Sunday, December 29, 2019

Socked In

The weather forecast last evening called for a slight chance of rain this morning so when I talked to David Dailey yesterday we both agreed that it was a go to meet and go fishing - but maybe we should bring our rain gear just in case!  When I got up this morning the forecast called for minimal rain the first couple of hours but then definite rain the last part of our trip, and for once, the weather guru's were right!

We met out at the Amelia Island Marina and made a quick run down the intercoastal to dip into Jackstaff and then up a small creek where
we set up to fish float rigs and live shrimp on an incoming tide. It didn't take long and these anglers - David's wife Marley, and their adult sons Will and Alex - were catching a few Seatrout. After we moved over to a larger creek and fished to no avail, Will switched to a jig and shrimp and picked up a nice sized Whiting on the bottom (all fish caught today were released).

After running thru Horsehead we made a brief stop at some docks at Seymour's Pointe then continued on down to Spanish Drop. Just as we were getting set up we could see the rain coming across the marsh from the south east so we all donned our rain gear and kept on fishing!  Both David and Alex picked up some hungry Seatrout drifting a float back to a point of grass while Will stayed with the jig, fishing a creek mouth, and he reeled in an aggressive Blue Crab!

The wind was beginning to pick up and the rain had continued so we pulled anchor and ran back to Seymore's where we were somewhat protected. This turned out to be our most productive spot. They all caught Seatrout and a good handful of them were of keeper size. Facing the 15 minute run back to the marina in the rain, we pointed it north and headed in and still counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Friday, December 13, 2019

From Cane To Cane Syrup

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to an old time cane grind'n - sugar cane that is. My friend Daniel "Bubba" Rhodes had planted a patch of cane back in March as an experiment "just to see if he could do it" and it was time to be harvested and he put out the notice that he could use some help in getting it squeezed. Luckily, Daniel did the hard part Friday and cut, leafed and topped the cane and loaded it into his pickup truck and attached trailer and then hauled it to the cane grinder guy(Mr. W.)on the north side of Jacksonville. All we had to do was show up!

A couple of hundred years ago evidently farmers would hitch up a mule to a long pole then someone would either ride or lead the mule around and around the grinder while folks fed the cane thru the grinding wheels and collected the juice on the other side. Then they'd tote the juice to a huge cast iron pot and cook it down to syrup.  Mr. W. told Daniel that he'd need about 500 stalks of cane to fill his pot. We met out at the "farm" and began grinding at about 7:30 in the morning. Mr. W. had biscuits and sausage and coffee for everyone.

Mr. W. had two electric grinders - one was a 1/2 HP built in the 1930's in Jacksonville and the other was a newer model 2HP and boy did it squeeze some juice. Mr high school buddy Raymond Keen and I were shoving cane thru the smaller grinder while Daniel and his friend and neighbor Monroe worked at the other one.  It took no time at all to begin to pile up a huge pile of waste that collected on a chain link "sled" that Mr. W. said he'd drag off into the woods after we were all done.

Both mills were set up in such a way that the juice was routed thru some removable PVC pipes into the cooking shed and drained thru a rack with burlap bags acting as a strainer.  The grinder that Raymond and I were on eventually got in a bind (I was advised not to put two big stalks thru it, just a big 'un and a little 'un, but I miscalculated) and the grinder came to a halt. Yep, I broke it. By the time we got if fixed we were able to move the whole operation over to the newer grinder.

Eventually Mr. W. called for a halt - the big cast iron vat was full!  He had some huge propane tanks outside the shed that were piped in to multi-burner unit under the vat; Mr. W. said years ago they would use wood, but that made it more difficult to moderate the temperature. He fired it up and we soon found that the cooking needed to be watched constantly and the temperature adjusted on occasion.

All told, the cane juice cooked for about 4 1/2 hours. At first, there was a big "scum" of impurities that accumulated on top of the cooking juice. Mr. W. and his grandson monitored the cooking process continually and every once in a while they'd take some home made skimmers and take the scum off of the top of the juice. I assume they were adjusting the heat as needed.

Eventually they didn't have to skim anymore and then they really let it cook. If you look at the above picture you can see a large SS ring hanging over Mr. W's right shoulder; it fit perfectly over the iron vat and once the temperature was just right, the foam with it's impurities would spill over and be filtered thru some croaker sacks that lined the ring(click on the video to the left). Every once in while we'd remove those sacks, take them out in the yard and rinse them, and put them back for some more filtering.

