Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2nd Half Comeback

Counting down to the end of the year! We had a beautiful morning today when I met Brad G and his adult kids Jake and Ashley who were making a quick visit just to fish here at Amelia Island. The tide was high and still coming in as we made a run over to Bell River, up a bit, and then set up along a flooding marsh to pitch float rigs and live shrimp. Not a bite.  We ran thru the marsh and around to the outside of Tiger and again began pitching the floats and finally Jake had a good bite - he knocked the skunk off with a nice Red fish catch. But that was the only bite along that stretch. We crossed the creek, fished another grass line and again,  no bites. Before we left the anglers switched to jigs and shrimp but that didn't do any good.

With two hours of fishing, only one bite and only one fish -we ran back thru Tiger into the Bell, over to Lanceford, and up Soap Creek and set up alongside a submerged oyster island. The "Comeback Kids" were ready for some fish! Jake had a strong hookup and, Fish On! He worked it to the boat and landed a nice Slot sized Redfish. Then Brad went to the same spot and hooked up - another Slot Redfish. The trio landed three more Reds, all right under the Slot, before we moved on.

Our next stop was over in Egans Creek, fishing some dock pilings on the

outgoing tide. The oysters were just beginning to show and the fish were ready to eat. Brad hooked up quickly and landed a nice 18" Black "puppy" Drum.  Then it was "game on" Ashley got in on the action and caught a Drum then we had a couple of times were we had double hookups. Jake was having a hard time squeezing in so he went to a slip float and drifted out deep to the furthest pilings and, BOOM! Big fish on! Jake played it perfectly, fought it valiantly, and soon landed a big 24" Slot Red - boy what a fish. The trio landed a few more of the Black Drum, a couple of them keeper sized, then when the bite shut down we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.  

....and to top it off..they took their catch to Kitchen 251 where they had a great, FRESH, meal!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Merry Christmas!

 I fished my last trip today before Christmas and boy was it beautiful. I wanted to wish every one a Merry Christmas - please have a safe one if you're traveling - and I hope that you get plenty of fishing stuff from Santa!

40 Plus

 It was a tad bit cooler this morning, but clear and only a slight breeze, which made for an absolutely
beautiful day. And to top it off, the fish bite was on fire! I had met William and Bob Blalock out at Goffinsville Park and we made our coldest run down to Broward Island to fish with jigs and live shrimp on the last couple of hours of an outgoing tide. My first stop didn't produce much but as we drifted back with the current the two anglers began to pick up fish. They caught a good handful of Redfish, a couple of which were in the Slot, but were released to see another day. Bob also put a big Black "puppy" Drum in the boat and William had a keeper sized Seatrout.

Our next stop was back at Nassauville -we fished a deep spot that I had had success at but not today! At William's suggestion, we moved up to one of our old "honey holes" and BAM! It was lights out. He and Bob both began to catch one Seatrout after the other. Most of the Trout were 14-14 3/4" in length, but they did get a couple of more keepers. Then Bob had a strong hookup and put another nice Black Drum in the boat, then he had weird bite, a hookup, and landed a big 18" Sheepshead. We caught 'em (Trout) until we got tired of catch'n 'em!

Our next stop was around at some docks at Seymore's Pointe. The tide had just started back in  and it didn't take long before we were catching fish. They put a few more Slot sized Redfish in the boat, then another big Drum. We moved a dock down and BOOM! Multiple catches of feisty Redfish. We tried to guess how many fish we had caught but couldn't, so we estimated 40 plus!  Boy what a day! Another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, December 21, 2020

We Were Delt a Duece

When I stepped outside this morning it was drizzling rain and the wind was kicking up the trees, and when I launched 45 minutes later it was still misting and I could see a wall of rain off to the north. But when Bob and William Blalock walked up to the boat at Dee Dee Bartels Park, the rain had stopped, the breeze was dying and the sun was coming out! We flipped a coin and decided to make the quick run over to Tiger Island to take advantage of the first of an incoming tide with plans to pitch jigs and live shrimp to the shoreline. It might have taken a cast or three but soon Bob had a big bite and, Fish On! He played it patiently as it dug deep, ripping drag all the way, but soon Bob had it worn out and landed a big Slot sized Redfish. Just a few minutes later William had the hookup, and again it was a big drag rip'n fish!  William kept the pressure on, worked it to the boat, and landed another big Slot Redfish. Two fish caught. Two Slot Reds! (All fish caught today were released).

