Fish are biting offshore, inshore and at the pier
H ello folks, the local fishing has been doing pretty good lately from the Pensacola Gulf Fishing Pier to offshore Snapper Fishing. So, I thought I would start with "you have arrived at Sunny Pensacola Beach and want to do something different." Well, let's go fishing! And, there are plenty of opportunities here to do it too. You can fish on the pier, book a private charter for your entire family or if it just you and the kids you can even book a walk on charter for a little less.
The first place I am going to take you is the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier which is the longest gulf pier in the State of Florida at 1,471 feet. The pier is a great place to go if you are fishing or just walking about looking around. Sightseers often get to see many species of marine life on the pier, including bottle nosed dolphins, sea turtles, crabs as well as many types of fishing. In fact, the other day I saw a huge sunfish at the end of the pier which was really neat. Over the years I have seen a dolphin give birth and a manatee as well as many sunfish which are interesting ... just no telling what you will see from the pier.
All we need for this king fishing expedition is two rods, one small light tackle rod for catching bait and a good size spinning reel with 20-25 pound test for the king mackerel. We will need King Rigs and Sabiki Rigs for catching bait. If you are visiting and do not have your own gear, you are in luck because the pier has everything you need and Gulf Breeze Bait and Tackle isn't too far away. Now, a king rig is actually a simple swivel, wire leader and a treble hook at the end. You will want to make your leader 18 to 24 inches and as light as you can get away with. Some fishermen/ women engineer a second hook right behind it called a cheater rig for a little extra advantage. I suggest anything over 30 lbs.
If you're fishing at the pier, the first thing you are going to do is rig your sabikki rig onto your light tackle rod with a small 2 oz weight at the bottom. Also, have ready your spinning reel with rigged with a king rig. Next, look for a school of baitfish cast out and jig the rig back to you. When you hook up, bring your bait fish in. If you have a hard tail, hook him through the back; if your catch is a cigar minnow, ballyhoo, etc then hook it through the lip.
The best fishing for Kings and Spanish are at the end of last 1/5th of the pier. Most fisherman/women who are regulars fish the end of the pier casting out and allowing their bait to float along the surface. Please, when fishing be mindful not to cross up everyone's lines. With your drag loose, wait for the fish to strike. If you do not get a strike and your bait has now drifted a ways and in danger of tangling, bring it in and recast. When the fish strikes, allow him to run with it then jerk the pole back setting the hook. Now, the rest is up to you and there are plenty of friendly people on the pier to help you bring your catch aboard.
The next place I am going to take you is aboard a charter boat. Charter boat captains are fishing every day and they have the line on where the fish are most of the time. There are two types of charters you can get depending on the level of service you want: private with just you and your family/group and party boats where you fish with several other people for a per person price. I prefer the "private charters" because the captain and crew can focus on you; they typically produce better and customize the fishing experience to you and your needs.
When fishing on a fishing charter, you will want to be at the boat about 30 minutes ahead of time. Do not worry about weather, the Captain will let you know what the offshore conditions are and I have fished sunny days offshore and it rained all day at the beach. Bring plenty of food, drinks and suntan lotion … the boat will take care of the rest from catching live bait for you, cutting bait, helping you fish, baiting hooks, taking your fish off the lines to cleaning your fish when you return to the dock. Some Captains even have restaurants that they can suggest to clean your fish for you. This is the ultimate in fishing entertainment.
Currently, the boats are catching Red Snapper for which Pensacola is world famous for, Grouper, Triggerfish, Amberjack, as well as many other gulf species. The offshore bite is stronger further offshore so if you are considering a charter you might want to think about one 8 hrs or so.
This is just two options for fishing our area, of course there are many more from fishing the shores for Whiting and Pompano to fishing the bridge next to the Bob Sykes for flounder, trout, and croakers. If you have any questions about fishing please feel free to call Gulf Breeze Bait and Tackle or any charter service and they will be more than happy to help you.
So, are you still looking for something to do on Pensacola Beach? Go fishing!