Summer 2018 began
with warm water temperatures and improving clarity after
an early-season tropical storm. We focused on red snappers and
ladyfish until the false albacore showed up mid-July in tremendous
numbers like we haven't seen for a few years. The near-shore Gulf
cleared up by mid-July for some amazing redfish sight-fishing
and late-season tarpon fishing. By August the inside flats were
clear enough for jack crevalle sight-fishing until another tropical
storm hit on September 4. Double-click
for full-page photos. For photos from previous seasons follow the
links to these additional galleries: Spring
and Spring 2017, Fall
and Spring 2016 , Fall
to return to this page.
Walters opens the summer gallery with an impressive mangrove
snapper on June 26. She and Dave limited out
with average-sized red snappers.
couple days later the bigger snappers showed up and Dave and
Anne had a great time catching them on spinning tackle.
Here's Dave Walters with the first 10 pounder.
Anne Walters with another 10 pound red snapper. We like St Croix's
"Tidemaster" series 8' rods (medium-heavy power, fast action) and
60" reels with 40# Powerpro braid. Catching snappers of this quality
on high-quality spinning tackle is a blast!
Johnson looking good with the "fish of the day" on
Michael Wallace Wakefield with the biggest red snapper of the season
landed July 4 in Pensacola Bay. Landing a fish like this over structure
in the shallow waters of Pensacola Bay takes both skill and a lot
luck. Good job, Michael!
Young Jake Fanale with his first false albacore on fly
landed and released on July 12. The fish were tough that day but
Jake never gave up and kept putting beautiful cast after cast into
the schools of fish. This 6 pounder finally ate
the gummy minnow and exploded into the backing. Big day for Jake...
Mystery angler (aka Bart Buckoff) and his fishing buddy Shawn Mendenhall
with the first FA of the day on July 13.
left the FA and set up along the beach hoping for some shots
at migrating tarpon. Here's Shawn laying the cast out in front
a string of 100 pounders. Lots of excitement...no takes.
Barnes with one of many nice FA on July 19.
On July 20 we found a school of bull redfish on the Caucas Shoal,
and Dennis Farkas coaxed this fish to eat a SPRO bucktail jig.
is young James Boles with his first-ever false albacore landed
and released July 25 on ultra-light spinning tackle. James is
an avid fresh-water fisherman, but he'd never experienced anything
the power of a FA!
26 was a big day for Bryan Miller and Brad Garraway. Bryan got
things started with the first of many false albacore on ultra-light
a couple hours with the FA we moved close to shore for some terrific
sight-fishing for big redfish. Here's Bryan with the first redfish.
Garraway with the biggest redfish of the day just before we had
to run from the building thunderstorms.
We started off July 27 sight-fishing for ladyfish on the crystal-clear
Admiral's Island sandbar. This is Austin Marvel with his first saltwater
spending fruitless hours offshore chasing false albacore we moved
back to the beach looking for redfish. We found a school
Pensacola Pass, and Jeff Rampon fooled one into eating a big popper.
Great job, Jeff, saved the day!
Nall was in town on July 30 for some of the most insane false
albacore fishing of the year. There were thousands of fish churning
the surface in schools like the one you can see beneath Jeff's
bent rod. Double-click for a better view.
Jeff with a typical 6 pounder...
Great shot of Jeff with one of many FA caught and released that
day on his Winston XDLT and Tibor Everglades. Hard to beat on 8wt
Peter Tuz on August 7 with a terrific redfish landed in calm, clear
water along the shore of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. We found
a big school of fish close to shore and teased them into flycasting
range. Peter dropped the big popper on target, and this fish crushed
Hovey brothers, Jacob and Luke, were on the boat August 14 which
turned out to be the best day of the season. The day seemed
normal when we ran to the Gulf and started off catching ladyfish
like this one held by Jake.
We got a call from another guide that the false albacore were in
a feeding frenzy offshore, so we ran out a few miles and spent the
next couple hours catching and releasing fish of this quality. After
catching the ladyfish Jacob was amazed at the power of these "bad
While Jacob was catching them on fly Luke was having a field day
on ultra-light spinning tackle.
