Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fun Family Fishing

The Don and Kelly Tesiero family, with youngsters Trey and Marie, hosted their nephew, Donnie, who was visiting them for the New Year's Holiday. Donnie was down from Boston and couldn't have picked a better few days with gorgeous "Chamber of Commerce" type weather. I picked the group up at Atlantic Seafood and we cruised up to the Jolley River to "get away from it all". The tide had been going out for about two hours and the oyster beds were beginning to show. We got all the rods unlimbered and fished some of my favorite spots with live shrimp under corks and on jigs - but had no real solid bites. We'd been saving the "Trey Island" spot in our back pocket so we cranked up and off we went. It wasn't long after anchoring before Don had a nice redfish in the boat then Donnie hooked up with his - a nice redfish with 14 spots - what could have been a big money winner in the annual Redfish Spot tournament. The group caught fish all along the shoreline with Trey joining in with a redfish and Kelly battling in the biggest fish of the day, a "conservative" 26 inch Red. Don worked with 4 year old Marie and after numerous "almosts", they hooked up with a fat Black Drum and Marie helped her dad reel it in. Total for the day: 5-6 Redfish, (1) Trout, (1) Drum, (1) Sheepshead...and a whole bunch of "baitstealers".

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Recipe of the month: Redfish with Olive Sauce

(2) Redfish fillets (2) Tbsp butter

(4) Green Onions, chopped

(2) Tbsp capers (1) Cup green olives, chopped

(4) Tbsp balsamic vinegar

(1 1/4) Cup fish stock

(1 1/4) Cup heavy cream

Juice of (1) lemon

Salt and Pepper

Melt butter in skillet, add green onions and cook over low heat for 4 minutes. Add the capers and olives and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and fish stock, bring to a boil and reduce by half. Add the cream, stirring, and reduce by half again. Season to taste with salt, pepper and stir in the lemon juice. Lower heat and keep warm.

Cook 2 cups rice (or pasta). Lightly broil or bake the Redfish. I seasoned mine with some sea salt and coarse pepper. Cook through, but don't over cook. Place a cup of cooked rice on your plate, lay a fillet of Redfish over it, then ladle the dish with the olive sauce. Garnish with slivers of carrots and bell pepper.

This recipe was adapted from one in Practical Cookery Fish & Seafood cookbook. IF you have a favorite seafood recipe, send it to me and I'll feature it in one of my upcoming "blogs".

Day after Christmas fishing trip

Even though I was fat with turkey, green beans and sweet potato pie, the thought of a free day of fishing the day after Christmas had me chomp'in at the bit. I purchased some live shrimp from Rose at the Bait House and had The Anglers Mark launched at the north end boat ramp by 7:30am. A dense fog hung over the river and visibility was only about 30 feet. I chugged north up to Jolley River thinking that surely the fog would lift, but it hung in there all day. The tide was high at 8:30am so I tied on a white w/red head Zara Spook topwater and fished over the flooded oyster beds in hopes of some trout strikes -to no avail! I switched to a jig with live shrimp and eased up into a small creek and eventually hooked up - but lost- a fish. I rebaited my jig and tossed it to the same spot and picked up a nice, but undersized trout. Can you imagine fishing some of your better spots, then some new ones, and not getting any real bites? That's how the morning went. I finally cranked up with only about an hour left before the tide was completely out and ran back towards Amelia Island. With the tide being almost low and the fog still heavy, I inched the boat, staying just south of the markers leading in to Tiger Island. There was one boat with some anglers anchored on the north side of Tiger so I eased in on the south side and anchored up near shore. Tossing my jig and shrimp parallel with the shore, it wasn't long before I started getting bites and began to pick up trout - all undersized. Every once in a while I would feel a strong tug as I bumped the jig over some bottom structure and eventually -BOOM- I had a nice black drum on the line and in the boat. I lost a couple of fish up in the submerged tree limbs, then caught a keeper sized sheepshead. Then a small flounder. More trout. A small red. BOOM a big 26" red - with a broke off rig still hanging out of it's mouth. More smaller reds - one with one of my leaders and hook still in it's mouth! I fished until all my shrimp were gone and then headed home. I ended the day with (6) trout, (6) Redfish, (1) black drum, (1) sheepshead, (1) Flounder, (1) Croaker, (2) rays. What a great day of fishing!

