Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Mayhem From The Get Go

 I met Adam Alfrey, his daughter Rose Marie, his father Randy and father-in-law Bill up at Dee Dee Bartels Park this morning early. The tide was right at bottom so we eased around to Egans Creek, ran up it a ways, and found a dock to fish the pilings just as the tide stared in. My "demo" cast produced a bite, a hookup, one which Rose Marie expertly reeled in, and from then on, it was Redfish Mayhem! These anglers caught one, right after another - many times having double and triple hookups - I was almost out of breath getting fished netted, de-hooked, measured, and back in the water. Luckily, they pitched in and helped - if I was busy measuring a fish they'd grab the net and bring one to the boat.

We fished for a little over two hours that one spot. Most of the Reds were small "feisty" fish, but we'd pick up a slot now and then. After reaching our limit we continued to county the "Slot" fish and got up to 12 as we threw them back. Each angler also caught a Black "puppy" Drum and Rose Marie put a keeper sized Seatrout in the boat. 

It finally slowed down so we made a run over to and up the Bell River where we set up fishing jigs and live shrimp up current. We caught about 5 Seatrout here and two of those were of keeper size.  Our final stop was around at the Jolly and here Adam caught a Seatrout on a float rig to keep the "no-skunk-at-any-spot" record going. We had had an outstanding morning and as we headed back we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Trout Topper

 I fished with Glenn and Patti Langford on a beautiful crisp morning today, meeting them down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp early. We headed up the Nassau River and stopped off at some exposed oyster beds on a dead low tide. The two anglers tossed jigs and live shrimp and it was Patti, fishing on the bow, who 'knocked the skunk off" with a nice keeper sized Seatrout catch.  We worked that bank thoroughly, had some nibbles, but no more takers, and moved on. 

Our next stop was up at some docks at Seymore's Pointe. The conditions were perfect - a low and incoming tide, and we had bites, but we were only able to get a couple of small Seabass. We then ran down to Broward Island and set up as the tide was starting to come in there. Patti had one of those strange bites, a strange fight, and sure enough, she brought to the net a nice keeper sized Flounder, but not keep-able until the season opens December 1st. Patti also added  a keeper sized Whiting to the box. 

We worked up and down that bank, fishing under the watchful eye of a Bald Eagle, then Glenn, after making an excellent cast to the drop off, had a hookup. This fish was putting up a fight, ripping just a bit of drag, but not enough for it to be a big Redfish. Glenn played it patiently and soon landed a big Seatrout.  He had a 2.6lb Trout entered in the NSFA's "fish of the month" tournament and he hoped that this one  might top it so we crossed our fingers...and kept on fishing!

Our next stop was up Pumpkin Hill, all the way up to the docks. We fished the docks with jigs then switched to float rigs later around some flooding grass but had not luck. But we had caught a few fish, and a few keepers so as we headed back we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, November 28, 2022

One After Another


Yesterday I fished with Gregg and Dannie Fitzgerald out of Sawpit Creek boat ramp. We fished some docks at Nassauville where I was sure we'd have good success using jigs and live shrimp,  but all we picked up were a couple of Sea Bass and a "bait stealer". We then fished the Nassau River, tossing the jigs, but to no avail. But when we switched to float rigs we began to get some fish. The duo caught a couple of feisty Redfish and a good handful of Seatrout, one of which was of keeper size.

Today Dannie decided to stay home for some rest but Gregg brought along his father and his partner Ginnie and I met them at the Old Town Bait Shop ramp. We had a west wind still blowing so a quickly crossed over the intercoastal, hugged Tyger Island north and found some flooded marsh grass to fish with float rigs and live shrimp. But we had  no bites. We crossed over a creek and fished some more grass, and again, no bites. 

After running thru Tyger, around to the Bell and up Landsford we found a grassy island where Guy finally "knocked the skunk off" with a feisty Redfish catch. We fished that spot some more, moved over to a couple of more grassy islands, had some nibbles, then made a short run back to Soap Creek. There, we fished a large outflow with the floats, again, no bites, then we worked the bank for a bit, and again, no bites.  What the heck?

So we made the run back to Egans Creek, and found some dock pilings to fish, switching to jigs and the shrimp. The "demo" cast produced a bite - we hooked up and Ginnie reeled in a Redfish. And from then was one fish hookup after another!  Rat Red, Rat Red, Rat Red, Slot Red, Rat Red, Slot Red, Rat Red, Rat Red, Rat Red, Black Drum, Rat Red, Black Drum, Rat Red, Rat Red, Slot Red, BIG REd, Rat Red, Slot Red, Rat Red, Black Drum, Flounder, Slot Red, Slot Red, Rat Red, Rat Red -- We would have had to have a "clicker" to count them. But we did count the Slot fish and ended up with at least 10( there might have been a few that I didn't measure that were right at the 18" mark). We had numerous "double" hookups and ended the day with Guy and his Dad reeling in double Slot Redfish. As we eased back to the dock we counted it as another GREAT day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

Foggy Morning Fishing at Amelia Island

 We had some fog! When I met Meghan and Matt Brennan and their two kids Derrick and Bianca down atSawpit Creek this morning I was thinking we may have to "putter" up the Nassau to get to our first spot. But as we got out into the intercoastal I could see we had about a 100 yards of visibility so I switched on the Nav lights and we ran! Note: that fog stayed with us all morning long!

