Monday, September 26, 2022

Football Sized Redfish

 I fished south again today, meeting William and Dara Blalock out at the Goffinville Park boat ramp.  If I had to sum up the day, it was a "Jack" of a day! As the sun was coming up there was a lady at the dock who shot some pictures of us leaving the dock, heading over to the Horsehead area. At the first stop we had an incoming tide so we went with float rigs and the live shrimp, working the bank, casting in to the current. If we'd only known what would be par for the day - Dara hooked up and landed Jack Crevalle.William picked up a small Manrgrove Snapper, then we landed another Jack. We did have a Redfish boil out ahead of us, but he had other plans. This happened a couple of times throughout the day.

We came back thru Horsehead and fished Twin Creeks for a bit, first with the floats, then with some jigs and shrimp, had nibbles, some bites, but no real takers. Back up the Nassau we went, to Pumpkin Hill and here we had a good flurry of Trout, Jacks, Ladyfish, and Mangroves. Moving around a bit,  Still on an incoming tide, William found a big Trout up near the grass, one that measured right at 18" (all fish caught today were released).

Back down the Nassau we went, and around to Seymore's Pointe where the tide had started out.. Dara was on the stern, William on the bow, and they both were getting quick takes. Dara finally outsmarted them and hooked up and landed two nice sized Mangrove Snapper. 

Up the Nassau we went, Hah! There was a spot I wanted to fish on an outgoing tide and when we got there it was high,and started to ease out. We fished it thoroughly and tangled with Jack, Ladyfish and Needlefish. I was beginning to wonder but then William caught and landed two feisty Redfish in quick succession. We worked back up the bank and Dara made a pin point cast to a "cut" and BAM! That drag began to sing and I sure was happy! Dara played it expertly, letting it run and rip that drag, then she worked it in as her favorite "net guy" dipped it up, a 24.5" "football shapped" Redfish, boy what a fish!

And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Reds and Trout at Amelia Island

 I was out at Goffinsville Park as the sun came up this morning, meeting John Raker and his friends Kurtand Melissa for a back country fishing trip here at Amelia Island. We made a quick run up the Nassau and found a shell bottomed bank to drift float rigs and live shrimp on a high and incoming tide. We got Kurt and Melissa fishing then John picked up a rod and went off the stern, fishing long, and first cast, BAM! Big Fish On!  This fish was BIG! The drag was ripping and when we saw a huge Redfish tail come out of the water we knew John was in for a battle. But he was up to the task, played it patiently, worked it in between runs, and landed an oversized 32.25" Redfish - not bad for his first cast! This fish also topped John's Bragging Rights leading fish of 32" (scroll down the right side of this report for standings).

Melissa was next up for the big fish - she had a good drift going along the grass line and when her float disappeared she lifted and set the circle hook. After a good battle she brought to the net a big 20" Seatrout. We continued to fish that bank for a almost two hours. The trio of anglers caught smaller Redfish, Seatrout(another keeper sized by Mellissa), Mangrove Snapper, Catfish, Jack Crevalle,  and pinfish.

Our next stop was on the other side of Horsehead, fishing a drainage on a now outgoing tide. Here, we picked up a small Flounder, another couple of small Redfish, and a Seatrout. After running back thru Horsehead we made our way over to Back River and set up along a flooded shell bank, drifting floats with the outgoing current.

These anglers stayed busy catching small Reds and Ladyfish, then it was Kurt's turn to fight the big fish. He had a good drift going and when his float sank he was ready, set the hook, and the battle was on! Kurt played it perfectly and battled the fish to the boat, a nice 24" Slot sized Redfish. Ans shortly after that, John had another Slot Red in the boat. They elected to keep just one of the Reds for dinner. We fished that bank thoroughly, had numerous bites, but eventually called it day and as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Win Some Lose Some

We had  a beautiful morning today when I met Bob Miller and his brother Dan down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. The tide was high here and just starting out but when we reached our first spot after a 10 minute run, it was still at a standstill. We fished float rigs baited with live Shrimp and the two anglers almost immediately began to get bites. There were a lot of "bait stealers" to work thru, and I don't know if we've caught so many Ladyfish, but this duo persevered and got some nice fish. 

Dan "knocked" the (real) skunk off with a nice keeper sized Seatrout catch then Bob tangled with a drag ripping Redfish, one that he out fought and landed - a 22" bulky Slot Redfish. They caught and landed and tossed those Ladyfish then Dan put another keeper sized Seatrout in the boat.  As we were wrapping this spot up Bob had a huge hookup after drifting long and put up a good battle, but this big fish was not to be had and with a quick turn, BAP! The line parted.