We continued to work in and out of the logs and continued to catch fish. There was another two or three Slot Reds, a couple of big (18-20") Black "puppy" Drum, and a feisty Sheepshead.

Our next stop was around at Eagans Creek, fishing some dock pilings. We had not been there but for a minute and Bob had his jig in the water and BOOM! Redfish on and to the boat! He caught a nice Black Drum then it was William's turn for a Big fish. He had pitched out into deeper water and had a fish hit it hard! This was a big fish and had no plans of coming to the boat. Then it got wrapped around one of the pilings and it was nip and tuck for a while. But William was patient and kept the pressure on until the fish came out to deep water (thank goodness for braid) where William subdued it and brought it to the net, a 27 1/2" oversized Redfish. After getting a couple of  more smaller Reds and another nice Black Drum or two, we moved on.

We fished another dock for a bit then switched to float rigs and drifted shrimp along some still exposed
oysters. William got  hot and picked up another 4-5 Reds with two of them in the Slot. Our last stop was over at Bells River, now fishing a flooded marsh line with the float rigs. I thought we were going to get skunked but Bob nixed that idea when he hooked up and landed one more nice Redfish. Boy what a day of fishing - another great one here at Amelia Island, Florida.  

Friday, December 18, 2020

A Frosty "morn


A beautiful sunrise coming up over Amelia Island greeted us on a cool (32 degrees) morning when I met Chuck and Marca Benton and their daughter Kristin our at Goffinsville Park. But we were all bundled up in layers and I had my "baclava" wrapped around my neck as we headed north and around to Seymore's Pointe to with plans to fish some dock pilings on a tide that had been coming in for about an hour. The trio of anglers began pitching jigs and live shrimp to the pilings and it wasn't long before their efforts paid off. 

Kristin was first on the board with a strong hookup - she had felt the "bump" set

the hook, and FISH ON! Kristin played it perfectly, took here time, and soon landed a nice 18" Black "puppy" Drum. I think she put one or two more in the boat before her Dad got in on the action and he began to catch fish. Then it was Marca's turn - she hooked up and landed a nice keeper sized Drum, too.  Before long we had a good boxful of Drum. When the bite slowed we eased up to the pilings to try our hand at some Sheepshead "drops". I thought we were going to get skunked but then Chuck hooked up. He fought the fish valiantly under the dock and brought it to the net....a nice feisty Redfish!

Our next stop was down at Broward Island. We were still tossing the jig and shrimp combo. Chuck got hot off the stern and put a few Redfish in the boat, two of which were in the Slot. Kristen set the hook on a Seatrout to make it an Amelia Island Back Country Slam, then Chuck found a keeper sized Sheepshead make it a "Grande Slam".  Marca had set aside her rod to warm her hands up but she contributed immensely by "coaching them up".

We fished the rocks back at Nassauville, had a bite or two, then wrapped up the day fishing the now flooding marsh grass with float rigs. The sun was up and we had warmed a bit and we had a boxful of fish so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Pushing Thru On a Cold and Dreary Day


Although the late night winds died to nothing we were greeted with a cold, foggy and altogether dreary day when I met Jesse and Taylor Patrick up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park this morning. The newlyweds were eager to get out on our Amelia Island waters and we did just that by making our first run up to the Jolly River with plans to fish float rigs along the marsh grass with live shrimp as bait. These two anglers were getting excellent drifts but we had no takers, not even a nibble on a high and incoming tide. 

We moved up the river and did the same thing and we did have one Seatrout hook up which was brought to the boat. We moved in to Snook Creek and tried some jigs with shrimp but had  no luck so we moved on. Our next stop was around in Bell's River where we continued to fish with the jigs, tossed up near the bank and fished real slow. After about the third dock we struck pay dirt.. The fish were biting very softly but we had a hookup, Fish On! Taylor worked it to the boat and landed a nice Slot sized 19" NO SPOT Redfish - a Tournament winner for sure!

