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
    November 28, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    My last report I said the Flounder had started to show on the inshore spots and I might get to play with 'em myself some. Well, I called up one of my regular anglers and invited him on a play trip to chase flatfish with me and boy did we have a great time. The flounders have moved up to the beach in numbers not seen for several years. We caught this box of big 'uns (the grouper with them in the picture below is 23 inches) right off Grayton but all the Destin boys are whacking 'em pretty hard at the East Pass as well. While these were caught on a jig and strip bait the rig of choice is a bull minnow on a short slip lead rig drug across the bottom. Three friends of mine limited out at the C-Buoy off Destin 2 days ago in two hours with minnows--
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    I even get to catch fish some days!
    It's Thanksgiving at the beach so I have been Booked all week. We got to fish the last 4 days but it's raining today and the forecast is for worse weather tomorrow- Oh well, it was a nice 4 days! Mondays trip was a Dad and Son crew who have fished with me for years. They have caught Kings, Groupers, Tarpons, etc and always want to do something a little different each trip. This time we found a school of Jacks and got 'em fired up at the boat. A great time was had by all and we even got a few Triggers for the freezer as well.
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    This young man always catches fish!
    Tues was blowy with the wind howlin' from the North. We tried to grouper fish right up on the beach and found quite a few to bite but only got one big one to the boat. A Red about 20#'s that fed a group of 11 that night! We got a few triggers and stopped on a Flounder spot on the way in to add some groceries to the box.
    Wed was a family trip with folks that come every year. We mixed it up on a slick calm day and got some BIG triggers, a few jacks and some pinks and b-Liners. We also released a Red Snapper 'bout 15# intentionally and several Groupers by accident---
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    The young lady caught the big Trigger in the middle by herself. Quite the battle!
    Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I had scheduled it off. With the forecast for it to be the prettiest day of the month and to day to be nasty I asked my today trip if they wanted to fish Thurs instead and they were all over it. These gals hadn't gone before and didn't know what to expect. They were all relatives of my Monday group who have fished with me for years and who asked me to "beat the gals" down some. We found two different schools of Jacks that went into feeding frenzy's on the surface at the boat. Beating 'em down was harder than I thought tho as they all hung in there to the last drop. A great time was had by all with lots of yelling and screaming and tangles with fish all around the boat. One of the gals asked for Trigger fish as she had heard they were the best table fare. We found those too and they figured out how to catch 'em pretty quick. All in all a beautiful day, a great bite and some happy folks. It was so nice on the beach when we came in I cleaned fish barefoot in a tee shirt!
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    Moms day off- The kids didn't go !
    Good fishing options around but not many charters till Christmas week. Next week is the Sambar Deer hunt on St Vincent Island and one of my regulars got drawn. I'm shuttling his crew and gear over and then staying at Indian Pass to bring 'em back (hopefully with a 600# Stag!) after the hunt. I may just have to chase a Redfish in the skinny water since I'll be "stuck" there for a few days-----Life is tuff sometimes--.
    In the meantime. I've got 2 boat trailers that need to be rebuilt. The deck on the cat boat needs to be redone and I need to sit down and order $500 worth of reel parts to start rebuilding them. Lots to do in the off season!!!
    If it's a pretty day you should be fishin'!!!!

