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Let's See What You Will Be Catching...


Red Fish

Red drum are a dark red color on the back, which fades into white on the belly. The red drum have a characteristic eyespot near the tail and are somewhat streamlined. Three year-old red drum typically weigh six to eight pounds. When they are near or over twenty-seven inches, they are called “bull reds”. The largest red drum on record weighed just over 94 pounds and was caught in 1984 on Hatteras Island. Red drum are relatives of the black drum and both make a croaking or drumming sound when distressed.

The most distinguishing mark on the red drum is one large black spot on the upper part of the tail base. Having multiple spots is not uncommon for this fish but having no spots is extremely rare. As the fish with multiple spots grow older they seem to lose their excess spots. Scientists believe that the black spot near their tail helps fool predators into attacking the red drum's tail instead of their head, allowing the red drum to escape. The red drum uses its senses of sight and touch, and its downturned mouth, to locate forage on the bottom through vacuuming or biting.



Tr
out

Seatrout found inshore and nearshore in and around seagrass meadows, mangrove-fringed shorelines, deep holes and channels and above oyster bars. Free-line live shrimp or small pinfish or pigfish (grunts) near the bottom to entice trout out of grass-bed holes. Attaching a float will allow these baits to drift over the grass beds as you search for trout. Casting with soft-bodied jigs, top-water poppers and spoons can be effective. Trout are very delicate, so returning unwanted or illegal fish promptly to the water is necessary to maintain a healthy population. Spotted seatrout are a good eating fish.



Tarpon

Tarpons grow to about 4–8 ft long and weigh 60–280 lbs. They have dorsal and anal soft rays and have bluish or greenish backs. Tarpons possess distinctive lateral lines and have shiny, silvery scales that cover most of their bodies, excluding the head. They have large eyes with adipose eyelids and broad mouths with prominent lower jaws that jut out farther than the rest of the face.



Snook

Snook are found from central Florida south, usually inshore in coastal and brackish waters.  They are also common along mangrove shorelines, seawalls, and bridges.  Snook are also on reefs and around pilings nearshore. They congregate in large schools during summer in deep passes and inlets to spawn. Snook begin life as males, but between 18 and 22 inches long some become females.  Spawning occurs primarily in summer.  Snook school along shore and in passes during spawning season.  They feed on fish and large crustaceans.



King Mackerel

When and Where - Trolling throughout the gulf from April to November
How to Fish - From a drifting boat, or trolling
Tackle - Medium spinning rod with suitable real, or a 12 lb class boat rod with 4/0 baitcaster, 12 lb mono line with wire leader and size 2/0 hook.
Bait - Jigs, spinners, and plugs, or try cut or whole baitfish such as mullet and ballyhoo.                    


Spanish Mackerel

When and Where - Trolling throughout the gulf from April to November
How to Fish - From a drifting boat, or trolling
Tackle - Medium spinning rod with suitable real, or a 12 lb class boat rod with 4/0 baitcaster, 12 lb mono line with wire leader and size 2/0 hook.
Bait - Jigs, spinners, and plugs, or try cut or whole baitfish such as mullet and ballyhoo.


Cobia

When and Where - from pier in March and April, and in bay
How to Fish - Sight Fishing
Tackle - Heavy spinning rod with 15 to 20 lb mono line and a 3' leader of wire or 50 lb mono. Hooks sizes 2/0 to 4/0.
Bait - Natural baits such as fish, crabs, and shrips, and artificials such as large plugs, and jigs with yellow or white skirts.


Bluefish

When and Where - Trolling in the bay from April to December
How to Fish - Trolling
Tackle - 20 lb class boat rod with a 4/0 baitcaster, 20 lb nylon or Dacron line, a trolling weight, a wire terminal leader, and hooks from 4/0 to 6/0.
Bait - Plugs or baitfish


Red Snapper

When and Where - Off shore bottom fishing
How to Fish - Slow bottom fishing and some spinning
Tackle - Trolling requires medium spinning rod with reel, 15 to 20 lb mono line a 12" wire or heavy mono leader and a size 2/0 hook. Use a light or medium spinning rod with a baitcaster reel, 15 to 20 lb mono line, a 12" wire or heavy mono leader and a 2/0 treble hook for spin fishing.
Bait - Shrimp and cut fish such as mullet, or artificial lures such as feathers, jigs, and plugs with a flashy, silvery finish


Black Grouper

When and Where - Off shore bottom fishing
How to Fish - Bottom fishing and sometimes trolling
Tackle - Use a 30 to 50 lb class boat rod with a 4/0 to 6/0 baitcaster reel and 30 to 50 lb mono line, 3 to 8 oz sinker and 2/0 to 6/0 hook for bottom fishing. For trolling, use an 80 lb class rod with a 0/0 baitcaster reel, 80 lb mono line, heavy wire leader and 10/0 hook.
Bait - Fish, squid, worms, shrimps, clams, and crab for bottom fishing. Also use plugs, spinners, spoons, and feathers for trolling.


Amberjack

When and Where - Gulf
How to Fish - Bottom and wreck fishing
Tackle - 12 to 20 lb class boat rod with baitcaster reel, 12 to 20 lb mono line, and an 8' single hook leader or two hook bottom rig with hooks from 6 to 2/0.
Bait - Live bait or jigs. .


