Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Tulsa Time at Amelia Island

The closest I've gotten to Tulsa, Oklahoma is listening to Don Williams "Tulsa Time", but today I had a couple of anglers who had ties to the State and following it's motto paid off - Work Conquers All!

I had met Keith Mason and his fishing partner Michael down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early this morning and we made a quick run up the intercoastal and then into the Nassau River and we pulled up at an exposed shell bank on a tide that had been coming in for about an hour. The two anglers began pitching jigs and mud minnows to the edge of the oysters. They had a few nibbles here and there then Keith outsmarted a hungry Flounder. After moving down the way to Twin Creeks, we stuck with the jigs and here Keith picked up another, "almost legal" Flounder. Then he had a strong hookup and the fish immediately boiled up by the shell bank - a Redfish for sure. Keith kept the pressure on and worked it to the boat. The fish thrashed and boiled but Keith was up to the task and brought to the net a nice 21" Slot Sized Redfish. 

We fished some docks at Seymore's Pointe to no avail, then move down to Nassauville where we picked up a good handful of keeper sized Mangrove Snapper.  Our next stop was down at Pumpkin Hill, drifting float rigs and the minnows on an incoming tide. The duo had a few "bumps", and had a couple of fish roll at their baits, but no takers.

After fishing some rocks at Seymore's we took the shortcut thru Horsehead and began working along a grass bank with the float rigs. Michael had been doing everything right but evidently had forgotten his lucky hat - until this stretch of fishing. He had made an excellent cast to a small point of grass and when his float disappeared he tightened down and let the circle hook set and, Fish On! Michael expertly reeled in a hungry Seatrout. Almost in the same area, but just to the left, he had a quick bite and put our 6th keeper Mangrove in the boat. And as we worked past a grassy island, again a pin point cast produced another "almost legal" Seatrout. Michael's good effort paid off and Conquered the Amelia Island back country so as we headed back we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.  

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Ladyfish Overload

 I wrapped my week up fishing with Jon Freund and his fishing buddy's Peter, Sandy, and Lewis - meeting them down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. You could sum up the fishing trip with two sentences:

 1) We caught a bunch of fish                                                                                   2) There were a whole lot of Ladyfish caught!

Not that we didn't catch decent fish. These anglers put a couple of feisty Redfish in the boat, a couple of hungry Seatrout and made it a slam with a couple of "just under the mark" Flounder. They also battled Jack Crevalle, had a big (I mean huge) Toadfish to the boat, and boated a few Mangrove Snapper. But I don't know if I've ever seen so many Ladyfish!

We had run up the Nassau and fished some flooding shell bottoms with mud minnows under floats on the last of an incoming tide. We ended up fishing a number of spots along the Nassau on that last of the incoming, and then on the first of the outgoing tide. We had good action all morning long so as we headed back to the boat I counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Big Fish Makes Up for Slow Start

 We had a tide that still had about an hour to come in, maybe less than that, when I met Dennis and Carol
West down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early this morning. We made the run up the intercoastal and passed two large flocks of Roseate Spoonbills sunning on the high tide on some shell bars, then we made our way into Jackstaff and then into an even smaller creek where we set up with float rigs and live mud minnows. Both anglers were getting good casts and we had some nibbles, but no takers. 

We then buzzed thru Horsehead and around to Seymore's Pointe and fished a large bay drainage on a the first of an outgoing tide and again, some good bites, but no takers. Our next stop was down the Nassau fishing a stretch of grass lined with flooded oysters and here we had some action. Both Dennis and Carol hooked up with some seriously hungry juvenile Redfish. 

Then, after we had dropped back to fish a point, Dennis had a strong hookup and the big fish headed east, ripping drag all the way. We both wondered was it going to slow down! But Dennis kept that pressure on, turned him, then battled him for a good while. It was really neat to see a big 'ole Redfish tail flail up a few times. Dennis worked him out of the shallows, got him back in the current, then slowly brought o the net an oversized 29.5" Redfish, boy what a fish! And big enough to move Dennis into third place in the 2022 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament -Redfish Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings).

