Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Already In The Winter Pattern?

Boy what a beautiful day we had today! I had met Clint and Jean Davis up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp as the sun was coming up and we made a quick buzz around to Tiger Island to take advantage of the very first of an incoming tide. We fished the north end for just a bit and the "baitstealers" made their presence known so we eased down to the tree tops and this did the trick. Jean had made an excellent cast up into a pocket and as she worked it out she felt a faint bump, set the hook, and FISH ON! She played it perfectly and soon landed a nice 18" Black "puppy" Drum. The "Skunk" was off!  Dean had been casting to another pocket and wasn't quite
getting it to where he wanted it, but after a perfect cast, BOOM! Big Fish On!  You can always tell when you have a big fish on light tackle because it Just. Doesn't. Come. In!  But Clint was patient, let it make a few runs, then slowly worked it to the net, a nice 25" THICK Slot Redfish!

After the two anglers put another Slot Red and another keeper sized Puppy Drum in the boat, and some smaller Reds to go along with those, we crossed the creek and set up where we had seen some bait getting busted. Sure enough, both Clint and Jean began catching Seatrout, up to 14" in length. We caught a good handful and probably could have caught another handful, but we decided to make a run up to the Jolley River.

The first 50 yards of oysters we fished produced nothing but baitstealers, and a lot of them, but finally Clint had a good bite on a float rig and live shrimp and he hooked and landed another Slot Redfish. And that was it!  We fished another couple of banks in the Jolley and only caught a fish or two. After we fished some flooding oysters in the Bell River, we called it day, another great one fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

We had somke good fishing early around the logs but not much along the oyster beds, later. Makes me wonder if the water temperature (67 degrees) is already affecting the fish!  We also saw a Bald Eagle, Blue Heron, and a Manatee during this trip!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Grande Slam on a Great Day

What a beautiful morning to start the week here at Amelia Island, Florida! I met John Cipriani and Dean Miller out at the Goffinsville Park with the tide still going out but due to hit bottom within the hour so we made a bee-line for  Broward Island and set up off of the tree tops with plans to fish with jigs and live shrimp. The Redfish were busting bait all along the bank and it wasn't long before they were busting John and Dean's baits too!  We began to catch one Redfish after the other and then picked up a good handful of Seatrout, too.  Dean added a Flounder to round out his  "Slam" early then John had a
strong bite and the battle was on!  He played the big fish patiently, kept the pressure on, and soon landed a 26" "Tournament" Slot Redfish, boy what a fish!

We fished that spot thoroughly, then moved down the island and picked up a couple of fish before we made the run back to Seymore's Pointe and picked a dock to fish. One side didn't produce but he other one did! Both John and Dean both put some Black "puppy" Drum in the boat to garner their "Grande Slam" for the day and they also had a feisty Redfish to go along with the catch.

Our next stop was down at Spanish Drop and here John picked up a couple of Reds and then a Trout. Our final stop was back at Pumpkin Hill and just when I thought we'd get "skunked" on this one, Dean had something roll on his bait, take it with a vengeance and then it was off to deep water. Dean kept the pressure on and let the light tackle rod do the work as the fish took him to the bow then it fought from one side of the boat to the other. But Dean was up to the task and eventually landed a nice 4' Bonnethead Shark, boy what a battle. And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Grass Patches

I fished again this morning with the Blalock fishing team William and Bob, meeting this time out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp. With just a short jump over to Pumpkin Hill, we were fishing in a matter of minutes. Both Bob and William were set up fishing live shrimp under floats on a high and still incoming tide. Although our first spot produced nothing but nibbles, we eased forward 50 yards and began to catch fish. Bob had the hot hand early and picked up 2-3 keeper sized Trout behind a small grassy island.

We eased around a point and drifted down the bank, pitching to the grass, and when we got to
another couple of stand-alone grass patches, BOOM!  We began to catch fish. It was only about 3' deep and I knew there were oyster beds underneath the water. Bob had landed a fish or two and William had yet to "get on the board" when his float went by a patch of grass and slowly went under. William set the hook and the fish went crazy!  It fought and splashed and jumped all the way to the boat but William easily landed the biggest fish of the day, a nice 21" fat Seatrout (all fish caught today were released). Boy what a fish! After getting few more fish there we made the short run over to Christopher Creek.

