Port St. Joe to Keaton Beach
Includes Apalachicola, St. George Island, Carabelle, St. Marks and Keaton Beach
Federal Red Snapper season opened with a bang this week and we look forward to more of the same for the recreational opener on June 11th. Most structure in 70 feet of water seems to be holding these great fish. Most of all, even though the turmoil that Hurricane Michael put us through over the last eight months, fishing seems to be the best many have seen in years.
Livebait has been the key to catch the really big snapper, but frozen mackerel and cigar minnows are a good replacement. I run my live baits on a traditional Carolina style rig, where the egg sinker is above your swivel on the main line, and the hook is attached to a four to six-foot leader of at least 40-pound test. I use Ande pink line because it holds up great. As many seasoned anglers know, your larger red snapper at not always on the bottom but can be caught in the middle of the water column. This technique requires some patience, but in the end, will pay off greatly. I start out letting my line out for a count of five second then stop, wait a few minutes then drop for another five seconds. You will be surprised.
Grouper have been willing biters as well. We are catching hard tails for bait. Using the same Carolina style rig it is working out great. When you hook a grouper, the battle is won or lost in the first 10-seconds of the fight. You need to have your rod in hand and really paying attention
Mexico Beach, Florida