The duo added a couple of more of the "rat" Reds, then we fished a couple of run outs with jigs and the minnows. Again, we had some bites, some drag rips, but no takers. But it had been a nice overcast day, we'd had a slight breeze and as we headed back, we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

What Started As a Slow Day

 ...turned out to be a Fish Catch'n day here at Amelia Island! I had met Darryl and Tanya Gainsford down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early this morning. We ran briefly up the intercoastal but turned into the Back River to make the short cut thru to the Nassau River. Once there, we found a flooded shell bank to drift float rigs and mud minnows on the first of an outgoing tide. Both anglers began getting bites, but they weren't takers - the float would disappear, they'd tighten up, but not takers.  Finally, Tanya hooked up and landed a fat Seatrout and that seemed to open the gates. They tangled with Ladyfish, caught a couple of small Jack Crevalle, and landed a couple of feisty Redfish.

We moved up the river and fished another flooded shell bottom on that outgoing tide, and again tinkered with some small but fun-to-catch fish. After moving around the corner and as we were about to leave, Darryl had a good hookup - he played it perfectly and when we saw the huge maw of a Trout mouth, we new it was a good fish! Darryl worked it to the net and landed a 20.5" beautiful Seatrout. (all fish caught today were released).

After running back down the Nassau we set  up at Twin Creeks, still fishing with the floats. I don't think we got a bite on those floats but after we switched to jigs and the minnows Darryl had a nice "thump", set the hook, and landed a (big to me and Tanya) 18" Flounder. Tanya followed that up with a feisty Redfish catch.

That spot worked pretty good so we moved down just a 100 yards and fished another large drainage and here the duo got in to a mess of Flounder. Both Tanya and Darryl reeled in the flat fish and put 4 more keeper sized fish in the boat. Again, we moved down, fished thru a drainage, and along some exposed shell beds. Tanya caught another feisty Red, then was we neared the end of that shell bank Darryl had a strong hook up and, Big Fish On!  It rolled up near the bank which signified "big Red" - and rolled up a couple of more times during the battle. Darryl couldn't have played it any better, patiently working it to the boat and the net to land a 23" Slot sized Redfish. 

We fished one more stretch, picked up another small but feisty Redfish, then headed in, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Gone Fish'n at Amelia Island

I picked up Robert Stetner and his fishing buddy David out at the Oyster Bay marina this morning and we made short trip around the corner to fish some docks at Lanceford Creek on a tide that still had about 2 hours of going out. No minnows at the bait shop today, so we went with live shrimp and sure enough, we were feeding the 'bait stealers".  The two anglers did team up to catch a couple of feisty Redfish and a small Sheepshead.

We then made the long run down Lanceford, around the outside of Tyger and over to the Jolley River were we set up fishing the "bank", tossing jigs and shrimp to the exposed oysters. We had a good flurry of catching those small, but feisty Redfish - one of those Reds had 15 spots - maybe it will be big enough by the time the Spot Tournament rolls around! David also put a Flounder in the boat to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam of Redfish, Sheepshead and Flounder.

After moving up the creek we fished the mouth of Snook Creek and we may have had one more Red there. We also had a couple of Croaker caught. Back down the Jolley we went and around to Tyger Island logs on an incoming tide. Feisty "rat" Reds must have been on the order form because, again, that's what we caught. And another small Flounder.

The final stop was on the outside of Tyger, now fishing a float rig. Every cast produced a "nibble", but no takers. But we had had some good action thru-out the morning so as we headed back we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Birthday Kid

Although the weather forecast last night predicted a good chance of rain for this morning, we had clear skies the whole time! Garland Clark and his friend Suzanna elected to begin Garland's "Birthday Celebration" by  fishing the back waters of Amelia Island. We met down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and ran up the intercoastal, turned into the Nassau and found our way to an exposed oyster bed with a tide that still had a couple of hours to hit bottom.  We had live shrimp  and a handful of small mud minnows that I had caught at the ramp. 