Then Jesse had a strong hookup. He played it patiently as it dug deep, but Jesse kept the pressure on and soon landed a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum (all fish caught today were released). Then back to Taylor - she had her jig hang on a oyster but when she pulled it off, BAM! Another hookup!  She expertly fought to the boat another nice Redfish.  Before we left Jesse hooked and landed a Sheepshead.

Our next stop was down the Bells River, back towards town, and back fishing the float rigs (to no avail). We made a stop at Tiger Island and picked up Whiting off the bottom before we hit one more spot with the float rigs. We could feel the rain coming so we pulled up and called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Fourteen and Three Quarter

 Wow! I think today was the prettiest we've had in two months! I had met Dennis Brizzi and Hal O'dell outat the Goffinsville Park boat ramp and I snapped this shot as the sun came up - not a cloud in the sky and only a slight breeze - 50 degree temperature!

We made a short run over to Pumpkin Hill as the tide had just started out and with both anglers tossing float rigs and live shrimp, we worked a marsh bank. Although they were making excellent casts and getting good (albeit slow)drifts, we had not takers. We moved around the corner and tried the same tactic, but to no avail.

After a brief trip down to Broward, we set  up fishing under a pair of majestic Bald Eagles and switched to jigs and the shrimp, fishing on bottom, and this did the trick. Dennis picked up a couple of 14" plus Seatrout then Hal got in on the action and boated  one after the other. I released the anchor on the trolling motor and drifted back, stopping on occasion, and the duo caught Trout - just barely under the limit size - at every stop.  Dennis went close to the bank with a cast and had a stronger hookup, this one pulling drag, and when he brought it to the net we saw that is was a nice feisty Redfish. Just a bit later he did the same thing, further down the island, and BOOM! Another Redfish on. This one measured out in the Slot. (All fish caught today were released).

Our next stop was back at some docks in Nassauville. The tide had dropped and

the oysters were begining to show and I felt sure we'd get some good fish. That's what I get for thinking! Although Dennis put a fe more Trout in the boat, we had no Drum, no Sheepshead, and no Reds.

We moved down to Spanish Drop and fished the exposed shell bank. Dennis landed another Trout and after Hal went to the bank his jig had just hit the water when, BAM! Fish On!  Hal played it patiently and soon landed another nice Redfish. We fished another shell bank up the way, added one more keeper sized Seatrout, then called it a day, another great one to be fishing there at Amelia Island, Florida.  

Monday, December 7, 2020

Making The Most Of It


We all agreed that the weather forecaster fooled us! I thought for sure this morning would be pleasant - maybe a bit overcast - but not too cold, not rainy, and not windy. Wrong was he. It was on the cool side and the breeze made it seem cooler and we had a misty rain for about he first hour - but we were fishing and this group of Joe and Karen Szkaradnik and their friend Bruce were up for it and we made the most of it. After leaving Sawpit Creek we headed up the Nassau River and made a stop at Spanish Drop to fish some exposed oysters on the very last of an outgoing tide. The trio was pitching jigs and live shrimp to the bank and after getting warmed up, they began to catch fish. The guys followed Karen's lead as she put Trout after Trout in the boat and the too began to hookup. All of the fish were in the 12"-14" range so we broke the cardinal rule, and move on. 

Our next stop was up at Athens Drop and again the trio landed a handful of Trout. But the tide had stopped and was beginning to come back in so we headed over to some docks at Seymore's Pointe and began to fish the pilings with the jigs and shrimp. Within a minute Karen had hooked up, Fish On! She played it perfectly and landed a nice 20" Black "puppy" Drum". Not to be outdone, the "boys" went in and caught Drum of their own. Most all of them were of keeper size. Then we had a couple of nice sized keeper sized Sheepshead brought to the boat. 

