Hard to believe that's it's Spring Break all ready here at the beach. I saw my first big group of (obviously out of town) kids on the beach today when we came back in from fishing. The past two months of slow time have sure been nice for all us that live here. My schedule gets pretty busy starting the first full week of March and the weather looks like it it starting to get better as well with at least a three day window of calm Gulf right now.
Once again, it's been a while since I wrote a report but it's that time of year here at the beach in SoWal. Not many vacationers and lots of cold fronts with windy conditions, surf and chilly mornings where it's just hard to want to launch the boat.
I showed up at the beach a couple mornings the past few weeks where I had locals that wanted to fish and calm seas but the North wind had blown so hard the day and night before there wasn't enough water left to float a boat!
In our area, we are fortunate to have two premier beach destinations that merge almost seamlessly together. While they are neighbors, each offers a unique experience. The remarkable communities of which we speak are, of course, South Walton and Destin.
South Walton is comprised of a varied collection of “towns” that nestle predominantly along Scenic Highway 30A. Each offers their own interpretation of a life well lived by the beach.
Happy New Year to all South Walton fishing fans! I realize I haven't written a fishing report in about a month. I took two weeks off for my daughter's wedding the start of December and the last 2 weeks of the year were nothing but wind and rain.
I ran a Flounder trip a week before Christmas and the gulf wasn't fishable again 'til New Year's day. Luckily the first three days of the year had everybody on my boat catching lots of fish.
While the powers that be (in control) may have closed greater Jacks a couple weeks ago we have been fortunate to have had a big movement of their hard pulling cousins, Amberines, show up inshore.
Pound for pound I don't think anything pulls harder and they sure are good fried and grilled...... The Flounder bite had started getting really good with the water temps dropping into the mid 60's and then we had a big SE push of warm water, air and surf and that raised the Gulf back into the 70's.
The weather is in normal Fall/Winter mode which means we get a few pretty days and then a few rough ones. I have been able to run about half my trips and have had to cancel the other half based on the old adage "it's supposed to be fun". The folks that have been able to fish have had a LOT of fun too.
That time of the year with lots of changes going on at the beach and in the Gulf. The weather has been up and down the past 2 weeks with the remnants of a Pacific hurricane coming over into the Gulf and giving us some really high seas along with lots of rain and wind.
I've seen Jim Cantore on the TV at Panama City Beach yelling on about doom and gloom when it wasn't half as rough or windy. There was a small bloom of Red Tide about the same time just off Bay county to our east and the storm waters pushed it up onto the beach here and in Destin to a major bloom.
Whooo! It's been busy here at the beach this fall. Lots of folks around and plenty of pretty weather to take 'em fishing. Today is the first day since last month where it wouldn't be fun out there so I get to do chores and write a report (wish I could take a nap).
The fishing has been steady even after the big rain (flood) a few weeks ago, about the only thing all the rain did was run the Mahi off for a while. The water offshore has cleaned up quite a bit and we did have a school show up at the boat a couple days ago and were able to land a couple.
Today was the first day you could really tell the seasons are changing. It was a blustery, overcast & cool fall day. Almost slick calm on the beach but choppy/sloppy once you got a mile out.
We stayed up in close and got a nice limit of Red Snapper, a Black Snapper and a King on this mornings four-hour trip but my folks worked for their fish. We had four more Kings on that used the rough weather to the fishes' advantage and lost some big Snappers as well. Luckily for us anglers these days are fewer than the pretty ones here in SoWal!
The past 10 days or so have been just great on the beach in SoWal. Crystal clear water, the roads aren't clogged, and there is lots of room on the beach.
The Gulf has been calm right up on the beach but a hard Northeast breeze made it bumpy offshore a few days. No problem for us beach fisher folk this time of year. Plenty of fish to be caught within a couple miles of the beach!