Tuesday, January 30, 2024



Brothers Team Up For Slam Apiece

42 degrees, clear, and no wind when I launched this morning down at Sawpit Creek boat ramp with plans to meet brothers Ray and Tommy Pinkston for a back country fishing trip. We made the run up the Nassau with a baitwell full of live shrimp and a few mud minnows left over from Friday. Our first stop was at a dock at Seymore's Pointe and both anglers began to expertly work the dock pilings with jigs and shrimp. It took a few casts but Tommy finally "knocked the skunk off" when he hooked up and landed a hungry Seatrout. I don't know what happened to this dock but it just is not producing any fish!

We then made our way down to Broward Island just in time to fish the first of an incoming tide. Ray was fishing off the bow, fishing up current while Tommy fished off the stern, letting his jig bounce down the river bottom with the current. I was getting a bit worried that we had no bites until Tommy had a sluggish, bite - he tightened up and set the hook and, Fish On!   I was thinking "small Slot"  as he battled it for the fist minute but when it made a couple of deep drag ripping runs I changed my mine. Tommy played it perfectly and eventually landed a bulky 26" Slot Red - the biggest one we've had in a couple of months, and big enough to set the bar in the 2024 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament-Redfish Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings) Tommy also added a keeper sized Seatrout and a keeper sized Black "puppy" Drum to his catch and rounded out a  (type of) Amelia Island Back Country Slam.

After fishing down Broward for a good while, to no avail, we pulled up and ran. We did have a Bald Eagle sighting. 

Our next stop up the Nassau and into a creek where we worked the bank with the jigs. Ray had been "laying back" but he came alive here!  The both caught some small but feisty Reds, then Ray hooked up and battled to the boat a nice Slot Redfish. They added to more Slot's then Ray put a keeper sized Seatrout and then a keeper sized Flounder to round out his (type of) Amelia Island Back Country Slam. We also had a Salt Marsh Mink sighting. 

We fished a drainage on the way  back to the ramp but the tide was at its peak and we had not luck. But as as we headed in we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island Florida. 

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Under Pressure

With a scheduled oyster roast and fish fry planned for the next day, neighbors, Chris O'connor, Brian Parent and myself ventured out Friday to try to add some fish to the pot. I had saved up a trout or two or three, a couple of Reds, and a a good handful of Mangrove Snapper but we needed just a bit more for the twenty or so people that were to stop by. 

I met Chris and Brian out at Goffinsville Park  on a tide that still had a couple of ours to hit high, so we eased around to the mouth of Pumpkin Hill and began to drift float rigs and live shrimp down the grass line. We all three were getting good drifts, up the by the grass, but we had no luck, not even a nibble. 

After running up the Nassau and dipping into a creek we switched to jigs and the live shrimp and began to slowly work the bank. About 10 casts into it Brian finally "knocked the skunk off" when he hooked up and expertly brought to the boat a feisty Redfish. We continued to work the bank and happened onto a "honey hole" - both Brian and Chris began to catch Redfish.  They each put a Slot Redfish in the boat and then we began to have to cull them. I counted 7 Slot Reds caught with the biggest being about 22".

In addition to one of those bigger Slot Reds caught, Chris also put a hard fighting Black "puppy" Drum in the boat.   One of the Slot's we caught we tagged with a Gray FishTag Researach tag, ID#  GFR62484 When the bite finally slowed, right at the peak of high tide, we made the run back to the Seymore's Pointe area.

Fishing a large drainage on the first of the outgoing tides with the float rigs, we began to catch Seatrout. Brian and I caught the "dinks" but Chris put a nice 17" keeper trout in the boat and then followed that up with a keeper sized puppy Drum.  

I noted that we fished 6 spots that day, but only two of them produced fish, but they were prolific, so as we headed back to the ramp, we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, F.lorida. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Recipe of the Month: Stuffed Shrimp Mushrooms

 This is not my recipe!  I got it off the internet, but I didn't record where it came from.  I "goggled" it and there are a bunch of other Stuffed Shrimp Mushrooms. This is more of an appetizer - with the cream cheese, it's pretty rich!

 Stuffed Shrimp Mushrooms

12   medium Button, Cremini or Portobello mushrooms, cleaned with stems removed and discarded
  1   box (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
1/2  cup fresh bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs
  2   garlic cloves, minced
1/2  Tblsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2   cup finely chopped green onions
1/2   cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2-3   Tblsp  fresh chopped Italian parsley  
   1    cup shelled shrimp, sautéed, finely chopped
         Salt,pepper, cayenne to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a large bowl, stir the cream cheese, bread crumbs, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, green onions, Parmesan, parsley and shrimp. Season with salt, pepper, and/or cayenne to taste.