Custom Christmas gifts!

I got a call for some last minute Christmas gifts - these 8oz flasks were for two brothers. Their initials are on the back. I've got a few more flasks that I've started working on and now that the holiday is about over, I'll be able to complete them.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Winter Discount offer!

I've discounted my fishing trips with $50 off through February. As an example, the posted price for a 1/2 day trip is normally $350 - but now through February a 1/2 day trip is $300. The ideal number of anglers is 1-3 for the boat.

My custom and personal boat trips, normally $125 for the first hour are now $100 for the first hour. Add $75 for each hour after that. This offer is also through February. I can take up to (6) passengers on the boat trips. Bundle up warm and I"ll bring along some hot Cider!

November wrap-up reports:

November turned out to be a great month of fishing! If you get to check out my reports below you'll see that the fish were biting for my guests. In addition to those, I've had a number of my my friends and neighbors report in with some great fish catches. My neighbor, David Nease, fished a few times this week, mostly on the south end of Amelia Island, and reported great catches of nice trout 18"-22"; he said most were caught in the intercoastal waterway. I know David is a great angler and I've noticed he likes to go deep for his keeper trout. Friends Charlie Jones and Leon Freeman reported a nice trout bite in the Jackstaff creek of Horsehead. They were using live shrimp under floats and trolling jigs. Another neighbor, Marty Johnson, fished the Christopher Creek area over the Thanksgiving weekend. He reported that he and his cousin quickly picked up some 14" trout at the new cut; they moved back into the creek and eventually got into a school of 17"-20" Redfish over near the bluffs. Although they had some live shrimp, they didn't need them as the red's were nailing Gulp's. My friend, Don Hughes took some guests down past Sawpit Creek and boated Trout and Red's - all on live shrimp. And finally, Bud Hill reported that he and his grandson got into a mess of Black Drum up to 4lbs. You gotta get out there! Get away from it all and.....let's go fishing!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Marshall's come to town

I fished with Ken Marshall, his sons Ethan and Charlie, and their grandfather, Jack today. The temperature was milder and the wind hadn't picked up (yet) so we headed up to Jolley River to get away from the crowd. We ran all the way up to what I call "snook creek" - I caught a small snook there last year - and anchored with the stern in fishable range of a still covered oyster bed. It wasn't long before Charlie had hooked up with a nice Seatrout, and then Jack had one on, too. Ken was helping out with the young anglers and Charlie soon had another bite and he handed it off to Ethan to reel in. They caught about (5) trout there and then we worked the boat around the oyster bed and Ken got in on the action and boated another trout. We move on up the river to the "MOA" (Mother of All) spot - but the wind had kicked up and made it real difficult to cast. The wind was out of the Southwest so we cranked the engine and ran around to Bell River and fished the docks. With the ladies waiting back at the dock, and the guys fishing right up to time to be back, Charlie hooked up with....the boat. NOT. We all thought that his jig had gotten hung up on the stern but he was emphatic that he had a fish on, and he did. Charlie horsed the fish to the surface and it turned out to be a nice, keeper sized flounder! With the final fish in, we pulled up the trolling motor and buzzed back to the marina.

Recipe of the Month: Oyster Casserole

With "oyster season" in full bloom here on Amelia Island and in need of a dish to take to Thanksgiving dinner, I thought something with oysters would be appropriate. Most of the time we just roast them and shuck 'em but this is a fairly easy way to cook them too:

(1) Pint of oysters 3/4 Cup Whipping Cream

(3) Cups Saltine Cracker crumbs 1/4 Cup oyster liquor

3/4 Cup melted butter 1/4 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 Teaspoon Salt Dash Pepper

1 Teaspoon Tobasco sauce

Drain the oysters, saving the liquor. Combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter, salt and pepper. Spread 1/3 of crumbs in a greased 8"x11" baking dish. Cover with 1/2 of the oysters, then spread another 1/3 of the crumbs over the oysters. Layer this with the last 1/2 of oysters. Mix the oyster liquor, whipping cream, Worcestershire sauce and tobasco and pour over oysters until they are covered. Top with the last of the cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pumpkin Hill and Jackstaff

