Thursday, June 13, 2019

Good Fish Bite Wraps The Week Up

I fished with Mike and Louise (Lou) Maguth this morning, meeting them up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp early. We had a heavy breeze blowing out of the south west so we headed over to Lanceford Creek with plans to fish a large outflow on the first of an outgoing tide. The two anglers began with float rigs and live shrimp. Even though the first cast produced a high flying Ladyfish, we didn't have any other real bites so we worked up the bank for a bit. There was a lot of bait action and I thought for sure we'd pick up a fish, but no - no fish. We dropped back and fished the first runout where
we had started - the tide had dropped just a bit - and this paid off. Lou hooked up and landed a nice 19" Seatrout, then she put another keeper sized Trout in the boat.

We moved around and fished some dock pilings and just when I thought it was to no avail - BOOM! Fish on!  Lou (the classiest dressed angler I've ever had on my boat) hooked up, battled and landed a big 24" Black Puppy Drum. Then she put another one in the boat. I was beginning to think Mike had just come along for the ride but I guess he decided to get busy - he caught a nice 22" Slot Redfish, then a keeper sized Black Drum, then another, bigger Slot Redfish. Before it was over they had landed 3 keeper sized Seatrout, 3 Slot sized Redfish, and 3 keeper sized Black Drum - and tossed back some smaller fish.

Things finally slowed so we made the long run around to the Jolley River and fished the "bank" Mike put one feisty Red in the boat then both anglers did battle with some 3' long Bonnethead Shark.

The Anglers Mark is going in the shop tomorrow for it's 100 hour service so it was a great way to wrap up a week of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Rain'n Fish

I fished with the Park boys - Grandad George, his son Matt, and grandson Joseph today, meeting them up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park early this morning for a half day of fishing. We made the short run down to Lanceford Creek and set  up outside a nice run out on a tide that had been going out for a few hours - the oysters were already showing. It may have been the first cast, maybe the second when young Joseph hooked up and "knocked the skunk off" with a nice Seatrout catch on a float rig with live shrimp as bait.  We had a few more Seatrout caught but although the bait fish were making a commotion, we had no other fish.

We moved around and fished some dock pilings and this did the trick. Matt was fishing out of the stern and that seemed to be the spot - he hooked up and expertly landed  an nice keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum.

Grandpa George lurked and.....

Matt put a keeper Seatrout in the boat, then another keeper Puppy Drum, then another keeper Trout...then George hooked up and, Fish On!  He played it perfectly and soon landed a nice 23" Slot Redfish.  We also caught and released a couple of smaller Reds.

The tide had hit bottom so we pulled up the trolling motor and made the run back to Tiger Island to catch that incoming current. Although we didn't get much here we did pick up a feisty Redfish.

With just minutes left in the trip, we decided to make the short run up to the Jolley River and boy did this pay off- even though a couple of rain showers came thru. The trio combined to land two keeper sized Flounder- George landed one that was 18" to squeeze in to 2nd place in the Anglers Mark 2019 Bragging Rights Tournament-Flounder Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings), then he hooked up and landed a nice22" Slot Red- this one had some "shoulders" and put up a harder fight than his earlier 23"er.  Matt was on the net, Josephe was "coaching" so it was a team effort to land the fish and make it another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Finally a Big Flounder - and a good day of fishing!

Todd Johnson and his college buddy Garrett met here at Amelia Island and took in a back country trip on the Anglers Mark this morning. We met up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp and scooted across the river to fish Tiger Island logs on the first of an incoming tide. We worked down the island tossing 1/4oz jigs with live shrimp and only had nibbles until Garrett pitched between two stumps. As he took up his slack he felt a "heaviness" and BOOM! Big fish on!  Garrett worked it to the boat as it dug deep, but he kept the pressure on and landed a big 20" Flounder - the biggest of the year on the Anglers
Mark - which set him up in first place of the 2019 Bragging Rights Tournament - Flounder Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings).  That was the only fish we got at Tiger! Hah!

We cruised around to the Jolley River and fished the "bank" and things sure did heat up. Todd battled a big 25.25" Slot Red to the boat, Garrett added a couple of more keeper sized Flounder, and they both had a smaller Red or two. We fished Snook Creek and picked  up a nice sized Whiting then came back up the Jolley and picked up another couple of Slot Reds and keeper sized Flounder (5 in all).