As we worked some dock pilings with jigs and live shrimp,  William stayed hot, catching a feisty Redfish and a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum. Bob had a good bite that thru the hook then he had a huge bite - one that ripped drag and stayed put...and thru the hook, ouch! 

We fished some docks at Seymore's Pointe then switched to some jigs and plastic grubs and we did pick one more Trout before we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Herculean Effort

It was a dark and gloomy....morning...but the winds of the last two days had died down and the rain was offshore so Bob and William Blalock and I headed out from the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp and over to the outside of Tiger Island to fish the last of a high and incoming tide. Bob was tossing live shrimp under a float and William was pitching a topwater Zara Spook Jr (red head, white body). The two anglers worked the grass line - Bob got a bunch of nibbles and William had zero "pops" until finally, BOOM! He had a vicious strike, a hookup, and skunk off the boat with a nice Seatrout. But there just
weren't any fish to be had.

We ran thru Tiger Basin and around to Bell River and set up at a point of grass and this did the trick Both anglers were fishing the float rigs and they began to get a Seatrout here, and a Seatrout there. And another Trout. And another Trout. They gradually began to build a good "mess 'o fish". 

After running over and then up into the Lanceford Creek, we found nice grass patch to fish and again, the duo put fish in the boat with every once in a while one being a keeper sized fish. We also picked up a first couple of Reds there as the tide started out.

Our final stop was over in Soap Creek and things got crazy in a hurry! Both William and Bob put fish in the boat - Trout and Red's, then Bob had a strong hookup...but it was on the other side if a grassy island, and as it turned out, on the other side of an oyster bed! The fish ran up a slew then buried itself in the grass and stuck. We moved in closer with the boat and Bob leaned out and pulled the fish loose and the battle was on again. After a herculean effort, Bob worked the fish to the boat and landed a nice 24" Slot Redfish.

We ran out of live bait catching fish then switched to artificials and continued to catch fish. Bob was using a natural colored/chartreuse tail weighted shrimp under his float and William caught fish on a rootbeer grub with chartreuse tail and also a black spoon with rootbeer grub, all of which made for a great way to end a day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Trout Flurry Early

We had a beautiful morning today when I met Pete Nolan and his friends Victor and Sherif down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. We made the short run up the intercoastal to dip into Jackstaff Creek and then went a tad bit further up into the marsh. The three anglers were tossing float rigs and live shrimp under floats to the marsh grass on a high and outgoing tide and it didn't take long for them to begin to get hookups. Pete started it off with a Trout catch then all three anglers were getting fish. Most of the fish were Seatrout, but Sherif put a couple of hard fighting Bluefish in the boat.

When things slowed down we dropped back to the mouth of Jackstaff and fished that shell bank and again, we got plenty of smaller but hungry Seatrout.  We also had a couple of feisty Redfish caught then Sherif hooked up with something and big and the battle was on. By the way it ran deep, and like a freight train, I guessed that it was a shark, and after a tremendous battle, I was proved correct. Sherif worked it to the boat a patiently and soon landed a nice 4' Shark.

We fished some docks at Seymore's Pointe to no avail, then ran down to Spanish Drop and even though we hand some slow action, Victor managed to find us a nice Redfish. We finished up fishing at Broward Island tossing jigs and shrimp and finger mullet then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Amelia Island Super Grande Slam...and Perch

After some nasty days of weather I was back fishing today, meeting Billy Redfield, his dad Bill, and uncle Cliff up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park early with plans to fish the outgoing tide. We made the run around to and up into the Jolley River, making our first stop at Snook Creek. The three anglers began making their casts with float rigs and live shrimp up to the still flooded marsh grass and it only took a minute or two before all three were putting Redfish in the boat. As long as we were up near the grass with our casts, Boom!
Redfish. We worked that bank thoroughly, then moved on down the way and picked up another fish or two, and then the baitstealing Perch moved in.

Our next stop was back at Jolley Bank but even though these anglers were making excellent casts we had no real takers so we ran back up the Jolley to the MOA and switched to jigs. Again, just baitstealing Perch. You gotta be good to catch a little fish!

We were up that way so we continued on around to the docks at Bell River and set up current from the pilings and did this did the trick. Billy had made a pinpoint cast to a "stob", let it sit, and BOOM! Nice Redfish on! He worked it out from the pilings then patiently played it to the net and landed Slot 23" Redfish, boy what a nice fish!  We continued to work the docks and the three anglers put Seatrout, a keeper sized Sheepshead, and a feisty Black "puppy" Drum in the boat. And some Perch.

