Thursday, September 28, 2017

Six Good Reasons to Fish Amelia Island in the Fall

1)  The Weather is nicer!  Who wants to fish in the summer heat or the winter cold?  Sometimes we do, but if we had our choice it’d be fishing the mild days of spring and fall.  Summertime trips start early to try and beat the heat.  Even if you have just booked a half a day, by 10am it’s hot!  Booka fishing trip at Amelia Island this fall and enjoy mild temperatures and a great day of fishing.

2)  It’s less crowded on the water!  Most guides and charter boat captains have a plan in their heads about where they’re going to fish depending on what the tides are for the day.  Imagine making your first run to a spot, coming around the corner and there’s three boats sitting on the spot you had intended to fish!  The captain has to make a quick change of plans.  Most of us have other spots we can go to, but our first choice was just taken!  Fish Amelia Island in the fall and there are less anglers out on the water taking up those prime spots!

3) Less “baitstealers”, better fish!  During the summer months everything is biting, but that includes pinfish, perch, croaker, bonnethead shark, stingrays, etc.  You’ll get some quality fish like Redfish, Seatrout and Flounder, but you have to work through all of the “baitstealers”.  When the water temperature cools there are less trash fish to deal with and better overall fishing.

4) The Captain is less grumpy!  Can you imagine a captain’s attitude who has fished 25-30 trips in the hot months of July?  He’s going on very little sleep and each day is a blur.  There’s a very good chance his patience level is down a bit.   During the prime fall fishing months there are less visitors to the island, less trips, and the Captain is in a lot better mood and eager to fish.

5) The Captain is more flexible!  When a captain has 25-30 trips a month and is turning away 5 or so trips a week, there’s not a whole lot of room to be flexible.  He’s booked and there’s no window to work around your schedule.  But in the Fall, he’s not fishing every day and may be flexible in his schedule to accommodate your time.  You’ll find that he is more than happy to be flexible to get your trip booked.

6) Hotels and Resorts may have better rates.   The Spring Break and Summer tourist seasons have come and gone.  If you keep your eye open,  you may find better rates from the Amelia Island hotels and resorts.

And a bonus reason:

 It’s oyster roasting season!   When the first cold spells hit you know it’s time to fire up a fire pit and roast some oysters!  Break out the hot sauce, salteen crackers and the beverage of your choice and enjoy a great afternoon of standing around a fire and roasting oysters.

Contact Capt. Lawrence Piper and set up your fishing trip today! 904-557-1027

Visit for more information.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Grande Slam Kind Of Day

Wow what a pretty morning! And it only got better! I met Joanne and Frank Esch down at the Big Talbot Island Park, early, and we made the short run up the intercoastal and dipped into Jackstaff to begin a slow creep along the marsh line on the very last of an outgoing tide. The two anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp and making excellent casts to the still exposed oysters...and got nibbled, nibbled, nibbled and...nibbled. Baitstealers!  But finally, Joanne had a hookup and put a hungry Seatrout into the boat. We
crossed over and fished a sandbar/point and again, nibblers.

We buzzed through Horsehead and around to some docks at Seymore's Pointe and this did the trick. Both anglers were fishing out of the stern and within minutes were catching fish. They caught a Trout or two, then both of them put a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum in the  boat. We also picked up a couple of keeper sized Mangrove Snapper. Frank added a keeper sized Seatrout.

We eased around and hit another dock and drifted float rigs along the rocks. After some bait got blown up near the shore and behind the boat, Joanne drifted a live shrimp thru the same spot. The float slowly disappeared, the hook was set and, FISH ON! This was a big fish! Joanne played it perfectly (and in the meantime Frank put another keeper sized Mangrove in the boat) and after a good battle she landed a big 21" Flounder! Boy what a fish! This fish puts Joanne in second place in the 2017 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament-Flounder category(scroll down the right side of this report for standings)  Then Frank made an excellent cast to the rocks, drifted slowly and BOOM! Another
big fish on! He worked it expertly to the boat and landed a nice 23" Slot sized Redfish.

After a short run down the Nassau River we fished a runout and a grass line and found a couple of Trout, a couple of feisty Redfish, and a few hard fighting Jack Crevalle. Then we hit Twin Creeks and drifted our float rigs across the mouths  and found what must have been a huge school of Seatrout. We caught one after the other after the other - most were 14.75", but Joanne and Frank found three more keeper sized fish. We left the biting! What a great way to end an excellent fishing trip here at Amelia Island, Florida

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

One Lucky Spot

The mornings are just getting better and better since Hurricane Maria passed way off in the Atlantic. Today I met Domenic Ferelli and his friend Bob up at the north end ramp and we made a quick run over to Lanceford Creek with a plan to fish some dock pilings (that was all that was left from Irma!) on a low and incoming tide. The two anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp and even though the conditions were perfect, the fish didn't cooperate!