In addition to some Jacks and a rare Cigar Fish, it turned out to be an outstanding day fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Big Redfish Wraps Up The Day

We had a beautiful morning when I met Jason and Becky Garner and their two kids Emily and
Stephen down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp this morning. Not a cloud in the sky and only a slight breeze as we left the ramp and ran up the intercoastal to dip into Jackstaff Creek with plans to fish float rigs with live shrimp and mud minnows to the grass line on an incoming tide.

We had just got started when Stephen, fishing from the stern, had a hookup and landed a keeper sized Flounder to "knock the skunk off" quick! We fished along that first bank and both Stephen and Becky landed some feisty Jack Crevalle's.
After Jason battled a nice Slot sized Red to the boat we made a quick run thru Horsehead and back down the Nassau to fish some flooded shell beds.

A number of times we had strikes at our baits but no takers until Jason hooked up and landed an even bigger Jack Crevalle. Then Stephen put a hungry Seatrout in the boat. By this time Emily's casting had improved to where she was making excellent casts.   Our next stop was down at Pumpkin Hill where we fished some grassy islands. On our second pass Stephen had his float disappear and as he lifted his rod to let the circle hook set itself he hooked and landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout.

The tide was up so we were able to get into Christopher Creek. We worked some docks with jigs and shrimp and minnows but had no takers. As we approached some grass and branches Stephen made an excellent cast - pin point- and BOOM! Big Fish On! Stephen fought it perfectly as the big fish ran deep, keeping the pressure on. When the fish ran Stephen followed it to the stern and went from starboard to port and back to starboard again. After a good battle he landed a big oversized 28.25" Redfish - boy what a nice fish, and great one to wrap up a good day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Click to See video here:
https://www.facebook.com/becky.j.garner.5/videos/10219548119399161/

Monday, June 3, 2019

#7 Spot is the Charm

Back to "work" today! I fished with Alan Richardson,  his son Mark and grandson Braden, meeting them up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp early. We made a quick run up to the Jolly River and started fishing the "bank", easing into an incoming tide with just a couple of hours to go before it was high. These anglers were tossing live shrimp and minnows under a float and we had a couple of good bites but no takers. We fished a couple of more spots in Jolley and only had one small "ladyfish" to show for it.

We came back to the outside of Tiger and fished
some flooded oysters and did find one nice 17" Seatrout that Braden reeled in expertly, but that was it! After fishing two more spots outside of Tiger and with only one more small Trout to show for it, we made a final run to spot #7 in hopes of finding some fish.

BOOM! Yes, there were fish!  I can't remember who started it off but all three anglers began to put fish in the boat. They landed 3-4 keeper Trout (we only kept a total of 2 fish) and then they began to get nice Slot sized Redfish. Braden had 2-3 that were over 20", Mark had a couple of Slots and a short 12-spotter, and Allen landed a few Reds and Trout. It was our 7th spot of the day and turned out to be a "game winner" for making it a great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Crusty Rod

I fished with Dennis Brizzi and his buddy Hal O'Dell today, meeting them out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp early this morning. The tide was still coming in just a bit so we bounced over to Pumpkin Hill and fished a "grass patch" with float rigs and live shrimp and minnows. It was slow going for a while as we drifted over a shallow flat but then we came back out to deeper water and as Hal started to retrieve his bait, BOOM! Big fish on!  Hal worked it to the boat patiently and landed a fat 23" Seatrout - a big enough fish to move him into a tie for first place in the 2019 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament-Seatrout Category (scroll down the
right side of this report for standings). 

We fished that area for a while and landed a couple of Redfish, one of which was of keeper size, another smaller Trout, and Hal did battle with an even bigger fish than the first Trout- this one ripped drag, made a couple of runs, then dove under the boat and BAP! Fish Off! Ouch.

