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Fishing Report for the Florida Panhandle

Capt. Alex Crawford
June 23, 2006
Carrabelle - Saltwater Fishing Report

DADS AND SONS CATCH LIMIT OF RED SNAPPER

With all of the changes that are taking place by the Fed to regulate Gulf grouper, it is only natural that customers simply say,” we want snappers.” Many folks would rather eat red snapper, because they are great fried to a golden brown. Further, we fish them on natural reefs where the primary forage is crustaceans, mostly small blue crabs. Because of their crabmeat diet and the fact that they are fat and spawning, makes the fillets nice and thick and very, very tasty. Dipped into drawn butter, you could swear you were eating fresh Florida lobsters. The meat is pure white and mild.

Yesterday, two gentlemen from Mobile expressed a taste for red snapper. With their two 10 year old sons in tow, off we went into the deep blue looking for snaps. We force fed the fish a steady offering of cigar minnows and fathers and sons enjoyed many multiple hookups. I would not admit it, but I believe the two boys fishing from amidships put more fish in the big white box than their fathers did. We had stocked the fish earlier that morning under the front of the boat, so that explains it. When the fish are spawning, they stack up on the reefs and are very competitive. The only negative influences to a hot bite are sharks and slack water. We were lucky on this day since the sharks were not pesky like usual. We did lose some leaders to schools of Spanish macks, but the anglers cared nothing about macks, it was the snappers they coveted. And we were happy to see the current run hard during our half day reef adventure.

By lunch, the young anglers were tired and hungry. The temperature hovered around 90 and the wind was variable to five knots out of the southwest. So, we all wanted to cool down from an intense sun. That meant pulling anchor and heading for the hill with a limit of sixteen red snappers.

Oh, the stories these two young men will tell about their saltwater fishing adventure. The fathers were justifiably proud of their son’s good work. The kids were asleep on the console cushion before we headed north to the dock. It is hard work pumpin’ and windin’ on chunky fishes, especially at age ten. One young man even boated a 25 inch gag grouper. He won the big fish contest and reminded dad of this every chance he got.

There is a great deal of satisfaction watching children catch fish. Their excitement level surpasses the adults. And their smiles are big and wide with happy eyes.

Till next tide, solid hookups and tight lines,

Capt. Alex Crawford

(850) 697-8946

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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