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Groupers, Snappers, Reds and Trout

Capt. Alex Crawford
November 13, 2008
Carrabelle - Saltwater Fishing Report


This report title pretty much sums up the offshore and inshore species that are biting right now. That's not to suggest that you could not catch a nice blackfin tuna in the Gulf or a nice flounder in the Apalachicola Bay. Let's briefly discuss the where, how and when of targeting these good eating species.

First, the inshore bite is wide open for trout, including white trout. The slot-sized redfish are dispersed throughout the bay and are in their "fatten up for cold winter mode now."
For those of you that have not discovered the fishing report with Captain Jeff on Channel 3, Forgotten Coast TV, this is a valuable show with really good info about where to fish for your favorite species and what to use to entice them into eating your offering. You can contact Forgotten Coast TV for a schedule of Capt. Jeff's show. He does a great job of communicating the latest fishing info in a simple, direct format. Good luck and good fishing! Another excellent source of fishing info is Fisherman's Choice Bait and Tackle in East Point next to the Napa Auto Parts store on Hwy. 98. Ask for Charles or Rex, they are very friendly and are always plugged into what is biting and where. They have everything an angler could need for a good day of fishing in fresh or salt water.

Offshore, Captain David Giddens has been successful with gag groupers and mangrove snappers. He has been using pinfish that he catches in about 70 feet of water, as they move further offshore with colder water. On your nautical chart, look for shallow water wrecks, less than 100 feet that will hold groupers. Anchor on your favorite wreck and send down some frisky pins. If Mr. Grouper is hungry, hold on for a strong pull. Also, chunk and chum a little and look out for mangrove snappers to appear up in the water column. It is safe now to drift some cigar minnows back with your chunk baits, since the kings have gone south for winter. Look for schools of snappers holding just above the wreck and send your baits to that depth. There are still many species of snapper that you can keep to eat, like mangroves, lanes, vermilions and red snapper that must be released until the season returns. This may happen in this lifetime if we are fortunate.

Click to Enlarge Photo

If you fishing plans are to fish out west of Apalach, try Half Hitch Tackle in Port Saint Joe for all your fishing needs. Ask for Frank who always knows what's up in his area. No matter where you go, plan a trip soon to enjoy all of our spectacular autumn weather on the Forgotten Coast. Catch ‘em up and have fun! Don't forget to dress in warm layers and bring good, toasty boots. Don't ever forget the number one mission—HAVE FUN!

Till next tide, tight lines and solid hookups,
Captain Alex Crawford
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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