Pesacola Inshore Fishing Report - Light Tackle Trout Fishing
Pensacola Inshore Fishing Report for the Panhandle area around Pensacola, Florida.
I've been out a few times over the past two weeks in between the cold fronts fishing the areas of Escambia and Blackwater Bay. Both areas are holding some quality trout and redfish. I've found that the trout are in the deep holes ranging from 14 -20 ft of water. A slow presentation has produced more fish and bigger fish. Two of my favorite bass fishing rigs work great for winter speckled trout fishing; they are the drop-shot and the basic bullet weight worm rig with a 4/0 - 5/0 worm hook. These two rigs not only work great in freshwater, but work great in saltwater as well in the winter months.
Instead of using a 6, 8, or 10-inch jelly worm for the worm rig, use a 5 –6 inch Jerk Shad or 5 inch Paddle tail Gulp bait. You can use a jelly worm if you like, but I've caught more fish with the 5 –6 inch Jerk- Shad.
This rig will also put a few reds in the boat if they're in the same area. If you do see reds and you're sight-casting to them, your best bet is an 1/8 –1/4 oz jig head with a Gulp bait like a 5 inch jerk shad or 3 inch shrimp. I've found that sometimes colors do matter in the upper bay areas. If it's cloudy out, go dark with your lures; when sunny go with natural bait colors. I like camo and green/white shad colors with the jerk shad, and when using the 3-inch shrimp, I like the newpenny, the shrimp with the white/chartreuse tail, and nuclear chicken.
Not only have the upper bay areas been producing some quality fish, but also the 3-mile bridge white trout bite has been outstanding. We're also catching a few reds there from time to time. The redfish are a little pickier; they want live bait like live shrimp, fiddler crabs, live pinfish or even a fresh cut pinfish or cut mullet. You can catch them on artificials too, but live bait usually gets better results.
Over in the Pensacola Pass the redfish bite has been very good on both an incoming and outgoing tide. Live shrimp, pinfish, bull-minnows and cut belly strips of white trout work best, but if you can't get live bait, then a Gulp bait works good, too.
Around the pass and just off the beaches there are many schools of Bonita swimming around chasing small fry. The fish are very picky to get to strike, but I've found that fly fishermen are having the best luck. If fishing off the pier, try a small white pompano jig for a nice bobo. Down to the east near the pier or just past it, they are seeing large schools of big bull redfish, although the bite has slowed down compared to the November and December redfish bite.
Night fishing for them at 3-mile bridge has been great both with live and artificial baits. The large schools that were around have split up into smaller schools and moved up north and off the beaches. You just have to look around, and when you find them ease up and pitch a buck-tail jig or a jig with a 4" Gulp.
It's been an exceptionally warm January even though we've had a few cold fronts. After these fronts move in, it takes the fish in the upper bay areas a couple of days to adjust and then the bite gets back to normal.
Since it's wintertime, I won't be writing reports every week.
I'll post a new report on January 30th for an update on what happened over those two weeks and I will also include a fishing forecast for what's coming up.
Thanks for stopping by, and have a safe new fishing season.
This nice white trout slammed a 3
Gina was all smiles after landing this big redfish
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 !