Thursday, February 24, 2022

Weakfish Makes Up The Slam

 The beautiful mornings just keep coming! I met Andy Hall and his fishing crew -his wife Gail, her sister Barbara and brother in law Jim out at Goffinsville Park early today and the sun was shining and I had elected to wear a short sleeve shirt it was so warm! We ran down the Nassauville rocks a bit and fished between two docks with jigs and dead shrimp and artificial grubs (no live shrimp today). We had a couple of nibbles but no takers.

Our next stop was down at Spanish Drop, pitching to some shell beds. We had some excitement when Gail had the first hookup and she expertly landed a Stingray - the first of the year! We moved further up the Nassau and fished a marsh drainage to no avail, then ran up to Seymore's Pointe as the tide started back in.  Jim was fishing the deepest and he had a good take, a hookup, and he patiently worked it to the net. I called "Seatrout" but when I netted it I saw it was a nice keeper sized Weakfish.

We then ran down to Broward Island to take advantage of that incoming tide and it paid off. These anglers were making excellent casts, letting their baits drop down the river bottom with the current and they picked up three feisty Redfish and a couple of Trout. We moved down the way, still fishing the dead shrimp, but Jim tried a Contender "Christmas Tree" grub and he picked up the last Trout of the day. Jim had caught the Weakfish, a Redfish and this Trout which gave him a type of Amelia Island Back Country Slam which made for a great way to wrap up a fine day of being out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Another Big Redfish Battle


After that slow day yesterday Bob Blalock and I decided to try south and met out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp early this morning. The tide was going out with a couple of hours to go so we eased down the Nassauville rocks and set up between two docks to fish jigs and live "lobster" shrimp- tossing them up current and letting them bounce down the river bottom with the current. We had a few good bites and Bob landed a couple of hungry Seatrout. 

We then ran down the Nassau, towards the bridge and then turned into the still outgoing current and fished Athens Drop. We had clear skies, no wind, and plenty of Sand Gnats, but no real bites. We moved further down the Nassau and began to work back alongside a shell lined bank. Bob was making excellent casts and working it slow but, no bites. He had part of his shrimp torn off on an oyster and we were just about to move and he made one more cast, out deep in about 10' of water and BAM! A strong hookup. The fish came right back to the boat

and Bob was cranking in slack then the fish ran towards the bank and began to rip drag - another Big Redfish! Bob played it perfectly and patiently worked it in (see video below) and eventually landed a 27.5" Oversized Redfish - boy what a

battle !

Our next stop was up at Bubblegum Reef -we eased along with the trolling motor until it found us. We dropped our jigs and shrimp down around the reef and had a few nibbles, lost a few jigs, then moved on. Just a short hop and we were over at some docks at Seymore's and here we picked up a Slot sized 6-spot Redfish (released), but no other significant bites.

After buzzing down to Broward Island we fished the first of an incoming tide. The wind had  picked  up just a bit and blew away the gnats. Bob caught and landed a handful of feisty Redfish. Then we moved down the way and worked back along the bank and picked up a couple of Seatrout, one on shrimp and one on Contender Baits "Christmas Tree' grub. The water temperature was a little over 61, so it's warming up. We had a bit more action today than yesterday so as we headed in we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Go Big Early

We had another beautiful morning today when I met Bob Blalock up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park. Sunshine, no wind, and warming temperatures. The tide had just started in so we made the quick run over to Tyger Island and pitched jigs with live shrimp to the exposed bank. We worked down the bank with Bob making excellent casts to the pockets, had not a bite, then worked back. Finally, Bob had a faint "bump", set the hook, and knocked the skunk off with a keeper sized Seatrout catch. We continued to ease back along the bank and way out deep, BAM! Another good bite. We were speculating, "feisty Redfish" or big Seatrout, which is what we were hoping for, but then the fish stayed deep, then we thought maybe the drag was a bit loose as it ripped it off. But Bob stayed with it, worked it patiently, and eventually brought to the net a big Oversized 28" Redfish, boy what a fish! We snapped a quick picture and released it.