As we worked the bank both anglers were making excellent casts and after Suzanna had tangled with a Ladyfish, Garland put a feisty Redfish in the boat. As we reached the end of some oyster beds where a bar was jutting out both anglers found Redfish and landed them. Then Suzanna had a huge bite, her drag began to rip and, Fish On! Suzanna played it patiently, keeping the pressure on, and soon landed a big Jack Crevalle.

We then made the run down to Back River, fished a good stretch of oyster beds on the last of that outgoing tide, to no avail, then continued on down to Broward Island, passing under the pair of Bald Eagles who seem to have returned after their Summer vacation - time to repair and touch up that nest! We fished a large marsh runout, then drifted backwards down the bank. Garland was on the stern and quickly landed a couple of Croaker then had a good bite, set the hook and brought to the net a large Mangrove Snapper.

Our final stop was back at some docks at Nassauville, fishing the jigs on the first of an incoming tide. Once the duo got to rolling, they began to outsmart the Mangroves and weeded thru them to keep seven more large fish. But boy was it getting hot! We called it a day and as we headed back we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

FWC Staff Thrown Under The Bus

Needless to say, I was a bit surprised when I saw the final FWC Commission’s decision to change the Redfish rules to one fish per angler in the NE Florida Region. For months FWC staff have been reporting and promoting and disseminating that their recommendation for NE Florida would be to keep the two fish per angler, but change the boat limit down to four, from eight. Also slated to change was to remove Captains from counting in the “take”.

I've had no issue with these proposed changes and, truth be told, I have no issue with even a one fish per angler and dropping the boat limit down to four, and removing the captains as counting.  In past comments I’ve stated just that. What I do have a problem with is that FWC Staff studied this over the last couple of years, began taking input a year ago, kicking off with a day-long Redfish Summit down in Ocala, hosted numerous regional workshops, and then made their recommendations to the Commissioners based on the data and science and that year long input. When the final decision was made at the Commission meeting in Jacksonville in July, after a number of passionate testimonies from anglers at the final meeting, four of the commissioners (the other three were absent), threw all of that year long effort out the window and while they were at it, threw the FWC Staff under the bus.

Has anyone in the last two years not heard the term, “Trust the Science”?  I don’t know how many researchers and scientists and data crunchers that the FWC employ but I have to assume that they all put their heads together studying the data. Then we all went thru what turned out to be a charade of the Redfish Summit, then a multitude of regional presentations and workshops, and on-line request for input from we “Stakeholders”. They had a full year of input from those stakeholders across the region.  And finally, FWC Staff settled on and published the recommendations that they were going to present to the Commissioners. At the July Commission meeting FWC Staff made these recommendations for NE Florida:

  • Keep the bag limit of 2 fish per angler
  • Reduce the off-the-water transport limit from 6 to 4 fish per person 
  • Prohibit Captain and crew from retaining a bag limit of redfish when on a for-hire trip
All good right?
Nope, this is where it got hinky. 

There were 21 speakers on the subject, most advocating to drop that bag limit from 2 to 1 in the NE Region. Some were very passionate in their speeches and evidently convincing enough to sway the commissioners. If you get a chance, listen to the speeches. Even though one advocate made his case and stresses that “these are the facts”, when it comes to the regulations, shouldn’t we be making decisions based on the data and the research? There were a couple of tournament anglers who were having trouble catching Redfish in their tournament. Did they just have a bad day?  One speaker mentioned making the 1-fish rule across the board so it would be easier for law enforcement. Why then the multiple Regions?  Another suggested it was “sick” to kill ANY Redfish. Another mentioned “listen to Stakeholders”.  I guess he meant only the ones at that July meeting – not the hundreds who provided input during the year-long charade. 

