Sunday, March 27, 2011

Times Union Redfish Roundup

Plan to fish the Times Union Redfish Roundup tournament on April 16, 2011.  This tournament is a great family event where whoever catches a legal Redfish with the most spots will win the first prize of $7500!
The tournament benefits the Safe Harbor Boys Home and is in its 11th year and will be held at the Sisters Creek/Jim King Boat Ramp.
Deadline for entries is April 8, 2011 at 6:30pm or 500 confirmed entries. Tournament is April 16, 2011, 7 a.m. - 2p.m. or Safe Light after 7a.m.  Cash prizes will be paid to the top 50 anglers. (Payout based on 500 paid entries.)
A mandatory meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at The Florida Times-Union building, 1 Riverside Ave, on Thursday April 14, 2011.
Entry Fee is $60.00 per boat.   If you can't make the tournament, give me a call and we'll launch The Anglers Mark!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Take a Kid Fishing!

Cody and Dakota's grandad Rob Metz was in town from Pennsylvania and he treated them to an Amelia Island backcountry fishing trip on The Anglers Mark yesterday.  We made our first stop at a grassy oyster bank on the east side of Tiger Island with all the anglers pitching float rigs with live shrimp hangling underneath.  It wasn't long before Cody noticed his float had disappeared so he set the hook and FISH ON!  He expertly reeled in a feisty Redfish that we netted, photographed and released.  A stop at Manatee Creek didn't produce so we moved on to behind Tiger Island, anchored, and bumped jig/shrimp combo's on the bottom.  The anglers perseverance paid off when both Rob and Cody hooked up with fish and we had a Double Redfish bite!   I thought we surely would have a mess of Redfish and although they had numerous bites, no real takers after that.  We moved on to the docks of Lanceford Creek and after anchoring the group all noted that they were getting bites almost instantly.  Rob felt a tap, tap and hooked up to a nice keeper sized Trout and the others caught some "baitstealers", but that was it.  We hit a few more spots with no real bites, but the weather was great and Rob got to spend quality time with is grandsons, so we counted it as another great day to be on the water!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Whiting Bite on the Beach Hot!

This from Nancy Hudson, fishing north of Main Beach, Fernandina Beach, Florida this week...
Hey Lawrence,

We went fishing again today after work about 30 mins before the tide changed. Fishing in the surf again with dead shrimp on the bottom at about 30 yards. Just like yesterday, the whiting bite was on from the second we threw out. We had 10 fish in less than 20 mins! We actually took our chairs with us and never did get a chance to sit down. Sometimes as soon as the hook hit the water we had a fish on. Doubled up 3 different times and had several that were bigger than average. The bite was constant until about an hour after the tide started coming in and then it just stopped. But we ended up with 38 and i believe we threw back 10 that were eating size but since we were catching so many we threw them back to catch again another day. We have fished 3 days since friday and in those three days we have a total of 94! I'm lovin it!!! Can't wait to get back out there tomorrow! Attached is todays pic.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Inshore Slam and Wildlife Bonanza

John Payne and his family was visiting Amelia Island from the Dallas, Texas area and treated his son Jacob to an Amelia Island backcountry fishing trip on The  Anglers Mark.  We launched from Atlantic Seafood and headed south down the intercoastal and were treated with a few porpoise feeding on bait fish on our trip down.  We made our first stop at the mouth of Jackstaff Creek and began trolling the oyster lined banks with about an hour of a falling tide left.  The conditions were near perfect with no clouds in the sky, temperatures near 75 and only a slight breeze to keep the gnats off.  But no fish!  We move on to the docks at Seymore's Pointe and fished the pilings as the tide continued to drop.  John and Jacob were patient and it soon paid off as both had hookups;  John started it off by hooking and playing a nice, keeper sized Trout then Jacob joined in when he made a nice cast to the pilings and had a feisty Redfish take the jig/shrimp combo.  He played the fish like an expert and we soon netted Jacob's first Redfish!  John made it a slam when he deftly hooked up with a keeper sized flounder to round out the Inshore Slam - Redfish, Trout and Flounder.  The tide had started in so we cranked the big Johnson and ran up the Nassau River to Broward Island and started trolling the log strewn bank.  It was a good move because John and Jacob were able to catch a few more Trout, Redfish, and another Flounder!  A Slam at both stops!  As we prepared to leave an Osprey made it's roost on one of the trees and we were able to motor the boat right underneath it.  On the run back to the dock John spotted a Bald Eagle perched on a channel marker, making this another great day to be on the water!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Find the Structure, Find the Fish

