Monday, January 31, 2022

Last Spot Pays Off

Adopt the pace of nature;
her secret is patience.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The temperature was in the 40's this morning but there were clear skies and very little wind and Sean Pattwell was "game" to go fishing, so we met up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park and headed over to Tyger Island to fish some 4' water with float rigs and live shrimp. To be honest, I didn't have a whole lot of confidence in our strategy but it was the only real strategy I could come up when dealt with a high tide. But we Endeavored to Persevere(Chief Dan George). That first stop was real pretty! The sun had come up and was shining on the trees and marsh of Tyger, but the fish didn't cooperate.

We made the run around and up to the Jolly River, fished the mouth of Snook Creek and again, no bites. After running thru the Jolly and around to the Bell, we fished between some docks with jigs and shrimp, deep on the bottom. IF I was a betting man, I would have lost a $1 because I would have bet it, sure we'd catch a fish here. We had one nibble but no takers, so we moved on.

Our final stop was over in Lanceford Creek, fishing some dock pilings. But now the tide had gotten down and sure enough, we began to get some hookups. We reeled in a Black "puppy" Drum, then a Channel Bass (vintage speak for Redfish) then Sean had a good bump, set the hook, and expertly landed a keeper sized Seatrout (all fish caught today were released). We added two more Channel Bass to the catch total. Although the fish catching wasn't on fire, it was a beautiful day and a great one to be out fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

StaYmo Trolling Motor Shock Absorber/Stabilizer


After a winter of having boat fiberglass repairs done, trailer repairs done, I also had my Minnkota 112lb Terrova trolling motor overhauled and "tightened" up. I have noticed for years that while running down the river, and especially going over wakes, the trolling motor head has bounced a little too much. I have known that surely that can't be good for it, but I was reluctant to drill (more) holes in my deck and really didn't want another object on the deck and in the way. I you've fished with me you know that I can not stand tripping over something and like to keep my deck clear

After searching the internet I came across the StaYmo Shock Abosorber/Stabilizer. It doesn't drill to the deck, but instead fastens to the shaft of the trolling motor with a Velcro strap. The unit itself has a spring built in and the base is a "suction" type cup. I was worried that the StaYmo wouldn't work because me deck is checkered/non-skid but after trading Emails with them they assured me that it would work, it didn't need to suction.

They come in two sizes so you have to take a measurement of your installed trolling motor (I almost screwed up - I took my measurement with my boat cover on and it pushes my motor down, but luckily the unit I ordered was just right). It has some adjustments by removing a plastic nut and shifting a pin up or down. It's a 1-minute adjustment!

All you have to do after that is strap the Velcro over the shaft and done. While running down the river I noticed the StayMo acted as a shock absorber as we hit waves. 

I had thought I would have to remove the unit at every stop but I decided to just run the shaft locking nut all the way up to where the StaYmo was strapped and operated the trolling motor with the StaYmo still strapped on. It looks a little goofy and I thought for sure the cable would wrap, but I didn't have an issue. The cable already get's caught on the locking nut on occasion so I assume it will catch on the StaYmo, but we'll see.

For me, this was the perfect shock absorber to get. I didn't have to drill holes, it supports my trolling motor shaft, and so far, I can leave it attached. Here's a very brief video running down the river. 

The only place I see them for sale are on Etsy, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Trout Honey Hole

 After a super cold day yesterday, we had a warming trend for
today and luckily, I had planned to meet Bill Rowlett at 1pm for an afternoon trip and it had warmed to the mid 60's. We met down at the Sawpit Creek Boat Ramp and headed  up the intercoastal to dip into Jackstaff with plans to fish a tide that had been going out for a few hours. We went with float rigs, fishing in about 5 feet of water, and got...nuthin. After fishing a sandbar point with jig rods and again getting no bites, we ran thru Horsehead, over to the Nassau, and down to a large marsh run out.

Bill was making excellent casts with his jig and shrimp combo and letting the current take his bait down the river bottom, but again, not a nibble! We moved up to Seymore's Pointe and fished a couple of docks. Bill had made a good toss up between some piling and the day had been going so slow up until now he and I both thought he was hung on the bottom...but then it began pulling back, and, Fish On!  Bill played it perfectly and after a good battle, landed a nice feisty Redfish, Skunk Off The Boat!

We ran around the corner and down the Nassau to the rocks of Nassauville and fished between two docks. I knew that at the end of one dock there was steep decline in the river bottom, going from 15' to 30' out at the boat. We began tossing our jig and shrimp up to the shallower water and then let the current take it down the decline and BAM! We began to get hookups. Seatrout were laying down there in deeper water and with a subtle bite, they'd take the bait. Most of the fish were in the 14" range but we had a few that could have been "keepers"(all fish caught today were released). It was fun catching them and really took some finesse but Bill was up to the task. I had been fishing a bit also to increase our chances but eventually I was able to put my rod down and watch Bill catch fish. After about 17 fish, they were still biting, but we decided to move on for a change in scenery.

Our next stop was down at Broward Island. I knew the tide would be still going out, not ideal, but we made the best of it, working the bank. Bill put two more feisty Reds in the boat. The sun was heading down and the temperature was dropping, but it was a beautiful day and a great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Oh What a Beautiful Morning!


Boy was it pretty this morning when I came over the south end bridge to drop the boat at Sawpit Creek boat ramp. There was a bit of excitement first - a guy waved me down and said the transport boat that ran employees out to the dredge was bringing in an injured worker and ambulances were on the way. Sure enough, here came two fire trucks and an ambulance. They got the fellow off the boat and into the ambulance and off they went. I was able to get launched and be ready for when the Berquist family arrived - Evan and Laura and their kids Tim and Sasha. 

We made the long run up and around to the Broward Island in hopes of fishing the first of an incoming tide, but it was well up already. But these anglers were ready to fish and began tossing jigs and live shrimp to the bank, letting it go to the bottom, and then letting the current take it along. We had a fished a bit and finally had a nibble and a hookup. Laura was on the rod and expertly brought tot he boat a feisty Sheepshead.

After easing down the island we found a spot to fish under a Bald Eagle and here it was Evan's turn to have the hookup which he played to the boat and landed - a hungry Seatrout. We moved down the way, had some nibbles, then moved on.

Our next stop was back at some docks at Seymore's Pointe. We were getting good casts to the dock pilings and were getting nibbles. I thought maybe more Sheepshead but then Evan snagged one and it turned out to be a baitstealing Perch. We moved on.  After fishing some docks over along Nassauville, to no avail, we made the short run down to Pumpkin Hill. The tide was up, so we switched to float rigs and the live shrimp. By now, Tim was baiting all the hooks and Sasha was in charge of the net. Laura was getting a good drift and had her float disappear but it got her bait. Evan drifted thru but had not luck then Laura came back thru and BAM! This time she was ready, lifted her rod and set the hook. She worked it to the boat patiently and landed another nice Seatrout. Tim had an "eagle eye" and spotted porpoises all around us.

We fished Spanish Drop briefly but the tide had gotten really high and we had no luck, but as we headed in, the sun was shining, the temperature had warmed, so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.