Our hopes were high as we worked the bank up and down, but alas, there were no more bites, which was a precursor for things to come. After running around to the outside of Tyger and fishing a small drainage to no avail, we moved around to the Jolley and worked the shell banks with jigs and shrimp. Again, not a bite. We travelled further up the Jolley and fished another shell bank and again, not a bite.

Our final stop was around at Bell River, fishing some docks. We switched to jigs and plastic grubs thinking that might help, but again, not a bite. We had fished deep and shallow, live shrimp and plastic grubs. We had even tried a float rig on occasion, but the fish just didn't want to cooperate. But as we headed in, the sun was shining and we had great memories of at least one BIG fish caught today so we counted it as another great day to be out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Monday, February 21, 2022

First Flounder of the Year Nets a Slam

Boy what a beautiful morning we had today! Clear skies, no wind and temperatures getting up to "peel off the jacket" heights! I had met Frank Boehm and his two fishing partners Jack Severson and Pat Andreasen down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early and we ran up the intercoastal, turned into the Nassau and made our way up the River for about a half a mile, then turned into the current on the first of an incoming tide. We worked along a shell lined bank pitching jigs and dead shrimp(live shrimp has been scarce the last couple of weeks) and it didn't take long for Jack, on the stern, to hookup and "knock the skunk off" with a Seatrout catch. But, unfortunately, that was all we caught along that stretch.

We then ran further up the river and eased in between two docks and fished the pilings as the tide came in. We weren't getting any bites until Pat had a "bump", set the hook and worked in to the net - a nice sized 17" Flounder, the first of the year! An Osprey overhead kept watch over his fishing grounds.

After running down to Broward Island we set up and let the drigs drop down the river bottom and here we had a good flurry of fish catching.  All three anglers caught and landed Seatrout, with one of them being of keeper size right at 17". They also put a handful of feisty Redfish in the boat, one of which gave Pat his first Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Flounder, Seatarout and Refish. We were treated to a sighting of a Salt Marsh Mink, and minutes later, a Raccoon, then later, a Bald Eagle.

After fishing some docks at Nassauville to no avail, we ran through Horsehead and down to Jackstaff where we worked the bank. In a span of a minute, all three anglers had hookups and landings of Seatrout. And with that, we called it day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Did Three Degrees Make a Difference?

Tom Hutchens and I made a decision to fish this morning rather than tomorrow morning and it paid off. Today's forecast called for just a slight breeze this morning but increasing winds to about 12mph at knock-off time. We meet down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and made a quick run up the Nassau River. The tide had been coming in for about three hours and I thought for sure  we'd get some fish around some dock pilings at Seymore's Pointe. I'm glad I didn't bet on it! We fished the pilings thoroughly with jigs and live shrimp but had not a single bite.  I was thinking, "oh no, here we go again". The last few trips I've fished have been a struggle with water temperatures hovering around 53 degrees. Todays water was up to 56 so I had high hopes that the fishing would be better.

I don't normally fish Broward Island on a high and incoming tide due to the logs being a real pain, but I thought we may have a chance at some Seatrout fishing the falling river bottom so we made the run down there. Low and behold, the island was blocking any wind, enough to where the sand gnats were a bit

aggravating. We began tossing up to the bank and letting the jig/shrimp fall with the current. Sure enough, we'd get just a faint "BIP" and when we tightened the line we'd get a hookup, Tom soon had the hang of it and all-told, he boated a dozen Seatrout, or so.  We also had a good handful of feisty Redfish -undersized, but fun to catch, and a distinctly different kind of fight than the Seatrout. But then Tom hooked up and this fish was pulling hard, digging deep, and we thought for sure it was another of those smaller Reds. But when brought it to the net, we saw that it was a Big Seatrout, measuring in right at 20" and big enough to set the bar for this year's Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament-Seatrout Category(scroll down the right side of this report and click on Bragging Rights link for standings(. 

