South Walton Spring Fishing is Warming Up

May 9, 2014 by Larry Pentel

It sure has been nice to leave the long sleeves in the closet and have to go buy more sunscreen. Seems like it took 'til the 1st of May for winter to finally give up trying this year. The fish are on the same schedule they have been for thousands of years and don't seem to care about a little extra rain on any given day. Luckily for me and my anglers our finny quarry has been pretty predictable and we get lots of shots at filling up the box every day.

The Vermilion bite has been nothing short of fantastic up till yesterday, they may have just been to full to eat anymore or they may be starting to move back offshore and spread out. My anglers asked if the fish always bit that fast and I had to honestly answer "no, it's kinda slow today.....".

The schools of Amberjacks have moved up in close on their Springtime travels and while most of the fish are short of keeper size there have been quite a few mixed in that my folks just haven't been able to stop. Still a good many cobia around with some BIG fish showing up on top of the AJ schools. We have had 3 fine ones on this week just by being ready for when they show. All were larger fish and it's hard to have an angler ready for a tricky 70+ lb critters moves when they are on their first trip out and have been catching snappers!

The Kings have been scattered the past week but there have been some big Mackerel. We have had a couple on that dumped the fly pole and landed one pushing 40# this week. Still some legal Triggers about and a lot of Scamps around as well. Inshore Scamp fishing is finese fishing with light tackle and tricky for those not experienced but we have been steady getting one or two on most trips.

As is normal, I am writing a fishin' report 'cause it's bumpy out this AM. Looks like a couple days off from fishing and time to work on the tackle.....

These guys had a limit of Snapper, 4 Kings, a keeper AJ and had a fine cobia on. It was a "group" trip. the 2 on the left are regulars and it was their trip, they met the other guys at a watering hole the afternoon prior after I had just called their trip off due to weather, got to talking and my seasoned anglers said "come with us in the morning"

This Father/Son team came down to Grayton just to fish. They fished an afternoon 3 hour, spent the night and then fished a morning 4 hr. the next day before driving back to Ga.. A very successful trip !

Limit of Snappers and Kings!

Another Snapper limit with some Trigs and a legal AJ.

These experienced dads took a quick 2 hr trip to take the kids out for their first time. The kids won't be happy dock fishing anymore!

This fellow wanted a Shark in the biggest way... his buddies wanted a box of fish. We caught a limit of Snappers and then went and got all 3 of 'em hooked up to a big toothy critter. This fellow landed his after a 30 minute tussle.

A great mixed catch of Kings, Snapper, Trigs and Scamp on a morning 4 hr.

Another fantastic mix that included a 36# King.

Family fishing with another Snapper limit, big King, Trigs and Scamp.

These guys had a pile of fish in the box on a slick afternoon so we went and played tug of war with the Amberjacks......the jacks won !

There should be scattered cobia around for the next month or so. The Kings are here 'till the end of November, red hot one day and MIA the next. Triggers remain legal in Florida State waters up to June 1st (closed in Federal water now). Red Grouper and Scamp Grouper around for the patient fisherfolks. Plenty of Aj's to give you a good pull and..............Red Snapper open in State water in 2 weeks !!!! Lots of fishing to look forward to.

Speaking about looking forward. I am going over to Indian Pass the end of July this year to chase Tarpon and Tripletails for most of August. While I won't be able to run any trips off Grayton at that time I do have openings for any one that wants a shot at a Silver King or loves to sight fish. The bunkhouse is still available ( free of charge) for anyone wanting to come over and stay the night prior to fishing the forgotten coast with me.


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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