Fish abound ... Get’em while the gettin’s good
Warmer waters bring in all kinds of baitfish. Just behind these baitfish will be just about every species of fish that is common to our area. Both the inshore and offshore fishing is about to explode.
The cobia fishing is coming to a close near shore, but they can still be found offshore around most of the larger public wrecks. The run was a little slow this year, but it seemed like fish were, over all, larger, with a lot in the 70 to 80 pound class.
Near shore in the Gulf, the pompano fishing has been smoking hot. These fish are a local favorite and resemble a permit from down south. They can be caught off the local Gulf fishing piers or by surf fishing up and down the beaches.
The favorite bait for these fish is the sand flea. Sand flea rakes are available at most tackle shops and can be harvested in the near shore surf. Of course, most tackle shops have the fleas for sale, as well.
Inside the bays and sounds, the redfish and speckled trout are moving onto the grass flats. They are also hanging in some of the deeper holes around piers and boathouses along the intracoastal. The bite is best during the early morning hours.
The offshore trolling for dolphin, wahoo, tuna and marlin is also about to take off. Warmer temperatures and approaching weed lines will produce a lot of action. Of course, the tuna bite is on nearly year round now around the oil rigs.
These oil rigs are located some 80 to 120 miles to the southwest of Pensacola. To get a full day of fishing in for tuna, it’s best to do an overnight trip on one of the larger charter boats.
The bottom fishing off shore is in full swing. The vermilion snapper bite has been great and will continue to get even better. The daily limit is 10 per person, and it is rare not to catch a limit.
The granddaddy of all snapper is the red snapper. There are two different seasons for them, depending if you are fishing in state or federal waters.
The fish gods have not determined the exact seasons yet. They will decide in late April, and the word is, state waters will have a 78-day season and the federal waters will have a season around 45 days.
These red snapper have been regulated to death and, as a result, they have almost taken over every wreck in the Gulf. The average size red snapper is 8 to 12 pounds.
June 1 is the opening day in federal waters. The daily bag limit for these red snapper is two fish per person per day, and the total length has to be 16 inches.
Maybe a fishing trip is still on your bucket list, or maybe you just need to get out and wet a hook. Whichever, the time is now.
Check us out at www.entertainercharter.com and let us hook you up on your next fishing excursion. As we always say aboard the Entertainer, “May the good fishing be yours.”