Fish N Fest Fernandina 2013
Dates: June 6 – 9, 2013. Plan to arrive the afternoon of Thursday, June 6th in order to attend the Captain’s Meeting that evening. Fishing is on Friday June 7th and Saturday June 8th. And of course there’s an optional on-your-own fishing day on Sunday June 9th. Or come early and make a summer vacation for the family out of it.
Location: Fernandina Beach, FL. This historic fishing village offers something for everyone in the family. A quaint downtown district with plenty of unique shops and dining experiences at several bars and restaurants. A close-by marina with transient slip space and load/launch ramp. And it’s just a few miles off the interstate, so whether you’re coming from the north, south or the west, it’s an easy drive to get there.
Background: The Fish ‘N Fest was conceived as a way for anglers who have come to know one another through the Nuts & Bolts Forum and e-newsletters to meet and share a fun fishing adventure together. This event is very informal, it is not a tournament, or organized water-based event; it is simply an opportunity for folks to discover a new destination, spend some time on the water, enjoy great food, and make new friends. There are no entry fees, or other associated costs, except for your accommodations, meals, or charter guide fees (if you are not bringing your own boat). We have made arrangements with a local, convenient hotel to offer our group discounted rates. We have also made connections with local charter captains if you prefer not to bring your own boat.
We will be filming another Nuts & Bolts of Fishing TV episode (maybe two) from this event, with two camera crews on the water each day. And we’ll be filming the closing segments at the Celebration Banquet on Saturday night.
Accommodations: The official Fish N Fest headquarters is the Hampton Inn and Suites, Amelia Island – Historic Harbor Front, located at 19 South 2nd Street, directly across the street from the Fernandina Harbor Marina.
Now, there are actually two Hampton Inn’s on the island…this one, and one on Sadler Road. The Sadler Road location is several miles from the heart of the city and the marina. So if you are checking out the hotel on the web, make sure of the address/location. Click this link to visit the Hampton Harbor Front website
The Hampton Inn & Suites Amelia Island – Historic Harbor Front hotel offers free breakfast each morning, and has a pool on the second floor with a wonderful view of the river and marina. It’s right off the main city district, less than a block to all the shopping and dining. We will be at the beginning of the peak season for room rates, and they have given us great rates. But the cut-off date for these rates is May 1, 2013. And they are holding a limited number of rooms for us. SO BOOK YOUR ROOMS NOW! Or you’ll wind up paying a premium, or staying on the other end of the island.
Room Rates: rates are per night
Single/Double room (2 queen beds or 1 king bed) = $129.00 per night + taxes
Suites (2 queen beds + sleeper sofa) = $149.00 per night + taxes
To book your room at The Hampton Historic Harbor Front hotel, call the hotel directly at 904-491-4911and tell them you want the Nuts & Bolts Fish N Fest group rate.
There are other hotels on the island, including the Hampton on Sadler Road, Day’s Inn on Sadler Road, a Marriott Residence Inn, and others…however, most of these are some distance from the marina and downtown.
For anyone who wants to experience some of the true old world charm of the historic district, there are several bed and breakfasts very close by. Here’s a link to check out the Fernandina Beach B&B’s.
Finally, if you’re bringing the family or have a larger group of anglers, you might consider renting a house on the island for the weekend. With a large group, the cost per night, per person can be very reasonable, and you can have a house on the beach. There are several rental agencies on the island.
Captain’s Meeting will be Thursday night, June 6th, at 7:30pm at the Crab Trap on 2nd Street, about a block from the marina and Hampton. We will meet upstairs and enjoy a fabulous dinner, served family style; and they will have a bar set up for us as well. The Captain’s Meeting is an opportunity to reacquaint yourself with friends you made at the last Fish N Fest, meet the local charter captains and get their advice on fishing tactics and where the fish are, and get your goodie bag, courtesy of Whoop Ass Tackle Co. The 7:30pm time was chosen to allow people time to travel, launch their boats and get settled into their rooms. We will also discuss on-the-water safety, communications, and other details you will want to know. It is very important to attend this meeting whether you have your own boat, or are fishing with a guide or buddy.
