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Fishing Questions

Posted: Sun May 03, 2009 5:21 pm
by greendrake
Hello Everyone,
I have studied this topic but I need more help. In brief:
For surf fishing Navarre 1st week of June would #2 Owner MUTU circle light hooks be a good all around choice for Pompono/Spanish etc.? I plan to tie 20lb mono 2 hook dropper rig w/ 4oz pyamid at the end. Orange bead yes/no?

Is the best dropper loop the blood knot style or double surgeons loop.

Now for the hard question: How do you tell where along the beach is the best? I know how to "read" the water along streams but I have never fished the surf and I it all looks the same to me.

I have never been to the Gulf Coast and I am very excited.

Thank you for your help.

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 7:13 am
by David
I normally use #1 muti circles on my rigs but also use #2, not much difference in the size of the two. The eyes are small compared to some hooks so I use a piece of mono to help thread my loops through the eye, then run the loop over the hook eye to secure. I also use 20# but in floro because of our clear water. See the loop knot below:

1. First, form a simple loop in the line.

2. Pull one side of the loop down and begin taking turns with it around the standing line. Keep point where turns are made open so turns gather equally on each side.

3. After six to eight turns, reach through center opening and pull remaining loop through. Keep finger in this loop or place loop over a nail or dowel so it will not spring back.

4. Hold loop with teeth (bad) or over a nail or dowel and slowly pull both ends of line, making turns gather evenly on either side of loop.

5. Set knot by pulling lines as tightly as possible. The loop should stand out perpendicular to line.

The best way to tell you to read the beach is to look at the posted signs warning of rip currents. Those same openings in the bars (look for what looks like calmer water between where waves break on the bar) are the traffic areas for fish entering any sloughs that run parallel to the beach. Remember that same area is where the rip currents form and warns you to be carefull. Do not wade out to cast directly in front of the break and be carefull to the sides as well. A rip can grab you even if you stand in less than 2 ft. of water. This is not what is refered to as undertow on the east coast, but is a much stronger rip current , as strong as a rushing river but not as easily identified.

Catch Fish!! Have Fun!!

Fishing Questions

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 8:03 am
by PensacolaKid

Please allow me to offer a couple of cents worth. If you target Spanish, I suggest a couple of things, as getting them from the beach, although not impossible, usually is futile. Ya see, there are Skipjacks out there (poor man's tarpon) that are fun to catch but very bloody and they will eat anything. They get the bait, artificial or not, before the Spanish do! I would suggest either purchasing a 2-3 man raft type of boat ($200-300) or going to the Pensacola Pier and using either a "Bubble Rig" setup or a, "Gotcha" both can be purchased at the Bait and Tackle store either in Navarre (Half Hitch) or actually at the pier. They can also tell you how to work them. If you get the raft/boat, go very early in the morning, providing the surf is semi calm to flat and row yourself out to about 20 yards off the present end of what is remaining of the pier. The old pier rubble still lies on the floor off the end of the pier and there are plenty of fish to be had out there. Frozen cigar minnows on a King rig with no doubt land you a King or two as well! Just before Ivan hit in 2004, I caught two Mahi-Mahi (dolphin) right there and both off of a Bubble Rig. Those are infrequent at best but the Spanish and Kings are abundant out there! Just take care, have your back up plans, take your cell phone (in a plastic bag) and let someone know where you are going.

David, knows far more about the Pomps than I do and for that matter, probably the Spanish and Kings but I have had much luck with the above.

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 9:52 am
by David

You forget that they are beginning the new pier construction and all the ruble including the remains of the pier and the old stuff off the end may well be gone by June or buoyed off because of the removal in progress. It is in the plans to remove all the remains first so not to injure new pier as per FEMA.

They have already removed most of the over shore parts of the pier and will begin the rest. Probably be a barge loaded with pumps, cranes, etc. out there soon for the ruble unless they have other plans for removal. The pier, itself, will be built from the shore out and will not require use of barges.

I really hate to see the ruble go but believe that to be a lost arguement though that off the end hasn't moved in many years. :cry: :cry: Great reef for fish, yet there are plans to build reefs to the east in the park for the sanctuary and diving. Hope the county is smart enough to save some of the pilings pulled from the pier and re-use them rather than buying them back later.

