Friday, February 28, 2020

Not as Cold as Minnesota!

I fished with Denn Evans and his buddy Tom Martin today, both spending some time here at Amelia Island for a few weeks and all the way from Minnesota.  The temperatures today when we launched were in the low 40's but these guys said "back home" it's in the 20's" so we counted ourselves lucky!

We met up at the Dee Dee Bartels with the tide low but rising so we made the quick jump over to Tiger Island to fish the downed logs with jigs and live shrimp. I was really encouraged when Tom "knocked the skunk off" with a hookup
fairly quickly, and after expertly working it to the boat, he landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout.  We eased down the island fishing the pockets and in a short time, Tom put a feisty  Redfish in the boat. After that, though, we didn't have any real bites.

After making the run out, up and over to the Jolley river we broke out some fixed float rigs and began drifting live shrimp along the marsh line.  We did get a few bites, but no takers, until we reached a shallow area where we could throw over a long oyster bank. Denn had made an excellent cast and within seconds, Boom! He had a hookup. He reeled it across the oyster bar and to the net. Denn went back to the same spot and hooked up with an even bigger fish but this one was smart and stayed deep and sure enough, the leader cut on the oyster bar!  Denn caught another one or two Trout there, then we moved into the shallow area and picked up another Trout or two.

Our next stop was on the outside of Tiger, fishing floats but we had no luck as the tide was reaching its peak. After fishing one last spot over in Bell River, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

We and the Crabbers

It was Clear. And Cold. And Windy when I met David and Lisa Howe down at the south end boat
ramp. I was the only trailer in the parking lot after I launched!  But these two Vermonters were bundled up and ready to experience some Amelia Island fishing so we loaded up and headed NW into the wind, running up to Seymore's Pointe to use it as a wind break, and it worked!  As it turned out, we were the only anglers out today, other than a couple of crabbers running around checking their traps.

The fist dock we fished didn't produce any bites but the second one the duo got a few nibbles and
finally David knocked the skunk off with a feisty Black "puppy" Drum  catch. We moved around to the Nassauville and fished the base of some rocks with jigs and live shrimp and Lisa got on the board with a nice 4-sport Redfish catch.

We wrapped up in Christopher Creek as the tide got to it's top and fished the docks with jigs and shrimp and even tossed a fly rod for a bit. It was an absolutely beautiful day if you discounted the wind and another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Double Grande Slams

We had a brief break in the wind today so Paul and Terry Coughlin met me up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp mid morning to catch the first of an outgoing tide. We made the short run over to the outside of Tiger Island to fish float rigs and live shrimp up near the marsh grass. This duo was making excellent casts on a calm morning but we had no takers. We bumped across the creek and fished another stretch of marsh  and again, no luck.

We then made the long run thru Tiger basin, around Bell and over to Lanceford Creek and up
in a ways to fish some shoreline. Here, we did have a few strong bites but they just didn't "take" the hook. After dropping back and fishing a grass patch, we eased back to some docks and switched to jigs and shrimp. We did have one float rig still going up near the shore and this produced first, with Sherry reeling in a nice keeper sized Seatrout (all fish caught today were released). Paul went with the float and sure enough, picked up another keeper sized Trout. Then Terry snagged a small Sheepshead and a keeper sized Flounder. We moved up a bit and fished the dock just south of the big offshore boat with the three engines-the one with the lone pilings out from the dock, and Terry put a Redfish in the boat to round out her Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Seatrout, Sheepshead, Redfish  and Flounder. 

Paul picked up a Sheepshead and a Redfish to get his Slam before we made the run around to Tiger Island. We caught a handful of feisty Redfish then Paul garnered his Grande Slam when he landed a Flounder. With that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Coming Back For Seconds

The wind finally quite blowing for a day so when I met Bob Bibik and his brother David out at the Goffinsville Park we had some calm waters that greeted us. After making a quick run over to Pumpkin Hill and set up with some fixed float rigs with mud minnows for bait and began fishing the marsh grass on a  high and outgoing tide.  I think it was David's first cast when his float disappeared and the fish swiped his minnow!  But David went right back to the same spot and the fish came back for seconds!  David hooked it up and reeled in a feisty Redfish to "knock the skunk off" (and as it turned out, we
really needed it!)  We may have had a nibble or two but no more real bites. We moved around a pointe, fished some marsh islands, got a couple of bites,  then made the run down to Spanish Drop in the Nassau.

