Monday, November 27, 2023

Last One Before Thanksgiving!


I fished yesterday morning with Jim Russell and his dad Doug, meeting them up down at the decrepit Sawpit Creek boat ramp. There was a front passing thru and the forecast called for a bunch of rain but when we launched it had improved to a slight chance but a whole bunch of wind coming out of the South and South east.

We made our way up the intercoastal, all the way to Poteat Cut, and broke out our float rigs, baited with live shrimp and began to fish on a tide that had been going out for a couple of hours. And wouldn't you know it, first cast, BAM! Float Gone!  Doug worked it to the boat and "knocked the skunk off" with a nice Seatrout catch! First cast, first fish will brighten a fishing trip up in a hurry! We stayed there for a bit and picked up another couple of Trout.

After making a short run over to Jackstaff we fished a nice drainage with the floats but the water was beginning to run out from under us so we made another move. We ran thru Horsehead and around to Seymore's Point to fish a dock and switched to jigs and the live Shrimp and this paid off. Jim got hot up on the bow and caught a good handful of Seatrout down on the bottom in about 8' of water. Doug, fishing off the stern found a couple of his scraps! As we moved on we got a little rain drizzle but it quit the moment we put our rain jackets on!

We fished another couple of docks to no avail, then ran up the Nassau and fished Littlefield and picked up
one more trout. Back down the Nassau to Spanish Drop and sticking with the jigs tossed to the now exposed oysters...again, no luck. But after moving up to a drainage and tossing the jigs we had a nice flurry of catches.

Doug had gone up close to the bank and when he felt a good "thump" he set the hook, and, Fish On!  Doug played it perfectly and worked it slowly to the boat and landed a nice Slot Sized Redfish. Jim picked up a Seatrout from the bow then Doug had another good thump, this time out a little deeper. He worked this one to the net and landed another feisty Redfish. We tagged this fish with a Gray Fish Tag Research tag, click here to follow.  I think we picked up one Trout before we called it a day. And as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florid.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Recipe of the Month: Cast Iron Blueberry-Peach Cobbler

 From the Southern Cast Iron Magazine, Summer 2016, Hoffman Media

 6-8 Cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (about 8 medium peaches)
1 1/2 Cups fresh blueberries
1/4 Cup bourbon
2/3 Cup + 1 tsp sugar, divided (1/3cup, 1/3 cup, 1 tsp)
2 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a medium bowl, combine peaches, blueberries, bourbon, 1/3 Cup sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in cold butter with forks until mixture is crumbly. Add cream, stirring gently just until dough forms. 

Spoon fruit mixture into 10” cast iron skillet; top with crumbled dough. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp sugar.

Bake until top is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes. Serve with ice cream.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Have a great day tomorrow!

Casting and Catching

 I fished yesterday afternoon and even though the rain had passed us by, we had a bit of wind to deal with. But Chris Bremer and his grandson Matteo were "game" to go fishing! We left the Old Town Bait and Tackle dock and headed up to the Jolley River to fish float rigs and live shrimp on a tide that was still coming it. We worked a flooded grass bank for just a bit and it was Chris who "knocked the skunk off", hooking up with a couple of Redfish and a Seatrout. Matteo helped him out with the reeling in part!

We then ran up the Jolley and turned into the current and fished another stretch with the floats and picked up one more Trout, then we ran around to the Bell River and switched to Jigs. We caught one Mangrove Snapper, and moved on. 

Our next stop was up Lanceford, again fishing floats and here  things heated up a bit. Chris caught and landed a couple then Matteo found a hot spot off the stern of the boat. He was making excellent casts which paid off when he hooked up and expertly reeled in a couple of his own Seatrout. 

We had to "work for 'em" but that we did and as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

From The Start

 Boy what a nasty start to a morning yesterday it was! It rained on me getting the boat ready, picking up the bait, and launching, and was still raining when Dennis Adams and his crew met me a the dock. He had his son in law Daniel and Daniel's dad Dan with him and as we pulled away from the dock at Old Town Bait and Tackle we were asking ourselves "did we rally want to do this?" But we all had rain jackets on and we made our way to the first spot, heads down and "ducking" the rain. And wouldn't you know, first cast with a jig and live shrimp on a tide that was almost at the bottom...BAM! Big fish on!  Dan was on the rod and fought it valiantly and did a good job but this fish had other plans - it dug down and around the pilings and BAP! Fish Off!

Not to be deterred, all three anglers began to pitch to the pilings and we caught fish non-stop; Red Drum, Black Drum and an occasional Seatrout. After going thru a good number of fish, they ended up with two Slot Redfish and a couple of keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum. When the bite slowed we moved out to the outside of the dock and Daniel found a "honey hole" of the Black Drum. He said he'd feel a subtle "bump" and would lift his rod to set the hook. Before we left the trio had added a good handful of those keeper sized Drum to their catch total.