We fished Twin Creeks for a bit and here we had our second line parting - Dan had hooked up with a big Bonnethead Shark and fought it expertly. I did get a hand on the fin but was out of position so Dan fought it a bit more until it too decided to part ways with we lowly anglers. Bob did battle a nice sized Jack Crevalle to the net.

Our final stop was over at some docks at Nassauville where they played cat and mouse with the Mangrove Snapper. Most of them were undersized but they did manage 4 keepers, two of which were probably the biggest I've had all summer.  And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

One Big Slot

 I was back to work today, fishing with a father/daughter team, Mark and Morgan Runyans. I met them  early down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp and we made the run up the intercoastal, thru the Back River and around to the Nassau where we set up with float rigs and live shrimp on a high tide that had been going out for about 2 hours. The first "demo" cast produced a feisty Redfish and from then on we were catching fish. 

Both Morgan and Mark caught a handful of those juvenile Redfish and then they added a couple of high flying Ladyfish. We moved up and down the bank, picking up fish as we went. Then, as we moved up the bank a 2nd time Mark, after making an excellent cast to the bank, had his float disappear and, Fish On!  This fish wasn't coming in like the smaller Reds and when it boiled up at the bank we knew it was a big Redfish. Mark kept the pressure on and patiently worked it to the boat and after a good battle landed a nice 24" Slot Sized Redfish. We moved up further and Morgan had a nice hookup and landed a fat Seatrout, the first of the day.

Our next stop was further down the Nassau where we set up outside of a large marsh drainage, but nothing much was biting. We moved further down and fished another drainage, then a shell bed that was just beginning to show. Here Mark put a couple of Reds in the boat, then it was Morgan turn to fight the big fish. Here's took the bait and ran deep, ripping drag along the way. But Morgan was up to the task, applied the pressure, and followed the fish from bow to stern. After a good fight she brought to the net a big Jack Crevalle.

We fished some docks at Seymore's Pointe, had a few nibbles, caught a couple of small Mangroves, and had one big fish break us off on the dock pilings. Around the corner we switched to float rigs and picked up a couple more small Mangroves, then we finished the day down at Nassauville fishing the jigs where the duo picked up a keeper sized Mangrove. We had a had a big start, caught fish at most spots, and as we headed back we counted as another great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Not In My House

 I fished Friday with Mark Caldwell and his son-in-law, a trip set up by Mark's wife Shelly - to get them out on the water and away from the day-to-day grind, and boy did we catch some fish! After picking them up at Goffinsville Park, we headed down the Nassau River and picked a shell bed to fish on the very last of an outgoing tide. It didn't take long before the two anglers were catching fish - Jacks and small but "feisty" Redfish.  

Daniel had a strong hookup and this one was ripping some drag. Daniel played it perfectly, working from the bow back to the stern and then kept the pressure on until he subdued a hard fighting Jack Crevalle.

But up ahead of us we could see a Dolphin move in to the "honey hole" we were heading for and as it began thrashing about, busting Reds for it's breakfast, I thought for sure our fish catching was over. He eventually moved on, working up the river, so we eased onward. We still caught a couple of more smaller Reds but then Mark, after making a perfect cast to the backside of submerged bar, had a fish take his bait with a vengeance and, Big Fish On! It boiled up almost immediately so we knew it was a big Redfish. Mark played it perfectly and after long battle landed an Oversized 31.5" Redfish - big enough to move him into 2nd place in the Anglers Mark 2022 Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category(scroll down the right side of this report for standings). We speculated that this Red was so big he must have told that Dolphin, "not in my house!".

We fished that stretch pretty good, then tried a dock up at Seymore's Pointe, to no avail, then came around and fished between some docks at Nassauville where the two anglers picked up a couple of big keeper sized Mangrove Snapper and a fat keeper sized Weakfish. I had saw on the weather report that the wind was going to pick up thru the morning and sure enough, they got it right!

Our last stop was over at Pumpkin Hill, drifting float rigs and after getting a Jack or two Mark had a hookup and he could tell by the fight that it was a different kind of fish than we had caught all morning -it was digging deep and hard. Needless to say, I was bit surprised to see a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum come to the net - we haven't seen on in a while! And with that, we called it day and as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Copper Reds

I fished this morning with Bob Blalock, this time meeting him north, up at the Dee Dee Bartels Park boat ramp. Although forecasts called for some increasing winds, it was very pleasant when we left the dock. We made our way over to Lanceford Creek and fished some docks with jigs and live shrimp and mud minnows on a tide that had just started in. It only took a few minutes before Bob was hooking up with Redfish.