    Capt Larry Pentel
     
  2. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    December 13, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    Not many fishin' trips to report since I last wrote this column. I have about rebuilt the trailer for the beach launch cat and lots of other projects but my water time has been limited.
    I did go over to Indian Pass last week primarily to play shuttle for some folks that drew into the Sambar Deer Hunt. While they did not get one there were 9 bagged with I believe 4 over 500#. My folks were very fired up about the hunt and vowed to come back and try again. they both saw animals, just did not have a good shot. I guess drawing down on something in the 600# class would keep you coming back ! I spent 4 days there but only got to fish one morning with 2 days spent with my folks and weather pretty much shutting down fishing the other 2. I am happy to report that the redfish are pretty darn thick up in the skinny water. I went by myself and managed to get 5 casts in front of hungry fish, landing 4. Doesn't sound like much I know but when you are poling the boat, sighting the fish and trying to cast yourself all at the same time it adds a little more challenge to the operation. I also got 'em in only about 2 hours time and flubbed a few more (yes Virginia, the capt makes bad casts sometimes too!!!)
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    Look how well the fish matches the water/bottom color and how his tail is disappearing even on the surface. It does make it more fun!
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    A quick pic and back in the water
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    One more to show the grade- all the fish were 24-28 inches- perfect for 6 to 8# test
    I did pick up a cooler full of oysters on a cloudy day and ate them while the wind blew. I have a hard time deciding which is more enjoyable- eating oysters or sightfishin' reds! Always something good to do at the "Pass"! When I came in to the ramp that day there was a fellow who had been trout fishing going on about how great the trout bite was--- I didn't have time to chase 'em but it seems that choice is there as well.
    I went to New Orleans this week to renew my Captains License with the Coast Guard and visit with some angling buddies/clients. We were supposed to go trout fishing on Thursday and they had built up how good the bite had been- "As good as Indian Pass". Below is a picture of my truck Thursday AM when we were scheduled to be going to the water. My buddy said he hadn't snow in South La. since he was 12! Needless to say I still haven't caught a trout in Louisiana !!!
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    I'll stick to fishin' in Florida! At least our water is wet and green instead of solid and white!
    One more week of "projects" and I should be back fishing regular again with more interesting reports. I wish everybody out there a safe and joyous Christmas season. Remember, Santa won't bring you that new Van Staal unless you ask !!!!
    All I want for Christmas is a 2009 with lots beautiful days on the water and some fishery management rules that make sense instead of problems !

    capt Larry Pentel
     
  3. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    December 31, 2008
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    Happy New Year, I hope everybody had a great Christmas and the new year brings lots of opportunities to spend good times on the water.
    After a period of rather rough, wet weather we have had a couple of beautiful days here in South Walton. I got to take a couple of Dads and 3 junior anglers out yesterday on a calm Gulf with lots of fish biting. It seems that the recent rough weather has moved the Gag Groupers back in. I think there were 10 boats launched off Grayton yesterday and everyone I talked to had at least a couple big fish. We got 6 to the surface ( ok, 5 and a 1/2, a bull shark ate grouper too) that were of a good grade and released quite few more. The kids caught a bunch of pink snappers and we found several good schools of triggers that were quite adept at stealing the kids baits.
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    Beach fishing the end of December
    The day was so nice that there were folks actually swimming in the gulf while I was cleaning fish. I figure they had to be here on Christmas vacation from Minnesota-- A fantastic end to the year and from the number of groupers bites we had something good to look forward to in the New Year! It was slick calm all the way till sundown-
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    The almost last sunset of 2008 over Eastern Lake.
    I'm off to Indian Pass to chase Redfish for a few days in 2009, back here in a week or so to get after the groupers again. I have about done all my off season boat and tackle projects so I get to fish a bit myself the next 2 months. Looking forward to another year on the Gulf!