Our first stop was up at Pumpkin Hill drifting float rigs and live shrimp on a tide that still had a couple of hours of coming in before it high tide. Meghan and Matt were doing the casting while Bianca and Derrick helped with the reeling. It didn't take too long before we had a bite and Meghan hooked up and landed a Flounder to "knock the skunk off".  The two anglers followed that up with a couple of hungry Seatrout catches.  We fished a couple of more areas in that location, then we made a run down the Nassau and fished between two docks along Nassauville.

I think it was first cast and Meghan had strong bite on the bottom fishing jigs and shrimp and Fish On! Meghan played it perfectly, worked it to the boat, and landed a big 18" Seatrout! Boy what a fish! (all fish caught today were released).  Just shortly after that, she had made a good cast to the same general location and BAM, another nice Seatrout brought in (with help from the kids). 

After running around the corner we fished a large drainage, letting our floats drift around the corner and across a submerged oyster bar. It was Matt's turn to find the hot spot. He caught 2-3 nice keeper sized Seatarout (with help from the kids).

Our last stop was over on the other side of Jackstaff and after running thru Horsehead we set up andfished some drainages. With no luck there we moved down at a point of grass and submerged sandbar and here Matt hooked up and landed another Flounder. Meghan topped it off with a Blue Crab catch. We had worked thru the fog, had some good catches of fish and as we made our way back to the dock we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Saturday, November 19, 2022

First Cast Production


We had a temperature drop! When I launched this morning it was in the low 40's, and the 10mph wind made it seem even colder!  But the skies were clear and the forecast called for sunny all day so when I met Paul Lombardi down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp we felt pretty good about a fishing trip.  I had talked to some shore anglers after I launched and they were picking up Seatrout on DOA shrimp, white with chartreuse tails(see video here) and one advised me to try the bride pilings before we left the area.

So Paul and I eased around there, turned into the current, and I tied on a white DOA (didn't have one with the chartreus tail) and Paul made his first cast up current, let it go to the bottom, kept his line tight, and began to let the current bounce it along the bottom and...BAM! He head a hookup!  Paul worked it to the boat patiently and landed a nice keeper sized 17" Seatrout - not a bad way to start the day!

Unfortunately that was the only fish we got there although we did get some bumps here and there. We left and headed up the intercoastal, turned west into the Nassau, and made our way up to an exposed shell bank on a tide that still had a couple of hours of going out. Paul worked the bank with live shrimp and jigs, only getting "bumps" and taps, then we moved up a couple of hundred yards and here we caught a couple of small Seatrout.

Our next stop was at some docks at Seymore's Pointe, fishing on almost a slack tide, but we got there in time for Paul to pull two keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum out, and a small but feisty Redfish. We eased around the corner and fished some rocks at Nassauville and here we caught a handful of small Mangrove Snapper, then a couple of small Seatrout, then we had a "bump" and a take and, Fish On!  Paul fought it expertly as it dug deep and stayed on the bottom and we began to speculate that it was a big Stingray, hoped that it was a huge Flounder, and finally settled in to wait as Paul worked it up from the bottom. As it came to the surface we saw that it was a large Redfish!  After netting the fish we measured it right at 26" - a big Slot Redfish!

The final stop was down at Broward Island, fishing the very last of an
outgoing tide, and this turned out to be the most productive spot of the day. We caught 7-8 feisty Redfish, a couple of small Seatrout, and then Paul rounded out his Amelia Island Grande Slam with a keeper sized Sheepshead catch. We had had some good catches, the sun was up, and the day was warming so as we headed back we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Super Duper Amelia Island Grande Slam


I had worn a undershirt under my fishing shirt this morning and as I was getting the boat ready I was already thinking about shedding one of them.  But I didn't. And as I launched the boat out at Goffinsville Park I was thinking about maybe going without a jacket and was 50 foot away from the truck when I thought, "naaa, better grab a jacket".  Then I met Steve Locke and his fishing buddy Jason and after just a few  minutes fishing I was getting that jacket on and zipping it up tight! The temperature was dropping and the wind was picking up! We all noted that the water was a bit muddy but in short order Steve "knocked the skunk off" with a feisty Redfish catch and in just a few more minutes Jason had a strong hookup and Big Fish On! We knew it was a big one when the drag kept ripping and the big fish thrashed up near the bank - more so than most. But Jason kept the pressure on and expertly battled it to the boat and landed a thick 25" Slot sized Redfish,

We moved up the river and fished a couple of drainages then made our way to some docks at
Seymore'sPoint. Both anglers were making excellent casts to the base of the pilings and it paid off. Steve had a strong bite and worked a big Black "puppy" Drum out, then they tagged team a good handful of the Drum to the boat and into the box.  They added a keeper sized Seatrout to make it a "Slam", then added a keeper sized Sheepshead to make it a "Grand Slam"!

