Monday, November 30, 2009

Winter Discount November through February

Once again I'm offering the "Winter Discount", November through February. This is $50 off the normal $350 half-day trip. Even if our North Florida temperatures start out in the high 30's or low 40's the day will usually warm up for a nice outing. It's actually a better time to be out on the water than those hot July and August trips. Just plan to wear a few layers and as the sun warms things up you can shed a layer. I usually have a hot cup of tea, coffee, or cider on board to help tide us over! If it's too windy we'll just cancel and try another day. Get away from it all and....let's go fishing!

Recipe of the Month: Roasted Corn Guacamole Dip

Hey, I know it's not seafood, but I've made this twice and it's gone over well. It's nice and fresh, healthy and quick. It came out of a Betty Crocker Apptetizer booklet...

1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed

2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and diced

1/4 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup pickled jalapeno slices, drained and diced

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 Tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 Teaspoons salt

Tortilla Chips

In an 8-inch nonstick skillet, cook corn over medium-high heat 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients (except chips) with fork, mashing avocados. Stir in corn. Serve with chips.

Project Boat coming along

I finished patching and sanding nicks and holes in the hull of the boat and have just started the first coat of paint. I've already purchase some stainless steel seat mounts and pin striping. The Starboard material is also in to make the bow mount and live well cover. There has been reports of shallow water fish fleeing our waterways in fear for their lives.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Trout Mania

Bruce Hansen, his son Brent and Ken Graham were in town for the holiday and took in a fishing trip. We left the dock at Atlantic Seafood just as the sun had come up and ran up to Jolley River. It wasn't quite as windy as yesterday, but it was still cool to start the day off. We fished the shoreline with the tide still high, but going out, and picked up a few Trout with shrimp under a float. Later, we moved up the river to a big creek and picked up more Trout, then trolled the bank, catching Trout fairly regularly. As the water began to drop and the oysters began to show, a couple of the anglers switched to the jig/shrimp combo and caught Trout on those, too. The air was still cool and when I broke out some hot Apple Cider, all of us enjoyed the warm drink! The anglers really began to pick up the jig fishing and all caught fish. Although most of the Trout were small, we did boat a few keepers. Bruce eventually switched to a sinking lure and caught Trout on that, too. I never did keep count but I estimated we caught at least 20+ Trout and about 5 Blues during the day, another great day out on the water!

Holiday Fishing

I had Chip Watt, his son Hansell, and son-in-law Adrian fishing with me the day after Thanksgiving; they were visiting Amelia Island for the holidays. Although we had a very brisk wind and temperatures in the low 40's we looked forward to a day of fishing with a forecast sunny day. We left the south end boat ramp at 7:30am and ran up to the Horsehead area to begin our trip. After warming back up with a round of hot tea, we began to toss our trout floats to the bank, offering up live shrimp. The sun came up and we began to get some bites, boating a few Trout at our first stop. We moved over to Jackstaff creek, fishing an outgoing tide and picked up some more trout and a few Blues. We lost a nice flounder at boat side along the way. Moving around to Spanish Drop we picked up a few more Trout and then Hansell hooked up with a hard fighting fish and eventually boated a nice keeper sized Flounder. We wrapped it up with that and headed back to the house for some Thanksgiving leftovers, counting it as another, great day out on the water!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stood up... but I made the best of it!

With all the intentions of providing the best possible service to another welcome guest, I crawled out of bed at 4:45am, loaded the boat with the tackle, rods/reels, drinks and made my way to the Bait House, arriving shortly after 6am. I purchased 8 dozen frisky shrimp, some baitpump batteries and a bag of ice and was on my way, launching by quarter to 7. I got everything in order on the boat, traded stories with other anglers who were launching and waited, and waited, and waited. A NO SHOW. What kind of person sets up a fishing trip and doesn't have the courtesy to make a phone call to cancel? All I can say is they must not have been raised right! With 8 dozen shrimp in the live well and a beautiful sunny morning and time on your hands, what would you do? Go Fishing! As I was walking down to the parking lot (one last check for the "Guest") I saw some Redfish tails out in the flooded marsh so I hurried down to the boat, changed out a lure for a weedless jig, tipped it with shrimp and ran back up the board walk to cast at the feeding fish. I had no takers but my bad spirits were dissolved. I cranked the boat and ran up to the Horsehead area and started tossing a mullet colored Zara Spook. It wasn't long before the lure blew up and the fight was on and eventually a nice 21" Trout was in the boat. I worked my way around the flooded marsh grass, getting a few hits and eventually settled in near a point when the tide started out. I caught a few more Trout, a nice Blue and a hard fighting Bonnethead Shark. Moving to another shore line that I have never fished I picked up a few more Trout and then anchored up at a large run-out. The Trout were thick and a number of times I had 2 Trout on at the same time so I had to reel one in and then grab the other rod to get it in. Most of the fish were small but I did have a few "keeper" sized ones. The bite slowed so I headed to Jackstaff, rounding the corner to find my buddy Charlie Jones and his cousin Tommy Phiester (visiting from Oregon) I tied up with them for about an hour, watching them catch some really nice Blues on finger mullet, then I finished the day by trolling the bank, almost at low tide, tossing a jig/shimp. I picked up a small Redfish...and headed to the dock. I ended up with 27 Trout, a Blue, a Shark, and a small Redfish. What a great day of fishing!

