Fernandina/Amelia Island – Sept. Fishing Report
September is an excellent month when targeting many of the tidal creeks that make up the Nassau, St. Mary’s and Amelia Island River systems. Cooling water temperatures signals a major shrimp spawn in the fertile marshes where game fish including sea trout, flounder and redfish can be found taking advantage of the abundance of forage foods.
When conditions are perfect and your backwater skiff is located within casting distance of a fishy creek mouth, expect to enjoy multiple hook-ups! The first of the falling tide offers the best fishing action as when the falling creek waters slack, creek game fish will then relocate into the deeper waters of the main tidal creek. Redfish are the primary targeted game fish weighing from 1-10 pounds offering excellent fighting abilities while bull dogging out into the main river channel when feeling the sting of your saltwater hook. Back country fishermen can also expect to catch sea trout, flounder, striped bass and largemouth bass too.
During a past fall fishing adventure to the dark stained waters of the mid Lofton Creek tidal waters, a silver and black #11 floating Rapala produced an eight-pound largemouth bass on my client’s very first cast!
“Redfish Magic” spinners are an excellent lure as well fishing targeting early Fall tidal creeks when rigged with a white and chartreuse colored plastic tail. Simply position your fishing boat with an electric motor at the mouth of a falling creek mouth and make casts first to both the left and right points of the creek mouth. Finally cast far back into the creek mouth and work your artificial lure out into the main creek making sure that you keep your rod tip high and not allowing your lure to make contact with the bottom. Once the lure enters the main creek, slow your retrieve and allow your lure to work the deep edges of the creek mouth.
Also include “Walker’s Creek”, “Alligator Creek”, “Simpson Creek” and many of the unnamed tidal creeks that feed both the Intra Coastal waterway and the Nassau River located at the southern tip of Amelia Island.
Surf fishing at Amelia Island should produce excellent catches of sea trout, whiting, pompano, flounder, bluefish and redfish during the early morning and late evening tides. Casting a ¼-ounce led head jig rigged with a clear curly plastic tail with blue glitter is key for big catches of sea trout measuring to over twenty-inches. Fishing dead on the bottom with live finger mullet is also a great surf fishing tactic, so be sure and bring along a six-foot cast net and live bait bucket.
As the water temperatures begin to cool over night during the month of September, many of the freshwater ponds and lakes located on Amelia Island will offer excellent early morning topwater fishing action. The Storm “chug Bug” in the Baby Bass color pattern remains would be my first choice.
Offshore fishermen will be targeting gag grouper at FA, HH and FC fish havens while targeting rock ledges. Fish dead on the bottom with live pinfish, mullet, Spanish sardines or menhaden. Black sea bass fishing should also improve with cooling water temperatures while fishing with cut baits, or fresh local squid.
Bull reds and a few tarpon will still be hanging around the mouths of the Nassau and St. Mary’s inlets while chum fishing with freshly netted menhaden. The middle of the in-coming tide offers the very best fishing action.
Finally, redfish will be tailing in the flooded marshes during a full moon and a good northeast wind. Be sure and arrive at your targeted marsh flat one hour before the tide is scheduled to flood, once the tide begins to fall, be sure and navigate from the marsh in a timely manner as the tide falls with speed!
For more fishing and charter information please call Amelia Angler Outfitters at 904-261-2870, or visit www.ameliaangler.com.