We decided to "leave
fish to try to find fish", and found the big school of redfish
along the beach right where they'd been the week
before. I poled the skiff into range and Jacob cast the big
popper so it drifted into the school of unsuspecting redfish. An
occasional gentle "pop" brought this fish over to check out the fly,
and the next time Jacob moved it the fish sucked it down. The whole
scenario was a visual experience both Jacob and Luke will never forget.
six hour trip was done, but on the way back to the dock we decided
to check out our
favorite sandbar for jack crevalle.
As we idled up on the bar we could see a school of big jacks chasing
bait close to shore. Luke was ready with heavy spinning tackle
and a big topwater "chug bug". Jacob had the 12wt and a big popper.
made a nice cast in front of the school and was hooked up instantly.
As his fish tore off to the south with the drag screaming Jacob
stepped up on the bow and cast the popper into the middle of
the school. His
fish inhaled the popper and headed north. Of course it was total
chaos on the boat trying to keep the lines from crossing as we
idled toward Luke's fish. He played it beautifully beneath Jacob's
and we were able to land it and get this photo while Jacob's fish
was still over 100 yards out.
was Jacob's quick thinking that allowed us to land both fish.
He held the rod tip high and let his fish run while Luke circled
the boat eventually bringing his fish to the net. It was nice
that Jacob had 450 yards of Hatch 68# backing on his Tibor Gulfstream,
because his fish was almost out of sight. After releasing
Luke's jack crevalle we motored in the direction of Jacob's fish
so he could
reel in some
backing before another boat got in the way. After a half hour battle
he brought this magnificent fish to the net. How's that for a day
of fishing! We packed up and headed for the dock.
By the time Stephen Miller came to town on August 23 the false
albacore were gone, so we settled for big ladyfish along the beach.
We found some spooky redfish close to shore, and Stephen got out
of the boat and tried approaching them on foot. But it wasn't to
be... Double click for a long distance shot of Stephen in "stalking
invited Casting Instructor Jonas Magnusson to join us the following
day, but even the casting maestro couldn't get the bull
redfish to eat the fly. Double-click for a better view of the targeted
redfish cruising along the bottom in 3' of gin-clear water. This
photo was the guide's view from the poling platform of the anchored
skiff. Beats YouTube any day...
It took expert fly-caster/master fly-tier Peter Petruzzi to
break the code on the "highly technical" beach redfishing. Peter
switched to a sinking line and one of his secret flies to catch these
redfish on back-to-back casts.
what I'm talking about! Peter's second redfish with the secret
fly hanging in plain view from the fish's mouth... Good luck
It was just one of those days when the redfish on the inside flats
wanted to eat. Norm and Owen Lachapelle with Norm's first fish...the
biggest of the day on August 30.
Norm landed and released numerous other smaller redfish on the
EP gray/white baitfish. It was like the fish were asleep. They were
sitting motionless on shallow sand spots, and Norm had to drop the
fly within a foot of the fish. When it sank to the bottom they swam
ate it. If he dropped it 2-3' from the fish they never moved. Strange
but productive day in the 90 degree waters of the Big Lagoon.
20 was a breakthrough day on the flats of Santa Rosa Sound for
Richard Buhrman. The objective of
the day was for Richard's wife Judy to catch her first-ever
redfish on fly. The fishing would be tough due to high water
and our best shot was to wade-fish for the redfish. So we pulled
into shore, and I set Richard up in a spot where he could blind-cast
while Judy and I eased down the beach sight-fishing. It wasn't
10 minutes before she and I both looked back to see Richard
"bowed up" on a pretty nice fish. We ran back, helped
him land the fish, and got this photo. The tan/white clouser
trick. Check out the beautiful blue of the fish's tail. Judy's
redfish will have to wait for another day. This one belonged
a great day on the water with Gulf Breeze Guide Service!
Breeze Guide Service
P.O. Box 251
Gulf Breeze, Florida 32562-0251 (USA)
Tel: 850.934.3292 or 850.261.9035 (cell)
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