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.

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.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Big Hookup With a Backwater Redfish

The Georgia Bulldog invasion is here!  I met Bob Blalock, his son William and his in-laws Tommy and Martha up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp early - before the sun came up - with plans to get in some top water lure action as we hit our first spot, which happened to be up at the Jolley River on an tide that had been coming in a few hours.

Bob and William were on the bow tossing the topwaters while
Tommy and Martha fished the stern. The top waters did have a "spit" or two at them but no takers. Tommy knocked the skunk off with a Seatrout catch and shortly after that Martha hooked up and reeled one in.

We ran up the river and fished another marsh line. Now, every one was fishing a float rig with minnows. We had only been fishing just a short time when Tommy, after making an excellent cast, had a big bite, and Fish On!  We could tell right off that it was a big fish - the
drag was ripping and the fish stayed close to shore for a while. Then Tommy worked it to the boat and I was thinking, "well, not so big" but then it saw the boat and off it went. From then on it was a battle  But Tommy was up to the task and worked it patiently to the boat and finally landed a big 26.25" Slot Redfish. Boy what a fish! 

Our next stop was back towards the mouth of Jolley and although we didn't have a whole lot of action, William did land our first keeper sized Seatrout.  We fished the outside of Tiger where we caught a couple of more Trout, then poked around some flats looking for tailing Reds. Our final stop was over in the Bell River where we had some bites here and there and then Bob hooked up and boated a big 19" Seatrout.  Although it was unseasonably warm for October ( I heard on the radio it was approaching record highs) it was a beautiful day and a great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Amelia Island Redfish Spot Tournament 2019 Results

The Amelia Island Guides Association wrapped up the 2019 Amelia Island Redfish Spot Tournament this past weekend, with a record turnout of 94 entries!  Participants attended the Captain's Meeting on Friday evening, hosted by the Amelia Island Marina and enjoyed food and beverages provided by newly opened Kitchen 251.   Ms. Kallie Santos was representing the Folds of Honor Foundation and gave a heartwarming story of how she became involved with the Folds of Honor.

After AIGA President Capt. Brian Soucy thanked all the Sponsors, the rules were briefly reviewed, raffle tickets were drawn, and then anglers went on their way to prep their boats and tackle and get their game plan together for an early morning start to fishing.

On Saturday, anglers were allowed to begin to bringing their catch in by 11am. The most Spots on a legal Redfish would take home over $1600 in the adult division and it was a close race that went down to the wire.

The Adult Winners were:
 4th Tonia Hamlin       11 spots
 3rd Clint Davis           12 spots
 2nd James Cadell        13 spots
 1st Traveler Kolletar   15 spots

The Youth Winners were:
 4th Tyler Gillette         2 spots
 3rd Eli Smith               3 spots
 2nd Jace Lacosse         4 spots
 1st  Wesley Keen        6 spots

Florida Fishing Products representatives Cael Wilson and Robby Lacey  manned the first annual Casting Competition while displaying some of their new reels and products. There was fierce competition right up to cut-off time and it was Cooper Pinckney who took home the winner honors - a Florida Fishing Products Osprey 3000 spinning reel AND Bragging Rights for a whole year!

The tournament wrapped up with awards (and check) presentations, closing of an outstanding Silent Auction, final raffle drawings, and a big ticket raffle of a 2 night stay at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation.

The Net Floats!

It's Florida/Georgia week and Greg Brown and his fishing partner Eddie were in town to take in the festivities and game and had pre-planned an Amelia Island back country fishing trip for this morning. I met them down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and we made a short run up the Nassau River to make our first stop at a flooding marsh line. 

The duo began pitching jigs and shrimp (and a few minnows) at a bend in the river. We had some bites, but no takers. As we approached some flooded oysters we switched to floats and drifted our baits over the top and this did the
trick. Greg put a nice feisty Redfish in the boat then they began to catch some Trout.  About the time I'd think about moving, they'd get another fish.

We finally buzzed down to Pumpkin Hill and fished a grassy island and here Eddie put a nice keeper sized Seatrout in the boat.  Greg added another keeper then Eddie added one more.  Then Eddie's float slowly went under and I was thinking a Redfish had nibbled it but after Eddie had expertly worked it to the net, we saw that it was a nice keeper sized Flounder.

