Cold Weather Trout Fishing on Amelia Island


Outstanding Catch of Trout

As the temperature dips into the 20s on land and into the 50s in the briney deep, many local fishermen stay home hoping for a Jaguar victory in the comfort of their living rooms. I’m here to assure you though, that TV football and Wii fishing can’t hold a candle to catching 5 pound plus Speckled Seatrout.

This old picture, from the 1980s, is of an outstanding Trout excursion to the South end of Amelia Island. We kept 35 Trout over four pounds and fed everybody at the car dealership where I was then employed a fried fish dinner!

Wintertime Trout action takes place in the deeper portions of the water column in deep holes, rocky dropoffs and around deeply submerged pilings. One prime example of a cold weather spot that can be reached on foot with a warm car nearby to duck into is the former Down Under Restaurant parking lot located under the TJ Shave bridge on the mainland side. This area features rocky banks, deep pilings that form a fender system for maritime passage under the high bridge, and the most narrow and deep section of the intercoastal waterway in this area. This section of the channel is also unique because a little south of it is where the water begins to flow in the opposite direction during the high and low tidal changes. The tide flows out and in toward the Nassau sound south of this point, and toward the St. Mary’s inlet north of it. Trout hold near the bottom of the channel around the natural and manmade structure feeding on shrimp and mullet that flow past in the swiftly moving current. This area is best fished during the high and low tide phases as the current slows enough for your bait to reach the deep strike zone.

Trout Rig

Trout Rig

Using fresh local shrimp, this bait is deadly when hooked in the top of the head, in front of a dark spot visible through their shell. This allows for a natural presentation by not impeding the natural flipping action of the shrimp. I like a #1 or #2 “Kahle” hook, a little larger than my usual Trout hook, but a better choice I believe as these Trout can be in the 5 to 10 lb. range and a larger hook is a must. Tie the hook to a 10 to 14 lb. leader about 15 inches long, then a small swivel with a bead above on the 20 lb. mainline, then add a barrel sinker of appropriate weight for the length of your balsa float.

Trout Rig

Trout Rig 2

A bead and small knot which can be slid up and down on the mainline determines how deep your sinker carries your bait. The deeper you fish, sometimes up to 20 ft., the more weight you will need and thus a longer float to carry the bait just off the bottom. I like the leader to be of lighter pound test so if you get hung up on something, and you will get hung up, only the leader should break and all you will need to replace is the hook instead of your entire rig. The beads I mentioned are to protect the balsa float from the sinker hitting it during hooksets, they also emit a clicking sound that is attractive to Seatrout. Be ready for action when your float disappears by keeping your line in order and your rod tip near the water for the quick hookset needed to catch bait stealing Trout.

Trout Rig

Trout Rig 3

Count on the most bites to occur when you are opening a cold beverage or making a sammich. An 8 ft. rod works well especially during windy weather because you can take up line quicker during a hookset. A large landing net is also important to keep your catch from escaping during the landing process. Many sad fishing stories are attributed to the one that got away at the last moment. Keep your live bait cool and airated in a livewell or in a floating bait bucket for best results and replace dead baits regularly with frisky ones.

If this rigging process sounds complicated I’ll happily show you during your winter fishing excursion aboard the CleanSweep charter boat. I’ll even bait your hook, remove the catch from your hook, as well as clean and pack fish for you. Call me for details about your trip and remember that fishing charters make the best Christmas and birthday presents.

Captain Jim Wormhoudt
CleanSweep Charters
(904) 753-0882

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Amelia Fall Trout Fishing is Smoking

How to Smoke Trout

How to Smoke Trout

Last weekend it wasn’t hard to tell that the usual autumn fishing fare of seatrout, flounder, redfish and drum were all in serious biting mode as boats were lined up around the mouth of Egan’s creek. Occasional shouts of joy rang out as keeper size fish were swung over the rail and either released or iced down.

Our crew fished early as the low tide crept in around dock pilings in the Little Piney Island area and we boated and released some thirty, 17 inch, Redfish using local live shrimp pinned to a 1/4 ounce jighead fished right on the bottom. The bite slowed as the 68 degree water rose above the earlier visible oyster beds so we pulled anchor and headed for Egan’s Creek where the seatrout and flounder were biting in great numbers as we floated live shrimp just over the bottom with eight inch balsa floats, and one ounce egg sinkers to take the bait into the strike zone.

Smoked Trout

Smoked Trout

We kept only five of the largest Trout as I wanted to smoke them for the holiday crowd at my house to snack on. The Trout were iced down in a slurry of salt water and ice which causes the blood in the fishes tissue to soak back up into the organs. This removes it from the edible portions thus enhancing the flavor of the meat by eliminating any fishy taste.

At the cleaning table the fish were sliced from the dorsal fin, down the spine to the belly but not all the way through and laid open flat. The entrails were then scraped away and the head removed then thoroughly rinsed.