These fish weren't very big but we both commented that it was nice to see these juvenile Redfish in such quantities - it has to mean a healthy stock. We didn't keep count but estimated that we had landed and released over two dozen fish. Bob also caught a couple of hungry Seatrout, one of which was of keeper size.

The day before yesterday we had hit a "new spot" down south that was pretty cool and it popped into my mind that with just a little more time  on the run up river, we could hit an area that I had never fished. Bob was game so off we went. We made a pit stop at some docks and fished the jigs and picked up a couple of more Trout, then we continued on - a total of about a 20 minute run. 

Bob worked the bank thoroughly with the jig and we found that we had some deeper water so we had to let our jig fall, sit, and retrieve extra slow. This technique paid off and we boated another half a dozen feisty Redfish. Being up river all of these reds had a deep, dark copper color - just beautiful, and as we headed back, we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Monster Bait Monster Fish


When Lisa up at the Amelia Island Bait and Tackle shop this morning mentioned the mud minnows "may be big" she wasn't kidding! They were monsters! After getting bait I met Bob Blalock out at the Goffinsville Park early. The tide was perfect, the first of the incoming, so we headed south up the Nassau and fished Broward Island with those mud minnows on jigs. Big Mistake. We fished a couple of areas and I don't think we had a single bite.

We stopped by Back River and fished some exposed oysters then continued on down to Spanish Drop and began to work the already flooded bank. Bob had a couple of "bumps" then we had a strong hookup. Bob played it perfectly and soon landed a nice 21" Slot Redfish. We worked up that bank and then switched to float rigs. Bob was getting a good drift when his float disappeared and after catching up his line and letting the circle hook do its thing, Fish On!

Bob played it patiently and during the battle he commented that he was getting some head shakes and sure enough when it came to the surface we saw it was a massive Seatrout! Once netted we measured it right at 24", big enough to move Bob into 2nd place in the Anglers Mark 2022 Bragging Rights Tournament-Seatrout Category. (scroll down the right side of this report for standings) Boy what a fish!

We fished Twin Creeks, and beyond, picked up a small Flounder, then ran thru Horsehead to try our luck over there, but to no avail. Then back to Pumpkin Hill where Bob picked up a hard fighting Jack Crevalle,  a Ladyfish, and a fat Seatrout. We wrapped the day up "exploring" then we headed back and counted it another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

All fish caught today were released.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Double Slot Redfish after Labor Day

 The Graff's were in town for a long week of relaxation and they took in an Amelia Island Back Country fishing trip the day after Labor Day. I had met Jim Graff and his wife Sarah and his daughter Casey down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early this morning. The tide had just started out up at Nassauville so I made a bee-line for the "Spot". Maybe I should call it the MOA2? That might jinx it!

The trio of anglers set up with float rigs and live shrimp and began to toss their baits to the grass and were getting good drifts along the edge and it paid off. Almost immediately they were putting fish in the boat. They tangled with a couple of high flying Ladyfish then Casey "knocked the skunk off" with a feisty Redfish catch. Then her and Sarah doubled up, both with small but hard fighting Redfish. 

But it was after Casey had made a long cast forward, got a good drift, and BAM! Float gone and drag ripping! You can always tell when it's a bigger fish because it doesn't come right to the boat, and it almost always "boils" up, and this one sure did. Casey kept the pressure on and played it perfectly and after a good battle, landed a nice Slot sized 24" Redfish, boy what a fish!

We caught a good handful of Reds there, and Jim added a hungry Seatrout,and of course the Ladyfish, then we moved on, making our way back down the Nassau River and over to Twin Creeks. Again, we had good action early on the float rigs. Casey and Sarah were drifting long and picked up a couple of more Ladyfish, a Jack, and a couple of Seatrout while Jim, on the bow, switched to a jig and shrimp and caught a couple of Redfish on the bottom. Then it was Sarah's turn for the big fish. She had tossed her float rig up near the bank and it sure enough, the good cast paid off. Down went her float and zing went her drag -big fish on! Sarah worked it to the boat expertly, battle thru a couple of deep runs, and landed another Slot sized 21" Redfish.

After moving down  the river further Sarah caught a Flounder to round out an Amelia Island Back Country Slam while Jim stuck to catching Redfish. The sun was up and the bite was slowing and the Captain was getting hungry so we called it a day and as we headed back we counted it as another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.