Thursday, February 28, 2019

Out of Nowhere

You could slice the fog with a knife this  morning when I met Paul and Jana Richards up at the north end boat ramp -boy was it thick. But not so thick that we couldn't "putter" to our first stop around at Tiger Island. The tide was still going out so we set up current from the bank and began to toss live shrimp on a jig to "fishy" spots.  Jana got real good at catching the pesky bait stealers but that was all we could manage. We worked  up an down the bank when out of nowhere, BOOM!  Paul had a hookup. It was ripping drag and staying deep so we knew it was a big fish, but Paul was up to the task, played it perfectly and soon landed a fat Slot 25.5"
Redfish - big enough to put him in first place in the 2019 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category. Scroll down the right side of this report for standings.

We crossed the creek and fished a point and Jana caught a nice Whiting then we crossed back and fished the logs and picked up a couple of hungry Seatrout and another feisty Redfish.

Our next stop was up to the Jolley River. Although the first exposed oyster bank didn't produce anything, after making the run further up to the MOA, both Paul and Jana found a Seatrout each. We came back to Snook Creek and worked a bank. After drifting a float rig up near the bank it bobbled a time or two, sagged down in the water and, Fish On! Jana cranked it in and landed another Slot sized Redfish. The sun had finally burned most of the fog off and it topped off a great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

First Flounder of The Year Earns GPK Award

I fished with Greg Bancroft today and boy what a pretty one it turned out to be! We launched up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp and buzzed around to Lanceford Creek to fish the very last of an outgoing tide. The "baitstealers" were out strong but Greg worked thru them and picked up a feisty Redfish.

After fishing Soap Creek for a bit with no luck, we came back to Tiger Island and fished the logs. It was slow going for a while until the tide stared coming back in. Greg caught a few hungry Seatrout out deep with his jig and shrimp combo, then he landed a couple of feisty Redfish and wrapped up his Back Country Slam with a small Flounder catch - the first we've had on the Anglers Mark this year.

We then made a run up to the Jolley River and switched to a fixed float rig and shrimp. We had worked about 30 yards of oysters with not a nibble when Greg's float finally disappeared and, Fish On! Greg worked it patiently to the boat and landed a nice Slot sized Redfish. He went back to the same spot and, Boom! Fish On. Another Redfish. He went back to the same spot and, Boom! Fish on...for just a bit off!  We must of gotten into a small school  and had some good action there for a while making it a great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Getting the Kids Out

We had a foggy morning today, somewhat cool, but still a good day to go fishing! I met Robert Elarbee and his three kids down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and we headed up the intercoastal (slowly) with a plan to dip into Jackstaff and fish float rigs on an incoming tide. Although the fist spot didn't off, Frederick was able to land a nice Seatrout at the second stretch of marsh that we fished.

We ran thru Horsehead and stopped at another length of marsh and this did the trick. All three of the young anglers began to catch fish
- namely Trout. We worked that area thouroughly, catch trout here and there, then moved down the way, and caught more trout.  All were on float rigs in about 4 foot of water, fishing live shrimp. Although the sun never came out, these youngsters had a great time landing hungry Seatrout so we counted it as another great day to be out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Braggin Rights Times Two

Man what a beautiful morning we had today! I had met Jack Dickens, his sister Sparkle and her husband Roger down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and we headed up the Nassau River and made the long run down to Broward Island to try and catch the incoming tide before the logs got covered up...and we did.  But we fished a few areas here and there and only managed to pick up one feisty Redfish. After fishing Pumkin Hill for a while with no real bites, we moved on.

Our next stop was around at Seymore's Pointe and this did the trick. We had no more than dropped the trolling motor and began pitching live shrimp under float rigs to the flooding grass when we began to hookup with Seatrout. Sparkle started it off, Roger added one too, then Jack got in on the action. Every now and then the trio put a "keeper" sized fish in the boat.

The tide began to get up, the sun was getting hot (in February,
right?) and we were running out of time but we hit one more spot and boy was it a good one!  Roger had made a perfect cast to some structure and when his float disappeared he lifted his rod, the circle hook set, and Fish On!  He played it patiently and after a few drag ripping runs, landed a stout 25" Slot Redfish, big enough to land him in first place of the 2019 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category! 