Shortly after the Commissioners took public comment, the  Commissioner representing NE Florida, Sonya Rood proposed an amendment to change the FWC recommendation and move the bag limit down to 1 fish person.  I’d give a shaky thumbs up to Chairman Rodney Barreto for at least mentioning that FWC Staff had made recommendations……but…but…ok…..let’s vote on it with  Ms. Rood’s amendment and BAM! FWC Staff recommendation thrown out the window (and it slowly rolled under the bus).

The new rules will go into effect September 1, 2022:

  • 1 fish per angler
  • 4 fish per boat
  • 4 fish while in transient
  • Captains don’t count in the “take”

The FWC supposedly plans to take data, do research and study the Redfish population over the coming year and annually make their recommendations. There was some talk about including other species – Seatrout, Flounder and Snook in the new studies.

My questions are these:

  • If the FWC Staff wants our input, and we give it, does it really matter?
  • Are Commissioners going to “follow the science” and staff recommendations or be swayed by passionate speakers at the final meeting?
  •  If FWC Staff publishes their findings and recommendations and present them right up to that final meeting, do you ever trust the Commissioners to follow those recommendations?
  • Do you not have to be present at that final meeting for it to actually count? 
  • Can you trust them?

REWARD:  To the first person who watches the entire FWC July Meeting video, I’ll pay .25 per time anyone mentions or says the word “Stakeholder(s)”!

Some Slick Water Fishing At Amelia Island

 It's that time of year that when we launch the sun is just coming up over the horizon and boy was it pretty today! And the water was slick as a lake! I had met David Snyder and his fishing buddy Brad Baudek out at Goffinsville Park and after a short run down the Nassau River we set up at a large outflow on the last hour of an outgoing tide. The duo of anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp and just as a I thought, Peck-Peck-Peck, the baitstealers were getting us one after the other. But they persevered as we worked an exposed shell bank and had a "double" hookup. Brad brought to the boat a keeper sized Flounder while David landed a feisty Redfish.

We moved up the bank, fished another stretch, dueled with a couple of Ladyfish and moved on. But not before putting out a minnow trap and cast netting a good couple of dozen finger Mullet.  After running thru Horsehead we fished the entry to Jackstaff and right off David caught another Redfish then Brad put another keeper sized Flounder in the net. I was beginning to wonder if I had a "Redfish" guy and a "Flounder" guy!  

Our next stop, after running back thru Horsehead, was down at Broward Island, fishing the first of an incoming tide. The first cast produced another feisty Redfish, but that was it. We moved down the island and picked up another Redfish, fishing the jigs deep.

The final spot was up at Pumpkin Hill, drifting floats over a shell bottom. Brad hooked up when his float disappeared and landed a Redfish while David went up to a corner and caught a hungry Seatrout.  We had some nice weather (you can feel the Fall coming early in the morning) and had some good action here and there so as we headed back we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Recipe of The Month: Redfish on the Halfshell

This recipe comes from one of my angler guests, William Blalock. His dad showed me pictures of the end product and it looked so good I had to track William down and get his recipe

2 large or 4 small red fish fillets on the half shell (skin left on one side)

1/4 cup- Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup- extra virgin olive oil
1/4-1/2 -teaspoon- cayenne pepper (to your likeness 🔥)
1/4 tsp - dried thyme
1 Tbsp - paprika
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1 - sweet onion
1 - lemon
2 - whole garlic cloves
1 - bunch - parsley (approx. 1 TBS)
1/2- stick (unsalted/diced)- butter

- Lay red fish fillets in a bowl/ dish flesh side up.
- Pour marinade ingredients over the fillets, rub in
well, and set aside.
- Thin slice the onion, garlic, and half of a lemon.
- Squeeze the reserved half a lemon over the fish.
- Lay the thin sliced onion and garlic over the fish
and allow the fillets to marinade for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your grill to medium heat, and place the
fillets on the grill flesh side down, reserving the
sliced onions and garlic. (We sear ours on the
blackstone, then transfer to the Green egg).
- After the flesh side has nice color and grill
marks, turn the fillets flesh side up, and add the
reserved onion and garlic slices from earlier.

