Pensacola Fishing Report - Rain and more more in the Panhandle has the water muddied up. The fishing has been tough, but no worries the fish are still biting. Redfish have been staging up under docks in deep holes from 3-7 ft of water. Live pinfish and cut mullet have worked well as well as a Matrix Shad on a 1/4 oz jig head. Specks are also being caught in both the sound and in big lagoon. MirrOlure 17MR has proven well in dark colors since the waters muddied up. Depths of fish are ranging in 4-7 ft, they moved out in to water that has less fresh water. Out in the Gulf the red snapper bite has been good along with Kings and Spanish.
Summer Break has arrived and even though it's gonna be hot, no worries, because the fishing is gonna be red hot as well. During the summer months we catch a variety of inshore species, including Trout, Redfish, Bluefish, Skipjacks, Jack Crevalle and Sharks.
All the fishing is done on the flats of Pensacola Bay, Escambia Bay, Pensacola Pass and just off the beaches. We only fish off the beaches when it's calm, so no worries on getting seasick.
Over the past month the inshore bite has been outstanding for trout and redfish. Tossing artificials like MirrOlure's 17MR has proven to do well with trout as well as the Matrix Shad bait that has taken the gulf coast by storm as a go-to bait for Trout and Redfish over the past 3 years.
Red fishing has also been very good on the flats, in Pensacola Pass and just along the beaches.
Matrix Shad in a variety of colors has proven to produce some nice slot reds. If you want to soak a bait, try cut mullet or cut ladyfish.
Sharks have shown up as the water has warmed up and they are tons of fun to catch on medium to medium heavy tackle. Most of the sharks range from 3 to 7 ft in length. Black Tips and Bull Sharks are what is usually caught on Shark Trips.
For more information on booking a trip, call 850-341-9816
It's that time of year again when everyone is fishing for the striped, spiny, bucked tooth sheepies. The sheepshead bite has been hit and it’s been good.
Fish fishing the deep drop-offs in the pass and around the jetties have been very productive. With the mild winter, they showed up a bite early and it looks to be very good over the next few weeks for them.
Hopefully I'm right and we will enjoy a more consistent bite. Along with Speepshead, you can catch Redfish, and snappers in these areas.
Tight Lines and good fishing…Capt. John
Pensacola Fishing has been great for the bull reds as it usually is this time of year. So what else are we doing in our area this time of year? When we’re not chasing the bull reds in Pensacola Bay, we’re in the upper bay areas tossing Matrix Shad Baits on Trout and stalking reds when we see them in the shallows.
Fishing in the latter part of November and December can be a lot of fun; you just have to fish in between the cold fronts when it's not too windy.
Just remember when we get really cold fronts, give it a day or two for the fish to adjust and on the third day, the fish should be biting.
I'm keeping this Pensacola Fishing Report short because it's time to turn off the computer and go catch some big reds.
Tight Lines.. John
Fall Red Fishing has not yet started as of November 8th, but that’s ok, that means that it will be going on well into December and even January.
Since it’s been an unusually warm start for November, the big reds have not made their way into the bay like they usually do the first week of November. But don’t fret; there are still plenty of things to fish for. Slot reds, Trout, and especially Flounder. Flounder fishing in November is typically very good on the flats if you know where to look for them. I am happy to say that the bull reds are all over 3-Mile Bridge and you can usually catch a bunch at night. So long as you have a good tidal flow, you should have a great fishing trip no matter what species you are targeting. The wind may be kicking a bit, but if you watch your days, you can definitely get out to enjoy the milder temps and the less crowded waterways.
My prediction for when the big reds will show up will be November 11-13th, and once they show up, the rods will be bend and the drags will be singing.
Stay tuned for a more detailed report around November 20th.
Tight Lines, Capt. John
Fall is right around the corner and I’m excited for what will hopefully be some cooler fishing conditions.
Let’s talk about what happens in October, which when it comes to fishing, is a lot. The trout bite really fires off in the Santa Rosa Sound, Escambia Bay and Big Lagoon right around the end of September and the start of October. The redfish bite also fires off in the same areas and on the three bridges in the area, which are 3- Mile, Bob Sikes, and Garcon Bridge. Kings will also start to show up in Pensacola Bay and those are a lot of fun for sure for many anglers. Make sure you have some live bait, hit one of the bayous for some Menhaden, and rig them up with wire, and either free-line them out or fish with a large cork.
Spanish Mackerel are still around and will be here till November. Bluefish and Skipjacks are also going to be around till the middle of November. Night fishing on 3- Mile has already kicked off for big redfish and white trout, you can also catch some slot redfish on 3- Mile on your night trips, and don’t be surprised if you don’t see a few tarpon rolling by.
Fish the lights with live or artificials and have fun.
If you’re looking for an inshore trip in the Pensacola Beach, Navarre, or Perdido Key area,
give me a ring on my cell : 850-341-9816.
August is winding down and it’s been another hot month with a little more rain than I liked. Spanish Mackerel have been thick in Pensacola Bay and just off the beaches. The Spanish are ok size, but usually the bigger fish show up in September.
These are a lot of fun on light tackle. I’ve also been fishing the flats before I go after the Spanish Mackerel. The flats have been ok, even thought it’s been a very hot August. The trout bite has been good from 5:30 am to about 7:30am and then it shuts off till the last two hours of daylight. The night bite is very good in August and the first couple weeks of September.
Fall is right around the corner and as always I am especially excited about the annual fall redfish run that starts in late October and lasts all winter till around mid March, with the best months being November & December.
