Dead Fish report - Capt. Larry Pentel

Discussion in 'Sports and Recreation' started by Mr. Limpet, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    April 15, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    Boy. it has sure been a blowy spring! We have had some great days on the water but I think I have had to cancel as many days as I have got to run. The fish don't care and will bite as long as you can hold on though!
    The cobia run has been hit and miss so far this year mainly due to weather. We finally had a pretty day today and they showed up good and hungry. Today was the opening day of Red Snapper season. My crew and I went bottom fishing 1st and then fell back inshore to search for cobia. One of those days when it all came together. My anglers got a limit of Snapper in the 6 to 10# range along with 2 nice Groupers. We found a single cobia on a big turtle that charged a bait as hard as I have ever seen. After doing battle and intoducing him to a nice icy fish box we went on and found a "wad" of at least 8 more fish. We somehow managed to get all our fish to the boat without any major mishaps other than lots of exited yelling. I was wanting to hook up more fish (one stayed with the boat for a half hour while we fought the hooke ones) but with a limit in the box my folks opted to go in, take pictures and drink some celebratory beers. A wonderfull opening day.
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    The fish box wouldn't quite shut !
    Yesterdays crew was mostly novices that wanted to catch big fish more than fill the box. We were fortunate and found a big school of Jack Crevalle in the 15 to 30# range. As anybody who has tangled with 'em knows, thay are a great sport fish on spinning tackle. We stayed with the school for over 2 hours and were able to sight cast to 'em landing 12 and losing several more. Those and a few bonita gave my anglers and good workout.
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    Is it a fish or a bulldog?
    The spanish bite has been pretty ferocious. Lots of limit catches and lots of happy fishermen. I had a cobia trip last week that drew a blank after looking for a few hours so I switched gears and put out the spoons- we had a limit of mackeral (45 that day) in less than 2 hours. Some fast fishin'.
    On the beach the pompano have showed in force. While I spend lots of time on the water I don't get to catch fish myself most days. In the past couple weeks I have made it back to the beach 'bout sunset 8 days after the boat and gear are cleaned and put up. Six days out of those times I have caught fish (pomps and redfish). Gotta love springtime!!!
    The bite will just get better over the next few weeks. The cobia seem to finally have shown in numbers. We can keep some Snappers instead of thrown' back all the big uns and the Kings have shown up also. While there is always something to catch it dosn't get much better than the next month !!
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    This one bit a grouper bait a couple days before the opening. Throwning him back was easy with some groupers allready in the box though!
    Get up and go!!! Try as I might I can't seem to catch 'em all. I need some help!
    Capt Larry Pentel
     
  2. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    April 28, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    The weather and the fish have finally decided it's full on Spring. I have run 13 days out of the past 2 weeks and the catches have just been getting better and better right along with the weather.
    Day before yesterday was a trip I won't forget anytime soon. A couple of cobia season regulars with some buddies from Louisiana that want to fill the box with bottom fish and then find a cobia or 2. We were in the middle of a snapper rally 1st thing in the morning with the bull sharks stealing most of our biggest fish. One of my crew gets a big bite and after 10 minutes is convinced he has a shark. I had watched the bite and said it sure didn't act like a shark when it hit. After a 2o minute fight with the angler wearing down and the crew wanting to cut of the "shark" the fish finally came up to the top where we could see what it was. What a fish! A huge cobia that wasn't really tired yet- just wanted to see what was ruining breakfast. My angler suddenly had a burst of second wind energy and things got chaotic with lots of yelling by the crew and me looking for the perfect shot with the gaff. All the stars lined up just right and after another 10 minutes I was able to stick the fish solidly enough to drag it (with some help !) over the rail. I was calling it 100# and was probably more exited than the angler. We went on to catch a great limit of Red Snapper, 4 Black Snapper (including 2 over 10#) a grouper, a king and then went to the beach and found a "regular cobia" sight fishing that was more than willing to co-operate. When we made it to the beach at 1PM and hung the fish she pulled the scales down to 104#. The first cobia over 100 I have ever had the pleasure to be involved with and, as I said, the fish of a lifetime!
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    What a Fish!!
    While that one was exceptionally huge the fish count was pretty average for last week!!. We had several days where we had a great catch of bottom fish and then came in to the beach to successfully catch cobia by sight fishin' 'em. It's hard to say which bite is better right now!!
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    What a board! and it was a 4 1/2 hour trip! Back on the trailer at noon!
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    Another "perfect" 1/2 day trip! This fellow flew over just to go fishing for the day !
    Not everybody likes to cobia fish (I know, hard to understand). I ran one trip last week where they just wanted to bottom dig- We ran out a little deeper and found the groupers starvin' on several spots. We landed 4 nice ones along with our snappers and some banjo sized triggers.
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    This one made it to the boat- we probably lost 4 to every 1 we landed this day!
    And, as if it wasn't hard enough to decide what to chase already--- The kings have shown up in force! The past couple days have had HUGE schools of herring and cigar minnows all up along the beach. The toothy predators are right behind 'em sending showers of scales in the air. We have seen several (big ones) swimming right down the bar while we were looking for cobia. I've flipped a "flyline" out several times and been hit almost immediately
    If all this doesn't get you excited enough to get off the couch and get out there I figure you must be a golfer!
    Capt Larry Pentel
     