Lightly spray the outside of mushrooms with olive oil spray and arrange the mushrooms facing down on a baking sheet.  Pre cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Remove from oven and scoop about 1 1/2 tablespoon of the cream cheese/shrimp mixture into each mushroom.  Bake for 20 minutes. Turn the broiler on  at the last minute or so to brown the tops lightly. Stay close and keep an eye on them - broilers can be unpredictable!



Saturday, January 13, 2024

Six out'a Seven ain't Bad

 I don't know why when I was checking the weather last night I was more concerned about the wind forecasted at 13-15mph, and not the temperature drop - I should have  been watching both!  I figured if I met Mark Averbuch , his son Cutler, and grandson Harvey down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp we we could run into that West wind up to the Nassauville area and find some shelter. About half way thru the trip I realized the temperature was dropping!  But we made the best of it, kinda of.

We got to some docks at Seymore's and sure enough, the wind was blocked. I had the three anglers tossing jigs and live shrimp. All three were getting nibbles, and a few took the shrimp heads, but we had no real bites. We made our way around the corner and fished between another couple of docks, but again no real bites.  I was beginning to get just a tad bit worried.  We were about 2 and a half hours into the trip and not  a single fish to the boat.

But that's the way it is when you're playing chess with the wind. You can find places to fish out of the wind but if the fish aren't there, or are not biting, then you are out of luck. You gotta move. So we made a good run up the Nassau and then up a creek to fish some shallow structure of downed logs. We paid the price, losing a good handful of jigs, but finally, FINALY, BAM! Cutler had a hookup and after expertly playing it to the boat, he landed a nice Slot sized Redfish. We didn't have time to celebrate too long because Harvey had a strong bite and after setting the hook he expertly brought to the net a bigger Slot Red, this one with 10 spots. 

Cutler went back to the  "honey hole" and pulled out two more Slot Reds. I could tell the empathy was oozing out of Cutler and Harvey for "Poppa Doc" who was patiently fishing from the stern- he hadn't had a bite, but then his perseverance paid off - he put Slot fish number 5 and number 6 in the boat, that last one being the biggest of the day, then Cutler wrapped it up with a feisty, slightly undersized Red. Six Slot Reds out of Seven caught wasn't too shabby!

We fished a large outflow back at Seymore's with float rigs, still out of the wind, but to no avail, then we finally ventured out in to the wind to try some jigs deep at a drainage, and that drove us in! The wind was kicking and the temperatures had dropped. But as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Some Demographics

 Every year I track the demographics of my customers and find it interesting how they numbers add up at the end of the year. Some of my customers ask, "where are your guests from?" and "who are they fishing with?", so here's a few answers to those questions, from 2023:

Average Age of who hired me:   60 years old (this is creeping up as I get older and my repeats get older)    Repeat customers:   69%    (thank you!)                                                                                                            "Local" customers:  45%                                                                                                                                   From the South East:  81%  (includes the local and Florida customers)                                                          From the West:  6%                                                                                                                                            From the NE:  13%                                                                                                                                            Married:  90%                                                                                                                                                    A Male arranged the trip:  88%                                                                                                                        Ethnic:  1%                                                                                                                                                        Couples:  21%                                                                                                                                                   Father/child:  37%   (this could be young children or adult children)                                                             Mother/child:  1%   (Come on ladies!)                                                                                                            Sole angler:    8%                                                                                                                                              Tipped!   92%   (thank you again!)                               

Winter Maintenance and Repairs

 I intentionally didn't book any fishing trips last week and knowing that January is traditionally slow for bookings, a had been planning for months to do a complete re-wire of the Anglers Mark. A new switch panel was ordered from New Wire Marine and I have been gathering other supplies - marine wire, terminals, and connectors.

The re-wire was none to soon - the last few trips in December all of my switches began to fail and the GPS/Fishfinder and VHS Radio got to where they would not power up. I began the re-wire on New Years Eve and finished it up Friday afternoon. All of the old wiring was pulled out and new installed; new terminals, ground bus, and fuse block installed.

NEW to the boat - a permanent aerator for the front bait well; the existing rear aerator is now run thru a switch - I don't have to clamp the leads to the battery anymore. There's a new 40 amp breaker between the battery and the new terminals;  a new courtesy light up at the bow; and I finally installed a gas vent out the hull of the boat (it's been missing a couple of years). Here's a short video of the final wiring...