Preparing the Fish

Preparing the Fish

I chose to spice them up with liberal amounts of garlic powder, pepper, Old Bay and hot sauce. Next I laid them in the smoker brushing melted butter across them to prevent drying. I smoked them for approximately two hours at roughly 225 degrees. When the meat turns opaque it can be eaten and different people like different degrees of smoke and doneness.

Many combinations of rub and marinade or sauce can be applied, I like to brush a little A-1 on for about a half hour of smoking to introduce a sweet flavor. True smoking takes much longer and produces a chewier, saltier and well preserved result. During the smoking process of utmost importance is a cold beverage and a fork to be wielded only by the chef to ensure quality control.
SpicesWhen the fish are judged done the meat can be scraped or picked from the skin and bones and eaten or smashed up in sour cream, cream cheese and minced onions for a marvelous fish dip.

Now is the time to go fishing for various inshore species and offshore we are at the peak of the grouper season. The action can be non-stop and good times are guaranteed. Call me for rigging tips, cooking tips, and most important for the fishing trip of a lifetime for you or and or a loved one for the Christmas season.

Captain Jim Wormhoudt
CleanSweep Charters
Over 30 years local experience
(904) 753-0882 or

Clean Sweep Fishing Charters

Clean Sweep Fishing Charters

For the Best North Florida Freshwater and Offshore Fishing!
Contact Captain Jim Wormhoudt at 904-753-0882 or

Now offering professional rod and reel repair!


Meet Jim Wormhoudt
Captain Jim Wormhoudt has been fishing the waters of Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach, Florida for over 30 years. His experience catching local Kingfish, Cobia, Grouper, Snapper, Shark, Drum and more makes him a legendary fishing authority in Northeast Florida.
Meet Captain Jim Wormhoudt
Grouper Big Kingfish

The Boat

Jim will take you fishing on his 24 foot Everglades. He is USCG Licensed and Insured. Visa and Mastercard are accepted and fishing charters make memorable gifts! Judie Mackie fishing

Freshwater Tidal Creek Fishing

Largemouth Bass – Trout – Redfish – Flouder – Tarpon

Girl with Bass Jetties, Backwater, Offshore – let Captain Jim Wormhoudt suggest the best options to go fishing in and around Amelia Island, anytime of the year!
Justin fishing in NE Florida Bill fishing with Jim Wormhoudt
Debbie goes fishing Brandon fishing aboard the Clean Sweep
Lawrence catching fish Jim catches the Daily Double

Fishing is easy when chartering with Captain Jim and he knows all the best fishing holes in the Amelia Island area. Northeast Florida provides a variety of fishing that lets you keep your line wet all year long.

All bait, tackle, ice and licenses are provided as well as fish cleaning services at the end of your day.

If you are looking for a fishing charter near Amelia Island, give Captain Jim Wormhoudt a call… he’ll “hook” you up aboard the Clean Sweep!

Captain Jim Wormhoudt
(904) 753-0882

Read Captain Jim’s Latest Fishing Tales

Cold Weather Trout Fishing on Amelia Island

Amelia Fall Trout Fishing is Smoking

Fall Fishing Action Aplenty

Redfish, Seatrout and Flounder, Oh My

Hot Shark Fishing Action near Amelia Island

Catching a Trophy of a Grey Grouper

Snapper Seabass Shark Shark Shark

Cobia Fishing Time

Great Grouper

Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish Arrive

How to Fish for Whiting

Bass Fishing on Lofton Creek

Black Drum Fishing

Back Yard Bass Fishing

We Did Not Go Fishing off Amelia Island

Sharks off Amelia Island

Fishing Rod Basics

Going Solo and Fishing Alone

Easily Overlooked Lofton Creek

Bottom Fishing the Deep Blue Sea

Fall Fishing Action Aplenty

Everglades Fishing Boat

Everglades Fishing Boat

Wednesday dawned with the first rain we have experienced in at least 30 days. Not comfortable fishing conditions as a rule, but the rain moved away and gave way to blustery Northeast winds and overcast conditions, a classic autumn Amelia Island fishing scenario.

A change in the weather often will create a feeding frenzy for fish and lots of action for anglers. Wednesday’s crew of four seafood restaurant owners arrived late, but the tide had been extremely high due to strong northeast winds pushing it in, so outgoing water was delayed several hours.

Targeting speckled seatrout, red bass and puppy drum we soaked live shrimp suspended beneath a popping cork and as the tide began to move out a submerged oyster bar adjacent to a grassy point produced several small Trout. As the tide approached the half way point in its outward flow we moved to a grassy shoreline with submerged oyster beds along it and a deteriorating dock with lots of old pilings. I hoped to catch redfish prowling the grassline for crustaceans, mullet etc… as they washed out of the grass with the outgoing tide. My crew was delighted as a steady barrage of strikes erupted from around the pilings and hidden oyster beds. Many redfish between 2 and 6 pounds were released as well as a five pound puppy drum. The light spinning gear spooled with 10 lb. test proved a challenge in negotiating fish from around the dock pilings. A 20 lb flourocarbon leader helped to keep the line from parting as fish run over sharp oysters and crusty dock pilings. We blazed through 100 local live shrimp in less than 3 hours and re-baited in a small creek by castnetting finger mullet and small live shrimp, both staples for a variety of fall inshore species.

