Sunday, December 28, 2014

Persistence Pays Off

Another outstandingly beautiful day today! I met Dave Ward and his sons Steven and Michael down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp at a dead low tide and we ran up the Nassau Rive to the Horsehead area to fish our first spot. We had some really nice shrimp and some left over mud minnows and the three anglers began to tossing to some dock pilings. But the fish were not cooperating! We then made a run down to Broward Island, passing the tide line, and fished the last of the outgoing tide there. Dave had a hungry Seatrout to the boat but it took Steven to "knock the skunk off" when he landed a feisty Redfish, then followed it up with another. Dave landed a fat Seatrout before we made a run back to Seymores Point. Things heated up a bit when our first cast to the rocks saw the float slowly sink under we had a Redfish hookup! Michael played the fish in and I think this got him primed. He was tossing his float up near the rocks and began to reel in the Reds. Then, after one cast he said his float just disappeared and FISH ON! He played the fish patiently and worked it away from some pilings and after a good battle his dad netted a Slot 22" Redfish. I think Dave put another multi spot Red in the boat then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Spots and a Slam

Today was another beautiful day to be fishing and the fish were cooperating! Henry Vicary and his kids Conner and Olivia met me at the Fernandina Harbor Marina and we headed out to fish the first of an incoming tide. We had an arsenal of live shrimp and mud minnows to tip our jigs and I think it only took one cast for Olivia to put a Redfish in the boat!  All three anglers began to catch fish, with most of them being Redfish to 17 3/4" and finally they landed
a nice Slot fish. Conner fished deep and landed a keeper sized Seatrout and then added a few more Reds. Later, Olivia put a Seatrout in the boat and a 7 spot Redfish, the most spots for the day. When the bite slowed, we ran to Jolley River, fished a couple of spots, then fished Bell River where Henry landed a sole Trout. After fishing one more spot in Bell, we ran up Lanceford Creek and picked up another Trout. When Conner felt something heavy I thought for sure he had hung an oyster clump but he assured me it was a fish. That's what I get for doubting him because when he reeled it to the surface it was a nice 16" keeper sized Flounder! Conner had his own personal Amelia Island Bac Country Slam of Redfish, Seatrout and Flounder! Now that's the way to wrap up an Amelia Island fishing trip.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pre Christmas Family Outing

I had the pleasure of fishing with the Teseiro family again yesterday. It's really cool over the years to see my guests kids grow up and become fine anglers! I had Don and Kelley and their two growing kids Trey and Marie, this time meeting down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp with a plan to fish the Horse Head area  of Amelia Island. We ran up the the Nassau River and pulled in at some docks to fish the flooded grass on an outgoing tide and within a cast or two Marie had put the first fish in the boat, a
hungry Seatrout! From then on the four anglers were catching fish! They boated mostly 14" Seatrout but put a few keeper sized one's in the boat. Then Don had a somewhat stronger hookup that fought hard to stay on the bottom. But he played the fish perfectly and soon boated a nice Black "puppy" Drum. And then a short while later he put another in the boat, this one a good keeper. The bite stayed strong for a couple of hours with all anglers putting fish in the boat. Kelley added another keeper sized Trout then we made the run to Broward Island to fish the downed logs. Although the
outgoing current was still strong the Teseiro family was able to keep their jigs on the bottom. Trey started things off at this spot when he put the first Redfish in the boat to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Trout, Drum, and Red's. They added a few more Reds and a couple of Trout. There seemed to be a underlying competition going on amongst the anglers and at the end of the day young Marie declared the she had caught "the First, the Most, and the Biggest" fish of the day! It turned out to be a another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Florida's Finest Fishing

I see that we've got some weather coming in the first part of next week, but today was an outstanding time to be out fishing Amelia Island's back waters. I met Jeff Parks and his daughter Tori down at the Big Talbot Island Park boat ramp around 8am and we headed up the Nassau River to fish the marsh grass on a high tide with float rigs baited with live shrimp and mud minnows. Both anglers were making excellent casts and Tori "knocked the skunk off" early when she landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout. But after that we had no
takers on the floats so we switched to jigs to fish the bottom and this did the trick! Jeff hauled in a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum then Tori put one in the boat just a tad bigger. They caught a handful of small Seatrout then Tori notched an Amelia Island Back Country Slam when she landed a feisty Redfish. We continued to fish the area and when Tori went back up to the grass with her jig she had a strong hookup, FISH ON! She played the big fish patiently and after a good battle, landed a 23 1/3" Slot Redfish! The two anglers picked up a few more fish then we moved back down the river, fishing Twin Creeks then an oyster outcrop with no luck. We made the run to Broward Island and almost immediately Jeff put a Redfish in the boat.  Both anglers caught Reds and Trout and just before we called it a day, Jeff had a stronger hookup and he too put a Slot Red in the boat. This was a great way to wrap up a beautiful day to be fishing here at Amelia Island.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December Grand Slam