We fished around the corner to no avail, tried Christopher Creek with jigs, poked into some flooded marsh flats, then came back around to Seyomore's Pointe. Eddie picked up a Trout on a float rig at "One Trout Hole", then we fished some docks with jigs, but only got some "baitstealers". It was a really nice day to be on the water and a great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Double Duty

We did a two boat trip Friday, Captain Scott Stewart and I, taking the Pete Nolan group out for an Amelia Island Back Country fishing trip. I had Pete and Eric and we made our first run over to Lanceford Creek to fish a flooded grass patch surrounded by submerged oysters on a high and outgoing tide.

The two anglers were tossing float rigs with live shrimp as we worked around the patch and as we got into deeper water, they began to catch some hungry Seatrout. Eric was working the grass close and got into some feisty Redfish, bringing
them to the net nicely.

We motored around to Soap Creek and fished a large marsh run out. Within seconds, Pete had a bite, fish on, and the first "keeper" of the day.  He went  back to the same spot and nailed a couple of more. Then, we found that we open our bail's and drift our floats way back along the marsh grass and pick up Trout. Eric put another keeper in the boat then we added one more.

Fishing some dock pilings later we dueled with the bait stealers and finally had our bait stay on a jig long enough for Pete to hookup and expertly land a nice 16" keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum.  Our final stop was around at Tiger Island on the last of the outgoing tide and it paid off with Eric catching a keeper sized Flounder, Pete catching a smaller one, and they also had a couple of feisty Redfish. The wind was really blowing but we were back behind the island so it made for a good way to wrap up a great day fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

When we got in we found that Capt. Scott's crew had a big Slot Redfish and another keeper sized Black Drum to add to the fish dinner this crew were planning!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Patient Catch'n

Although we had an overcast morning it turned out to be a really nice day for fishing today!  I met David Ahlers and his fishing buddies Jim and Lawrence up at the north end ramp. We had a bait well of live shrimp and the tide still had a few hours of going out so we eased around to Eagans Creek and set up current from some dock pilings. You would know it,  the "the bait stealers" were ever present but this trio of anglers worked thru them and racked up some really good catches. David got it started with a nice keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum catch then they all joined in  catching
fish. Lawrence added keeper sized Seatrout, Jim put a feisty Redfish in the boat, and they all added a good handful of keeper sized Drum to the catch. We had a "mess" at the first spot!

We then made the long run around and up the Bell River and fished some docks. Right off - Lawrence had a strange bite - a "thump" and a hookup. He worked it to the boat patiently and landed a nice keeper sized Flounder.  That's something I noticed about these anglers - they all three worked the fish they caught patiently to the boat.

We fished the MOA over in the Jolley to no avail, then fished some exposed oysters at Snook Creek. David briefly tangled with a Bonnethead Shark but it headed to Jacksonville and parted the leader. Our next stop was around at Tiger Island, fishing the logs. Again, right off, Jim had the hookup - another nice keeper sized Flounder. The "baitstealers" must of followed us all day because we blew thru 8 dozen live shrimp, got into some artificials and dead shrimp, then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Outgoing Tide Made all The Difference

It was a such a pretty morning I snapped a picture of the sunrise with my cell phone as walked down the ramp to meet Bill Redfield and his uncle Cliff out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp.  I saw on my GPS that the tide was falling and still had a couple of hours to hit bottom so I thought we'd run over to Broward Island and fish the logs. But as we were running I saw an oyster bank that looked really, good - there was movement all over and bait was getting popped so we pulled up and began casting jigs and live shrimp. Cliff  "knocked the skunk"  off quick with a feisty Redfish catch then both he and Bill
were putting fish in the boat. Cliff was taking up the stern and pulling in Seatrout out deeper but Bill was hitting the bank and had strong hookups - his first a big Slot 24" Red, then he followed that up almost immediately with another;  then another! He added a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum and a keeper sized Seatrout.

We finally made it down to Broward: Cliff found a honey hole and worked a few Redfish out of there and Bill hooked up and landed a keeper sized Flounder. Cliff tangled with a big Red but it was big for a reason and found a way to snap the line.