This went on for a couple of hours. The cooking shed was hot and steamy but when you stepped in for a peek you could begin to smell the syrup! Those in charge (and boy did they know what they were doing!) knew when to lift the SS ring from the vat and remove the croaker sack filters and then three of them surrounded the vat and began taking rags and wiping the edge of the vat as the last of the impurities bubbled to the edge.   I don't know how they did it - it seemed like this process took an hour of wiping, wiping, cleaning their cloth, wiping, wiping, cleaning their cloth.  Even though we had some cooler temperatures that morning, it was hot and steamy in the cooking shed!

We were getting close to the end of the process!   Mr. W. must have known it was getting close - he said he could tell when the syrup began to "fall" in the vat and no amount of heat could bring it back up. (click on video to the left) The foam on top was light and airy and had turned a beautiful golden color. But Mr. W.  instructed his grandson(he knew what to do - he'd been doing this with his grandfather since he was a little kid) to use a hydrometer to test the liquid; they had a homemade PVC contraption that the hydrometer fit down in and  with one hand holding the hydrometer at arms length, he dipped out some of the syrup and poured it in. It only took a time or two over the course of a few minutes and they pronounced it ready.

The heat was shut off and two guys took some home made dippers and begin to take turns dipping the hot syrup into a modified beer keg that had a spigot down at the bottom.  Once all the syrup had been dipped out, the vat was quickly cleaned with water while it was still hot.

Daniel provided the bottles and caps and Mr. W. began to pour off the syrup into bottles. I had the honor of  putting the caps on the bottles but was warned to "grab them at the top" because boy were they hot! But I didn't drop a single one!

I had seen parts of this process a couple of times in my life. Once was over in the Branford, Florida area when I was young boy. I vaguely remember a tractor attached to along pole that went around the grinder. We must not of hung around because I don't remember any of the cooking. Also as a young boy, I remember my dad taking me out past the interstate in Yulee to a "grinding" and here they were  cooking the syrup.  So approximately 50 years ago!  This time I got to experience the entire operation and boy was it a treat!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Nasty Front Moving In

Yesterday we had record high temperatures here at Amelia Island but today we woke up to gloomy skies with a nasty front moving our way. I've already cancelled Thursday and Friday bookings!  But this morning was "fishable" so I met John Cipriani and his fishing buddies Dean and Bill, and Bill's daughter Sydney also came along for the fun!  We met at the Amelia Island Marina and this time we headed south, down the intercoastal to dip into Jackstaff, then into a small creek, to set up fishing a large run out with float rigs and live shrimp.  The weather was outstanding - just a bit cool and only a slight breeze.

BAM! The fish started biting almost immediately. We caught one Trout after another - all 11-14" in length and we were beginning to think they were all the same fish until Sydney(the rookie) hooked up and landed a nice keeper sized one. Once the bite slowed, we made the run thru Horsehead and set up at a grassy pointe to cast and let our floats drift by. Again, we had good action on Trout, but then
John's float slowly went under and he had a strong hookup and Fish ON!  John fought the fish patiently and after a good battle landed a big 21" Sheepshead - a fish big enough to take a last minute first place in the Angler's Mark 2019 Bragging Rights Tournament-Sheepshead Category(scroll down the right side of this report for standings).

We didn't quite fathom that we were sheltered from the wind until when moved on down to Pumpkin Hill and set up to fish a grass patch and found that the wind had picked up, the skies had gotten greyer, and the chill was more noticeable.   We fished for just a bit but had no real bites so we moved back to the mouth of Christopher Creek. We were sheltered here but the fish just didn't bite.

Our final stop was back at some docks at Seymore's Pointe, partly because it was somewhat sheltered,  it was on the way back, and we could fish some jigs up by the dock pilings. The front was really moving in and the mist was so thick it looked like a huge fog bank. But when these anglers began to catch fish the weather was forgotten!  In just a short period of time they landed six keeper sized Black Drum, some smaller ones, and a few more keeper sized Seatrout, all on jigs and live shrimp.

