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Fishing Report for the Florida Panhandle

Capt. Alex Crawford
May 29, 2006
Carrabelle - Saltwater Fishing Report


Tom and Mary Beth came from Atlanta for Memorial Day weekend to get married on the beautiful beaches of Saint George Island and to do some offshore fishing. The weather was nothing short of idyllic for the wedding and the fishing.

The summer pattern is here with 90 degrees days and light southerly winds. Moderate wind and wave conditions make for a much more comfortable experience which equates to more fun for the anglers and Captain. Many species are spawning now and ravenously hungry. Snappers, triggers and trout are starting to spawn. These experienced anglers were aware of this and elected to only keep what they could use for personal use. So it was a catch and filet and catch and release trip all in one.

For the first time this spring we had a mahi mahi attack. Seems like this happens every year right around the end of May. It happens the same way every time. The flat lined minnow goes off and sheer bedlam follows. While floating at anchor minding our snapper and grouper bottom lines, these yellow-green speed demons swim by like colorful streaks in the night sky. It happens fast. We were lucky to hook up one small chicken as they came into our chum line. We had half a dozen in box in 15 minutes, then they were gone to continue their ocean pelagic existence as super-eating machines.

The honeymooners were thrilled to have the opportunity to add mahis to the take home dinner.

The stars and moon were in the perfect alignment and the fishing gods smiled on these newlyweds. From the time we set anchor on a limestone reef south of Saint Vincent Island, the bite was steady with good current. We began to pitch chunk baits and the fish responded immediately. It was not necessary to resort to the old stand bye technique of swimming down and commanding the fish to eat.

At the fish carving station after lunch, we realized the diversity of our catch. Different species included king mackerel, triggerfish, red snappers, gag groupers and mahis, a smorgasbord of seafood delights for the dinner celebration back home in ATL. The only improvement would have been a small cobia for steaks or a couple blackfins for the barby. My expectations for the trip were exceeded since we caught so many species. Angler expectations are not always a measurable commodity, but my customers this day were tired from pulling on all the fishes. A small bull shark even tried to eat the boat’s gelcoat while Mary Beth snapped the digital image. Sharks will wear an angler down fast, especially in hot sunshine out from under the bimini.

In closing, join me in a toast to the newlyweds and, on this Memorial Day, a heartfelt salute to all courageous American military folks who have served and are serving to protect our lives. Hooray for the red, white and blue!!!

Till next tide, tight lines and solid hook ups,

Captain Alex Crawford

(850) 697-8946

captainalex@gtcom.net www.topknots.com

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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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