Mark McDonald and his two friends Kevin and Derrick were visiting Amelia Island for some R&R and contacted me to do some Amelia Island backcountry fishing on The Anglers Mark.  We left the Atlantic Seafood boat ramp in downtown Fernandina Beach at daybreak and headed up to the docks on Lanceford Creek and anchored upstream from one.  It wasn't long before the anglers were getting bites then Derrick started off the catching with a live shrimp under a float rig. FISH ON!  He pulled in a nice Trout, then Mark hooked up to a feisty Redfish on a jig/shrimp combo.   From then on it was fish catch'n time as the trio reeled in Trout and Redfish almost non stop for an hour.  There was a couple of times when we had "doubles" and it was nice to see that a few of the Trout making keeper size, with one just a little over 19".  Kevin caught his share of Reds but also added a nice keeper sized flounder, the first I've seen in a while.  The bite eventually slowed so we moved on, hitting a 2-3 more areas of flooded oyster beds, but we had no luck.  Our last stop was behind Tiger Island and it wasn't long before the guys were catching fish again.  Redfish, Redfish, Trout, and Redfish was kinda how it went.  A couple of the Trout made keeper size.  We all noticed that both stops that produced fish were near some sort of structure.  With a full day of catching and fish in the box, we headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on the water!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Slow Start ends in Big Finish

John Allan and his son, Andrew  had arranged an Amelia Island backcountry fishing trip on The Anglers Mark so we met at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early this morning.  Boy, what a beautiful morning it was!  The skies were clear, the temperatures were mild, and there was only a slight breeze.  We headed up the Nassau River, making a brief stop at Black Hammock to fish some dock pilings, with little luck.  Our next stop was at Leon's Spanish Drop where we anchored upstream of the run out.  Andrew was bumping a jig/shrimp combo while John fished the marsh grass with a live shrimp under a float and it wasn't long before John found a "sweet spot" and began hauling in Trout after Trout.  Andrew joined in with a float rig and he too began to catch Trout.  After a while we headed further up the river to Bubblegum Reef where the anglers caught a few Redfish, a Drum, and a Sheepshead.  Even with a few fish it still seemed kinda slow so we headed around to the mouth of  Jackstaff and fished the oyster lined banks. John added another fish to the Trout total, but that was it.  We hit one dock on the other end of Jackstaff where John pulled in a feisty Redfish, the we move on to Seymore's Pointe with the tide just starting to come back in.  This proved to be a good move as both John and Andrew caught Redfish after Redfish, one being a slot sized,  along with a few more Sheepshead.  Our last stop was Broward Island where the anglers caught a few more Redfish, a Sheepshead and then Andrew contributed to the dinner table with a nice keeper sized Trout.  With that, we headed in, counting it as another great day to be on the water!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Her First Fish - Ever!

Dave Johns was visiting Amelia Island from Ottawa, Canada with his family and arranged to take his two youngest daughters fishing on The Anglers Mark this morning.    We met at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and launched with a whole slew of whiting fishermen heading to the Sound.  It was kinda of chilly but the young girls were ready to fish and they toughed it out as we headed up the Nassau River on an outgoing tide.  The oyster beds were already showing when we made our first stop at Leon's Spanish Drop and threw out live shrimp under a float rig and on 1/4oz jigs.  We fished the runout for a little while and having no real bites, pulled the anchor and move on up to Bubblegum Reef where we anchored and all three anglers tossed jigs and shrimp.  Young Grace was the first to hookup and had a tough battle on her hands, but she eventually brought to the net a nice 16" Redfish, her first ever fish!  Isabel joined in with another Redfish which she expertly played to the net and Dave persevered to catch a Trout.  We ran around and fished the mouth of Jackstaff in beautiful conditions, but we had no real bites, so we came back through the creek and headed to Broward Island where we anchored off of some of the downed trees.  The sun was up, the air had warmed and the gnats were out, but the anglers patience paid off as Grace added to her total by caching another feisty Redfish, this one with six spots!  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on the water!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Let the wind blow!