Heading back to the marina we were running right into the wind and the mist which made for a cold ride, but the Sea Born 24" bay boat were in was cruising smoothly and we made it back to the Marina in no time. Although the weather went bad in a hurry, we still counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Record Heat for December

I fished with Bob Blalock Tuesday morning, meeting him out at the Amelia Island Marina. The Angler's Mark is down for repairs this month and luckily a friend of mine offered the use of his new Sea Born 24' bay boat for a couple of trips.

We ran up the intercoastal to Lanceford Creek, back in there a ways, and found a grass patch to fish with float rigs and live shrimp on the very first of an outgoing tide.  There wasn't much happening but Bob did get a Trout or two before we eased over to a dock that usually holds a nice
Trout but had no luck there.

After cruising over to Soap Creek and set up to fish a large run out and here things picked up. We caught one Trout after another, drifting the float rig in the current and a few of these were of "keeper" size(all fish caught today were released). When the bite slowed we eased up along the marsh bank and fished some submerged oysters and picked up 3-4 small but feisty Redfish, and then another Trout.  That slowed, so we dropped back to the original spot - the tide had been going out for a bit - and sure enough, the Trout began to bite again - again, a couple were of keeper size.

Our next stop after a good run was over at the mouth of Jolly, fishing some oysters that were just exposed with the tide drop. I had a couple of outstanding trips the week of Thanksgiving at this spot, but it wasn't happening today. We fished further up Jolley for a bit, then tried the logs at Tiger, then headed back to the marina.  I heard on the radio that it was a record high temperature for our area and it was a great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Wrapping Up Thanksgiving In Style

I wrapped up a 9 fishing trip stretch thru 10 days this morning when if fished with Dale Bullard, his daughter Autumn and son-in-law Jacob and it also finished up November and the Thanksgiving weekend for me - and it turned out to be another great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

We met down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and under clear and sunny skies, made a short run up  the Nassau River to fish an incoming tide with float rigs and live shrimp. As we eased along a shell lined bank that was quickly flooding, the three anglers  were making excellent casts. We
could see some big wakes coming around a corner and the dolphin made a pass and boiled on them. But luckily they moved off and left the fish to us! BOOM! The bite was on!  We caught Seatrout and Redfish and Seatrout and Redfish and Redfish and Seatrout and stayed in that one spot for over an hour. Many of the Trout were close to the size limit, but not quiet enough. Finally, Dale put a slot sized 5-spot Redfish in the boat and Jacob followed that up with one just a tad bit bigger.

We were half way thru our bait and decided to move on, take a rest, and fish at another spot so we buzzed down to Pumpkin Hill and fished a couple of spots. Even though the conditions were just right, we didn't get much action. After cruising thru a pod of dolphin we made one final stop at the entrance to Christopher Creek and here the action picked right back up. The trio caught one Trout after another and it was Autumn that put a couple of keeper sized ones in the boat.

It was a beautiful day and the fish cooperated so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Backwater Bull

I waddled to the truck this morning after a day of turkey and dressing and casserole's and Carrot Cake but it was good to get back to fishing with a day off for giving thanks!  I met Tripp Miller, his fishing buddy Sean, and his nephews Bennett and Nick down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early and we made a quick run up the Nassau River to the Spanish Drop area, pulled up and into the current of an incoming tide, and began pitching jigs and live shrimp.  We caught a small Trout or two then switched to float rigs
and the live shrimp as we trolled a stretch of flooded oysters and then the bite lit up like a wild fire! Fish On!  The four anglers were tossing their rigs up current and drifting them back and were catching one Seatrout after another, Finally, Sean had a strong bite - one that was big enough to pull some drag - and after a good battle, landed a nice Slot sized Redfish.  We continued to fish it, continued to catch Trout, then it was Tripp's turn to battle a big fish, and boy was it big. It boiled up a few times, not wanting to come in, but Tripp kept the pressure on and worked it slowly to the net. The fish
turned out to be a tad bit over 26", but in the slot! Boy what a fish!

We eventually moved on, making the run over to Middle River and up and around to just past Pumkin Hill. The wind had picked up and was blowing the current really fast so after catching just one or two trout, we moved back to Pumpkin Hill. Again, we caught a handful of Seatrout.

Our next stop was back at the mouth of Christopher Creek. We found that the wind wasn't so bad and that we could get a good drift up by the flooding grass. I think all four anlgers hooked up and landed Trout, and some of them were of keeper size. Both Bennett and Nick were holding their own and nipping at the heals of the older anglers fish count.