I fished with Jim Hamilton, his son Drew, and their friend P.C. today, and a beautiful one it was to be out on the water. It was somewhat crisp when we left Jim's dock at 9am this morning and the boat ride made it even a cooler. But there wasn't much wind so as the day went on it got real nice. We ran over to Pumkin Hill Creek on a tip brom Knute Douglas at the bait shop and fished the marsh grass (the tide was high at 8:30 and just beginning to recede). We had no bites so we ventured up a small creek where Jim picked up a nice, but undersized trout. Drew had picked up the "jig and shrimp" combo fairly quickly and it wasn't long before something was ripping drag off his reel. He worked his way to the back of the boat...and the fish kept going...and going...and got off! Yep, that's fishing! We left the Pumpkin Hill area and ran to the wreck off of Seymor's Pointe - no bites - then ran through Jackstaff to it's mouth on the Intercoastal - no bites. We fished a couple stretches of oyster beds back up Jackstaff and then found a nice drop in one of the bends that yielded a nice bite from trout. The guys boated another 6-7 trout, and a Ray, which are always fun to catch. This was a beautiful day out on the water - what a great way to start the Thanksgiving weekend. Speaking of that - I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving with your families and friends!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tesiero family braves the wind.

Kelly Tesiero treated her husband, Don and their kids Trey and Marie to a day out on the water for Don's birthday. The sun was out, but the wind was blowing - even more than yesterday. We stopped at Rayonier to see if the trout bite was still on, but it wasn't to be. Don did pick up a nice Black Drum. We untied and cruised over to Lanceford to the "not-so-secret" secret spot (after a tip from local long-time fisherman Greg Nissen) but I think we got there a little late on the incoming tide. No fish. The wind was really blowing but it didn't faze the Tesiero's one bit. We ran up Bell River and cut through in behind Tiger Island which blocked the wind and made the fishing real pleasant. After dropping anchor Don was hooked up with a nice trout after only a few casts. It wasn't long before everyone got in on the action with Trey leading the way. They reeled in trout, Black Drum, trout and even a nice, but undersized, Red Drum. Kelly and Marie caught their share, too. Total for the day: About (8) trout, (6) Black Drum, (1) Red Drum - and a couple of bait stealers. Most were caught on a jig with live shrimp. What a great day of fishing!

Cold, blustery and lot's of fish!

I fished with Leon Freeman this past Saturday. Air tempature was a cold 33 degree's and felt even colder with a strong 10mph wind. We tried a few spots with our live shrimp under the floats in Lanceford Creek but only hooked up with a couple of trout. The wind was really blowing so we pulled up the trolling motor and headed towards Rayonier pipeline thinking we could find some shelter. As we passed Rayonier, Leon suggested that we try the pilings at the warehouse so we eased in and tied up. BOOM! Fish on! Trout after trout after trout. It was the last of the outgoing tide and within two hours we had boated and released 25-30 trout; we kept a few for dinner. As the bite slowed we began to pickup some nice Black Drum up to 17" and ended up with four. All were caught on a jig with live shrimp. What a day! We were out of the water by 12:30 and in time to watch a football game!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Trout Tourney results

Steele Dahl and I fished in the local Trout Tournament this past weekend. We got an early start, checking out around 6:15am and then heading to our first stop. When Steele picked up a nice keeper fairly early after throwing our first baits I thought we were well on our way to a good showing. Unfortunately, it was not to be. We fished our rear-ends off, going to all of my usually productive spots but only found small, undersized trout. Steele did hook up with a nice Blue that gave him a ferocious battle, but again, smallish trout didn't help our prospects. We hit a number of my normal spots, one after the other, and even tried a few new ones, but we just didn't have the "bite". The good news is Steele got a real dose of learning to operate the boat and trolling motor. He even gently docked us when we returned to the boat ramp. Oh well, "wait till next year"!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Recipe of the month: Black Drum Soup!

With all the Black Drum caught this month and with the weather turning a little cooler, I thought a nice fish soup would be good!


(2) Black Drum Fillets (1/2) lb Jumbo Shrimp

(2) T Vegetable Oil (2) Medium Red Potatoes

(1) Medium Tomatoe (1/2) Cup corn

(1/2) Cup String Beans (1) teasp. crushed garlic

(1/2) Cup Dry White Wine
(2/3) Cup Heavy Cream

Salt, Pepper, Konriko (4) Green onions

(1) Tblsp shredded Basil

Peel the shrimp and boil the shells with 2 1/2 cups water to make stock. Strain the shells out and add the corn and string beans and bring to a boil. Chop the potatoes and green onions. Heat the vegetable oil and stir fry the potatoes, onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add this to the shrimp stock and add the white wine, some salt, pepper, and a dash of Konriko. Bring this to a boil, then simmer for a about 10 minutes. Chop the fish fillets into chunks and add them to the soup and cook for a few minutes until the fish is done. Chop the tomatoe, shred the Basil, and add to soup along with the peeled shrimp and heavy cream. Cook for just a few minutes until the shrimp is done.

