Sunday, September 5, 2010

Backcountry Grouper Fish'n

We couldn't have picked a more perfect day to get out and do some fishing; only a slight breeze, very few clouds, and an early start.  Art Benton was visiting Amelia Island with his wife after coming down from Atlanta for the long Labor Day weekend and staying at the Elizabeth Pointe Lodge.  Art and I left the City boat ramp at 7am sharp, idled through the no-wake zone, then headed up the Amelia River.  We anchored at a few patches of marsh grass around Tiger Island with the tide just starting out and Art cast a fly rod, trying a smorgasbord of fly's - chartreuse Clousers, Shrimp Fly's, and a Fiddler imitation but we didn't have any takers. We ran up to the Jolley River, fished one more spot with the fly rod, then we switched to spinning gear to get down on bottom with a jig and Gulp mullet.  We almost immediately began to get bites and then Art started the action off by hooking up and bringing to the net....a small Grouper!   Although I've seen them before in the backcountry, it's been a while since we had one on the boat.  Catching the Grouper was like turning the "fish catching switch" on because Art had non-stop catching for the next hour or two.  We eased along the oyster banks with Art pitching the jig and Gulps with the chartreuse Swimming Mullet being his favorite.  He hooked up with Redfish after Redfish, almost all of them up near the now exposed oyster beds.  Later, we moved around to the "Mother of All" spots with the tide being about perfect, and Art caught more Redfish, then he had a hookup and a fight and  expertly fought a 18" Flounder to the net. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on the water!

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