We came back to fish Spanish Drop where Bill fought to the boat a big Bonnethead Shark, then a big Jack Crevalle.  The tide had just started in here and the bite was real slow but Bill found one more Slot Redfish at the mouth of a runout. His final fish was a wayward Tripletail - No. 6 caught on the Anglers mark in 16 years!  And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Weakfish Rounds Out a Grande Slam

Wow what a great morning we had today with the weather - cool, only a slight breeze, and the sun came out from time to time to make it a great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island. I had met
 Bill(1)  Macerone and his fishing buddy....Bill(2)...up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp early and we had a bait well full of live shrimp and some mud minnows. We made a quick run up and around to the Jolley River and set up to fish the "bank" as the tide was coming in.  As usual, the "baitstealers' were out in force which made for some aggravation, but Bill(2)  finally "knocked the skunk
off" with a nice Seatrout catch. We caught some junk fish - ladyfish, pinfish, etc. then move on up the river.

Our next stop was just past Snook Creek where we caught a couple of feisty Redfish, a small Black "puppy" Drum and then we tangled with a big Red;  there's a reason big Reds are big - they find a way to break the line- and this one did! Ouch.  Then Bill(2) put a "first in a while" Weakfish in the boat. We came back towards the mouth of the Jolley for a bit and fished a grass line. Here,  Bill(1) had a good "thump" and set the hook and reeled in a nice keeper sized Flounder.  This roundout the duo's Amelia Island Grande Slam, of sorts, with a Seatrout, Redfish, Flounder, and Weakfish!

We buzzed back to the outside of Tiger and fished the flooding marsh grass - hooked up with another big Red, lost him in the oysters, then Bill(1) caught and landed a fat keeper sized Seatrout. Shortly after that Bill(2) hooked up, expertly played, and boated a Slot sized 22" Redfish.

Our final stop was over in Bell River and here we had one more
good bite - another nice Red - and this one too had figured out it could head for the oysters, bury its head, and cut the leader.  But we had had a good day of action so we counted it a great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Dark and Stormy Day

When Walker Welch and I communicated on the phone last night the weather forecast was showing 30-40% chance of rain for this morning. When I got up the forecast was showing 100% and sure enough, when I stepped outside to hitch the boat trailer, it was drizzling. But I hunted down some live shrimp and met Walker and his buddy Drew up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp and by the time we pulled away from the dock the rain had quit and there was only a slight breeze. It was overcast but a nice day to be

We made a run up to Jolley River and fished the "bank" with about 3 hours left on an incoming tide. The two anglers were tossing float rigs and live shrimp to the flooding grass. We got a bunch of nibbles and Walker did "knock the skunk off" when he put a hungry Seatrout in the boat.   We then ventured further up the river, fished another grass bank, then moved inside Snook Creek and tried our hand at pitching jigs. All we got were baitstealers.

After coming back to the outside of Tiger we had just set up an a grassy point when Walkers float disappeared with a vengeance and, Fish On! Walker played it perfectly, let it run, worked it in, and landed a nice 22" Slot Redfish. And shortly after that Drew got in on the action and put a keeper sized Seatrout in the boat.  We had another Trout or two then the baitstealers moved in.

Our next stop was around in Bell River. Drew caught another Seatrout, then Walker had another BIG hookup. This was a big fish, ripping drag and having none of coming towards the boat. It stayed up in the shallows - I didn't want to jinx anything so I kept my mouth shut - but sure enough, BAP! Fish Off. It had dug down into some oysters and cut the line! 

We ran over to Lanceford Creek and fished a grass patch where we had some good action, catching a couple of Trout and a few feisty Redfish, then we tried Soap Creek to no avail, then wrapped up fishing some docks back at Eagans Creek where Drew put the final keeper in the boat, a nice 17" Sheepshead. And with that, we called it a day, another great one, albeit cloudy, to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Taking a Day Off...to go fishing!

Our neighbors Brian and Sarah Parent invited us (my wife Carol and I) to go fishing on their boat in the St. Johns River in hopes of finding some Bull Redfish. Brian and I loaded some heavier tackle and we all stopped by the bait shop to get some live Blue Crabs. I had brought along an iced Ladyfish to supplement the bait.