  3. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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  4. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    May 9, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    All the skinny kids with surfboards are out today so I get a day off to fix all that tackle and write a report. The only "bad" day of fishin' this time of year is the day the surf is too rough to launch the boat----.
    The cobia run seems to have wound down. The last couple days we went and looked I did not see any. I have heard a few reports of fish being caught but the big push of fish seems to have come through. I'll keep a rod rigged with a big jig and another with a mono leader and a big live bait hook for the next few weeks still. You never know when you are going to come across that wad of a dozen just milling around. It seems like it happens to me at least once every May!
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    These ladies had a great time catching these bottom dwellers and then got to tussle with a fine cobia. Unfortunately the angler got out horse-powered and gave out before the fish did!
    All the other species are right on schedule and more than willing to play. We are catching Red Snappers darn near everywhere we fish and releasing most. The nice thing about the smaller limit is we can be a little selective and just keep a few bigger fish. I had one group last week that said they figured they came out with the same weight in snapper fillets as they would have had the limits not changed-- We just kept fish that were twice as big as the past few years!
    The kings are here with a lot of the fish being a good grade. Being Kings they have that on/off switch that gets flipped fairly regularly but when it's in the on mode there are a lot of 20#-30# fish ending up in the box. We quit bottom fishin' with about 45 minutes left on a half day last week and my client said I was being optimistic to chase kings in that time -- We quickly boated 3 and missed 2 more before heading back to the trailer. He was quite pleased and took one straight from the boat to the kitchen-- said those snappers would freeze just fine and he was looking forward to fresh fried mackerel for lunch!
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    Snappers, Groupers, Triggers and Kings. Not much time to do anything but wind!!

    Another species that has shown back up are the triggers. Kind of conspicuous in their absence this winter the past week they have shown up right back on the beach. Three days ago I had a fellow run a 3 hook rig and catch 6 keepers and a bunch of shorts. Two days ago we came in with 19 keepers, about half were in the "large" grade. Yesterday we had one that was pushing 10 pounds. I was calling it a 15# snapper from the way it was fighting!! They should stick around 'till the water gets hot in July or so. A few of those tasty critters are a welcome addition to any box of fish!!
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    Those triggers will be might tasty after marinating in hot p-nut oil! The lanes and the big vermillions sure make some great "bonus" snappers as well!
    The hardtails have shown up on the beach this past week as well. While this make it WAY harder for me to have a tank full of live cigar minnows and herring in the well in the morning it should bring a push of amberjacks in close. Most years the jacks show up in force a week to 10 days after the 'tails. If there is a better bait to get an AJ to eat than a hardtail I sure haven't found it!!!
    Fishing is great, the forecast is just for it to get better with more options in easy reach of the beach as the water warms. Get on out there and catch something!!
    Capt Larry Pentel
     
  5. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    May 20, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    For the past week the King Mackerel have been ferocious. There were a couple mornings where you about had to hide the hooks and bait under the rail before you threw it over! Alas, this morning they just didn't want to chew. They are still there as we had several "short" strikes where the kings just clipped the tail off the baits but somehow managed to elude the 6 hooks back there. Kings have that on/off switch that is either one way or the other in the summer. It sure was fun this week when it was in the ON position!
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    A limit of Kings first thing and then off to bottom fish- the perfect half day trip!
    Still lots of Snappers around and the grouper bite has been pretty good as well. If we didn't bring in a grouper or several lately it hasn't been the fishes fault. They are crafty though and we fried all the dumb ones years ago. The smart ones are all that are left and the bigger they are the smarter they are!
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    This crew of locals (and wannabe locals) managed to outwit a great board of fish on a 6 hour
    Still a few cobias around though not really running the beach. We have been fortunate to catch several the past couple weeks that just swam up to while bottom fishing or were on the top in the same area as the boat--- yesterday we were running in (at 20 knots) and I glanced over and saw one cruising along about 4 miles offshore. I throttled down, turned the boat and climbed up the tower as fast as I could. After about 10 minutes of looking we found him, right back cruising on top. I pitched a live cig and he inhaled it. My angler did a great job of fighting him but when he came to the boat I grabbed the leader rather than gaff him and threw
    'em on the cooler lid. Sure enough- about an eight inch short of the magic 33" fork length. Oh well- we'll get 'em next year when he weighs 50 lb.s!
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    A nice cobia is a welcome addition to an already great catch
    There has also been a lot of grass floating around inshore with schooly dolphins bunched up around any big piece of trash in the weed lines. We have had a couple trips where we wore 'em out. Not only are they beautiful colors and acrobatic jumpers but they fry up pretty darn good too!
    Lots of different choices. Just be ready for anything this time of year. While I'd ALWAYS rather be lucky than good a lot of luck is being prepared for your opportunities!
    Only 5 weeks till Tarpon Season!!!!!-- All these fish and so little time!