Keep an eye on approaching autumn weather changes as cold and warm fronts approach our area as they can boost fishing prospects especially this time of year when inshore and backwater fishing is at its peak.

To get in on the action call me at 904-753-0882 and remember that fishing charters make for unforgettable holiday and birthday presents!

Captain Jim Wormhoudt
CleanSweep Charters
30 years local experience

Redfish, Seatrout and Flounder, Oh My

Granddads Lures

Granddad's Lures

Redfish, seatrout and flounder headline the action now and in the coming weeks as the mullet run continues and the water temperatures cool a little each day. Flyfisherman and lure fisherman moving stealthily through the marshes will catch many fish with topwater action providing spectacular strikes, but for the meat and potatoes, blue collar, put filets in the fryer types, live bait fished while anchored up at your favorite fishing hole is a fall tradition that is hard to beat. You can kick back with a cold beverage and even listen to the football game if you are fortunate to have a radio on your boat.

Flounder action is great right now during the lower tide phases around creek mouths and rocky shorelines with light tackle and a short leader, 6 to 10 inches tops, with a 1/8 to 1/4 ounce jig head or a 1/2 ounce barrel sinker above a small swivel, between leader and line. Leader material of 12 to 20 lb flourocarbon line remains invisible and helps avoid cutoffs on sharp oyster shells. Kahle hooks work well in the #1/0 to #2 size stuck through the lips of a mud minnow or small finger mullet, as well as live shrimp barbed through the tail. Work these baits slowly across the bottom like a bass fisherman works a plastic worm and wait for a slight jolt and watch as your line slowly peels off the reel, then set the hook. Many flounder are also caught with live shrimp and float rigs while trout fishing. Doormat flounder 5 to 10 lbs. are out there waiting for you to drift a bait over their strike zone. They are one of my favorite fish for catching and for tablefare and as an added incentive the state record summer flounder of 21 lbs. was caught right here in 1983 off the bridge at the south end of Amelia Island. More on fall Redfishing and Speckled Seatrout next week.

Go ahead and call me for tips on rigging and fishing techniques or learn firsthand on a fishing charter with me aboard the CleanSweep boat.

Captain Jim Wormhoudt
CleanSweep Charters
(904) 753-0882

Hot Shark Fishing Action near Amelia Island

Hot Shark Fishing Action near Amelia Island

Hot Shark Fishing Action near Amelia Island

Hot is the word! Hot water, hot air and some hot shark fishing is everywhere. Inshore, offshore and at the jetties, too, they may even be at the Atlantic Avenue Recreation Center’s pool.

The VHF radio was alive with enthusiastic captains bragging about their shark fishing success. Sharks were even eating my blue Crabs fished on the bottom for Redfish at the end of the south jetty rocks, as well as large mullet floated on the surface for Tarpon. Tarpon were rolling in my chum-slick, but unable to get to the Mullet ahead of the sharks! I say we have a shark tournament with the prizes being awarded for the most sharks brought in.

Last week we did eventually manage to find some small ledges offshore that produced no sharks and limited out on Seabass and Grouper. The Grouper were eating large Mullet pinned to a five ounce chartreuse Grouper Jig stuck in a rod holder so it would bounce up and down just over the bottom. We also had lots of fun on a stiff spinning outfit.

Things will probably stay about the same unless we start getting seabreezes again in the afternoon. Sometimes a small change in the weather or wind can shake things up. Redfish have been showing up in fair numbers at the jetties during the low incoming tide phase. Live finger mullet or live Pogies fished on the bottom are providing good action between shark bites.

Call me for a charter booking if your arms are strong enough to battle lots of sharks and some tasty local Grouper.

Captain Jim Wormhoudt
CleanSweep Charters
(904) 753-0882

If you have news or information about our community send it to us by clicking here.

Kingfish Tournament Benefits Florida’s First Coast

Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament

Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament

The AT&T Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament benefits the local community through Jacksonville Marine Charities.

Every year the AT&T Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament is held at Sisters Creek Park in July on the Intercoastal waterway. This two day tournament includes a junior angler competition, a food festival, vendor booths, live entertainment and so much more. Reported to be the largest kingfish tournament in the world, Jacksonville has been hosting this tournament since 1981.

Tournament week is July 19 to the 24, 2010 and up to 1,000 boats may participate. Headlining entertainment for Friday the 23rd is Southbound at 8:00 PM, and Mile Train is performing at 8:00 PM on Saturday, July 24th.

Jacksonville Marine Charities promotes marine conservation and uses the proceeds from this tournament to support marine science research, preservation and education. In the last 19 years this charity has donated over $650,000 to the First Coast Community.

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Jack Daniels Fishing Story

Jack Daniels Fishing Story

Jack Daniels Fishing Story

Author: Unknown

This is the best reason I have ever heard as to why you should always take Jack Daniels when you go fishing.

