Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kids have fun on the boat!

I participated in the Peck Head Start's annual Transportation Day Friday and had a great time.  The Staff at Head Start had arranged for fire trucks, ambulance's, police cars and a utility lift truck to be there, along with my boat, The Anglers Mark.  I take one spinning rod with a topwater lure, minus the hooks, along with a couple of youth life jackets and when the kids chaperone brings them around we put 2-3 up on the boat at a time.  Most want to try on the life jackets then we cast the lure out into the grass and let each one of them reel it in.  You would think that they had a 24" Redfish on by the way they crank it in!  This year we let the kids waiting there turn to run the net and that kept them busy, too.  I asked a few of the kids and they said it was the first time they had ever been on a boat.  Even though it wasn't in the water, we had a great time, another great day to the boat!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Valentine's Day Special

Be the first to schedule a Valentine's fishing trip at my low winter rate and I'll include a nice ball cap with The Anglers Mark logo!  You're special Valentine will absolutley KNOW that you love them when they get a personalized gift certificate for a 1/2 day fishing trip in the backwaters of Amelia Island, Florida.  Give me a call and we'll make it happen!

Seatrout season closes

Per FWC regulations, the Seatrout season for North East Florida will be closed from February 1, 1011 through February 28, 2011, but will re-open March 1st.  Note that the Redfish are still biting along with some nice, keeper sized Black Drum.  Give me a call and will launch The Anglers Mark for a great day out on the water!

3 face charges for snook, red drum violations

FWC officers recently made a bust for illegal harvesting of Redfish and Snook in Brevard County, see:
3 face charges

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pink Gloves are the trick!

On the second day of their fishing weekend, Felecia Gant, her brother Ron, and their friend Pandra met me at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp, again at 1pm, to take in another Amelia Island backcountry fishing trip.  After getting an excellent report of a good fish bite from my friends Charlie Jones and Leon Freeman, we pointed The Anglers Mark straight for Bubblegum Reef and anchored just off the drop.
 The wind was really kicking up and the boat couldn't decide where to lie, but the anglers "endeavored to persevere" and we soon were catching fish.  Pandra had her pink gloves on and they must have brought her luck because she seemed to have the hot rod for the day, catching fish after fish.  Although the Redfish were just under slot size, they hit ferociously and put up some great fights.  The anglers also found some Black Drum, catching 4 in the keeper size with Ron pulling in the largest on a jig/shrimp combo.  Felecia caught her share of Reds on the jig and shrimp, while Pandra switched from shrimp, Trigger X shrimp, and the new Parker baits. 
While we were fishing we had a neat wildlife sighting, a mink scavenging the shoreline, who stopped to check us out!  We eventually tried a couple of other spots, but the wind had picked up to what seemed a gale, so we headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on the water!

Big Reds

I was launching my boat, The Anglers Mark, this afternoon at Goffinsville Park when my longtime buddies Charlie Jones and Leon Freeman cruised by after a morning of fishing the Backcountry of Amelia Island.  They reported that they had fished the incoming tide since 7am at Bubblegum Reef, just beyond the drop off and had caught a mess of about 15 rat Reds, along with a number of slot and overside Big Reds.  They're shown here with their limit of slot Reds and a nice Black Drum which were biting, too.  Charlie and Leon reported that the bite has been on fire for the last 3 weeks.  Hey!  I know it's cold, but dress warm and plan to get out there...the fish are biting!

Overcast, Misty and Redfish Catch'n!

Felecia Gant and her friend Pandra were visiting Amelia Island from South Carolina along with Felecia's brother Ron Gant, in from Rhode Island.   They had scheduled a couple of days of fishing on The Anglers Mark so we met Friday at 1pm at the Atlantic Seafood dock.  It was somewhat cool, the skies were overcast and every once in a while we had a light rain, but this anglers were not to be deterred!  We eased out of the harbor with a falling tide and water temperatures around 49 degrees to hit our first spot, some exposed oyster beds near the mouth of Tiger Island.  Felecia was tossing a jig and live shrimp combo, Pandra had a jig and Ghost Grey Trigger X artificial shrimp, and Ron was fishing with a new Parker bait curly tail grub.  The anglers unlimbered their casting at the first few stops then we headed to Tiger Island to troll the log strewn bank.  We hadn't gone too far when Pandra had a hit, the drag ripped, and the fish was off, so we held the boat in place and all anglers cast to the barnacle encrusted branches of a downed tree.
Pandra again had a hookup and this time she set the hook and the fight was on!  She fought fish expertly and soon the feisty Redfish was brought to a waiting net.  From then on, the anglers soon found that by casting their baits right up to the branches would produce a strike, some almost as soon as they reached the bottom.  Felecia caught her share of Redfish and Ron joined in, too.  We estimated that their take was around 17 Redfish, all from the one spot!  The tide was about to start in so we cranked the big engine and headed over to the docks at Lanceford Creek.  After anchoring the anglers made their pitches to the base of the dock pilings and soon were rewarded with more hookups, aggressive Redfish fighting all the way to the boat.  They added 7-8 more fish to their total, but with the sun heading down and the temperature dropping we decided to head back in, counting it as another great day to be out on the water!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Redfish School'in