We then made our way around to the back side of Tyger and fished the logs on the first of an incoming tide. It was slow going for a while until we got into the thick of the logs  and then all three began to catch fish. Redfish  and Seatrout and Dan put a nice sized Seabass in the boat. We ran out of bait catching fish so we switched over to artificial baits to finish out the trip and it was Dennis who put the first fish in the boat - a Flounder, caught on a Fish Bite shrimp pattern.

We had caught a ton of fish and the weather had cleared so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Weakfish Made It A Slam

 Thanksgiving week and back to fishing!  I met Joey and Tanya Vasquez up at the Old Town Bait and
Tackle boat ramp early on a tide that still had about an hour of going out to hit bottom. We made a long run up to the Jolley River, up the river and around to the MOA to fish the oysters on that last of the outgoing tide. Both Joey and Tanya were making excellent casts and it paid off. They began to catch fish on the bottom with jigs and live shrimp and landed a good handful of Seatrout and feisty Redfish. 

When the tide slowed to a standstill the bite slowed too so we ran back to the mouth of the Jolley and fished the "bank", easing along the exposed oysters and tossing forward. It took a while but when that tide got to moving we began to catch fish. Again, we caught a handful of Redfish, one of which was in the Slot.

Back up the Jolley we went and turned into the current alongside some flooding shell. We switched to float rigs and drifted them along the bank. Here, Tanya got hot and caught Redfish, Seatrout, and then a Weakfish to round out their Amelia Island Back Country Slam. And Joey got in on the action and hooked up and landed another Slot Redfish. Then Tanya hooked up and landed another Slot Redfish and with their limit already in the box. we tagged this one for Gray FishTag Research. The fish can be followed HERE.

We made our way around to some docks on Bell River and switched back to the jigs and added another Trout, a couple of Mangrove Snapper, and a small Whiting.  As we headed back to the dock we had two Slot Reds, a keeper Trout, a keeper Weakfish, and a Whiting in the box so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

From Roasting Oysters to Oyster Plates - we love our oysters!

 We finally got to kick back and roast our first batch of oysters last week...and a sneak look at my wife's Oyster Plate collection...

First and Last (spots)

 Hallelujah!  The bad weather finally let up and we were able to get out and do some fishing today!  I met Jason Ash and his buddy Tom up at the Old Town Bait and Tackle boat ramp early - the tide had been coming in for about an hour and a half so we eased up the creek and found some dock pilings to fish with jigs and live shrimp. It took a few minutes then Tom "knocked the skunk off" when he hooked up and landed a hungry Seatrout. Then Jason, fishing a little shallower near the bank began to catch Redfish. He could make a cast up to one spot and BAM! Fish On!  He had brought a few to the boat before Tom took the "can't beat 'em join 'em" attitude and cast to the same area and caught fish too.. The duo ended up with a couple of Slot Redfish to go along with the dozen or so "Rat" Reds they landed. They also added another Trout or two one of which was of keeper size. Good start at the first spot!

We then made the run over to the outside of Tyger and fished a stretch of flooding marsh grass, had one small "bump", then moved on. Our next stop was up the Jolley River where we switched to Float rigs and the live shrimp. Both anglers were getting good drifts and picked up a couple of Redfish, one of which was in the Slot, then Tom had a good take and as his drag began to rip we knew, Big Fish On!  Tom kept the pressure on, played it patiently as it bulled up to the grass, worked it out, let it run, and eventually landed a big 26.5" "tournament" Slot Redfish! Boy what a fish!

After running on around to the Bell River we fished deep with jigs between some docks and found that we could hookup and land Seatrout out deep. They had a good flurry of catches and  put another keeper Trout in the box. Then they found that they could pitch closer to the shore and get feisty Redfish. Again, we had some great action at this last spot so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Friday, November 10, 2023

Third Spot Pays Off

 Oh what a beautiful morning! If you've wondered where the reports have been, my two trips from last
week got canceled due to the high winds. But we were back at it today when I met Allen and Lavern Webb up at the Old Town Bait and Tackle boat ramp. The tide had been going out for about an hour so we made our way over to the outside of Tyger and set up to fish float rigs with live shrimp on that first of an outgoing tide.  Both anglers had nibbles here and there but no real takers.

After bumping across the creek we again fished the floats and they had some good bites then when Allen went in to a shallow pocket, BAM! This fish took it right off and began to rip a little bit of drag and, Fish ON!  Allen worked it patiently to the boat and landed a nice Slot sized Redfish. Skunk off the Boat!

We then ran up to the Jolley and fished the "bank" and no sooner had we trolled just a short bit both anglers began to get fish, one after the other - Redfish, Redfish, Redfish. Allen was tossing up current from the bow and getting fish as he float drifted over the exposed oysters while Lavern went long off of the stern and we found that her fish were biting at the end of her drift, and further out. They caught a good handful of the Reds and added one more Slot Redfish to the catch, and a couple of small Seatrout. One of those Reds that Lavern caught we tagged with a Gray Fish Tag, and I have recorded it here. It was the first fish that I have tagged for GrayFishTag and I plan to do more, but probably bigger fish. 

We fished a couple of spots further up the Jolly and found another couple of  Reds, then moved around to fish the MOA where Allen caught another Redfish on a jig and another Seatrout