We later fished Seymore's Pointe rocks but had no bites, then went around the corner and picked up a Seatrout or two. After fishing down at Spanish Drop where Dennis landed a Trout, a Flounder, and a Jack Crevalle, we went back to Pumpkin Hill to try our luck with jigs on a lower tide. Although both anglers had some good bites, we had no luck until we were just about to leave and Hal hooked  up with something big, worked it to the boat, and landed an crusty old rod and reel combo! And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

A Mixed Bag

I fished with the Humphries guys today, JR, Chad, Aiden and Nolan - meeting them down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early. We made the run up the intercoastal and dipped into Jackstaff to begin tossing jigs and minnows and live shrimp to the exposed oysters with a few hour left of an outgoing tide. JR, Chad and Aiden were pitching the jigs and Nolan was drifting  a float out of the stern and it was Chad who "knocked the skunk off" with the hookup and catch of a big Bluefish. He followed that up with a landing of a keeper sized Flounder then it was Aiden's turn to get in on the catching.

After tangling with an aggressive Jack Crevalle, Aiden was on the bow fishing the down side of a sandbar and found a couple of hungry Seatrout that took his jig and shrimp. We then buzzed thru Horsehead and down the Nassau to fish some run outs and oyster beds.  Aiden hauled in nice "almost legal" legal Redfish then Logan hooked up and battled another to the boat.

Our next stop was back at some docks at Seymore's Pointe. The first dock didn't produce anything. But just as we pulled up to the 2nd one, Aiden made a perfect cast and BOOM! Fish On! He worked it patiently to the boat and soon landed a nice 19" 10 Spot Redfish - one for dinner!  We briefly fished Broward Island on the last of the outgoing tide but had absolutely no bites but it was a beautiful day so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Fish'n Fun

I've fished with Wes Matheney for a number of year now but today he brought along his son Jack to give him a little exposure to some Amelia Island back country fishing. After meeting up at Dee Dee Bartels Park we made the short run to the outside of Tiger and fished some jigs and mud minnows at a large outflow. Although we had a "bump" or two, we had no takers so we eased around to Jolley Bank.

I was trolling into the last of an outgoing tide, Wes was pitching the jigs and minnows, and Jack was arranging "families" of grubs on the bow deck when Wes hooked  up and hauled in
the first fish, a Flounder of keeper size (All fish caught today were released). We worked slowly along the bank and picked up a nice slot sized Redfish, then we landed another, even bigger Flounder.  After tangling with a feisty Jack Crevalle, we made a move up the river.

We had worked the oysters at the mouth of Snook Creek and saw some sharks cruising the bank but we hadn't had much luck until Wes's line begin to rip and, Fish On! We new this was a bigger Redfish when it boiled at the shoreline. Wes kept the pressure on, worked it to the boat, and soon landed a nice 22.5" Slot Red.

We fished a little bit at Tiger Island then the sun really got up and we decided to head on in and let Jack enjoy the rest of his day at the pool! It was great day to be out on the water and introduce a young future angler to fishing.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Flounder Are Biting

I had the pleasure of fishing with Wes Matheney who was in town with his family again this year. We met down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and made a short trip up the  Nassau River to begin fishing some marsh run outs and exposed oysters. Today was the first day I purchased mud minnows for bait and boy did it pay off!

Wes hooked up and landed a nice keeper sized Flounder right off (all fish caught today were released) then he had a bigger one to the boat and not uncommonly, it threw the hook. Ouch! But it didn't matter because Wes found a few more that he landed- all of keeper size-  not massively big but definitely good enough for table fare!

When Wes had  a strong hookup and his drag began to rip and the fish didn't budge off the bank we knew he had a big Redfish on. Wes fought it expertly and patiently worked it to the boat. After a long battle he landed a big oversized 32.5" Redfish- too big to keep- but good enough to squeeze in to 2nd place in the Anglers Mark 2019 Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings).  This fish had a recent wound from what must have been a dolphin attack. He was having bad week, but he swamp off to the depths when we released him.

Wes picked up a couple of Slot Reds, a couple of small Reds and had another keeper sized Flounder down at Broward Island, then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, May 20, 2019

19, 20, 22, 25.5 and 26.75 (inches) They just kept getting bigger!

I fished on a beautiful morning today with Bob Blalock, meeting him out at the Goffinsville Park
boat ramp. We made a bee-line for some flooding oysters where Bob had put a 36" Redfish in the boat about a month ago. Bob was tossing live shrimp under a float and we had some good action right off- landing some small but feisty Jack Crevalle, a keeper sized Seatrout, a big Bonnethead Shark, one Slot 19" Redfish, and a keeper sized Flounder (all fish caught today were released).

