Fast Fishing in South Walton

June 24, 2013 by Larry Pentel

While everybody loves "fast fishing", I have been fishing fast the past two weeks. I have run 22 trips in the past 13 days and while we have had some spectacular catches, I am starting to wear down just a little.

I took Sunday afternoon off and worked on the boat, after running a trip this morning, dealt with book work awhile and I actually got a 40 minute nap in before sitting down to type this! I think I'll stil be in bed at 8:30...4 a.m. still comes early!

All these 4 a.m. wake-ups have been paying off. A tank full of live bait when I pick up my folks promises for big bites from bigger fish. While almost everybody running charters has been limiting out with the Red Snappers, every trip it is nice to have a limit with some big fish in it!

In addition to the Snapper bite I am happy to report that the Kings have shown back up as well - all sizes - too short to keep to bona fide "smokers". We had a fish up on a hardtail yesterday afternoon that was right at 50 pounds.

The June Cobia mini run has kicked in too! We have landed four on the Dead Fish this past week and I saw Capt. Mike of Trigger Happy hang one up yesterday afternoon as well. Capt. Scott on the Tail Hooker had a 50 pound Wahoo this a.m., just five miles off the beach! All that and a few Mahi's scattered around have made for some great catches since my last report.

Here are some pics, just to rub it in if you didin't get to go.

These two caught a bunch of Snapper including those two really big ones. I asked if they wanted to catch something even bigger.... so they got a "real " King too.

These guys fished with me three days in row. That 75 pound Cobia was the highlight of all the trips....unless you were the guy that caught the biggest Snapper.

While it's "only" 30 pounds - that Red Grouper ain't bad on the next day's four hr. trip either!

Three kids and two dads on a perfect three hour afternoon family trip.

Another afternoon trip with a great Cobia for a bonus fish!

These folks have fished with me for over ten years and have had some fine boards...a limit of Snappers, some (big) Kings and some Mahi's are this year's memories.

The Frank's Hardware crew managed to convince a lumber supplier they all needed to go fishing. The 1st crew had an afternoon trip with a great bonus Cobia...the gal was high hook up to the Cobia catch..

The second bunch had a little bit better grade of Snapper and some Mahi for a bonus. This gal was one of the few who didn't "win" biggest or most. She had never been before and had to settle for second biggest Snapper... but "Pops" (who won) has been fishing his whole life.

Fishing is great now folks. Most of the more experienced guides are going to be booked up this time of year but if you get a chance to go ... take it! There are plenty of fish to be had!

It may sound like I make a big deal out of the gals highlining the catches, but by and large it is true. The main reason is that guys who don't do this all the time try to overpower or "rush" hooking the fish while gals are more inclined to be smooth and take their time. The best advice I can give any angler is that fishing is a dance with the fish - you just have to lead. It is rarely about brute force or strength - rod tip up ,wind very slow at first lift up, wind down, be smooth... and keep 'em out of the wreck!

Now go get 'em!


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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