Sunday, October 1, 2023

Extreme High Tides and Strong Winds

 Talk about some difficult fishing!  After an outstanding day Tuesday as a huge system passed thru, we ended up moving Wednesday's trip to Friday and cancelling Thursday. Friday, the rains had finished but we still had wind 12-17 as the morning progressed. I thought we could get some fishing in, and we did, but I wasn't counting on a extreme high tide to make matters worse. As we fished  you could see those strong north winds just pushing water into the back waters. Crazy!

But my guests on Friday, the Ahrens family were up for the challenge. We fished south, meeting down at Sawpit Creek. I was thinking our best shot at fish was to fish Pumpkin Hill on the last of an incoming tide. As we fished they had some nibbles, but no real takers, until Brian hooked up with something strong, on a shrimp under a float, that ran hard and strong and BAP! Fish Off! Probably a Shark. Later we ran up into Christopher Creek to get out of the wind and here Henry had the strong hookup. This fish went right under the boat, heading north, but Henry stayed with it, got his rod around the engine and up to the bow and fought it magnificently! He got it to the boat and we could have "gaffed it" if we had wanted it - a nice 3' Black Tip Shark!  I tried netting it but it was too big for the net and as we waited for it to tire, it made one last lunge and was off. 

Later we fished some rocks at Nassauville, out of the wind, with jigs and here Brian boated a couple of Mangrove Snapper. It had been a tough day but we persevered and got a few fish to the boat. 

Yesterday we had pretty much the same condition - not enough wind to call the trip, but enough to make it difficult. That north wind continued as Brian Syme, his son Nicholas and friend David met the challenge. Again, that north wind was pushing that high tide even higher. And again, I thought our best chance was to beat it by running over to the Jolley and fishing floats, but again, it was already too high, and moving fast!

These anglers stayed patient and it paid off, eventually!   But I was beginning to worry!  We had fished for at least two hours with not hardly a nibble. After hitting a few spots in the Jolly we made our way around to Bell River, and out of the wind, begin to toss jigs and live shrimp. The tide was really high, not ideal for where we were, but the move paid off. Brian had a strong hookup, a big fish!  Brian worked it to the surface slowly and when I saw it's huge maw of a mouth "big Trout" flashed thru my mind but when it got to the surface I saw it was a massive Flounder! Netted, it measured right at 22" - big enough to move Brian into a tie for First Place in the Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament - Flounder Category. (scroll down the right side of this report for standings). Boy what a fish!

We hit a few other spots, trying to stay out of the wind and even though the last one, behind Tyger Island was not where I normally would have fished on such a high tide, it paid off when David put a nice hard fighting Jack Crevalle in the boat, and Brian added a keeper size Seatrout.

It looks like the winds will continue in to Monday, but I'll probably fish anyway, knowing that it's always great to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

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