“I went fishing this morning but after a short time I ran out of worms. Then I saw a cottonmouth with a frog in his mouth. Frogs are good bass bait.

Knowing the snake couldn’t bite me with the frog in his mouth I grabbed him right behind the head, took the frog, and put it in my bait bucket.

Now the dilemma was how to release the snake without getting bit. So, I grabbed my bottle of Jack Daniels and poured a little whiskey in its mouth. His eyes rolled back, he went limp. I released him into the lake without incident and carried on fishing using the frog.

A little later, I felt a nudge on my foot. There was that same snake with two frogs in his mouth.

Life is good in the South!

Catching a Trophy of a Grey Grouper

Catching a Trophy of a Grey Grouper

Catching a Trophy of a Grey Grouper

Slick ocean waters and a rising sun resembling a red rubber ball greeted our fishing party as we rounded the corner of the St. Marys channel near Fort Clinch State Park. The water around us fortunately was teeming with hungry Bluefish gorging themselves with glass minnows and two throws of the cast net yielded enough small blues for a day of trolling offshore of Amelia Island.

We headed east to the FA barge area and trolled only two flat lines because the previous day I could barely keep a line in the water as Kingfish and Baracudas were competing for our trolled baits and there was little time to put out more lines. After several hours we had two King Mackerel and one small cuda in the box.

My charter guest being a Musky and Northern pike fisherman from Minnesota wanted to grill some Barracuda which I told him was as good as any fish in the sea. I don`t recommend that you eat Barracuda because there is a remote chance of catching “Ciguatara” disease but he said he would chance that. Islanders say that if you throw a piece of a Barracuda on an ant bed and the ants will eat it it is safe. Where is a good ant bed when you need one? Anyway the striking fish feeding frenzy ended in the FB area with a double header of large Bonito, one of which ended with a Cuda slashing a Bonito in half before our eyes boatside. All the strikes we had whether Kings or Cudas began with the fish rocketing skyward sometimes multiple times putting on quite a show for my guests.

Grey Grouper

Grey Grouper

Lastly I pinned a ten inch Bluefish to a chartreuse four ounce Grouper Jig on a light, but stiff spinning outfit and let it down over a small ledge we had trolled over several times. Bounce, bounce and wham! The rod doubled over as I passed it to one of my guests, the stiff jigging rod and braided line did its job and what seemed like eternity passed as he hoisted the heavy fish up through a pack of hungry Cudas who were apparently intimidated by our catch which finally floated on the surface unharmed. A 32 inch, 18 pound Grey Grouper! A trophy when caught within 12 miles of shore.

My new best friends were planning a fish fry and taking pictures of their catch at the dock as we parted ways with plans to fish again in the late fall when the Grouper action is at its peak in our Northeast Florida waters.

Captain jim Wormhoudt
CleanSweep Fishing Charters
(904) 753-0882

Florida Residents Shoreline License Repealed

Florida Residents Shoreline License Repealed

Florida Residents Shoreline License Repealed

The license for Florida residents to catch saltwater fish from shore or a structure affixed to shore cost $9 last year, but beginning July 1, it’s free. Other license and permit fees will increase on that date.

The Florida Legislature repealed the shoreline license fee during the past session. However, legislators retained the license requirement to prevent a more-costly federal registration fee from taking effect in Florida.

Resident anglers who order the shoreline license, or other licenses or permits, over the phone or Internet will still have to pay a processing fee to the vendor. The processing fee is $2.31 for Internet sales at or $3.33 for phone sales at 888-FISH FLORIDA (888-347-4356).

The Florida Legislature, during the 2009 session, increased permit fees effective July 1, 2010. The cost of a turkey permit will go up from $5 to $10 for Florida residents and from $100 to $125 for nonresidents. In addition, Florida waterfowl permits will increase from $3 to $5.

The cost of two saltwater fishing permits also will go up on July 1. The snook permit will increase from $2 to $10, and lobster permits will increase from $2 to $5.

Until July 1, however, sportsmen can still buy all of these permits at the current prices, and all permits are valid for one year from the specified start date.

There also is a new deer permit that will be required whenever hunting deer in Florida, beginning during the upcoming 2010-2011 hunting season. The permit will cost $5 and will not be available for purchase until July 1.

Those with a sportsman’s license, gold sportsman’s license, 64 or older sportsman’s license, military gold sportsman’s license, lifetime hunting license or lifetime sportsman’s license will not need to purchase the new deer permit because it has already been included in each of these licenses, even if they were purchased before July 1.

The deer permit, however, is not included with a hunting license, combination hunting/freshwater fishing license, combination hunting/freshwater/saltwater license or a five-year hunting license. Anyone hunting deer with any of those licenses must also buy the $5 deer permit to hunt deer legally.

All permits and related licenses are available for purchase online at, at county tax collectors’ offices, many retail outlets that sell fishing and hunting supplies, or by calling toll-free 888-HUNT-FLORIDA (486-8356).