    Capt Larry Pentel
     
  6. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    June 1, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    Last report my fishing forecast was "getting better all the time". I got lucky and nailed it! The end of May, beginning of June is usually one of the times when EVEYTHING bites. This past 10 days has been proof. We have been getting getting our usual assortment of bottom fish every day but the King Bite has been incredible as well and a big push of Sargasso weed has a lot of pelagics up inshore also. I think we either limited out on kings or quit fishing for 'em to chase other stuff everyday the past week!
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    This was today's catch- limit of kings- some snapper a grouper, spanish and 2 nice dolphin- on a 4hr!
    Yesterday I started out slow trolling live baits for kings and was getting frustrated when we missed the first 3 bites. The 4th pass around the bait school we hooked up and quickly realized why we were missing the strike-- we had a Sailfish up and jumping!! Not but a mile from the truck the fish put on a great acrobatic show on a spinning rod before I leadered 'em up and my folks took pics. About 5 1/2- 6 feet long and probably 40# he sure made our day.
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    Not in this pic is the Sail we released first thing. We caught the limit Kings right after---
    This group of "cajuns" said "Darn Straight" when I asked if they wanted to eat the Bull Shark that ate a grouper on the way up. So we put 'em in the boat and filleted that bad boy right up.
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    I think they needed a bigger cooler for the fillets---The great thing about a cajun is I know they'll eat it all!
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    This family has fished with me for years and just came back from a year in New Zealand- The 2 girls that are my "students" are capable anglers and probably caught 1/2 the fish on the board, with little help other than advice!
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    Another group that I've fished with for 10 years or so and a fine 4 hr catch
    The bite should stay good till the water gets hot or the weather changes --- at least for another week or so!
    Capt Tim Harvey called me this afternoon from Indian Pass and said the Tarpons have arrived!!!!!
    I'm booked here till the end of June but will be there July 1st to start launching those big silver missiles. I still have some days open in July -if you want a shot at a trophy Tarpon give me a call,
    So many Fish-- Not enough hours in the Day!!!
    Get off this computer and go!!!

    Capt Larry Pentel
     
  7. kathydwells

    kathydwells Darlene is my middle name, not my nickname

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    Hey!!! There is Tim and Dominique, and Jack and Cale. Some of my Florida Vacation group!!! I knew they were in Grayton last week, and I knew Tim was going fishing!! Looks like he caught a few. :D:clap:Yeah, because I will get to eat some of them next month while we are down. Thanks for the report Daddy-O!!!!

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  8. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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  9. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    June 15, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    The weather has turned to full on summer but the fishing is still as hot as the air. The King bite remains as good most days as it ever gets and there are still quite a few pelagics up in close to the beach.
    I ran 2 dads and 2 boys who had never been with me before last week and we had "one of those days". Luckily it was one of those GREAT days. We had the usual assortment of bottom fish and Kings but we also landed a Wahoo 'bout 40# while King fishing. Quite the surprise as we were only 3 miles off the beach! An hour latter we were fishing for some (big) Black snapper and landed a 34# cobia, right after a pair of 12# Blacks! I think these folks will be back----
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    One of the best and most assorted 4 hour catches of the season-
    As I said- the Kings are still HOT! I love a good Mackerel rally and it's even better when I've got kids on the boat. A young teenager and a hot bite has everybody yelling and scrambling and learning how to fish real fast! Great "on the job training" when they bite as fast as you can get the bait out. Plus we can fit a LOT of catchin' in a half day!
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    This group caught 17 kings (we released several that were not hooked bad)before going bottom fishing. The boys caught 'bout all of 'em.
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    These folks fish with me several days every year. They said they had 22 to feed and wanted a box full for a couple fish fry's. Mission accomplished!
    Still some Grouper around as well. Just smart ones though-. We lost several fines ones yesterday and a REAL one today. If you are not ready when that bite happens or you make one mistake, it's all over quick. catchin' 'em in "shallow" water is way harder than deep. My crew 2 days ago had a couple anglers that did everything just right on some good bites tho and added 4 nice Gags to an all ready great 1/2 day catch.
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    Check out the "partial" Grouper- A bull shark almost got 'em all!
    The kings will stay good till we get a different batch of water in from a weather change. The snappers will probably start to move off a little pretty soon as the water temp is up to 86 on the beach now. Probably be having to fish more in 80 feet plus 'stead of less pretty soon-. As long as we keep getting these pushes of Sargasso weed in the mahis and other offshore critters will be in on the beach for a while.
    Less han 2 weeks and I'm off to chase Tarpons. As great as the fishing is here I'm looking forward to launching some fish over 200#! Not to mention tripletails. With the possible exception of sight fishing cobias tripletail fishin' gets me more excited than anything-. My son (capt William Pentel) called 2 days ago and said he had a 15# tripletail at the end of a trout trip in the bay- said capt Dan Davis went huntin''em in the Gulf and came in with 4 that were pushin' 60# total!!!!
    Did I mention I'm excited?!!! Last year I had anglers land quite a few 'tails over 20#. If the "grass" keeps pushin' in the big fish should keep stackin' up over there-
    I still have a few days in July including a couple 'round the 4th-. Give a call if you want to see "old Florida" at Indian Pass!
    Capt Larry Pentel
     