As the tide got up we then came back to Pumpkin Hill and fished a small grass patch. Boom! Bob picked up a 20" Redfish. Boom! Bob picked up a 22" Redfish. Then he boated a nice 18" Seatrout.

We came back around a point and drifted in
close so that we could work the flooding marsh grass and, FISH ON! This was a big fish, ripping drag and digging deep. Then it made a run for the grass, got tangled up, but came out to the deeper water. Bob worked it patiently to the  boat and soon landed a big 25.5" Redfish, boy what a fish. Not minutes later, after he went back to the same general area, BOOM! Big Fish On! This one really messed up - it came out deep fairly quickly  and it was only a matter of time before Bob had subdued the beast and we netted a nice 26.75" Redfish. Now that's the way to have a great time of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Ladies Get Things Going

I fished with Joanne Esch, her husband Frank and their friends Kim and Jim this morning, meeting them down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. We ran  up the Nassau River and eased in between some docks and began to pitch float rigs with live shrimp to a marsh line on a  high and outgoing tide. We had zero bites at the first spot, but when we eased around a dock to fish the other side it was only minutes before Joanne hooked up and landed  feisty Redfish. Then she caught a small Jack Crevalle (the first of the year for the Anglers Mark)(and by the way, I saw Rosette Spoonbills for the first time yesterday)
and then she added a Seatrout.

We ran back east on the Nassau and set up fishing some flooded oysters. Kim and Jim were fishing the stern and it was Kim who hooked up - a nice keeper sized Seatrout. And shortly afterwards she caught another Trout.

I was beginning to think if the guys had come to fish! But sure enough, they got busy - Frank caught a Flounder, then Jim tangled with a high flying Ladyfish. And later he caught a small Sheepshead down at Broward Island. We had a beautiful day and it was great fun to get out on the water her at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Stern Of The Boat

Even though the weather forecast was calling for 70% chance of rain by mid morning today, we went fishing anyway - and I'm glad we did because we didn't have a drop of rain the entire trip! I met Gregg and Dannie Fitgerald and their dad Guy up at the north end boat ramp and after making a short run to the outside of Tiger we began fishing with jigs and live shrimp at a nice marsh run out on an outgoing tide. Only minutes later, Guy, fishing from the stern,  hooked up and put a good tasting Whiting in the boat.

We eased around the corner and fished Jolley "bank" and shortly Dannie's float slowly went
under. She lifted the rod and hooked up and soon reeled in a  small Flounder.  Then Guy hooked up with a nice fish that was pulling some drag and, Fish OFF! Ouch. But he was not to be deterred. Just a minute later he had another hookup and caught a nice keeper sized Trout. Then,  as we eased along the bank, I heard a drag being ripped and when I looked back I could tell that Guy had a big fish on. He played it perfectly  and even though the fish got back in the current he eventually landed a nice 24" Redfish, boy what a nice fish!  Dannie added a high flying Ladyfish to the catch then we moved on up the Jolley, fished Snook Creek and did battle with a Bonnethead Shark, then made a stop at the MOA.

It was Gregg's first cast to the oysters and he said as his jig came down the bottom, BOOM! A fish  hit it . Gregg worked it to the boat and landed a nice 18" Seatrout. Gregg landed one more hungry Trout there before we moved on.  Our next stop was around at some docks at Bell's River but we had no luck there. After making the run back towards Fernandina, we made a stop at a huge pointe of oysters and here Gregg wrapped things up with one more keeper sized Trout.  Although the fishing wasn't "on fire", this trio of anglers ended up with a nice catch of fish so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

That's What Friends Are For

Boy what a pretty morning we had today when I met Wade Kirkland and his buddy Greg up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp. We left the ramp early and made the short trip over to Tiger Island with a plan to fish the downed logs on a tide that had been coming in only about an hour. I was impressed at how good both anglers were casting ( we didn't lose a single jig fishing the logs - probably a record!) But the bites were few and far between until Greg finally hooked up and landed a feisty Redfish.

Our next stop was up the Jolley River, fishing some still exposed oysters with float rigs and live shrimp. Wade was on the bow and Greg was at the stern and shortly after we started our drift Greg had a hookup and it was big enough to pull some drag. Sure enough, after an efficient battle, Greg landed a nice 21" Slot Redfish.