There are some exemptions for license requirements. More information is available, Click Here.

Jacksonville Fishing Rodeo

Jacksonville Fishing Rodeo

Jacksonville Fishing Rodeo

The Gate Jacksonville Fishing rodeo kicks off July 1st thru 3rd!

Jacksonville, FL – “Finally we’ll have a true fishing rodeo on the east coast of the United States,” said Jack Holmes, Managing Partner of the Southern Kingfish Association and Promoter of the event. “This rodeo is patterned after the famous Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, the largest saltwater sportfishing tournament in the country.”

For a $40 fee, anglers can fish from 6AM on Friday morning, July 2nd, to their prescribed weigh-in times on Saturday, July 3rd at Metropolitan Park, downtown Jacksonville, Florida. There are no checkouts and check-ins, you simply must be back to Metropolitan Park by the prescribed times on Saturday. Lines in the water at 6AM on Friday morning. Weigh-in begins at the Park on Friday morning at 10AM and closes at 7PM. All specie categories can come to weigh-in by boat, car, or truck. Winners will be polygraphed on site. You can literally fish from 6AM on Friday till your prescribed weigh in time on Saturday.

Any angler who weighs a legal specie in the event will have a portion of their rodeo ticket placed in a drum for a drawing on Saturday night at 6PM for a 21′ Contender Boat, with a Yamaha outboard, and trailer. The winner will obviously be a very happy person! The winner does not have to be present to win. An attempt to contact the winner by phone will happen immediately after the winning ticket has been drawn if they are not present.

Each of the 16 species an angler can catch will have an award of $1,000 for the biggest of the specie, $500 for second, and $200 for third. As an added incentive, a $250 cash bonus will be paid for the biggest fish in each specie per day.

Species include: Freshwater–Largemouth Bass, Bream, Catfish, Inshore Saltwater–Flounder, Redfish, Sheepshead, Trout, Whiting, Offshore Saltwater–Barracuda, Grouper, Kingfish, Menhaden, Blackfin Tuna, Vermillion Snapper, and Wahoo.

For your $40 you can compete in any or all of the different categories.

Then there will be two Jackpot Divisions, one for Redfish and the other for King Mackerel. Jackpot tickets can be purchased for $400 for King Mackerel with an $80,000 overall payout based on just 200 boats, and for $350 you can enter the Redfish division with $35,000 up for grabs based on just 100 boats. The jackpots will pay one place for every 10 boats entered with 100% payback.

Top prize for the Kingfish Jackpot is $20,000 and $10,000 for Redfish.

The biggest two-fish stringer for the event will determine redfish winners by the boat team. The biggest king per boat will determine king mackerel.

It is recommended every angler interested in fishing the Rodeo go to or for all the information and rodeo rules.

Tickets will be available at all Jacksonville area Gate stores after June 15th. Tickets can also be purchased on Thursday July 1st at Metropolitan Park beginning at noon. The Captain’s meeting will be held at 7:30 PM at the Park also on the 1st.

So, come fish the Rodeo, you won’t regret it!

About The Southern Kingfish Association:
The Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) was founded in 1991 and has emerged as America’s premier saltwater tournament trail. The king mackerel is relatively easy to catch, especially in school size, while the larger kings require skill and patience. Equally beneficial is their abundance, due to sound fisheries management and strong conservation practices among our anglers. King mackerel migrate along the eastern seaboard from Virginia to Florida and throughout the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas. The SKA tournament trail follows this pattern.

2010 Kingfish Tournament [Video]

2010 Kingfish Tournament

2010 Kingfish Tournament

The 2010 kingfish tournament is over and there were just over 90 boats that participated in the two days of fishing to gain bragging rights and a boatload of prizes in the waters off of Northeast Florida!

The Nassau Sport Fishing Association sponsors this annual tournament that concludes with a fish fry on Amelia Island that is open to the public on Saturday afternoon.

In case you didn’t make it to downtown historic Fernandina Beach to see these king mackerel as they were brought ashore to be weighed in, here are the video highlights from this year’s Tournament of Champions, one of the stops for the Southern Kingfish Association saltwater fishing tour.


The Magic of Water Displacement Number 40

Spending a Day with WD-40

I have no idea if all the following claims are true, but since it’s Saturday, for many of us a day to take care of things around the house and the equipment, I decided to give you a heads up by publishing the apparent amazing virtues of WD-40. In addition WD-40 claim number 39 could be used as an illegal way to attract a winner Kingfish in the SKA Tournament of Champions today. So if you want to call your buddy on the water and fill him in on this one, he may bring back the winner. I don’t know. I’m just passing on information, not guarantees. The Tacoma Wheelmen’s Bicycle club once assembled a list of 1,997 “unofficial” uses for WD-40, but since unpublished the list.
The story as it was sent to me started out as follows:

I had a neighbor who bought a new pickup. I got up very early one  Sunday morning and saw that someone had spray painted red all around the  sides of this beige truck (for some unknown reason).  I went over,  woke him up, and told him the bad news. He was very upset and was  trying to figure out what to do…. probably nothing until Monday morning, since nothing was open. Another neighbor came out and told him to get his WD-40 and clean it off.
It removed the unwanted paint beautifully and did not harm his paint job that was on the truck. I was impressed! WD-40  who knew? ‘Water Displacement #40’.

