Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Pretty Good Species Count at Amelia Island

Redfish, Bonnethead Shark, Seatrout, Flounder, Mangrove Snapper, Black Sea Bass, and Silver Perch -
not bad if we were in a "species tournament"!  But the ones that counted were a couple of Slot Redfish, three keeper sized Seatrout and a Mangrove Snapper. I had met Eric Stevens and his friends Mike and Steven out at Goffinsville Park early this morning and our first stop was down at some docks fishing jigs and live shrimp on a tide that still had a couple of hours of going out to do. We fished it good, had a few bites, but no takers, which surprised me just a bit.

Our next stop was down at Spanish Drop, working exposed shell beds with jigs and the shrimp and even though all three anglers were making excellent casts, we had not takers, which worried me just a bit!  But after moving up the river we set  up outside a large drainage and in no time all three were catching fish. Steven hooked up off the stern and expertly played to the net a keeper sized Seatrout, then Eric and Mike were trading turns catching feisty Redfish, then Mike had a strong bite, one that ripped some drag, and he fought to the net the first Slot Red of the day. He followed that up with a battle with a Bonnethead Shark then shortly added another, bigger, Slot Redfish. Steven, fishing off the stern, found a keeper sized Seatrout out deep. 

After fishing one more stretch of shell beds we headed over to Seymore's Pointe and fished some dock pilings. Not much happening there but we did get some Mangrove Snapper and a small Sea Bass. We then made the run down to Broward and fished under the watchful eye of a Bald Eagle. I thought I saw him smirk as he flew off, we didn't get much of a bite, other than another Black Seabass. 

Our final stop was at Pumpkin Hill, drifting floats along the marsh line and here we had a good flurry of nice Seatrout catches. Steven got hot and put a couple more keepers in the boat, the biggest being right at 18".  And then Eric caught the sole Flou8nder of the day. We had beat the wind and had a couple of spots where we had good flurries of fish catching so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Flroida. 

Monday, April 29, 2024

Recipe of the Month: Grilled Bluefish on Cedar Plank

 Bluefish get a bad rap in that they are a bit "fishy" but if you know how to prepare them they can be
delicious! Here's an age-old recipe for grilling Bluefish.

The key is to prep the Bluefish!  Immediately after you catch them, bleed them by cutting their gills and then put them on ice. When you get home, filet them off the bone and skin and cut out any dark meat. Place them in a bowl of buttermilk overnight.

The next day:

Soak 4 cedar planks in water for one hour, remove and rub one side with olive oil

Baste both sides of fileet with lemon juice

Sprinkle with salt and pepper

Get grill hot at 400 degrees

Lay filets over the cedar plank and grill for about 5-7 minutes

Remove from heat.  Thow filet's away and eat the Cedar planks. 


My Plan for Sawpit Redesign

It's just plain crazy how our public officials seem to disregard the tax paying boating public. City of Fernandina commissioners are moving ahead with a Waterfront Park that will severely limit boaters using the marina ramp. In the Nassau County, Dee Dee Bartels is dangerous to use when there is a west wind, and hazardous to your boat anytime you launch due to the disregard of the No Wake zone. Goffinsville Park is a nightmare to use when there is a swift outgoing current, and even those of us that launch and load everyday, our trailers take a beating there having to come in "hard" to beat the current. 



And then there is Sawpit Creek boat ramp, down at Big Talbot Island. The south dock was damaged by a storm 7-8 years ago has been abandoned. The north floating dock was damaged over a year ago and there seems to be no repairs in in the foreseeable future.  It appears the State is more interested in funding researchers and studies  rather than insuring public access to their waters. 
With all the taxes you pay, shouldn't we have better?  You have to wonder if those managing this boat ramp even want the general public using it. What happens when another storm really damages it? Will it ever be repaired? Or will it just "go away"?  Kinda like that south dock has been abandoned. I think we should all ask those officials that we pay to FIX the dang boat ramp. And while they are fixing it, improve it!  Here's my idea:
Click on image to enlarge



1) The north floating dock needs to be repaired
2) An extension floating dock should be placed north running parallel with the bank
3) A new south floating dock needs to be installed to replace the old pilings
4) An extension floating dock should be placed south running parallel with the bank
5) The temporary parking area needs to be extended a few feet to accommodate vehicles unloading. 
6)  The right angle area needs to be paved to facilitate boat trailer turning
7) The landing area needs to be repaved
8)  A No Wake zone needs to be instituted with signage installed.

