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Fall fishing on the Forgotten Coast is magnificent

Capt. Alex Crawford
September 22, 2008
Carrabelle - Saltwater Fishing Report

The Tropical storms have gone and the fishing is gonna get better again
offshore.. We just need the right winds and seas. The aftermath of the hurricanes that blew by this past week has given us east and north wind, yuck! If you can catch fishes on east wind, you are a better angler than me. East sucks! Oh well, this sure beats southeast at 100.

The really great news as of first light this am 7/20 is our first "feel" of fall weather. It is nice and cool and crisp this morning which hopefully means an end to ninety plus days and super high humidity. This also hails the start of the fall bite. King mackerel are chomping southward bound bait at a ravenous pace. If the bait sticks around, so will the kings. Grouper will continue to improve right on into winter and beyond. It is not to early to make some winter hunting plans.

It is time to double check your hunting gear now that fall is almost here. Clean your rifles and shotguns and inventory your ammunition. Is your deer stand in good repair? How about the duck blind? Early duck season will be here before you know it. Man can't live on fish alone.

Another piece of really good fishing news-- the cooler water temps means vast improvement for inshore fisheries. The trout, flounder and reds will be really turned on very soon. If you like these species, plan an inshore trip soon. The fish are sure to be willing biters. Live shrimp is the bait of choice in fall. Break out the camo Gortex and go for it!

The redfish will be stacked up in the Government Cut. A small frisky croaker fished on a fish finder rig will be hard for that old bull red to pass up. The gator trout will be cruising the grass flats looking for an easy meal. Be there at first light throwing your favorite surface mirrorlure or Rapala and score a chunky sea trout. Mullet patterns are proven winners for trout.

Try the new Saint George Island bridge pilings for a flounder dinner. Again live shrimps are the premier bait for flounders. Fish the bait very slowly and have a good dip net at the ready. Black drum will be another easy target around the pilings. Look for the tide that allows for fast current. Black drum are very strong on medium tackle, just like there cousin the red drum. And black drum really eat well. The slot fish are tender, white meat and fillets can be fried to a golden brown.

If you are willing to follow the water temperature in the Apalachicola River, when it reaches the seventy degree mark, it is likely that striped bass will be in the lower river and looking to eat your lure or bait. Stripers grow huge in the river and really give a great account of themselves as a sporting challenge. Traveling in big schools, striped bass can be caught in large numbers once you find the fish. The railroad bridge a few miles up the river is a good place to start your search. Park and watch the other boats to help find fish. Live shrimp is a deadly bait for stripers.

Fall on the forgotten coast is arguably the best time of year to fish. The weather is exceptional and most of our favorite species are here and hungry. Get out on the water and make it happen!

Till next tide,
Tight lines and solid hook ups,
Captain Alex Crawford
(850) 697-8946

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Captain Alex Crawford is a full time guide who has fished the Florida Panhandle offshore for 26 years. He specializes in grouper and snapper trips with light tackle on live bait. Custom trips for companies with multiple boats will be arranged. Inshore trips targeting specific species and custom eco trips are available for birding, gator watching, shelling, picnics and barrier islands. Contact Captain Alex for a fun and productive trip on Florida's Forgotten Coast.

Contact Info:

Topknots Charters
P. O. Box 1029
Carrabelle, FL 32322
Phone: 850-697-8946
Alt. Phone: same
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