Cast a Line with Omni Amelia Island Plantation's Favorite Fisherman
Updated: Mar 13
Life on Amelia Island gives our residents and visitors a world of fun water based activities. Whether on the Atlantic Ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway, you can blissfully power boat, paddle, swim or boogie board your day away. One of our favorite ways to see the island is by casting our line and reeling in some fish with our resident Florida Master Naturalist and Asst. Director of Recreation, Levi Welling.
Where’s your favorite spot for fishing on the Island?
"My favorite locations to fish on Amelia Island outside of the Plantation are near the north and south ends of the island. The tidal salt marsh has a very diverse and healthy population of fish, where I target the creeks and oyster bed areas. My favorite off island fishing locations include: The Timucuan Ecological preserve near Jacksonville and the Rodman Reservoir in Palatka."
What’s your favorite fish to catch?
"Redfish is my favorite type of fish to catch, although any fish that bites works for me. Redfish are smart, elusive and put up a good fight. The flood tides in northeast Florida have really peaked my interest and have become my favorite type of fishing for redfish. This type of fishing lets you see the fish before you cast which makes it much more exhilarating."
For someone who’s a novice fishermen, what are some best practices to follow?
"I always encourage new fisherman to seek out other anglers when getting started. Locals can offer support and a current fishing report. High dollar gear is not necessary when starting out, just getting out and spending time on the water leads to the best results."
Who got you into fishing?
"My father got me into fishing. We used to do a lot of freshwater fishing at a lake across from my parents’ house. Some of my best memories are shared with my family fishing and it is from this foundation that my passion for this sport flourished."
What makes you a good fisherman?
"Patience, dedication and passion for the outdoors seem to help! I think after fishing for some years, the enjoyment of the catch is the best. I like to share my knowledge of what works for me with other fisherman and equally enjoy seeing other fisherman on the waters reeling in a big catch. I'm also very lucky that my wife likes to spend as much time on the water as I do!"
What was the first fish you caught?
"The first fish caught was a bluegill. This is a very common fish for first time anglers. I wouldn’t say they are easy to catch, but plentiful in most freshwater ponds and lakes. Our Fishing 101 course offers a great introduction to fishing which is exactly how I learned to fish."
If you could share one piece of advice to people sharing the water, what would it be?
"Be respectful. Respect other people on the water, treat the environment with respect and most of all treat each fish caught with respect."
Omni Amelia Island Plantation's Red Maple Lake and Aury Island contain a variety of brim, bass and catfish. We invite you to join us for one of our many fishing experiences on property including Fishing 101, Fishing 201, Bass Fishing and Kayak Bass Fishing available through the Nature Center. To book online visit here or call the Nature Center at (904) 321-5082.