We dropped back and fished another stretch and picked up Reds and Trout then had another strong hookup. Tom played it perfectly and eventually landed a nice 23.25" Slot Redfish. I was thinking, "this is another Bragging Rights "bar setter" but then we had ANOTHER big bite! This fish was pulling deep and had no intention of coming to the boat (see video below). That Florida Fishing Tackle Ospery 1000CE's drag was ripping smooth and Tom was patient, and evidently living right, and after a good battle, landed an Oversized  28.25" Redfish, Boy what a fish, and a now a Bragging Rights bar setter! We ended up getting Tom's legal limit of 5 keeper Trout then we move on.

Our final stop was back at Nassauville, fishing a drop off, and Tom again put one more Trout in the boat, this one on a jig and Contender Bait "Christmas Tree" grub. The wind was really whipping right now but we had a box full of fish and as we headed in, we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Turn of the Tide


I also fished this afternoon. Scott Jones had flown in for a meeting and set up a fishing trip for he and his associates, friends and fellow anglers Larkin and Dodd. We met up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park at 1pm. Unfortunately  the wind had picked up to 16mph but was forecasted to drop a bit as the afternoon went on. We left the dock and headed over to Tyger Island to fish the logs with an hour left of an outgoing tide. We fished down the island, pitching  jigs and shrimp and minnows and Amelia Island Bait and Tackle Contender 'Christmas Tree" grubs. Dodd was on the stern and was tossing a fly rod that he had brought and making excellent casts up to the drop off. But none of this paid off with fish until the tide changed. We had worked our way back to the north end of the island, set up, and BAM! Scott had a hookup. He played it perfectly, brought it to the boat, and landed a nice feisty Redfish to "knock the skunk off". Then Larkin hooked up with a jig and minnow combo and expertly landed another Redfish. Then both she and Scott had hookups and this time they were using the Contender grubs.

They added one more Redfish to the catch before the bite fell off.

We ran thru Tyger, around to Lanceford, and fished a few docks with the jigs and (now dead) shrimp. We move back Soap Creek and fished some more dock pilings, then moved around and fished some exposed oyster beds. Not a bite.  

After making the run back to Eagans Creek we eased down the way, past the marina and Olde Towne Bait and Tackle and set up, bow into the current to work a deep bend. Larkin had a couple of bites, a brief hookup, but not a take. We made the pass again and Scott was able to snag a last hookup and boat a hungry Seatrout to wrap up a great day to be out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Scraping Out a Win

 The forecast for this morning started off with a nice breeze of only 7mph but increasing to 12mph,temperatures in the mid 40's...and they were right! I met Michael and Jean Fry up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park for a planned half day of fishing. Unfortunately, live bait is hard to come by right now. I had seen Amelia Island Bait and Tackle's Facebook post "no live bait" last night, but luckily I had a few live shrimp and a few live mudminnows left over from last week. I did stop by AIBT and pick up a pound of frozen shrimp for back up. We left the dock and headed over to the outside of Tyger and fished with float rigs on the last of a high and incoming tide(this tactic right now is almost laughable - the water temperature was 53 this morning and the fish are just not going to be shallow-but I held out hope). We didn't get a bite. 

I ran thru Tyger, over to Bell, back down to Lanceford, up Lanceford and in to Soap Creek. We pulled up at a larger marsh runout and tossed float rigs, this time letting them drift with the current - it worked last week - but not today.  We then fished some docks along Lanceford with jigs and shrimp. The duo had a couple of nibbles and Michael snagged a "baitstealing" Perch. 

The wind had picked up as forecast (they got it right!) so we plowed thru the NE winds back to Eagans Creek, idled thru past Tiger Pointe Marina and the Olde Towne Bait Shop and picked out a bend in the creek to toss jigs and shrimp and AIBT Contender "Christmas Tree" grubs and finally, this did the trick. Both Michael and Jean had hookups. They played their respective fish and landed a pair of hungry Seatrout. Jean added one more Trout, the biggest of the day. We had given it a good "college try", fished till the end, and picked up a few fish so as we headed in, we counted it as another great day to be out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Sunday, February 13, 2022

One Final Flurry


We had hardly any breeze when I fished with Bob Kossman and his visiting daughter Samantha yesterday morning which made for some pleasant fishing. And the 9am start to take in a late morning high tide was an added bonus! We met down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and headed up the Nassau River and made our first stop at a large marsh run out with the oysters juts beginning to show as the tide started out. The two anglers were pitching jigs and a few live shrimp left over from my Wednesday trip(evidently they are hard to come by with the water temperatures being so low). Although we didn't "tear them up", Samantha did "knock the skunk off" when she hooked up and boated a hungry Seatrout. I noticed the water temperature had risen one degree to 55 today!