Ask them to get it done!

Michelle Waterman, Big Talbot Island Park Manager   Michelle.Waterman@FloridaDEP.gov

Raymond Semanchik, Parks Manager  raymond.semanchik@floridadep.gov

Clay Yarborough, State Senator Contact - Clay Yarborough | Clay Yarborough

Dean Black, State Representative Contact Form

      


                                                                                           

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Ups and Downs

 My "theory" this time of year is that the water temperature rises with the air temps, and it falls with the air temps and the fish get confused.  And of course, there's the theory about fishing during a full moon!  All week we've had beautiful weather, a full-ish moon, and cooler temperatures than last week and the fish bite had been somewhat down. Thursday was pretty good but yesterday, not so much. But luckily I had some anglers that had the right mindset - getting out on the water during a beautiful day and spending some time tossing a line!  I had met David Gray and his fishing partner Dick Conley down at Sawpit Creek boat ramp and knowing that we had the first of an incoming tide, we made the long run up and then around to Broward Island. 

The two anglers were casting live shrimp on a jigs and we had umpteen "hard" bites and finally hooked some up - small but feisty Sheepshead. I kept waiting for a good Redfish bite - we had one, but never that "big one".  We moved down the way few times, fished the bank, and picked up a couple of hungry Seatrout out deep. 

We then ran back to Nassauville and fished between two docks and here Dick found a couple of Seatrout out deep, one of which was of keeper size. Moving around the corner we fished float rigs on the last of an incoming tide and caught a handful of Mangrove Snapper, just undersized. 

After fishing Spanish Drop with the floats, we ran thru Horsehead and fished a stretch of flooding grass with the floats, to no avail. We had caught a few fish, enjoyed some great sunshine, seen Bald Eagles, Herons and Oyster Catchers, so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Fish Bite Better Today

 

All week long we've had beautiful days, today included, but for the most part, we had to really work to get some fish in the boat. But today we had the beauty and we caught more fish!  I had met Robert Stettner and David Vice out at Goffinsville Park early and with a tide that had been coming in for about an hour, we made a quick run down to Broward Island and set up to fish jigs and live shrimp. After tossing the baits up close, we let the slow current slide the bait down the river bottom.


David got on the board first with a strong bite, a hookup and after playing it expertly, he landed a nice feisty Jack Crevalle. From then on the two were getting bites and fish. Robert racked up on some feisty Sheepshead, a good handful of them, then he added a "barely legal" Slot Redfish. David put a hungry Seatrout in the boat. We moved down just a bit and added a couple of more Sheepshead to the catch total.  After fishing further down the island for a bit, we moved on. 

Our next stop was over at some docks at Seymores where didn't get much more than a nibble, then we
made a short run down the Nasau to Twin Creeks and tossed some float rigs up current and had it drift across the mouths. In just a few casts Robert was hooked up and it was big! The drag was ripping at the big fish headed north, then it turned and headed out to deeper water. I made the mistake of calling it a shark, because after Robert expertly worked it to the boat we saw that it was a huge Redfish!  Robert played it patiently and after a good battle landed a 28.75" over sized Redfish which we photographed and released.  Boy what a fish! And shortly after that he went thru another huge battle to land a 3' Bonnethead Shark while David put another Seatrout  in the boat. 

We fished down at Spanish Drop for a bit where Robert put a keeper sized Flounder in the boat,  then headed back over to Back River, fished s stretch, then finished up at Pumpkin Hill. The duo landed a Bluefish, another Trout, then David, after making an excellent cast to a grassy point, had a his float dissapear with a vengeance and Fish On!  David fought it expertly to the boat and landed a big 18" Seatrout. After fishing around the corner for a bit we called it a day and headed back to the ramp counting it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

One Fish Per Spot

 It seemed like we were in line to get one fish per spot that we hit today. I had met Phil Bailey up at Old Town Bait and Tackle on another beautiful day and with a tide that had been coming in for about 4 hours, we ran over and up the Bell River to set up on a point with plans to toss float rigs to the grass. If it wasn't Phil's first cast, it was is 2nd and Fish On!  He played it to the boat and landed a hungry Seatrout. But after that, we had no luck. 

