Saturday, March 29, 2014

Big Fish for a Windy Day

My afternoon trip began in kinda of a jumble.  I met Joshua and Chrissy Williams at the Atlantic Seafood dock after lunch and even though the morning trip had been fairly calm, the wind had picked up.  We made a run up Lanceford Creek but we had only been fishing for a short while when we realized that two young anglers were having engine trouble. So we threw them a rope and towed them down the river, the resumed fishing.  But the wind was blowing so hard we had to leave.  Our next stop was in Eagans Creek and although the anglers were getting nibbles, we had no real bites.  We made a run to Tiger Island and the wind was somewhat blocked and the fish bite began.  Both Chrissy and Joshua landed a good handful of feisty Redfish then Chrissy put a big 24" Slot Redfish in the boat!  We moved about 50 feet and caught Redfish, Sheepshead and Black "puppy" Drum.  We moved another 30 feet and had now real bites.  Back to our original spot, the anglers resumed catching feisty Redfish then Joshua took a turn at a big Redfish. He patiently played the fish and eventually landed a nice 25" Slot Red!  Even though the wind was blowing we were able to salvage a great day of fishing out on Amelia Island waters!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Walk Off Grand Slam

This morning we had some really nice weather with very little wind and clear skies.  I met Tavis White and his ball playing son Tommy down at the Atlantic Seafood dock and we headed up to Jolley River to fish the very first of an outgoing tide at a marsh run out.  We were tossing live shrimp under floats but  had no takers.  Our next stop was up in a large creek and we switched to jigs and shrimp, but again no takers.  Our final stop in Jolly was at a sizable creek mouth but tossing the jig produced no bites.  The tide was getting down somewhat so we ran around to Tiger Island and here the fish catching heated up.  I think our first cast produced a hookup and young Tommy played it perfectly, landing a nice feisty Redfish.  From then on the two anglers caught a good few handful of fish - feisty Redfish, Seatrout and Black "puppy" Drum for a Slam, then a Sheepshead for a Grand Slam and finally a Weakfish for the "Walk Off Grand Slam"!  We also were treated to having a large Osprey perch overhead, keeping an eye on what we were catching!  The fishing started slow but ended with a bank and we counted it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

It's Why They Call it Fishing

This morning I had Dick Miree and his friend Katheryn meet me at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp so that we could fish the Horsehead area on a high and falling tide.  We started off tossing float rigs with live shrimp up near the bank but had no real bites.  When we switched to a jig and shrimp we had a hookup on the first cast!  Go figure.  Katheryn patiently reeled in  nice hungry Seatrout. Later, Dick snagged a feisty Bluefish at a creek runout.  Even though the anglers were making excellent casts, we had no more bites so we made a run to the Nassau River and fished another large creek runout, but again, no bites.  Our next stop was some structure and even though the oysters were now showing, again, no real bites.  But Dick and Katheryn were patient and continued to give their all.  We made a run to Broward Island to fish the downed logs but the current was still ripping out fairly fast and made the fishing tough.  We stayed with it, had a bite or two, then hooked up to a nice fish, FISH ON!  Finally!  Katheryn worked the fish in slowly and after a good battle we netted a nice 19.5"  Slot Redfish.  Our perseverance had paid off!  It was a slow day of catching but a great day to be out on Amelia Island waters.  And that's why they call it fishing!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"We Caught Everything"

