Thankful for Great Fishing in South Walton

December 5, 2013 by Larry Pentel

I know it's been a bit since I wrote a report but here are a few pics from some great catches over the Thanksgiving holiday. We had a bit of normal early winter weather with rough seas and blowy winds and then it went to just downright beautiful for a bit, being as pretty as you could ever ask for at ANY time of the year.

I started the holiday week off on Sunday with an angler team that had me booked for two days this week. The wind was hard out of the NE and while it was probably nasty offshore we stayed right up on the beach and had a great four-hour trip in the middle of the day. My junior angler figured out Flounder fishing right away and his sponsor followed suite after just a bit. They caught our limit of fine flat fish so then we went and trolled a bit. They landed a big King, pulled off a few more and we caught a bunch of Bonita to keep 'em both busy with the rods.

LOTS more Flounder in the box!

The wind blew and surf came up for the next few days making it unfishable until Thanksgiving day when ... the same folks had me booked ! Since we had allready done the Flounder thing with such great success I took 'em offshore a bit for some of the "other" critters around this time of the year. We went and got 'em a limit of jacks (amberines) first, then let our jumior angler catch a bunch of Vermillions and a limit of Triggers while his sponsor targeted Groupers. Once again... a box full of fish by folks that had never done it before!

A couple of 20# Groupers with LOTS more fish in the box!

Friday had folks fishing with me who had made it a family tradition for 10 years over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Once again we had nice weather, calm seas and a great bite. We got a limit of Flounders ( 40 fish ) and then went out to bottom fish and and added lots of other critters including that FINE Grouper to a 4 hour box.

A great family tradition of good fishin'.

Saturday had a couple of regulars from Atlanta with some relatives in from as far away as Norway in for the holidays. We set a new land speed record for a limit of Flounder in an hour and six minutes... plenty of time left in 4 hr to go get a limit Jacks...and then Triggers.. and then a big Grouper.. and Vermiliions.... I cleaned fish for 2 hours and 15 minutes!

They caught probably 200 fish and we kept over 80!

Sunday had another Father Son team on the boat that had never fished with me before. Once again we started out with the flounders and caught their 20 fish pretty quick... back offshore about 4 miles and... lots of Vermillions..and then a limit of Jacks..and some Triggers.. and a couple Scamps.....

Happy anglers....I do believe they will be back!

Okay, my wife and I both had to work Thanksgiving, her at Grayton State Park and me on the boat. Our son in law is the chef at Fish Out of Water so he had to work as well with all the vacationers in town over the holiday. Our family celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday (Sunday) evening with a big dinner and a house full of folks. With the holiday over and all the vactioners back at work I didn't have a charter today and the weather looked to be as good as it gets so I invited some of the family and one of the neighbors to go "freezer fishin" this AM. We had a blast ! We launched at 8 and were back on the trailer headed for the house at 10 AM. I even got to fish and catch a bunch of Flounders myself. Not only did we all have a great time , we all get to eat some of the best seafood available for rest of the year !

Slick calm, warm, crystal clear water and lots of fish.

Get the Net!

Daughter Darcy (of Sirens at the Beach fame) with a Flat Fish. After we had our flounder and were headed in she asked me when I was gonna take her sight fishing for Redfish...maybe next weekend?


That's what a box of Flounders looks like. We got our 40 fish limit in an hour and 40 minutes.

Those of you that have fished with me over the past 5 years or so are probably familar with "Big Bird", the Great Blue Heron that is the mascot of the charter boats off Grayton. Well, Big Bird has been run off! One of his offspring "little bird" stood up to him this Fall and ran him back to the Lake outfall. This juvenile bird is not afraid of anything and has run off all the other herons from around where we launch. All the boats now "belong" to him .

The new King of the Beach!

The next 3 weeks will be some of the " slowest" here in SoWaL in terms of vactioners. Empty beaches, no lines at the restaraunts or bars and few, if any , boats on the water. If you are fortunate enough be here at this time and the weather lets you get fishing.... get out there and catch some!


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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