  10. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    July 14, 2008
    Apalachicola - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    I have been here at Indian Pass for 2 weeks now and the fishing has been fantastic. The weather has had us running from the thunderbumpers a little but we haven't lost a day (or a fish) to the squalls yet--.
    The Tarpon are here !! All sizes from 75# "easy" fish to the 200#+ "OH NO !! " fish. We have had a fish to the boat everyday but 2 since the 1st of the month. Both those days we had (big) Fish on but they won the battles. Remember, they jump for a reason and anything that can fight you for over an hour without tiring is trying it's best to get away!!
    Yesterday we did not boat a Tarpon (had a good one on for 6 jumps but he won). My angler did however fight a tripletail for over 30 minutes that we did boat. A great trophy of a fish that weighed 26#!!!! Caught on 12# test and a light spinning rig it made the day. My angler made a great cast and did a perfect presentation. He had whipped a 115# Tarpon the day before in under 45 minutes so I knew he was up to "trophy" fishin'!
    I took the 4th off and play fished with my son , capt Will. Naturally we went sight fishing for 'tails. We found 16 and boated 6 in 4 hours. He had a 15# and a 17# fish on 8# tackle and I landed a 22# fish on 12# !!!. We kept the big fish for table fare and tagged the other 5 before releasing 'em. That is the biggest 'tail I have ever got to catch myself. All the other fish over 20# I have ever hooked I had to hand off to a client. Needless to say I am very proud of that fish.
    The Tarpon fishing should just get better and better as the water warms, same with the 'tails. We have not had a "banner" day with the Tarpon yet averaging 2 fish a day in the air. I can feel it coming soon though and hope to be in the middle of one of those double digit days of silver rockets over 100#.
    I'm afraid I don't have access to upload pictures over here. When I get back to Seagrove in August I'll post pic's of some of the monsters. Just to show off if for no other reason !!
    Give me a call and come spend the night at the fish camp. I'll put you next to some fish that'll have your heart pounding for hours!!!
    Capt Larry Pentel
     
  11. thoms

    thoms Beach Comber

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    love the fishing report. what kind of bait do you like for tarpon? any chance a guy in a kayak drifting some live bait off the beach at grayton could jump a poon?
     
  12. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    July 28, 2008
    Apalachicola - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    After my last report the fishing went along just great with us putting at least 1 fish in the air every day I had a tarpon trip and averaging over 1 a day to the boat. Then hurricane Dolly kicked up the surf last Tues. and the Tarpon shut down. Not slowed down but shut down. Tarpon like it calm and if the surf only comes up for a day it dosn't seem to bother 'em. When it's rough for 3 days tho they pull a Houdini and just vanish.
    There are enough other options around to keep an angler busy tho and my folks caught sharks and trout and tripletails in the silver kings absence. Finally, after 5 days of no big fish we saw quite a few yesterday and had a couple bite. This morning, with just 1 angler on the boat and us the only boat out, the fish went ballistic. I guess they had to make up for not feeding much for almost a week. At 11 AM my angler told me to take him in - said he was happy and beat down and couldn't catch another fish. He had jumped 5, breaking one off after 6 jumps (his tackle) and geting a big fish to the boat after 45 minutes on my tackle (sorry, just a little dig against braided line-not the angler). The fish I leadered up was over 150#, probably 'round 175# -and we didn't jump a fish under 100#. I saw several fish crashing in the 250# range but with all the activity it was hard to focus on just 1 fish. I convinced my angler we could catch something less demanding so I broke out a light rod and we went Tripletailing. After throwing at a few and landing a good 'un he decided we made the right call---
    The fish are here and chewin' again. I just checked my answering machine and my trip tomorrow just canceled. Darn it!!! The bites hot and these folks don't have a clue what they are missing!!!! Oh well, I need to change oil in the engines, respool all the reels, wax the hull etc..
    But you know, if it gets too hot in the yard before noon I may just have to go out on the water to cool off---and if I happen to jump a fish or 2 I'll just say I was making sure I had that new line packed good------Think my wife'll buy it or will I have to cut the grass?
    I promise I'll have pictures posted when I get back to Seagrove.
    I still have a few open Tarpon dates. It should stay calm barring any tropical weather and the Silver Kings should keep on chewin'!!!!! Give me a call and come see the show!!
    capt Larry Pentel
     
  13. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    August 14, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    I got back to Seagrove from Indian Pass yesterday evening. I had planned to stay almost a week longer but the weather had been horrible for 2 days and as rough as it was I figured the tarpon bite would be off for a while. How rough was it?
    Well, St Geaorge Island was without power yeaterday afternoon and the talk was it would take a couple days to get ANY power back and weeks to fix it right. Seems the wind was so strong in one of the squalls that came through it blew down 4 of the big power poles that run across Appalachicola Bay to the Island and blew the line apart in several other places. Glad I'm not trying to sell ice cream on the island----
    The Tarpon did right what they were supposed to and when it was calm for a few days in a row the bite was great! Lots of big fish the week before I left. I had a young (14 yr old) angler turn to me Sunday afternoon and say " These fish are too big for me, if I try to fight one like you say they are going to pull me overboard, I can't catch 'em". 'Course the poor kid had just lost a 200#+ fish after fighting it for an hour- the 5th fish we had hooked for him and the ones that got stuck were all giants. Wish we could have got a "little" 75# fish for the fellow-- He did catch a nice a tripletail on his own tho---.. Friday I had 2 anglers in great shape wanting a big fish. One of 'em had a fine tarpon 'bout 200# eat his pogy and get hooked. About 3 and half hours latter we got the monster to the boat for me to leader up. The old adage "Be carefull what you wish for" comes to mind with the big Tarpon!!!.
    All in all it was a great season at the 'Pass, lots of Tarpon and sharks and 'tails. I've got a couple days of getting caught up before I can start bottom fishing off Grayton again but should be in full swing by next week. The fishery here is extrordinary, catching red snappers a mile from the truck some days . But, you know, there is nothing like making a fish bigger than you are jump 10 feet out of the water right in front of you!!
    I promised pictures when I got back so here are few-- I'll add more to the next couple reports as well-
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    My 22# 'Tail from a day off
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    This angler beat me by 4 with a 26# 'Tail
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    Just under 20# but a fine fish- And this angler had also just caught the Tarpon below!
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    Nothing like having it all !
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    This one by a die hard bass fisherman that I have converted to "real" fishing! He left his bananas at the bunkhouse this day!
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    And one more- Just a neat shot of one at the boat
    All the reports from the other beach boats at Grayton are that the Red Snapper bite has been fantastic. I figure my wrecks and rocks should be packin' pretty good since I have left 'em alone for 6 weeks. Give me call and we'll go fill the freezer!
    Capt Larry Pentel
    "Dead Fish"
     