That's what Nina Felice told an onlooker back at the dock after we came in from fishing this evening.  I had met her and her boyfriend Frank early this morning but the wind was blowing way too much so we moved the date to this afternoon.  Nina and Frank were celebrating Frank's birthday so I'm glad we got the fishing trip in!  The wind had died and the skies were clear, but it was very cool after a front had come through.  We headed north to fish some downed logs on the first of an incoming tide with jigs and shrimp.  We hadn't been fishing long when Frank hooked up and got the "skunk off the boat" by landing a nice Seatrout.  Then Nina reeled in a Trout and for a while there we had a good flurry of Seatrout and feisty Redfish bites.  It slowed so we moved about 50 feet but didn't have much luck.  Moving back to the original spot, the anglers again picked up some fish.  But when Frank's rod bent double and drag ripped out I knew we had a Big Fish!  Frank played the big fish patiently, even when it took him from the bow back to the stern and across the stern.  But then the wily fish burrowed into a submerged log and the line went taut and steady!  Oh No!  Once we figured what had happened, Frank gave the fish slack in hopes that the hook would hold and sure enough, the fish came free and the fight was back on!  In short order Frank landed the fish which measured at 28.5"!  Boy what battle!  This fish put Frank into 3rd place in my Anglers Mark 2014 Bragging Rights Tournament (scroll down right side of this report for standings) . From then on the anglers caught fish.  Nina landed Redfish, Seatrout, Sheepshead and Drum while Frank land those four plus a fat female keeper sized  Weakfish which we photographed and released. Both anglers had the illusive Amelia Island Back Country Slam!  Before we wrapped it up, Frank hooked up with another big fish and soon landed a Slot Sized 22.5" Redfish. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Recipe of the Month: Shrimp in a Blanket

Editors Note:  This is some good stuff! One neighbor, after eating these, said he awoke in the middle of the night thinking about them!

1    lb Jumbo or Large Shrimp
1    Bag of fresh leaf spinach
1    Small container of Cream Cheese
1    Fresh Jalapeño pepper, sliced thin long ways into slivers
1    Pack bacon, cut into half or quarters
1    Jar Kraft original sweet BBQ sauce
1     Box toothpicks

Shell, devein and butterfly the shrimp.  Smear some Cream Cheese into the shrimp.
Lay a sliver of jalapeño on top of the cream cheese and fold shut.  Wrap the shrimp with one or two pieces of spinach.  Wrap a piece of bacon around the spinach/shrimp.   You can probably use a ¼ length of bacon because it stretches.  Skewer the bacon through with a toothpick and place in a 9”x11”  container.   When all the shrimp are prepared, pour the BBQ sauce over them and get them coated real good.  Grill and flip until the bacon is done.  Did I mention that this was some good stuff?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Jack Crevalle in March?

We had a beautiful morning today as we headed out of the City marina and a good tide for fishing the back country of Amelia Island.  My guests, Matt Hutchins, his girlfriend Laura and her daughters Taylor and Haley were in town and looking to catch  some of our saltwater fish.  We made our way around to Tiger Island and began to toss jigs and shrimp to the exposed logs.  I was expecting instant hookups like we had last night but the fish had decided to play hard to get.  But eventually Matt knocked the skunk off the boat by landing a hungry Seatrout then Laura followed it up with another.  As we worked the bank it became apparent that these anglers were going to have to work for their fish and work they did!  Laura had made a good cast to a likely spot and when her rod doubled over and the drag sang I knew she had a good fish, FISH ON!  She fought the fish expertly and after a good battle, landed a nice 25" Slot Redfish.  Things were looking up!  We worked the bank north to south and south to north and the anglers picked up a feisty Redfish here and a hungry Seatrout there.  Laura again contributed to the box with a nice 17" keeper sized Seatrout.  The young girls were having a good time with the perch but pitched is taking turns as "netgirl" when Matt and Laura landed a fish.  Matt finally outsmarted and landed a Sheepshead which measured well over the keeper size.  And when his rod bent and drag sang I just knew he had his Slot Red.  This fish took Matt from one side of the boat to the other and after a patiently battle he brought it to surface, to find that it was an aggressive Jack Crevalle!   We continued to fish and catch until we ran out of shrimp, then had a short tour of Cumberland Island, Fort Clinch and Old Town to wrap up another great dayh to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