Marina and Boat Ramp: Fernandina Harbor Marina, www.fhmarina.com/ has been selected as the official marina of the 2013 Nuts & Bolts Fish N Fest. Fernandina Harbor has a wide, newly renovated ramp, and there’s no fee to use the ramp. They also have transient slips available in their boat basin at very reasonable rates. There’s power to charge your batteries and water to wash off the salt and fish goo. The marina management has also offered us boneyard space to park boat trailers for the weekend as well. Great folks!
Right next to the ramp is the bait shop which should have fresh, live bait shrimp…and plenty of locally caught seafood as well.
Joe Springer, the marina manager; and Kevin Little, dock master are both great guys and are there to help everyone have a great experience.
Saturday June 6th is also National Marina Day, and the marina folks are having special events on the property all day long, including some pretty impressive US Coast Guard boats available to tour. So this will be a great weekend for us to be there.
To book slip space for your boat, call the Fernandina Harbor Marina offices at 904-491-2090 and ask for the dock master. Tell them you’re with the Nuts & Bolts Fish N Fest.
SPECIAL NOTE: Many of us like to enjoy a cool adult beverage after a long day on the water. Fernandina Beach has an open container law…NO alcoholic beverages open on public properties. This means you can’t walk down the sidewalk with open alcoholic beverages. Fernandina Harbor Marina is owned by the city, so that law extends to the marina and docks as well. Consuming alcohol on your boat (provided it’s safely tied up to the docks) is NOT considered city property. One suggestion…bring a supply of Red Solo Cups. Our group has always maintained the highest degree of decorum and public sobriety. If you draw attention to yourself as a result of imbibing, you may get a visit from the local authorities, and at that point, you’re on your own. I’m just saying.
Fish ‘N Fest Days: Friday June 7, Saturday June 8. This not an official tournament. So you can fish when you want, where you want, and for however long you want. Obviously you’ll need to abide by state and federal fishing regulations.
Because Amelia Island is right on the Georgia/Florida state line, you will have to possess BOTH a current Florida saltwater fishing license AND a current Georgia saltwater fishing license, unless you are with a charter captain who holds licenses for his charter passengers. The Amelia River inlet is Georgia on one side, and Florida on the other. Come out of the inlet an go north, and you’re in Georgia. Go south and you’re in Florida. Many of us will actually be fishing at the jetties, and the center of the channel is the dividing line. Get both licenses if you are not fishing with a charter guide…better safe than sorry.
There are no entry fees to participate, and the only costs for fishing will be the costs associated with a charter service, should you choose that option, or with the reasonable expectation to share in the costs of fuel, ice and bait if you are sharing a ride with a Weekend Warrior buddy. There’s no weigh-in ceremony or huge purse prizes, but we will have braggin’ rights prizes, and some ‘other’ awards, as we have done in the past.
GROUP MEALS: There will be a charge for catered dinner Thursday and Saturday nights. You must pay for your dinner tickets in advance (when you register for the Fish N Fest)…either by Clicking on this Link to the Nuts & Bolts Meal Ticket Purchase, or you can call to order and pay with a credit card over the phone at 404 402 8329. Friday night, you’re on your own, and there are lots of great restaurants to choose from…all within a short walk from the hotel and marina.
Thursday Night's Captain’s Meeting meal is at The Crab Trap on 2nd St. The cost is $30 per adult and $15 for children under 16. Dinner will be served family style featuring local seafood favorites and all the trimmings. The Crab Trap will be setting up a cash bar for us upstairs so you don’t have to walk up and down the steps to get a beverage. Social hour at 7:00pm and dinner will be served around 7:30pm with the meeting following immediately. This is where you’ll also receive your goodie bags, purchase raffle tickets for Saturday night’s dinner, and meet your charter captain for Friday and Saturday fishing.