Shortly after that I noticed that Wade was "pulling" his bait. We'd see movement or nervous water and I'd point it out to Wade but when he cast he'd pull it up short and as we drifted by,  Greg would have a shot at it.  I guess that's what friends are for! And just minutes later, Greg had another strong hookup and, Fish On! I knew this was a big fish - it wasn't coming in and was ripping drag at will. But Greg kept the pressure on and after a long battle, landed an oversized 32" brute of a Redfish. This catch put Greg in a tie for 2nd place in the 2019 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category(scroll down the right side of this report for standings).

After that I think we landed only one more fish, a small Bluefish. We fished a few more banks, the outside of Tiger, and some docks down at Piney Island, but had no luck. But it was a beautiful day so we counted it as another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Trout Catching

I wrapped up my week today fishing with Kevin Malinowski and his aunt Joanne, meeting them up at the north end boat ramp on a clear morning with just a slight breeze- a perfect day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida! We made the run up to the outside of Tiger island to make our first stop at a large runout. Both anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp and bumping them back over a sandy bottom, but we had no bites.

We eased on around to the mouth of the Jolley River and worked the "bank", now tossing float rigs with the live shrimp. Kevin was on the bow casting ahead while Joanne worked the stern. We
had a few bites here and there but no takers until we got to a large runout where Kevin hooked up with a keeper sized Seatrout.  We fished further up the Jolley and found another Trout or two. Then we got into some high flying Ladyfish and boy did they put on a show trying to throw the hook!

The MOA produced one Trout, not quite legal, so we buzzed around to the Bell River and fished some docks, to no avail. We had a little time left so we made the long run back to Tiger Island and worked the downed logs with jigs. Kevin found another big keeper sized Trout and Joanne reeled in a feisty Redfish.

It was a beautiful day and a great day to be fishing here eat Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Kind Of Roll You Like To See!

Today was the calm before tomorrow's storm! I met Bob Blalock at out Goffinsville early this morning. We had clear skies and a falling tide that wouldn't start back in until about 10:30am, so I thought it best to hit Broward Island first thing.  Nope.  Bob fished it thoroughly, working his jig and live shrimp up near the downed logs, but we didn't have much action, other than a small Trout and a small Redfish.

But how cool is it to see the baby Bald Eagle chick has left the nest! Its head is still brown and it didn't fly much but it did venture out to one of the dead pine trees to watch his/her parents fish.
To top that, we saw one of the parent eagles dive on a fish out in Nassau River. The fish must have been too big to lift so the eagle "swam" its catch back to the bank. Really neat!

We ran back down the Nassau and set up along some shell banks as the tide started back in (we were closer to the ocean). Bait was running along the shore and when Bob saw a predator fish bust on some bait, he put his jig on the spot. He said he felt it catch on an oyster then BOOM! Big Fish On! It charged down the bank and I thought maybe it was a Jack Crevalle but when it rolled up along the bank we knew it was a big Red. Bob played it perfectly and eventually landed a nice 23" Slot Redfish. We released it and all other Red's caught today.

Continuing on down the bank we picked up another Red or two then Bob made a cast into the mouth of a large runout. It probably wasn't a foot deep and when the big Redfish hit there was an explosion as it came out  and then Bob's drag began to sing. Bigger Fish On!  This was a big fish and it took all of Bob's patience to work it closer and closer to the boat. It rolled up on the bank a time or two, came out deep, made some runs then Bob wore it out and landed a HUGE 36.25" Redfish - the biggest on the Anglers Mark this year which moved Bob into first place of the 2019 Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings).  We had to take a breather after that one!

But we did manage to catch another Red or two, one of which was slot size, then Bob landed a keeper sized 17" Flounder which ended up going home for the frying pan! And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Fat Trout and Monster Red

The weather guys were wrong again! I heard on the radio they predicted today would be a "10",  but it was  more like and 11 or 12! Just beautiful! I met Bob Blalock up at the north end ramp and we scooted over to Tiger Island to catch the incoming tide and boy was it perfect. Bob was tossing jigs and live shrimp and making pin point casts as we eased along the bank. When I saw Bob tighten up and set the hook on a good fish I thought, "oh boy, here we go". Bob worked it in and landed a nice feisty Redfish. But try as we might, we could only get nibbles here and there after that.

