Perdido Key to Cape San Blas
Includes Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Panama City and Port St. Joe
For the most part, we have had some calm weather this winter, this weekend will bring a little more bad weather. Winds will be moving from North to East as the recent front passes through. The good news is now is a great time to get out and fish for inshore species like trout, redfish, sheepshead, pompano, and whiting. It wont be long before kings and cobia show up, lets just hope we get some good weather for the great days!
Saturday looks like a good dock day. Spending time checking safety gear, connections, fittings, and pumps is always a good idea. If the weather allows, the best bet will be fishing either the backwaters or the beach. In the canals, creeks, and bayous the trout bite has been pretty good with lots of smaller sized slot fish holding in the bends and deeper spots. A free-lined live shrimp is a great way to drift the bait naturally and fish mid water. Stay on the move until you find the fish, when you do there should be a decent sized school. The same places can also hold large black drum and smaller slot sized redfish. To key in on the redfish switching presentation and using a jig head tipped with a live shrimp will usually get it done. Look for most of the reds to hold on or near the bottom and bouncing the bait along the bottom should get the bite. Structure like bridges, jetties, and seawalls will also be holding redfish with some sheepshead mixed in. Keep your cast tight to the structure and baits on the bottom. I like to size up my leader to 15 to 20 pound when fishing the bridges and jetties, the barnacles on the structure cut lighter line fairly easy.
The beach is another good option this weekend. The past weeks reports are somewhat mixed but show good signs of things to come. A few reports have some nice whiting catches with a mix of pompano and even permit. Peeled fresh dead shrimp are the best bet right now until the sandfleas move in. That should be about the same time the pompano really show up. The best bet will be finding the little private part of the beach and set up a three to five rod spread. Staggering each rod at different distances from shore will help to dial in where most of the action is. This time of year an old saying always comes to mind, “Sometimes they bite, sometimes they don’t.” One thing is for sure, you can’t catch them without a rod in the water. Get out and fish! Tight lines.