    capt Larry Pentel
     
  4. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    January 16, 2009
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    Winter in Florida, beautiful one day and frigid the next. Just have to go on those pretty days !
    I ran a group out in the Gulf the first of the week. The day started out chilly and blowy so we started late in the morning to let it warm up some. By noon everything was looking nice so I blasted offshore to a big wreck hoping that the cooler weather had started to move the jacks in. I had my folks run 2 long leader rigs for AJ's and 2 regular for groupers with some of the wigglers we had caught on the way out. Sure enough, as soon as everybody had cleared their leaders they got pulled down to the rail. Now most days jacks can be a little leader shy but these fish were on the feed and there was a bunch of 'em ! As soon as a bait got down 50 ft there were jacks chasing it around. Leader length and size didn't seem to matter at all. We caught over 2 dozen, keeping the 4 ( now over 30" fork length)that the law allows and releasing the rest. A special bonus was the first Grayton beach cobia of 2009 ! He was with the jacks and was kind enough to come up to the top where we could add him to the catch. A note to any of the fools out there that believe the snapper stocks haven't made a comeback- We were in the middle of an Amberjack rally with NO wait time for a bite and still caught and released 2 Red Snapper over 10#'s. I never would have thought a snapper could outswim a Jack !
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    A Big Black Snapper and a Gag Round Out the Box
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    They're Everywhere!
    The first of the year had me over at Indian Pass guiding a Fly guy for Redfish. The weatherman had lied (again!) though and our partly cloudy quickly turned solid overcast with a 25 knot east wind. We saw a bunch of fish in clear water but the conditions made it impossible so we bagged the trip after an hour. The next day when rain was predicted capt Randall Jones and I went out to play fish under a bright clear sky and light winds- Lots of fish up in the oyster mazes and we had a good time messin' with 'em
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    A fine Specimen of the Species
    My youngest daughter and her husband came down from the frozen North for vacation and we picked up oysters, ate good and even got to trout fish one afternoon. While we didn't find the trout schooled up there were plenty of scattered fish of a good grade to have fun.
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    Proud of his first trout!
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    Her first was at 5 years old! Still fun though!
    I had heard good reports form the Inter coastal canal back here in Walton County. When it was too rough for Capt Kerry with Not A Dog charters and I to run a group out in the Gulf we took 'em over there. These guys were gung ho to go but they said it had to be in the afternoon- We pulled up to the ramp as everybody else was leaving. The gorgeous morning had turned to a drizzly afternoon with a front coming and no tide running at all in the Inter coastal. While the bite was slow one of my anglers caught the biggest fish of his life ( a nice red) and we had 4 more smaller reds and a few small specks. We also caught more sand trout than I have ever seen in one place! While the speck bite was slow for us my folks had plenty of bites and a good time. Capt Kerry's crew had 2 nice specks and 3 sheephead. He said they broke off 4 nice fish and caught a bunch of small specks. I imagine with some water moving and sun shining you could pull a good mess form there.
    I mentioned earlier that Jacks are now 30" fork length. That's just one of many law changes effective the first of the year. That applies to both State and Federal waters. Two other big changes in all waters are a 14" fork length size for Triggerfish and a closure on Gag Grouper for all of February and March. Lets keep it legal out there folks !
    Plenty to chase- If it's warm and calm go get you some !
     
  5. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Capt. Larry Pentel
    January 28, 2009
    Destin - Saltwater Fishing Report
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    I've been over to Indian Pass a couple times since my last report and the Redfish are still thick up in the skinny water. With the rapidly changing weather conditions of winter it can be hard to pick the "perfect" day to sight fish. If you can get out with clear water and a high sky though there are literally hundreds of slot size fish to throw at. I got to get in a couple of hours on the bow myself the other day without a charter and managed to get 6 to eat. If somebody could have filmed it, it would have been a comedy special! I was up on the casting ladder on the bow with my push pole and a spinning rod. I'd pole a couple times, try to set the pole down quietly and pick up the rod and look for a fish (or 5) to throw at. If I didn't see a fish in a minute I'd set the rod down, pick up the pole and do it again. The usual way it worked out was as soon as I picked up the pole and pushed once I'd see at least 3 or 4 fish and usually spook 'em before I could get everything in order to make a cast. As I said, even with all the fish I spooked I got to watch 6 eat my DOA in 2 hours- would have been a banner day with an angler on the bow and me polin' from the platform!
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    This one was caught the "right" way with the captain on the poling platform. We had extremely shallow water and sunny skies this day. The fish were ganged up in schools of 20 to over a hundred. We saw over 200 fish in one hour!
    Took a group offshore on a slick calm but cold day last week. The Amberjack bite was the best I have seen in probably 10 years. After my folks got tired from catchin' AJ's we tried to grouper fish the wreck we were on. The Jacks were so voracious we couldn't get any thing to the bottom. Dead baits, strip baits, even a single dead cigar minnow on a 5 foot 80# leader was eaten by a jack no matter how slow you tried to lower it. I sure hope this is sign of how they are going to be the next few months! With gags closed for 2 months it'll be nice to still be able to go out and come in "fished out"!
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    While almost all the fish were over the slot a few of 'em were right nice!
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    We also boated a couple grouper and a fine (15#) Black snapper.
    The weather man is calling for calm but chilly (a high of only 59)on Sat. again. I think I've got a crew together to try to make a repeat!
    Capt. Larry Pentel
     
  6. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Hi everybody! Captain Larry is now a "Featured Blogger" on SoWal.com - welcome aboard Larry!

    See his blog at SoWal Beaches Forum - Captain Larry's Blog

    His latest report for February 10, 2009

    Larry is a fixture in SoWal, launching right off of Grayton Beach, and is as consistent catching fish as he is with his blog, which he has posted like clockwork on Cyberangler.com going back many years. His reports are always interesting and he always catches fish. A fine blog and great word of mouth usually keeps Larry booked, so call in advance.

    http://www.deadfishcharters.com

    850-685-1092
     

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