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Forget the economic woes

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


Want to forget the bad news on the economy for a while? Grab your favorite fishing pole and get out on the water for a few hours and catch a few fish. With all the natural beauty of the Forgotten Coast, no one could sit in a fishing boat and fret over money issues. No way! Plus, it is wonderFALL and the very best time to be outdoors with idyllic weather and the fish all biting.

Inshore try the old SGI bridge pilings in the bay for redfish, flounder, drum, whiting and trout. Offshore try any of the close to shore wrecks for Gulf grouper and snappers. Fresh dead baits like cigar minnows will catch dinner for a large family. Remember you will need to rig non- stainless circle hooks, no J hooks for reef species. Dress warm for early morning runs offshore. It is getting down in the 50's now and a wind breaker is a critical piece of equipment for angler comfort. Your rain suit may be the perfect weight if it is not too cold. Just don't forget and leave it onboard the boat, you will need it soon for the duck blind and deer stand.

Hunting and fishing is the perfect escape from all of the negative news these days. Get outside and get a new positive attitude. I promise it will work everytime!

The most current reports from the best inshore guides tell of giant trout being caught off the Saint Vincent dry bar. Also try the grass flats just inside of Cape Saint George Island. L&S Mirrorlures on the surface early in the morning is a proven winner. Live shrimp when you can find them is probably the most consistent trout bait. Try Bird Island outside the West Pass for redfish on a slack tide—again shrimp is the ticket. The trout and reds will just get better over the next month with cooling water temps. Eight pound class tackle is appropriate it most situations for redfish and trout. However, it will not be long now with bull reds in their pre-spawn mode stacked like cord wood in the Government Cut.

Another fun, but sometimes overlooked species is the striped bass. In early winter the stripers swim down from Lake Seminole looking to fatten up before colder weather arrives. The railroad tressels a short run up the Apalachicola River is a good spot to begin you hunt for stripers in December. Christmas/New Years is the best time frame to try for big striped bass. The state record fish is growing as we speak and will be ready for your live shrimp by the end of the year. Go for it! Fifty pounds would be a helluva nice fish and bragging rights would be awesome.

Don't forget about the hard fighting, good eating sheepshead. This willing and abundant species never fails to please as we move into winter months. Try small strips of clams on a number one hook. Set the hook hard when he just breathes on it. Get the fish away from the barnacle-encrusted pilings fast. They will cut your line or leader like a razor. Also consider bringing a flat blade shovel to chum the barnacles off the pilings.

What else can I say to get you stoked about fishing at this time of year. Just get off the sofa and git ‘er done! That football game will be rerun tonight or tomorrow anyway. Football, especially the pros, seems to get old fast or is it just me? Be a participant sports addict, not a spectator always.

Fall is an exceptional time on the Forgotten Coast! Please forgive me for being so preachy. I just love this time of year. Can't help myself. If you can't get excited about the great outdoors during the autumn season, seriously consider changing sporting pursuits.

Till next tide, tight lines and solid hook ups,
Captain Alex Crawford
(850) 697-8946
email: captainalex@fairpoint.net

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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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