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Fishing Report for the Florida Panhandle

Capt. Alex Crawford
April 8, 2005
Carrabelle - Saltwater Fishing Report


Between pressure systems, a rowdy group of Louisville boys and I steamed out into the Gulf on a mission. Their wives were somewhat skeptical of their collective fish catching abilities. As they boarded Topknots at the dock, I was informed in no uncertain terms that the pressure was on me to produce quality fish for their dinner party that night. Not only did they have to prove they could catch the “bacon,” but they planned to fry it up in a pan for the lovely ladies. We all are acutely aware that the females rule the world, but simply allow us males to think we do. So, the burden was placed squarely on my shoulders, nothing new. Potential they say is a heavy burden, but one can’t live on old yellowed press clippings. Our world today is all about what did you do for me during the last 2 minutes. I accepted the challenge and even tried to get into the money pool wager for biggest fish. They would have none of it, so off we went towards the watery horizon, in search of groupers and other good-eaters for their dinner soiree.

We anchored on a reef, as I announced lines down in unison. At first it was throw-back snappers, but, as the current picked up, the gags and red groups found the box. These gentlemen were ecstatic because the bragging rights would be big-time and the wives would be so proud of their expertise in catching and cooking these yummy fish. At one point in the trip the youngest even hooked up a nice cobia. The fish pulled the hook, but the angler was thrilled with the experience. Cobia was not on the menu anyway.

All of the recent rains have produced flood levels in the Apalachicola River and its tributaries. What that means to the serious offshore angler is that one needs to run farther offshore to escape the fresh water mixing into the brine. If you catch catfish and trout offshore, you will know it is time to point her south and go to deeper numbers.

Red snapper season reopens in federal waters on April 22nd. The fish are out there and waiting for you. Springtime angling on the Forgotten Coast is your chance to indulge your passion. Embrace the sea and make her your life-long friend. Entrust yourself to some quality time with Mother Nature, it is nautical and nice.

Till next tide, tight lines and solid hookups,

Captain Alex Crawford


Proud Member Florida Guides Association

Proud Member Florida Outdoor Writers 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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