Also hope the plans for a sanctuary put it as far to the east as possible so not to interfere with the fish migrations, especially the cobia, that hug the shore line in the spring, sending them to the south of the new fishing pier. That would not be a good thing, especially considering the fact that Navarre Pier has always been known for it's close to shore catches of cobia. The cobia, pompano, spanish, and many other fish follow the shoreline from the east during their spring migration, not to far out, when reaching the pier most will follow it south then around the end. Structure east of the pier could herd them to the south just as the pier does, but, before they reach the pier. Not enough distance to allow them to swim back to shore naturally and placing them in a ambush area for the boats, if allowed, could cause most to miss the pier totally. That could ruin, at least damage, the most productive time of the year for the pier.

It is my hope that the people working to develop a sanctuary, a re-grouping from over eight years ago when the state developed the park, will keep the fishermen in mind and get necessary input from them, especially those that pier fish, leaving them out of the planning, as was once attempted, would not be a good thing. I realize the dive shop owners and members of the chamber see the sanctuary for the $$ signs, but hope they realize there are many more fishermen than divers, fishermen that used to come and spend weeks at a time in the spring and fall that now go elsewhere to fish but will come back when the pier is completed, that is if it remains as good a fishing pier as it has proven in the past.

For some reason our chamber has always looked at fishing on the pier as a locals thing. Having opened the pier's shop when the state ran the pier, I can assure them it is as much and more a tourist thing, especially when you take into consideration all the paying walkers each day that go there to watch fish being caught, and the dads that fish while the wife and kids play on the beach at the condos or shop the local stores. The pier, when successful, draws hundreds each day to fish and observe. The state was surprised by the numbers. Sort of hard to observe a diver while he does his thing, uh??

Hope no one gets the wrong idea, I'm for a sanctuary especially in light of the marine science lab being set up by our local high school and it's award winning teacher within the park. It would be a super asset for them. But, I do hope that enthusiasm for a sanctuary and it's planning for divers, mostly by divers, with the help of some very enthusiastic locals doesn't bypass, ignore, or play down the fishing, from shore and pier, which has already established itself to be a terrific draw of tourism and income for all the Panhandle, especially Navarre. The fishermen will want the sanctuary built in a way as to not interfere with fishing from the pier and the shoreline between the sanctuary and the pier.

P'cola, I'm sure you know the Navarre pier to have been the best in the Panhandle, especially because of it's cobia and pompano fishing during the coastal migrations.

Fishing Questions

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 11:12 am
by PensacolaKid
Yep, plum forgot about the new pier construction but perhaps if it is early enough and he does not get in the way of removal efforts, it could be a most productive early morning fishing excursion. The Pensacola Pier at the very worst would be a good time.

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 12:03 pm
by David
Don't think I would risk the early morning thing if it is buoyed. Can't tell what might be just below surface and the county may be ticketing trespassers in a construction area or just because you are there. Liability issues exist and an ordinance already is in effect concerning craft wihin 2-300 ', only ignored now because not in use.

Stick to the beach as planned, according to your ?s, or pick a day, visit P'cola Pier with the family, observe what and how, then return another day with proper gear and planning.

Have Fun! Catch Fish!!

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 4:17 pm
by greendrake
Thanks for the kelp, I mean help. I will go with the #1 hook - Red unless you suggest otherwise. I did think about renting a kayak and using the structure as a fish magnet but realized I did not want to be the 6:00 news rescue story. It will be the P pier or shore.

Thanks again.

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 4:47 pm
by David
Some use the red, but mostly for specs and reds in the sound. I use black for everything and add beads to match the coquina shells on the beach especially if I find coquina in the bellies of fish caught, or orange to look like the sand flea eggs. Sometimes I use floresant colored small floats as attractors if the water is dingy.

I do suggest that you use small black swivels where you attach to your line (change them if the sand wears them shiney) and black snaps at the bottom for your weights, that is if you use one on the bottom. I do, because of the way I transport my rigs plus I tend to change weights according to the water roughness. If you use shiney hardware, rigs will be lost to blues and spanish that strike the swivels, a reason for black hooks as well. Most all salt water fish have sharp teeth, spanish and the blues (for sure) have razor sharp teeth and can surgically remove a finger. Do not stick your fingers in their mouth. Bring some fishing pliers with you.

