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Spring 2010 began with beautiful waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Pensacola Bay, and Santa Rosa Sound. The incredible redfish sight-fishing along the edge of the Gulf continued through mid-May, the spring pompano migration started right on time, and the inside flats were loaded with unusually large speckled trout and slot-sized redfish. The annual sheepshead spawning ritual occurred in April as expected, and we had some outstanding bottom-fishing in Pensacola Bay for red snappers and groupers. The oil spill affected us in June, and we limited charters to the inland waters for the rest of the season. With little fishing pressure we had many outstanding trips for redfish, red snappers, groupers, and trout. Here are photos from the 2010 spring season. For photos from previous seasons, check out these additional galleries: 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. Click on any of the small images below to see the full size photos. Use the back button on your browser to return to this page.

Daniel Roberts, Little Rock, starts off the spring gallery with this hefty speckled trout caught and released on March 23. The trout ate a tan/white Clouser minnow.
Daniel followed up with this redfish on the same fly. Check out the blue in the fish's tail.
This flounder was a surprise, although it's not uncommon to find them on sand spots among the grass flats. Nice triple, Daniel.
Travis Akins, Yellowstone National Park, MT, and the first bull redfish of the spring season landed March 30. When you visit Yellowstone stop by and see Travis at the Yellowstone Lake retail shop. Love that hat, Trav.
After poling the outside of the bar for redfish we staked out in an inside cut to sight-fish for pompano. Water clarity was perfect as Trav waited for a fish to appear.
Life is Good! Travis Akins with the first pompano on fly for 2010. This beautiful fish took a yellow pompano rocket, and Trav released it unharmed.

Did someone say pompano? This is the all-time boat record pompano landed by Cole Boughner on April 1. The fish weighed 6.1 pounds and ate a live sand flea. What a fish!

 

Cole followed up with this perfect redfish caught on a Spro bucktail jig and light spinning gear.
Cole's dad Jay Boughner and another trophy redfish landed and released on April 1.
Vernon Prather, Gulf Breeze, had his hands full with this monster redfish on April 2.
Buz Eddy, Gulf Breeze City Manager, playing his favorite tune on this redfish April 2 as the Blue Angels flew overhead.
Jennifer Antrobus, Atlanta, and a fine sheepshead landed on April 4.
Chester and Keith Henderson with one of numerous redfish landed on April 5.
Diane Stephens, Knoxville, TN, landed and released this lovely slot-redfish on April 7. She gratiously invited husband Gary to join her in the photo.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Howell Raines and the first redfish of the day on April 10.
We moved out to the Gulf of Mexico and found redfish feeding in schools between the sandbars. Here's Howell with one of about a dozen fish landed and released.

Howell's cousin Joe Raines, Ft Walton Beach, FL, with the biggest fish of the day on April 10. All the fish that day were landed on St Croix Avid Series AS70MF spinning rods, Shimano Stradic 2500 reels, and 15# PowerPro braid.

Michael Chamblee, Birmingham, AL, coaxed this bull redfish to take a tan/white Clouser minnow on April 12. Michael also hooked two jack crevalle that day, but they both threw the doggone hook.
Susan Shaw, Washington, DC, and Jim Epik caught a cooler full of sheepshead, redfish, and black drum on April 16.

Jeff Bird, Portland, Oregon, and a nice slot-redfish caught and released late in the day April 17 on a flat in Santa Rosa Sound.

Retired USN Captain Tom Lyons was in town for a Naval Academy class reunion on April 19 and took the morning off for a little fishing. Tom learned a lot about redfish when this brute took his Spro bucktail jig...