Our final stop was way back at Tiger Island and here we wrapped things up with another couple of Redfish catches and to top it off, a Flounder catch that gave us a Super Grande Slam. What a way to wrap up a great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

We Got The Slot Reds

I fished this morning -another beautiful one - with Dut Leblanc and his son-in-law Stephen, meeting them down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp as the sun came up over the horizon. We made a quick run up the Nassau River and made our first stop along some exposed oysters on an outgoing tide. Crazy how one day can make a difference - yesterday morning we fished the same spot with the same bait and just tore up the small but feisty Redfish. Today - not a single Red, but these two anglers were not deterred and began to get Seatrout, bouncing their  jigs and shrimp down the river bottom. Most were just undersized but finally Stephen put a keeper in the boat.

We moved further up the way, fished a large run out, and again, Seatrout but no Redfish. Crazy. After fishing some docks at Seymore's Pointe with no real bites, we made the run down to Broward Island and fished the jigs deep, and it paid off. I had caught some finger mullet and it was this that Stephen had a huge bite and, Fish On! He played it patiently to the boat an landed a nice 21" Slot Redfish. Both Dut and Stephen picked up a couple of more smaller Reds before we worked our way down the island. We got a bite here and there - Dut had a huge bite and as he worked it to the boat - it let go!  We could see the teeth marks on his mullet but it didn't get the hook!

As we dropped back to the original spot before we left the island, Stephen had another good it, set the hook, and successfully fought to the boat another 21" Slot Redfish. We fished the rocks at Seymore's where Dut tangled with a big high flying Ladyfish, then fished the oysters at Spanish Drop one  more time before calling it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Three Way Tie

We've got a three way tie in the Anglers Mark 2018 Bragging Rights Tournament - Flounder Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings). I had met Tim Parker, his brother Brian, and son Wes out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp and we immediately made the short run down the Nassau River, heading east, and made a stop at some exposed oysters shells in the Spanish Drop area. The tide had been going out a few hours and the trio began tossing live shrimp up to the edge of the shell and almost
instantly began to get fish. They caught one feisty Redfish after the other and added a couple of hungry Trout, too.

We moved up the way and fished a large marsh run out and again, it was a great fish catch'n time. We found that if we kept the boat out a ways we tended to hookup Seatrout out deeper as our jig bounced the bottom. After making a quick stop at some docks at Seymore's Pointe where Wes added a Black "puppy" Drum to the mix (and garnered an Amelia Island Back Country Slam), we moved on
down to Broward Island. And again, more feisty Redfish.  We worked the bank thoroughly and eventually moved along a mud flat. Brian had a strong bite and looked like he was working in a concrete block - but it began to fight back!  Brian played it patiently and soon landed a 22" Doormat Flounder -which tied him for first in the Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament! Boy what a fish!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

82 Years of Experience

You can't beat the Fall fishing weather here at Amelia Island, Florida!  I met Bart Hough and his
father-in-law Albert down at the Dee Dee Bartels Park early yesterday morning and we made the long run around to Broward Island to fish the very last few minutes of an outgoing tide and the start of the incoming. The "demo" cast produced a bite and Albert worked in a nice feisty Redfish to start the day!

From then on it was catching fish! And big fish!  Albert put an oversized 30" Red in the boat then followed that up with a Slot 23" Red and then a Slot 26.75" Red!  Bart got in on the action and
began to catch Redfish, too. We worked that area for about an hour. Bart landed a couple of keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum before we moved on.

We fished some docks at Seyomore's Pointe and then wrapped up fishing at Spanish Drop. Here, Albert boated a 21" Seatrout and battled a 4' long Bonnethead Shark to the boat for pictures and release. The duo ended up taking home a nice bag of fish for dinner and it made for a great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Making a Day Out Of It


I pulled out of Sawpit Creek Friday around noon and headed north and after "re-baiting",  met the Hanna group - Jack and Motsy and their friends Glenn and Jan up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park. They had spent the morning playing golf and walking the beach and wanted to make a day out of it fishing the backwaters of Amelia Island.  We made or first stop at the Jolley River "bank" on a high and outgoing tide fishing live shrimp over the oysters and began to put one Redfish in the boat after another. All four anglers caught
fish on this beautiful afternoon. They also had Seatrout, Black Drum, Sheepshead and more.We wrapped up the day fishing the treetops of Tiger, then made it back to the dock with a couple of nice Slot sized Redfish.