We made one final stop around at Seymore's Pointe and again found some Trout biting. We picked up one or two more keeper Trout here, then called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Trout Mania

Another outstandingly beautiful day today!  I met Todd Johnson and is son Oliver, and nephew Mathew down at the Sawpit Creek Boat ramp early this morning on a incoming tide that had been coming in a few hours.  We made a short run up the middle river and made a stop to fish some flooding grass islands and boy was it looking good. We had just a slight breeze, sunny skies and cool temperatures and these anglers were making excellent casts and I don't think we had a single bite! Crazy!
We continued on around to Pumpkin Hill and fished another grassy island with float rigs and live shrimp and picked up a handful of Seatrout.  With young anglers on the boat, Todd was "teaching lessons" on angling with his catch total and "keeper fish" total", but the young guys caught on fast and kept the competition close! 

We moved around a point of grass and down the Nassau River and continued to catch Trout. We found that most were in the moving water and not up in the pockets.  We'd pick up a keeper here and
there, but we caught umpteen 12-14 7/8" fish.

Our next stop was back at Seymore's Pointe, fishing a pointe of grass and here the Trout bite just exploded on the first of an outgoing tide. The guys found that they could toss there float rigs forward and let it drift thru current and across and oyster bar and, BOOM! Fish On!  We added another good handful of keeper size fish with the biggest being  about 18".   Mathew battled a nice Slot sized Redfish to the boat and Oliver hooked up and landed a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum.   It was an awesome day of fish catching so we counted it as another great day to be on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Jig'n at a Trout Hole

The beautiful days just keep coming - we had another one this morning when I met Dennis Brizzi and his buddy Hal O'Dell out at Goffinsville Park early. We made a quick run over to Pumpkin Hill and began fishing a flooding marsh line. This was where the young lady yesterday caught her 29" Redfish and it was about the same tide - high and incoming. We caught a Trout fairly fast but didn't have a whole lot of action until Dennis was able to get his float to drift up into a pocket and BOOM! Big Fish On!  Dennis worked him out of the shallow water and once it was out deep it was game on!
Dennis kept the pressure on and slowly worked the fish to the boat and we netted a nice 24" Slot Redfish.

We eased around the corner to a grass patch and picked up a Trout or two, then ran back to the Seymore's Pointe area and set up at a grassy pointe to drift our floats and live shrimp with the now outgoing tide. The duo of anglers picked up a good handful of smaller Trout before we moved on.

The next stop was down at Spanish Drop - the first stretch didn't produce a single bite, but when we moved up a 100 yards and switched to jigs and shrimp, this did the trick! Both anglers found that they could toss their bait up current, let it go to the bottom, and let the current move it out and down the river bottom and BOOM! Trout on!  We caught Trout after Trout after Trout, most were 14"-14 7/8" in length, so we decided to move on.

After buzzing thru Horsehead we fished a sandbar spit and here Hal hooked up and put a keeper sized Flounder in the boat, in addition to another Trout.  We crossed the creek and  fished a stretch and it was Dennis' turn to  haul in a keeper sized Flounder. After working that bank, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Cool but Hot Fishing

We had another "Chamber of Commerce" type day this morning when I met Paul and Laura Amos down at the south end boat ramp. We all were layered up with jackets so when we made the 15 minute run up Middle River and around to Pumpkin Hill it was no more than a "wake up" ride! 

The two anglers began pitching live shrimp under float rigs on a high and incoming tide and almost immediately began to catch Seatrout. Although all fish caught today were released, a few of these fish were of keeper size.  We moved on around the corner and fished a flooding flat
along some marsh grass on the very last of the high tide. I think we picked up another Trout or two but when Laura, fishing from the stern, let her float drift slowly by a small grassy island and when her float turned and started the other way then slowly went under, it was Fish On! This fish was ripping drag, but then it came to the boat so we really didn't know how big it was. But then, it dove under the boat and headed for deep water and the drag began to sing again. Laura worked it around the engine then kept the pressure on and slowly brought it to the boat - a 29" Oversized Redfish - boy what a fish!  After pictures it was released to swim off vigorously.

We fished that spot a bit longer and it was then Paul that had a good hookup. He played it patiently and brought to the net another nice Red, this one in the Slot at 21".