We made the run out and around to the Jolley River and ran up stream for a bit and set up along some still exposed oysters. Bob switched to a float rig and we worked along the bank, he began
to pick up Seatrout. They were fat and put up a good fight and when we hooked up with a keeper sized one, it put up quite the battle. After landing a 17" Trout, Bob found another one even bigger, this one measuring in at 19.5".  We fished that bank thoroughly and caught a handful of more Trout.

Our next stop was back towards Jolley entrance. Bob had just hauled in a crab claw - the guy sure was aggressive - and in a cast or two we both saw his float ease under. Bob caught up his slack and set the hook, and BIG FISH ON!  At first we thought the drag might just be loose. Bob had worked it out from the bank a bit but then it made a run back to the marsh line and rolled up along the bank. But we got it out deep with Bob keeping the pressure on and after a patient battle, landed a Slot sized 26.789" Redfish, boy what a fish. Afterwards, we commented that we didn't get another fish at that spot!

On the way back in we made a stop on the outside of Tiger and fished a large run out and picked up a couple of more Trout then we called it a day another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Tide Change

I fished with Todd Voelker and his fishing buddy Phil, meeting them down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp this morning.  The tide had been going out for a few hours and as we eased in to Jackstaff the oysters were already showing along the banks. Todd began tossing a float rig with live shrimp up current and to the bank while Phil flung a fly rod off the stern, first with topwater gurgler pattern, then with an intermediate sinking line and Clouser.  Todd did get a bite or two on the live shrimp but Phil had no hits on the fly.

We buzzed thru Horsehead and fished some docks briefly with both anglers fishing jigs and live shrimp up near the pilings. Again, we had some nibbles but no takers.

Our next stop was down at Broward Island and it was the very last of the outgoing.  Pitching jigs, we began to get some fish. Phil landed a feisty Redfish to knock the skunk off, then Todd put a fat female Trout in the boat (all fish caught today were released). The duo added a couple of more keeper sized Trout, some smaller ones, and a couple of more Reds. The tide had hit rock bottom and the bite slowed but when Todd's line tightened up, he set the hook and, Fish ON!  I advised Todd that this fish could be bigger than what it appeared, and sure enough, I was right! The big fish dug deep and ripped drag, but Todd kept the pressure on. We eased the boat out deep and took our time. Todd patiently worked it to the surface and landed a big, oversized 28.25" Redfish - the third biggest I've had on the boat this year, placing Todd in the 2019 Bragging Rights Tournament (scroll down the right side of this report for standings).

We continued to fish the area and shortly after we had a "double hookup" of Redfish, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Walleye Jigs or Tide Change?

We had a great morning that greeted us when I met Ed Johnson and his buddies Rick and Ken down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. We had just slight overcast but temperatures were mild and it made for a comfortable run up the Nassau River with plans to fish some dock pilings at the very last of an outgoing tide. We had "freshly dead" shrimp to bait our jigs with and while Ed and Rick fished the first dock, Ken unlimbered a fly rod and blind cast to some exposed oysters with some beautiful shrimpy flies that he had tide. Although Rick had one strong bite and both he and Ed had nibbles here and there, we didn't get a single fish at the docks at Seymore's Pointe.

It looked like the tide was about to change so we buzzed down to Broward Island and finally, Ed "knocked the skunk off" when he boated a hungry Seatrout. He then picked up an "almost legal" 8 spot Redfish. The tide changed and started back in and about that time I had broken out some beautifully painted jigs that a Minnesota Walleye guy had made and delivered with some of my Minnesota guests, and the fish began to bite. Both Ed and Rick began to catch a Trout and a Red here and there, then Rick put  keeper sized one in the boat. The duo landed a trio of Flounder, two which were of keeper size, then Ed had a good bite, a hookup, and, FISH ON!

None of us thought that it was going to be much of a fish but as it moved from bank to boat and from bow to stern it got stronger and stronger. BIG FISH ON!  There wasn't a whole lot Ed could do with it other than adjust his drag on the light 1000 Shimano Stradic reel and he played it perfectly. This fish was not coming to the surface but Ed was patient, let it run - we chased it a couple of times -worked it to the boat, and eventually landed a big 30.25" oversized Redfish - boy what a fish!  After a photograph it was released to swim away. This fish puts Ed in second place in the Anglers Mark 2019 Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category. Scroll down the right side of this report for standings.