The Origins of WD-40

The product originates from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. Its name comes from the project that was to find a ‘water displacement’ compound. They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40. The Convair Company bought it in bulk to protect their atlas missile parts. Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you. On a personal note: When you read the ‘shower door’ part, try it. It’s the first thing that has ever cleaned that spotty shower  door. If yours is plastic, it works just as well as on glass.
And when you’re done with that chore, try it on your stove top. It will be shinier than it’s ever been.

Here are some uses you may want to try out today:

1.  Protects silver from tarnishing.
2.  Removes road tar and grime from cars.
3.  Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
4.  Gives floors that ‘just-waxed’ sheen without making them slippery.
5.  Keeps flies off cows.
6.  Restores and cleans chalkboards.
7.  Removes lipstick stains.

WD-40 won't hurt the skin...they say

8.  Loosens stubborn zippers.
9.  Untangles jewelry chains.
10.   Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
11.   Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
12.   Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
13.   Removes tomato stains from clothing.
14.   Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
15.   Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
16.   Keeps scissors working smoothly.
17.   Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
18.   Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring. It doesn’t seem to harm the finish and you won’t have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off. Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks to clean.
19.   Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly! Use WD-40!
20.  Gives a children’s playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
21.   Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers.
22.   Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
23.   Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open..
24.   Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
25.   Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
26.   Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27.   Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28.   Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
29.   Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
30.   Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades and other tools.
31.   Removes splattered grease on stove.
32.   Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
33.   Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
34.   Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35.   Removes all traces of duct tape.
36.   Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.
37.   Florida’s favorite use is: ‘cleans and removes love bugs from grills and  bumpers.’
38.   The favorite use in the state of New York, it protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.

It's illegal in many States

39.   WD-40 attracts fish.  Spray a little on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time.  Also, it’s a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants  that are made for just that purpose.  Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.
40.   Use it for fire ant bites.It takes the sting away immediately and  stops the itch.
41.   WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls.  Spray on the mark and  wipe with a clean rag.
42.   Also, if you’ve discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried  a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick  spots with WD-40 and rewash.  Presto!  The lipstick is gone!
43.   If you spray WD-40 on the distributor cap, it displaces the moisture and allows the engine to start

And what is the main ingredient in WD-40 ? FISH  OIL.

Southern Kingfish Association

Southern Kingfish Association

Southern Kingfish Association

You may have noticed the excitement this weekend surrounding the Nassau Sportfishing Association’s Tournament of Champions Kingfish Tournament. This event is sanctioned by the Southern Kingfish Association, but what is the SKA?

The Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) was founded in 1991 and has emerged as America’s largest offshore saltwater tournament trail. From 11 tournaments in 1991, today the trail has over 50 events from the Gulf Coast of Texas, along the Gulf States, around the peninsula of Florida and up to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The SKA also hosts an additional five events each season known as the Yamaha Professional Kingfish Tour. These highly skilled fishing teams compete for over $600,000 in prize money.

SKA Headquarters

SKA Headquarters

Headquarted in St. Augustine, Florida, the SKA partners with some pretty big names in fishing such as Mercury, Garmin, West Marine and Contender to put on these great events.

Lasy year the cost of fuel and the questionable economy effected the number of fishing teams that enter these tournaments, as does the number of tournaments in a particular area. As more tournaments are added, people have to weigh a number of factors when they choose which tournament to enter and the prize money is based on the number of entries. Too many tournaments dilute the prize money. With the oil spill in the gulf and more and more areas being closed to fishing, it will be interesting to see how fishing tournaments fare during this crisis. While glancing around the SKA website’s schedule, we did find two tournaments have been cancelled in Division Seven, the Northern Gulf.

Just this week, the Mobile Jaycees cancelled the 2010 53rd Roy Martin Young Anglers Tournament and Dauphin Island’s 78th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo in the following press release:

Mobile, AL (June 14, 2010) – Due to the increasing closures of federal and state waters and the uncertainty surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo Board of Directors & Executive Committee has come to the difficult decision to cancel the 2010 53rd Roy Martin Young Anglers Tournament and the 2010 78th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo. While we appreciate the support of our anglers, sponsors, and the general public, we are saddened that we will be unable to host your community fishing tournament.

While this decision was difficult, the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo Board of Directors and Executive Committee wish to give its support to those dramatically impacted by this accident; families that have lost loved ones, and those whose livelihood depends on our Gulf’s natural resources.

We look forward to continuing our tournaments in 2011.

Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo Impact on the Community

1. Annually funds the Mobile Jaycees Children’s Christmas Shopping Tour.
2. Plans monthly donations to several non-profit organizations in the community.
3. Donates to the University Of South Alabama Department Of Marine Science. Each year, there is a large donation to the department and as well as the funding of multiple scholarships. Over recent years, we’ve donated well in excess of $100,000.
4. Deployment of artificial reefs in the public fishing zone of Alabama
5. Contributes to the economy of the Town of Dauphin Island and the City of Mobile through the participation of over 3000 anglers and 75,000 spectators during the July tournaments
6. Research is conducted on site every year by the University of South Alabama and other institutions.

There are over 600 fish otoliths being studied throughout the country as a result of our tournaments. This research helps scientists to better understand our Gulf fisheries. The collection of hundreds of specimens each year during the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo saves both time and finances compared to traditional collection methods. Last year, research was conducted on the Redfish, Red Snapper, multiple shark species, and the King Mackerel.”

While the SKA shows the Miller Lite Mack Attack, previously schedule to take place in Pensacola, Florida in August, has also been cancelled, their website gives no indication of a cancellation and the tournament director, Brad Sauers had not yet returned my phone call requesting clarification at the time of this article’s publication, but I will update the article when I hear from him.

People love to fish and these local fishing tournaments, including those of the Southern Kingfish Association, provide a multitude of benefits to organizations throughout their community. Our local Nassau Sport Fishing Association is proud to be members of the Business Partners in Education, which contributes money to the Fernandina Beach High School through grants and scholarships. Various other charities benefit from the annual SKA Kingfish Tournament. The NSFA also hosts an annual Youth Tournament where every kid takes home a rod & reel. The slogan for this tournament is “Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs”.

I cannot imagine a coastal community without these fishing organizations whose good works are often overlooked!

Membership in the SKA provides 11 issues of their Angler magazine, decals, an embroidered patch, free classified ads and other little perks for $70.00 per year; a family fishing membership is only $90.00. More membership details, angler rules and their code of conduct can be found at the bottom of their membership page.

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Kingfish is not very Romantic

The Annual King Fish Tournament of Champions is upon us

I come from a family of fishing fanatics, at least on my mom’s side. My grandfather, Edouard, was the one who took his grandsons early on to ponds, lakes and rivers in our native area and taught us about rods and reels, fishing hooks and lines, bait and weather and so much more. I could have learned a lot, but fishing never caught my passion. Contrary to my oldest brother who in his sixties still travels around the world several times a year with groups of friends and clients, flyfishing the rivers and lakes of Siberia, Chile and Alaska. Fishing never got under my skin even though I prefer a good piece of tuna and salmon over any meat.

Down in the islands of the Caribbean I went on deepsea fishing boats with guys whose lives rallied around Blue Marlin and Swordfish fishing and here on Amelia Island I can’t get away from a boatload of friends who fish for anything that the waters around us have to offer. And apparently that is a lot.

Annual Kingfish Tournament of Champions

Well this weekend we are looking at the Annual Kingfish Tournament here on Amelia Island and the town is abuzz with the event.
So, after 4 years of wondering I had to satisfy my own curious nature this time around and find out what exactly a Kingfish is, as Kingfish is a name used for many species of fish around the world. So if you thought I would come out of that confusion with unbiased clarification, than I need to disappoint you.

My first stop on the Internet when I need to look something up is always Wikipedia. I donate annually to keep them in business as they guide me through online life and I visit their wisdom often.
But knowing that the Nassau Sportfishing Association is the organizer of the event, I first went to their website to find out more about what exactly a Kingfish is and get a better understanding of the rules and regulations of the tournament. Well after reading the entire page on the tournament several times I am deeply impressed by the severity of penalties if rules and regulations are not strictly adhered to, but only in the paragraph about Weigh Inn is the species described as Kingfish twice, without any further elaboration. Apparently everyone knows exactly what a Kingfish is supposed to be. And if not, they may have to pass the Polygraph test to prove that. Yes the polygraph is actually mentioned on this page!

Time to get a better idea about the fish

King Mackerel has many distant cousins

Armed with this knowledge I now go to Wikipedia and learn that the term KINGFISH may refer to a lot of different fish species around the world, which prompted my search for answers in the first place. Here is a short list of fish species called Kingfish in other countries:

