During the 2016 fishing season Amelia Angler aired two fishing shows including "Reel Time" with George Goetze and "Lunkerville" with Mike De Avila. "Reel Time" showcased large reds and high leaping tarpon! Lunkerville showcased both redfish and sea trout action with some 100-fish caught! Above first two photos.
Todays special artcle
“Slamming Speedy Wahoo”
By Terry Lacoss
“It was a bumpy ride while navigating some 82-miles southeast from the St. Mary's inlet to depths running from 150 – 200 feet of water,” Paul Brown said. “I was able to run just over 50- mph in the 3-4 foot waves. “However navigating in Tommy Roberts 39-foot Contender Sport fishing boat powered by triple 350-hp Yamaha outboards made the long run durable.”
“During our day of high speed trolling the seas picked up to 4-6 feet. However hooking into a great wahoo and tuna bite made our day a huge success. On the return trip to Amelia Island I tucked the trim tabs down and slowed my speed to 35-mph which made the ride in rough seas comfortable in the stepped hull Contender.”
Tommy Robert's has a serious blue water fishing machine in his Yamaha powered 39-foot Contender that he keeps in wet storage at the “Amelia Island Yacht Basin”. Its simply the perfect fishing platform when targeting a wide variety of Northeast Florida blue water game fish, particularly speedy wahoo that may weigh over the 100-pound mark. Paul Brown skippers Robert's fishing machine and is often navigating to area wahoo waters on the weekend.
“It's an amazing boat,” Paul Brown said. “With the stepped hull you can actually feel the hull lift while running over a 2-4 foot chop she runs in the mid sixties. This is definitely her sweet spot!”
During past years there has been a big change in how fishermen are targeting fast swimming wahoo, not only with their high speed lures, but also with high powered giant center console fishing boats. Not only are sport fishing boats cutting down the time it takes to run some 70-80 miles offshore of Northeast Florida with faster and more comfortable fishing boats, but also increasing their lure trolling speeds as well.
Today specially designed and rigged trolling lures are luring the speedy wahoo that is capable of chasing down a high speed lure at 60-miles per hour. Heading the list of high speed lures includes C & H “Mr. Big”, “Wahoo Whacker XL” and the “American Express”.
A typical high speed trolling spread involves five lures set at 50-feet, 100-feet, 150-feet, 200-feet and 250-feet. The two short lures, 50 and 100-feet are trolled from one side and the two 150 and 200-feet lures are trolled from the remaining side of the boat. The long 250-foot lure is trolled in the middle of the spread as a “Shot Gun” lure. Included in the spread are three C& H “Mr. Big” lures and two C & H “American Express” Reel drags are adjusted to 20-pounds.
The two short lures are rigged with 64-oz. trolling weights, while the three long lures are rigged with 32-oz. trolling weights. Terminal tackle begins with a 300-lb. stainless ball bearing snap swivel attached to the tag end of 130-lb. hollow core braid fishing line. Next a 24-foot section of 300-lb. monofilament leader is run from the snap swivel to the trolling weight. A 6-foot section of 275-lb. wire cable is then rigged from the trolling weight to the lure. A 1-foot section of 900-lb cable with 3- rigging beads is then rigged from the leader cable through the lure and to a pair of 10/0 Mustad style 7691 stainless steel hooks. The hooks are also wrapped to the wire cable with 3-M electrical tape so that the lure trolls perfectly straight at trolling speeds from 16-18 knots.
Some of the more productive lure skirt colors include black & green, black & green, blue & white, pink & white and purple & black. Spare skirts should be on hand and replaced when damaged by the sharp teeth of the wahoo.
Once a wahoo is hooked up the trolling speed is backed down to
4-5 knots while steering the boat slightly to the same side of the boat that the wahoo is running on. The remaining trolling lures are also cleared. While handling cable wires, heavy trolling weights and gaffing a wild wahoo a good pair of fishing gloves and caution are certainly a must. Finally always gaff a wahoo just behind the head to save the meat and a better advantage in lifting the wahoo into the boat.
A definite sign that high speed trolling for wahoo is on the rise is the number of fishing teams that have been entering the “Northeast Florida Wahoo Shootout”. For the past few seasons the field has been filled to 120-teams. Currently Mark Lacovara and team “Sweet Equity” are holding down the top spot with three wahoo weighing an incredible 227.88-pounds. Included in their three wahoo aggregate are wahoo weighing 86, 82 and 61-pounds!
