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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 of Mexico 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 the thumbnails for full-page photos. For photos from previous seasons follow the links to these additional galleries: Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Summer 2017, Winter and Spring 2017, 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.

Anne Walters opens the summer gallery with an impressive mangrove snapper on June 26. She and Dave limited out with average-sized red snappers.
A 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 Quantum "Cabo 60" reels with 40# Powerpro braid. Catching snappers of this quality on high-quality spinning tackle is a blast!
Bobby Johnson looking good with the "fish of the day" on July 1.
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 of 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.
We 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 of a string of 100 pounders. Lots of takes.
Kevin 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.
This 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 like the power of a FA!
July 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 spinning tackle
.After 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.
Brad 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 fish on fly.
After spending fruitless hours offshore chasing false albacore we moved back to the beach looking for redfish. We found a school just west of Pensacola Pass, and Jeff Rampon fooled one into eating a big popper. Great job, Jeff, saved the day!
Jeff 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 tackle!
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 it!
The 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 little dudes".
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. Priceless!
Our 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. Luke 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 backing, and we were able to land it and get this photo while Jacob's fish was still over 100 yards out.
It 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 mode"...
Stephen 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.
That's what I'm talking about! Peter's second redfish with the secret fly hanging in plain view from the fish's mouth... Good luck tying it!
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 over and 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.
September 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 temperatures, 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 did the trick. Check out the beautiful blue of the fish's tail. Judy's redfish will have to wait for another day. This one belonged to Richard.


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)

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