Sunday, October 31, 2010

Double, Double, Double

JB Renninger's brother-in-law Tim and his wife were visiting the area and being avid anglers, they decided to take in an Amelia Island backcountry fishing trip.  They couldn't have picked a better day because we had clear skies, almost no wind, mild temperatures and the tide was perfect with just a couple of hours left in an outgoing tide.  We got an early start and headed up to Jolley River to ease along the oyster lined river banks, tossing a jig/shrimp combo.  After only a few yards, Tim was hooked up with a hard fighting Blue, then he had another and another.  JB got in on the action with a hard bite and then the fight was on!  He eventually brought to the net a feisty Redfish, then both anglers were hooking up time after time and a number of times we'd yell, "we got a double" as both anglers had fish on!   JB hit the jackpot when he worked to the boat a nice 21" slot Redfish.  We hit a few more spots:  Sue's Flounder hole, and caught fish.  Snook Creek, and caught fish.  Mother-of-all, and caught fish.   Then we headed around to the Tiger Basin inlet where JB had a good bite, a hard fighting fish, but this one was different.  After a good battle, the fish was subdued and we soon netted a great 18" Flounder.  We also added a couple of more feisty Redfish and then another keeper sized Flounder.  We never even attempted to count the fish, but estimated it at about 25-30 Redfish, 6-8 Trout, 4-5 Blues and a few other species thrown in!   I had a feeling that the anglers had had enough of "catching", so we headed in and met their spouses to enjoy a much needed break at a downtown Fernandina  Beach restaurant, counting it as another great day to be out on the water!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Georgia/Florida Football....and Fish'n!

John Nuckolls and Dick Bloozer were down from Atlanta this weekend to take in the huge Georgia/Florida football game and being avid anglers, they set up an Amelia Island backcoutry fishing trip!  We left the south end dock at 7:30am, just before sunrise, and headed up the Nassau River to begin fishing the exposed oyster banks during the last hour of a falling tide.  Dick was tossing a jig/Gulp (white shrimp) and John was casting a jig/paddle tail plastic and it wasn't long before both fishermen were hooking up with Seatrout.  They stayed pretty busy with the Trout and every now and then hauled in a feisty Redfish or Bluefish and had a couple of "double" hookups.  Some of the Trout were keeper-sized but the anglers were more in to  the catching, so they released the fish to be caught another day.  We fished a couple of oyster outcrops in the Spanish Drop area then headed around to the mouth of Jackstaff and fished the bank as the tide began to creep back in.  The guys had a few good bites, but no real fish, so we headed up a small creek and found more Trout ranging from 12" to 18", then John hooked up with something that hunkered down, but he soon fought a nice 18" Flounder to the boat.  We moved around to Seymor's Point where Dick caught another fat Redfish on his first cast to the rocks.  Although we had a few more nibbles, nothing was biting, so we crossed the river to Bubblegum Reef and anchored between the now covered oyster bed and the wreck.  BOOM!  Trout on. BOOM!  Trout on.  BOOM!  Trout on!  The guys caught one fish after another for a few minutes then continued to pick off Trout in numbers for another 30 minutes.  The sun had risen high and our stomachs were grumbling, so we headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on the water!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Nothing Under 40"

 The windy conditions continued Saturday afternoon but my fishing party of Rob Eddy, Kristine Davis and their friends Jenny and Todd Underwood were not to be deterred.  We headed up to Jolley River with a great tide - the last of an outgoing - and began to fish the exposed oyster beds with the jig and shrimp combo.  We had only trolled a few yards and the anglers began to hookup with feisty, hard fighting Redfish.  The bite was fast and furious with a number of "double" hookups and even a "triple" of fish caught.  Rob, Kristine and Todd had caught fish, but Jenny was handicapped at the rear of the boat, so she had to persevere, which she did and soon boated a nice Redfish.  We anchored at the mouth of a small creek and more Reds and Trout were caught.  Then, Rob hooked up with something big and a battle was on!  He fought the fish expertly as the drag on the light tackle combo ripped out.  The fish went deep then went from the bow to the stern to deeper water.  Rob worked it in only to have the fish continue around the stern and back to the bow and shallow water, then it continued on around, heading deep again!  Rob was doing everything right, but the fish gave a small, crisp jerk, and broke itself off, never to be seen.  Ouch!  All anglers had caught plenty of fish, with me snapping away with the camera, but I had one angler proclaim that they only took pictures with fish over 40"!   We continued to fish Jolley, picking up a few more fish, then headed back to the shelter of Tiger Island.  The anglers caught another Red or two, then a Flounder to complete their Amelia Island Inshore Slam.  We hit a few more spots, but with the bite slowed, we headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on the water!

Catch'n in the River and Off the Dock!

Will Steih was in town, visiting from Nashville with his wife to celebrate their 10th anniversary. While his wife was enjoying spa treatment at the Ritz, Will and I went to the backcountry to take in some Amelia Island fishing!  We left the south end Sawpit boat ramp at 2pm and headed up the Nassau River with the tide still going out.  Our first stop was at the Spanish Drop area;  the oysters were showing so Will began to toss a jig and shrimp combo to their base and it wasn't long before he was hooking up with feisty Trout with a couple of Redfish thrown in.  He was nailing so many Trout that I began to call him "Trout King"!  After hitting a few of the points at Spanish Drop we headed on around to the mouth of Jackstaff where Will continued his "trouting" ways,  hauling in a few more and then he boated a nice 17"er.  We fished a finger of a sandbar and Will hooked up, this time proclaiming that the tug felt different, and sure enough, he expertly landed a 17" Flounder, completing his Amelia Island Inshore Slam!  We tried a few more spots, but the bite had slowed so we headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on the water.  I walked up to the parking lot to get the truck and as I was backing down I could see Will hauling in another Flounder!  As I backed the boat in he hooked up with a Redfish and landed two more flounder while I loaded the boat.  What a way to end the day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Too Many Fish to Count!

