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Fishing Report for the Florida Panhandle

Capt. Alex Crawford
January 31, 2006
Carrabelle - Saltwater Fishing Report

INSHORE BITE IS SLOW

Over the past few weeks the winter weather fronts have been like a roller coaster. We go from days of cold nights in the 30ís to several days of daytime temps in the lower 70ís. Typical of winter weather on the forgotten coast, the high and low pressure systems put fish in a lock jaw mode. The inshore surface water temps have been in the high fifties and low sixties. The reds and trout become very lethargic in this cold water and their metabolism/hunger is naturally abated.

Some species like black drum and sheepshead find colder water more to their liking. February is prime spawning time for cold water fish like sheepshead. Donít ask why this is true, it just is!

Early season reports on trout tell of decent action in the deeper holes north of Apalach in the East and Little St. Marks Rivers. Further East, anglers are catching trout under the Carrabelle River bridge.

Best artificial baits are the old standby Mirrorlures in your confidence colors. Chartreuse Ĺ ounce jigs worked slowly in the deepest part of the river bend always take nice fish. And, live shrimp will take lethargic trout and a frisky red or flounder. Employ a slow action to entice these cold water critters.

As always, try to schedule your early trout soirees to coincide with the periods of maximum current. Check your tide charts to catch more fish.

Remember, February is closed in the Northwest region to recreational possession of trout. Catch and release will warm your body and spirits. It does not always have to be a meat hunt. Pick a warm winter day and do it! Spring will be here soon, just check out the yellow pine pollen on your car.

Have fun, go fish!

Captain Alex Crawford

www.topknots.com

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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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