Rick added another Slot Redfish to the box. Ken was making excellent casts with the fly rod but there just weren't any takers for the artificial flies - we tried Ken's shrimp fly's and some Clousers, but to no avail.  The tide got up so we called it  a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Fat Trout

I've fished the last few days and boy were they some pretty ones! I had Allen Harris along with two strapping young guys, fishing out of Sawpit Creek on a high and incoming tide. We fished float rigs with live shrimp up close to the flooding grass and did pretty good catching Trout, a nice Slot Redfish, and a keeper sized 17"  Black "puppy" Drum caught over some oysters.











That afternoon I fished with William and Dara Blalock on the
falling tide. The bite was somewhat slow for a bit, although we did catch a Trout or two. After making our way down to Broward Island ( and fish with the Eagles) the outgoing tide slowed to a stop and as it started back in, we began to pick up fish - Seatrout - some of them of keeper size (all released) and a good handful of small but "feisty" Redfish.



Yesterday I fished with Steve Buckley, his son-in-law David, and grandson David, meeting them up
at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp.  Again, we had that high and incoming tide, and some breeze to go along with it!  We had a good bite here and there, finally found a couple of Seatrout, but it was somewhat slow fishing. I noticed the rivers and creeks were real muddy.  We did find some shelter for a bit and here Steve landed a big Fat female Seatrout (all fish were released today, also).

I keep waiting for the wind to settle down, the water to clear up, and warm up, and then I think we'll see an uptick in some great fishing here at Amelia Island!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Keeper Fish

I wrapped up my week fishing with Bob Blalock after I had met him out at the Goffinsville Park. Tomorrow's high winds will preclude fishing so today was the day  to catch some fish!  We had the last of an outgoing tide so we made the short run down to Broward Island and fished the logs with jigs and live shrimp.  As usual, Bob was making excellent casts but the fish were not cooperating!
I don't think we had a single real bite!

We came back to Seymore's Point and fished one dock with a float rig and it was only a few minutes or so before Bob had a strong bite. When he drag ripped we knew it was a decent fish and it turned out to be a Slot sized Redfish. After pictures we released it. After moving
around the corner and fishing another dock we had another hookup. The  drag ripped and as the fish made for the pilings but Bob kept the pressure up and worked 'em' out of there. After a good battle, he landed a nice 17" Black "puppy" Drum - keeper sized - but released. We also had a nice sized Bluefish caught in that area.

We then worked along the docks, dipping in and out. Bob had made an excellent cast up to some piling and was slowly working it back along side a floating dock  when, BOOM! Big fish on! Man was it ripping some drag!  Bob kept the pressure on but he soon felt the line rubbing on a submerged piling and I thought for sure we were going to lose it. But it eventually came free and when it was out in the open we felt like we'd have it to the net...and we did! The fish was a hefty 25" Redfish. examined the leader afterwards and it was frayed severely! This fish was released, too.

We went back around the corner, drifted some float rigs, and picked up another Slot Red - and this one Bob elected to take home to the frying pan! We caught two more smaller, but feisty Reds before we headed down to Pumpkin Hill to wrap up the day by catching a handful of hungry Seatrout. What a great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Holy Chalupa!

Every once in a while I get a person on the boat that has the "Anglers Mark". Today it was a 4-1/2 year old young angler named Luke.  Last night his dad Steve said he was chomping at the bit to go fishing and that he lived and breathed fishing. I met them and Grandad (Ja Ja) up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp and after our brief safety orientation, we headed over to Tiger Island to fish the logs on the very first of an incoming tide. 

Luke was ready to go and was quickly casting his own spinning gear rigged with jigs and live shrimp and sure enough, he was the one that "knocked the skunk off" when he hooked up and landed a feisty Black "puppy" Drum.  He then reeled in a hungry Seatrout. We had to deal with
the "baitstealers" and sand gnats for a bit but Luke was able to land one more drum before we  moved on.

Our next stop was up at Jolley Bank. We may have caught a small trout or two but as Luke drifted a float rig along the exposed oysters his rod bent and the drag began to sing, FISH ON!  Luke fought the fish mightily and after a good battle and landed a big 20.5" Seatrout!  I was trying to think of an exclamation when Luke nailed it with "Holy Chalupa"! Boy what a fish!

