 2 hours. Pitching jigs and live shrimp, Dannie found a good  bite, hooked it up, and landed a nice Slot Sized Redfish. 

We fished some docks over at Lanceford Creek where Greg dug a nice keeper sized Sheepshead out of the oyster then Dannie picked up a keeper sized Whiting. After fishing a few docks there we moved on. The tide had gotten up so we began drifting float rigs with live shrimp up near the marsh grass. We fished Soap Creek, back down Lanceford and over in the Bell but had no real takers -just nibbles here and there. As a rain storm rolled in, we called it a day and headed back to the boat ramp. It was still a great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Working the Banks

There was an outgoing tide out at Goffinsville Park when I met Paul Genn and his neighbor Jim  early this morning but when we arrived down at Spanish Drop about half the bank was exposed with shell so we elected to work the bank with  jigs and live shrimp. The shell can be kinda of a pain but most times you can "bounch" the jig over the shell and have a chance at picking up a Redfish up close, then Seatrout out a little deeper, and that's what Jim did when he had a good bite, a hookup, and Fish On! He played it perfectly and brought to the net a nice feisty Redfish to "knock the skunk off". We worked that bank to it's end, moved up and fished a couple of more, then made a run.

Our next stop was down at Broward Island, fishing under the Bald Eagles, and working the logs with the jigs. Unfortunately the current was still ripping out up here and it was more trouble than the chances of getting a fish. After making a run back to Nassauville, we set up between two docks and almost immediately Jim had a hookup. After playing it to the boat he landed a keeper sized Mangrove Snapper. After catching that I tried my "Mangrove Hole" but we had no bites. Go figure. 

We moved around the corner and fished some docks on the first of an incoming tide, which seemed to be the trick. Our first hookup was big! The drag was ripping and I thought for sure it was going to get back thru the pilings. Jim was on the rod and fought it patiently and slowly brought it to the boat. The "net guy" (me) knocked him in the head the first swipe but was able to get him the next try and we landed a big 25.5" Slot Redfish. After that we were catching fish. Both Paul and Jim hauled in some feisty Black Drum then Jim had a good hookup and put another Redfish in the boat. Before we left we "layed up" beside the pilings, jigged down, and caught a small Flounder to wrap up another great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Forecasted Winds Weren't As Bad As I Expected


The forecast for winds were only 7-9mph from 7am-9am but were expected to pick up to over 15 as the day progressed. The wind did pick up a bit, but were were still able to fish although the slight dip in temperature may have turned the bite down just a bit as it turned out. But it was an absolutely beautiful day when I met Patrick Verner, and his sons Brian and Patrick down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp yesterday morning.

We made a short run and were fishing as the sun came over Amelia Island, tossing jigs and live shrimp to exposed oysters on the last of an outgoing tide. Young Patrick was on the bow and after fishing for about 15 minutes we could see Redfish moving along the bank and feeding. After a good cast to the shoreline, BAM! Patrick had a hookup and, Fish On!  As you can see in the video, Patrick played it patiently, worked it to the boat, and landed a Slot sized 20" Redfish.

Our next stop was up at some docks at Nassauville, fishing the first of an incoming tide.  Friday we had "tore up" the Black "puppy" Drum on the same tide, but on this trip, not a bite. But the two Patrick's did pull out a couple of Mangrove Snapper (their back!) and a couple of small Sea Bass while Brian added to the mix an ugly Toad Fish. 

Down at Broward we fished the first of the incoming there and here young Patrick added a keeper sized Seatrout to the catch. Later, Bryan hooked up and landed a hard-to-catch Sheepshead.  The wind had picked up just a bit so we went back at Nassauville and fished  at a couple of spots with float rigs where young Patrick landed a small Flounder, then we wrapped up the day and counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Friday, April 30, 2021

Drum Roll

 I was out at Goffinsville Park this morning where I met Mark Dennis and his brother David early for abeautiful day of fishing the back waters of Amelia Island. We were not far from some docks so we eased over to them and set up current with plans to fish jigs and live shrimp to the pilings as the tide swept our bait up under the docks. It was only minutes when Mark hooked up, battled the fish, and landed a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum.  From then on we were catching fish.