We then ran thru Tyger and around to the downed trees and  briefly fished some jigs deep, then continued on up to the Jolley River and fished a stretch of flooding marsh. We were seeing some big fish "smash" bait but none took our offerings. The next stop was up the river, fishing a point and again, within a cast or two, fish on!  This was a fat Seatrout that was right at legal size. And after that, no real bites.

Further up the river, at Snook Creek, we worked the bank with the floats and picked up a feisty Bluefish,


then went inside and tossed jigs for a bit and barely had a nibble. The tide had hit high and was forecasted to be going out back towards Fernandina so we made our run back to the outside of Tyger and fished a corner and sure enough, BAM!  Phil had a hookup He fought it expertly to the boat and netted a nice Redfish. But other than a Needlefish catch, we had no more bites. After working a bank back out to the river, we called it a day and headed back to the boat ramp We had had a little bit of action, had been fishing on a beautiful day, so as we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Enjoy What You Got

What a super beautiful day we had today!  I met Dennis Brizzi and his fishing crew Bob and Jeremy out at Goffinsville Park mid morning with plans to fish the first of an outgoing tide. It was still coming in at Goffinsville so we ran over to Pumpkin Hill and drifted float rigs and live shrimp along the flooding marsh line. 

As it turned out, we didn't "tear them up" today but with a somewhat cool temperature, sunshine, and a slight breeze, I could tell these anglers were enjoying being out on the water. Jeremy did have a good bite at that first stretch, and when we moved around the corner Dennis put a small Seatrout in the water, then Bob hooked up and played to the boat a nice 18" Seatrout, and then he had an epic battle with a 3' Bonnethead Shark, the first of the year. He played it patiently, fought it from Starboard to Port, from stern to bow, and back to stern, then settled in for the fight. It took a while on that light tackle but we eventually landed it for photograph and release. 

It was a real treat to be fishing under the watchful eye of a Bald Eagle setting on an shell bank. 

We fished Seymore's Pointe on the outgoing tide and here Dennis, after breaking off initially on a bigger fish, put a handful of Mangrove Snapper in the boat. After running thru Horsehead we fished Pompano Pointe, to no avail, then we fished over off of Jackstaff, a couple of spots, then back thru Horsehead we went. 


After a long run up the Nassau River we dipped into a creek and worked the bank and Jeremy persevered and hooked up and landed a nice Flounder. He also put two Blue Crab in the boat!  The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, we had caught a few, so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Monday, April 22, 2024

Storm Behind Us

 We had a pretty good thunderstorm come thru last evening, enough so that our dog, Jasper, was hunting security. It was still raining when I went to bed but when I got up this morning it had quit and we had just a breeze as I made my way to the bait shop. Afterwards I met Frank and Joanne Wytiaz down at Sawpit Creek and we made our way up the Back River on a high and still coming in tide to make our first stop around at Pumpkin Hill with plans to fish float rigs  and live shrimp. With the north wind at our back, both anglers were getting good casts to the flooding grass line and good drifts too, but it was to no avail, we only had a nibble or two. 


But when we inched around a point and drifted that side Joanne battled a nice Catfish to the boat then Frank battled a rather big Jack Crevalle to the net. We then got out of the wind that had picked up and ran over to Christopher Creek and worked the bend with jigs, but again, no luck.

Our next stop was around at Seymore's Point, fishing a large drainage with the float rigs and here we picked up a few Mangrove Snapper, one of which was of keeper size. (all fish caught today were released). Back around at Nassauville and back to fishing jigs deep, the two anglers picked up another Mangrove and Joanne put a couple of  Seatrout in the boat, one of which was of keeper size. 

The final stop, after running thru Horsehead, was over at Pompano Pointe, drifting the float rigs. It seemed the wind may have died and Frank and Joanne were getting good drifts but we only had a nibble or two. The sun had come out, it had cooled from yesterday, and as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Good Start and Good End

 I wrapped my week up yesterday fishing with Glenn and Patti Langford. We met up at Old Town Bait and made our way over to the outside of Tyger to fish floats and live shrimp on a tide that had been going out for about an hour. As it's been all week, it was a beautiful day and as we eased up to some flooded grass we could see all kinds of bait activity moving around. It didn't take long for Glenn and Patti both to be getting bites and Glenn soon had a Slot Red in the boat, Patti a Seatrout. We caught a handful of fish before they quit biting then we moved across the creek, fished some edges, then move on. 