Florida Pompano

When and Where - Gulf Fishing, piers
How to Fish - Surfcasting or by spinning from shore or a boat
Tackle - 12 ' rod for surfcasting and 6 1/2' to 8' medium spinning rod with 6 to 12 lb mono line, a short 20 lb mono leader and 2 to 2/0 hooks for spinning.
Bait - Crabs, clams, and fleas, small bucktails, and jigs.


Blue Marlin

When and Where - Off Shore Gulf of Mexico, from June to October
How to Fish - Off Shore Trolling
Tackle - 50 to 80 lb class rod with 50 wide or larger off shore trolling reel, 80 to 100 lb mono line, and a 10' double hook trolling rig.
Bait - A wide variety of off shore trolling plugs or large natural live or dead bait.


Bull Shark

Legal Size Limit - None
Legal Bat Limit - One per person, two per boat
When and Where - During Summer
How to Fish - Trolling and drift fishing
Tackle - Between 20 and 80 lb class tackle
Bait - Whole fresh fish such as mackerel or pollack


Blackfin Tuna

When and Where - Trolling off shore all year
How to Fish - Trolling and drift fishing
Tackle - 80 to 130 lb class rod with full roller rings, a lever drag multiplier, and 80 to 130 lb nylon line with a 400 to 600 lb nylon leader. Hooks from 10/0 to 12/0
Bait - Use a Kona Head lure for trolling


Striped Mullet

When and Where - Throughout the bay
How to Fish - Float fishing, spinning, or freelining
Tackle - 10' to 12' fload rod for float fishing and freelining. With a spinning reel, 5 lb mono line and hooks from 6 to 16. for spinning use a 7' to 10' light spinning rod with spinning reel, 5 lb mono line and size 10 treble hook.
Bait - Small or cut worms, maggots, banana, corn, cut fish, bread, cheese, peas, minced meat, and pasta. Can use spoons and spinners with small or cut sandworm for spinning.


Wahoo

Location - Trolling throughout the Gulf except in Winter
How to Fish - Trolling and drift fishing
Tackle - Use a 30 to 50 lb class rod and 30 to 50 lb nylon line and a flat hook of 5/0 to 10/0.
Bait - Use a Kona Head or natural bait such as whole mullet or ballyhoo. For drift fishing use a live baitfish on hook sizes 5/0 to 8/0.


Summer Flounder

Location - In bays in Summer and off shore in Winter
How to Fish - Bottom fishing, surfcasting and spinning
Tackle - Bottom fishing and surfcasting with 12 to 30 lb class rod, 12 to 30 lb line, and hook sizes 1 to 5/0. For spinning, try a 7 to 8 foot medium spinning rod, spinning real, 10 to 15 lb line and hook sizes from 2 to 6.
Bait - Fish, squid, crab, worms, and betal lures.


Baracuda

When and Where - Piers and Bay and Gulf
How to Fish - Bottom and wreck fishing
Tackle - 12 to 20 lb class boat rod with baitcaster reel, 12 to 20 lb mono line, and an 8' single hook leader or two hook bottom rig with hooks from 6 to 2/0.
Bait - Cut or whole natural live baits, or trolling plugs.


Atlantic Bonito

Location - Trolling throughout the year
How to Fish - Trolling and spinning
Tackle - When trolling, use a 12 lb class boat rod with a size 2/0 hook. When spinning for bonito, try a light spinning rod with a spinning real, 12 lb line and size 2/0 hook
Bait - Plugs, spoons, plastic squid, and whole or cut squid and fish.


Crevalle Jack

Location - Fishing in bays and ocean throughout the year.
How to Fish - Trolling, drifting, and spinning
Tackle - Use 30 lb class rod with 4/0 baitcaster reel, 30 lb mono line, a wire or heavy mono leader, and a 6/0 to 8/0 line when trolling or drifting. For spinning, try 15 to 29 lb mono line and 4/0 to 6/0 hook.
Bait - For trolling or drifting, use artificial lures such as plugs and spinners, or natural baits such as squid or cut or whole fish. Fish baits include mullet, pinfish, sardines, and anchoivies. For spinning, use plugs, spinners, or spoons.


Dolphinfish

When and Where - Trolling from about May through October
How to Fish - Drift fishing, trolling and spinning
Tackle - Heavy spinning rod or a 20 lb class boat rod with 20 lb mono line and a 4/0 hook.
Bait - Fish, Plugs, and spoons.


Sailfish

When and Where - Trolling throughout gulf except in Winter
How to Fish - Trolling
Tackle - Use 80 to 130 lb class rod with an 80 to 130 class lever drag or 12/0 or 14/0 star drag. Use 20 to 130 lb nylon or Dacron line with a heavy wire or nylon leader. Use flat-forged 8/0 to 14/0 hook.
Bait - Live or dead fish such as mullet, mackerel, herring, and squid. Use lures such as Kona Heads, feathered jigs, and plastic squids.


Sheepshead

When and Where - Piers and bay
How to Fish - Bottom and wreck fishing
Tackle - 12 to 20 lb class boat rod with baitcaster reel, 12 to 20 lb mono line, and an 8' single hook leader or two hook bottom rig with hooks from 6 to 2/0.
Bait - Cut or whole natural baits, including crab, shrimps, mussels, clams, worms, and sandeels, and strips of mackerel, cuttlefish, squid or octopus.


Blackdrum

When and Where - Trolling in the bay from April to December
How to Fish - Trolling
Tackle - 20 lb class boat rod with a 4/0 baitcaster, 20 lb nylon or Dacron line, a trolling weight, a wire terminal leader, and hooks from 4/0 to 6/0.
Bait - Plugs or baitfish

 

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