We ran over to Nassauville and fished some rocks, deep and I thought for sure we'd get fish, but no, not a real bite. We then moved around to Seymore's Pointe and fished some dock pilings. We did have a couple of "takes" but no hooksets(I think one of them may have been a hard-mouthed Sheepshead). But as we eased along the docks pitching, Bob hooked up and landed another
couple of Seatrout. 

After making the run down to Broward Island, the tide still going out, we worked the bank, pitching up current. We had the pleasure of fishing right under the "eagle eye's" of a pair of Bald Eagles (always neat" and here we had a good flurry of hookups. Both Bob and Samantha landed a handful of the Seatrout, caught in about 20' of water, and Samantha put two feisty Redfish in the boat. One of those had 12-spots and if legal, would have been a money winner in our Redfish Spot Tournament!

The trend held - cold water equals caching Trout deep on the bottom and the last flurry of catching, and under the watchful gaze of the Eagles made for another great day to be out on the water fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Trout On The Bottom

Kinda cool this morning! But the skies were clear, the sun was coming up and there was very little wind.Sean Pattwell and I had to move today's trip due to high winds on Friday and rain on Tuesday so we were chomping at the bit to get out on the water. As I ran to the first spot up the Nassau  River I noticed that the water temperature was 54 degrees. We pulled up a marsh run out on a tide that had been going out for a few hours and began to pitch jigs and live shrimp up to the mouth of the drainage, then let the current take the offering across the river bottom. We were fishing in about 12-15' of water, and had no bites.

We dropped back and fished a bank with exposed shell, working along the edge, now in about 10-12' of water but after working it thoroughly, we had not bites. OUCH.  Our next stop was up at the rocks along Nassauville, now pitching into 14' of water and letting the bait fall down thru 25' and this did the trick. Sean began to hookup out deep and catch Seatrrout. Although no fish were kept today, a couple of them were nice and fat and of keeper size. Sean also picked up one Redfish in the bunch.

After moving around to Seymore's Pointe and fishing some dock piling to no avail, we made the run down to Broward Island and set up fishing under the watchful eye of a Bald Eagle. The first stretch of fishing produced no bites but then, as the tide began to turn, we began to get bites. Sean had been pitching  his jig/shrimp combo up to the edge, then letting it fall until it was almost directly behind the boat in 20-25' of water and, TAP, TAP, TAP. Sean set the hook and would hookup. I was fishing some too and Sean was getting about 3 fish to my 1 - he was dialed in. These fish were fat and legal but we snapped pictures and tossed them back.

The sun was out, the skies were clear and as we left 'em biting, we headed back to the dock, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.



Sunday, February 6, 2022

Great News For Area Anglers!

We've all heard about the re-opening of the bait and tackle shop up at Eagans Creek so I reached out to Amelia Island Bait and Tackle owner Nik Bremer to get the "scoop" on plans for the new Olde Towne Bait and Tackle...


What's planned for the shop? Anything new  or different than when it was Leaders and Sinkers?
The concept will be the same, a bait shop.  But we intend on widening the selection of bait options.  The goal is to have the largest selection of live bait in NE Florida, including Shrimp, muds, fids, blue crab, pinfish and croaker.  Inside will consist of last minute items and things that you would need on the water, Terminal tackle, lead, emergency boating supplies, ice, snacks, beverages, few spooled combos, sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses and a couple items of apparel to protect our guests from the sun.  
When do you plan to open?
The original goal was 3/1, but we have a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done.  So things are looking like 4/1 after we gut it and give it a new face lift including a new roof.  
What are expected hours?
We will have seasonal hours as of now.  But looking like 6am-5pm
Will folks still be able to use the boat ramp?
The boat ramp will remain open.  Many of people have asked about it being repaired and that is something that may come in the future.  We are putting our resources into getting the shop up to our standard and will work on other projects as we move forward.
Who will be running the shop?
Joe will be moving from Amelia Island Bait and Tackle up to the new location and will run the day to day operations up there.  
Will operating the new shop affect the existing shop?
Our current shop will remain exactly the same and will continue to focus on a wonderful tackle selection.
Other info
We will be building a fish cleaning station at the dock as an amenity for our paying customers.

