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Fishing Report for the Florida Panhandle

Capt. Alex Crawford
March 12, 2007
Carrabelle - Saltwater Fishing Report


On the Forgotten Coast of Florida this is a special time for aficionados of fish eating. Many folks don’t know that one of our “trash fish” is one of THE very best eating of all the fish that swim in the ocean. The whiting more than makes up for its less than stellar reputation as a game fish by being spectacular on the dinner table.

Whiting travel in large schools and will begin their spawning season when the water temperatures reach the high sixties. Well, guess what, that is exactly where we are now inshore on a sunny day on the surface. When whiting spawn, they are like other species that become eating machines. Ravenous does not describe the attitude of these hungry little critters. When you find the fish on the right tide, you will hook up a fish on every cast. Incoming water seems to be best.

The best baits for whiting catching are small pieces of fresh dead shrimp. Since their mouths are small, a #1 hook is an ideal size. A quarter ounce slip sinker is sufficient for long casts. You will bet bit when the bait hits bottom. Have a pair of hemostats to remove small hooks that are swallowed.

Other effective baits include any of the artificially scented jig tails like Power Baits. The shrimp flavor works best. Orange color seems to attract fish in clear water. Try tipping your offering with a small piece of shrimp tail.

Pompano will eat your small baits as well. And they like the same areas that the whiting do. Any channel or hole that is deeper than the surrounding area will hold food and fish.

Six to eight pound spinning tackle is perfect for whiting. You’ll need to make long casts at times and having a smooth drag will be helpful when a big red nibbles your bait.

On two trips this week our results were excellent. The big sheepshead were very cooperative and the whiting bite was wide open once we found the fish. These warm sunny spring days will invigorate your fishing spirit and wash away the dreary winter cold. Get out on the pond and have fun, spring is here!

Till next tide, tight lines and solid hookups,

Captain Alex Crawford

Proud member Florida Outdoor Writers Association

Proud member Florida Guides Association

Website: www.topknots.com (850) 697-8946

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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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