Then, just minutes later, Jack was getting a good drift along the shore line and something took his bait with a vengeance. It was thrashing around and putting up a heck of a fight  and I saw that it was a big Seatrout. Jack worked it perfectly to the boat and landed the fat 22" Trout - a fish big enough to kick off the 2019 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament - Seatrout Category! (Scroll down the right side of this report for standings)  What a great way to wrap up a fun day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Crazy Wind

Speaking of unpredictable February weather, yesterday afternoon had something weird happen. I had met Dennis and Barbara Lockard down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp.  We knew that a brief shower was forecast within the hour but we elected to try our luck anyway. The wind was down and we commented on how hot it was when we left the boat ramp and made a straight run to Broward Island. I was thinking we could get in an hour of easy fishing before the rain and wind go to us. But we had no more than dropped the trolling motor when the wind went from 6mph to about 20mph in seconds!  And the temperature seemed to drop 20 degrees. It was
crazy. But these two anglers were here to fish so we worked the bank the best we could with jigs and shrimp but with the wind whipping us around it was very difficult to feel the bottom or a bite.

So we ran back to the protection of Goffinsville and found a stretch where we could fish slip floats with our live shrimp 20' deep and this worked well. Barbara was the first to strike when she hooked and landed a hungry Seatrout. Then both her and Dennis, drifting the traditional trout rig, caught fish.
We tried a couple of areas doing that then moved to the Pointe, still out of the wind, and tried a fixed float up near the rocks. BOOM! Big fish On! Dennis was on  the rod and played it beautifully, working it patiently to the boat and landing a nice 24" Slot Redfish.

We fished those rocks a bit more, then some docks around on the north side for a while, then wrapped up the trip fishing Spanish Drop before calling it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Taking Care of Business

It seems February has been hit or miss with the weather here at Amelia Island, and it appears to be having some affect on the fishing, too. However, yesterday was forecasted to have only slight breezes with springtime temperatures. I met Julie Rossetto down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early and we headed north and west, running thru Middle Marsh and around to Pumpkin Hill to take advantage of the very last of an incoming tide. Julie was tossing float rigs with alive shrimp to some flooded marsh grass.  She worked the whole area thoroughly and did pick up one hungry Seatrout to "knock the skunk

Julie was in the area on business and took the time to squeeze in her first Florida fishing trip and luckily we were blessed with some good weather - it got almost hot!  Our next stop was around at Seymore's Pointe and this did the trick. I think our first cast to some flooded oysters produced a bite -a Trout- and from then on we could cast and expect a bite.  Although most of the fish were just a tad bit undersized, Julie was able to get a couple that were well over the limit which made for some fun fishing.

We ended the trip fishing the mouth of Jackstaff but by then the sun was up and the bite was off. But for an early springtime trip, we counted it as a great day to be out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Who Got Bit More?

We had a nice day for fishing forecasted today...light winds, slightly overcast and a high and falling tide.  I met Steve and Jake Schmidt down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early and when the No-Seeums swarmed us I thought for sure after running up the intercoastal we'd get into a breeze and they wouldn't be a problem. Nope. They swarmed us. But these two anglers were game and began tossing float rigs with live shrimp to the marsh line. We had a couple of bites here and there but no real takers so we moved on, running thru Horsehead over to Seymore's Pointe.

Not but a minute after we dropped the trolling motor, and after the gnats swarmed, Steve had his float disappear and, Fish On!  He reeled it to the boat and landed a hungry Seatrout - skunk off the boat! We picked up another Trout in the same spot, bounced down a dock, and got another couple of fish, one of which was of keeper size. But the gnats were biting more than the fish so we pulled up and buzzed down to the Spanish Drop area, thinking that once we were out in the river there would be a breeze, but no, once again the weather forecaster was wrong again - no breeze but plenty of sand gnats!  But we did pick up a Trout or two along that stretch.