22nd Annual Trout Tournament

The Nassau Sportsfishing Association will host their 22nd Annual Trout Tournament November 7th and 8th. The captains meeting will be held on Friday November 7th at 6:30pm at Tiger Pointe Marina. The tournament begins Saturday November 8th with a checkout of 6:00am at Fernandina Beach Marina. Weigh in is back at Tiger Pointe Marina and anglers can begin to bring their fish in at 3pm and no later than 4:30pm. There will be an awards ceremony at 7pm that evening at Tiger Pointe Marina. Last year I fished with a "Big Brother/Little Brother" duo of Dr. Jim Gildenstein and Steele Dahl. We caught some fish and Steele was able to weigh his fish in at the tournament.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Local Anglers Finish Strong in FLW Tournament

Fernandina Beach natives Mike and Linda Dotson placed second in the Walmart FLW Redfish Series Tournament held in Fernandina Beach September 4-7th. Using their knowledge of the local waters, coupled with their angling skills, Mike and Linda brought in 6 Reds weighing a total of 30lbs 4oz. Mike said that the fish were tearing up their artificial lures, a rig that he's put together made up of a purple and silver HydroMinnow on a jighead with a silver or gold freshwater spinner attached. Mike and Linda's next stop is in Panama City where they will fish the IFA Championship on November 7th and 8th. Mark your calendars for Sunday November 2nd, 11:AM and find the FSN television channel to watch Mike and Linda in action during their 2nd place finish in FLW Redfish Tournament. Photo by David A. Brown

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Grueling Battle with Redfish Beast

Elizabeth and Robert Torregrossa were visiting Amelia Island for a week while staying at the Elizabeth Pointe Lodge. We left the dock today with no wind and with a tempature in the high 50's. Such a beautiful morning called for a nice run up to the Jolley River. Our first effort along the oyster beds didn't produce any bites so we cruised further up into the river. It was the last of the outgoing tide and we found a gap in some oyster beds. Rob picked up using the jig/live shrimp combo quickly and in no time hooked up to a nice Black Drum - and then another. We felt like we were on a good spot and then WHAM! Rob was hooked up with a huge fish and the battle was on. He happened to be using the Shimano 1000 reel and light rod and he played the fish like a pro. When we saw the fish roll a few times we knew it wasn't a shark. After what seemed like an eternity, Rob subdued the fish and we got him in the boat. Boy, the fight wore me out - and I wasn't even on the rod! Turned out the fish was 32" and weighed 12.25 lbs! What a fight! We moved on to the MOA (mother-of-all) where Rob and Elizabeth both boated some nice Sea Trout. As we were leaving we trolled by the oyster bed where the "Battle" took place and Rob picked up (3) more undersized, but beautiful, Redfish. Talley for the day: (2) Black Drum, (4) Redfish, and (8) Sea Trout. Another great day of fishing in the back waters of Amelia Island!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Will Kieley: Angler

Amelia Island resident Libby Wilkes likes to do something extra special and personal with her grandchildren when they turn 8 years old. Her grandson Will Kieley was in town and turning 8 real soon so she treated him to a fishing outing in the backcountry of Amelia Island. We left the dock bright and early at 7:30 this morning and were pleased to see that the weekend winds had subsided and left us with a beautiful morning. We made our first stop at the mouth of Lanceford Creek and I soon found out that Will was already a very good angler - his casting was on target. He quickly picked up a Rock Bass then went on to hook up with a few 14" trout and then WHAM - a 18" Black Drum was on the line. Will played the fish superbly and we netted the fish. The bite slowed somewhat so we moved on up into Lanceford Creek to what is now known as "Will's Spot"! After fishing for just a little while, Will hooked up with another Black Drum, this one 21" and a bull fighter. Will worked the strong fish in and we eventually got a net under him and lifted him into the boat. Libby joined in by catching some more of the 14" trout and Will contributed with a few, too, yelling "NET" whenever he had a hookup. With Will casting precisely to some dock pilings, it wasn't long before he was hooked up again, this time with the "Grandaddy" of them all! He fought the fish to the boat, handed the rod off to me, grabbed the net, and pulled in his own fish - what turned out to be a 22" 6.5lb Black Drum! Total for the day: (3) Drum, (10) Trout, (1) Bass, (2) Croaker. What a great day of fishing!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Reb and Lynn Stewart

