Perdido Key to Cape San Blas
Includes Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Panama City and Port St. Joe
The weather forecast looks great this weekend. Lows in the mid 70′s and highs in the mid 80′s. Anglers will have the best chance chasing trout in the am the switching to red-fish and flounder mid/late morning. Light winds will give everyone a shot a bringing home fresh dinner and those paddle fishing will have a hard choice to make…inshore on the flats and around the docks or off the beaches for kings and Spanish.
The best trout bite has been coming early to mid morning or at night around docks with lights. A live shrimp simply free-lined or under popping cork is always a good option. Artificial fishermen will want to have a couple of lures tied and ready to go. First, topwater lures, preferably one that can “walk the dog.” Second, suspending baits from Mirrolure. Third, a jig/Gulp! bait with 2-to 3-feet of 15-pound fluorocarbon leader tied to a popping cork. Look for the best bites to come from the flats and docks in water 6-to 12-feet. While most of the trout will be caught around the perimeter, these same docks will often hold redfish and flounder on the bottom.
The best redfish bites have been coming from along the inter-coastal around Navarre, Ft. Walton, and near the Southern edge of the Bays in Panama City. A live shrimp on a light jig head pitched under a dock will quickly tell anglers if the fish are there. Stout rods and braided line will definitely increase the anglers of odds of getting the fish out from under the barnacle-ridden docks. Anglers may find a few flounder in the same areas with the best chances catching flounder using live bull minnows. Those that really want to focus in on the flat fish will want to go gigging. Gigging involves using lights and a pole with sharp barbs and looking for fish at night in the shallows.
Offshore fishing has been tough for some and good for others. Angler will have the best chances fishing for vermillion snapper, black snapper, white snapper, scamp and gag groupers, and king mackerel. Look for the best bites to come from the edge. Be sure to spend time catching live baits and have a variety of cut baits.
Those bottom fishing will want to have both squid and Boston mackerel as cut bait for vermillion snapper, mangrove snapper, and white snapper. Scamp grouper fishermen will want to have small to medium sized live baits. While gag grouper fishermen will want larger live baits. Those bottom fishing will also want to keep a flat line out for king mackerel. Some areas have been better then others, yet everyone is reporting the best bites on live cigar minnows.
Blue water anglers will want to head 80-plus-miles out. Looks like the best water is southwest, yet a few have reported a decent color change due south. Reports have the good water moving up 15 miles a day. Having a membership to Hiltons or Roffs or both can be well worth it this time of year. Tight lines and good luck!