Empty Beaches, Great Fishing & Snappers To Come

August 24, 2010 by Larry Pentel

The annual migration of the tourist families back North has happened with the onset of a new school year. The beaches are empty and as much as everyone who lives here enjoys having the visitors it sure is nice to have "our" beach back to ourselves! I got to take 4 days off and went over to Indian Pass and St Joe bay for a break. The Scallopin' was great and I had a blast swimming in the Bay 3 days in a row and eating some Fine fresh Scallop dinners.
Back to Seagrove and Grayton this week. I went fishing by myself one day- nobody to take care of or hooks to bait but my own. I had a great time and even found a couple new spots. Also got to eat fresh trigger fish for dinner. My favorite !

Fish at the boat !

I ran a couple trips the past few days as well and we did quite well. My group today even added a nice Cobia to the box on the last stop of our four-hour trip. We had a box full with a few Groupers, some Triggers, Amberines, a King and a pile of Pink Snappers that wouldn't fit on the board.

More fish still in the box !

These boys had never been before but the youngest was already planing on fishing his way through his retirement years after the trip !

The BIG NEWS is the reopening of Red Snapper season. The Feds had lots of meetings and decided that due to most of the Gulf being closed for the summer and 99% of the charter fleets working for BP, the Snapper quota was only 1/3 filled when they closed the season. Yeah!

They actually paid attention to the biggest thing going on in the Gulf in years. Now, here is where it gets interesting and the Feds get to make life as difficult and confusing as they can for all us Fisherfolk yet again. They have opened Red Snappers back up October 1st thru Nov. 21st, but only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays!

I guess we should feel fortunate that the current head of NOAA hasn't made it illegal to own a fishing pole but how crazy is this? The original season was 7 weeks long during the summer and calm weather, and they projected 3.4 million pounds of Snapper would be caught recreationally.

Now, they project 2.3 million pounds will be caught when the tourist season is over, the weather is rough quite a bit and we can only fish 3 days a week. Maybe we can get somebody new running NOAA after the next presidential election that won't have such an agenda to mess with us.

Oh well, at least I know we will have some very pretty catches of fish on the Weekends. If you plan on coming to the beach this Fall and want to put some Snappers in the freezer I suggest you call whoever you like to fish with early to book. Those 3 days a week are already starting to fill up.


Larry Pentel's picture

Captain Larry Pentel is a native of South Walton, growing up just 300 yards from the beach. Having fished the local waters for over 40 years, he is very familiar with all the different types of local fish, their habits, and most importantly - their habitats. Captain Larry is the owner of Dead Fish Charters

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