Tim Everett was visiting Amelia Island with his friends and family, Rob, Emma, and Dee,  all the way from Pennsylvania.  We had set a backcountry fishing trip up for today on The Anglers Mark and although the weather called for clear skies and warming to the mid 60's, it also called for wind 15-20mph. Ouch!  But Tim and his crew were game so we left the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and headed up the Nassau River, heading straight to Broward Island.  I knew the NW wind would make it tough fishing but I hoped that it wouldn't pick up until later in the morning.  The tide had just started in and we hadn't trolled for long when the anglers had a hookup and FISH ON!  We landed the nice Redfish for pictures then circled around and dropped anchor to fish the area and it's good we did because they picked up a few more Redfish, tossing their 1/4oz jigs tipped with live shrimp.  The wind was really whipping and the bite slowed so we headed back to the Nassauville bluffs and tried a few spots with the land mass breaking the wind and making fishing very nice. But we couldn't find any fish there!  So out into the wind we went, stopping at Bubblegum Reef to toss our jigs at the now covered oyster bar.  It wasn't but a few minutes before everyone was catching fish. Just when I would think that we wouldn't get any more bites, someone would hookup to a feisty, hard fighting Redfish.  Then, Rob caught a Seatrout and then the rest brought in 3 more.  We ended the day with about 10-12 Redfish and the 4 Trout, counting it as another great day to be out on the water!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Restaurant on the Water Opens

Another option for boaters and anglers who want to stop and eat is the new Marker 13 Oasis located at the Amelia Island Yacht Basin.  The restaurant offers a wide variety of grilled foods and offers to "cook your catch",  up to 5lbs.  They're open Fridays thru Sundays and you can see their menu at or contact them at 904-277-8466 or VHF Ch 16.  The Marina is located at ICW Marker 13, just north of the Shave Bridge.

New Dock Opens at Riverside Arts Market

While showing at the Riverside Arts Market this past weekend I was able to walk down to the river front and see the new dock that was installed.  I spoke to Jacksonville's Marina and Waterways Coordinator Captain Jim Suber about the dock.  He said the dock was 200' long and would be open to the public on Saturdays during the Riverside Arts Market.   Space is "first come, first serve", but they will allow rafting.  This would be a great outing in your boat, so come on down and plan to visit the Market!  For more information contact Capt. Suber at 904-630-0839 or

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Winter Discount Ends Soon, Spring Breakers Get Ready!

My Winter discount ends March 31st.  If you want to get in at the lower rate, please give me a call and we'll get out on a nice day.  The weather and water temperatures are warming up and the fish are biting.  We'll be catching Redfish, Whiting,  and Black Drum.  I see in my journal that Bald Eagles were hanging out at Broward Island.

For those of you who are visiting on Spring Break, please call early!  April's trips pick up and scheduling can be tough some times - I'd hate to miss fishing with you!  Redfish are biting and the Trout bite will be picking up along with some Blues and a few Flounder will be showing up.

Book a Trip. Win a Trip!

Plan to book a fishing trip or Eco/History tour with me this year and I will enter your name into a drawing for a free trip next year! I plan to have the drawing December 1st and will present you with a nice gift certificate to be used for a 1/2 day fishing trip for up to 3 anglers. You can use it in 2012 or give it away as a gift. All you have to do is go fishing with me this year and I'll add your name to the drawing.  You can contact me HERE. Thanks, and let's go fishing!