Reb and Lynn Stewart were visiting from Steinhatchee, Florida and took in a fishing trip this morning. We left the docks at 7:30am and because the wind was still blowing, cruised up Lanceford Creek. Although the bite was not near as good as yesterday, they picked up a nice flounder and puppy drum. We eventually pulled anchor and ran up to Jolley River where Lynn hooked up to a 3'+ Bonnethead Shark. After what seemed an eternity, with the fish going from front to back and under the boat, Lynn handed the rod off to Reb and he eventually boated the shark. We got a couple of great pictures and sent him back to his home waters! Reb was able to get some fly fishing when the wind subsided and had a few "hits" on a shrimp fly. In this picture, Lynn holds up the flounder she caught. Notice the great coloring.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cold and Windy? The fish were biting!

Karen Turner and her friend Cary Maxey visited Amelia Island early this morning and Carol and I greeted them along with a blustery cold wind. You always think of the ideal weather when you plan a fishing trip and wonder if you're crazy to even go out on a day like today. I'm glad we did!

We ran up into Lanceford Creek thinking that it might afford some protection from the North wind - and it did to some degree. It wasn't long after our first anchorage that Cary hooked up with a nice puppy drum. Then everyone joined in, catching drum after drum. Some were Red Drum and some were Black drum. Fishing and Catching was fast and furious for a few hours. By the end of the day we had totaled (7) Black Drum in the 14-18" range and (6) Red Drum in the 14-17" range. All the fish were caught on live shrimp floated under a Cajun Thunder or bounced along the bottom on a Sure Catch jig. In the picture, Karen holds up a drum she just caught while Cary fights another.

Epic Battle!

I had the pleasure of fishing with Gerry Adams and his friends John and Ken last Friday; they were in town from all points of the USA: Philadelphia, Chicago, and Colorado. We got an early start and launched from the south end of Amelia Island. After one brief stop, we headed up to the Horsehead area and fished from the mouth of Jackstaff on up into the marsh. After a bend or two Gerry hooked up with a huge fish that took line down the river, up the river, under the boat, to the front of the boat, to the back of the boat --and then got off. Ouch. Well, that's just the way it goes. Although the "bite" for the rest of the day wasn't so great, we had a good time getting to know each other and seeing the sights of the marsh. The guys did get in a few Vermillion Snapper and a neat Ray. This picture shows Gerry fighting his big fish.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Chamber of Commerce Day!

The air temperature was in the high 50's when I picked Cody and Samantha "Sam" Buettner up at the dock and there was only a slight breeze. We purchased some really nice live local shrimp from the Bait House on N. 14th Street and headed up to Jolley River. Cody and Sam were visiting from upstate New York and were excellent anglers; with just a few casts under his belt, Cody was hooked up with a beautifully colored Seatrout. He picked up a couple of more and then Sam hooked up with a huge fish. The drag ripped off and she fought the fish like a pro. Sam and Cody both worked the fish together and then Sam handed the rod off to Cody to finish the battle. After what seemed like an eternity, we netted the 30", 10lb redfish - a beautiful specimen. Fishing the flooded oyster beds with the live shrimp under Cajun Thunder floats produced (9) Seatrout and (4) Redfish for the day. In addition to the oversized Red, they also boated a nice 26" slot-sized Red. You know it's a nice fishing day when your guest (Sam) says after catching her 3rd Red, " Ok, I'm ready to catch a trout!"

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall Fishing and Football!