  14. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    September 5, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    Lots of fish, weather and hype by the weather channel since my last report. Here's the Readers Digest version --
    The surf finally came up Sunday evening (late) from Fay and it rained Monday- long after TWC circus had left town. Things lay down and got pretty by the end of the week and all the fish were right where we had left 'em . Thursday my folks had a limit of Kings and Snappers with a couple grouper thrown in for good measure. Fri we had 5 mackerel (and our snapps) and on Sat. the kings had all but gone- we did have one at around 17# in the morning - along with our snappers and a grouper- pictured below
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    One of the Gals caught the grouper and showed up the boys!
    I ran another trip in the afternoon with some folks that were supposed to fish later in the week. I usually only run one trip a day but with the forecast of Gustav I wanted to take 'em while it was slick. The pic below shows the fine rack they got. Once again the guy got shown up by his wife (who caught the biggest Snapper) and his Son, who got the grouper! By the end of the trip the wife and son were fishing one rod and double teaming the fish! They had it figured out
    [​IMG]
    Be careful taking the family- they may out fish you!!
    Sunday I canceled 'cause of the forecast, once again the surf didn't come up till evening-By Monday the Surf was huge as Gustav headed to La., pushing snappers and groupers inshore as he went. Yesterday (Thursday) was the first day calm enough to want go. I only had 2 anglers, the rest of the party didn't come since the forecast was for "rain all week". My 2 guys fished under bright sunshine and wore out themselves and the fish. All that surf had moved fish right up to our doorstep!
    [​IMG]
    Great Fishing after a storm! We broke off another dozen grouper. The folks that listened to the weather channel missed out big.
    Todays folks caught a fine grade of Snappers and we even had to throw a 10 pounder back 'cause we had all ready kept our limit. The 4 Gag Grouper had 'em smiling pretty good for a half day trip--
    [​IMG]
    Easy Snapper Fishin' after Gustav-
    The fishing should just get better the next couple days as the fish calm down from the storm. Now if we could just get the TV folks to calm down ! My party for next Sat (8 days away) is worried that the forecast has Ike coming near here and will mess us up. As far along as the weather guys have come they still don't have a clue within 1000 miles where a storm will be in 8 days! I wish they wouldn't try to play scare tactics for ratings so much. A hurricane is a serious thing but usually doesn't effect the entire Gulf Coast!!
    Back at 'em again tomorrow
    Captain Larry Pentel
     
  15. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    September 12, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
    [​IMG]


    My last report I said the bite should just get better as the fish calmed down from Gustav. I got lucky and nailed it! The fishing was as good as it gets until the surf came up again from Ike. The surge and swell from Ike is even bigger here than Gustav was so the fishing has the potential to be incredible this fall after things calm down again. A big storm always "shuffles the deck" with the fish and will generally move a lot of quality fish up to right on the beach. I have seen the grouper at the Jetty's in Destin piled up like redfish in years past-
    The storms run the fish in but run our vacationers off. I did not have a trip last Saturday so I took a few locals out for a "freezer trip". Even though 2 of my crew of 3 had never been before we filled up the box in less than three hours. I even got to catch a few myself for change! The picture below gives proof to the "grouper after a storm" stories--
    [​IMG]
    For you music fans the boys on the left are the picker and fiddler from the " Waco Ramblers"- While they get prettty animated during a show I don't think I have ever seen 'em as exited as when they were bowed up! The fiddler (T-Bone) caught the cobia in the middle and was all fired up.
    I got to run a few charters as well before it got rough again. These folks were hard core flyfishers from out West who had never beach launched before. As good as the catch in the picture is it'sless than half of what they caught- about and hour and a half into the trip they told me to quit keeping fish. Said they couldn't eat any more and just to release everything else!!
    [​IMG]
    We released well over another 150# on a half day!
    The forcast has it calming down either Monday or Tuesday next week. My (southern)family and I are leaving Monday evening to visit our youngest daughter in Maine for a week. While I hate missing out on more exceptional fishing I'm sure the other Grayton boys won't be able to put that big a dent in the fish while I'm gone. My son, son in law, and I have a bluefin trip charterd while in Maine but it's still gonna be hard not to think about the the bite here!
    Destin Fishing Forecast:
    [​IMG]


    should be stacked up like cordwood in a week !
     