King mackerel (Southeast USA)
• Kingcroaker. This species is divided in Southern Kingfish, Gulf Kingfish and Northern Kingfish, but there is also a California Corbina. In North Carolina the fish is often referred to as Sea Mullet and in Florida is called a Whiting; no don’t get confused on me yet. I’m just starting.
• Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel (Australia)
A quick look at this one tells me it’s not the one they catch here. This baby is on average almost 7ft long and weighs 150 pounds, about 3 times the size of our Kingfish here.
• White croaker (United Kingdom) Doesn’t look like it.
• Cobia (Papua New Guinea) A little more research reveals that this one is also 7ft and on average 150 lbs while called also known as black kingfish, black salmon, ling, lemonfish, crabeaters, aruan tasek, etc
• Wahoo (Barbados). This fish resembles the King Mackerel a lot. The wahoo may be distinguished from the related Atlantic king mackerel and from the Indo-Pacific Narrow-barred Spanish mackerel by a fold of skin which covers the mandible when its mouth is closed. In contrast, the mandible of the king mackerel is always visible as is also the case for the smaller Spanish mackerel and Cero mackerel. The teeth of the wahoo are similar to those of king mackerel, but shorter and more closely set together.
The great barracuda is sometimes confused with mackerel and wahoo, but is easy to distinguish from the latter two species. Barracuda have prominent scales, larger, dagger-like teeth, and lack the characteristic blade-like tail characteristic of the mackerel/tuna family of fish.
• Crevalle jack (Mauritania) Nope
• Japanese Meagre (Australia) Nah
• Yellowtail amberjack (Australia, New Zealand) Too scrawny.
• Opah Lampris guttatus (United Kingdom) Say what?
• Silver gemfish (Australia) Cute.
• Giant trevally (South Africa) is also known as the Giant Kingfish, but a quick look establishes that this 200 pound giant is a product of tropical marine environments.

More searching on the keyword “King Fish” reveals that Huey Long, the populist governor and senator of Louisiana fame in the early 1930s was nicknamed The Kingfish. There was also a semi popular San Francisco band that shadowed the Grateful Dead in the mid 1970s called Kingfish and a Nightclub in LA and a minor league baseball team in Baton Rouge used the name.

But I’m digressing.

And so my search continues and I land on the history page of the Southern Kingfish Association and a light goes on, actually on this page I get a complete understanding of the sports of hooking and reeling the King Mackerel.  A King Fish is a King Mackerel and with long delayed pride I remember that I actually hooked a 57 pounder off the St.Thomas USVI drop of many years ago! 1987 to be precise. They called it a Mackerel or Silver Lady.

The Fernandina Beach Tournament is one of more than 50 tournaments stretching from the Carolina Outer Banks all the way down to Key West and up the Gulf all the way into Texas. The total prize money for what is sarcastically called the Mercury Trail (since King Mackerel is known to carry quite an amount of that poison, as do Swordfish and Shark) exceeds $3 million these days. In addition there is the 5 tournament Yamaha Professional Kingfish Tournament with about $600,000 in prize monies. Not too shabby.

I also learn that the Kingfish Tournament has evolved from the fact that King Mackerel stocks are in very good shape and therefore can support an annual fishing tournament circuit and unite fishermen from all over the eastern and southern seaboard in friendly competition but on a scale much larger than just locally. The King Mackerel is a species that is not endangered nor carries ecological baggage and loves water temperatures between 68 and 85°F. The fish seems natural for here. At 68° I stay away from the water, but at 80 I’m getting comfortable.

Three Migration Routes

Another interesting fact is that schooling King Mackerel have been found to have three distinct migration routes. From the mouth of the Mississippi river west through Texas waters, down into Mexico is one pattern. Second is the school that ranges from south of the Dry Tortugas up the Florida west coast and west to the Mississippi river.  In normal times without huge oil spills, the Mississippi delta in the summer months hosts the best King Mackerel fishing in the world.
The eastern stock travels from the Florida Keys up into Virginia waters and back each year. When the two schools meet in January and February in the Keys, fishing is superb. Some of the largest Kings can also be found in late October when they’re off North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Schooling Kings are easy to catch and on light tackle offer some very interesting challenges.

In spite of their large numbers King Mackerel are not very romantic, as they do not require physical mating procedures, probably because the females outweigh the males up to 6 times. Anything caught over 15 pounds is almost certainly a female and female records are in the vicinity of 90 pounds.
So how come that there are so many King Mackerel that 50 tournaments a year don’t do anything to decrease their population?
Well, eggs and sperm are shed into the sea and their union is by chance. Depending on size, a female conveniently may shed from 50,000 to several million eggs over the spawning season. What the fun for the male is in this scenario beats me.

A familiar sight in the next couple of days

How to catch a King Mackerel

King mackerel are voracious, opportunistic carnivores. Their prey depends on their size. Depending on area and season, they favor menhaden (pogie)  and other sardine-like fish, jacks, cutlassfish, weakfish, grunts, striped anchovies, Cigar minnows, threadfin, northern mackerel and blue runners. So that’s a list of  your bait in order of preference.

And what about gear? Typically when using live bait, two hooks are tied to a strong metal leader. The first may be a treble or single and is hooked through the live bait’s nose and/or mouth. The second hook (treble hook) is placed through the top of the fish’s back or allowed to swing free. This must be done because king mackerel commonly bite the tail section of a bait fish. When trolling for Kings using this method, it is important to make sure the baitfish are swimming properly. Typical tackle includes a conventional or spinning reel capable of holding 400 yards (370 m) of 20 lb (9 kg) test monofilament and a 7 foot (2.1 m), 20 pound (9 kg) class rod.

This afternoon I have learned more about Kingfish than I ever thought I would. Maybe I should find myself a boat in the tournament and continue my education.

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