Marlin
 
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The jack crevalle, pompano, ladyfish, bluefish and Spanish mackerel kept us busy during the first half of Fall 2016, and then the Running of the Bulls started right on schedule. Thousands of 15-30 pound redfish in bright spawning colors move into Pensacola Bay looking for the schools of menhaden migrating to the Gulf of Mexico. The redfish force the menhaden to the top and crush them on the surface while pelicans dive into the melee from above. You have to experience it to believe it. Check out these photos from our fall season. For photos from previous seasons click on the links to these additional galleries: Fall 2016, Summer 2016, Winter and Spring 2016 , Fall 2015, Summer 2015, Spring 2015, Winter 2015, Fall 2014, Summer 2014, Spring 2014, Winter 2014, :Fall 2013, Summer 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2013, Fall 2012, Spring 2012, Winter 2012, Fall 2011, Summer 2011, 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.

The tradition continues as once again Wade Knight, Tigertown, TX, opens the fall gallery with a fine jack crevalle landed September 21 on a topwater "chug bug". Let's Fish!
Jeff Nall, Nixa, MO, throwing a tight loop on a glassy-calm September 23...
Christie Geernaert had a blast with the big ladyfish on September 25. When I returned home and checked my IGFA record book this 2.8# ladyfish on 20# tippet would've set the women's fly-casting world record. Of course my record book is a few years old...
We found the big bluefish (for these parts) along Johnson Beach on September 27, and Sam Lewis enjoyed watching them charge and crush his popper.
Jonas Magnusson and I went back to Johnson Beach a few days later for some outstanding wade-fishing. What a blast! Jonas is a FFF Casting Instructor and it was fun watching him lay out those 90' casts. He's always happy to help clients "tighten up them loops". You can connect with him at http://everyjonahhasawhale.com/?page_id=174.
Yours truly clearing the line as a nice bluefish makes its run. The water was gin-clear and in the high 70's. Perfect for barefoot wading. Check out that bluebird sky!
THAT's what I'm talking about! Once you get your feet in our fabulous quartz sand you'll always come back...
The false albacore made a brief appearance in mid-October, and Ed Lester caught them October 11 in Pensacola Pass on clear size 6 gummy minnows.
Josh Poole and I found them on October 14 a mile SE of the USS Massachusetts. The fish were tough, but Josh persevered and landed his first FA on fly. Now he knows what all the fuss is about. The next day poof and they were gone...
The bluefish were back at Johnson Beach on October 17 for Justin Dobbs.
Jim Himmelwright and John Boles came down from Auburn, AL, on October 18 for a little R&R, and the big Spanish mackerel put on a show... Here's Jim with the first Spanish of the morning which ended up in the cooler.
John followed suit with another beauty...
In the afternoon we ventured out in the Gulf of Mexico for some fun with the amberjacks. Jim brought this fish to the net after a hard fight on big spinning tackle.
Not to be outdone, John landed and released another AJ to add to the day's tally.
Wounded Warrier Karl Vickers with a badass Spanish mackerel on October 20. Karl was on a trip sponsored by the Project Healing Waters. Double click for a closeup of this terrific catch.
Brothers Larry and Greg Hawley were up for some pompano-on-fly action on October 22. We headed west from Pensacola Pass a few miles down Johnson Beach and found a perfect "slot" along the beach to wait in ambush. Larry was the first to hit paydirt with this four pounder caught on a #4 pompano rocket...his first-ever pompano on fly.
Greg started off by landed a fine whiting on the little pompano rocket.
Larry struck again with his second pompano of the day.
Greg with a lovely October pompano. In addition to seeing dozens of pompano we also came across a rare school of permit which watched the fly land in front of them and swam away. Typical...
Sandy Loveless with an impressive redfish caught October 24 on ultra-light spinning tackle.
We started off the next morning catch-and-release fishing with live shrimp in Santa Rosa Sound east of Gulf Breeze.
Then we ran out to the Gulf where Sandy had a blast with the false albacore.
Steve Deeg was in town October 27 hoping the bull redfish would start their topwater action early, but it wasn't to be. We passed the time with the big Spanish mackerel.
Wouldn't be right if Bernie Smelstoys didn't hook into some big Pensacola Bay red snappers on his annual visit. This shot was on October 28 in 51' of water.
We found a very nice school of redfish along the shore on October 31, and Mike Youkee coaxed this fish to eat a custom chartreuse/white half and half. Check out the silvery-tan color of this redfish. They'd be almost invisible along the white sandy bottom if they weren't so big. The shadow gives them away...
There were schools of false albacore inside the pass on November 3, and Mike took advantage of the situation with a #6 clear gummy minnow.
Next day we found some pompano off Johnson Beach.
Timing is everything! Don Joyner was in town on November 10 hoping to find the bull redfish on the surface, and for the third year in a row Nov 10 was THE DAY it all started. Don landed fish on spinning gear until the action got hot.

With the fish crashing the surface all around the boat Don switched over to fly tackle. It's a fly-caster's dream having schools of these magnificent fish chasing your fly. Click here for a YouTube video from that day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aEyCzTyjE0

Erika Neel came down from Birmingham the following day for some fly-fishing R&R. After a short lesson with TFO's "Deer Creek" 11' 5wt switch rod Erika was consistently throwing tight-looped 60' casts. She had a blast landing and releasing Spanish mackerel of this quality and had the line burns and bruised knuckles to prove it! Interesting that the 5wt switch rod throws a 9wt line beautifully...
At the end of the day she was blind-casting for the Spanish when something way different and much bigger chased down and ate the fly. Erika fought this big redfish like a pro and brought it to the net in 15 minutes. The redfish weighed 24 pounds and ought to be some kind of record on 5wt tackle. It was a fitting end to an outstanding day.
Mike Shields and Cooper Adams were here on November 14, and we never got more than a couple miles from the dock. Mike, shown here with his first redfish of the day, goes for "big numbers" on spinning tackle. When the smoke finally cleared he had landed 14...
Cooper makes it happen on fly and was throwing a large streamer on a Sage ONE 10wt and Tibor Riptide. Pretty nice first fish, Coop!
And another for Cooper. Interesting spot configuration on this fish's tail...
Here's Mike with his fourteenth fish of the day....about 300# of redfish in one day!
Cooper Adams with his 5th redfish on fly...a bona fide monster.
Gary Pheabus teamed up with Cooper the following day, and it was a fly-fishing bonanza! Gary loves using light-weight fly tackle and landed this redfish (his first-ever) on a Sage 99 7wt, Abel reel, and his own redfish fly. Double-click for a cool headshot of this fine redfish.
You'll never see a finer redfish than Cooper's first catch on a perfect morning November 15.
Gary Pheabus with his best fish of the day... a beauty!
Amazing colors on Cooper's biggest redfish of the day...
Rex Straughn had big redfish around his fly on November 16 but couldn't get them to eat. Had to settle for the Spanish mackerel.
Cooper Adams showing off for the third day in a row with a 20+ pounder...
Ramu Nallamala and Robert Lockwood drove down from Huntsville for a couple days hoping to make up for last year when they missed the hot action by a week. No problem this year as Ramu hoists the first catch of the day on November 17.
It was a breakthrough day for Robert Lockwood shown here with his first-ever bull redfish on fly. Congratulations, Robert!
Here's Ramu with his second fish of the day
With the redfish monkey off his back Robert looks very relaxed on November 18 with his first catch of the day. Nice hat!
The fish popped up for us out in front of Shoreline Park, and Ramu landed this beauty in 10' of water. Ditto on the hat...
Multiple world record holder Jim Seagraves December 1 with a deeply-colored fish landed on one of his own twisty-tail creations.
The big redfish continued to be very active on December 2 for Greg Hawley and Randy George shown here with an impressive "double" on fly.
It was Randy's first time to experience the "running of the bulls", and he was amazed at catching these monster redfish on fly tackle.
Doesn't get much better than this... Greg Hawley with another trophy redfish on December 2.
Amazing girth on this redfish landed and released December 5 by Stephen Miller from Chicago
Looks like this one came out of the same cookie cutter... Nice job, Stephen!
Big day for Perry Oaks and Mark Opitz on December 6. Here's Perry with the first fish of the day landed on spinning tackle.
Gorgeous redfish Mark landed later in the day after the clouds disappeared and the sun came out. Mark was using 10wt tackle with a floating line and a 3/0 white streamer.
Couldn't pass up the photo of their redfish double...
Wouldn't be right if the Walters brothers didn't come to town for the fall festivities, and here they are. Mark Walters with the first redfish of the day on a beautiful December 7...Pearl Harbor Day.
Brother Dave Walters with a beauty landed on a big white popper tied by his son Ben Walters of Eastern Fly Outfitters, Johnson City, TN.
Mark's got the rally hat going on after landing another terrific redfish on fly
Spots anyone? Dave with a rare multi-spotted bull redfish on fly
Dave again with a late-afternoon catch reflecting the setting sun...
North Carolina trout guide Alex Bell and Megan Dulion with a nice redfish double on December 9. We had been all over Pensacola Bay looking for them and finally found the redfish a few miles from Pensacola Pass. Didn't know it at the time but this was the last day of the run. And what a run it was!!
AB with a fine 40" redfish to end the season. Congratulations, AB, on your biggest-ever redfish on fly!
Here's to everyone who ventured down to fish this year. Thanks for coming! See you next time...
   

 

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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