The anglers switched to jigs and minnows and worked some now exposed oyster banks. There wasn't much action until Bob had a strong hookup, Fish On!  and Fish Off! It must have not been hooked good but it did rip the drag just a bit.  We ran up to Seymore's Point and fished some docks with some dead shrimp (no live stuff available today) and didn't have any success.

Our final stop was down at Broward Island with the tide still going out. David did put a good hungry Seatrout in the boat. I fished a bit here and there and was personally "skunked" - the fish just weren't cooperating. But these guys had good attitudes and really enjoyed getting out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Tied For First

I thought it was the biggest Redfish of the year but when I got in I saw that it was tied for first for the biggest Red! Not bad, though! 

I had met the Minnesota boys - Jack Severson, Frank Boehn and Jack's son Joe and daughter-in-law Alicia down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early this misty morning and we made a quick run over to the Longpointe docks where we had picked up a couple of keeper Seatrout the other day. But the Trout didn't cooperate today so we continued on up the Nassau River and made a stop at a marsh run out, pitching jigs and live shrimp up current and letting it slide down the
river bottom with the no avail.

Our next stop was up at some dock at Seymore's Pointe. We fished one dock with jigs on the last of an outgoing tide - didn't get any bites - then moved down to the next one. FINALLY, young Joe hooked up and knocked the skunk off the boat, landing a keeper size Black Drum. He quickly followed that up with a feisty Redfish catch. Then Jack put a hungry Seatrout in the boat, so we had a brief flurry of fish catching.

We made the run down to Broward Island, stuck with jigs, and picked up a Trout here and there. Frank put one in the boat, Jack caught one on a plastic grub, and Alicia nailed a small Perch.  We eased down the island and set up to the very last of the outgoing tide with these anglers making excellent casts but the bite was non existent. I had just noted that maybe we should moving on when Joe hooked up and FISH ON!  And a big fish it was!  Joe kept the pressure on and worked it out from  the bank and away from the logs. Once he got it out it dug deep and got back into the current and it was an epic battle to see who gave in first. But Joe was up to the task, played the big fish patiently and eventually brought it to the Frank's waiting net. It turned out to be a 30.75" oversize Redfish, big enough to tie for first place in the Angler's Mark 2020 Bragging Rights Tournament - Redfish Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings). Boy what a fish! We took some photo's and released it unharmed.

Our last stop was along the rocks of Nassauville - the tide hadn't quite turned yet - we got no real bites- so we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Let The Wind Blow

We cancelled yesterday's trips, morning and afternoon, due to the foul weather. It was cold, windy, and rainy and none of us wanted to be out there. But today was forecasted to be clear, sunny, and even a bit warmer with the only drawback, a big one, the wind would be blowing 14-18mph which would make for some tough fishing.

But Mike Petro and his fishing buddies were game so we met down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and made our first stop over at the Longpointe docks to take advantage of the land
mass blocking the stiff NE wind.  The two anglers up on the bow were tossing jigs and live shrimp up to the pilings while two were drifting traditional trout rigs - slip floats fished deep and it was Mitch who knocked the skunk off when his float disappeared with a vengeance, Fish On!  Mitch worked to the boat and landed a nice keeper sized Seatrout.  Jay followed that up with one of his own, fishing the slip float with a shrimp down deep.

We then made a run up the Nassau River and
stopped at Spanish Drop for a brief period while we tossed jigs and shrimp to the exposed oysters on the very last of an incoming tide, then we moved on up the river to some docks at Seymore's Pointe. Here, Mike got the hot rod when he hooked up, battled, and experlty landed a big Black "puppy" Drum.  He then hooked up and landed a keeper sized Trout, then followed that up with a keeper sized Weakfish.  We had a couple of small Red's and Trout along that stretch, too.

After making the run down to Broward Island to take advantage of the first of an incoming tide, we found that the 18mph NE wind and the incoming tide were just too much for comfortable fishing so we came back to the shelter of Nassauville and went back to drifting shrimp deep under a float - to no avail. But we moved up a ways, found a little cove and pitched jigs with the shrimp and minnows. Mike, Jay and Mitch both found some feisty Redfish then Tim got hot and reeled in an "almost legal" 9-spot  Redfish then he landed the biggest Seatrout of the day, one that measured 19.5".  And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Running With The Tides

We had another beautiful morning today when I met Frank Boehm nd his fishing buddies Jack and Randy up at the DeeDee Bartels Park boat ramp.  We made a brisk run over to Lanceford Creek and began fishing with jigs and live shrimp on a tide that had been going out a few hours. the anglers were making excellent casts to some dock pilings but we had no takers at that first dock. After moving down a ways, Jack knocked the skuk off when he landed a feisty Redfish.