Our next stop was around at Seymore's Pointe where we fished a now outgoing tide, drifting our floats around a grassy pointe and Boom! Seatrout on!  Then Boom! Seatrout on!  That went on for a good while. For awhile there the two were catching legal sized Seatrout with the biggest measuring at 18".

We made a quick final stop back at Spanish Drop and just as we eased along a marshline, Paul had made an excellent cast to the bank and, BAM! Big Fish On! It was really cool to see this fish boil up along the shoreline then make its way out deep to rip drag along the way. But Paul was up to the challenge and worked it expertly to the boat, landing a nice 25" Slot Redfish. Laura closed it out with another Seatrout catch, then we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Fearsome Fivesome

Although we had a beautiful morning today, the wind was kicking at 13mph when I met Reid Hanson and his fishing crew up at the north end ramp. The  boat was rocking when we loaded up and headed south west to try and get behind a land mass to get in some Amelia Island back country fishing.

Our first stop was up in Soap Creek - I had fished it yesterday with my buddy Brian Parent and picked up a few fish - but today it was a much better bite.  The anglers landed Seatrout and Redfish and
Seatrout and Redfish with a couple of the Trout being of keeper size. All were caught on live shrimp under floats, or on a jig.

We came out from Soap and made the short run to Eagans Creek to fish some dock pilings and boy was it on fire when we got there! The two young anglers, Conner and Ryen were making excellent casts and it was paying off with hookup after hookup. The adult anglers filled in with catches of their own.

We ended up with 4 Slot sized Redfish with  umpteen smaller "rat" Reds thrown back; we also had 4 keeper sized Seatrout with the biggest right at 18", and umpteen smaller trout thrown back; and we also added to the box 3 hard fighting Black "puppy" Drum, with a couple of smaller ones thrown back.

We didn't fish this spot yesterday with Brian, but he and I had made the long run around to Jolley and fished an outgoing tide with float rigs and really got into the Reds and Trout. We caught 'em there for a good while, then ran further up the Jolley to MOA and picked up some Trout, then made our final stop back at Tiger Island where we "caught 'em till we go bored" - one fish after another, mostly Redfish - we were "culling" smaller Slots for bigger Slots - and some Black "puppy" Drum, and some Trout.

Whenever someone asks when's the best time to fish Amelia Island, I always say, "October or November" and the last two days reinforced that! What a great two days of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Bite From The Start

I think today was the prettiest morning we've had all month! It was cool, clear, and we had just a tad bit of wind when we left the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp. I had met Freya and Dan Phillips early and we headed north and west to make our first stop up the Jolley River and after we unlimbered our float rigs, baited them with live shrimp, we began to toss up current and it was Game On! The two anglers began to catch one fish after another - a mix of Seatrout and Redfish with the Reds up near the still covered oysters and the Trout out just a bit.  Although most of them were small, we did get one keeper sized Trout then Ray hooked up, battled, and
landed a nice 22" Slot Redfish.

We moved up to Snook Creek, fished the now exposed oysters, then made the jump around to the MOA and here we caught another good handful of Trout, now fishing with jigs and live Shrimp. Our next stop was around at soime docks in Bell River and it was Freya who found that pitching the jig up current would catch the Trout. I even picked up a rod and all three of us were catching fish.  Freya put the biggest Trout in the boat - a 18" fish, and Ray put a keeper sized Weakfish in the box. We hit two or three docks, added a keeper Flounder, then headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Batttling the Breeze for the win!

We did an afternoon trip today when I met Mike Baker and his dad Larry up at the north end ramp at 1pm.  There was a NE wind blowing at 13mph, but it was clear skies and just a tad bit cool so we decided we'd take on the challenge.  Our first stop was up Bell River just a ways and the "demo" cast produced a nice Seatrout catch - "where'd the float go"!  We were drifting live shrimp under a float rig on a high and incoming tide - not necessarily my favorite - but we caught a few Trout on either side of grassy pointe.

We then ran around and up into Lanceford Creek
and fished a grass patch. Larry was drifting his float right up to the grass and we both saw it slowly go under, Larry lifted his rod and the circle hook set and, Fish On!  Larry worked it expertly to the boat and landed a nice feisty Redfish. Mike was fishing out beyond the grass and picked up Seatrout. We worked it pretty good and got a good handful of Trout and Reds.

After moving down just a bit we fished a seawall with some grass along the edge and really got into some fish, many which were of "keeper" size. Larry was working the grass and found a honey hole and Mike was fishing up near some tree branches and was catching is share,too.