I had a report called in from two buddies, Leon and Charlie, who fished the Horsehead area today.  They got out late morning and began fishing the first of an incoming tide.  We had a very sunny day today, but the water temperature was still holding at 49 degrees.  They ended up anchoring at Bubblegum Reef and fished deep to  catch their limit of slot Redfish.  Charlie said they started off catching Rat reds but they soon began to pick up fish in the slot (18"-27") and even had a few over the slot.  Leon guessed that they caught around 30 fish and could have had 70 if they'd have stayed longer.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cold December adds to 2010 manatee death toll

For immediate release: January 5, 2011

Contact: Carli Segelson, 727-896-8626
Cold December adds to 2010 manatee death toll

Two periods of unusually cold weather in 2010 contributed to the number of manatee deaths for the year being more than double the yearly average of the past five years. Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) documented 767 manatee carcasses in state waters in 2010.
The cold weather in Florida caused many of these deaths, with the “cold-stress” category accounting for 279 documented cases. Of these cold-related deaths, 244 occurred in the early part of the year and 35 occurred in December. Cold stress also contributed to the deaths of 21 of the 96 manatees in the “perinatal” or “newborn” category. In addition, it is likely the cold temperatures contributed to many of the 214 deaths in the “undetermined” category and the 68 deaths in the “unrecovered” category.

“The unusually high number of manatee deaths in 2010, including those caused by the two periods of cold weather, are of concern to the FWC,” said FWRI Director Gil McRae. “Over the next few years, the FWC will be relying heavily on monitoring programs to better understand any long-term implications for the manatee population. In the meantime, we will continue to work with our partners to enhance the availability of natural warm-water sites and to rescue manatees in distress.”
FWC researchers, managers and law enforcement staff work closely together to evaluate mortality data and identify necessary actions. Managers focus on actions that can reduce risks to manatees and protect foraging and warm-water habitats. The FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement, in cooperation with partner agencies, uses knowledge of local boating habits, well-posted speed zones and up-to-date manatee information as part of its on-the-water enforcement operations. Informing boaters about manatee conservation and enforcing manatee-protection zones is a priority for the FWC.

To learn more about manatee conservation, go to To view the 2010 preliminary mortality numbers as well as a Web article detailing the cold-related manatee die-off in early 2010, visit and click on “Manatee Mortality Statistics.”

Florida residents can help manatees by purchasing the manatee specialty license plate, available at county tax collectors’ offices. The funds collected for these plates go directly to manatee research and conservation.

To report a dead or distressed manatee, call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fresh Water Table Fare

Honorary Captain Bud Hill reports that the fresh water fishing up at Kings Ferry on the St. Mary's river is doing just fine, thank you!  He recently fished one of his favorite spots the last 2 hours of an outgoing tide using worms and beetle spins to fish deep to catch this freshwater Grand Slam of Bass, Crappie, Redbellies, Bluegill, and Warmouth Perch!  Bud's an avid fly-fisherman but said nothing much hits the surface this time of year so he ended up catching everything but the Bass and Crappie on earthworms.  The Bass and Crappie took the Beetle Spins.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Year End Report and Off Season Projects

It's drizzling rain outside and below 50, which is actually warm compared to the last month and I'm itching to get out on the water! This was my 3rd full year as a Charter Captain and I feel like it was pretty good one. My trip count was up 66% over last year and going into the Fall I felt sure it was going to be even better. Unfortunatley, November and December were down from the previous year and I didn't do quite as well as I had hoped. December was a brutal month of cold weather and after a year or two of hard times, I can only think that folks decided to hunker down in doors and enjoy the holidays! Luckily I had some projects lined up and was able to stay busy. My mother had handsewn a quilt for me years back and I had used it so much over the years that it had become tattered in places. For our anniversay, my wife Carol found a local quilt lady to make repairs to the quilt and rather than use it we decided to retire it to display. We searched for a small quilt rack in the area antique stores but could only find large, bulky ones, so I made one! It fits perfectly in a corner at the top of our stairway. Our friends and neighbors Marg and Ted have wanted to rebuild their deck for years so they hired me to tear out the old one and build a new one. Marg had some ideas that she had collected from magazines so we came up with a plan to build the 28'x14' deck and use columns to support a cedar pergula. We added cedar railings and bench to finish it off.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year at Marie Island

I started the New Year off right by fishing with Don and Kelly Tesiero and their kids, Trey and Marie, on  Saturday, New Year's day.  We left the Atlantic Seafood boat ramp at 8am after a brief safety orientation and headed up the Amelia River to the mouth of Tiger Island.  Dolphins were rolling in the river as we rounded the inlet at Tiger Island and we pulled up at a grassy point to drop anchor and unlimber our fishing lines. Both Trey and Marie proclaimed "no instruction needed" and they begin to cast their light spinning tackle to the shore line with a live shrimp under a Cajun Thunder float.  Bites were few and far between, with water temperature at 49 degrees,  so we pulled anchor and headed up to the Jolley River to fish some creek runouts.  Although we had a few bites, the fish just weren't eating so we headed back to Tiger Island, which last year we had renamed "Trey Island".  We anchored just off the bank and the kids were now casting 1/4oz jigs with shrimp to the shore line and downed trees.  Both kids were making good casts, but Marie put one right next to a log and before we knew it, she was yelling "FISH ON"!  She battled the 18" Redfish to the net for pictures and release, then she proclaimed the island was now "Marie Island"!  We all agreed that the name should least until next time!  To wrap up the trip we toured Cumberland Island and beach creek, seeing great Blue Herons roosting in the trees, then we eased along the south shore to spot some wild horses grazing in the marsh grass, before heading in to the dock, counting it as another great day to be out on the water!