Heading to the Jolley we made a stop at a large drainage and pitched jigs, then move around to Jolley Bank and worked along it tossing the floats. This duo was getting good casts and good drifts, but we had no takers so we moved on up the river and fished two more spots, but to no avail. Everywhere we fished was looking really good and were fishable, but the fish weren't cooperating. 

Our final stop was around at Bell River, fishing some docks and here we had good luck. Patti found some Seatrout down deep and put a good handful in the boat, Glenn picked up a few, then Patti reeled in another beautiful Slot Red, and then added a keeper sized Weakfish to wrap up the day. We had a few fish in the box, had had action early and late, so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Slimy Fish Towel

 

It looks like we'll have great weather all week, and today sure was a nice one!  I met Jeff and Jinny Key down at Sawpit and today we ran up the intercoastal and dipped into Jackstaff and made our way further up a creek to toss float rigs with live shrimp to a large drainage. We didn't get any Trout bites like I expected but as we eased down the bank Jeff had a big fish slurp his bait, his float went slowly under and  Fish On! and BAP! Fish Off! Boy was that disappointing. 


We came back around to Pompano Point and drifted the floats and I think Jeff's first cast produced a Seatrout catch. And then he had another and another and another, one which was of keeper size. So much so that my hand towel was getting slimy. He put the first high flying Ladyfish of the year in the boat and then he had another strong take and Big Fish On!  This fish was ripping drag and digging back into the oysters. But Jeff stayed with him, worked him patiently out then kept the pressure on until it was subdued and brought to the net - an oversized 28.5" Redfish. Boy what a fish and boy what a battle! This fish put Jeff in the running for Bragging Rights (scroll down the right side of this page for standings).

After going back to Jackstaff we set up on a point and fished with jigs. Jeff put a small Flounder in the boat then found some Trout out deep - he brought handful to the net, two of which were of keeper size.We ran thru Horsehead and fished some docks at Seymore's and  here Jinny got on the board with a nice 18" Flounder catch, big enough to move her into 2nd place in the 2024 Bragging Rights Tournament -Flounder Category. The duo also caught a few Mangrove Snapper, a Blue fish, and a small Sea Bass here.


We fished around at Nassauville and picked up a couple of small Flounder, then with just minutes to go, tried a new spot that I have been eyeing. - a long sandbar. We worked along the bar tossing a jig in hopes for another Flounder but when we saw a good "cut" running thru the bar we tossed a float rig and let it go and ...BAM! Big Fish On! And boy what an epic battle! That big fish was 50 yards away and in shallow water and across a sandbar. Jeff played it as patiently as anyone could as the fish rolled and boiled and ripped drag and boiled and rolled. He worked it slowly over the bar and to the net and laned another oversized 28" Redfish. What a way to cap off another great day of fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Float 'em by the oysters

 I guess the Chamber of Commerce ordered up a week of fine weather 'cause today was another
outstandingly beautiful day!  I met Derek Wilson and his fishing buddy Tim down at Sawpit and we made a quick run thru some early morning fog, up the Nassau and pulled up at Spanish Drop. I keep waiting for this stretch of river to a"turn on" but today was not the day. We worked to areas with float rigs on a tide that had been going out for a couple of hours, but had no luck. 

We then made our way around to the Back River and fished a stretch that has been good to me all week and today was no exception. We eased along the bank pitching the float rigs up to exposed oyster beds and letting it drift down the edge and we caught Redfish. The fish bite wasn't "on fire" but we did get 6-8 fish with two of them in the Slot range. 

Eventually we moved back to some docks at Nassauville and here Tim put a Flounder in the boat, then we finished up down at Broward fishing an outgoing tide. Tim added a couple of Sheepshead to his catch total at the first spot. But when we moved down the island we worked it pretty good but had no luck. It had been a beautiful day and with two friends getting together to get in a day fishing we counted it as another great day to be out on the water here at Amelia Island, Florida. 







Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Twenty One. And a Blue Crab.

 Just another beautiful day fishing here at Amelia Island!  I had met John Raker and his mother Betty out at Goffinsville Park early and as we headed out the sun was already shining and we had just enough breeze that the sand gnats were not a problem. We made a short jump over to Back River and began fishing a stretch of exposed shell with float rigs and live shrimp.  We had a Blue Fish catch to get things started and as we eased along John had a strong hookup and Big Fish On!  John played it expertly and when we saw a couple of boils we knew it was a big Red. After a good battle John brought to the net a nice 24.5" Slot Redfish. 