We then ran down past Rayonier and fished "Temptation Cove" and picked up another few Trout of keeper size.  Our last stop was back at Tiger Island, fishing the logs with jigs and here Larry caught our final keeper Trout and then put a hard fighting Black "puppy" Drum in the boat.   The sun was heading down and we had some fish to clean so we headed in and counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Big and Bigger at Amelia Island

I fished again with Steve Locke and his fishing buddy Jason, meeting them down at the  south end
ramp on a cool, clear and sunny morning. We made a short run up the Nassau River and made a stop along an exposed shell bed on a tide that was still going out with about 2 hours until it hit bottom.
(Note, there were anglers at the ramp fishing jigs and white grubs with chartreuse tails and they were tearing up the Trout!).  We were pitching jigs and shrimp to the bank and these two were making excellent casts, but we didn't get even a hard bite, which surprised me.

But after running just a couple of hundred yards up the river and hitting the Spot Lock, Jason caught fire, bumping his jig/shrimp down the bottom, and began to catch one Seatrout after another. I followed him in with a grub and jig but didn't have a decent bite. Jason when go back in and pick a fish up. Go figure.

We then ran up to Seymore's Pointe and set up current from some dock pilings. Steve got on the board with a strong hookup and after working the fish patiently to the boat and landed a nice 16" Black 'puppy" Drum. He followed that up
with a keeper sized Seatrout, then Jason reeled in another keeper sized Drum.

Our next stop was even further up the Nassau where we fished some exposed oysters, still on an outgoing tide, and things got busy! Jason landed a Slot sized Redfish then it was Steve's turn on the stern to catch Seatrout. Between the two of them, they put two more keeper Trout in the boat with Jason's being the biggest, measuring at 18".  The wind was picking up but we were so close to Broward Island as the tide began to turn we decided to give it a try and it paid off.  This was where Steve got on the Bragging Rights board with a big oversized Redfish catch last month and sure enough, BOOM! Big fish on again. He fought it to the boat after several "boils" and Jason netted the 28" oversized Red for pictures and release.  After putting a keeper sized Sheepshead in the box, Steve had another strong hookup - another oversized Red we were thinking? But no, after an excellent fight, Steve landed a "Tournament Sized" 26.5" Slot Redfish.

By now the west wind was really howling and the river was white capping so we ran back to the safety of Seymore's Pointe, fished some docks, picked up one more Trout, then called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

(Grande) Slam Before the Storm

We were luck today to be able to squeeze in a back water fishing trip before the rain and winds hit this afternoon. I had met Jeff and Lori Stuart up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp early this morning. We had sunny skies and just a light wind which made for a great morning to get out on the water.

Our first stop was over at the outside of Tiger Island, fishing float rigs and live shrimp and I think it was first cast that we hooked up. Lori reeled in a hungry Seatrout. But we didn't get much after that.  After buzzing thru Tiger and
around to Bell River we set up and again, we picked up a Trout or two, and a Bluefish.

The next stop was at in Lanceford Creek to fish a "grass patch" - Millies Spot to be exact, and again, we caught some small but fun-to-catch Seatrout.  We moved over a seawall, still floating the live shrimp. Jeff was freelining his back around some tree branches and commented that a fish should be there and sure enough, BAM, Fish on!

We moved back to Soap Creek and again, caught a few Trout. Our last stop was back at Eagans Creek, fishing some dock pilings. The oysters were just starting to show on the outgoing tide. We were pitching jigs and shrimp and mud minnows and also drifting a slip float out deeper. A big Trout took that and Lori worked it in to the net -fish in the box! Lori also hooked  up and caught a feisty Redfish. Then Jeff got in on the action after making a perfect cast up between two pilings. His rod bent double and he had a big one on!  Jeff worked it out from the pilings, applied the pressure, and brought to the net a nice keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum. He went back to the same spot and pulled out another one, this one even bigger!  Lori added a Drum to her resume then followed that up with a small Sheepshead to round out her Amelia Island Back Country Grande Slam of Seatrout, Red Drum, Black Drum and Sheephead. We fished until we were out of shrimp then we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. EDIT, Lori and Jeff sent this pic of their catch after it was cooked! Sure looks good!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Trout, Trout, and More Trout

I think it was Sue who had purchased a gift certificate last year for her husband Lewis Welch as a gift and today that redeemed it and what a glorious day did they pick! I met them down at the south end ramp and we then made along run up Middle River and around to Pumpkin Hill to set up at a grassy island with plans to fish float rigs and live shrimp. The duo began to catch Seatrout and it was Fish On! for quite a while. I was a tad bit surprised as we had a high tide and it was still coming in and flooding the grass.

