Jacks or Better to Open

December 14, 2015 by Larry Pentel

While the powers that be (in control) may have closed greater Jacks a couple weeks ago we have been fortunate to have had a big movement of their hard pulling cousins, Amberines, show up inshore.

Pound for pound I don't think anything pulls harder and they sure are good fried and grilled...... The Flounder bite had started getting really good with the water temps dropping into the mid 60's and then we had a big SE push of warm water, air and surf and that raised the Gulf back into the 70's.

The Flounders seemed to have gotten kinda confused with the water temp anomaly. There are still big schools of bait scattered out about every where from 40' on so the flat critters don't have to be ganged up on the inshore wrecks to find dinner and have left the usual "easy" spots where we were wacking 'em hard a couple weeks ago.

There are still Flounders to be caught but we have had to work for 'em the past few days. I hope that when the next cold front comes (tomorrow according the weather gurus) the tasty flat fish will get back into the usual December pattern.

The Vermillion Snappers are still pretty thick from about 75' on out. We went about 5 miles offshore today and found the little red snapper cousins stacked up in about 80'.... I think it took my guys under an hour to catch a limit of 10 per angler.

Thanksgiving week had the beach packed with folks enjoying the warm temps and a lot of 'em wanted to fish but the surf kept me from running most of my trips. It got calmer about Saturday and has been just beautiful since. I think we have some weather tomorrow with a temperatures drop and then nice conditions with seasonable temps for the next week.

Here are some of the folks that got in on the calm pretty days along with some of what they caught.


A new group of anglers with Jacks, Flounders and Vermillions. That young gal on the left had the Flounders figured out before any of the big "kids".


These guys had a pile of Vermillions and some Flat fish too.


These two anglers stayed in town and extra 8 hours on Sunday to take advantage of a beautiful, calm, fishy day. They said getting back to N.O. after dark was MORE than worth a limit of Jacks, Vermillions and Flounders.


A couple locals from just down the lake on a birthday trip with a limit of Jacks and good pile of Flounders. The best part of this trip was I got invited to a Flounder dinner that night ! We had to work hard for the flat fish... luckily the jacks were easy!


These guys drove over from Destin this morning to catch a limit of Jacks and a limit of Vermillion snappers, We tried a couple flounder spots but only had about 7 bites... luckily the cooler was all ready full.

The weather and fishing looks great for most of the next week but I won't be out there. My oldest daughter is getting married this weekend and I have "father of the bride" obligations..... She is not only a great kid but has also converted the son in law into a Triple Tail fan and fisherman.

What could be better than getting to take your kids fishing?

For those that may have missed it in August, here's a pic of the 180# tarpon she caught on their birthday trip this year ( he got 2 good Tripletails as well that day...)



Hope everybody get s to catch 'em up this week..... I'll be back on the water soon.


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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