Although the tide was right for this spot, the bite was slow so we made the long run up Bell River
to try our hand fishing deeper water, still on the outgoing tide. It was Randy's turn to shine as he "taught lessons" on how to catch hungry Seatrout down on the bottom. He landed a good handful then both Frank and Jack got in on the catching. Randy also hooked up with a sneaky Sheepshead.

Our next stop was around at the MOA in the Jolley River, but the MOA wasn't, so we moved on to the mouth of the Jolley and fished "the bank" briefly, to no avail. As we were leaving our friendly Coast Guard waylaid us and gave us a safety check which we passed with flying colors.

Our final stop was around at Tiger Island to catch the first of an incoming tide. after fishing just a few minutes Frank had a strong bite and BOOM! Big fish on, Frank battled it valiantly and soon landed a nice 24.5" Slot Redfish.  Then they all began to hookup with Reds - feisty and fun to catch, then Jack wrapped things up with a Seatrout that measured right at 19" which made for a great way to end a good day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Chamber of Commerce Day Oversized Redfish...and Trout, Trout, Trout!

The wind finally died down and even though it was a tad bit cool this morning, the sun was out and there wasn't a cloud in the sky when I met Kevin and Bridgette Chambley down at the south end ramp. We headed up the Nassau River and made a run straight to some docks with plans to fish the last few hours of an incoming tide.  These two anglers were making excellent casts to the base of the pilings at that first stop but we had zero luck with the fish bite.

We moved down a dock, then down to another, and finally found a good handful of feisty
Redfish. Both Brittney and Kevin hooked up and reeled in a couple apiece. The same at the next dock, this time Brittney was pitching up into a boat slip and pulled out a couple of Reds, then at the next dock she found a wayward Flounder, unusual for this time of year -keeper sized but small so we tossed it back.

Our next stop was around at some rocks at Seymore's Pointe, drifting float rigs with live shrimp but we didn't have a nibble. We then ran down to just south of Pumkin Hill, switched back to the jigs and shrimp, had no luck, and continued on down to Broward Island. We fished the "honey hole" to no avail, then dropped back and began to pickup Seatrout. The first one was of keeper size, but from then on they were all just under 15".  We had fun catching those then as the tide began to slack, we moved down the way and set up just as it turned and, BOOM! Big fish on!

Kevin was on the rod and this fish was ripping drag - finally a big fish!  Kevin took his time, played it patiently, worked it around the trolling motor, let it run, then worked it slowly to the net - a big oversized 30.75" Redfish - big enough to move Kevin into first place in the Angler's Mark 2020 Bragging Rights Tournament -Redfish Category. (scroll down the right side of this report for standings)

We had no more Reds after that, but Bridgette and Kevin soon found that they could fish their jigs and shrimp slowly on the bottom and pick up keeper sized Trout at 25' deep. We added seven more keeper Trout, threw back a good handful of smaller ones, then counted it a "Chamber of Commerce" great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Cold and Windy and Hot Fishing

We had postponed todays trip from last week due to high winds and even though we still had a little wind, and some cool temperatures, it was manageable so I met Allen and Laverne Webb up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park early this morning. We made a quick run over to Eagans Creek and began fishing some dock pilings on the last of an outgoing tide with jigs and live shrimp, and a few left over mud minnows. The first dock we fished we barely even got a nibble. I couldn't believe we didn't have a decent bite. But we moved down the way just a bit and boy did that pay off!

These two anglers began hooking up with Redfish and it was a bonanza of fish catching for over an hour. They boated 5 Slot sized Redfish with the biggest measuring to 26.5" and they caught threw back umpteen small but feisty Redfish. They also added 2-3 Black "puppy" Drum with the biggest measuring at 16".  We were out of the wind and we couldn't have asked for a better day for fishing, and fish catching!

The bite finally slowed so we moved down another dock or two and picked up a couple of more feisty Redfish, then we made the run over to the backside of Tiger Island. Again, the fish bite was awesome!  They added one more Slot sized Redfish, a keeper sized Seatrout, a few more undersized Trout, and a handful of feisty Reds. It was another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.