Last week I was stuck at the dock due to some pretty strong storms along the panhandle.  But when the weather let up, and I was able to get out, the fishing was outstanding. Starting in around Pensacola Pass, we’ve found more Spanish mackerel than we can handle and some of them are good size. Mixed in with the Spanish are a few King mackerel, but you’ll find more kings if you go just outside the Spanish mackerel school. To catch the kings, we’re slow-trolling a live or fresh dead cigar minnow, and we’re getting hooked up almost immediately. Since we’ve had a few storms and the gulf has been pretty sloppy lately, I will be staying more inshore for the next three days, until the gulf calms down. When it does, I’ll be just outside the pass looking for the bigger Spanish, but until then, I’ll be staying in calmer waters.

Since the Spanish have been so prevalent, I haven’t trout fished much, but don’t worry they are there. You just have to hit the water early and use a variety of baits to match the hatch. I like throwing top-water plugs at first light and then suspending twitch baits as the sun comes up. If the fish won’t strike a suspending twitch bait, I’ll switch over to a jerk shad on a jig head and work areas again in the 3 –6 ft range with lots of bait. This usually produces some quality fish and sometimes even a nice slot redfish.

Let’s talk about reds a bit; the redfish were steady this past summer all over the deep holes in the pass, but the past few days they have moved off and although it took a while to find them, I found them.  I found two schools of 500 fish and they were bruisers. Top-water plugs and jigs were the baits of choice, and nothing makes me smile more than watching a monster red smash a plug in open water.

We’ve had a lot of rain over the past 10 days, and we needed it, but when we get this much rain it takes a few days for everything to get back to normal.
I think the fishing is going to be good this weekend, but much better next week.

Till the next adventure,

Tight Lines.
Capt. John