From Groupers to Trout in SoWal
Wow, it turned winter fast! The first real cold front of the year and the wind has blown (hard) for the past 3 days and the temp was down to 40 degrees this AM. Still better than being in New York and learning what a minimal hurricane is like though!
While the stiff NW wind pretty much put an end to Gulf fishing at the end of this years Gag Grouper season (I just cancelled today's trip and tomorrow isn't looking good either) there are still plenty of fishing options.
I drove over to Indian Pass Friday evening after running a trip here at Grayton in the morning. I had folks come in to sight fish Reds on Sat. and then look for Trouts in the afternoon. Our Redfish conditions were poor to say the least, the front had stirred up the bottom and the water was way to muddy to sight fish, my angler did catch 2 Redfish just blind-casting though and we missed a few more.
I stopped on an oyster bar and we had a lunch of fresh shucked oysters and off we went looking for trouts. After a rather slow couple hours I finally saw a few birds dipping shrimp. We ran over to the feed and sure enough, a school of trout had the shrimp balled up. While I am fortunate enough to have caught lots of species in different conditions a good trout rally is always exciting. As long as that lure lands under the birds you are going to get a bite-- and if you miss that one you'll have another bite in 5 seconds! We chased the birds for a little over an hour, kept 21 trout (some whites mixed in) and released a bunch.
Somewhere under those Trouts is a Redfish
Bottom fishing last week here at Grayton had some fine catches. Not only did we catch a bunch of Jacks and some nice grouper like this one.
Proud of that Fire Plug Fish!
We are also still releasing a really great grade of Red Snappers. Both of these fish bit at the same time. The "smaller" one at about 18 punds. I pretty much knew was a snapper from the fight. The one in the 30 pound range I would have swore was a big Gag- that fish was heading straight back down for the whole fight!
What a pair!
The same 2 anglers with what they got to keep--
As I said, lots of jacks, a few triggers and a pretty decent grouper bite up on the beach. While we could still keep the Gags last week there seem to be plenty of Red Groupers around to have a target to shoot for for the next couple months as well.
Local boys with a pair of Reds and a pile of Jacks.
I have a lot of folks balk at fishing in the afternoon. These folks got a bite or two on this 3 hr afternoon trip.
The fish bite better in the morning...50% of the time!
This trip was more time running than fishing. We went out, caught a pile of Jacks but lost an angler to the motion of the ocean. Ran back in and dropped 'em off, went back out and finished up with Triggers and Grouper.
Not bad for First timers ...
These fellows have been trying to outfish that Gal for 2 years now. Jim finally got a Grouper when she didn't!
Proud of some hard pullers.
This fellow didn't catch ALL those groupers... the folks he brought along just missed so many they were embarrassed to have their picture made with the catch.....
This man just loves to Grouper fish!
After having a hard streak of losing fish to the bottom & dolphins all day these guys fought a few Greater AJ's on the last stop and landed a fine one !
And they didn't want to keep any fish!
This blow should be over with by Friday so there should be a great weekend of fishing opportunities coming up. I am trying to decide if I want to go back to the 'Pass and chase trouts or stay here and actually catch a few jacks and grouper myself... no wrong choices there!
About the author
Captain Larry Pentel is a native of South Walton, growing up just 300 yards from the beach. Having fished the local waters for over 40 years, he is very familiar with all the different types of local fish, their habits, and most importantly - their habitats. DeadFishCharters.com