- Once fish has been cooking for a total of about 20 minutes, place a cast iron
sauce pan on the grill.
- Add in butter. Once it is half way melted, remove the pan from the grill and add parsley. Stir.
- Season sauce with sea salt to taste and a squeeze of lemon.
- Remove the red fish from the grill and pour sauce over the top.  Garnish the top of the fillets with thin sliced lemon, and enjoy!
* this is adapted from The BBQ

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Big Fish Thursday at Amelia Island


I wrapped my week up today fishing with John Raker and Kenny King, meeting them out at the Goffinsville Park boat ramp early, with the sun just coming up over Amelia Island. We made a short run up the Nassau and set up fishing a point of grass with float rigs and live shrimp on a high and incoming tide...and we had action for about 2 hours! This duo of anglers caught Seatrout and Jacks and Ladyfish and feisty Redfish while big Tarpon busted mullet out in the river behind us!

After moving down a bit Kenny had made an excellent cast up into a "bay" and when his float slowly went under he tightened the line and let the circle hook set and Fish On!  This was the big fish Kenny had been waiting for and he made the most of it, playing it perfectly and eventually landing a nice 22.5" Slot Sized Redfish!  We moved back around the corner and caught more Jacks, Mangrove Snapper and Seatrout, a few of which were of keeper size. 

As the tide hit the top we made a run over to Seymore's Pointe where we picked up another big Mangrove, then we ran back up the river where the tide had started back out. It was getting to be mid day, the sun was getting hot and even though we were at the right spot at the right tide I had reservations that we'd get any more good bites. Boy was I wrong. I didn't even have time to settle in before John had hooked up his drag was ripping! He played it patiently and brought to the net another 22.5" Redfish. But we weren't finished. Just a few drifts later, BAM! Big Fish On! This fish took off, heading north and for a second we thought "shark", but it turned and made for the bank and we knew it was another big Red. John fought it valiantly and eventually landed a big Oversized 28" Redfish, boy what a fish!

Still not finished!  We picked up the biggest Trout of the day, this one measured at 19" and was a great way to wrap up a good day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

A Big One!


The Poon boys met me down at Sawpit Creek this morning for a half day of fishing the back waters of Amelia Island. Derek and his sons Zach and Tyler and I ran up the intercoastal, passed a huge flock of Rosette Spoonbills, dipped into Jackstaff and split of into a smaller creek just as the high tide began to move out. We were set up with mud minnows strung up under float rigs.  Zach  tangled with a couple of Ladyfish, and that was it.

After running thru Horsehead we headed down to Twin Creeks and fished the outgoing tide there, and again tangled with some Ladyfish. Our next stop was over at Back River, fishing a point of grass and here all three anglers got on the board. Tyler went long off the bow with a fine cast and hooked up and landed a feisty Redfish. Zach followed that up with one of  his own.

 We trolled forward and the drifted back to the point. Derek had made a good cast. let his float drift down alongside a submerged shell bed and then his float slowly went under. I saw Derek smoothly take his slack up, lift his rod, and set the circle hook and Fish On!  I was thinking "another feisty Rat Redfish" but then that rod bent over and the drag began to sing and BIG Fish On!  And boy was it a battle! Derek couldn't have played it any better though and after a few good rolls, a few good drag ripping runs, Derek brought to the boat a nice Overisized 28.5" Redfish. 