From Boules to Fishing

Ron Richie and his son-in-law Alejandro Legandro were in town from Arizona participating in a Boules Tournament hosted by Amelia Island. They decided to stick around for an extra day and get in some great Amelia Island backcountry fishing. We had a beautiful clear morning with no wind as we set off from Atlantic Seafood with the high tide peaking at 8:11 am. Our first stop outside of Tiger Island didn't produce any bites on topwater lures so we moved on up to Jolley River, tossing live shrimp under floats. We trolled the marsh grass as the tide started out then stopped at a run out: the trout started biting and we boated about (8). We eventually moved on up the river trying a couple of spots, picking up a Blue, but nothing else. The tide was still very high, no oyster beds were showing yet; we headed back to the interior side of Tiger Island, trolled the loggy bank with Alejandro tossing a jig/shrimp rig. He had a good bite, paused, then set the hook on our first Flounder of the day. They picked up a couple of more Flounder then we noticed fish crashing the finger mullet along the bank so we moved along and got into some more Trout, this time larger. At one time we had a "double" with both anglers playing a fish. In addition to the great fishing, we were treated with a Bald Eagle sighting feeding on his fish catch. We ended the day with (14) Trout, (3) Flounder, and (3) Blues...another great day out on the water!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Anglers Mark Art

I've just completed some new pieces, just in time for Christmas shopping. Contact me to purchase or visit The Salty Feather at 2683 St. Johns Bluff Road, Jacksonville. Also see The Anglers Mark Art.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Amelia Island a favorite among travelers.

The 2009 Conde Nast Travelers' Readers Choice Awards named Amelia Island the No. 4 North American island to visit. In addition to great beaches, hotels, B&B's, shopping, restaurants and golf, you've got some great fishing!. Get away from it all and let's go!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Trout Tourney Results

Carol and I fished the Nassau Sportsfishing 23rd Annual Trout Tournament yesterday. It was a beautiful morning with the temperature around 56 degrees and a slight breeze. We picked up some live shrimp at the Bait House on north 14th street, launched at Dee Dee Bartels, and checked out around 6:30am. Being so close to Rayonier pulp mill we decided to fish the warehouse pilings while we were there...and had no bites. Our intent was to run south so we headed that way but when we rounded the pipeline we stopped to fish the shoreline and picked up (2) nice, but small trout. When Carol lost a hook on an oyster I then realized that I had forgotten to load the tackle! OUCH. We pulled up and ran back by the Bait House and picked up some hooks and jigs then crossed the river to fish Tiger Island. We were there for only a few minutes when Carol caught another small Trout and with another cast drifting across an oyster bed the battle was on. Eventually she worked the big fish to the boat and my net, boating a 23" Redfish. We have a legal Redfish in the boat and were catching Trout, albeit little ones and it's not even 9:00 yet so we've got a shot at the "Slam" entry in the Tournament, right? We moved around behind Tiger Island to get out of the wind that's picking up, fish the south end of the island and get no real bites. With Carol nodding off (I got her up at 4:30am), we pull anchor and run to the south end of the island, heading straight for Leon's Spanish Drop spot. The wind's whipping pretty good but we have sunny skies and we've shed most of our jackets and soon pick up another couple of small Trout then Carol hooks up with a hard running fish. We're hoping for a huge flounder but it makes some pretty strong runs, deep, then shallow and after a long fight we see the shark fin. It's a 3' Bonnethead. With the tide starting out around noon, we run to the mouth of Jackstaff, anchor up, and catch a couple more small Trout. Then I start a troll along the bank, heading up into the creek and we catch more small Trout and then UMPH, fish on! I play the fish on my light tackle, 10lb test rig and hope for a big flounder. I felt a number of head shakes initially and then change my guess to a BIG Trout. After what seemed like a 15 minute battle we get a glimpse of a large Redfish and eventually boat the 31" oversized fish. We quickly got a picture and released. We ended up catching more small Trout, ending up with a total of 14 for the day, 2 nice Redfish, a Blue, a Bonnethead Shark, and some pinfish, but no Trout to weigh in. We saw dolphin, Osprey's, Cranes, Pelicans, and other shore birds - a great day to be out on the water...and fishing!

Project Boat II

The "project" boat is coming along. I've filled and sanded any holes in the interior and shored up the motor mount area with 3/4" plywood fiberglassed to the the inside and 1/2" Starboard bolted through on the outside. The interior is painted and now I'm ready to flip the boat over and start on the outside. Creek fish are beginning to tremble.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Anglers Taking Advantage of Winter Discount

Once again I'm offering the "Winter Discount", November through February. This is $50 off the normal $350 half-day trip. Even if our North Florida temperatures start out in the high 30's or low 40's the days usually warm up for a nice outing. It's actually a better time to be out on the water than those hot July and August trips. Just plan to wear a few layers and as the sun warms things up you can shed a layer. I usually have a hot cup of tea, coffee, or cider on board to help tide us over! If it's too windy we'll just cancel and try another day. Get away from it all and....let's go fishing!