  16. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    September 28, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
    [​IMG]


    After being gone "to Yankee Land" for over a week I am happy to be back at the beach catchin' fish.
    My trip to Maine was fun, had beautiful scenery and it was nice to visit with my daughter. I have never seen so much pretty water with NO fish in it though! The Tuna trip I thought we had chartered was shut down by the captain - he said " No fish this year, I'm not running any charters". and that was it- no lets try something else or anything. I went through all the tourist magazines and only found a handful of saltwater guides- none of whom returned my calls. I finally called a Fresh water guide, Capt Clifton Ames with Ten Mile Guide Service. He was pleasant, talkative and more than willing to take my son (capt Will) and I Bass fishing the next day. Naturally we fished the day a cold front blew through with 25 knot winds and a high blue sky and even higher barometer. capt Clifton did a great job of finding places out of the wind that held a few Bass willing to co-operate, both Small and Largemouth. We had a fun afternoon and I would recommend his guide service to anyone who finds themselves on the central Maine Coast and needs a fishin' fix. After all, you can only spend so much time eatin' lobster or looking at yet another lighthouse!
    [​IMG]
    A different brand and colder conditions!
    Meanwhile, back at the beach- It seems the first 5 days I was gone had fish-able weather and a good bite of fish from Ike. The last 6 days had been to rough for anyone to go and I made it back just in time for the first fish-able day in a while. We got home Wed. night and I was out Thurs. morning with a charter. The wind was stiff from the NE so we hugged the beach and ran down a bit to stay inshore. The plan worked and my folks landed a great catch on a half day including 4 nice gag grouper. Seems they hadn't fished in several years and were already talking about going again while I was cleaning the catch
    [​IMG]
    A beautiful sight after being off the Gulf for over 2 weeks!
    Friday gave us a slick calm morning so we blasted offshore about 7 miles. LOTS of snappers everywhere and even a few of those tasty triggerfish showing up on plenty of spots. The little shark was the high point of my anglers day tho. The fellow that caught it (and the Grouper) quit fishin' a hour into the trip- said he was happy and was going to let the other 3 catch up! We were steady catchin' and releasing fish our whole 4 hours!
    [​IMG]
    Maybe a 5th of what we released!
    Yesterday I ran around and "looked" a little bit after having an idea of where the fish had moved to. My plans paid off as we found a big school of amberines and boxed a bakers dozen of the feisty jacks. We kept some good snappers early in the trip only to have to throw back one over 10# toward the end since we had already limited out. The one at the far right in the picture is in the 12-14# range tho and was the last one we kept so nobody felt too bad!
    [​IMG]
    One of the few trips where the gals got out fished by one of the guys!
    Overall there are plenty of fish around. I did not have any King bites but one of the other Grayton boats had a couple nice ones on Thurs. so there are a few here- The triggers are definitely starting to bite and I saw several BIG stands of 'em where we just caught a couple and then went to losing bait. The catches of "Fuds" should just get better over the next 2 months. While we didn't find any "piles" of grouper on 1 spot we had several more good ones bite each day than what we landed- There seem to be quite a few of the hard pullers scattered around. All 3 of these trips were half days and I was trying to hit as many species as possible in just 4 hours and didn't "target" any one. With the moon almost dark the grouper catches will probably get better as it heads closer to full-- I can see a box full trip a good possibility in the next 2 weeks.
    A day off today to wirte this and catch up up ALL that other stuff that piles up while your gone and back in the water tomorrow- wish I was out there today!

    capt Larry Pentel
     
  17. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    October 6, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
    [​IMG]


    Too blowy to be fun today but the fishing has been as good as the weather the past 10 days.
    Lots (and lots) of Red Snappers around, probably as good a bite as I have ever seen. Plenty of fish in the 6-8# class if you run a bait big enough to slow down all the 2-4#'s! While I don't understand fishery management it sure is nice to throw back a 5# Snapper 'cause you know you can catch a bigger one!
    Plenty of other species around too. The old saying about you never what's going to bite next got played out a couple times the past few days. I had regular client dangling a grouper bait over the side as I rounded up on a spot. He starts yelling at me "What's this, a big cobia?" I looked over the side to see a 6' long dark purple shape casually eying his bait. I grabbed a rigged mackerel rod and a live cigar minnow and flipped it over the stern. The sailfish lit up like a neon sign and chased that minnow all over the place before he was finally able to catch it. I handed the rod to my angler got to yell "Set The hook!" about a spilt second before he started yankin' down. The fish put on a wonderful show, jumping over 20 times before making some great runs on the little TLD. We got him up to the boat, I grabbed his bill and we made some pictures before releasing him. As great a catch as this was it was actually the second time this angler had a caught a sail with me in the exact same way! This one was smaller than the first (and had broken bill) but we got pictures of this one having had camera (man) issues the first time!
    [​IMG]
    Always a beautiful sight!
    [​IMG]
    Proof of the Catch
    [​IMG]
    The "Rest of the Story"
    As much fun as the sail was a first time couple with me 2 days later had as a big a time with a more regular bonus. We were still weeding through the snapper when I saw a pair of chocolate shapes swim by the side of the boat. I yelled at my folks to wind up their baits to right under the boat but the bigger cobia of the pair had already seen the minnow I had out on the flypole and crashed it. My angler did a great job of running in circles around the boat and keeping the line clear as the fish put him through a fire drill. At about 25# it was a perfect 1st time cobia. The 2nd fish didn't appear to quite be legal so we didn't mess with him and saved the chance of losing the nicer one. A limit of snappers, a king, a trigger and a grouper rounded out our catch.
    [​IMG]
    They don't have fishing like this in New Jersey !
    While most of my folks get big fi****is on a trip I sometimes have anglers who will spend the time to catch Triggers. While they don't photograph like a Grouper or King I still say they are the best table fare in the Gulf. This group from Alabama had a couple folks stick with a 2 hook rig while the other 2 ran grouper baits after we had our snappers. It paid off with 15 nice triggers to fill the board (and freezer).
    [​IMG]
    A little time triggerin'!
    It looks to be a little bouncy for the next couple days. While I hate to miss more than a day with fishing this good it may make things even better. The only species that hasn't had a good showing lately is the Kings. While we have caught a few they could show up in force after a good East blow. It's that time of year when the smokers start to show up in close and a 40# King will rock your world every time.
    See you on reef!

