Thursday, January 28, 2016

2016 Pensacola Fishing Forecast - Pensacola Fishing Report

2016 is already shaping up to be a good year for fishing.
Let me break down what the year has in store for us.

February can be a very good month for specks, but you have to find windows in between the cold fronts and windy conditions, plus we had a lot of rain at the end of December and the at the start of January that messed up the conditions a bit so February might be a little more tricky than I like. But February is a short month, and then we go right into March and that means Spring Break and sheepshead and red fishing in Pensacola Pass. Starting around March 12th give or take a few days, our annual sheepshead run starts and lasts about 6 weeks. This is a really unique type of fishing, and it is a lot of fun. It’s one of the only times I put live bait on the boat, as I normally use artificials the rest of the year, but these sheepshead are live shrimp connoisseurs, and hold out for the real deal. April is some really awesome fishing too as the first two weeks we’re still catching sheepshead, but now we’re also going after Jack Crevalle off the beaches along with big redfish.

A few weeks later the Ling, (cobia), show up and they are a ton of fun. You just have to find a window between the windy conditions to get out along the beaches. May is one of my favorite times to fish, because of the great fishing for speckled trout and it’s a great time to catch one over 5 lbs. Not only is the speck fishing outstanding, but so is the slot red fishing. June is all around a great month; we’re still on the flats catching big specks and reds all month but around the last two weeks of June we’re chasing bluefish, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish that have showed up.

Let’s talk Red Snapper fishing for a minute, I do run these trips, but it has to be slick in the gulf or I don’t venture out. I do not like getting beat up or having my clients get beat up, so if the gulf is bouncy, we’re staying inshore tossing lures on the flats for trout, redfish and a variety of other fun inshore species.

July is another fun month as all species are here and the fishing is good, but just one thing, make sure you got to bed early as my trips start at daylight (5:30 am) so we’re usually off the water around 9:30 to 10am. I do run afternoon trips, in both June and July, and on these trips we’re catching skipjacks, aka (ladyfish), and sharks; it’s too hot to try to catch trout and redfish on the flats, so I go after fish that will bite and pull some drag so you have fun and possibly get to see some big sharks. Make sure you drink your protein shake for these shark trips, as they don’t come to the boat easy.

I’ll stop here for now but as you can see, the next six months is going to be some great fishing. If you’re heading to the Panhandle for vacation and are looking for a fishing trip and want to know what’s biting, give me a ring and I’ll let you know what’s going on. 

See my Facebook page for daily updates; I post on there almost every day and most of the time it’s real time while I’m on the water.

Thanks for stopping by. Have  a Great Day,  John

Friday, August 28, 2015

Pensacola Inshore Fishing Report, Trout, Redfish and more


Short report for the last week of August.
Can you believe we had a cold front in August? Well, we did and it was glorious, four mornings of 65 degrees and clear skies. And the milder temps seemed to actually heat up the bite!It’s not like a major cold front in the winter; these small cold fronts fire off the inshore bite and put the fish in feeding mode. It takes a day for the fish to adjust a little to the temperature drop, but once they adjust they start to eat.


Before the cold front I had a few more night trips and we did pretty good with the reds on the bridges. I also had a few nice inshore trips for Spanish along the beaches.
September should be a good month inshore. This is when King Mackerel show up in our bay along with large Spanish mackerel. We’ll see more redfish along the beaches and in our pass and the flats start to get more productive. As September rolls along and October moves in, the inshore bite really gets really good for redfish and trout.

Stay tuned for another report in ten days or so.

Tight Lines… John

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pensacola Inshore Fishing Report - Heat wave hits gulf coast

Heat wave hits gulf coast

The past few days it has been brutally hot here. With temps well above 90 and the heat index to be in the 100’s, I’ve been starting just before daylight and finishing up right around 10am.  With it being so hot, the fish have moved to deeper water, almost like in winter conditions, and not only have they moved deeper, I’ve had to slow down my lure presentation some. ZMan Jerk baits have been a great choice when the fish are in 6-10 ft of water, and suspending twitch baits like the MirrOlure 17 MR are great when I’m fishing 4- 5ft.

 I’ve also been tossing the 18MR in the deeper water and it has proven its worth again this year. I’ve been using these two MirrOlure baits for the past 10 years or longer and I always make sure they are stocked in my tackle bag.

When I have kids on board, I make sure to put a few live pinfish in the well for my kids to use on popping corks and this has helped with some rods bending. There was a tropical storm that was in the gulf last week and eventually landed in Texas. It had the gulf churned up pretty good with large seas, high winds and we’re still getting some effects, not the 6-9 ft seas we were getting, but now it’s around 3-4ft.  Once it lays down a little more like 1-1.5 ft, I’ll jump back out and have some fun with the snappers. But until then, I’m going to stay on the flats. Most of the fish caught on my trips as you can see from the pics have been trout; the redfish have been scarce for some reason in a few of my usual areas. I have an idea where they might be, so I’m going to do a little scouting the next few days to see my gut is right. Hopefully I get dialed in on them and I can put a few of my clients on some reds to go along with some nice trout. I was out in the gulf a few times and we caught some nice red snappers and this big cobia. 

It’s been a busy June so far. Stay tuned for another report next week. 

Till the next adventure, 


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spring Fishing is here ! May is the time to hit the flats for trout and reds.

Spring Fishing is here !

 May is time to hit the flats for trout and reds.

Let's get you hooked up today on some fun family fishing !

Pensacola Fishing Report 4-29-2015

April showers bring May flowers, but enough is enough already. It’s been raining for the past two and a half weeks. We haven’t had the rain like we did last year from the 100 year rain storm when we got 28” –30” in 30 hours, but we have had something like 15” of rain and it has kept me off the water more than I like. I went out yesterday to do some pre-fishing for some upcoming trips and I was only able to fish for about 2 1/2 hours and then the storms started rolling in again. I did, however, find some nice redfish and a few good trout before Mother Nature chased me off the water.