Anglers Terri Rumler and Bobby Carty were visiting Amelia Island for their annual "get away from it all" and took in a backcountry fishing trip with me.  The weather was beautiful with a high of 80, a slight breeze, and only a cloud or two in the sky.  We headed up to the Jolley River and reached our first spot to fish the exposed oyster banks.  The tide had been coming in for about an hour.  Terri and Bobby were tossing 1/4oz jigs with live shrimp and it wasn't long before both were catching fish!   Zip Ziiiiip Zip, the drags would go, another Redfish had attacked the bait and the anglers worked them to the boat.  Fishing and catching was fast a furious for an hour or two.  Bobby switched to Gulp baits and we soon found out that it didn't matter what color or style he used, the fish were biting anything that was tossed out.   In addition to Redfish, they caught Seatrout, Croaker, Snapper, and a small Puppy Drum.  Fish on! Fish on!,  we had a "double" and I was running back and forth to net each Redfish as we trolled the bank.  Eventually we moved on, coming back around to the mouth of Tiger Island, anchoring, and more fish were caught.  The bite slowed so we made one more stop at the eastern side of Tiger where we had a few bites and Terri found a couple of more Redfish.  With those in the boat, we headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on the water!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bear and Redfish

Carol and I took in a day of "fun" fishing and brought along our dog, "Bear", for the trip.  We'd had to wait an a AC technician to check out our unit so we didn't launch the boat until around 1pm.  We headed out to the jetties and tried our luck with a whole crab on the bottom with some serious heavy tackle, but after not getting any bites for about an hour, we came back to the mouth of Jolley River.  We anchored and dropped the heavy tackle with crab again. No bites here so we headed up Jolley to fish the oyster lined banks.  Carol's first cast with shrimp on the bottom produced a hard fighting feisty Redfish!  It wasn't long after the first when she hooked up again and had another Redfish in the boat.  I knew I had to get started so I started tossing a 1/4oz jig tipped with shrimp and soon I was hooking up, too!  We fished the bank for about two hours and ended up with 12 Redfish and we also had a nice 15" Flounder to go with them.  The weather was beautiful and the fishing was great, another great day to be out on the water!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Coast Guard Bill Update -- No New Taxes!

This from the Florida Guides Association newsletter:    
     There is good news on H.R. 3619. One section of the Coast Guard Authorization bill would have opened the door to multiple layers of taxation on outfitters, fishing guides and tour boats. Sec. 301 would have authorized state and local governments to levy new taxes on good and services delivered on navigable waters while leaving foreign commerce exempt. A call to action was issued asking members to contact their legislators and ask them to oppose the bill.       The good news comes from Senator Snowe's office. Senator Snowe serves on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee that had oversight on the bill. It read, "Just wanted to let you know that the Coast Guard bill passed both House and Senate last night and is on its way to be signed into law by the President. We ensured the section you were concerned (Sec. 301 of HR 3619) about was NOT in the final bill, so you are in the clear."
       FGA received the news from David Brown, Executive Director American Outdoors Association who thanked FGA for their help in defeating Sec. 301. "Thanks for all your help on this bill. You helped turned the tide. The Coast Guard Bill passed without Sec. 301 - so not new taxing authority is in the legislation."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cool Morning Fish'in

Repeat guests John Angus and Cpt. David Black brought along friend Jed Litsey for some cool morning backcountry fishing at Amelia Island.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky when we left the south end boat ramp at 7:30a this morning and headed up Nassau River to a creek runout - "Leon's Spot".  I anchored just west of the runout and the wind and current positioned the boat just off of the runout for these anglers to target.  A couple of the guys started out with live shrimp under a float - the tide had been going out for about 2 hours and the oysters were still covered - and they had bites right off, but David began tossing a jig/gulp combo and he had hookups and fish in the boat within minutes. Wow! What a great way to start off a fishin trip!  Jed and John switched to the jig and baited them with live shrimp and soon knew they were right at home with the combination.  Both had hookups and boated feisty Redfish.  John was at the stern of the boat and had a good shot at the largest runout and it seemed to payoff with Seatrout being caught.  Then he and David had a "double" hookup with David bringing his hard fighting Redfish to the net, but it took a while for John's fish to be subdued.  He was using a Shimano Stradic 1000FH on a 6'6" rod, 10lb Power Pro line and 12lb Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon leader.  The fish pulled hard and long, taking John's rig  under the boat, up to the bow and back around the stern.  Finally, John saw the flash of color and pulled up a nice, powerful Jack Crevalle.  All three anglers stayed busy for a couple of hours, catching Redfish, Trout, and Ladyfish.  We eventually move on and hit a few spots in Jackstaff with most of them producing a Red or a Trout, although not in the numbers of the first stop.  As the wind picked up we called it a day, another great one to be out on the water.