First Ever Fish is Slot Red

I had fished with Patrick and Michele Verner last November and we had an outstanding trip so today they brought along their two kids, Colette and Patrick for backcountry fishing trip here at Amelia Island.  The skies were still overcast and the wind had picked up a little but we still headed out, this time up Lanceford Creek to fish some flooded oysters on the very last of a a high tide. We had been fishing for only a few minutes when Colette's float disappeared, her rod bent over, and the drag began to sing, FISH ON!  I didn't realize that she had never caught a fish before and you couldn't tell it as she fought the fish patiently.  I noticed that she did everything I advised her to do as she played the fish and we soon netted a nice 24" Slot Redfish!  What a way to start a fishing trip!  But we had no more real bites so we made a run around to the outside of Tiger Island as the tide was going out, and again, had no real bites.  We moved closer to the mouth of Tiger, fished two creek runouts, and still had no bites!  I was beginning to wonder was the fish "catching" going to end on just one nice fish?  NO!  The tide had gotten low so we moved around behind Tiger and this did the trick.  Our first cast with a jig and shrimp got a hookup.  Patrick #2  fought the fish easily and landed a feisty Redfish. For about an hour and a half the Verner anglers caught and landed fish.  There were too many feisty Redfish to count and a whole handful of Seatrout caught with four of them being of keeper size. The catching was so fast and furious we had to rely on "netman" Patrick #2 to get them in the boat!  They put two keeper sized Sheepshead in the boat to round out their Amelia Island Back Country Slam then Colette caught a loan Weakfish to make it a "Grand Slam".  The sun had won out over the clouds, the wind was blocked by the land mass and it ended up being a beautiful day!  We topped it off with a drive by of Cumbeland Island to see the wild horses, then headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Big Fish Starts the Day

Under overcast skies this morning, I met Don Myers and his wife Susie down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp to do an Amelia Island back country fishing trip as part of Susie's birthday celebration.  We ran up the Nassau River to fish Bubblegum Reef on the very first of an incoming tide and weren't but about 10 minutes into the fishing when Don hooked up and, FISH ON!  This was a big fish and was not planning on coming to the boat!  But Don patiently worked the fish and after a battle from the bow to the stern and back to the bow, we landed a big 33" oversized Redfish that put Don squarely in the the lead of the
Anglers Mark 2014 Bragging Rights Tournament - Redfish category (scroll down right side of this report to see standings).  Later, Susie hauled in a nice hungry Seatrout.  We made a stop at Seymore's Pointe where Susie caught a feisty Redfish then we made a run to Broward Island where the "catching" heated up.  Both Susie and Don caught feisty Redfish then they landed a Slot sized one, too.   The anlers picked up aSeatrout and Sheepshead to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam and after making our last stop in Christopher Creek to pick up one last Red, we headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Discovering a New World

Boy what a gorgeous day out on the water!  The Deltuva family, Tony and Lynn and Andrew were in town for few days and took in an Amelia Island back country fishing trip on The Anglers Mark.  We met at the City marina and headed up river to fish the middle of an incoming tide.  The structure was still showing so we baited up some jigs with live shrimp and fished the bottom slow.  Lynn was the first to hookup and she had a good battle on her hands.  But she played the fish patiently and we soon netted a nice keeper sized Black "Puppy" Drum.  Andrew followed that up with a feisty Redfish then Tony rounded out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam by catching the sneaky, keeper sized Sheepshead !  We fished some flooded oyster beds and Lynn stepped the catch up to a "Grand Slam", landing a hungry Seatrout!  Moving to another flooded oyster, the anglers caught a couple of  snapping Bluefish before we headed over to Cumberland Island to view some wild horses.  We cruised Ft. Clinch and Old Town Fernandina as we were running to our last spot and as we rounded the river bend, there was  Columbus coming to discover America!  The replica ships were coming up the river to dock at Fernandina for a few day stay!  That was a great way to wrap up a day on Amelia Island waters!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Marlin Perkins Would be Proud

After two days of some serious rain the front finally moved through, just in time for me and Kurt Powell and his son Davis to get in some Amelia Island back country fishing yesterday afternoon.  There was a little more breeze than I liked and it stayed overcast but as the wind died the fish catching picked up.  We tried a couple of spots in Lanceford Creek with a high and outgoing tide and barely had a nibble.  We then made a short run to Tiger Island and as we pulled up Kurt spotted a majestic Bald Eagle perched in a tree top.  I almost wanted to start singing "America The Beautiful", but it would have ruined the moment, and possibly the whole trip!  The tide was down somewhat so we fished our jig/shrimp combo's slowly on the bottom and began to catch fish.  Davis knocked the skunk off by landing a feisty Redfish then we all joined in, picking up a Red here and and a Red there.  Later, Kurt landed a keeper sized Seatrout that he caught out deep, and he also caught a Sheepshead to round out the duo's Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Seatrout, and Sheepshead. Davis wasn't going to be outdone and put a Weakfish in the boat to complete the "Grand Slam".  We were seeing Jellyfish and Ray's floating by and had a couple of sightings of the resident Atlantic Saltmarsh Mink, which are being studied by the FWC.  As the afternoon wore on Kurt again pointed out something in the water and it looked to be a fairly large Alligator swimming up current away from the island.  Although I've seen gators over in Beach Creek at Cumberland Island, I've never seen one on our side of the river.  We picked up a few more Redfish then headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Back in the Saddle