Friday, February 4, 2022


 I got to witness a beautiful sunrise today when I met Jeff and his crew, Jim and Aspen, out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp. We had clear skies as we left the dock and headed down to Broward Island. And even though we had a bit of breeze blowing against us out of the south, when we pulled up to the island the wind was blocked and boy was it nice! The three anglers began tossing jigs and live shrimp to the bank and letting it fall along the bottom with the current. It only took a few minutes - Jeff said it was his first cast and retrieve- when he had a hookup. He played it patiently to the boat and landed a nice feisty Redfish. We had good action at that first spot. All three anglers put Redfish in the boat. Aspen had the biggest one on but after a good battle, the fish found a submerged log, frayed the leader and BAP! Fish gone. But Aspen wasn't to be deterred and went back in, Representing a true angler and caught fish. Jim was on the bow and had a strong hookup. He played it expertly and brought to the boat the biggest Seatrout of the day, a bulky 17" fish which we photographed and released(all fish caught today were released).

We eventually moved down the island, fished back into the current, passing under a Bald Eagle as we fished. Jim spotted a Salt Marsh Mink running down the bank, but we had no real bites. After running back to Seymore's Pointe and fishing a few docks to no avail, we moved around to Nassauville and fished a deep (30') drop off. Here, Jeff had the hot hand as he zeroed in on the Seatrout and he landed a good handful. Both Aspen and Jim added to the catch.

The wind had gotten even stronger as we headed back to Pumpkin Hill. My plan to work the now flooding bank, was suspect.  The trio made the best of it, punching their float rigs into the wind, but we had no luck. After fishing a big in Christopher Creek, we called it a day . We had a couple of spots where we had good action so as we headed in we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Beautiful Afternoon For Fishing


It rained all morning yesterday so I kept an eye on my Weather app to see what was in store for us to do an afternoon trip. As I pulled  up to the bait shop at noon the skies were still ugly with dark clouds but the forecast called for clearing. I met Barb and Dennis Lockard up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park at 1pm and we headed over to Soap Creek with plans to fish float rigs and live shrimp as the tide fell. It had been going out for a few hours so I knew we wouldn't be on the floats for long!

Barb had the hot hand early. Dennis had gotten a good bite that stole his shrimp and Barb's float was following his on a long drift so she let it keep going and BAM! She had a hookup. After expertly reeling it in she landed a nice hungry Seatrout. We found that spot paid off a couple of times. We had a bite or two and Barb landed another Seatrout.

After moving up about 30 yards we fished some exposed oysters, first with the floats, then we switched to jigs and

shrimp. The switch paid off for Barb. She had made a close cast to the oysters and had a hung a bit, but when it came off, BOOM! She had a strong bite. This fish fought a bit more and sure enough, when she landed it, we saw it was a feisty Redfish.

Our next stop was over in Lanceford Creek, fishing some dock pilings. We had a bite or two but no takers. As we drifted outside of a dock, back towards a shell bank, Dennis went in close and finally had a the hookup he was looking for. Dennis played it perfectly and brought to the net another feisty Redfish.

We fished along Lanceford for a bit, waiting for the tide to hit bottom, then made the run around to Tyger Island. We worked up and down the island, pitching jigs to pockets among the stumps. The skies had cleared, the sun was out, and it had turned out to be a beautiful day. Dennis picked up three more Redfish and had a "double" on the third when Barb landed one of her own. 

The day had started out gloomy but had ended well so as we headed in we counted it as another great day to be out on the water and fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.