We had such a good time fishing yesterday....we decided to do it again today! This time Didier De Bruyne and I headed south, leaving the Atlantic Seafood dock and running down the intercoastal waterway to cut in at Jackstaff Creek and fish the exposed oysters on an outgoing tide. Didier was tossing live shrimp and mud minnows on a jig up to the oysters and making excellent casts, but we had no takers. The weather once again was beautiful and it was just a pleasure to be out fishing. We made a run through Horse Head and fished a dock on the other side. Here, we picked up a keeper sized Flounder and a Slot Redfish. We then made the run down to Broward Island, set up about 40' from the bank and began jigging up current and down the river bottom. It wasn't long before we were landing fish - feisty Redfish them some hungry Seatrout to complete a Slam. We moved up and down the bank and picked up a few more Reds and Trout. Our last stop was at Bubblegum Reef. We fished a little then tried our hand at some waking fish over in a slough, then moved out deeper to jig the bottom. Didier had a strange bite and even commented that he may be hung on the bottom, then his drag began to rip, FISH ON!  This nice fish made some hard driving runs but Didier was patient and after a good battle, landed a nice 20" Sheepshead to round out an Amelia Island Grande Slam of Flounder, Redfish, Seatrout and Sheepshead. We picked up a couple of more Sheepshead before calling it a day.  Now that's the way to wrap up an Amelia Island back country fishing trip!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Redfish Still Hot

Boy what a cool, clear morning we had today!  I met Didier De Bruyne down at the City docks and although it was a bit chilly, the forecast called for temperatures rising to the mid 70's. We headed out of the marina and decided to fish some dock pilings the last few hours of an outgoing tide. We had live mud minnows and shrimp and a good handful of jig rods and it didn't take long to begin to catch fish. Didier landed a number of small but feisty Redfish, then he had a stronger hookup and, FISH ON!  The big fish tried to run back into the pilings but Didier kept the pressure on and worked it out. After a couple of strong runs and a good battle, we landed a nice 25" Slot Redfish! We continued to fish the area, catching a bunch of Reds that measured in at 17 3/4", just under the legal limit, then we made  run up Bell River to fish another dock. And right off the bat, we had Redfish hookups. Didier also put a nice 16" keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum in the boat. We began to work deeper and deeper and were getting some "bumps" and soon found out the Seatrout were there to be had. We caught Trout after Trout after Trout measuring to 14 3/4", again just under the legal limit, but had a good time landing fish.  Continuing on around to the Jolley River and a pit stop at the MOA to find no fish, we then made our last stop at Tiger Island.  Before I could get the trolling motor' GPS set, Didiear called, "fish on"! Another Redfish!  He landed about 6 more fish here. We repositioned, picked up a couple of more feisty Reds, then another strong bite. We new that this was a keeper sized fish by the way it fought and sure enough, we netted a 23" Slot Red to wrap up another great day of fishing here at Amelia Island.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Amelia Island Slam on a Fly

I think Mark Thibodeau and I were the only ones out fishing today. It was a little cooler than the what the forecast called for, at least as windy as predicted, and it stayed foggy the whole day. But Mark was game and I was ready to fish the Amelia Island back waters with the long fly rod. As it turned out, Mark was one of the better fly casters that I've had all year and it paid off because you needed to have a good cast to catch fish today. Our first stop on the first of an outgoing tide, up Bell River, turned out to be not so good of a call. We fished some flooded oyster beds briefly then headed over
to Eagans Creek to fish some marsh run outs. It took a while but Mark figured out that he could let and intermediate line, cast upcurrent, sink down thru the water column, and find a Seatrout. He hooked up with the first one with a black Troy James Fly red dumbell eyes and then picked up a few more on different paterns, including a Trout Candy and a baitfish Clouser pattern. After fishing the area until the water got out of the grass, we made a run thru the fog up and over to fish the logs of Tiger Island. The wind
was blocked here and the conditions were right, but Mark had to work for fish. He finally had a good hookup and a strange fight, and after a good battle, landed a nice 18" keeper sized Flounder.  A little while later, from the same spot, Mark put a feisty Redfish in the boat to round out his Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Seatrout, Flounder and Redfish. We fished the bank thoroughly then made a run back to Bell River, fished an outflow, but again were bucked by wind, then made a run back to Eagans Creek to fish some dock pilings. And boy did things heat up! Mark was tossing a shrimp-like pattern on is sinking tip line in about 5 foot of water and nailing feisty Redfish, one after the other. Then he had a stronger hookup but the big fish was having nothing to do with coming out from around the pilings and BAP, broke itself off. This happened a second time but on the third the big fish made the mistake of running away from the docks and Mark had him! He played the fish perfectly and patiently and after a good battle landed a big 23" Slot Redfish! After putting one more Slot fish of the same size and a good handful of smaller Reds, we called it a day,m another great one to be fishing Amelia Island waters!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Amelia Island Hot Spots

The fog blew off during the night and today turned out to be a really nice fishing day. I had met Dan Moyle, his wife Mary and his dad Bill down at the Atlantic Seafood dock at sunrise and we headed up the Bell River to fish the flooded marsh grass with float rigs and live shrimp. Our first stop looked really good but we had no real bites. We ran around to the outside of Tiger Island and eased along another grass line. Eventually Mary "knocked the skunk off" when
she hooked up and landed a hungry Seatrout. But after working the area thoroughly and getting no more bites, we made the run up to Jolley River to fish a larger creek outflow, but again no bites! Ouch. We made a move up the creek and here Mary again put a fish in the boat, a nice feisty Redfish. Our next stop was back at the mouth of Jolley, fishing the "bank" and the anglers had a quick flurry of hookups.  Both Dan and Bill put Redfish in the boat then Mary added another one, too. Our last stop was back at Tiger Island and now that the tide had gotten down, the fish catching heated up.  Dan began to put Redfish in the boat one after the other and then both Mary and Bill began to get hookups. But Dan had the "hot spot" and continued to catch the feisty Reds. We worked the area back and forth and each time we moved the anglers caught fish. We found that the Seatrout were out deeper and I noticed when I de-hooked them they felt really cold. Bill landed a Black "puppy" Drum to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Seatrout, and Drum. We fished to the very last shrimp, catching fish the whole time, then headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing Amelia Island waters!