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Fishing Report for the Florida Panhandle

Capt. Alex Crawford
July 10, 2006
Carrabelle - Saltwater Fishing Report


Captain Robyn Morgan, a dear friend, has earned the new title, QUEEN OF KINGS. One may ask, how is that? Well, here is the short story.

Last week Captain Robyn and I had a corporate offshore outing for ten anglers. We were late leaving the dock, but the weather was reasonable and we were not going way offshore anyway. The fish plan was to target snappers and groupers on a wreck in about 80 feet of water.

The forecast was for light winds out of the southeast and moderate wave conditions. The seas quickly picked up with east winds as we ran offshore. One of the anglers on my boat became motion sick as we were just outside of the Cut. He took some Bonine and was better for a while.

Winds out of the east, fishing is the least. Both boats got anchored on the wreck and immediately caught a few keeper red snappers. But the current stopped running and so did the bite. The seas were building and my angler was not doing well. There is a learning experience here. Folks pay a lot of money to go offshore fishing and when one member of the party becomes ill, it is problematic. The nauseated person sometimes begs to go back to the dock to relieve the misery. The others sometimes make cruel fun of their buddies for being sick, but the sick one is in misery. Who said life was fair. What always happens is the motion sick angler is told to just tough it out. The Captain can’t take the sick angler back to the hill, the trip has been paid for already. The answer is called a scop patch, a bandaid stuck behind an ear the night before the trip. Only prescribed by a doctor, scopolamine is an anestetic that is released through the skin that neutralizes the effects of inner ear imbalance that creates motion sickness. The side effects are minimal and it works for almost everyone. If you or your friends have known motion sickness issues, consider the scop patch, you will be glad.

Now back to the fishing story. Sorry, I digress sometimes and go off on a tangent. So, the current has slowed and the bite is dead. What to do? Captain Robyn knows the answer. She started chunking pieces of cigar minnows. The kingfish sticks were rigged with 60 pound wire and 4x strong treble hooks. A nice cigar minnow was pinned to the nose hook and sent out on a flat line for king mackerel.

Captain Robyn uses the finest kingfish outfits that money can buy. They start with a seven foot graphite rod. Penn 7500 SS spinning reels are locked on, spooled with 300 yards of 20 pound mono. The sticks have a fast taper to allow for the kingfish antics at the boat, without breaking them off. And the rods are stout enough to handle long, speed-burner runs that king mackerel are most famous for.

Another vital piece of kingfish equipment is a good gaff. Captain Robyn uses an eight foot AFTCO gaff with a small bite. She sharpens the business end stick-in-your-thumbnail sharp. Kings have very tough skin.

Since most good kings are lost at the boat, it is vital to get the fish in the box as quickly as possible. This takes a team approach, so no one gets injured. Never allow a king to rampage across the cockpit deck out of control. Someone may get attached to the king and it is no fun at all, trust me. If you plan to release a fish, just donate the wire rig and tie another. If you have ever had a 4x treble hook embedded in a body part, you will understand. Kings will hurt you if you let them. Captain Robyn has the gaff process down to a science. Never seen anyone gaff a fish will her skills.

This day was tough fishing and Captain Robyn changed game plans in mid stream to make it a good day. Her anglers put five very nice kings in the box. The biggest fish was over 50 inches and around 35 pounds. Respectable fish anytime! This day earned this savvy fishing guide the moniker of “QUEEN OF KINGS”!!!

Captain Robyn can be reached through her website at Captain Morgan Charters.com or call (850) 697-9690.

Till next tide,

Captain Alex Crawford

www.topknots.com (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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