Our next stop was down at Broward Island. We were back in the wind but the rain had stopped. The boat was rocking from the wind and current but it didn't deter these anglers. Karen had made an excellent cast to the mouth of a marsh run out and BOOM! Big Fish On! When it boiled up I new it was Red. Karen kept the pressure on, worked it to the boat, and landed a nice 21.25" Slot sized Redfish. Moments later, it was Bruce's time for a fish fight. He'd gone to a little cove with a good cast and had a strong bite. The drag ripped but Bruce was ready and fought it to the boat to land another Slot sized Redfish. We had  a pair of Bald Eagles keeping an eye on us. 

We moved north and fished a bit and here Joe landed a feisty Sheepshead and another Seatrout. After fishing the rocks back at Nassauville for a while, we headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Drum or Sheepshead?

I had my annual Fernandina Beach Fighting Pirates football team mate fishing trip this past Saturday - made up of myself, Daniel "Bubba" Rhodes, Tony French and Fred Dotson. We all met out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp on a chilly morning, but it was clear and a beautiful day! Tony and I had tallked about it on the way out to the boat ramp - we had the very first of an incoming tide - do we head over to Broward Island and fish the logs, or hit some dock pilings at Seymore's Pointe? We picked the pilings and headed that way - Good Call!

These anglers were making pinpoint casts to the pilings with jigs and live

shrimp, letting it fall, and keeping their lines tight and it wasn't long before Daniel "knocked the skunk off " when he hooked up with a rod-bending, drag ripping fish, Fish On! Daniel, the Michael Jordan of fishing, talked the fish all the way to the net and landed a big 20" Black "puppy" Drum. From then on, it was all gloves off! Daniel added a fish or two then Tony heated up and began to catch one right after the other. After a brief hazing period of keeping Fred up at the bow, we let him back to the stern and he began to hook up too. As the Black Drum bite slowed, Fred hooked up and landed a big 20" Sheepshead.


We were getting nibbles but no takers so when the Drum bite slowed we eased up to the dock and anchored to where we could drop some fiddler crabs down along side them. Again, the fish bite heated up until it was on fire! All four of us took a piling  or fished on one side of he other, and pulled out Sheepshead. I had never really done that but it was fun!

As the tide got up the bite slowed so we moved down to Athens Drop and fished jigs and shrimp to the shell beds. Somewhere in there Tony added a keeper sized Seartrout to the mix. We then ran down to Broward Island, fished a bit in the wind, then headed back to the shelter of Nassauville. We wrapped up the day fishing artificials, again catchinig some Trout, one of which was of keeper size. And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Ice On The Deck and Smoke on the Water!

 There's nothing like launching the boat in 29 degree weather, but the sun coming up and Smoke on the Water!  I had met Tom Middleton and his fishing buddies Zach and young angler Noah out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp early and I had to warn them about ice on the deck, but boy what a beautiful day!  We made a quick run around to some docks at Seymore's Pointe. I was expecting some Black Drum to be caught on our jigs and shrimp but when Tom hooked up and landed a Seatrout, that must have set the tone for the day. Young Noah had made an excellent cast to the pilings and in short order had a hookup, and, Fish On! He worked it to the boat and landed the first "keeper" fish of the day!

After fishing that spot for a bit, we moved down the Nassau and fished Twin Creeks, sticking with the jigs and shrimp. Again, Tom found some Trout and landed a couple. We moved down a bit and again, Trout on the bottom, with a subtle bite. Noah switched back and forth from fishing and "coaching" and did an excellent job.

But the wind had picked up a bit so we ran back to Nassauville and fished some rocks. Here, all three anglers picked up some Trout, one of which was keeper size, then Tom had a strong bite, worked it in,a nd landed the first Redfish of the day. Not to be outdone, Noah had a hookup. He played it to the boat and landed the biggest Redfish of the day. Boy what a fish!

Our next stop was down at Pumpkin Hill, now fishing float rigs.  Again, we found a couple of Trout. Coach Noah helped out the other anglers by "spotting" their floats when the went under! Somewhere along there we put one more keeper sized Trout in the boat. We fished Broward Island again, back with the jigs, then we called it a day, another great, albeit cold one, to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.