I’ll post anther report the first week of September.
Have a great Labor Day weekend.
November is the month for MONSTER REDFISH.
BOOK YOUR TRIP NOW SPOTS ARE FILLING UP!
Extreme Temps along the coast makes anglers change strategy
Extreme temps over the past couple of weeks have put the fish in a sluggish mood only feeding very early, late in the afternoon, and at night. With a short window of fishing opportunity, you have to make the most of the bites you get.
Trout, redfish and flounder are biting, but you have to pick the right time along with the right tides to be successful. Live bait like small pinfish or finger-mullet and cut baits are working best, but at daylight make sure you have a top-water tied on as they will crush it, and nothing is better than a big trout on top-water.
Spanish Mackerel are in the bay thick and also abundant near the Navy base.
Not only are the Spanish thick, but we’re also catching a few big Jack Crevalle too, which is nice, but make sure you bring your Gatorade, you’re gonna need it with these guys.
This heat wave should end by next week hopefully, and we’ll be back to normal summer temps and with a bit of luck we’ll have some storms to cool the water temps down to get the fish more active.
Remember during the summer months the oxygen levels can be lower and the fish can die more easily, so take extra care of the fish if you’re going to catch and release.
Some Tarpon are still being caught along the beaches; just maneuver in front of the schools and toss out a live bait in waiting or have a large 7” soft-plastic swim bait rigged on a 7’6” heavy action rod with a fast tip and hang on.
Night fishing has been very popular over the past two weeks for big trout. During the daytime, the best depths for trout are 4-6 ft; and redfish are pretty much the same, although you can catch them in really shallow water, but with the water temps high, they like the cooler pockets of water. I’ve even caught them as deep as 8-10 ft holes where the temperatures are much cooler and the fish feel more comfortable.
It won’t be long before we’ll be in our fall patterns-- only about 7 more weeks. But until then, the fish will be a little more sluggish and you’ll have to fish very early or the last few hours of daylight to get the bite or even at night avoiding the blistering sun altogether.
Thanks for stopping by.
The inshore flounder bite has been pretty good the past few weeks; I’ve been boating anywhere from 1 to 5 fish a trip. Flounder fishing is technical, so it takes a little time getting to learn the bite, but once the angler gets it they usually land a few and it can be quite satisfying. Trout are starting to go into their night feeding modes, but you can still catch some nice fish in the early morning hours before it gets hot out and they go deep.
Redfish have been hit and miss for me the past few weeks. One day we get a few and others it’s like they are hiding under a rock, I just have to find which rock they are hiding under. In my reports I always tell the truth, so not to embellish my reports, and if I’m having a hard time finding reds, I’ll let you know. Last week, I had a few trips that were good for reds, so maybe we’re on an upswing and we’ll start catching more.
Spanish mackerel are in the bay and along the beaches, so when it’s calm out in the gulf, I’ll jump out and have some fun with them.
July is here and it can be a good month to fish, you just have to watch the tides and fish very early to beat the heat or at dusk or even sometimes at night along the bridges.
I run a variety of trips in July to ensure that you the client have the best trip possible.
Thanks for stopping by,
June is half over and it’s been pretty good Speck fishing. The reds have again been hit and miss; some days we get some reds and others they are just not around. I will say that one reason I’ve not been catching a lot of reds is because I’ve been targeting trout a lot over the past two weeks. Each trip we’re catching anywhere from 30 to 40 specks, a lot are in the 14 to 17 in range, but over the past two weeks, we’ve boated some really nice fish. We did get one big girl at 25” with estimated weight around 6 lbs. I wanted to revive it, but it got gill hooked, so we put it on ice and my client had a nice dinner with grilled speckled trout.
It’s getting hot now that summer is here in full swing. I have to switch gears usually around this time when targeting specks and reds as they change their patterns due to the hot water temps. I’ll write up a new report in two weeks to let you know what worked and you might be able to try it in July. I’m hoping to show some nice redfish over the next two weeks so I’m keeping my finger crossed for my clients as I’ve got a few that want reds. I’m going out next week after a few trips to do some scouting and on my days off to check a few things on where I think the reds will be. Like I said, I’ve been really targeting specks, so over the next few days, since I’ve got the good specks dialed in it’s time to go hunt some redfish.
Monday and Tuesday it’s going to rain, so I’m working on tackle and resting.
Remember when booking a guide, ask in detail what tackle he uses, what style of boat he has, how long has he been a guide. Also ask is he a full-time guide? Part-time guides are only on the water 3 to 4 days a month; I’m on the water 6 to 7 days a week. That means I know the patterns of the fish.
Never use a booking service as you never know who the guide will be, take time to see if the guide is pleasant on the phone and goes into detail on what to expect on your fishing trip. If he says he’s been crushing them everyday it might be a fish tale.
Yes, some days we crush them and some weeks we do, but it is fishing and each day is different.
There are three things out of my control:
But I do have the best boat in my opinion: a 240 LTS Triton Bay Boat. I have top of the line equipment on the boat as well as top of the line fishing rods and reels.
Lastly, I’ve got 40+ years of fishing knowledge. I also love to fish; it’s not just a job to me, it’s my passion.
Remember to enjoy each day, smile, and go fishing as much as you can.
Tight Lines... John
Hi I'm Capt. John, thanks for stopping by my fishing reports page. I update this page about every two weeks. See my Facebook page for more updated pics and short reports.