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Fishing Report for the Florida Panhandle

Capt. Alex Crawford
July 19, 2004
Carrabelle - Saltwater Fishing Report


First, let me apologize for being tardy on updating my fishing report. This is high season on the Forgotten Coast and it has been eat, sleep, fish etc. and difficult to invest weary hours at this machine. I promise to try and do better.

Letís talk offshore-ese for a while. But I promised to follow up on the previous whiting report. In a simple word, disappeared. Yes, just when I start bragging about breaking the code, the fish just vanish. Guess that is why it will always be fishing and not catching.

Offshore weather has been WOT, wide open throttle, i.e. flat as a mill pond. These idyllic wind and sea conditions have allowed us to venture into the Gulf at the speed of double triggers. Happy to report no tropical storms yet. But they will come soon and Topknots will be on the hill, chafing at the dock cleats.

King mackerel have been as thick as thieves lately. And we have been fortunate to stick a few smokers. Put a 28 in the box last week after three laps around the boat, over and under the anchor line. We lost a couple nice fish as well, but that is just part of the chase. Kings have the uncanny ability to break you off at the boat. Since they are members in good standing of the tuna family, they always do the round and round death spiral thing. If you let them, they will break off in your prop, your marker buoy line or any line left in the water during the fight. Also, they have an affinity for expensive Aftco gaffs.

Chumming with live pogies behind your anchored vessel will attract kings, as well as Spanish, cobia, mahis and sow snappers. When a big ocean bonito eats your bait, just hang on and pray the first run does not spool you. Same scenario with large kings, that first run is exhilarating. Tournament king anglers keep a loose drag, so as not to pull the hook on that first scorcher run. You can always tighten down on him as you gain some advantage. Be careful when the fish comes to the surface at the boat. You can break them off with a too tight drag.

Have you ever tried smoked kingfish dip? It is just to die for, even for non fish eating folks. The steaks yield pure white dollops of meat that produce the best eating. There are many recipes, just select the ingredients you like best.

Till next tide, tight lines and solid hookups,

Captain Alex Crawford

www.topknots.com Proud Member Florida Outdoor Writers Association

Proud Member Florida Guides Association

Proud Member Coastal Conservation Association

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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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