    Capt Larry Pentel
     
  18. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    October 23, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
    [​IMG]


    I know I sound like a broken record sometimes but this time of year has countless fishing opportunities and this year has darn near all of 'em red hot. Yesterday was the perfect example. My charter canceled last minute so I went out all alone to commercial King fish. It's about the only time I get to catch fish myself and I enjoy the tar out of it as well as being able to make a good paycheck. The kings bit great and I was coping with sloppy conditions and a hot bite when something hit the minnow I was dropping back. Ten feet further back it hit again and 5 seconds after throwing the reel in gear a great big sail came out greyhounding like he had somewhere to go! I had 2 other lines out and the fish turned to run straight up sea quickly dumping my little TLD. I managed to get everything clear and chased 'em down for about 40 minutes. He only jumped about 3 times using the energy instead to fight more like a big Tarpon and try to wear me down. I got him up to the boat, made a couple pictures, pulled the hook and watched him swim off to hopefully get caught again some other day. Only the 3rd time I have ever got to catch a sail myself (clients usually get 'em) and at about 80# by far my biggest and probably the 2nd biggest ever to my boat
    [​IMG]
    Everything is biting with the snappers still as good as they have ever been. We are throwing back 5# fish steady as you know the next one is going to weigh 8#. The only thing that hasn't been easy have been the Dolphins. They are getting more and more aggressive about stealing fish off the line and shutting down the bite. If it's calm you just pick up and run but when it's rough it makes it difficult. I am not going to sit there and throw fish to 'em though. I hate to leave a good bite but I refuse to train 'em up even more!
    These folks didn't have to mess with other air-breathers and got a fantastic catch of both Black and Red snappers along with a few of everything else. Five of the snappers weighed over 10#!
    [​IMG]
    This is half the crew-other half went out of Destin- We won the bet for best catch!
    Last report I mentioned the Kings should start soon. This Gal and her daughter got handed a rough blowy day but made the most of it by getting a beautiful rack of fish even though we came in early. The fish in the middle is 56" long- a KIng, not a Wahoo!
    [​IMG]
    Glory fish plus a freezer full of triggers!
    Most of my trips are half days but sometimes I have folks want to stay longer. This group decided to fish an extra 2 hours after we already had a nice catch of Snappers. What to do? catch Jacks and triggers of course- and maybe grouper fish a little---
    [​IMG]
    Hard to fit all the fish in the picture!
    These folks have few fewer fish but what a catch on a half day. They landed a couple of almost every usual target species as well as a great grade of snappers. A couple of 'em are regulars that I had tried to teach how to trigger fish for years. It finally clicked this year!
    [​IMG]
    The perfect 1/2 day catch!
    The reports from Indian Pass have lots of 100+ fish trout trips as long as the weather is good. The surf guys here in S Walton have been blistering the skippies and blues as well as some great whiting and redfish catches. The Pomps are starting to show pretty good but no "banner" catches yet. Probably start after this blow-
    Blowy today and tomorrow but I'll be back out as soon as the weather allows. About the only things to limit your catch right now are weather and experience. Usually 1/2 an hour experience is all you need to get past that part. If you'll turn the crank I can have anybody catchin' fish by the end of a trip!
    Only 1 week left to snapper season. It's been the best one I can ever recall but I'm ready to start changing gears and chasing other species. I know there are more sails in close and it would be nice to finally get that King over 65# I've been after all these years------

    capt Larry Pentel
     
  19. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    November 4, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
    [​IMG]


