Brackish water slam of sorts - Pensacola Inshore Fishing Reports
I originally wanted to fish the afternoon with the tides and to also let the sun come out and warm things up, but the crew had to be at the airport at 3pm, so we had to do a morning trip and be off the water around 1pm. Because of the cold weather the night before and nearly 3" of rain the past few days, the water was very muddy which meant lots of fresh water.
I had the guys slow down their presentations almost to a dead still and work areas that should have still been holding fish, even with all the rain. I hit ledges and drop-offs that started around 3 ft and dropped off to 6-10 ft.; this is where I had a feeling the fish would be staged. It turned out to be a good choice. On our first stop, Bill boated a bass, and I was immediately a little concerned, (did we get too much freshwater for the area I was fishing?), but a few minutes later Bill boated a nice 17" speck, so I felt better and decided to hang around this area for a bit.
We had a few more hits and then the bite shut off so we moved downriver to a flat where I was hoping to find some reds in very shallow water warming themselves on the muddy flat bottom. But they were nowhere to be found. I stowed the Minn Kota and decided to move way down south to much cleaner water. We arrived to find very nice water, and started fishing depths from 3 –10ft, but didn't even get a nibble.
I was really wishing we could have fished the afternoon bite, which would have brought in some much needed saltwater to the upper bay area, but we kept our fingers crossed that the tide would help us out if we could hit it just right. The tide started to come back in so I made the long run back upriver to a cove where I'd caught some decent reds on some of my past trips.
Not long after we arrived I saw Andrew bowed up and I could tell from the way the drag was screaming, it was a good fish.
I told him to play the fish carefully; this reel had 10 lb Berkley Ultra Braid with 15 lb fluorocarbon mono leader. I like using the lighter braid because it casts twice as far as 20 lb braid and 10 lb braid usually is much stronger than 10 lbs. Andrew worked the fish like a pro with just a little coaching. The fish put up a dramatic battle and walked him around the boat twice. Andrew's arms were shaking with both strain and excitement and when the fish finally surfaced and I netted him, Andrew couldn't believe how big it was. We hauled up a whopper 41" beastly red. We all high-fived and took a few pics and then released this monster back into the river.
We fished this area a while longer with a few more bites from trout and then I heard Andrew say, "I've got another one!" Andrew gave the rod to his dad to fight this one, and Dave did an outstanding job battling the bronze bruiser. Dave saw how powerfully Andrews's fish was, so he took his time and after he walked around the boat once we had his fish in the net. The fish measured at 35" and had some cool spots. I checked the time and we had to haul butt back to the ramp to get the guys to the airport to make their flight.
We had a great inshore trip even though the bite was a bit difficult.
We didn't catch loads of fish today, but we did manage to put some quality fish in the boat. No fish kept on this trip, but I'll be hitting the water again this week and weekend.
Thanks for stopping by, and Tight Lines.
Andrew shows off a Monster 41
David is all smiles after landing this 35
About The Author: Captain John Rivers
Company: Mega-Bite Inshore Guide Service
Area Reporting: Pensacola, Perdido Key, Navarre, Florida
Bio: I have a lifetime of fishing knowledge and over 8yrs of experience fishing the northern gulf coast and our local water ways. I have enjoyed fishing all my life. While living in the Midwest, I fished Kentucky & Barkley Lake for years along with the Ohio River and many local water ways. My first passion was bass fishing, but when I visited the Gulf Coast I found my new love Salt Water Fishing !