Saturday Night Celebration Banquet will be at Café Karibo on 3rd St. The cost is $35 per adult and $15 for children under 16. Dinner will be upstairs, and the Karibo folks will be creating a memorable dinner for our group. They will also set up a cash bar upstairs. There will be raffles for Two Coach's Custom Rods, Awards Presentation and Lots of Prizes.
Social hour starts at 7:00pm and Dinner will be at 8:00pm.
Available Boat Options for those who elect not to pull their own boat:
We have enlisted the support and participation of several boat captains in the Fernandina Beach area to help us accommodate people who don’t have a boat, or prefer not to drag their own boat.
The rate for an inshore trip is $600 per day with up to 4 people per boat. If you prefer to fish as a 2 person charter, the rate is the same. This rate does not include tips.
The rate for an offshore trip is $1,200.00 per day with up to 6 people per boat. This rate does not include tips.
The rates listed are for full day charters, most captains will offer a 4 hour or a 6 hour trip too, but the full day gives you the most fishing ‘bang for your buck’.
This year, we also have a larger boat that can accommodate up to 12 people fishing. The base rate is $1,200.00 for 6 people and then $100 for each additional person, up to 12 people total. So do the math and that comes out to $150 per person. Slots on this boat is on a first-come, first-served basis.
We can arrange to get you on a boat, but we need to know ASAP before everyone gets booked up. This is their ‘on-season’, and the charter boats will get booked up for this weekend in a hurry. If you wait too long, there may not be any charter boats available.
We will book the charter boats and you can pay for your fishing charges when you arrive at the Capt’s Meeting on Thursday night. We accept cash, checks, Visa/MC & Amex.
If you are not fishing with a licensed charter captain who has permits for these waters, then all anglers on the boat must have both a Georgia and a Florida saltwater fishing license because you will be potentially fishing in both state’s waters. You do not need a license if you are fishing from a locally operated, licensed charter boat.
If you are coming without a boat, we also have Weekend Warrior participants who have already acknowledged they have room on their own boat for an extra angler or two.
If you plan to bring a boat and have room to take another angler or two along, then let us know ASAP. Similarly, if you need a ride, let us know that…and your preference of boat, if you have one.
What to Bring:
Obviously, you’ll need the required safety gear, sunscreen, plenty of water, and a cooler to keep your catch. And whatever you’d like to eat during the day. We are strong advocates for catch and release, but keeping some for the table is perfectly OK. The charter boats all have tackle on board. If you’re bringing your own gear, then for offshore, 30 lb class outfits with heavy leader (60 to 80 lb fluorocarbon) and heavy weights – suggest an assortment of 4 to 10 oz egg sinkers. It’s possible you may hook up with an amberjack, big sharks, barracuda, goliath grouper, kingfish or even a cobia, so strong tackle with smooth drags will be key. The main targets will be whatever our benevolent government officials decide what’s in season at the time.
Inshore tackle is pretty simple. If you have bass fishing gear, then you’re basically ready for inshore fishing. Light to medium action rod/reel combo’s spooled with 8 to 15 lb mono or equivalent braid. Lure selection is pretty simple too. A few gold or silver spoons in the ¼ to ½ oz class. Some jigs in the ¼ to 3/8 oz class. Some trailers for your jigs. And perhaps a popping cork rig with either a live shrimp or pinfish or jig suspended underneath.
Who is Invited:
This event is open to everyone… whether you live in Fernandina Beach or Flagstaff, Arizona. Through the Fish ‘N Fest, we hope to promote conservation and responsible management of our natural resources. We also believe in practicing safe boating, observing the Rules of the Road, and boater etiquette on the water.
At Nuts & Bolts, our goal is to provide practical, real-world information boaters and anglers can use the next time they’re on the water. With the Spring Fish ‘N Fest, we hope to bring more people into the wonderful world of sport fishing.
Hope to see you there.