On the last of an outgoing tide, we launched at Mayport in Brian's big Pursuit the Stormy Sarah, powered by a 250 Yamaha, and we headed upriver and to make first stop just shy of the Dames Pointe Bridge. I was the "anchor boy" and got it deployed while Brian backed it down, then we started setting out lines - Brian on the starboard stern and me on the port stern. The ladies were enjoying the beautiful weather and conversation up on the bow.  Then we waited. And waited.  Brian had one "nibble" on one of his rigs it swiped his half of crab - he baited it up and set it out again and shortly after that he had a good bite. Brian set the hook and BIG fish on! Once he was set, Brian handed the rod off to Sarah who played it for a while, then Carol got on the rod and slowly worked it the boat. She had a good battle on here hands but she prevailed -Brian netted the fish expertly and landed a Big Bull Redfish.

It was getting late in the afternoon, but we decided to move closer to the boat ramp. We had anchored down river about 200 yards from barge with dual tugboats that were stationary in the river.
We'd been fishing for about 30 minutes and the tide was just turning around and we had just decided to "give it 5 more minutes" when I felt a "tap" on my rod. I was all alert when it tapped again and set the hook and another BIG fish on! It was ripping drag and sounded great with the clicker clacking but after I got it switched off it was a battle for sure. Carol and Brian got the other rods reeled up and then we heard....AAAANGK,  AAAANGK! 

The tugs had revved their engines and started towards us with the barge! The big Red was still "green" and pulling line and...AAAANGK, AAAANGK, AAAANGK. It was pandemonium!  I tightened the drag (somewhat) and really started cranking the fish in and AAAANGK!  AAANGK! AAANGK!  Brian dove the catch net in and hoisted the big fish to the deck then dashed to the anchor rope and started
hauling..AAAANGK!  AAANGK!  I put the throttle in gear to help with the anchor haul - it came lose and we puttered across the channel and out of the way of the descending barge/Tug combo.

We dehooked the fish, got a quick picture, laid it over the side and made sure it was ready to swim, and released it. Boy what a fish! And with that, we called it day, another great one to be fishing here in NE Florida.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Thank Goodness For the Big Fish

We had another beautiful morning today with only a slight breeze when we launched at Sawpit Creek boat ramp. I fished with Howard McClure and his longtime friend Wayne and we made our first stop way up at the junction of Pumpkin Hill and the Nassau - fishing the last couple of hours of an a high incoming tide.

The first spot produced just a bunch of "baitstealing" bites so we eased up the bank and set up along a flooded marsh line. These two anglers were getting excellent drifts but we still were not getting any takers, other than the
persistent nibbles. Then, as Howards float and live shrimp drifted by a grassy peninsular, something rolled and chased his bait then took it and, Fish ON!  It was pulling drag and trying to get up into the shallows with oysters but Howard kept the pressure on and worked out to deeper water. In the meantime, Wayne allowed his float to take the same drift and, just as we got Howards big Slot Redfish (26.5") to the net, Boom! Another big fish on! Wayne's fish ran, and ripped drag, and ran, and ripped drag, but Wayne pulled  him out of the weeds and fought 'em to a standstill. He worked it to the boat and we netted a nice oversized 28.5" Redfish which we quickly photographed and released. Those were two really nice fish, caught in the same spot, in about 4' of water over some shell.

We fished Christopher Creek where Howard did battle with a huge Jack Crevalle, made some casts at some tailing Redfish in the spartina grass, then came out and fished Seymore's Pointe docks, and Spanish Drop grass. Although the bite was kinda slow, we did pick up a couple of jacks, a Seatrout, a Ladyfish, and some of those ever present bait stealers. It was a nice day and great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Pulling Thru at the End

Boy what a beautiful morning today! You can tell Fall is knocking at the door. I met Dennis Brizzi and Hal O'dell out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp early and we made a short run over to Pumpkin Hill to fish the last of an incoming tide with float rigs and live shrimp, and minnows.  We didn't have a whole lot of action, but as eased in close to the bank I could see a big 'ole Redfish Tail waving at us up in the marsh grass. I quickly converted one of the float rigs to a weedless spoon and we made a couple of tosses at it before it sank and moved on.

Just minutes later Dennis had cast to some sparse marsh grass, had his float disappear, and, Fish On! It was a big one, ripping drag, and it bulled up into the shallows and, BAP! Fish Off! Ouch. The braid was cut!  We next eased around a point, fished it with the floats, and here Hal "knocked the skunk off" when he hooked up and landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout.