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 5:22 pm
by greendrake
Should I target other fish the first week of June? I hear Pompano are good to eat but am more interested in fun with the family. I was planning on a 2 hook rig 36" long with a barrel swivel at the top and a large snap swivel at the bottom to change 2-4 oz wieght. Thanks for the tip about black vs silver.

Sand fleas or shrimp for bait and extra gear and licence from Half Hitch.

Thanks again

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 6:04 pm
by David
Target the pompano and take other things, especially whiting that eat super good. Your wil catch a lady fish once in a while or more than you want if looking for food. Drag slowly when you want to check your bait and possibly pick up a gulf flounder.

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:46 am
by Pete
David wrote: The cobia, pompano, spanish, and many other fish follow the shoreline from the east during their spring migration, not to far out, when reaching the pier most will follow it south then around the end. Structure east of the pier could herd them to the south just as the pier does, but, before they reach the pier. Not enough distance to allow them to swim back to shore naturally and placing them in a ambush area for the boats, if allowed, could cause most to miss the pier totally.
Need education - I understand the above. The question (from a pier/fishermen perspective) is - how far is needed for the, "as far as possible east" location of artifical structure to allow for "swim back to shore naturally"?
Does it depend on how far out the structure is?
e.g., if the pier is, say 1300-feet, over water - and the structure is placed 800+/- feet off shore - is that a problem? Or with those dimentions - how far east does the 800+/- foot offshore structure need to be?
Or if the artifical reef is 2500+feet offshore - is there then a problem?
(I have not heard of any particular dimentions/location for the proposed "artifical reef" - have there been?)
It is also my understanding that "artifical reefs" are usually oriented with a long dimention parallel to shore - and not very wide? Anyone know?
That orientation (I would think) minimizes diversion of parallel to shore migrations?

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:03 am
by David

I believe that all the questions asked about size, length, distance from shore , etc. are still in the planning stages. Don't know if anything is in concrete as yet and don't know of any public mention of such as yet, not this time, but there was in the past. Don't believe there is only one structure planned running parallel as you suggest but something close to shore and other structures further out, maybe in stages, leading to deeper water. This was the discussion in the last of the planning stages years ago and I have to suppose still is. Even if not a continual structure running from shore, as was once suggested, any structure especially with raft and diver traffic back and forth to the further out structure, could/would divert the fish. They avoid what they might consider a danger to them. Though some might swim right up to a diver, others would think them to possibly be a shark which do prey on the cobia and other fish while they migrate. Some cobia will swim under a pier, but most will not but will follow the structure, or further, till it is not there any more or not considerd a danger any more.

When any structure goes for permitting, effect on fish and other sea life will be considered, probably effect on migrating as well, but effect on pier fishing to the west might not be a part of that consideration as long as the migration would continue and not be stopped and it will not be stopped.

This is why my suggestion of input from fishermen, and, of course, someone who has studdied the migration of cobia, for instance, to offer expert evidence of the distance required for them to drift back to the line they followed before being directed further south.

Many fishermen can tell you that stucture such as a pier, jetty, or reef, even floating structure like a group of boats will cause them to swim to the south (in our case) to the end of the structure continuing then to the west at that distance, or much further, from shore. I don't have the expertice to say for how far before they drift close to shore again but know for a fact that they do not go directly back to shore or their line followed before being re-directed. It could take them miles, though I don't think so, I don't have that evidence in hand. Someone with that expertice should be consulted and made a part of the planning as well as pier fishermen should be involved, if for no other reason than to make it known that the pier and shore fishermen are being considered, not purposely left out as happened before.

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 4:09 pm
by greendrake

Any ideas on fish ID - I have looked at pictures on line.

Ideas about fishing the sound side (I will be in the conos)

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 4:59 pm
by David
Buy a book by Vic Dunaway (former editor of Florida Sportsman) Sport Fish of the Gulf Coast with color pictures and a description of all, available right now for 7.41 (usually 16.95). Another by him called Baits, Rigs, and Tackle is available at the same price (usually 16.99), both from Go for it, great prices and I highly reccomend them both, especially for someone just starting to fish the Gulf Coast, sound, bay, and Gulf.

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:16 pm
by greendrake
I ordered one and found the other at the library. Any tips on fishing the sound side?

Tight lines!