For more information contact:
Capt. Cefus McRae
404 402 8329
SPRING 2013 FERNANDINA FISH N FEST REGISTRATION FORM
City:__________________ State: __________ Zip Code: _______________
Daytime Phone # _________________ Cell Phone # ___________________
Emergency Contact Info:
Name: ______________________________ Phone # ________________
Where will you be staying in Fernandina Beach?
Hampton Inn Harbor Front___
Day’s Inn on Sadler Road ___
Hampton Inn on Sadler Road ___
Bed & Breakfast : Which one? __________________________
Condo or Beach House__________________
Have you made reservations? Yes____ No____
When will you be arriving? ________ How many nights? _____
How many in your party? ____
Will you be attending the Captain’s Meeting Thurs June 6 at The Crab Trap? Yes___ No ___ Cost is $30 per person for adults, $15 for children under 16.
Will you attend the Celebration Banquet Saturday night at Café Karibo?
Yes__ No___ Cost is $35 per person for adults, $15 for children under 16.
*** You must pay for your meals in advance. Visit www.NutsAndBoltsFishing.com and click on NUTS & BOLTS STORE TAB, then Fish N Fest Fernandina Meals or
Click On This Link to select and pay for your meals.
How many days do you plan to fish? Friday __ Saturday __ Sunday ___
Do you need help with arranging a boat to fish on? Yes ___ No___
For Both Days ___ Just Friday____ Just Saturday ____
If you are not fishing from your own boat, do you prefer to fish with a licensed charter guide_____ Or with a recreational angler_____
****Note: If you are NOT fishing with a licensed charter guide, you will need BOTH a valid Georgia Saltwater Fishing License AND a valid Florida Saltwater Fishing License, since the waters in this area border both states.
If you would like us to book you with a charter captain, do you want to…
Fish Inshore on Friday Yes___ Fish Offshore on Friday Yes____
Fish Inshore on Saturday Yes___ Fish Offshore on Saturday Yes____
Names of People that are in your group who plan to fish from the same charter boat
__________________ ____________________ ____________________
__________________ ____________________ ____________________
***NOTE Inshore boats can hold up to 4 people. Offshore boats can hold up to 6.
If your group does not ‘fill up’ a boat, do you want us to find additional people for the other slots if possible? Yes___ No___, put only us on the same boat if you can.
Nuts & Bolts will book the charters and you can pay when you arrive at the Capt’s Mtg.
We accept cash, checks, Visa/MC & Amex cards.
Will you be bringing a boat? ____________ What length?________
Would you be willing to take additional people fishing on your boat? They will share costs for fuel, ice, bait. Yes___ No ___
How many could you take? ______
Will you need a boat slip/overnight docking? Yes___ No ____
Call Fernandina Harbor Marina to book your slip at 904-491-2090 now.
Have you ever taken a Safe Boating Course? Yes ___ No ___
I understand fishing and boating have inherent risks involved, and understand that I will participate in the Nuts & Bolts Fish ‘N Fest at my own risk.
I understand the Nuts & Bolts of Fishing, Captain Cefus McRae and Omega Media Group are providing coordination services for this event only, and are not liable for any expenses that I might incur, nor are they responsible for travel, lodging, meals or incidentals on my behalf that may be connected with this event.
I hereby affirm I will hold Nuts & Bolts of Fishing, Captain Cefus McRae and Omega Media Group, and their affiliates and/or assignees, harmless from any and all damages, including but not limited to, injuries, bodily harm, property damage, expenses, or related liabilities that might arise in connection with the Nuts & Bolts Fish ‘N Fest.
I will conduct myself in a courteous and responsible manner, observing the laws of the States of Georgia & Florida, and practice safe boating and fishing while participating in this event.
I understand the intent, and agree to the terms, of this Liability Waiver.
Print Name ______________________________ Date:______________________
If under 18 years of age, name of parent or guardian:
Print Name:_____________________________ Date:______________