Finally, the breeze did pick up so we ran back to Seymore's Pointe and began fishing jigs, float rigs, and slip float rigs. Jake had already caught a Trout on my standard float rig but then he drifted the slip float deeper and had a strong hookup. He played it perfectly to the boat and landed another keeper sized Seatrout.  And, we had some comfortable fishing there at the end, so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

You're Due

We had chilly start this morning when I met Paul Amos and his fiancĂ©e Laura down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp, but the sun was coming up and the skies were clear. We buzzed up the Nassau River and eased in between two docks at Seymore's Pointe and began to toss live shrimp under float on an outgoing tide. I had high expectations - the conditions were perfect - the weather was perfect- and the anglers were making excellent casts, but nope,  not a bite!

The tide had gotten down a bit so we ran down to Broward Island and under a pair of nesting Bald Eagles and set up to fish the downed logs. Paul "knocked the skunk off" with a Seatrout catch, then he added a Redfish catch. I had just noted that Laura "was due" to catch a fish when she had a hookup!  She worked it patiently to the boat and landed a feisty Black "puppy" Drum. We worked along the bank and picked up another Red or two, then moved down the way.

Both Laura and Paul caught Redfish then Paul reeled in a keeper sized Sheepshead (all fish caught today were released). They had an Amelia Island Grande Slam! Our final stop was back at Seymore's Pointe and patiently drifting live shrimp up by the rocks paid off. Paul's float disappeared, his drag began to rip, and the fish was having nothing of coming to the boat - a sure sign it had some size to it.
But Paul was up to the challenge, played it patiently, and eventually landed a nice 25" Slot Redfish. Shortly after photo's and release, he put another 21" Slot Red in the boat! Now that's the way to wrap up a great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida!

Silver Flake Grub with Chartreuse Tail

I fished the first of this week with Minnesota visitors Frank Boehm and his buddies Jack and Randy, meeting them up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp. We had a good low and incoming tide so we made the short run over to Tiger Island and set up fishing the exposed logs with jigs and live shrimp. It was an ideal tide, the weather was perfect and these anglers were making excellent casts...but we had no real bites - other than the baitstealers!

After buzzing down to Lanceford Creek we fished some dock pilings and again, not much happening. But our next stop up Soap Creek did the trick. Frank and Randy were tossing float rigs now and soon began to hookup on hungry Seatrout. Jack fished a jig and shrimp and caught fish but then he switched to an artificial paddle tail in silver flake color with a chartreuse tail. His first cast had a Trout nail it and then he continued to catch fish.  Both Frank and Randy were getting fish but when we ran low on shrimp we put one of the silver flake grubs on Frank's circle hook and BOOM! He caught fish on that too!  Although the day started slow we ended it with a good flurry of Trout action so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, February 11, 2019

They Laughed at Us

You've heard the saying, "be careful what you wish for".  After some serious winds (22mph with gusts to 34) I was forced to cancel two trips Saturday, so for today I was glad to see that the wind was down to nothing and expected a beautiful day of fishing. We had that when I met Dennis Brizzi and his fishing buddy Hal O'Dell out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp. We left the ramp and it was dead calm, motored over to Seymore's Pointe, and set up fishing some docks with jigs and minnows and some "freshly dead" shrimp. We weren't getting any bites EXCEPT the gnats had come out and were swarming us so
we were the ones getting bit!  We all coated  on the bugspray but I could hear the gnats laughing at us!  We toughed it out for a while, then pulled up the trolling motor and headed down to Broward Island and enjoyed a bug free ride.

The tide was still going out but expected to hit bottom within minutes  and the logs were all exposed. Dennis finally knocked the "skunk off" with a Seatrout catch then he followed that up with a nice22" Slot Redfish. He picked up another Trout or two then Hal got in on the action and landed a couple. Hal added a Redfish of his own as we worked down the bank. Again, the gnats ruled the  boat.

We headed up to Pumkin Hill and fished some shallow areas. Hal spotted some movement up in a cove and as we watched you could see a Redfish working the area, throwing a wake. Hale tossed a float rig with mud minnow to the area, let it drift with the slow current and when his float went under, he took up the slack, set the hook, and Fish On!  Hal played the fish expertly and soon landed another Slot Redfish. After fishing Pumkin Hill for a bit, we called it a day, left the gnats still biting, and headed in, counting it as another great day to be out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida.