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Summer 2011 was another storm-free season with clear, warm water and excellent fishing. Redfish fishing was very good for both smaller fish on the flats and bull reds in Pensacola Pass. The false albacore arrived in July and thrilled both fly and spin-fishing anglers with their screaming runs. Bottom-fishing was dependable throughout the season for red snappers, groupers, triggerfish, and amberjacks. Schools of Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, and bluefish fed along the beaches as usual, and king mackerel were abundant around the buoys and nearshore wrecks. As always there were a few big summer flounders in the mix. Here are the photos from the summer season. Click on any of the images to see the full size photos. For photos from previous seasons, check out these additional galleries:Spring 2011, Winter 2011, Fall 2010, Summer 2010, Spring 2010, Winter 2010, Fall 2009,Summer 2009, Spring 2009, Winter 2009, Fall 2008, Summer 2008, Spring 2008, Winter 2008, Fall 2007, Summer 2007, Spring 2007, Winter 2007, Fall 2006, Summer 2006, Spring 2006, Winter 2006, Spring 2005, Summer 2005, Fall 2005. Use the back button on your browser to return to this page.

Johnny Roberts, Ft Smith, Arkansas, opens the Summer 2011 gallery June 21 with a fine speckled trout caught while sight-fishing one of our favorite flats in Santa Rosa Sound. Johnny saw this fish on a sand spot 30' from the boat and dropped the EP fiber tan/white Clouser minnow about a foot in front of it. Without hesitation the trout charged and sucked down the fly.
A little later Johnny coaxed this slot-sized redfish to eat the same fly. Our hat's off to Karl Elliott of St Joseph, MO, for coming up with this particular pattern.

David Brown took his kids on a fishing excursion June 22, and the redfish were invited to the party. Here's Elizabeth with a beauty.

But the biggest fish of the day honors went to Elizabeth's brother Jonathan Brown.
Steve Yoder from the Seattle area with his first redfish on fly landed June 24 while sight-fishing a crystal-clear sand/grass flat in Santa Rosa Sound. The reds like to hang out on the sand along the edges of the grass beds to ambush their prey. Double click to get the whole spectacular scene...
Even though it was a short red snapper season, many anglers took delicious snapper fillets home this summer. Local resident Carlton Proctor was happy to slide this fish into the cooler on June 26.

 

During the summer months the water temperature in the Gulf and inland waters heats up into the 80's. The big redfish prefer the deeper, cooler waters of Pensacola Pass, and we catch and release them regularly on large spinning tackle. Here are Robert and Anna Parker, Chicago, on June 27 with a "typical" catch.

Robert Lockwood, Huntsville, AL, spent the morning with his fly rod chasing slot-redfish on the flats, but it was just one of those days when the doggone fish wouldn't eat the fly. So we headed over to the pass and got the "skunk" out of the boat with this beauty.
We had smooth seas June 29 and took the Parker family 8 miles out to the I10 Bridge rubble where Mason Parker landed this gorgeous red snapper on spinning tackle.

We were back in Pensacola Pass June 30 when Daniel Walters, Murfreesboro, TN, landed this monster redfish while fishing with fellow pilots John Toliuszis and Tyler Buckley.

