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.