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.