Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Rain Let Up

We've endured about a week of rain here at Amelia Island but the weather forecast called for only a 20% chance of rain this morning so Mike Gintoff, is buddy John Souter made the short drive from Elizabeth Pointe Lodge and met me down at the Atlantic Seafood boat ramp to chance an early morning fishing trip.  As it turned out, we didn't get wet,  but the wind made it difficult for my boatmanship and the anglers fishing.  However, these two anglers had great attitudes and were up to the challenge!  We fished the docks of Lanceford Creek and even though we were out of the wind
and had a few bites, we had no takers so we made a run around to Tiger Island.  Here the two fished between the logs and eventually both picked up some nice, fat Seatrout.  We ran through Tiger Basin over to Bell River and set up behind a large flooded oyster bed and this did the trick.  Both anglers began to get hookups, landing a handful of Seatrout and then a few hard fighting Redfish.  When the bite slowed we hit one more spot, a small grass patch back at Lanceford Creek.  Mike picked up another Redfish and John battled an even larger Redfish but it was not to be.  The big fish got big for a reason and new all the tricks, it roiled to the surface then burrowed it's nose down in the oysters and cut itself off!  But we had a great time and even though the skies stayed overcast, it was another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Snapper Still Here

I fished this morning with Duncan Warren and boy what a beautiful morning we had!  Sunny skies as the sun came up and only a slight breeze made for a perfect day to fish here at Amelia Island.  We had met down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp and headed up the Amelia River and into Jackstaff to fish the very last of an incoming tide.  It took just a little while to get bites but after tangling with a Ladyfish, Duncan put a nice Seatrout in the boat to knock the skunk off.  We had another couple of Seatrout along that
first stretch, a feisty Redfish, and another couple of Ladyfish.  We then fished another bank and here picked up a couple of more Seatrout (all of these on float rigs with live shrimp).  We then fished a creek run out, this time with a jig and shrimp.  Duncan was fishing the rig perfectly and when his line went tight he set the hook and hooked up with another hard fighting Redfish.  We made a run around to Seymore's Pointe to fish some rocks with the float rigs again and within minutes Duncan had a hookup!  This fish was fighting hard to get back in the rocks but Duncan worked him out patiently and put a nice keeper sized Vermillion Snapper in the boat.  For the next 45 minutes we had good bites and hookups and a few of them turned out to be about 16" - the biggest Snapper we've had all year.  I counted 8-10 Snapper that we put in the boat before the Needlefish began to get too pesky so we made a run to briefly fish Broward Island where we picked up one more Redfish.  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Those Feisty Redfish

I fished again today with the Richardson men, Allen and his son
Mark and son-in-law Jason.  This time we met at the Atlantic Seafood dock in Fernandina  Beach and ran north to fish the Jolley River on the first of an outgoing tide.  The grass was still flooded and it took a while to get some bites but when they came, boy did we get some bites!  Jason was 2 for 2 starting things off, catching the first fish of both days, this time a hungry Seatrout, which he proved adept at!  We fished around a large creek mouth and as we got to the other side the fish caching heated up.  All three anglers began to catch fun to feisty Redfish - not a lot of size to them, but fun to catch.  These fish are ranging between 12"-16" in length and appear to be adding some girth.  Jason had one fish hit hard and break the braided line, taking hook, float and some line.  Twice we saw the float pop up near the grass so we made a plan to grab the float and net the fish in one swoop.  But the fish attached was having none of it.  On the second try we retrieved the float and hook, but no fish!  Mark was at the bow of the boat and when he had a stronger hookup we knew this was a bigger fish.  He played the fish perfectly and patiently and soon landed a nice Slot 22" Redfish.  We dropped back to fish Jolley Bank and again the fish catching heated up.  There was a few times where we had "double" hookups and almost a triple.  The anglers were landing Redfish, Ladyfish, Blues, Jack Crevalle, Perch and Jason added a keeper sized Seatrout.  Our last stop was over at Bell River, fishing some docks and here Allen put a nice Redfish in the boat and Jason added one more Seatrout. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Beautiful Day for Fishing

Today's weather was almost perfect!  It stayed sunny all morning,  we had very little breeze, and it didn't get too hot.  I had met Allen Richardson and his son Mark and son in law Jason down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp at 7am and we headed north up the Amelia River to fish Jackstaff on an outgoing tide.  I had mud minnows and live shrimp in the well and we used both under float rigs.  We had trolled the bank for about 25 yards, tossing to the marsh grass, when Jason had a hookup and the first fish of the day, a nice, feisty Redfish! Both he and Allen had found a spot and they
had a good flurry of catching these Redfish and then they added a Trout and a couple of Ladyfish to the catch.  Mark got in on the action and he too landed a couple of the Redfish. Before we left the area the anglers switched to jigs and Mark put a Seatrout in the boat.  We made a run around to the Nassau River and fished "Twin Creeks", with two of the anglers tossing jigs and Jason fishing a float rig along the marsh grass.  I think it was Mark's first cast and he hooked up with Redfish.  He went back to the spot, put another couple of Reds in the boat, then had a weird bite, but FISH ON!  He
worked the fish in patiently and put the first keeper fish in the boat, a nice Flounder.  This rounded out Mark's personal Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Seatrout, and Flounder.  We then made a run to Broward Island and even though it seemed conditions were just right, the fish weren't co-operating.  But Allen was able to manage a Seatrout then later Jason had a good hookup and put an nice keeper sized Seatrout in the boat.  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

These Ladies Can Fish

I fished this morning with Lisa Duke and her visiting childhood friends Mary and Jan.  We had met at the Atlantic Seafood dock with the tide going out with a couple of hours to go so we headed up to fish the Tiger Island logs with jigs and live shrimp and mud minnows.  We hadn't been fishing long when Jan picked up a hungry Croaker then a feisty Redfish to "knock the skunk off" the boat!  We fished the island south then north and all three anglers put Redfish in the boat.  Then Lisa had a strong hookup, and...
FISH ON!  This fish was pulling drag and we could tell right of that it was bigger.  But Lisa played the fish patiently and after a good battle, landed a nice 20" Slot Redfish! We continued to fish the island and the trio put a Seatrout and a Sheepshead in the boat to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Seatrout and Sheepeshead.  Then Mary had a strong hookup but here line went slack and we thought she'd lost it but then all of a sudden a huge Ladyfish came out of the water right at the boat!  There was a lot of yelling (screaming) going on but I stood fast and netted the high flying fish!  As it hit the deck both Lisa and Jan yelled, "Fish on!" and they too had fish!  They both fought their fish expertly and soon Lisa put a keeper size Flounder (a Grande Slam)  in the boat and Jan landed another Redfish.  When the bite slowed we made our way to Jolley Bank and fished the first of an incoming tide.  Here the anglers stayed pretty busy catching  Redfish, Seatrout, Croaker, Catfish, and Perch while tangling again and again with Ladyfish.  We ran out of bait just as we were ready to wrap up so we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Elusive Redfish (Part 2)

We had another flood tide this morning and this time we were going after them with fly gear.  I had met Joe Cieslukowski down at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina as the tide was still coming in so we headed up to the Jolley River to do some blind casting for warm up!  There was tons of finger mullet coming in with the tide and fish seemed to be striking them along the marsh grass but none would take the flies we offered them. I had Joe start out with light gurgler pattern, switched to a minnow pattern, then went to a sinking fly, but we had no bites.  The water was creeping into the grass so we made a run around to Tiger Basin and began to check the flats for Redfish.  It was a later tide than yesterday and not quite as high as it turned out, but we persevered and just as the tide peaked we began to see fish.  They had moved east from yesterday but we could hear them sucking fiddler crabs off the grass and we found them that way.  Their tails weren't rally up and waving but their backs would come out of the water along with their mouths.  Joe made some excellent casts but the fish were moving along so fast (I believe getting in their last mouthfuls of crabs before they moved out to deeper watear) and they just wouldn't eat our fly.  But Joe had discovered tailing Red flats fishing and began to see them before me.  We had a shot at 5-6 fish but had no takers but still counted it as another great day to be out fishing Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Digging Them Out of The Grass

I fished early this morning with Sharla and Bruce Newkirk, meeting at the Atlantic Seafood dock and heading north to the Jolley River to fish an incoming tide.  We had an arsenal of weapons - topwater lures, float rigs and mud minnows, jigs and plastic grubs and jigs and minnows!  We fished Jolley "bank" the whole stretch and even though there were fishing busting bait up near the grass we had no real bites other than a few spits at our top water lures, but Bruce did pick up a small hungry Bluefish.  We made a run back around an Gator Spoon and made some excellent casts but the fish didn't see it.  Then we began to see tails at the bow of the boat and at the stern!  Sharla got in on the action and both anglers were casting to tailing fish. But no takers!  We decided to back out and check the previous flat and as we sat there we could hear huge fish slurping in the distance and when we looked way out, about 75 yards away, we could see Big Redfish with their back out of the water! Sharla spotted another creeklet on the other side so we eased around the marsh with the trolling motor and up into the flat.  Sure enough, there were big fish still there.  Bruce made pinpoint cast with the spoon and BOOM! FISH ON!  He played the Slot Redfish perfectly and worked it to the boat and I almost had him with the net. Almost! The big fish made a run, rounded the bow and headed for thicker grass and deep water and BAP!  FISH OFF!  Oh man that hurt!   But Bruce was not to be denied!  We continued to see big Reds slurping bait and when a huge tail came into range, Bruce placed another gold Gator Spoon just off to the side of this fish and as he slowly reeled it in, BOOM! BIG FISH ON!  He played the fish perfectly, applying some gentle pressure as it made some strong runs, but it was no match for Bruce and his tackle. After a good battle the fish was subdued and we netted a nice oversized 28 1/2" Redfish!  After a couple of pictures we released the fish back in the deeper creek and it swam away to be caught another day.  We checked out one more flat then called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!
through Tiger Basin to fish the Bell River with the float rigs and minnows and in no time the two anglers landed fish.  First Bruce put a hungry Seatrout in the boat then Sharla had a hookup that seemed bigger.  She played the fish perfectly and landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout.  She then followed that up with a feisty Redfish.  We fished the area for a while with high hopes but the bite had stopped as quickly as it began.  We ran back to Tiger Basin and with the marsh grass flooding, began to look for "tailing" Redfish.  Our first three flats produced nothing but on the fourth we could see a Redfish wallowing around even as we pulled up to the flat!  But in my excitement I got the boat too close and it was gone!  We eased up into a creeklet in the marsh and found another flooded flat and quickly spotted another tail!  Bruce was ready with a spinning rod and gold

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Elusive Redfish

We had overcast skies this morning but the rain was supposed to hold off to late afternoon so we went for a "tailing Redfish" trip during the high flood tides.  I had met Rick and Michele Lusk early this morning and after we had gone over some preliminary flood tide fly casting tips, headed north up to Tiger Basin in search of the elusive Redfish!  I think it was our third flat when we spotted a hungry Redfish, nose down with his tail out of the water.  We lowered the river anchor quietly, grabbed a fly rod, and .....the fish disappeared!  Well, darn it!  We saw it one more time but had no
chance to cast the fly.  We checked out another couple of flats then I dropped the trolling motor and eased way back into the marsh where we were right in the middle of a number of flooded grass flats.  This time both Rick and Michele saw a tail pop up right behind the boat.  Again, we had the fly rod ready but saw the tailing fish no more!  We decided to hit one more flat that has held fish in the past and sure enough, just as we eased up to the flooded grass - "there's a tail!"  This one was just out of range but wallowing around in the grass looking for food so both Rick and I eased over the side with fly rod in hand....and it disappeared! Double darn it!  We waited patiently for a while and when the tail popped up again we had a  couple of casts at it but no takers.  After a little fly casting practice in the grass we headed up Lanceford Creek and broke out some spinning gear rigged with float rigs then baited them up with live mud minnows.  It wasn't long before both anglers had fish.  Rick landed a hungry Blue then when his float went under a second time he new this one had some size to it.  He played the fish patiently and soon landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout.  Shortly after that he put a feisty Redfish in the boat then Michele followed that up with one of her own.  We fished some docks before we left and the anglers caught a high flying Ladyfish and Rock Bass.  With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Light Tackle Shark

We had another beautiful day to be out fishing Amelia Island waters today.  I had met Henry Weiner down at the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina this morning and we made a short run around to the outside of Tiger Island to fish float rigs and live shrimp on an outgoing tide.  We set up at a larger creek run out and began to get bites almost immediately.  Except that's what they turned out to be, just bites. Baitstealers!  But Henry began to get hookups and each fish turned out to be a different species which was kinda neat.  We
fished the area for a while, moved around behind Tiger and fished a little more, picking up a keeper sized Flounder. We also saw some beautiful wildlife - a Rosette Spoonbill, Osprey and leaping Tarpon.   Our next stop was up to Jolley River where we fished another creek run out.  Here Henry landed a hungry Seatrout, a Ladyfish, a Blue fish which added to the variety.  He then picked up a couple of Feisty Redfish  to round out an Amelia Island Backcountry Slam of Flounder, Seatrout and Redfish.  Then out of no where a big fish hit!  Henry's rod bent double and has line began to sing, FISH ON!  This big fish headed fast for deep water and I knew it was going to be a Shark.  Henry played the fish patiently, working it from starboard to port and from bow to stern.  The big fish went to the bottom a few times then began to surface as Henry applied the pressure.  After a good battle Henry landed a four foot Bonnethead Shark!  Our last stop was at Jolly Bank where caught a few more fish then called it a day,
another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Post Holiday Fishing Trip

The long weekend is over and I had the opportunity to fish with Ron and Eric Brown this morning, and boy what a pretty morning it was!  We met at the Atlantic Seafood dock and headed up to Lanceford Creek to fish some dock pilings on the very last of an outgoing tide.  The anglers hadn't been fishing long with mud minnows and jigs when Eric hooked up and landed a nice feisty Redfish.  Knocking the "skunk" off the boat real early gave me high hopes for a "fish catching" day.  We fished a while longer and Eric put his Redfish in the boat and the friendly competition was on! 
Our next stop was Tiger Island and Eric went one up on his dad when he landed another Redfish then we made a run around to Jolley River to fish "the bank".  There was a flurry of bites with Ron landing another Redfish to tie it up then Eric put one in the boat to pull ahead.  But Ron was not to be outdone and found a nice keeper sized Flounder.  Eric tangled with a couple of high flying Ladyfish but they threw the hook right at the boat.  We fished Snook Creek with no real bites then moved around to the MOA as our last stop.  Just as we were about to pull up, Eric had a hookup and landed a hungry Seatrout which put him in lead of the 2014 Brown's Vacation Fishing Tournament!  It also gave the duo an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Flounder and Seatrout. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!