\Continuing on down the bank we saw a commotion and a wake move away from us.  John made an excellent cast south of th wake, let his bait drift with the current back and BAM! Another big fish on! He played this one expertly and soon landed a 21.25" Slot Red. 

We then came back and fished some docks at Nassauville where John put a small Flounder in the boat, then Betty brought a keeper sized Flounder to the net. Our next stop was around at Seymore's Pointe, fishing some dock pilings and here we had a flurry of action, catching a keeper sized Seatrout, a small Black "puppy" Drum, and a Betty reeled in a couple of feisty Redfish. She also patiently played to the boat a brilliant blue, Blue Crab!

After running down to Broward we worked the bank slowly, tossing jigs and live shrimp. It took a while but we began to get fish. Betty put two Slot Redfish in the boat, John added another, and they teamed up to catch a good handful of hungry Trout. John had kept count and we had caught 21 fish, and a Blue Crab, so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 



Monday, April 15, 2024

Two Big Trout Makes For an Engaging Fishing Trip

 Boy what a beautiful morning we had today!  I met Tatum Nolan and her NEW fiancĂ© Victor Jelici down at Sawpit Creek early and we made our way around to Sawpit bridge with slip floats and live shrimp, to no avail. I have fished with Tatum and Victor a few times in the past but this time they announced that they were newly engaged!  We made our next stop at up Spanish Drop, fishing the exposed shell beds on a tide that still had a couple of hours of going out to hit bottom. We worked along that bank and could see some bait movement up along the edge, but we had no real bites.


After running up the river a bit we fished some dock pilings with jigs and live shrimp and here we finally "knocked the skunk off". Tatum reeled in a small but feisty Black "puppy" Drum then she went back to the same spot and BAM! -Right off, had a hookup. She played it expertly to the net and landed a big 20.25" Seatrout, boy what a fish! This fish moved Tatum into 3rd place in the 2024 Anglers Mark Bragging Rights Tournament-Seatrout Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings). We added one more fish, a Jack Crevalle, before we moved on.


Our next stop was up the Nassau, fishing between two docks. The duo added a small Flounder then it
was Victor's turn to battle the big fish. Had cast up shallow, let his bait fall down the river bottom, and in about 20' of water, Big Fish On!  Victor played it patiently and after a good battle landed another 20.25" Seatrout to tie his future spouse in that Bragging Rights Tournament!

We came back and fished Bubblegum Reef and caught a Mangrove Snapper, then made our way down to Broward Island to fish the very last of that outgoing tide. They had a flurry  of catching a small Seatrout, a small Flounder then Victor had a strong hookup. He fought it to the boat and landed Slot sized Redfish. 

We had had good weather, caught some fish, and celebrated a new engagement with a fishing trip, so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Friday, April 12, 2024

Wind Made It A Challenge

 I wrapped my week up today, fishing with Bob Kossman and Larry Westfall before they head north forthe summer. This was a a "Share-A-Trip" - contact me if you'd like to be added to the list. We met down at Sawpit Creek boat ramp with a weather forecast that called for clear skies and 8mph  west winds to start, increasing to 13mph. We made the long run up the Nassau and around to Broward Island and fished a stretch as the tide was still going out. I could tell right off that the water was real murky which didn't bode well for a our chances and sure enough, we had no bites. We moved down the way a bit and fished, trying to stall for the tide to turn around, but eventually we had to leave - that west wind, the murky waters, and no bites made it the smart thing to do. 

We headed back to Seymore's Pointe, somewhat out of the wind, and found a dock to fish on that lower incoming tide, and this did the trick. The duo caught a few feisty Redfish, a keeper Seatrout that had only a few spots(I called it a weakfish initially) and Bob landed the 2nd Mangrove Snapper of the year while Larry put probably the biggest Black Sea Bass I've ever had caught in the boat. 

