If you've kept up with this months fishing reports you've seen that almost every trip has seen anglers having huge success's with fish catching and the Redfish have been so abundant that I proclaimed them today "thick as fleas". I've never seen anything like it! With the exception of a few trips, most of these Reds have been small "Rat Reds", but they're fun to catch and if their numbers are any indication, it won't be but a year or two and we'll be wallowing in Big Reds! Madelaine Cosgrove of Jacksonville set up an Amelia Island backcountry fishing trip for her grandchildren so we met at the Atlantic Seafood dock this morning at 7am. Son-in-law Sam Cutting came along to support his two sons, Henry and Charlie, and his niece Megan for a day of "catching".
There was very little wind and the temperatures were expected to reach the mid-90's so we headed up to Jolley River to fish a run-out. It wasn't long before Charlie hooked up with a feisty Redfish, then Megan did too. The tide was high and just starting out so all the anglers were using live shrimp under a Cajun Thunder float. We picked up a few more then headed back to a large creek mouth near Tiger Island and as we were easing up to the grass line with the trolling motor we was the Manatee rolling and lolling in the shallows. This had to have been the biggest herd of Manatee that I've seen; there were big ones and little ones and they were having a grand time cavorting in the water. We fished out the other side of the boat and soon everyone was catching fish with most of them being Redfish with a few Croaker thrown in to make it interesting. Henry hooked up with a nice Red and played it expertly to the boat and Sam picked up a few, too. With so many bites we eventually ran out of shrimp so we headed in to the Bait House for a few more dozen and took in a nice break to stretch our legs. We made a brief stop in Eagans Creek, picking up a few more Reds, then headed to the mouth of Lanceford Creek.
The tide had dropped considerably and the oysters were showing so we switched to the jig/shrimp combo and sure enough, started picking up Redfish again, with a few Croakers to add to the catch. We had a bump of excitement when Henry had a Bonnethead Shark chase down his bait, hookup and put up a brief battle before he broke off. The sun was now getting hot so we headed in; the anglers had kept track of their "catch" and we totaled it up: 31 fish caught, another great day out on the water!