Monday, December 30, 2013

First Fish and Most Fish

The weather only got better today as the day progressed.  After an early morning fishing trip I met Harold Blanton, his son-in-law Roger and Roger's daughter Amanda at the Sawpit Creek Boat Ramp and again headed north to fish the Horsehead area.  We made our first stop at Bubblegum Reef and Amanda quickly knocked the "skunk off the boat" by landing a hungry Seatrout for the first fish of the day.  The anglers continued to fish and had to work through some pesky bait stealers and just when I though that this spot was going to be a bust, BOOM!  FISH ON!  Harold's rod was bent double and his drag was singing.  This big fish stayed deep and  was all fight but Harold patiently played the fish.  He had to go from bow to stern and back but he kept the pressure on and after an extended battle we finally landed the largest Black Drum we've landed of the year - a 25" 15lb Black Drum!  We made a move to Broward Island to fish the first of an incoming tide and here all the anglers began to land fish.  Amanda had a nice Redfish and so did here dad, Roger.  They caught Seatrout and more Reds and then Harold landed another keeper sized Black Drum.  After catching a few more fish we made a run to the Jackstaff bank and now the light breeze had dropped to no breeze making the water like glass as the sun crept downward.  The anglers were fishing float rigs now and picked up a few more Seatrout.  We tallied up the count and it appeared that Amanda had caught the most fish during the trip, too!  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

One Two Three Slams

The Blalocks -Bob, William, and Dara- were back in town, visiting Amelia Island before attending the Gator Bowl game, and took in an Amelia Island back country fishing trip.  And boy what a beautiful day it was!  Sunny skies and very little wind were forecast and the weatherfolks got it right!  We met at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp at 8am and headed up river bundled tight in warm clothing. We made our first stop at Twin Creeks and fished with jigs, Cajun Thunder floats, and the traditional Trout rigs - and had no real bites on the first of an outgong tide.  I ran around through Jackstaff and the anglers fished some still flooded oyster beds with float rigs - and had no real bites.  We fished the Jackstaff bank and although Bob did pick up a feisty Bluefish we had no other real bites.  Darn it!  We made a stop at Seymore's Pointe and again had no real bites then we made a run to Broward Island as the tide had dropped and this did the trick!  The anglers began to get hookups on their jig and shrimp combo's caching Seatrout and feisty Redfish.  Bob rounded out his own personal Amelia Island Back Country Slam by also picking up a Flounder then Dara matched it by catching a nice Sheepshead.  William wrapped it up when he added a Flounder to get his Slam, too.  It took a few hours of fishing but these anglers were patient and continued to fish  and it paid off, making another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Recipe of the Month: Cheese Ball (Loaf)

This Cheese Ball recipe is a great appetizer for the holidays:

1 ½    packages Cream Cheese
1        tsp Worcestershire sauce
4        Oz. grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1        Tblsp finely crumbled Blue Cheese
¼       Cup celery chopped fine
¼       Cup bell peppers chopped fine
2         Tblsp green onions chopped fine
3        dashes Franks Hot sauce
½        tsp  garlic powder
4         Oz.  pecans, finely chopped (the finer chopped the better coverage you’ll get)

Set out Cream Cheese to soften.  Mix everything thoroughly in a bowl, except pecans.  Chill mixture in refrigerator overnight.  Roll cheese ball in chopped pecans and chill again before serving.  I like to make it a loaf – you get more pecans with each bite!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Making The Most of Lousy Weather

There was a window of opportunity to get out on the water this morning before the rain came through and Dori and Aaron Stibolt were game to get out and give it a try.  We left the marina at 8am with cloudy skies and wind at 10mph and headed north to fish behind one of the only available land masses.  The wind was somewhat blocked and the anglers picked up a few feisty Redfish.  We made a run around to Lanceford Creek and fished a protected creek and here the fish catching picked up as the tide reached it's bottom and began to come back in.  Both Dori and Aaron had good hookups with Redfish.  Dori was fishing a jig and shrimp while Aaron worked a Cajun Thunder float rig.  Aaron was able to add a nice keeper sized Sheepshead to the catch before we called it  day.  As we headed in the rain began to fall but we still counted it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Drum Drum and Drum