Tournament boats can weigh in up to two wahoo per day with the heaviest three wahoo taking home a completely outfitted Yellowfin boat powered by a Yamaha outboard valued at $70,000.00. the event lasts right through Saturday, April 3rd.
The recently held “El Cheapo” sheepshead tournament drew a record 402-boats with R.L. Hood taking 1st place honors with an 11.10-pound sheepshead. Junior Angler honors went to Victoria Price with an 8.20-pound sheepshead.
“We fished offshore and landed over 20-sheepshead,” Kenny Crawford said. “There was a big offshore bit taking place we just could not land that tournament winning sheepshead.”
Kenny Crawford continues to put his team “Crawfish” in the money by taking 9th place with a 9.10-pound sheepshead.
Look for a big wahoo bite to take place this week with outstanding weather conditions and the backside of a new moon. Black drum fishing is picking up as well at both the St. Mary's and Cumberland inlets.
Fishing Report: Backwater fishing is excellent during the Summer fishing season where large schools of redfish offer excellent light tackle fishing opportunities both with spin and fly fishing tackle. Sea trout are also schooling during the winter fishing season as well. Black drum, bonnet head sharks, bluefish and flounder will also test your Winter fishing skills! Jetty and bay fishing is offering excellent "Bull" redfish action with giant redfish weighing to 50-pounds. Red drum measuring over the 27 -maximum Florida FWC measurements must be revived and released. Black drum are also running at the inlet and jetties along with a variety of sharks, whiting, bluefish and a rare cobia.
Offshore fishing is producing excellent action for a variety of game fish including cobia, king mackerel, dolphin, tuna, sailfish, barracuda, barracuda, gag grouper, black sea bass, trigger fish and more. Fishermen will also hook up to 5-30 pound red snapper which are a real treat to catch but currently must be released.
Jetty and bay fishing is offering excellent "Bull" redfish action with giant redfish weighing to 50-pounds. Tarpon, cobia, black drum and a wide variety of sharks! Red drum measuring over the 27 -maximum Florida FWC measurements must be revived and released. Black drum are also running at the inlet and jetties along with a variety of sharks, whiting, bluefish and a rare cobia.
Backwater fishing has been showcasing "gator" size sea trout weighing to 8-pounds while casting minnow type surface and sub surface plugs. We also have live shrimp and mullet on board as a backup. redfish are schooling during the low tides where surface plugs and cut baits fished dead on the bottom is key for these hard fighting game fish. Add to the mix bluefish, jack crevalle, ladyfish, tarpon, shark and more!
Offshore charter boats have been slow trolling cigar minnows, Spanish sardines and live menhaden while hooking up to a variety of saltwater game fish including king mackerel, Barracuda, grouper, dolphin, cobia and more. Bottom fishing with cigar minnows and cut baits is producing lots of red snapper to 30-pounds, gag grouper, triggerfish, sea bass, flounder and sheepshead.
Jetty and inlet fishing charters have been doing real well while targeting bull redfish weighing to 50-pounds, a variety of sharks including bull, lemon, spinner, hammerhead and more, tarpon and black drum. Captain Benny Hendrix skipper of the Heavy Hitter charter fishing boat recently guided his charter clients to 12 black drum weighing to 20-pounds!
Backwater Fishing Charters have been doing real well with schooling redfish weighing to 15-pounds during the last few hours of the falling tide. Large live shrimp, or cut mullet fished right on the bottom with a 1/4 ounce jig head has been working real well for schooling redfish. Sea trout fishing has been best during the last few hours of the in-coming and the first few hours of the falling tide. Live shrimp fished under a bright colored float is the best fishing tactic for sea trout weighing to six pounds. Flounder fishing is also excellent right now while working a live bullhead minnow barbed to a 1/4 ounce jig fished slowly over a shallow shell laden flat.
Come visit us at the store!
Our store location is 111 Centre Street - Historic Fernandina Beach, Florida. Just a half Largea block from the marina. We now carry a full line of backwater redfish and sea trout tackle including those hard to find topwater plugs. Also fly fishing gear including Umpqua, Redington, Sage, Rio and more. A fishing school is also on the calender with classes on backwater spin, fly and casting, techniques, live and dead bait fishing, topwater fishing and how to beat the tides!
We also will do our best to pair you up for a deep sea, or backwater fishing trip if you are a single, or small group.
For more fishing information, call the Amelia Angler: (904)261-2870. Cell (904) 753-3776