Ken Hutchison and Greg Fisher, Nampa, ID, arrived April 20 for a three day fishing vacation. On the 21st the Gulf calmed down and fishing turned on in a big way. Here's Greg with his first-ever saltwater catch on fly...a fine Spanish mackerel.
A little later we found the redfish in schools along the shore. Hutch and Greg were soon doubled up and brought these fish to the boat at the same time. Check out the glassy water...
Hutch appears to be kicked back relaxing in this shot, but I can guarantee you in three seconds he can drop the fly in front of an approaching fish.
That's exactly what happened when a small school of pompano showed up twenty feet from the boat while we were having lunch. Hutch had his fly in front of the fish before most anglers would've started their backcast. With the redfish landed earlier, this pompano was the second leg of the Spring Grand Slam. All we needed was a jack crevalle...
The wind kicked up from the south, so we moved inside to Deb's Cove (named for Greg's wife Deb Fisher) where we found huge redfish milling around in 4-5 feet of water. Greg landed this giant on light spinning tackle.
At the end of the day Hutch got this redfish to suck down a modified white and chartreuse "Go-meaux".
On April 22 we hit the water early to be the first boat at "the spot". Even though the light was low, this fish looked like a submarine in 3' of water fifty feet from the boat. Hutch dropped the fly right on target and the big redfish turned and nailed it. There's no flash in this photo; the light on this spectacular fish is from the early-morning sun.
When the sun got high enough we set up just outside the bar and waited for the pompano to come down the beach. Which they did, and Hutch got this fish to eat his version of the pompano rocket. Once again Hutch had two legs of the Grand Slam, but the darn jack crevalle never showed up.
A little later Greg joined the elite few who've coaxed a pompano to eat a fly.
We finished off the day and the trip at Deb's Cove that afternoon where Greg landed one of the biggest redfish of the trip. It was a fitting end to a terrific three days of fishing.
Sandy Loveless, Henderson, TN, landed this redfish first thing the morning of April 23 while grouper fishing in Pensacola Bay. It was nice of his fishing partner Pam Hatcher to help pose the fish for the photograph.
Sandy with a typical sheepshead a little later in the morning. It's hard to describe how hard these fish pull. Imagine a 6-7# bluegill...
The "Fish of the Day" honors went to Pam Hatcher. Pam had just learned to cast and work a Spro bucktail jig when this huge redfish came out of nowhere and attacked it. After a 15 minute fight the reel handle broke off, and we handlined (think braided line) the fish in the final 15'. It was an epic and memorable battle...
Clint Horan, Fayetteville, Arkansas, on April 27 with biggest sheepshead of the spring season. Clint released this fish to the cooler and later to the grill...
April 28 was one of the all-time great days for redfish sight-fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Marsh family from Chicago was here to take full advantage of the situation. Ellen Marsh, who lives in Pensacola now, landed the first fish of the day.
Ellen's dad, Tim Marsh, followed suit with this beauty.
Here's a nice shot of Tim releasing his first redfish.
Next, Ellen and Tim doubled up with these monsters. Where's a magazine looking for a cover photo when we need 'em...
Dawn Marsh was pleased to get into the action with this fat redfish which weighed over thirty pounds. Not bad for light spinning tackle and 15# PowerPro....
Later in the day we poled some flats inside Pensacola Pass and found giant redfish cruising around in 3-4' of water. It was sight-fishing at it's absolute best, and Tim landed numerous fish of this quality on Spro bucktail jigs.
Mike Collins, Birmingham, AL, lays out a nice cast April 29 along a pretty stretch of water in the Big Lagoon
Didn't see that guy lying there! This flounder was happy to eat Mike's slow-moving Clouser minnow...
Andrea Collins with the main ingredient of a blackened pompano sandwich at the Paradise Bar and Grill
Mike Collins with the catch of the day on April 29
Arnold Boles landed this fine red snapper on a rainy April 30 while fishing with son John and grandson John Jr.
John Boles, Auburn, AL, with another nice red snapper landed and released in Pensacola Bay April 30.
OB Pettit with a bona fide whopper red snapper caught and released in Pensacola Bay on May 1. You just don't expect to catch snappers of this quality in the inland waters...
Conditions were perfect for the Leslie family reunion fishing trip on May 7. After catching slot redfish and trout in the inland waters we moved into the Gulf of Mexico looking for bigger targets. Here's Holly Leslie with the first bull redfish of the day.
Brother Steve Leslie battled this redfish to the boat on his own light spinning tackle.
Late in the day we moved back inside the bay, and Holly boated two delicious gag groupers which we slid into the cooler.

A couple weeks after the trip Holly sent us this wonderful photo of herself, Steve, and their father Keith along with this heart-warming message:

One Fishing Guide -$500

One condo -$1200

Family fishing photo - priceless

Bill Clarida came down from Atlanta May 8 for some fishing and golf with son David. We caught some slot reds for the cooler and then moved out to the Gulf. This is Bill with a memorable redfish caught on light tackle.
Dave Clarida was pleased to land the biggest fish of the day...
Rob Angus from Birmingham, AL, is hooked into a big redfish on fly in this shot from May 9. It was a beautiful day, and we anchored close to some structure in 8' of water and let the fish come to us.
Rob's first redfish ate a modified white and chartreuse "Go-meaux".
A little later we changed to a large version of the yellow pompano rocket, and this redfish couldn't pass it up. A 240gr sinking line helped get the fly down to the fish.
John Palmer, Jackson, MS, and John Macwilliams, Boston, were here May 10 and witnessed schools of redfish churning baitfish on the inside flats. John found some nice trout in the mix, too. This fish took a tan/white Clouser minnow.
John Macwilliams with his first-ever redfish. John had lost a bigger fish a little earlier after a hard fight...made this catch even sweeter.
When the fish weren't on top in their feeding frenzy it was hard getting them interested in fly. After numerous good shots John Palmer finally got this redfish to eat.
Late in the day John Macwilliams landed this bull redfish in the Gulf of Mexico in the same area we'd found all the fish the day before. This was the last day we found the big reds along the beach ending an incredible spring run.
Krystyna Raines offering a ladyfish to the fishing gods on May 12.
The Contento family had a great day May 15 catching redfish on live shrimp around some docks in Santa Rosa Sound. Joe Contento with a typical catch.
Mack Contento with another beauty
The spadefish kept eating our bait on a May 26 grouper trip, so Cal Schlessman put a few in the cooler.
Bubba Schlessman with a fine red snapper released four days before the opening of snapper season.
Don Joyner, Great Falls, MT, with a hard-fighting redfish on May 27. These fish grab the shrimp and head for the dock pilings. You either stop them or get cut off on the barnacles.
Patsy Joyner won a similar battle with this redfish. All fish were released unharmed.
Bill Clarida , Atlanta, came back for another spring trip June 11, and we found lots of redfish around the docks in Santa Rosa Sound.
Dave Clarida once again landed the biggest redfish of the day on June 11...

Good job, PJ!

PJ Whitehurst with a fine catch on June 14

Raleigh Whitehurst got a little help with an impressive red snapper on June 14
Graham Pollack with one of two Pensacola Bay groupers landed on June 16
Will Seabrook had his hands full June 18 when this redfish exploded on a topwater plug.
A little later Patton Seabrook added this gag grouper to the box. Check out the glassy Pensacola Bay water. Didn't need the dramamine that day...
Seth Wilkins closes off the spring gallery with this redfish landed on a another glassy-calm morning June 19.
   

 

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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