We fished the outside of Tiger and landed a couple of more Trout then ended up over in Bell River where we had some good bites but no takers. It was an outstanding day to introduce a young angler to the backwaters of Amelia Island.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Flounder Uptick

I've been telling folks we've been getting about one Flounder a week lately, but today, we had two! Hah!  I had met Paul Landahl, his daughter Beth and her partner Heather up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp early this morning. The sun was coming up in the east and the "almost full" moon was going down in the west! We made the short run over to Tiger Island and fished the logs and had...not a single real bite. Ouch.

After running thru Tiger and around to Bell River we set up near some flooding oysters and began to pick up some Seatrout. Heather "knocked the skunk" off with the first catch then both she and Beth landed a few more. Paul had decided to enjoy the beautiful day out on the water.

We then ran around to Lanceford Creek, fished between some docks and here Beth  caught a keeper sized Flounder (all fish caught today were released). We fished further down Lanceford and Beth put a nice 18"+ Seatrout in the boat.

Our final stop was down at Piney Island and when Heather had a good hookup that battled to the bottom I though sure she had a feisty Redfish but when it came to the net it was another, even bigger, Flounder. We wrapped things up after that and counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Must Be Spring, Trout Getting Bigger

Cool and Sunny greeted Eric Slavens and I when we met up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp this morning. And what a beautiful day it was!  We made quick run over to Eagans Creek and set up on the downside of a dock to pitch jigs and live shrimp, but I think the tide was already too high because we had no real bites. We moved on down a ways and began tossing float rigs and this worked - Eric caught a few good Seatrout, with one or two being of keeper size (all fish caught today were released).

We then moved down the creek and fished an exposed grass patch where I tend to get fish but no luck was had. Moving on to the west side of a dock, Eric fished a seawall and grass line and boy did we catch some fish! And they seemed to
get bigger and bigger! Every time I said, "that's the biggest fish you've caught today", he'd catch another one that was even bigger! They seemed to be fat with roe with the biggest one being just under 20".  Eric also landed an 8-spot Redfish. We fished that area for a good hour and when the bite slowed we made a run to Soap Creek...but the tide was up, the water was muddy, and there were no fish to be had.

But we'd had a great early morning fishing so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Beautiful Day. Great Fishing!

You may have noticed that I haven't "reported" in a while!  Many of you know that my wife and I are building a small "cottage" downtown Fernandina Beach and we're in the last few months of getting it finished. I've been burning the candle at both ends - fishing, installing doors and trim molding and painting and installing flooring and....getting up and doing it all over again!  Needless to say, my "reports" have slipped. Once we get a CO on the house I'll be able to take a breather and will get back to reporting every trip.

But today's trip warranted  a report! I fished with Steele Clayton, meeting him down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early on a high
and incoming tide. We ran up the Nassau River and fished between some docks, tossing float rigs with live shrimp up near the flooding marsh grass. It took a minute or two, but when the bite started it didn't stop for over an hour. Steele landed Trout after Trout with most being undersized but eventually he landed a few "keeper"sized ones (all fish caught today were released).  Then he had one that was right at 20" which made for a good fight.  He also landed a nice 18" Black "puppy" Drum in that area.

We moved around the corner and fished another stretch and just when I thought it was all for naught, BOOM! Fish On! You can always tell when it's a big one when it dives deep, rips drag, and
doesn't want to budge. Steele played it expertly - you can also tell when you've got an experienced angler on the boat - he worked it slowly in, giving it some line when it wanted it, and soon landed a thick 24" Slot Redfish. We had no more than taken pictures, released the fish, and went back to drifting a shrimp when, BOOM! Big Fish On! I saw it roll and knew right off it was a big Trout. Steel worked it to the boat and landed a nice 23" Seatrout, boy what a fish.  This fish placed Steele in first place in the 2019 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament - Seatrout Category(scroll down the right side of this report for standings)  Those were the only two fish we got at that spot!

Our next stop was down at Christopher Creek, now fishing jigs and shrimp. We worked a long stretch and picked up one fish. But boy was it a good one! Steele said he felt the fish take his bait, he tighted up and let the hook set itself. After a good battle, the fish was in the net and measured at 26" - another Slot Redfish. This fish placed Steele tied for 2nd place in the Anglers Mark 2019 Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category.

We fished Pumkin Hill later but the tide was up really high and we had not a single bite so we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.