Friday, September 25, 2009

Little Critters

I fished with Leon Freeman yesterday afternoon and evening. The tide was high at around 3:15pm when we left the new Goffinsville boat ramp. We ran to the mouth of Jackstaff and fished the grass edge with our live shrimp under a float and picked up a few bites of small Trout, Jacks, and Ladyfish. Although we were getting a few "nibbles" now and then we decided to try our luck at another spot so we pulled up and ran to "Spanish Drop" and anchored just off of two creek run-outs. Leon's first two casts produced fish, an undersized Redfish and a keeper sized Trout. We fished the creek mouths the remainder of the afternoon, catching about 12 of the "rat" Reds and 6-8 more Trout, all undersized, with a few Ladyfish mixed in. Most were caught on live shrimp but a few were caught on Gulps, rootbeer paddle tails, on a jig. I tried some topwater lures and sinking lures but had no takers. Although the fish were small, the action was constant and we counted it as another great day out on the water!

Friday, September 18, 2009

High Tides and Tailing Reds

Mark Laurint from Jacksonville and I planned to do some "Tailin Red" stalking this morning so we got the day started bright and early - OK, maybe not so bright, but early! We launched from the North end as the sun was coming up and ran around to the Tiger Island entrance, threw some topwater plugs and picked up a couple of small trout. Then we eased the boat up to the flooded grass and fairly quickly saw a cruising Redfish, and boy he was booking it across a grass flat, with no time to stop and feed! We moved around behind Tiger Island and nosed the bow of the boat on to a grass flat and began to see tails pop up. Mark and I both eased over the side of the boat and waded out to make our casts; Mark made some good casts, putting his weedless jig right in front of a large feeding Red: it rolled and boiled on the bait but didn't bite. I chased a couple but never really had a shot at one. We returned to the boat, moved up the river and tried a few more spots, eventually trolling up a small creek through the marsh and to a lake-like flat with visible Redfish wakes cruising through it. I switched to a topwater plug to get some distance and seeing a wake, cast the plug and another "roll and boil" - but no bite. We made one more stop as the tide was going out and found another Red and some Sheepshead tailing, but no bites. We had brought a few dozen live shrimp with us and with a run up to Jolley River and a few casts with a float rig, Mark picked up a nice fat Trout. He then had something take his live shrimp and rip line off his reel heading up-river. Mark fought the fish beautifully but the fish must have got over in in the hidden oyster beds and cut himself off. We caught a few more trout before heading in for the day, another great day out on the water!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Recipe of the Month: Shrimp Au Gratin

This recipe is by Billie Hart, published in Fernandina's Centre St.Cookery Cookbook:

3/4lb fresh shrimp 1/2 tsp salt

3 Tblsps chopped onion 1/4 tsp dried mustard

1/3 cup choppped celery 1/8 tsp black pepper

3 Tbsps butter 1 can chopped water chestnuts

1/4 cup flour (1) and 1/2 Cup milk

1 Cup grated cheese 1 Tbsps butter

1/4 cup dry bread crumbes 1 tsp Konriko seasoning

Toss the shrimp in Konriko and cook in (1) Tbsps butter, drain and cut shrimp in half. Cook onion and celery in butter until tender. Blend in flour and seasonings. Add milk, gradually and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Add 3/4 cup of grated or shredded cheese and heat until melted. Stir in shrimp and water chestnuts. (We were out of water chestnuts so we used pine nuts). Pour into a 9x10 greased casserole dish. Combine a Tbsps of melted butter with remaining cheese and bread crumbs and sprinkle over top of casserole. Bake at 400 degree for 10 minutes or until brown.

Doormat Flounder Caught

Amelia Island angler Patrick Devlin reported catching this massive Flounder on Labor Day. He was fishing near Eagans Creek on a high, outgoing tide when this "doormat" took his live shrimp under a float rig and the fight was on! Once boated, the fish was weighed in at 10.3lbs and was measured to be 28". Nice fish Patrick!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Topwater Action

My daughter Ashley and Son-in-Law Nathan Taylor (USMC) were in town for a week and with only a day left in their visit, we finally got Nathan out on the water. We left the north end boat ramp early with a live well full of shrimp but with the overcast skies I had planned ahead with a couple of rods rigged for topwater Spook Jr's. We ran to Tiger Island where the fishing was hot on Sunday evening, dropped the trolling motor and began to ease along the grass line. The tide had just started out and after a few casts we began to have strikes on the lures and boated 8-10 Seatrout, Jacks and Ladyfish. It seemed the All-Pearl colored version was getting most of the strikes. As the bite slowed down, I turned the boat operation over to Nathan and he ran us up to the Jolley River where we eventually anchored at a small creek and picked up some more Trout and Ladyfish. We again ran further up the river and anchored in the mouth of larger creek with more action on our float rigs. Our last stop was back at Tiger Island with the island blocking the brisk wind, but we switched to the jig and shrimp combo to pitch up near the logs and stumps. This turned out to be productive as we boated a slot sized Redfish and a keeper sized Flounder along with Croaker and more Croaker. The storm clouds were rolling in so we pulled up the trollling motor and ran to the ramp..another great day of fishing!