Waiting and Watching: Fishing With Captain Larry

May 3, 2010 by Larry Pentel

The big news item and the topic of everyone's conversation is , of course, the oil spill in the Gulf from the BP rig that sank. My phone is steady ringing with folks from points North wanting to know what's happening here at the beach. The bottom line is: Nothing, so far---

The oil is still a long way offshore and hasn't yet made landfall except in a small area at the mouth of the Mississippi river (pretty much inaccessible except by boat). Current Tide and wind projection models keep the oil offshore for at least another week. While there is much cause for concern and being prepared is always best, the beaches have been spared so far and seem to be safe in the immediate future. The big variable is when the flow of oil will be shut off. If it gets stopped soon and the weather continues to co-operate the effects in this area will be minimal. If it continues to flow for several months the entire Gulf and much of the East Coat will probably have major impacts.

The oil hasn't affected us but the weather has kept most everybody off the Gulf the past several days. Big surf and heavy rain do not make for a fun time fishin' ! Before it got rough last Friday I got to run some fantastic trips.

Wednesday I had a group of first timers that wanted to bottom fish. We got out and were steady catching Red Snappers and missing groupers when the Fly pole went off. Great !. Everybody up, let the man with the spinning rod walk around and lets catch this fish. After a bit I got to gaff a nice king and round back up on the spot. Got everybody fishing again and Wham !- off goes the fly pole again. Once again we put a nice king in the box and I change gears quickly. Bottom tackle out of the way- King tackle out and we are hooked up again. The Kings were ferocious and we got our limit pretty darn quick. I called up Capt Kerry on the "Not A Dog" and he came in and got in on the action with his anglers as well. We went on and caught a good mess of Vermilion Snapper, Pinks and Triggers to round out the box.

Plenty more still in the Box

Wednesday morning I had a combo trip- bottom fish first and then look for cobia. We caught some fine fish slip lead fishing but the cobia stole the show ! Lots of fish, deep, shallow, singles, pairs, wads. We ended up landing 8 ( pulled several more off) and kept our 5 fish limit. Multiple hook ups, lots of yelling and a beautiful day. What it's all about !

Find a pair and hook 'em both !

Not just lots but some big 'uns too!

Thursday morning I have a straight cobia trip and I'm chompin' at the bit after the day before. I'm in the boat , waiting for anglers to show when capt Kerry calls me on the radio from a mile down the beach- "we found a wad of 10, got 2 on, get down here quick". My folks showed up 5 minutes latter, I put it up on a plane and we found 4 of Kerry's wad- Hooking 2 and keeping a fine one. What a way to start!. The morning just kept getting better, I'm not sure how many fish we saw, singles, several wads of 8 or 10 and all sizes. We found a pair where we all thought the big fish was 60# and the small one was 10# or so. We hooked the small one right away (or course) and jut kinda pulled him around behind the boat while we chased the bigger one. After 10 minutes of typical cobia fishin' chaos we finally got a hook in the bigger fish. We go to deal with the "small" fish and he does not want to come to the boat to get released. After much ado we get him up to the boat only to realize the little one is 30#. Okay that makes the big one really big --a 100# class fish! We quickly released the "small one" and went to putting all out attention to the man on the bow with the big one when-- the hook pulls ! Oh well, another great fish story and we got to catch 10 cobia. We kept 5 releasing the other 5 and holding a spot open just in case we got another shot at a monster !

I'm sure there have been thousands of cobia swim by the past several days of hard SE winds. The weather is supposed to break today and be pretty again tomorrow. I have a cobia trip on the books (the folks came all the way from England to chase 'em !) I can't wait to see how many are left ! There should still be a pretty good show of the brown backed crab crunchers for another week or so at least.

Don't believe all of what you hear on the News!

Capt Larry Pentel


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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