I had the opportunity to fish with the Bremer boys again today, Chris and his son Nik.  We knew that it would be hard to top the Christmas Eve trip but these anglers were game and even though we had an overcast sky, we headed north to make the most of an Amelia Island back country fishing trip.  The tide had just hit bottom and began to turn when Nik made his first cast and when I heard the drag rip I knew that he'd knocked the "skunk off" early!  He fought and landed a nice feisty Redfish.  We continued to fish and a little later he landed a very nice keeper sized Black "Puppy Drum".  We made a run around to another creek and here things heated up.  Nik had the hot rod early and landed Redfish, one after the other.  Chris was fishing patiently with his new rod and reel combo (that Nik had given him) and he too began to pic up fish.  He first landed a hungry Seatrout then picked up a Redfish and later landed  nice keeper sized Puppy Drum to round out his personal Amelia Island Back Country Slam on his new rod!  The anglers landed a good mess of fish but when it slowed we made one more stop with the tide well up and covering all the oysters.  Nik picked up a few Redfish but Chris had the big fish.  His new rod bent over and the drag ripped as the big fish strained against the braided line.  Chris playhed it the fish perfectly and after a long battle landed a nice 21" Drum, this one a little past the "Puppy" stage!  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Amazing Wildlife Photo's

These photos were taken by Nik Bremer, who fished with me along with his father Chris.  You can see more of Nik's work at
Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Seeing Red(s) on Christmas Eve

Today was one of those mornings when you stand at the boat ramp with 17mph winds blowing and wonder if you shouldn't cancel the trip.  But my guests Chris and Nik Bremer were game for some Christmas Eve fishing so we headed out with our jackets held tight and heads bowed to the wind.  We finally found a land mass to get out of the wind and the two anglers began to cast their jigs and shrimp to the oyster beds and dock pilings.  I think Nik said it was his second cast and BOOM!  FISH ON!  He played the feisty Redfish to the boat and quickly knocked the skunk off the old Anglers Mark.  Shortly after that, BOOM!  Fish ON!  This big Red measured just in the slot at 26.75"!  And that's how the fishing went for the next 4 hours.  Of course Chris was not be out done and he caught and landed his share of Slot reds and the smaller feisty Reds, too.  I counted at least 9 slot Reds landed and we had 2-3 lost to be caught another day.  We lost track of the smaller feisty Redfish caught released.  They also had 7-8 nice Black "Puppy Drum" with 3 of those of the keeper size, landed one nice keeper sized Sheepshead and threw back one hungry Seatrout - all adding up to an Amelia Island Back Country "Grand" Slam of Redfish, Black Drum, Sheepshead and Seatrout.  The sun was shining, the wind was blocked and the fishing was hot all day so we counted it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Trout Are Down Deep

With the Christsmas holiday fast approaching I was able to squeeze in an early morning fishing trip set up by Shaun Payne who brought along his two brother-in-laws Eric and Cade and his father in law Jay.  We met at Atlantic Seafood at 7:30am after the tide had been coming in for about an hour and headed up to the Tiger Island area to fish with jigs and live shrimp.  The water temperature had risen from 59 of last week to 62 but just like last week the anglers had to fish the jigs sloooow!  Cade knocked the skunk off the boat by hooking up with a nice feisty Redfish.  From then on all the anglers got in on the  action, catching a good handful of Trout, a Blue, a bunch of baitstealers, and another Redfish or two.  The wind picked up or changed directions so we made a fairly long run around to the docks of Bell River and got out of the wind.  It wasn't long before this bunch from Texas were "Guns up", landing Seatrout after Seatrout!  Cade pulled it all together by landing a keeper sized Sheepshead to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam.  When we ran out of bait, we switched to Temptation Bait white flukes with red heads and picked up a few more Trout to wrap up another great day out on Amelia Island waters!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Amelia Island Slams for All

The weatherman said today was going to be a perfect 10 and he nailed it!  I met tom Teasdale and his friend Justin Crandall at the Atlantic Seafood dock at 1pm to take advantage of a falling afternoon tide and we headed up Lanceford Creek to fish the back country on a beautiful Amelia Island afternoonI had planned to fish some docks but I guess some of the local anglers had taken the day off because they were out in full force!  We made a detour to fish some flooded oyster beds but had no real bites so we headed north to fish the Tiger Islands.  This turned out to be the trick because Tom and Justin began to pick up some fish.  We found the Trout down deep and by fishing a shrimp or mud minnow slowly we could entice them to bite. Justin knocked the skunk off the boat by landing a couple of Seatrout then Tom got in on th action.  Justin countered with a feisty Redfish but when Tom had a strong hookup I thought, "Big Red", and the fight was on.  He played the big fish patiently but when it finally came to the surface we saw stripes, and landed a nice Sheepshead!  The anglers continued  to fish the area, picked up more Trout and then Justin landed a sizable Sheepshead, too.  More Reds were caught, more Trout were caught, and a couple of feisty Sheepshead, then Tom had another strong hookup and I thought, "Big Red".  But no, this time it was a sizable Puppy Drum!  The anglers caught fish until they ran out of bait then switched to artificial Temptation Baits and landed a few more fish.  The water was slick as a pond, the skies were clear, and the sun was going down when we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Power of Perseverance

