Plenty of Fish for a New Year

January 7, 2015 by Larry Pentel

Happy new Year! I hope everybody had a joyous and family-filled holiday this year. I was fortunate to have all my kids home for Christmas as well as get to run some great trips over the holidays.

As always the 10 days around Christmas and New Years are the busiest of the winter and get booked up for every day. And, as usual, the weather blows winter for about half that time.... I got to run 6 trips since my last report and we had great success on all of 'em.

The Flounders have 'bout gone from the beach although we did catch some good ones on a few trips. I ran a trip on the 2nd where the anglers said they just wanted to "catch big fish" and didn't want to keep anything. I wore their arms out catching LOTS of Red Snappers for about 3 hours (up to 20#) and then when they were beat down we went and caught a few Flounders that they let me keep for dinners. My kind of trip!

Lots of vermillion snappers around, even on the close in rocks I had to fish on a couple blowy days. Today was the first day I really got to go "offshore". We made it about 8 miles out and had a great bite with some BIG fish. I fished a few rocks for snappers as my folks had asked for 'em and we got about 3/4 of a limit 'fore I suggested we try for bigger fish. I don't think they were quite ready but they got their game on pretty quick!

A pair of fine jacks that turned these boys into anglers quick.

Some of the rest of the catch. We had a limit of jacks , limit of snappers, a few triggers and even a scamp grouper.

I had a family get on the boat with mom's first words being " I have 26 people coming for family reunion and I need to feed 'em fish". Okay..... let's go chase vermillions.

Not only did they get a limit of snappers they got 2 scamps and Strawberry Grouper too, I think she can feed everybody a couple dinners and fish and grits for breakfast too!

This group had a limit of snappers as well as 30 pinks and a jack.

As well as a couple big groupers we threw back.

These guys had a really great "seafood platter" mix of fish. They had 10 flounders along with "almost" a limit of snapper (34), a couple Triggers, a Jack and 28 Pinks. The hard part was figuring out what to cook that night.

It's that time of year when the weather forecast dictates when you can fish and what you can fish for. I had folks wanting to fish the next 2 days but the weatherman is saying it wouldn't be any fun...... Hopefully I can get a trip in back out to those Jacks in 3 days or so. What a great bite!

In the meantime I still have lots of reels to rebuild, rods to wrap, gel coat to repair and another boat to finish putting together. Every hour on the water equals at least 2 hours keeping it all working!


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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