Three Guys Fishing

I fished Friday morning with Howard McClure and his two longtime fishing buddies Brian and Joe, meeting them down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. We made the run up to the Broward Island/Horsehead/Spanish Drop area and fished with live shrimp on the first of an incoming tide. The fish bite is really coming on strong! In addition to a whole bunch of smaller fish, the trio boated a couple of Slot reds, a handful of keeper Seatrout, a couple of keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum and a big 19" Sheepeshead, which put Brian tied for 2nd place in the Anglers Mark 2018


Bragging Rights Tournament (scroll down the right side of this report for standings)  Boy what a beautiful day and a great fishing trip here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Fishing For Rabbits

WhooWhoo! What a pretty day we had for fishing the back waters of Amelia Island! I met Bud O'dell and his longtime friend Fred Hough down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp on a high and outgoing tide and we made a quick run up the Nassau River, stopping at a flooded shell bank along the river - Spanish Drop area. The two anglers started tossing float rigs up current, drifting their live shrimp along the edge and BOOM! Fish On! BOOM! Fish On!...that's how it went for almost an hour of fishing. They were catching feisty Redfish and hungry Seatrout, with a Ladyfish and Jack Crevalle thrown in for

When the bite finally slowed we moved on up to fish some docks at Seymore's Pointe. I had fished the same dock yesterday and we only picked up one Redfish and a small Snapper, but we had a better quantity show up today. Both Bud and Fred put a few Black "puppy" Drum in the boat that measured right at legal - we could have debated with the Game and Fish guy, but you know how that goes - so we tossed them back. We had picked up some finger mullet before we left the last spot and Bud hooked up and caught a nice Seatrout on one of the mullet.

Our final stop was down at Broward Island, again, the same spot as yesterday where my guests put a nice slot Red in the boat, but have something big pull lose later. Fred had hit the mark with his cast, kept the line tight, and we both saw something bumping his bait.  Fred gave it a second or two and then set the hook, UMPH! and Big Fish ON!  Fred played it perfectly, keeping that pressure on, and after a good battle landed a big 22" Doormat Flounder, big enough to tie him for the lead in the Anglers Mark 2018 Bragging Rights Tournament-Flounder category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings). And note, the minute the pressure came off the line when it was in the net, the hook popped right out!

We fished a few spots along Broward and picked up another handful of Redfish, then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Saving The Best For Last

I was back to work today, meeting Daniel and Savannah Mullins down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early this morning. We headed up the intercoastal and then into Jackstaff with plans to fish that first bank with jigs and live shrimp as the Rosette Spoonbills ate their breakfast along the bank. Both anglers started right off making excellent casts, working the bank slowly but they had to fend off "baitstealers", one after the other, after the other - what a pain! Although they both tangled with high flying Ladyfish, we had no other real bites.

Our next stop, after running thru Horsehead, was
down at Spanish Drop, fishing a large marsh run out. Here, Daniel did manage to "knock the skunk off" when he hooked up deep and landed a nice Seatrout. We moved down 100 yards, fished another shell bank, then headed back to Seymore's Pointe to fish some dock pilings. Both Daniel and Savannah were making pin point casts, working it hard, and it paid off when Daniel caught a feisty Redfish...but that was it. Tough fishing! But these anglers were game and here to have a good time. We had beautiful weather and another hour or so of fishing, so we headed south, down to Broward Island and began fishing the logs.

This did the trick! Savannah had a strong bite, she set the hook, and Fish On. She worked it patiently tot he boat and soon landed a nice feisty Redfish. Then Daniel got in on the action, hooked up and caught a Red, then both anglers were catching fish.  We worked the island pretty good, then just as the trip was about to wrap up, BOOM! Big Fish On!  Daniel was on the rod - he fought it from bow to stern then, keeping the pressure on, worked it slowly  to the boat. It made a couple of deep runs but it was no match for this experienced angler and he soon brought it to Savannah's waiting net - a 23" Slot Redfish!  Now that's the way to wrap up a great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.