I've had a few customer's ask me when the best time to visit Amelia Island. For me, the answer has to be Fall. As the weather and water begin to cool off it seems the fish bite picks up and it' much more pleasant to be out on the water. If your favorite team is playing that afternoon or the next day, that's icing on the cake! I fished yesterday, leaving the dock around 7:30am. The air was cool, but nice and there was only a slight breeze. There was a high tide (6.97') expected at 8:45am so I checked a couple of my usually spots that tend to have some tailing reds show up, but there were none to be found. I eased up to a grass flat that I've never fished and was there only a minute or two and saw a tail pop up. It wasn't within casting distance from the boat so I lowered a river anchor over the side, grabbed my flyrod and a couple of spare flies and stepped off into the grass. I inched closer to the tail and made numerous casts but the fish wouldn't eat and eventually disappeared. Luckily, there was another tail flopping around about 50 feet away so I slowly worked my way in that direction. Again, the fish wouldn't eat my fly (a shrimp pattern) so I switched to a Dupree Spoon Fly. That didn't work either. I eventually got a little too impatient and nailed the fish with a cast - whoosh - he was gone! With no more tails showing I went back to the boat. It was already full high tide, but I motored up the river a ways, finding another nice flat, and saw a huge tail about 50 yards away. After lowing the river anchor I again eased myself into the water and slowly worked my way over to the fish - a fish that was vigorously eating away on the bottom. Before I got there, another tail popped up closer to me so I changed directions and made some casts in his direction. These tails were not redfish tails; they were black and probably attached to a Sheepshead or puppy Drum. All told I probably cast at 4-5 fish on this flat. None would eat the spoon fly; I had one more fly in my pocket and they wouldn't eat it either. I remember thinking how great it felt to be out on a beautiful day stalking fish early in the morning. I eventually ran around to Jolley River and caught a few trout (all small but one), a few reds (all undersized, but fun to catch) a bonnet head shark, a ray (with no tail) and a nice black drum. They were all caught on live shrimp. The keeper trout and drum made great meal; a buddy stopped by so we fried them up with some hushpuppies and added a spinach salad!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tailing Reds and a Sunset

Carol and I planned to launch the boat after she got off of work on Friday. We left the ramp at 6pm and were heading up to Trolleys in St. Mary's for dinner, but we took a detour at Tiger Island to look for Manatees and possibly some tailing Redfish. We didn't see any Manatees, but Carol quickly spotted a tail, so I put the bow of the boat up into the grass. There turned out to be two HUGE tails flopping around as the Red's gorged themselves on bait in the grass. As Carol kept an eye on them, I scrambled to put a fly rod together. They must have known something was up because by the time I got up on the deck ...they sank out of sight and didn't re-appear. Can you find the tail in this picture? We eventually ran up to Trolleys and had Crab Cake sandwiches and caught a nice sunset on the way.

Saturday morning fishing

I launched at 7am this past Saturday - the parking lot was full - and ran up to Bell River. I had planned to fish some artificials and wanted to try a few spots for trout. The tide was high at 7:34am. I tried a number of different jigs with artificial baits along with some top water lures, but didn't have much luck. I ran around to Jolley River and tried some there too, but I just wasn't getting any bites. I caught some nice finger mullet with a cast net and moved to the "MOA" (mother-of-all) spots, where I picked up a nice Trout, Flounder and Black Drum, all on the outgoing tide. I had a few other bites, lost one at the boat and had one wrap around the anchor line. Turns out the Florida Lure Anglers were having a tournament - when I got back to the ramp, there was a long line but the Anglers let me in so I didn't have too much of a wait. I don't keep a whole lot of fish, but I thought I might want to cook these up, so I kept them.

Recipe of the Month: Stuffed Fish!

So I had a keeper Trout, Flounder and Black Drum and needed something to fix for dinner. I seasoned the fillet's with my favorite seasoning - Koriko and sprayed up a 9x12 cooking dish - and layed a the Black Drum fillets out. Then I took a box of unflavored stuffing, mixed in two cans of crab meat, a cup of chopped celery, a cup of chopped onions, some more Konriko, a few dashes of Franks hot sauce and a little more water. The stuffing mix was spread heavily over the drum filets then the remainder of the fillets were layed over the stuffing. I baked the dish for 30 minutes and served it with some home made Ramoulade sauce and ...butter beans!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Riverside Art Show

We had a great time at the Riverside Art show - the weather was perfect, there were plenty of people and the shade tree's made it very comfortable. Now that the show is over, I've returned a number of pieces to the Salty Feather, located on St. Johns Bluff Road in Jacksonville. The Salty feather is a full service fly shop that carry's fly rod's, reels, kayak's, and fly tying materials. The owner, John Botko, has agreed to show my work on consignment, which is working out good for both of us. I'll be working on some new pieces - probably a number of journals - and I also plan to work in some wood items - with a touch of leather - of course!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Gladson Family