    Snapper season ended last Friday with a sloppy day but a great bite. We came in with a limit of fish of a real nice grade and threw back a bunch that would have made any board look good. My folks wanted triggers along with their snappers and we had a good mess of them as well with 2 bonafide "banjos". The day before I had a group that had never been out with me before. They had no special requests so I went and tried to get 'em a few of everything. The day was slick calm and the fish were very co-operative. We got a limit of snappers pretty quick, nothing huge but all respectable. Moving just a little I slid the boat over to a school of Amberines that were more than willing to stretch everybody's strings ( and arms!) Next we tried Triggers but the fish were more experienced than my anglers and we only boated 1, we did land 7 nice vermilion's in the process though. With an hour left on a half day I ran back inshore to chase Kings. It took us 15 minutes to find 'em but they were voracious when we did. We boated 8 Kings and 4 Bonita before it was time to go in.
    [​IMG]
    A Great Mix of Everything on a Half Day!
    I had a group of regulars who wanted in at the end of Snapper season that have quite a bit of grouper experience. We had some very respectable inshore snappers and some BIG Grouper bites but proved once again that shallow water groupers can put a hurt on anybody. My folks did put 4 nice ones in the box in between me tying hooks!
    [​IMG]
    Looking for the Big Pull
    I have a couple who come down every year from Tennessee to catch the end of Snapper season and then go over to Indian Pass and chase Trout and Reds. The picture below is the first trip with a great box of freezer fish to take back up North.
    [​IMG]
    Headed for a Freezer in Tn. !
    We went over to the Pass the day after snappers closed and sight fished redfish in the middle of the day and Trout fished in the afternoon for 2 days. The first day I wasn't up on the poling platform for more than 10 minutes when I saw a BIG fish pushing a wake in a foot of water. A couple of casts later my fishing gal on the bow was hooked up to a Black Drum around 20# on 6# test. A fine fight and up to the boat to be released. We went on to catch a couple redfish, 41 trout and a bucket of oysters. The oysters made for a wonderful dinner at the fish camp that evening. The next morning I ran way up into the back of an oyster maze and we had reds running all over the flats before the boat was off the plane. My anglers got 8 to eat and we boated 5. Sightfishing reds with ultralights may not be the most productive way to catch numbers but it is by far the most exciting! To have to place the cast perfectly without spooking a fish in inches of water and then play 'em down in that skinny water always gets even an old fish head like me excited. We went back out into the bay a little after lunch and found a school of Trout that were stacked up on an oyster bar like cord wood. My folks boated 81 (eighty one) before they gave out and we headed in at 3PM with our limit of 15 specks and 3 Redfish
    [​IMG]
    From Offshore to Inshore These Folks Love It All
    As good as the bite was that day the next day blew me away. I had the day off so my son , a friend, and I all headed out a little after lunch to sight fish reds. Alas, the water was muddy were I had found 'em the day before. Plenty of fish but you couldn't see 'em till they spooked. Okay, we'll go chase Trout. We went where they had been the day before- only caught 2 in 20 minutes. Ran up the Bay 2 miles and tried again. My sons first cast got a fish, our buddy quickly hooked up right behind him while I was sliding the anchor over . For the next 2 hours we never moved the boat and landed fish almost every cast. On the empty casts it was because the fish you had on pulled off on the way in. I actually got 2 trout about 2# each on the same lure at the same time! We had 15 minutes where we didn't even open the bail on our spinning reels- just drop the jig next to the boat and bounce it right under the surface and watch 4 or 5 fish fight over it. A good grade of specks for the first hour with most fish between 14 and 18 inches. After that the white trout started and by the time we gave out (the fish were still just as hot!)every other fish was a white. Probably the best grade of whites I have seen in Apalachicola Bay with a range of about 13 to 18 inch fish. We kept our 15 specks and 21 whites , releasing another 30 or so whites. Now all 3 of us are charter guides and while we lost count of actual releases the consensus was we had boated over 200 trout in just under 2 hours. I can honestly say it was the was the best bite I ever pulled off of 'cause I was tired! My son, being the youngest on the boat at 23, was still throwing over my shoulder as I cranked up the engine and started up on a plane!
    Back to Seagrove today and out in the Gulf for the next week or so, My calenders open the last half of next week---- I may have to go back over to the pass, just to work on the fish camp of course.------------
    See you on the water. With weather like this the only reason to not go fishing all day would be to be on your Honeymoon. Even then you could probably get in the afternoon bite-----

    Capt Larry Pentel
     
  20. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    November 17, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
    [​IMG]


    I guess it's officially winter. The beaches are empty and this last front has got it cold early this morning. Not many folks around wanting to go fishing this week but that's not 'cause there's nothing to catch!
    I ran several trips before this front came through and we had plenty of bites to keep everybody going. One of my regulars brought his buddies and we spent 4 hours trying to catch fish for the box in between throwing back Red Snappers. As the photo below shows they did a pretty good job. The guys had a bet on biggest fish but my client threw in a curve- sharks don't count and if you catch a shark it kicks out your biggest fish. Guess who was Way ahead until they caught the little shark on the board ?
    [​IMG]
    The shark "ate up" a $40 bet!
    These folks had never been off the beach before and didn't know what to expect. They were worried about catching enough fish to feed 10 folks. After the first 2 stops they were talking about not keeping everything 'cause it was more fish than they could deal with ! While all 3 of 'em caught fish and had fun the Gal figured it out quick and was way excited to be getting bites (and fish )non-stop. I believe she'd have gone everyday for a week!
    [​IMG]
    Nothing'll stretch your string like a Jack!
    The bait has left the beach so I poked around a little before I ran my last couple trips. When you are used to being up and on the water at daylight it's hard to change. What I found was the flounders are here! I stopped on a couple little spots in close and ran down strip baits on jig heads. I got flounders (and a couple triggers) everywhere I tried. What got me started was a big show of bait. I ran a sabiki rig and didn't get a thing- tried tipping the bottom couple jigs with squid in case it was bigger baits. After a couple minutes still no bait but I caught a flatfish ! I changed over to the jig head and away we went! The week before Thanksgiving in normally a slow one for charters with next week being a trip everyday. If it's pretty for a a few days like the weatherman is predicting I may have to make a flounder day this week-.
    Plenty to do off season- rebuild the trailer,and about 2 dozen reels, build a few rods, gel- coat the deck etc. In between going fishing a little myself and getting in on some great bites in uncrowded waters!

    capt Larry Pentel
     

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