We fished further down the Nassau at Spanish Drop and caught a
handful of Seatrout, tangled with some high flying Ladyfish, and played cat and mouse with some small Mangrove Snapper and Pinfish.   Hal had a big bite that took off like a freight train, heading east, and kept going. And going. The breeze had picked up so we ran up to some docks at Seymores Pointe and set up with the stern to some pilings. Within minutes Dennis had hooked up with another big fish. We were boxed in between the bank, pilings to the rear, and pilings to the left and we all were worried that the fish would get wrapped an break off. But Dennis played it away from the structures, wore it out, and brought to the net a nice 22"Slot Redfish.

Just as we were about to leave, Dennis was reeling in, and had a nice fish hit right at the boat. It was bending the rod and ripping drag but within seconds we netted it - a 18" Seatrout. These two anglers were looking for a good meal tonight and they pulled thru right at the end of the trip, making for another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Drum'n up a mess 'o fish

We postponed our trip this morning to 9:30am to let some passing rain storms pass thru. I met Trey Dennard, his friend Maria, her son Mario and their friend Brooke up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp. We made the short run over to Eagans Creek and set up at a large marsh run out. Almost immediately, Maria "knocked the skunk off" with a hungry Seatrout catch. Although we had a few nibbles after that, we moved on over to some docks and fished jigs and shrimp.

Bam! Boom! Pow! Hookup after hookup of keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum. Some were just a tad bit over 14" but some were up close to 18" with most all caught up near the pilings, and many caught out in 12' of water.  These anglers also caught Seatrout and a couple of feisty Redfish, then Maria put a keeper sized 17"  Sheepshead in the boat, to set the bar as 1st place in the Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament-Sheepshead Category (I haven't had any decent Sheepshead this year, so this is the first fish to "go on the board". Scroll down the right side of this report for standings).  Mario followed that up with a Sheepshead catch of his own. Brooke's casting was spot on and it paid off as she landed a good handful of the Drum and Trout. Trey "set the bar" by landing a Drum just
bigger than those earlier caught. We caught fish until we ran out of bait!

After a pit stop at the north end bait shop where we stocked up on mud minnows, we made the short run over to Tiger Island to fish the first of an incoming tide AND to get out of the wind. After only a short time Mario had a good bite, set the hook, and expertly played to the net a 19.5" Flounder. This fish moved Mario into 3rd place in the Anglers Mark 2019 Bragging Rights Tournament-Flounder Category(scroll down the right side of this report for standings)  Boy what a nice fish. We caught a few reds along that stretch, and a good handful of smaller
Flounder, until Maria put one more 17" Flounder in the boat. We had a really nice mess of fish so we called it a a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Soaked to the bone, but we caught fish!

I check the weather report every evening before I make the "call" to my guests and today's forecast had a 50% chance of rain, then falling off. When I got up this morning the forecast only showed a 10% chance of rain - great! I thought!  I met Mark and Jen Woodard and their daughter Lilli down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and we made the run up the intercoastal to dip into Sawpit Creek on a tide that had been going out for a couple of hours. I started the anglers off with float rigs and live s-hrimp but even though they were getting excellent drifts, we had no bites.  When I
switched Jen off to a jig and s-hrimp, Boom!  A hookup. She played it perfectly and brought a nice Seatrout to the boat.  We picked up another fish or two, but with a keen eye to the approaching storm coming off of the Atlantic. The rain hit us and we kept on fishing but when the 20mph+ gusts began to shift the boat around we pulled up and made a run to Goffinsville Park for a pit stop.

After the wind passed we still had rain but we decided to brave it anyway and made the short run down to Broward Island. The tide
was still up fairly high here, not ideal in my book, but we were sheltered from all wind and with our rain jackets still on, began to catch fish. Jen landed the first Jack Crevalle, then all three anglers battled those ferocious fighters. Finally, we began to catch some feisty Redfish, picked up a couple of Mangrove Snapper, a Sheepshead, and tangled with bait stealers and Ladyfish.  We drifted the island for a good bit then made one last run to Spanish Drop.

The oysters were showing and the fish were biting! We were all soaked to the bone but we only had a slight breeze now and even though it was raining, we caught one Redfish after another. Most were in the 13-17" range, but finally, Mark hooked up and expertly landed a nice Slot sized Redfish. Jen followed that up with the biggest Jack catch, then we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.