After fishing back around at Nassauville with jigs and live shrimp and getting a couple of small trout, we came back around to Seymore's and fished float rigs now that the tide was up. No luck with them but Larry found that we could set up out deep and get Seatrout off the bottom,  one of which was 17", and we also got  a couple of Blues. By now that wind was kicking! I checked my weather App and saw that it was at 17mph!  We had struggled to stay out of the wind, but it was a beautiful day and we had caught a few fish so was we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

She Should Have Backed Away From The Table

 Storm a'coming tomorrow!  But we the water was like glass this morning when I launched at Sawpit
Creek and after meeting Allen Webb, we made a long run up the Nassau, all the way to Broward, and pulled  up to fish jigs as the tide had been coming in for about an hour.  It didn't take long and Allen was on a fish - he played it perfectly and landed a "just in the slot" Redfish. He also picked up a keeper sized Seatrout down deep with the jigs. We moved down the way and fished the bank close and this paid off with a couple of more feisty Redfish catches and a good handful of just undersized Sheepshead. After fishing down with the Bald Eagles, we moved on. 

Our next stop was back at Nassauville, fishing between a couple of docks and here we had a handful of Seatrout caught, again, down deep, and also a Catfish.  We then made the run way  up the Nassau, and into a creek to fish a log lined bank. We both marveled at the beauty and peacefulness of the area, but I think we only had one bite that was a fish, and one Blue Crab that we brought to the boat. 

Our final stop was back down the Nassau, around at Seymore's, fishing the last of an incoming tide with float rigs. We caught another small Trout or two, a Bluefish, and then our float disappeared with a vengeance. Allen fought it patiently, kept that rod bent while it ran and the drag ripped, and we both were guessing, "Redfish". But when Allen got it to the boat and I went to dip it, Boy What a Trout!  We got it in the the boat and she measured right at 24.75". A whopper of a Trout -she just couldn't pass up one more shrimp for her morning meal!  That fish moved Allen solidly into the Anglers Mark 2024 Bragging Rights Tournament-Seatrout Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings).  

We fished a bit more but the wind was now up so we headed back. We had a few good fish in the box, Bragging Rights in the bag, so we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.  



Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Against The Grain

 Bob Blalock and I decided to squeeze in an afternoon trip, knowing that winds would probably be an
issue. We met up at Old Town Bait and Tackle ramp and after easing out of Eagans Creek we made the long run up the Bell to fish some docks with jigs and live shrimp. 

Bob worked that first spot over really good  but we didn't have a bite. But after moving in close and fishing back to some dock pilings, Bob's first cast produced a bite and, Fish On!  He played it perfectly and brought to the net a Slot sized Redfish. That easy!  But we fished those pilings thoroughly and only managed one more fish, a feisty Black "puppy" Drum. 

We then ran back towards town and boy was the wind whipping, especially running into it. It's been fifteen years I think since I fished up near structure around Fernandina, but it was out of the wind, so we stuffed our pride, went against (my) grain, and fished it. And it paid off. Bob hooked and put a smaller Slot Red in the boat, then hooked and battled another - a "thick" 25"er, then put another smaller Slot in the boat. We worked along there for a good while, out of the wind, and got into a good handful of those Puppy Drum. 

As the outgoing tide came to a standstill we made a final run over to Tyger Island, to fish the logs, and had to "putter" thru the shallows to get there, and when we did, we fished a good while and had only a few bites, but no real takers. But it ended a good fishing trip at a beautiful location so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Bluefish Bonanza -Don't call me Crabber

 

I fished this morning with Leah and Brian Newsom and their grandson Caleb, meeting them up at the Old Town Bait and Tackle boat ramp. We put out 3 crabs traps on the way to the first stop, over at Tyger Island, but when we got there we began fishing jigs and live shrimp on an incoming  tide. We didn't have a whole lot of action but we did snag a nice Flounder that Leah and Caleb teamed up to reel in. 

Our next stop was up the Jolley, sticking with the jigs, fishing Snook Creek for a bit, to no avail, then we came out and drifted float rigs down the bank and here Brian had a strong hookup going long and expertly brought to the net a keeper sized Seatrout (eventually released).  We had a few good bites along there then fished back at Tyger Cut with the floats, then made our way back around to the outside of Tyger. 

Here we had good action catching Bluefish, putting a good handful in the boat. Leah did have one bite that took it all -float, leader and hook so we don't know what that was!  We then checked the crab traps with Brian pulling them up and Caleb supervising, but we had no luck. Don't call me a Crabber!  But we had a beautiful morning, had some action and so as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Monday, April 8, 2024

We Were On The Hunt

 

We had a beautiful morning today when I met Chris Pyle and his fishing buddy John down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp, and after running up the Nassau we pulled up at Pumpkin Hill Creek to try our hand with some float rigs and live shrimp, drifted down the bank with a high and incoming tide. It didn't work - I don't think we had a nibble. We then fished a point, doing the same thing down the other side, then dropped back and fished a grassy patch and, to no avail.