Jessica and Travis Gladson were visiting Amelia Island for the first time with there three kids, Justin, Tanner and Kasey. They came all the way from Wyoming! I caught some finger mullet before picking them up and we were on the water fishing before 8am. This was just a couple of days since tropical storm Faye came through; I had noticed the few times that I went over the bridge during the storm that the water was way up -covering the marsh grass completely. The water in the river seemed to be really clean, but dark - I assume "tannic". It was almost the color of coffee - no cream, of course! There was plenty of bait - mullet everywhere - and shrimp, too. Kasey pulled in a nice black drum and is pictured holding her catch. We also toured Ft. Clinch by boat, the jetties, and Pippi Longstocking's house. We even got an up close look at one of the Coast Guard gun boats!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Website on line!

If you haven't visited my new website lately, check it out! Caroline Blochlinger with CB Advertising Services designed the site and put it all together. There's a link back to this "blog", links to other sites, and photo galleries. Hopefully the site will allow potential clients to find me quicker on the internet. Keep clicking, please!

Inaugral Patriot Day Sporting Clay Shoot

The Nassau County Fire/Rescue Professionals Local 3101 will host their inaugral Patriot Day Sporting Clay Shoot to be held at the Amelia Shotgun Sports, LLC grounds. This years proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Nassau County. The shoot will be held on Thursday September 11, 2008. The event consists of five person teams shooting at 10 different stations. The teams with the three highest averages will receive plaques. There will be opportunities for individual competions with a Calcutta Prize structure. Dinner, presentation of awards, and a raffle will follow the competition. The Event begins at 10:00am. There is a limit of 150 for 30 teams, so register NOW! Registrations will be accepted until September 1, 2008 and will be on a first come first serve basis. NO ALCOHOL PERMITTED PRIOR TO COMPETITION. Contact Chris Gamble at 904-753-4644. Sponsorships available. Make checks payable to Nassau County Local 3101 P.O. Box 3666, Yulee, Fl. 32097

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tail'in Reds

We've got some really high tides coming up and that's a great opportunity to stalk some tailing Redfish. The week of August 25th -through Labor Day will produce those hight tides. There's a few ideal days: Wed 8/27 and Thurs 8/28 there is a late afternoon High; we should launch around 4pm. Sat 8/30 and Sun 8/31 there are mid-morning High's; we should launch no later than 7am. The tides are still high enough Mon 9/1, Tues 9/2, and Wed 9/3, although they're later in the morning. There's also some good High tides the 3rd week in September around the Full Moon. Bring some wading shoes and Let's Go Fishing!

Justin Harrell

Justin and I decided to take in some late afternoon/evening fishing so we launched at 4pm from Atlantic Seafood and cruised south to the Horsehead area. We had some live shrimp and the tide had just started in so we began pitching our jigs up near the oyster beds. We probably hadn't made 5 or 6 casts apiece before BOOM I was hooked up with a big fish and BOOM Justin was hooked up with a big fish. Mine ran like a Bonnet Head shark and eventually broke off heading towards the river. Justin kept his drag light on the Shimano Stradic 1000 and played his fish perfectly. Every few minutes the fish would come to the surface and boil so we knew it wasn't a shark. After long battle, Justin had the fish near the boat and we saw that it was a huge Redfish. He played it a while longer and then we got 'em netted and in the boat. The Red turned out to be a nice 32"'er. Check out the neat spot on the fish - the standard dark spot, but with a light colored center. We released the fish to be caught another day.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Justin & Heather Harrell, her Dad Greg

It's amazing how things change from one trip to another! Unfortunately we found the boat ramp closed at the south end of the island (for a week) so we all treked to Fernandina Beach and launched from there. These guests were looking for an "experience of a life time" and I think they got it. We faced wind and rain challenges but the fish were biting! Greg hooked up with a trout early and then later we found a nice bite of small red's and black drum and some more trout. There were a few times there when I thought to myself, "this is CRAZY". We had broken out the poncho's and had gotten fairly damp so...we fished on! At one time Heather and her Dad had a "double" of drum - Heather reeled in a Red and Greg reeled in a Black. The MOA (mother of all) produced a number of small drum for Greg - who had zeroed in on the spot. Justin had the big battles with shark and then some smaller reds. After the trip I left my boat parked in the front drive and ran some errands - a bigger storm came through and filled the boat with pine straw -whooee- what fun.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Rodney Mills and friends

