Home Panhandle General Fishing & The Outdoors

Still learning

Moved to the panhandle about 2.5 months ago. Bought my rig, spent about 2.5k setting up (brought most of the tackle with me). Learned how to twist wire leaders, studied how to target certain species, picked my days, and still have yet to have a single fish cross the rail that's worth writing home (Richmond VA) about. I've got good numbers, and can find good bottom but something in my approach or presentation is just off. I'm starting to think I need to throw in on fuel with one of you seasoned gents vessel and take notes. I've been around the water my entire life, owned boats since I was able, and know my way around almost every thing that has the word marine attached to it. I'm not sure if it's the "tide" or where and when to look for what or, or, or...

If any of you guys need or want or feel obliged to have a newly local fella aboard on a trip rain or shine to just take in the scene I'll jump all over it. I'm available every morning and all the time on weekends. I'd be taking this experience and showing my 2 sons (8 and 9) and their older sister (11) how to be successful fisherman and women.

Sorry if this sounds like a plea for help, usually this time of year I'd be climbing a tree with my bow (and one of the kids) but I left 2k+ acres of hunt club behind when we moved. So the freezers empty, pockets are full, and lines are slack.


  • FLCoyoteFLCoyote Posts: 271 Deckhand
    Allykat, where are you fishing? In the bays, offshore, Panama City/Destin/Mexico beach? In the bays/flats Speckled Trout and Redfish should start picking up in water 2 to 5 feet deep with spotted/broken bottom. Flounder are starting to group up for their annual migration to gulf inshore structure. Big/over slot Redfish are in all of the passes year round. Sheephead gang up in Feb/Mar and can be caught near jetties/structure in the passes or in the bay. Red Snapper, Amberjack, Red Grouper, Trigger fish and God knows what else are closed in federal waters (outside 9 nautical miles) and unless you are targeting Kings, Vermillion Snapper or Gag Grouper its pretty much a waste of time and you will kill a lot of fish you can't keep. Floating a dead cigar minnow on a flat line works for kings as does trolling large plugs. Whiting are in the surf pretty much now thru April.

    I went in the gulf last Sat and we didn't catch anything until our third spot about five miles out. When we started fishing we stayed hooked up for about an hour. Caught five legal snapper(released one) as we could only keep four, two each. Also caught about 10 or 12 undersize 13" to 15" snapper and one 17" Red Grouper. A large shark cut my leader off and we didn't get another bite. The shark must have run everything into hiding. We fished another two hours for grouper without any luck. The offshore bridge spans in 90 to 110 feet of water hold a lot of Vermillion Snapper (Beeliners) if you just want to get your string stretched and catch some eating fish.
    Reply with your fishing area and maybe I can be more specific.

  • Alleykat0498Alleykat0498 Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    Left out of Saint Andrews and went east out around 5 miles or so (mama doesn't like to lose site of the coast line). Trolled stretch 25's and flat lined cigs from the pass to the u.s.s. strength site. Didn't see much bait, and the bite was cold.

    I live 2 minutes from the Buchanan bridge and boat ramp (79 at the intracoastal). Hearing rumors of specks being caught a daybreak from the old drawbridge, gonna try em tomorrow morning.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
  • Alleykat0498Alleykat0498 Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    No specks this morning so I hooked up the trailer and went out around midway, cigar minnows everywhere. Trolled some spoons and caught a few Spanish and my brother in law caught a few bonita. He's in town from VA so it was nice to get a tug on the line.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
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