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New guy in PCB

Been coming down for a few years on vaca and finally made the leap to move the family here last month. I bought a 19' Proline CC 115hp the first week we were here. Not being from the area I'm figuring the bays out pretty well and I can put the kids on the lady fish between the sand bars off shell island like nobodys business. Problem is i am just making educated guesses with little success. Have managed a few spanish on bubble rigs but it turns out the wife and kids arent really that into smoked fish dip. Always a learning curve with these things of course just wondering if Im even in the right places at the right times. Have a hard time doing much late afternoon fishing when they move up on the flats and have had little to 0 success sight fishing in the am besides topsail cats sliming my gear up and just generally being a pain. Sorry for the rant, slightly frustrated and a little tired from being on the water all day. Any insight would be greatly appreciated, perhaps even any reassurance:willynilly

Live out in west bay so the trout and redfish are here, just cant find em...


  • LilOrangeLilOrange Senior Member Smyrna, TNPosts: 1,210 Officer
    Welcome to the Forum & congrats on the move. One of these days I hope to move to the coast as well. I completely understand that "learning curve" thing.....going through it myself the last few years fishing offshore. I don't fish inshore in the bay, so can't help you there. But, there are others on here that do.....hopefully one of them will chime in & point you in the right direction. Good luck & tight lines!

    Livin' the Dream !
  • Alleykat0498Alleykat0498 Junior Member Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    Thanks LilO. I stopped by half hitch and picked up the cheaters guide of way points to atleast get close enough to some structure to run a grid and mark it's actual location. Fought with the Lowrance vs. Laptop for an hour or so and now their all loaded and waiting on some good weather on a weekend. Contemplated taking a charter and paying extra attention to locations, rigging, presentation etc but can't justify the cost when all I should have to do is more trial and error. Just hoping the #'s I picked up are atleast close!

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
  • FLCoyoteFLCoyote Senior Member Panama CityPosts: 271 Deckhand
    Things will pick up for Speckled Trout and Redfish when the water temp drops to around 72. Then it will be good for a couple of months of topwater/flats fishing almost anywhere there's grassy bottom. Best bet is what I refer to as spotted bottom. That is broken grass/sandy areas in 2 to 5 feet of water. In about a month you can fish around the Hathaway bridge and catch 12/14 inch White Trout and Northern Kingfish (Whiting) until your arms fall off. That's always great for the family and while doing that you may hang into some Black Drum up to 30 pounds and Redfish that are usually over the slot limit. Over the years I've been fishing around here (35), I've probably caught 20 or 30 keeper Gag Grouper around the bridge. Flounder group up on the inshore bottom structure starting in Oct and its not to hard to catch a limit using live bull minnows. Redfish are always in the pass and in the cooler months so are Black Drum and Mangrove Snapper. My personal almost can't miss fishing is launching at White City after Thanksgiving and bottom fishing with fresh dead shrimp from the boat ramp all the way to the mouth of Lake Wimico (about six miles). We catch Redfish, Black Drum, Sheephead, Fresh water catfish, stripers/ hybrids and lots of crokers, From Thanksgiving thru February. Oh and the Sheephead turn on in the pass usually in Feb and Mar. Then in late March the Spanish run usually starts. I think that's everything for now. I'm often told I think I'm a know it all so getting compliments like that my advice may be pretty good.

  • Alleykat0498Alleykat0498 Junior Member Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    Thanks for taking the time to post your knowledge of the area as that is exactly what I've been looking for.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
  • FLCoyoteFLCoyote Senior Member Panama CityPosts: 271 Deckhand
    Had a little more time to think about it and here's a little additional information and opinion. The first Cobia of the year is usually caught around the third week of March. In my opinion and just my opinion Cobia fishing is a huge waste of time and fuel. There will literally be hundreds and seems like thousands of boats riding slowly up and down within 1/4 mile of the beach looking for Cobia and dodging, cussing, and shaking their fists at each other. The success rate for actually catching a Cobia is probably around 1 or 2 percent and as you putt slowly along you will create a votex that pulls your fumes forward and makes you nauseous. That said, its always a good idea to have a 20 pound class spinning rod with a Cobia jig ready to cast while fishing for other species, just in case one comes close or orients on your boat. King Mackeral start showing up in late April and are around as late as Nov. Flat lining a dead cigar minnow on a treble hook and a wire leader is a good way to catch kings, or trolling deep running plugs, or using live bait. Kings aren't too hard to get to bite. Bridge spans in 90 to 110 feet of water are great for Vermillion Snapper (Beeliners), use double hook rigs number two hooks and dead squid fished halfway to the bottom. Red Snapper, Grouper, Amberjack and Trigger Fish have so many restrictions and closed seasons that you need to review the laws before every fishing trip. Its also a good idea to get familiar with the different species of Jacks as even the FWC sometimes can't tell the difference between Amberjacks, Rudder Fish and Almaco Jacks. I started carrying color pictures just to avoid arguing with them while on the water. Last bit of unsolicited wisdom, the FWC and the Coast Guard will check you frequently. The FWC are state police and are usually skilled in public relations. The Coast Guard on the other hand are on a military mission when checking you and can be a little weak on people skills. They both do a great job, but the Coast Guard is more "Just the Facts" than thank you and have a nice day when they check you and are more than a little weak of current fishing regulations.

    Tight Lines

  • Alleykat0498Alleykat0498 Junior Member Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    Thanks yote, had a run in with the fwc about a week after I bought my rig. They were on the north side of the intercoastal under the Buchanan bridge and I was idling in to my truck. I knew they'd be over the bridge before I made it out of the lot and there was no reason to rush so I just loaded the boat and waited 45 seconds or so for them to arrive. No real hastle and everybody went home happy, but **** if they didn't search every storage container on the entire boat. I understand the whole mentality of the USCG and really wish they'd just check you once and give you a decal or something showing that you've got all your safety equipment. They were a huge pita back on the east coast and I'm sure it's just as much fun here.

    I agree about the whole fish rodeo fishing cobia, on the Chesapeake Bay right now I bet there are 25-30 boats tossing jigs/plugs at every single bouy in sight. I'd rather just stay home then deal with the frustration.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
  • LilOrangeLilOrange Senior Member Smyrna, TNPosts: 1,210 Officer
    I stopped by half hitch and picked up the cheaters guide of way points to atleast get close enough to some structure to run a grid and mark it's actual location.

    Just hoping the #'s I picked up are atleast close!

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

    Here's the link to a list of the public reefs/wrecks posted on the FWC website.

    It's a good place to start. Some are more pressured than others & some are easier to find than others. That's how we started and then just started branching out from there looking for live bottom areas.

    Livin' the Dream !
  • TheMarkOdomTheMarkOdom Member PanhandlePosts: 32 Deckhand
    Flounder will be biting soon. Hang out at the kiddie pool on the east side of the pass and fish the edge of the grass with bull minnows.
    Deep water point will have the rush of spanish but, they are everywhere always and as you stated they get old to eat pretty quick.
    Sheepshead and Redfish galore at hathaway bridge..
    Sea Walls are great regardless of where.
    I'm mostly an offshore guy but, we will pull in on the bay during migration cycles and let the kids have a blast.
    Gags and Red Snapper are in the bay on structure and stop on floating debris for Tripletails which is one of the best fish in the ocean.
    Mark O.
    Northwest Florida
    2015 Tidewater 280CC Twin 300's

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