Fishin' the Fronts in South Walton

February 1, 2016 by Larry Pentel

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!

By the time the water came back in the next day the surf was too big to go on both of those fronts. Luckily we have had a few "windows" where I had locals that got to not only fill up the box but get to catch some BIG fish too.

It's that time of the year that when we get a pretty day I can run out 20 miles or so and put folks on the Greater Amberjacks. The people in charge have raised the minimum size to 34 inches fork length so it has to be a BIG fish in order to keep. I guess that just means we get to catch and release more before we quit fishing!

Plenty of Vermillion Snapper around as well to fill up the box and make for sweet delicate dinners. We still get to keep 10 per person with them so it's a pile of fish. Triggers are open too but I have not found a bunch of 'em the past couple trips, being satisfied to just keep a couple along with everything else.


We had 2 more local anglers and 2 more AJ's along with a pile of snapper and Trigger on this trip but nobody cared about having a picture made so I just snapped this one as we were unloading the fish to clean.


A slick calm winter morning just made for hangin' on to a big AJ!


These guys are all locals (now) with the fellow 2nd from right originally being from Louisiana. He told me he has been fishing for 61 years and that Amberjack behind him is the biggest fish he's ever landed. He was pretty excited about the limit of Snappers we had too.... Another convert to beach launch fishin'!

The next calm day'll find me right back out there...


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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