Compass Airlines pilots John and Tyler with a slot-sized redfish "double" on June 30.
Brent Dreier and daughter Abbey on July 1 with an impressive trout landed on live shrimp in Santa Rosa Sound.
Size was important on July 3 for Ray Gregorio and David Mesnick shown here with a bull redfish "double" in Pensacola Pass.
Ray Gregorio with a bona fide whopper caught and released unharmed a little later in the trip.
The false albacore were as finicky as they get on July 4, but Kevin Maxey finally got this one to eat a size 6 gummy minnow... or was it the new secret fly??
It was a redfish triple July 5 in Pensacola Pass for Rusty Arledge, Hayden Arledge, and Kenny Morgan.
James Freelan on a glassy-calm July 6 eight miles out in the Gulf of Mexico where the amberjacks were turned on in a big way. Pound for pound nothing beats an AJ, as James found out with the first one landed.
Colin Blackshear and another impressive amberjack caught and released unharmed.
Later in the trip we moved into Pensacola Pass and found the redfish willing to cooperate. Here's a nice shot of James with a healthy specimen. Cool tail spot...
James and Colin ended the day with a redfish double
Bernie Smelstoys of Gulf Breeze on June 7 with a beautifully colored late-afternoon red snapper
Unusual spots on this redfish caught and released June 7 by Dillon Hannum
Don Wilson drove down from Northern Alabama for some "dances with amberjack" on June 8.
Incredibly, Don captured a leaping false albacore with his camera. We had a great time catching and releasing these "bad little dudes" on the way out to the wreck.
Leighanne Jenkins, Aspen, Colorado, on July 12 while fishing with her dad Bob Jenkins.
There are little-known east/west channels in Pensacola Pass where the redfish congregate. As we drifted through the pass Bob was able to "sound" with his 2 oz weight detecting the channels and lower his bait into the lair of the hungry redfish. Once he figured it out Bob caught fish of this quality on every drift. Very cerebral fishing, Bob.
All the fish landed July 12 were resuscitated and released unharmed
The false albacore moved into their regular feeding grounds between the Three Barges and Tex Edwards on July 13, and Matt and Glenn Wegener were there fly rods rigged and ready. Here's Matt with an 8 pound "little tunny" caught on a #6 clear gummy minnow.
Matt's dad Glenn Wegener and another beauty caught and released unharmed.
Bob Jenkins was back on the boat two days later for some truly outstanding false albacore fishing. The fish wouldn't eat anything Bob threw at them as you'll see in this Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aciyNP4uPAw. But then Bob broke the code and landed fish after fish with what we termed the "wounded baitfish twitch". We've been after the false albacore on fly for many years around here and noone has ever figured it out like Bob did that day. Bob became the teacher and Capt Baz the student...
Bob Jenkins, Master Angler, July 15, 2011.
July 18 was the first day of the annual Goodman Family Fishing Rodeo and once again the slot-redfish were plentiful. David Goodman, Denver, with the first catch of the day.
Malcolm Goodman followed suit with another fine slot redfish.
David Goodman with a flounder plenty big for stuffing and baking. We scaled the fish and removed the backbone which left a perfect cavity which Chef David stuffed with wild rice and crabmeat. Yum!
How's this for a king mackerel! On July 19 Garath Rosson was casting a #2 Clark Spoon for Spanish Mackerel using an ultra-light St Croix/Shimano spinning outfit when this 22# monster exploded on his spoon. Since Garath only had about 175 yards of 15# PowerPro we fired up the motor and chased the fish until he could bring it to the boat. The St Croix Avid AVS70MF rod he was using weighs just 4.1 ounces....pretty sporty for a 22# king!

We had a great time as always July 19 with the Lalonde family from Baton Rouge. Here's family friend Matthew Littlefield with Ted Lalonde and a slot red caught around a dock in Santa Rosa Sound.