We came back and around the outside of Tiger and made a brief
stop at a small marsh run out, still tossing jigs and live shrimp, but here we had not even a nibble. We bounced around to the Jolley River and switched to float rigs with the live shrimp and we began to ease along a marsh line, facing into the current. Domenic and Bob were making excellent casts and figured out that they didn't have to make a pin point cast - they could just toss it up current and let the breeze and current move their baits up near the shoreline and BOOM! Redfish on! Bob knocked the skunk off with a feisty Red, then Domenic followed that up with a big 25" Slot sized fish. From then on they were catching Reds. Most of them were around 16", but once in while they added another Slot fish. We fished that shore for a good hour or so then moved on up the river to fish some more flooded oyster beds.

Although we couldn't match the success of the previous spot. we did have a couple of good bites that ripped some drag before throwing the hook.

After coming back to the outside of Tiger, Bob added another Redfish and both anglers tangled with some small Mangrove Snapper. One more spot produced a Spotted Seatrout before we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Monday, September 25, 2017

First Black Drum In A While

The wind died down just a tad today and it made for a great day of fishing with the Dowling boys - Alton, Chris, Devon and Elijah. We met up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park early and headed over to Tiger Island with plans to pitch the logs with jigs and live shrimp.  It was ideal conditions, the tide had just started back in, and these anglers were making great casts, but the fish just didn't want to cooperate.  I think we got skunked there.

Our next stop was up in the Jolley River and we worked the "bank" with float rigs tossed up near the bank. Alton got things started when he had a good hookup, played it perfectly and with Elijah's help, landed a nice, fat and feisty Redfish. Shortly after that Devon added another, then Chris followed that up with another.

After running further up the river we found another bank that was now flooding with the incoming tide and this did the trick. Alton
had found a "honey hole" and began to catch one Red after the other. Then he had a bite and this fish began to rip drag - it wasn't coming to the boat. But Alton kept the pressure on. The big fish rolled up at the surface then Alton slowly worked it to the boat and landed a "Tournament sized" 26.75" Redfish - boy what a fish! We fished that area for while and had a good handful of smaller Reds.

We ran a back towards Fernandina, slipped thru Tiger and over to Bell River and set up at a point of grass. Alton caught the only Seatrout of the day and then Chris had a good hookup. Again, this fish wasn't coming to the boat. He fought it patiently, from bow to stern and from starboard to port and after a good battle, landed a handsome 18" Black "puppy" Drum. We had another Red or two, a handful of small Mangrove Snapper, then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Working the Fly Rod

With another hurricane sweeping by way out in the Atlantic, Amelia Island had some winds blowing
today - what a time to get in some fly fishing, right? That was the plan when I met Patrick Seidensticker up at the north end ramp and with a couple of the long rods and some spin gear for back up, we headed over to Tiger to take advantage of  the trees to block the 10mph wind.

Patrick was making excellent casts, pitching a couple of weighted fly patterns up between the logs and stumps. He was making excellent casts but it was difficult to keep the fly down in the deep
water. We switched back ad forth from fly to spin (and live shrimp) and after he got few bumps on the shrimp he went back to the fly and BAM! Fish on! Patrick eased the fish in slowly with his line hand and soon landed a nice Seatrout.

We worked up and down the bank, switching from fly to spin and found a Slot sized Redfish, a smaller Red and then Patrick hooked up with what we thought was going to be another Trout. It came up to the surface and thrashed but Patrick kept the pressure on and when we netted the fish we were both surprised to see a Snook!  This is only the 5th Snook I've had landed on my boat in the twelve years I've been guiding here at Amelia Island.

We hit some docks over at Lanceford Creek, caught a couple of Mangrove Snapper, fished a grass patch and added a Seatrout, fished Bell River, and ended up Eagans Creek to try and get out of the increasing wind. Although the wind made it tough, we still counted it a another great day to be out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Seatrout Surge

I had the pleasure of fishing with Bob Blalock again today, this time meeting him up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park and boat ramp - early this morning. The water was calm with just a slight breeze but the forecast called for increasing winds, so we made a quick run over to Eagans Creek with plans to fish some dock pilings before the tide got up. Fishing jigs and live shrimp, it only took a few minutes before Bob was putting fish in the boat. As he slowly bounced his jig back from the pilings, he had a hookup and landed a
nice keeper sized Seatrout. From then on we had good action, landing a big handful of Seatrout with most being around 14" but we did add another keeper, and Bob also put some nice, feisty Redfish in the boat.

When that slowed we moved further up the creek and fished a flooding grass patch and added a couple of more Trout to the catch, caught on float rigs and live shrimp. We then ran around to fish Bell River, stayed with the float rigs, but found only a small Mangrove Snapper. We poked our bow into some flooding marsh grass but saw no Redfish Tails then eased around to the outside of Tiger and worked the marsh grass. Although we had no real bites as we got to flooded oyster bed, Bob made an excellent cast into the wind and BOOM! His float was gone! When the fish ripped some drag on Bob's reel we knew that it had some size to it. Bob played it perfectly and soon landed a Slot sized Redfish.