 So what’s all this rain going to do to the fishing conditions? Some may think that it’s going to mess the fishing up. On the contrary, what it does is push the fish from the upper bay areas to the lower parts of the bay in large numbers. It congregates the fish in small areas, so when you do find them, you’ll have a nice day of fishing. That’s why it’s imperative as a guide to go scouting so my clients can enjoy the most productive and enjoyable fishing trip.

  Trout and redfish are two fish that can handle a lot of fresh water, but when trout are spawning they want a specific salinity level and will seek it out and move away from large amounts of freshwater. This is why fishing deep water after a lot of rain is a good thing to try. Deep water might be still be shallow like 6-8 ft instead of 3-4 ft.You might have to go deeper like 10-15 ft. It just depends on how dirty the water is and how much rain you get. Tides also play a huge factor here. On a low tide the fish will be out deeper looking for higher salinity levels and on an incoming tide the fish will move back up on the flats with the cleaner water moving from the deep to much shallower water in search of crabs, shrimp and smaller bait fish to feed on.              

Because of all the rain and wind, I’ve only been out a few times on the flats fishing for trout this April, but I don’t get discouraged and neither should you. Last year’s 30 inches rain event didn’t hurt the fishing for May. It was just the opposite. Last May was some great inshore fishing as was June, and I believe that this May will be the same. Last year in May many clients caught big trout and lots of them along with a lot of redfish. I’ll be out as much as I can next week scouting some areas I fished last year and new areas, and I’m sure I’ll find the fish and get the pattern down so my clients have a productive trip.                          

Let’s talk about what true inshore fishing is. I’m a true inshore fisherman, as I don’t fish the gulf much at all. I will go out along the beach/gulf certain times of the year only if it’s calm.  I don’t take you out in rough seas and never will. If you like tossing artificials like you would bass fishing, then I’m your guy. I specialize in light tackle flats-inshore fishing for trout, redfish, bluefish, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel and whatever else is cruising the flats. There are not many guides in my area that fish the way I do. A lot of them are nearshore - inshore fishing guides. 

They use a lot of live bait, live cigar minnows and cut bait and very little if any artificials. I do use live small pinfish and shrimp from time to time if needed for kids, sometimes under a popping cork for those who are not skilled at working artificials or if the conditions really call for a live bait presentation,  but artificials is what I like and most the time we catch more than with the live baits. 

Other guides do a lot of snapper / king fishing and will take you out in the Gulf even if it’s a little bumpy. With my style of charters you’ll never have to worry about getting beat up and sore on a fishing trip except for your arms, which might be a little sore from all the fun fishing you’ll be doing! 

I’ve spent years and hours to try and mastered my area for inshore fishing. I have many honey holes as back up if one is not producing the way I like. Light tackle inshore fishing is the style of fishing I love and I hope you give me a chance to show it to you.

I’ll be out on Sunday and a lot next week scouting and running some trips near the end of next week so stay tuned for some good reports.

Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Break has ended, but the fishing is still very good! - Pensacola Fishing Charters

Well, Spring Break has ended, as has the sheepshead run. It was a lot of fun this year with lots of bent rods and smiles all around. For the most part, every trip was successful, but there were a few that made the day tough, but that’s why they call it fishing, not catching.  Spanish Mackerel have shown up in good numbers and it’s been fun to say the least.

Jack Crevalle have also shown up just off our beaches, but with the SE winds it’s been a little hard getting out to fish for them. Hopefully once this front passes this weekend, I can get out and have some fun with the Jacks and maybe even hook up a cobia.

The weather was so good this spring break that I worked just about every day and I’m pretty well tuckered out. I’m taking the next few days off to recharge the batteries and do a little rod, reel, and boat maintenance. Over the next two to three months, I’ll be back on the flats where I’ll be tossing artificials, which is my true passion when it comes to fishing. Once my batteries are charged back up, I’ll be out a lot when I’m not booked getting to know the patterns of the fish. I’ll be checking my old spots to see how the bite is and as always, I’ll be looking for new ones. Over the past 8 years I’ve changed my charters from nearshore to strictly inshore flats fishing and I can truly say I’m your guy when it comes to this style of fishing.

My knowledge of our area is second to none, and with my new Triton and top of the line equipment you’ll have the most professional trip this area has to offer! I truly enjoy inshore fishing so much that on my days off I go fishing to enjoy myself. There is plenty of awesome inshore fishing left, so if you’re interested in a fun fishing adventure give me a shout.

Thanks for stopping by.

 Tight lines. 


Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014 End of Year Report - Pensacola Fishing Report

2014 End of Year Report

The last part of December was tough here on the Gulf Coast, with lots of rain and wind, making it more difficult to get out on the water.
There were still plenty of days that were fishable, so I was able to splash the Triton, and enjoy some end of the year angling.


The big reds were MIA for a while during December, but did show up again just in time for the last week. While the big reds were gone, I was able to get my clients on some light tackle slot and upper slot reds while either jigging live shrimp or soft plastics at some of our local bridges. It’s always good to have a plan B.
Since the weather has not been the best the past 10 or so days, I don’t have much new to report, as I’ve not been out as much lately.
In the meantime, let’s talk about what the New Year should bring to the panhandle. In January the big reds should be around most of the month. But if the wind is too strong there are other areas to fish including upper Escambia Bay and Escambia River. Another good area to check out, and I might spend a little time over there in the near future, is Blackwater Bay and the rivers that feed it.
Since I’ve not been out much because of Mother Nature and me having an upper respiratory infection I’ll post a more detailed report in a week or so.
Tight Lines…