I tried my hand at "guessing the species" as the duo caught fish - David had a strong hookup - it didn't really run, but stayed on the bottom so I called "flounder". Nope, it was a big Jack Crevalle. Then David had another bite, Big Fish On! This one ripped some drag and tried to get back under the dock so I called "Redfish". Nope, Big Black Drum.  Then Mark got in on the action again with another hookup.  I called "Black Drum" but after successfully playing the fish to the net he landed the first Slot Redfish of the day. I had struck out!  We ended up catching 5 nice Black Drum, the Slot Red, the Jack, and a

handful of smaller Drum.

Our next stop was down at Broward Island. Here, David put a hungry Trout in the boat but it was nothing like yesterday. We moved down a bit, fished some logs, and after Mark had made an excellent cast to the downside of the current, BAM! He had a hookup. Mark worked it patiently to the boat and landed his 2nd Slot Redfish. We moved back to our original spot, fished the bottom with jigs, and David added a keeper Trout to the catch. Somewhere along there Mark added a Trout to round out his Amelia Island Back Country Slam.

We fished back at Nassauville at a couple of places, switching to float rigs at the last spot where we had a couple of bites but no takers, then wrapped the day up down at Spanish Drop. The sun was up and the temperature had warmed but we had a live well full of fish so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Bumping the Bragging Rights


We had another beautiful morning when I met Jeff Parr and his girl friend Elizabeth down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp today. We made the long run up and around to Broward Island to take advantage of the first of an incoming tide down there, and it paid off.  In short order, Jeff was picking up small but hungry Seatrout on the bottom with a jig and live shrimp. He had put a few in the boat when Elizabeth had a stronger hookup, and after a brief battle, landed a keeper sized Seatrout. 

We had two. TWO big fish on but both found the submerged tree, wrapped, and BAP! fish off! We continued to fish, picked up a few more Trout, then moved on down to fish under the Bald Eagle. Down there we only found some logs, but we fished it thoroughly. Before we headed out we made a stop at our where we had started, and still licking our wounds from the two breakoffs, fished deep. When Jeff hooked up and his drag began to rip we were thinking it was another one of those big fish, but this one was a bit more manageable so I was thinking,

"smaller Redfish" But as Jeff brought it to the surface we saw that it was a Big Seatrout and after netting and pictures we measured it to be right at 21", big enough to move Jeff in to 2nd place in the Anglers Mark 2021 Bragging Rights Tournament-Seatrout Category(scroll down the right side of this report for standings).

Our next stop was back at some docks at Seymore's.  We fished there, then Twin Creeks with floats, then after short break we eased in to Christopher Creek and went back to jigs, but to no avail. Next was Pumpkin Hill fishing floats, then back to Seymore's to fish the beginning of an outgoing tide. With no bites, we fished between two docks with jigs again and here Jeff put a nice 16" Flounder in the boat. 

Down at Spanish Drop Elizabeth got hot and landed a feisty Catfish then a hard fighting Jack Crevalle. We had started hot early in the morning, had a lull, then wrapped up catching some nice fish so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Needle Moved

Unfortunately the last few days we've had some higher flood tides with the full moon and those have been occurring in the morning during our trips and that had made for some tough fishing. Monday we picked up a handful of Trout, yesterday we just had a couple, but today the needle moved to the better, just a wee bit.

I had met Barry and Matt Shelor down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and we headed north and west, up the Nassau. The tide had been coming in for an hour or so and our first stop was at some docks to fish the pilings before it got too high. Both anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp and were getting a nibble here and there but no takers. I eased the boat up to the dock and let it lay up against the pilings while they jigged down along side them. This paid off when Matt had a hard hit. His rod was between the pilings but he kept the pressure on and boated a nice keeper sized Sheepshead.(All fish caught today were released). Barry added a small Seabass before we moved on. 

