We finally let those March winds blow away during the latter part of April and first part of May. They sure did keep a lot of people from fishing that wanted to bring home a bunch of Spanish mackeral and kings for supper. This month should be an exceptional good month for inshore fishing anywhere within 15-20 miles of the beach. The pompano may still be hanging around in the deeper waters near the peninsula and in St. Joe Bay. The flounder are showing up in good numbers and large enough that you can keep most of them, even though you may still have to discard a few under sized ones. Nearshore fishing has just gotten better during the last month and I expect it to be even more plentiful during June. There are plenty of large red snapper and we did not make a big dent in the number of keeper trigger fish that are available. There seems to be more keeper size trigger fish available this year than I have seen in the last several years.
The grouper are moving in closer to the beach due to the water temperature warming up real good. You should be able to find some keeper grouper within 10-20 miles of the beach on many of the artificial reefs that have been deployed. There have been a great number of new artificial reefs put out this year and you can get a book from MBARA Association listing all of the locations. The new artificial reefs that are being deployed will really help us in catching more grouper as well as red snapper without having to go 40-50 miles offshore. The spring weather has turned into some of the best fishing conditions off the pan handle of Florida that we have had in several years. The indications at present are that there will be plenty of gag grouper, vermillion snapper and red snapper available in all waters, near shore and even further offshore. A good catch of live bait around most any of the buoys along the ships channel or even in the canal at Mexico Beach will give you a better chance of bringing home that large grouper or even a large red snapper. The present indications of both weather and amount of fish indicate that it is going to be a banner year for all of us.
Don’t forget to file a float plan, and let somebody know when you are going to return.