Panhandle Fishing Report - Pensacola Bay & Choctawhatchee Bay
Capt. Eddie Woodall
January 24, 2006
Pensacola - Saltwater Fishing Report
Finishing up January and Fishing into February
Catching the Bull Redfish should be no problem in Pensacola Bay or the Gulf of Mexico. The most productive tactic has been to find them feeding on bait beneath birds. The larger schools have been about 4-5 miles west of Pensacola Pass in the Gulf and along the beach, although there are still some fish scattered throughout the bay they can be tough to find. But when you find them schooling, they'll eat nearly anything you throw. Swimming jigs or large bucktail jigs are my personal favorites.
There are good numbers of legal grouper being caught around structure in Pensacola Bay. Finding these fish will take some work due to there are no published numbers for these spots; you must find them on your own. You can find these grouper in water from 20 to 50 foot deep. Then just like offshore fishing, dropping live bait or jigs will work for Grouper in the bay. However, the best approach is to troll with a Stretch 25 or 30. While keeping a close eye on your bottom machine for structure to stop and drop your live bait on.
Sheephead are beginning to school around the structure. Your best results will come from fishing around bridge pilings or the rock jetties. When fishing for Sheephead, live bait is a must!
Speck fishing has been fair, and with the weather changing daily it's been tough to catch a descent limit of fish. The canals, rivers and bayous in Santa Rosa Sound and Pensacola Bay are where you should be fishing this time of year, and live bait is a must!
The rubble around Pensacola Bay Bridge continues to be one the best spots to fish in the bay. With little effort, you can catch all the White Trout you want and be on the ready for other possible catches such as Redfish, Black Drum, Sheephead and Specks.
Taking into consideration that it's the middle of January, beach fishing has been great. There have been consistent catches of Pompano along with Bluefish, Whiting and Redfish. You should be using either fresh shrimp or sand fleas for bait.
The Bottom Fishing Offshore has been doing well with lots of BIG Grouper coming from the Edge. The Edge can be tough fishing because of a lack of GPS numbers, but you can track down some good GPS numbers from the local Dive Shops to get you started. Then begin drifting and you will find plenty of different rocks and ledges to fish. Live bait will increase your chances of having a productive day.
For the angler that likes to have his shoulders jerked out of place, now’s the time for you. Lots of Amberjack are on the large public wrecks. They can be fairly easy to catch with frisky live bait. There have been a lot of bluefish around the Massachusetts that will get the job done.
I know one thing for sure - You ain’t going to catch’em sittin’ on the couch!!
So get out there, and take a kid fishing.
Tight Lines and Screaming Drags, Till Next Time! God Bless.
Professional Fishing Guide
Capt. Eddie Woodall
Full Net Fishing Charters
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