Our next stop was over in Christopher Creek at the last of that high tide, where we tossed jigs and the shrimp but had not a nibble. Once the tide was high we came back out and around to Seymore's Pointe, switched back to float rigs, and here our luck changed. Both anglers had good hookups and played to the boat some keeper sized Seatrout. We had a few "hungry" but small trout and we had probably the biggest of the day to the boat before it tossed the hook. 

After running thru Horsehead and over to Pompano Point we tried the floats - no luck - then moved
back to Jackstaff and fished a large drainage where we did pick up another Trout or two. Back thru Horsehead we went and down to some docks at Nassauville and again, our "action" picked up. John put another keeper Trout or two in the boat and Chris added another keeper or two. We had two small Flounder brought to the net, too. 

Our final stop was back at Seymore's on a lower tide, fishing dock pilings with the jigs and we had a bit of action.  John put a couple of Bluefish in the boat, another Trout and then we battled something big, had it to the boat, and again, hook thrown! Ouch.  But these anglers had a a good handful of Seatrout in the box and as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Friday, April 5, 2024

Out of Nowhere

I wrapped my week up fishing south, meeting the Williams family - John and Mary Margaret and their kids Hadden and Ruth down at the Sawpit Creek boat ramp. It was a bit cool as we ran up the Nassau and I made beeline for a large drainage knowing the tide had just started out. Sure enough, were were on fish almost from the start. These anglers were tossing float rigs with about a 3' leader and circle hook up beyond a grassy point, letting it naturally drift and BAM! Fish On!  We caught a good handful of Seatrout, a couple were of keeper size, and Ruth reeled in an impressive 16" Sheepshead. We also had a few Bluefish caught, and few good fish that threw the hook. 

Our next stop was around at some docks at Nassauville and here things started slow, but boy did they heat up. John found rhythm and began to feel the "bump" and set the hook and landed a number of Seatrout, one of which was right at 19.5", a fish big enough to move him into 2nd place in the Anglers Mark 2024 Bragging Rights Tournament-Seatrout Category (scroll down the right side of this report for standings). They also caught a couple of Flounder, one of which was of keeper sized. Then, as the fished deeper John hooked up and we both thought it may just be a clump of oysters, but then the rod bounced and the jigs ripped a
bit and we knew it was a big fish!  Hadden jumped in and worked the rod - they fought it valiantly together, and after a good battle brought to the surface and to the net a Big 22" Doormat Flounder, boy what a fish. This fish moved John and Hadden into first place in the Bragging Rights Tournament. 



We finished up fishing down at Broward Island on a tide that was still going out and here Mary Margaret put a nice feisty Redfish in the boat to wrap things up. We had a good handful of fish in the box, some Bragging Rights and as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Thursday, April 4, 2024

:Handicapped from the Start

After I got the boat ready and was having a cup of coffee I saw AIBT's Facebook post that they were out of live shrimp and minnows and I knew we'd be a bit handicapped from the start. But I luckily I had some fresh frozen shrimp in the freeze, which I grabbed, and I loaded up with a quart of fiddler crabs at the bait shop and then met Doug Massey, his son Mark and grandson Evan up at the Old Town boat ramp.  And then Capt Jesse Scruggs gave me a dozen mud minnows, so we were set!


We headed out of Eagans and over to Tyger and set up off a point to fish float rigs and drifted the mud minnows across an oyster flat with the outgoing current. The trio of anglers were getting good drifts but if we had a nibble, it wasn't much.  We crossed over the creek and fished a corner of grass with the floats, but again, no bites.



After coming out of Tyger and around to the outside we did pull up at a drainage and switched to jigs and the minnows and worked it pretty good, to no avail.  The wind was supposed to start picking up and sure enough, it was as we headed around to the Jolley River and fished another drainage, this time with the floats, and again, no bites. Ouch.  We were two hours in to the trip and the skunk was still on the boat!