A little later we headed out in the Gulf for some explosive sight-fishing for false albacore. Hollie Renee Lalonde landed this fish on the little 4.1 oz St Croix rod with a Sidewinder spoon rigged with single, barbless hook. Woo Hoo!
July 21 was day two of the Goodman Family Fishing Rodeo, and the Gulf of Mexico was calm enough for us to head out looking for false albacore. While waiting for the FA to appear we dropped live baits over some close-to-shore natural bottom structure looking for red snappers and groupers. Malcolm Goodman landed the first red snapper.
Scott Berg landed the biggest snapper of the day just before the false albacore showed up.
You cannot imagine how hard these little tunny fight until you hook into one. The drill is to find a school of fish crashing bait on the surface and slowly move the boat into casting range. We position the boat to drift into range and our anglers fire the spoons in front of the advancing school, count to three, put the rod tips in the water, and reel as fast as they can. The bonitos slam the spoons at high speed in splashy surface takes and head for Mexico.
It takes expert casting and a little luck to land one on fly, and Malcolm Goodman accomplished it on July 21. Very satisfying when it all comes together.
Minister Shane Roberson, Gadsden, AL, and a fine slot-redfish on July 23.
The false albacore were once again VERY challenging on July 24, but Michael Chamblee, Laurel, MS, coaxed this fish to eat the new secret fly...
Jeff Honea had a ball July 26 with the Spanish mackerel and false albacore (aka: little tunny, bonito) while fishing with his buddy Arlen Reynolds.
Trudy Berlin with a tired red snapper after a hard fight on July 30. The faded, lighter "stripes" regain their red color when the fish is resuscitated.
It was a rare and incredible day July 31 when the blue water pushed within 5 miles of shore east of Pensacola Pass, and the mahi mahi came with it. There were thousands of beautiful "chicken dolphin" around floating debris, and Brandon Pope was there with his brother Colin Reilly. Brandon caught them on fly and Colin used ultra-light spinning tackle and a little chartreuse jig. We loaded the cooler with these delicacies and then moved on to chase false albacore.
Colin Reilly had his hands full with this "little football".
Before leaving the area we dropped live shrimp down around bottom structure and Brandon caught this big triggerfish to take home for dinner along with the mahi mahi.
New Jersey's Stan Winnick with the catch of the day August 5... a bad-to-the-bone amberjack landed while fishing with the "Wolfpack".
Chris Williams from Missouri and a fine gag grouper five miles out on a glassy-calm August 6
Daniel Mullis showed his dad Odell how it's done with this redfish August 10 in Pensacola Pass.

Always a quick study, Odell followed suit with another brute

 

The Quinn brothers were looking for redfish on August 11, and Mike was the first to hit paydirt.

 

Kevin and Mike Quinn ended the morning with a bull redfish double in Pensacola Pass

Payton Quillen and yet another summer redfish from Pensacola Pass on August 13.

 

Steve Cotaya had the hot hand early morning Aug 14
Steve with his second redfish of the morning

 

Feather-craft's Bob Story stopped by August 16 en route to New Orleans for the annual fly-fishing convention. We found some juvenile king mackerel around the USS Massachusetts, and Bob landed this one on a big streamer.
Hobart McWhorter, Birmingham, on August 18 with believe-it-or-not the first pompano landed on fly for 2011. Way to go Hobart!
Hobart's fishing buddy Went Caldwell with a toothy bluefish caught on a MirroLure "Top Pup".
Stephen Drazin, Baltimore, and a bruiser amberjack caught and released August 20. It was an interesting day for amberjacks. We had live menhaden on bottom rigs, and the AJ wouldn't touch them. So we put some butterfly jigs on big spinning rods and started aggressively jigging them while the live baits were down with the big rods in the stern rod holders. It was like the jigs woke up the AJs and then they hammered the menhaden. We caught a couple on the jigs, too.
Steve Schuman and another big AJ on Aug 20.
We finished the trip with a nice double...Stephen with a big red snapper and Steve with another "legal" amberjack.
A cool shot of Cody Michaels with a Pensacola Pass redfish on August 22
Don Joyner, Great Falls, MT, August 29 and a killer Spanish mackerel on fly. The big Spanish were all over the USS Massachusetts, and Don had a great time landing fish after fish.
September 16 was yet another red letter day for Wade and Casie Knight of Tigertown, Texas. Here's Wade with a monster red snapper landed and released in Pensacola Bay.
We found the big Spanish mackerel up in the bay, and Casie landed this huge one on ultra-light tackle.
Wade has a knack for landing the Pensacola Bay grouper.
Yet another serious gag grouper for Wade
We found a school of redfish on one of our favorite Santa Rosa Sound flats September 19, and Paul Davenport was able to land his first-ever redfish on fly. It was a nice way to end the Summer 2011 Photo Gallery.
   
   

 

Itís always a great day on the water with Gulf Breeze Guide Service!

Gulf Breeze Guide Service
P.O. Box 251
Gulf Breeze, Florida 32562-0251 (USA)
Tel: 850.934.3292 or 850.261.9035 (cell)
Email:
gbgsfishing@aol.com

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