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Fishing Report for the Florida Panhandle

Capt. Alex Crawford
March 30, 2004
Carrabelle - Saltwater Fishing Report


Eat, sleep, fish, eat sleep, fish has been the basic routine for the past week. No complaints mind you. It is good to get back into fish shape after winter inactivity. And the sun is warm and the fish cooperative. So, short and sweet, What’s Biting Now.

In the skinny waters of the Saint George Sound and the Apalachicola Bay speckled seatrout are eating jigs, shrimp and small pogies. The huge schools of spring-run pogies are under attack by all predators. Yesterday, the pelicans, terns and laughing gulls were tearing them up in the two mile channel. Also, yesterday, literally acres of pogies were being cut to pieces by maurading schools of little tunnies about 18 miles out to the southeast in the Gulf.

You read it here first. The pompano are here! Last week Saturday marked the very first day that the pomps have been caught on the east jetty at the Bob Sikes Cut. Now that the word is on the street, it is standing room only and bumper cars in the Cut. Yes, Captain, you are legally responsible for your vessel’s wake. And, just like driving in downtown Manhattan, you possess the space that you occupy and all the rest is fair game. One would think that the South Florida attitude had moved to the Forgotten Coast. Do unto others as you would have………………..

So, get your pomps quickly before they get struck. Look for troughs along the beach where pompano love to eat crustaceans, like mole crabs. Add a shrimp sweetened to your favorite color jig and work it slowly.

The appetite of our beloved redfish has been kicked up a notch with warmer water. Look for reds on both sides of slack water around the bridge pilings, oyster bars and parallel to the jetties inside the Cut. Try a cracked blue-crab claw, it is a killer redfish bait. A small pigfish/grunt is another great offering, fished on the bottom.

The last hoorah of the sheepshead bite is happening now. Some tackle shops still have live fiddler crabs for sale at about $2 per dozen. For best results, keep them out of the direct sunlight. Try to fish them vertically in current if at all possible, so as to better feel the finesse bite.

Mangrove snappers are dependable targets now offshore on your favorite wreck. Fresh cut sardines, cigars and squid will get the mangos going. If your wreck has remaining steel, you will need to tackle up to 20 pound class or lose 5 pounders to the superstructure. Mangos feed up in response to quality chunk baits. They are even easier to chum up than red snaps. Sauteed mangos, wow!

Springtime angling on the Forgotten Coast is prime time!!! Go coastal and make it happen.

Til next tide, tight lines and solid hookups,

Captain Alex Crawford

www.topknots.com Proud Member Florida Outdoor Writers Association

Proud Member Florida Guides Association

Proud Member Coastal Conservation Association

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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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