But our next stop was around at Bell River, fishing the jigs with everything we had -live minnows, fresh dead shrimp, and fiddler crabs and this did the trick. Just a few minutes in Evan "knocked the skunk off" when he hooked up and landed a hungry Seatrout. He followed that up with a small Sheepshead caught on one of the fiddlers, then Mark got in on the action and expertly played a keeper sized Trout to the net. After a good cast up into a pocket behind some pilings he had another good bite, a hookup, and fought to the boat a nice Slot sized Redfish

We were getting bites now with the tide down and we were blocked from the growing wind.  Doug found a couple of Trout that were almost legal, Evan garnered a type of Slam with a Black "puppy" Drum catch (Trout, Sheepshead, Drum) and then he wrapped things up with a Whiting catch. As we headed back to the ramp, and out from the land mass, we soon found that the wind was howling, but with some good fish catches, we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Making the best with Fiddler Crabs

 The last thing I expected when walked in to the bait store this afternoon was for them to be (temporarily) out of live Shrimp AND Mud minnows. Oh lordy!  But they did have some fiddler crabs so I purchased a pint and a few packages of artificial baits and headed out to Goffinsville Park thinking we may be in for a long afternoon of fishing. I met William and Dara Blalock and their friends Brian and Janet Roach and we headed over to Broward Island to fish a tide that had been coming in for about an hour and half.


 I did have have some left over mud minnows so we used them and the crabs and it didn't take long before Janet "knocked the
skunk off" when she hooked up and landed a feisty Redfish. And just minutes later Dara had tossed back to a large drainage, had a bump, set the hook, and landed a keeper sized Flounder. 



We fished that area pretty good and caught a good handful of fish with William adding a keeper sized Seatrout to the box. The fiddler crabs were getting fish - Reds, a small Sheepshead, and even a Seatrout hit 'em.  We then ran way up the Nassau and dipped into a creek and fished the bank, alternating between the minnows and crabs and both caught fish. They added another keeper Flounder, another keeper Trout, and three small Slot Redfish to their catch. 


The wind had picked up as we came back down the river and fished Seymore's Pointe with float rigs, which produced nothing. But in behind the land mass, we were out of the wind and  it was pleasant fishing so we decided to work the docks with those crabs and it paid off. They caught Trout, a couple of feisty Redfish, then Brian topped things off with a good bite, and better fight, and he eventually landed the biggest Red of the day, a nice 23" Slot fish. We had made do with what we had and we had a nice box of fish so as we headed back we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida. 

Monday, April 1, 2024

Dara's Super Duper

 Back at it today, fishing south early this morning. I had met William and Dara Blalock out at Goffinsville as the sun came up and we made a quick run down the river to fish between two docks on a tide that still had a few hours to hit bottom. The two anglers were tossing jigs and live shrimp and makjng excellent casts and it paid off. 

Dara kicked things off with a nice, keeper sized Seatrout catch, then added another, then another with each betting respectively bigger, the biggest measuring right at 19". All fish caught today were released. Dara also added a keeper sized Flounder to her catch total. 


We moved around the corner and fished some dock pilings and here William hooked up and landed  Sea Bass. We moved over to fish Bubblegum Reef, a spot I hadn't fished in years, and it was a good move. William caught and landed another, bigger, Sea Bass, then Dara put a small Sheepshead in the boat, then hooked up and landed a respectable 17.75" Sheepshead to give her a Slam for the morning. But She wasn't finished!


After running down to Broward Island we fished a spot on the last of the outgoing tide, really just killing time, and boy did we get into some fish. Dara found some nice Seatrout deep, then William began to get feisty Redfish off the stern. Then Dara's drag went off and the battle was on!  Dara played the big fish patiently, let it run down river, then worked it back slowly, let it run, worked it back, and finally brought to the net a big oversized 28.5" Redfish, boy what a fight, boy what a fish!

The duo continued to catch fish - I lost count at 8 keeper sized Seatrout, but Dara did add a couple of Black "puppy" Drum for her Grande Slam, then later, fishing a jigs and Gulp minnow, added a keeper sized Weakfish to get her Super Duper Grande Slam for the day. The Redfish, Trout and Sheepshead put Dara on the Bragging Rights list in three Categories - maybe a first! (scroll down the right side of this report for standings). We had caught a bunch of fish, had a beautiful day, and as we headed back to the ramp we counted it as another great day to be fishing here at Amelia Island, Florida.