Our next and final stop was up the Jolley River and boy was the tide high, being pushed by the NE wind. We worked a bank slowly and Bob had his bait stolen a couple of times then he "tightened it up" and began to land Seatrout after Seatrout. They were short (14") and fat and put up an excellent fight. It was a great way to wrap up another day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Hurricane Blew In Some Good Fishing!

Now that every thing has settled down from hurricane Irma, I was able to get out on the water with Adam and Patty Garner this morning, meeting them up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park on the north end of the island. There were a few logs in the river as we ran, some docks  up in the marsh and a boat here and there washed up on a sandbar.

We made our first stop over in Bell River with plans to fish a flooding oyster bar on the last of an incoming tide. Both Patty and
Adam were tossing live shrimp under a float and although we had a bite or two, there were no takers.  We started to run around to the outside of Tiger but saw that we had a really good flood tide happening so we put the bow of the boat into some flooded grass flats look for tailing Reds. The first two spots were vacant but the third was the charm!  I saw a small tail popping up now and then so Adam and I got out of the boat and began to wade slowly to the fish. But as we inched closer we began to see more tails and BIGGER tails - a couple were some huge Redfish!  We tossed a
gold weedless Gator Lure spoon to a fish here and there, spooked a couple, but had a few excellent shots that they just didn't eat. After a while the water got too deep to see any fish so we continued on around to the outside of Tiger and went back to the float rigs.

Patty was the first to strike, and strike big she did! She  had a strong hookup and her drag began to rip, FISH ON! This fish was heading to Georgia! But Patty kept the pressure on as we turned and gave chase and after a good battle she subdued the fish and we boated a
big 4' Bonnethead Shark. And shortly after Patty caught her breath she had a another strong hookup. She was an old pro by now handily landed a Slot Sized 21" Redfish!

Adam had been filming and taking pictures and soon realized that he had better get on the ball! After we crossed over to Manatee Creek his rod heated up and he put a couple of hungry Seatrout in the boat then he too had a strong bite. Another big fish on! Adam played it expertly and worked the fish to the boat, landing another Slot 22" Redfish. We also picked up a smaller Red and a couple of smaller Mangrove Snapper.

Our last stop was up the Jolley River and although we didn't get many bites along the first bank we fished, we did see a wayward baby alligator (looking for a volunteer?) drifting down the river. We bounced across a creek mouth and found a "honey hole" of some Redfish. Adam pulled in 3-4 small but stout Reds out of one spot then Patty eased in with her cast and she too picked up a couple. Adam went further up the river and BOOM! Big Bite! Fish On! He played it patiently and put the third Slot Red in the boat, this one measuring at 25". The two tagged teamed a good handful of smaller Reds, sometimes getting double hookups, then we headed back to the ramp, counting it as another great day to be out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mangrove Snapper Come Through

It appears today's trip may be my last before Hurricane Irma figures out which way she's going to head. I fished with Nick and Misty Irma, meeting them down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early this morning and after run up the Nassau River we eased in to Pumpkin Hill with plans to fish the still flooding tide with float rigs and mud minnows.  Both anglers were making excellent casts and we got nibbles right off. Misty got things started when she snagged one of the pesky fish, a small 6" Mangrove Snapper. We found no Trout
along the edge but as we repositioned along another flooded marsh line, they began to get more bites. The small Snapper were still there but they also landed a couple of Ladyfish then Nick hooked up and landed a feisty Redfish.

Our next stop was over in Christopher Creek, taking advantage of the last of that incoming tide, and here we switched to jigs and minnows. We worked the rocks and docks and finally, Nick hooked
up and landed a small Flounder. We treated to the sight of a flock of Rosette Spoonbills roosting on a downed tree.

We came out of the creek and back to Seymores Pointe and began fishing some rocks with the float rigs again. Although the anglers got a nibble now and then it took a while to begin to catch fish. I had just suggested that we move on and BOOM! It was like someone flipped a switch. They began to catch big, keeper sized Mangrove's - up to 14" and once they got the technique down, landed enough to fill out their bag limit - now that's a mess of fish!

After running through Horsehead we fished a small creek off of Jackstaff and here Nick added a keeper sized Trout (note the damage a predator did to its tail) and rounded out his personal Amelia Island Back Country Slam. And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Friends, Fishing and Football

Nothing like getting out of town and out on the water on the first NCAA football weekend. So friends Tripp Miller, Kevin and David all came in from Atlanta and spent the morning fishing with me before they took in some football games later in the evening. We met up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park and made a short run over to Tiger Island and fished the outside marsh grass as the tide turned out from a high.  The anglers were tossing mud minnows under float rigs and begin to get bites right off.
We picked up some high-flying Ladyfish and a couple of hungry

We bounced around that area, caught more Ladyfish, a handful of Mangrove Snapper and another Trout or two then we ran up to the Jolley River and eased along the "bank" and found some feisty Redfish to tangle with.

Our last stop was further up the Jolley and as we eased along some now-exposed oysters, we began to pickup one Redfish after the
other. There wasn't a lot of size to them, but there were a bunch of 'em! It was fun to be catching and it made a great way to kick off the football season here at Amelia Island, Florida!