I had engine issues on my Tuesday trip and ended up hauling The Anglers Mark to the repair shop.  But I had the boat back Friday morning and luckily Paul and John Landahl had the paitence to wait on me and the boat to squeeze in a fishing trip before they headed back to Chicago.  We met down at the Atlantic Seafood dock at 1pm and headed up Lanceford Creek to fish the last of an outgoing tide.  Paul was working a jig and shrimp in deeper water and picked up a nice Seatrout.   When the tide changed we made a run around to Tiger Island and our "catching" picked up.  Both Paul and John caught a few Seatrout and we had some nice feisty Redfish.   Later we hit Jolley River then the Bell River where John landed the final and biggest Redfish. It sure was a beautiful day and a great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Knocked The Socks Off

That's what Charles Greenman did to the Bragging Rights Tournament leader board! I had met Charles and his son Will down at the Big Talbot Island State Park boat ramp on Sawpit Creek this morning with a baitwell full of live shrimp and we headed up the Nassau River to fish a creek outflow on an outgoing tide.  The oysters were just beginning to show. Will was tossing a live shrimp under a float and Charles was using a jig and shrimp combo up in the creek mouth.  But we had no real bites.  We moved around to fish a likely spot in Jackstaff, had no bites, then ran to the mouth of Jackstaff to fish the oyster lined banks.  Although the anglers felt like they were getting "nibbles", there were  no real bites here, either.  Ouch.  Our next stop was back in the Nassau River and the tide was really getting down.  We hit Bubblegum Reef and this proved to be the ticket.  We had a subtle  bump, an hookup, and Will was able to reel in his first ever Sheepshead, of keeper size.  Shortly after that another soft bump, a hookup and Will landed a nice keeper sized Black "Puppy Drum".    Then Charles got in on  the action.  He had a good bite and set the hook and had a the fish on, but then it really began to pull and we knew he had a FISH ON!  Boy what a battle.  Charles played the fish patiently, even when it got behind the boat and in the current and after slowly wearing him out, Charles landed the 32.25" oversized Redfish to take first place in the Anglers Mark 2014 Bragging Rights Tournament -Redfish Category (scroll down right side of this report for standings).  We had another strong bite but a quick break off then Charles was at it again.  This fish went from bow to stern then took Charles to the bow, around the trolling motor and back to stern where he eventually subdued the big Redfish and landed it to be measured at 31", another oversized Red!  After one more  strong  bite, hookup and breakoff, we headed to Broward Island to fish the exposed logs, picking up a few feisty Redfish before calling it a day, another great one to be out on Amelia Island waters!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Foggy Fishing

We got in some "fun" fishing yesterday, my wife and I and neighbors Carlie and Zach Peyton.  When we got to the Atlantic Seafood boat ramp we found that the whole river was "fogged in" with visibility about 50 yards.  But we launched anyway with navigation lights on and eased up the river to get in some sight seeing while waiting for the tide to get right.  I missed Fort Clinch on the first pass but we eventually picked it out through the fog, then we headed over to Cumberland Island and as we got to the Georgia side, the fog cleared to present a beautiful day!
 There was one sole wild horse at the mouth of Beach Creek and after touring the creek we made a run to Jolley River to fish the very first of an incoming tide.  It was perfect conditions and although we seemed to be getting a few nibbles, we had no takers.  Our next stop was Tiger Island and here we had some good bites.  Carlie got the "skunk off the boat" by catching and landing a nice feisty Redfish, her first ever Redfish.  She then hook and landed up  a keeper sized Seatrout.  Zach and I were playing chess with "baitstealers" but Zach was patient and soon got in on the real action, landing a couple of feisty Redfish.  We watched the sun go down over the marsh then headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on Amelia Island waters!