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Fishing Report for the Florida Panhandle

Capt. Alex Crawford
June 18, 2005
Carrabelle - Saltwater Fishing Report



The operative word for our summer weather is suffocating, as in HOT. We went from a spring project of building an ark to full-blown summer heat. No transition, just BOOM, oppressively hot! As I bang words in my word machine at first light, my deck thermometer already registers 85 and not a wisp of wind. I know I complain when it is blowin’ a gale and when it is flat calm. Without some bitchin’, what would one do? The good news is that the weather for the Father’s Day Big Bend Tournament is the best it has been in years. This will produce some giant fish like wahoos, mahis and AJs from deep water. The twin screw guides will burn some fuel today. Imagine pumping 200 gallons of fuel at $2.50, just a $500 bill. No wonder the big offshore boats command $1000 per day for charter, it is simply a function of time and fuel expense.

This past week has been eat, sleep, fish etc. Everyone is here on vacation to enjoy the spectacular weather and great fishing. The bite is always spectacular after a tropical storm. The good folks over in Pensacola/Orange Beach were just getting back to work from last years’ hurricanes when Arlene smacked ‘em again. Life is not fair! Storms suck, but it is part of our Gulf coast lifestyles. Living on the water can be challenging. It’s a risk and reward thing.

For the first time this year we decided to try the new artificial reef that was deployed last summer, the Saint George Island bridge rubble. It is acres of concrete and steel. The reef is not mature yet and needs some more time to grow marine organisms before it becomes an effective waypoint. We caught lots of fish on it this week, but most were shorts. Plus, we lost beaucoups rigs to the groupers and steel. This new reef will improve later this summer, stay tuned for future updates.

The mahis and Spanish are here in hordes. Yesterday acres of Spanish were cutting glass minnows in a frenzy just outside of the Cut. Did I mention how good fresh Spanish are to eat. Have fun and scale down your tackle. Or, break out your light fly rod and have a blast. A short wire leader is required for toothy critters.

Inshore guides are reporting great catches of trout. The turtle grass inside of Cape Saint George Island is always a reliable spot if you have good current on incoming water. Bait is plentiful now with pogies and pinfish here for the catching. A small pinfish on a cork will tempt a pretty spotted seatrout. Or, even better, send a frisky trout down on your favorite offshore wreck and hang on, a monster AJ or black grouper will pull you over board. The analogy here is that catching trout is like catching bait, get it?

Gotta scrub el boato now.

Till next tide, tight lines and solid hook ups,

Captain Alex Crawford

www.topknots.com Proud Member Florida Coastal Conservation Association

Proud Member Florida Guides Association

Proud Member Florida Outdoor Writers 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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