Sue battled a nice 3' Bonnethead Shark to the net and the couple slowly built up a nice mess o'
keeper Trout in the box.  We fished both sides of a grassy pointe and as the tide came to a standstill, the bite fell off to nothing.

So we buzzed back to Seymore's Pointe where Lewis quickly picked up a Seatrout, then Sue drifted her float back a ways and picked up another couple herself.  That died off so we made the short run down to Spanish Drop and began fishing back thru the current and again, the fish turned on. Sue caught and landed a couple of nice Redfish, one of which was of Slot size and both she and Lewis landed more Trout, and a couple of nice sized Bluefish.  I know thru out the trip we had at least two "double hookups".

The temperatures were just right, the fish catching was almost non-stop, so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Redfish, Seatrout, Flounder, Jacks, Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel- the whole shebang!

We beat a front coming thru by a day when I met Ed Brown and his fishing partner Scott down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp today. After making a short run up the Nassau River we made a stop at Spanish Drop and began fishing a flooded shell bank on a  high and outgoing tide with float rigs and mud minnows for bait.  Scott "knocked the skunk off" with a Redfish catch and Ed followed that up with a Seatrout catch. Then Scott had a bite and a fish that stayed up at the bank - a Slot sized Red for sure! He worked it to the boat and landed a nice 20" fish. 

We worked that bank then moved up a few hundred yards and fished a large marsh runout with jigs and minnows  and it was like fishing in a barrel!  The two anglers traded back and forth, putting 14.5" Seatrout in the boat one after the other. Then Scott hooked up, had his drag rip, and battled a big Jack Crevalle to the net. He followed that up with a nice keeper sized Spanish Mackerel that had lost its way, then it was Ed's turn to fight a big fish, which he did admirably - and landed a big hard fighting Blue fish.

Our next stop was up at some docks at Seymore's
Pointe, pitching jigs and minnows to the pilings base. This duo was making excellent casts but I think we should have had some shrimp, because we had no real bites other than one lone Seatrout.

After running down to Pumpkin Hill, we made stop just past it and fished a bank where the oysters were just beginning to show and for 15-20 minutes it was Redfish On! Ed battled another Sot Redfish to the boat, the Scott hooked up and landed an even bigger one. Then they both hooked up and we had a double!  Our final stop was down at Broward Island and here Scott wrapped things up with a couple of Flounder catches that were of keeper size. And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. Follow up reports that the two anglers were able to treat their ladies to some fresh caught fish at one of our fine local restaurants!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

New Spot

I got a 2nd trip in today with the Blalock fishing team, this time with William and his fishing partner Bryan and we met out at the Goffinsville Park as the sun came up. We headed over to Broward Island and fished the north end...but the tide was still going out so we headed to the south end and this did the trick.  Bryan commented that we had good action right off - catching Seatrout, Redfish, and Flounder. We even had a big one on that was wiley enough to play "possum" until it got under the boat, then it made a dash for the bow, went around the trolling motor and, BAP! fish off! But we fished that area for a while and added another Redfish or two.

We then came back around to Spanish Drop and fished some flooding oysters, first with jigs, then with float rigs and basically caught Ladyfish, the "poor man's tarpon".

I thought about heading back to Pumkin Hill so I cut across from Spanish to Middle River and started up it but the bank with little grassy islands was looking so good we pulled up and began to work along the shore. Both Bryan and William hooked up and landed Seatrout, then William had a strong hookup and, Fish On!  This one was ripping drag and made it's way up into the marsh grass and sure enough, locked down tight.  But William played it delicately, I backed down towards the grassy, the fish came out and the battle was back on!  William worked it slowly to the boat and landed a nice 25" Slot sized Redfish.  Boy what a battle! 

We worked along that bank for a while, picking up another Trout or two, and a hard fighting Jack Crevalle before the water got way up in the grass, and with that, we called it a day, with a new spot in our back pocket, and another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.