After fishing there for a bit, we ran down to Spanish Drop and worked that bank where this trio of Anglers caught a few more Redfish, a keeper sized Mangrove Snapper, and, more Ladyfish. We finished the day out at a dock at Seymore's Pointe where they added a couple of more keeper Mangroves, then we headed back, counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Monday, August 8, 2022

We Dodged a Storm

 When I meet Bob Blalock out at Goffinsville Park we were checking the weather radar because we could
see some ugly thunderstorms out over the ocean, and sure enough, they were creeping our way. So we left the dock, crossed the river, and fished a stretch of flooded shell bed with float rigs and mud minnows. It wasn't long before Bob was putting some small but feisty Redfish in the boat. Those storms were getting closer and wouldn't you know it, Bob hooked up with a bigger fish - one that pulled some drag and, Fish On!  Bob played it patiently, saw it roll up a couple of times, then brought it to the net - a slot sized Redfish. (all fish caught today were released). But it was beginning to sprinkle, the air turned cooler, and there were some flashes lighting the sky so we turned and ran!

After a thirty minute break back at Goffinsville, we went back to fishing, hitting the same spot, now with
oysters showing, and again caught a handful of feisty Redfish and a couple of Jack Crevalle. Our next stop was down at Spanish Drop where we worked up thru a large drainage, then along some shell beds with only some minor nibbles. But when we reached a corner where I knew there was a "bar" sticking out, Bob got busy again catching Redfish and Jacks. 

We hit a couple of more corners of shell beds, then ran to "Dara's Flounder Hole" in hopes to bump her fish from Bragging Rights, but it was to no avail. Bob did catch and land some nice sized Mangrove Snapper so as we headed back, we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Granddads Anglers

 I wrapped my week up fishing out of Goffinsville Park this morning where I met Wayne Flanders and two of his adult grandsons, Jacob and Joshua. We made a short run, over to the back river and set up along side some exposed oyster beds on a tide that had been going out for 4-5 hours. As we worked the bank we could see all kinds of bait fish moving about, and once in a while, a bigger fish busting that bait. It didn't take long before all three anglers were getting bites. We had started off with live shrimp and were getting picked on every cast so we switched to some mud minnows and this did the trick. They caught small but feisty Redfish, a couple of Seatrout, and a couple of Catfish. We also had a couple of "big" takes- fish that ripped some drag, but unfortunately they came unplugged.

Our next stop was down the Nassau, fishing the last of an outgoing tide, working thru a large drainage. We caught a small Flounder there and when we got to the far end of a shell bank, it was feisty Redfish on almost every cast. Wayne figured it out and found that there was a submerged shell "reef" that came out from the shore and the fish were laying on the back side of it. We fished that stretch up and back for a good while, catching fish. Before we left we tossed the cast net and got a dozen or so nice finger mullet to replenish our bait. 

Both Joshua and Jacob were making excellent casts all day and it payed off.  We fished some dock pilings and picked up a couple of keeper sized Mangroves then ran down to Broward Island to fish the first of an incoming tide. To no avail. Not a real bites.  After running back to Nassauville, we fished a small drainage with jigs and everything else we had!  This trio of anglers added a good handful of keeper sized Mangroves and Jacob wrapped things up with a keeper sized 18" Flounder. As we headed back to the dock we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Nice Flounder and Big Trout


I fished north today, meeting Sam Dworetzky and his fiancée Ashlee and her parents Bonnie and Phil up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park. We ran north and west and up to the Jolley River, turned into the current of a tide that had just started in, and started fishing back to the point with jigs an drive Shrimp. We found out pretty quick that the "baitstealers" were out in full force! The girls got off to a quick start though and caught a good handful of Croaker, a small Seatrout, and a good handful of small but feisty Redfish.

Just as we reached the point and were about to move on, Sam had gone forward with a cast, felt a good hard bump, and set the hook, and, Fish On!  Same brought it expertly to the net and landed a nice keeper sized 17" Seatrout.

We ran further up the Jolley, just past Snook Creek, turned again in to the
current, and worked back thru the creek mouth. Things were slow for just a but then we had a real good flurry of fish bites - small Redfish, Jack Crevalle, Ladyfish, then Phil, taking up a spot on the stern, had a "thump". He patiently brought it to the net and landed a keeper sized Flounder.  Then Sam went up to the creek mouth -I was watching the cast- and the minute it hit the water, BAM! A good bite and Fish On!  Sam played it perfectly and after a good battle brought a big 19" Seatrout to the net.