We then ran back down to Spanish Drop and fished the jigs along a covered shell bed. Barry was fishing the stern and his bait was out deep when, BAM! Big Fish On! Barry played it patiently and after a good battle he landed a big Jack Crevalle.  After moving down to Twin Creeks and drifting the bank with floats and Shrimp, Barry picked up a keeper sized Seatrout.

Our next stop was down at Pumpkin Hill, fishing the marsh grass with floats. We didn't have much luck until we rounded a corner and Matt had made a perfect cast to a fishy spot and BAM! Float Gone. Matt worked it to the boat and landed another nice Trout. Barry went to the same spot and caught another Trout just a minute later.

We fished Broward Island under the watchful eye of an Bald Eagle then came back and fished some docks at Nassauville to no avail. Back around at Seymore's, fishing floats as the tide started back out, Matt had a strong hookup and as his drag began to sing, the big fish headed west, and kept going! It was shallow water with a bunch of oyster "humps" and sure enough, BAP! Fish Off. That was some late day excitement!  After a run thru Horsehead and fishing one more spot, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Expecting a Good Day


Boy (or Girl?), what a beautiful day we had this morning when the sun peeked up over the horizon like a newborn greeting the world when it first open's it's eye's!  I had met David and Meghan King down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and we had slightly cool temperatures, sunny skies, only a slight breeze and great expectations of a good day out on the water here at Amelia Island. We headed west thru Middle River and over to Pumpkin Hill and set up along some flooding marsh grass to fish live shrimp under a float.  We had made a few passes when David's float disappeared and he had a hookup. David played it perfectly and landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout to "knock the skunk off".  We worked that bank and had some more bites but no takers so we moved around the corner, fished it a bit, picked up another Trout, then moved on.

Our next stop was around at Seymore's Pointe, fishing a corner of marsh. The two anglers were making excellent casts but we 

had no takers. After fishing between two docks, we moved on, and made the run down to Twin Creeks. The wind had picked up a bit and we weren't getting a good lay so we moved on down to Spanish Drop and worked the bank, this time switching to jigs and shrimp. Just as we were about to leave Meghan had a hookup. She worked it patiently to the boat and landed a fat Seatrout. 

Next, we fished along Nassauville, tossing jigs deep and here Meghan caught another Seatrout and the "ugliest" fish of the day - a Toadfish! We moved back to some docks at Seymore's and wrapped things up with a nice keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum that David put in the box.

We started the day with great expectations - we didn't "load the boat' but it was a beautiful day, we caught some fish so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Wakeup Call

 We had a pretty morning today when I meet Steve Carbonneau and his buddy Sean down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. We made the run up the intercoastal and dipped in to Jackstaff to fish a large marsh run  out with float rigs just as the tide peaked at its highest. The duo of anglers had only been fishing for just a bit when we had a wakeup call!  Steve's float disappeared, his drag began to rip, and Big Fish On! This fish just kept going! It headed for the stern the it went from port to starboard, but Steve followed it right around, ducking under Sean's rod, then kept the pressure on until he brought it to the boat, a nice sized Jack Crevalle.

We crossed the creek, worked the bank, and picked up a couple of hungry Seatrout, then we ran thru Horsehead and fished an ambush pointe. Sean got on

the board and landed another Seatrout. After fishing Spanish Drop for a while, then Nassauvile rocks where we picked up a keeper sized Trout, we came back to some docks at Seymore's and here Sean hooked up and landed keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum. 

Our next stop was down at Broward Island, still fishing and outgoing tide. The rising wind was blocked just a tad but it was blocked here but unfortunately the fish didn't get the message and refused to bite. After fishing back at Nassauville  rocks one more time where we got a small Weakfish, then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.