There was a small window between the winds earlier in the week and the rain that was to come Saturday evening so when I met Anne and Bob Owensby down at the Marina ramp under cloudy skies we realized that we had a perfect day to get out fishing on Amelia Island's back waters.  We headed north to fish the outgoing tide with float rigs and live shrimp and when Anne hooked up with a fish early I thought that surely we'd be in the fish for a Trout catch'n good time.  But it must have been a lone fish because for the next two hours both Bob and Anne fished and fished but had no real bites. OUCH!  But the great thing about these two
anglers was that they were out to have a good time and were enjoying the outing.  We made our 5th stop of the morning behind Tiger Island as the tide had dropped enough to see the logs.  We'd switched to jigs and shrimp which Bob was expertly casting to the base of the logs and tree branches and BOOM!  FISH ON!  I knew that this fish was big because the rod was bent over, the drag was ripping and all Bob could do was hang on!  He played the fish patiently and after a while it rolled to the surface and wave a big 'ole red tail at us - a BIG Redfish!  Bob
worked the fish closer and closer to the boat and we eventually netted an oversized 30 1/2" Red!  Boy what a fish! Bob and Anne's perseverance had paid off.  We continued to fish the area and the bite picked up.  The anglers landed 4-5 feisty Redfish, 7-8 hungry Seatrout with three of them being of keeper sized and then they wrapped up the trip with an Amelia Island Backcountry Slam by landing a very nice keeper sized Sheepshead.  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Looks Like a Manhole Cover

Boy what a beautiful day we had today!  I had met Kay and Dale Bullard at the southend boat ramp at Big Talbot Island Park this morning, a little later due to the high tide - and we even waited a little longer because the parking lot was flooded.  But once it receded we launched and headed north up to the Horsehead area to fish the first of the outgoing tide with float rigs and live shrimp. The water was very still and it was almost like bream fishing with bobbers on a lake - except they weren't biting!   But these anglers were persistent and it paid off.  They picked up a feisty Bluefish then a little later we switched to a jig and shrimp and as Kay perfected her cast she picked up a nice Seatrout along the banks of Jackstaff.  We made a second swipe and when Kay thought she had hung on an oyster she applied some pressure but the drag began to rip!  FISH ON!  And what a fish it was!  She played the fish perfectly and when this wiley fish found a crab trap rope to wrapt itself around we deftly repositioned and the fight was back on!  When the big fish came to the surface Dale commented that "it looked like a manhole cover"!  I had thought that it may be a big Redfish but when I saw the stripes I knew that it was a huge Sheepshead. Kay worked the big fish to the net and landed the big 23 3/4" fish.  All of our hearts were pumping after this fish fight!  This fish put Kay into first place in the 2013 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament and set a new record for The Anglers Mark!  (Scroll down right side of this report for standings)  We it a couple of spots in the Nassau River then headed over to Broward Island where both Dale and Kay had good hookkups with feisty Redfish and we also picked up another Trout.  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

1000 Fish Should Make the Leader Board

Hooray!  Today was the first day in over a week that we didn't have double digit winds!  I had met the Wasserman family - Michael and Ali along with their two kids Annie and Corie, down at the City marina for an early morning Amelia Island back country fishing trip. We headed north with only a slight breeze, but overcast skies and made our first stop outside Tiger Island at "Manatee Creek" to fish with live shrimp under floats.  We had no bites there and across the creek so we moved on up into the creek as the high tide finally started to come out of the marsh grass.  After not getting any real bites we moved back around to the front side of Tiger and even though we only had one "bait stealer", I could see that some fish were beginning to get active.  We made our last stop as the tide began to really move out and the fishing heated up!  Young Annie hooked up and boated a feisty Redfish, then landed another shortly after.  Corey had a hookup and the two young anglers began to "double team" the fish with one holding the rod and the other reeling!  They worked out a great system and landed fish after fish from their secret spot.  Then dad Michael got in on the action and picked up a few hungry Seatrout then began to pickup Redfish, too.  Ali was snapping pictures of the fishing team as the action continued.  Corey reeled in a nice Flounder to round out the family's Amelia Island Back Country Slam and they all stayed busy fishing up until the last minute.  I had told the kids that they should always tell the truth but it was sometimes OK to fudge the truth in fishing so when Corey announced that they had caught 1000 fish we all had a good laugh!  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!