Warmer Tempertures make for better fishing along the Panhandle
<p>Warmer temperatures along the gulf coast brought smiles to the faces of many anglers. Pensacola very recently had record-breaking freezing temperatures lasting 13 days, which killed some fish (mostly mullet) in the local waters. Now that the temps have improved, I hope the waterways will start to get back to normal temperatures and the bite will pick back up.
Reports are that the fish kill wasn't too large in Pensacola as it was in many other areas. There were reports of a lot of mullet dead, but that was about it. Some say the trout were affected, too, but not as badly.
I went out to do some recon fishing after the cold spell and it seemed that most of the fish are fine. Sheepshead are biting around the bridges and jetties and slot redfish are being caught in both the pass and in the upper estuaries. Large schools of bonita are all along the beaches, and slow trolling or tossing a white Spro buck-tail jig near the big school will produce some great light tackle action.
The big redfish can still be found in pretty good numbers off the beaches. I found a nice school on Monday with around 200 fish. I was pitching two different lures; with one being a 2-oz Spro Jig with a chartreuse curly tail attached, and the other was MirrOlure's suspending twitch bait XL. The reds could not get enough. It's always fun to see three to four fish crash into each other trying to inhale your offering, and even more fun reeling in the winner.
Last Friday I managed to get out up in the back bay areas of Pensacola near Escambia Bay and Blackwater. I found the water very cold, and to get the trout bites I had to slow my presentation down to a crawl and find deep holes where the fish are staged up.
Spring is right around the corner and this year, like every year before, I run a spring break special for people who book me early. The fishing in Pensacola Florida during the spring is tremendous. If you like to feel the pull of big sheepshead or big bully redfish, give me a ring and let's get your fishing trip set up.
The annual sheepshead run starts around March 10 and goes strong until April 25th or so. It is light-tackle fishing that is fun for the whole family.
I hope to see you this spring, and hope that we can get on the water to enjoy Pensacola's great fishery.
Capt. John Rivers
Mega-Bite Inshore Charters
Thanks to my sponsors:
Mann's Lures, Power-Pole, SPRO Fishing Tackle, Pro Cure.
Gamakatsu Hooks, Fenwick Rods, Pure Fishing - Berkley,Stren,Quantum
Capt. John with a big redfish. This big red hit a Mann's Tide Waker in 18ft of water right off Pensacola Beach
Releasing a redfish in Escambia Bay
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 !