After running back down the Jolley and around to the outside of Tyger we set up at a big drainage and worked that bank for about 100 yards. Bonnie landed a small Flounder, Sam battled a big 4' Bonnethead Shark, then Phil "the Flounder guy" had another strange bite. He hooked it up and slowly reeled to the boat (where it went crazy) and landed another, even bigger, keeper sized Flounder.

Our final stop was around in Bell River, now drifting float rigs where Sam, Ashlee and Bonnie all caught some hungry Seatrout. The sun was up, it was getting hot, but as we headed back we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Family Day

I fished south again today with the Dees family, Josh and Jen and their two kids Benny and Karlynn. We
ran up the intercoastal to Jackstaff and fished a stretch of bank at almost dead low, pitching jigs and live shrimp. The "baitstealers" were out in full force and made it a challenge, but this family was up to the task. Benny hooked up and landed a hard fighting Jack Crevalle and Jen caught a keeper sized Mangrove Snapper.

We ran thru Horsehead and around to Spanish Drop on the Nassau and fished a stretch of shell beds on the first of an incoming tide. I was expecting fish but we fished a good 30 yards with no real bites. But when the fish started biting, boy did they start! All four family members were catching fish with Jen leading the charge, catching one feisty Redfish after another. They also had Jacks, Ladyfish, and a couple of small Flounder.

After moving back up the Nassau we worked another shell bank. The numbers weren't there but Jen did hook and catch a keeper sized Flounder. Our next stop was over between some docks at Nassauville. Again, things started slow but when the Mangrove Snapper started biting we were hooking regularly. Benny and Karlynn took turns netting fish, mom "coached us up" and Josh filled the box with the Mangrove Snapper. We went thru all our bait then called it a day and as we headed back we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.  

Monday, August 1, 2022

Shotgun Start


After a weekend break I was back at it today, meeting down at Sawpit Creek Jason Palosaari, his son David, brother in law Patrick Tighe, and father in law Mike Tighe. We ran up the intercoastal, turned into the Nassau, and after a short run  pulled up at Spanish Drop and began fishing some exposed shell beds on the first of an incoming tide. I think the first "demo" cast I bombed, but the second one, as I handed it off to David, Fish On! And that's how it went for the first 45 minutes or so! David worked that fish in nicely - a feisty "Rat" Red, then all the anglers were fishing and catching fish. Mike hooked up and landed a feisty Red, then Jason hooked up and landed a feisty Red, then David had a strong bite - this was a bigger fish! He and his dad fought it patiently, battled it from bow to stern, and eventually landed a nice Slot sized Redfish. We continued to work that stretch and when I saw young David make a cast that landed out deep I was thinking, "not going to get much there", but boy was a I wrong! In just a short time David hooked up and, Fish On!  This fish was even bigger and again took him and his dad to the stern where they valiantly battled the fish and after a few strong runs, they brought to the net a 26 3/4" Tournament sized Redfish (all fish caught today were released). Boy what a fish!

Patrick had been at the stern this whole time steadfastly casting a fly rod, switching between flies every dozen or so casts. He was taking up the rear but finally he had a hookup, played it perfectly, and landed a hard fighting Jack Crevalle on the fly.  We fished on up to a large drainage where Mike caught and landed  hungry Flounder.

Our next stop was at some docks at Seymore's Pointe with jigs rods, to no avail, then fished the rocks at Nassauville with float rigs, again to no avail, then we moved down to some more docks and went back to the jigs. That did the trick. Mike, "the flounder guy" hooked up and landed a 17" Flounder and a then a Mangrove Snapper and Jason added an ugly Toadfish to the catch.

After making the run down to Pumpkin Hill we drifted float rigs along a flooding marsh line. The first stretch didn't pan out but the second stretch had Jason catching a big Jack Crevalle and David wrapping things up with two Catfish catches. The sun was up, we had caught a good variety of fish, so as we headed in we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.