What a day! I launched early and cast for finger mullet - neting about 3 dozen - before I picked up Rodney and his friends, Harry and Roy. We also picked up some live shrimp at Atlantic Seafood, but we were able to run to Jolley River and be fishing by 7:30am. It was somewhat cooler today and there was a light mist that turned into a fairly heavy fog by 8:30am. There was no wind - the river was almost like a lake - and once we got settled in we began to pickup Trout and some nice, but undersized, Redfish- quite a "flurry" of action. We moved from spot to spot, picking up a fish here and there and then we settled in at the MOA -"Mother of All" spots. There was a fairly brisk bite as Rodney, Harry and Roy all had Reds, Trout and even a Black Drum. As things began to slow down, Roy had a hookup that produced a reel-screaming run and the fight was on! We all began to speculate as to what species he had on and most of us were leaning towards a Bonnet Head shark. Luckily Roy didn't trust our opinions and break it off because eventually a big 'ole Red tail flopped up and we all knew that this was a nice fish! We eventually got it netted and the fish turned out to be a nice slot-sized 26" Redfish. Later we had a few more trout and then all of the anglers had there battle with the Bonnet Head sharks. What a great day of fishing!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Riverside Art Show -Jacksonville

Whoohee! I've been accepted to show at the Riverside Art Show in Jacksonville, Florida September 6th and 7th. See for more information. This means that after I fish and get the boat washed up and tucked away I'll need to go into my workshop and get some more pieces made for the show! Come see me at space #51 that weekend- we'll talk fishing!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Van and Carol Tilley

Van and Carol Tilley were visiting Amelia Island on business and took some time to get out in the backwaters of Amelia Island. The tide was very high so we fished with live shrimp under a Cajun Thunder float. They caught a number of Vermillion Snapper up near the marsh grass. We also trolled some in Jackstaff creek where Carol hung a nice 3' shark - she's pictured here about 3/4 way through the battle! Van also had something BIG on his line but it broke off after a 5 minute battle. We did have a treat at the end of the trip when an Osprey decided to have it's mullet lunch on a nearby dock pole.

Sure Catch Jigs

I've mentioned using jigs with live bait in some of my past newsletters and postings. I've been using the Sure Catch Jig brand and have pictured a package that you normally see at one of our local bait and tackle stores. I know Jim Johnson at Amelia Island Bait and Tackle is carrying them and the Bait House up at Eagans Creek has them also. These are great for chunking up near the oyster beds and then slowly bouncing them back.
If you're using shrimp, pierce the shrimps tail from the top - all the way through. Then swivel the jig around and come back up through the belly until the point of the hook is pointing away from the shrimps head. Some people even pinch off the tail before putting the jig through the shrimp.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament

I fished with friends, Charlie Jones, Leon Freeman, and Anthony Evatt in last weekends Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament. We left the Fernandina Beach checkout at 6:30am and ran up to Cumberland Island and caught pogies for bait. We then ran to south Amelia Island and trolled our baits. We caught a few sharks then we decided to anchor up, begin to chum and set out some lines. We caught a few more sharks and then had a small King to the boat -but it got off. On day two, we ran up to Cumberland for bait but couldn't find the pogies; but we did find large schools of pilchards so we filled our baitwell with them. This time, we anchored at the north jettie and chummed. We caught a few sharks and finally a nice 22lb King. Leon was on the rod so he posed for this picture later on in the ICW.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Personal Journal finished

I"ve finally completed my personal fishing/boating journal. I've kept a journal since 1989 and I ran out of pages in my old one. It took a while to decide what I wanted to carve on this one, but I eventually went with my favorite image - the tailing Red Fish. I did some traditional floral carving on the back.

There are inside pockets and I lined it with some soft leather that Mrs. Hanna had found. The pages are pre-printed with "Date, Tempature, Tide, etc.". I also use the journal to note boat maintenance. These journals are hand cut, hand carved and stamped, dyed and sewn.
I sell them at art shows and fishing shows for $125 and they make
a great gift! Check out my for examples of other pieces.