After running down the Nassau to Broward Island Jason picked up two Flounder, one of which was of keeper size (but tossed back due to the season closure) - a fish that rounded out a "Super Grand Slam", then we wrapped things up back at the rocks of Nassauville where Steve hauled in a fat keeper sized Weakfish  which made it a "Super Duper Grand Slam"! And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Barely Legal


Finally, back to fishing after a week off due to the hurricane and then the winds! But when I looked at the weather forecast last night it called for winds beginning at 10mph and rising to 15 before the trip would be over. When I talked to Garland Clark on the phone he sounded like he was ready to fish so I made a "plan" in my head as to where we could fish as the trip progressed. I met him and his two sons Chris and Scott down at Sawpit Creek boat ramp under grey skies and a brisk wind and we headed up the intercoastal, turned up the Nassau, and found a shell bank to fish on the first of an incoming tide. We worked a bank about 30 yards long and it was the "experienced guy" Garland, who knocked the skunk off with a hungry Seatrout catch.

Our next stop was up at some docks at Seymore's Pointe and here we got into some good fish, fishing jigs and live shrimp. Scott had had a few nibbles and on about the third one he set the hook quickly and when his rod bent we knew it was a nice fish. Scott played it perfectly and soon landed a keeper sized Sheepshead. Shortly after that Garland had a similar hookup and as he brought it to the boat we saw the stripes...but this one was a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum.  And Chris added a small Mangrove Snapper to the catch. 

After fishing float rigs at the rocks at Nassauville with no bites at all, and just as we were about to leave, Chris's float slowly went under and, Fish On! Chris played it perfectly, had his drag rip a couple of times, then brought to the boat a Slot sized Redfish - we had a "slam" in the boat.

We ran down to Broward island where Scott and Chris added a few more Seatrout to the catch, then we moved down the island where Chris picked up another Redfish after a good toss to the bank. Moving back up to Pumpkin Hill we fished a stretch of flooded marsh grass, drifting floats long. Scott had vacated  the run and Garland drifted his in next and BOOM! Fish On! We had a little bit of "diversity" during the battle but we overcame and Garland landed a "barely legal" Slot sized Redfish.

Our final stop was back at Nassauville, fishing between two docks and here the trio of anglers weeded thru some Mangrove Snappers to get a nice keeper and Chris wrapped it up with a feisty Redfish catch. And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Great Day of Fishing Amelia Island

 I noticed that the forecast called for the wind picking up this morning but I knew we had a little window to get in some good fishing, so when I met Dennis Cortez, his brother-in-law Jeff and nephew Liam down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp we headed up the intercoastal and turned in to Back River and made our way over to the Nassau where we set up alongside "the spot" to fish with float rigs and live shrimp. My "demo" cast produced some bites and after I handed the rod off to Dennis, he went back to the same spot with an excellent cast and BAM! Fish on! Dennis brought it to the boat expertly and landed  hungry Seatrout to "knock the skunk off" quick! 

We had a good steady bite there for a while, catching feisty Redfish - Liam caught the first one, just undersized, but later Jeff had gone to a "cut" in the grass where the water was visibly flowing over some shell and when his float went under he lifted the rod to let the circle hook set and Big Fish On!  Jeff played it patiently and after a good battle landed a nice 23" Slot sized Redfish. We picked up a few more fish there then moved on. 

Our next stop was back down the Nassau at Twin Creeks and here Dennis put a hungry Trout in the boat then Liam found his personal Trout hole out the stern. We moved down the river a few hundred yards to a large drainage, and again, Seatrout. Then caught and landed a keeper sized Flounder (released due to the closed season), then Liam battled a shark for what seemed like an hour! He was very patient and eventually landed a 3' Bonnethead Shark

Fishing at a dock at Seymore's Pointe Ted hooked up and landed one of the biggest Trout I've had on the boat in a while, one that measured 20.75", then Liam made it a "Grande Slam" with a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum catch.

The final spot was down between some docks at Nassauville where the trio caught one Mangrove Snapper after another. Dennis had a keeper sized one and followed that up with a feisty Redfish catch. Liam went with a minnow and picked up the final Red of the day. And with that, we called it a day, another great one to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.