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Summer 2008 rolled in with the fishing hitting on all cylinders. The Gulf of Mexico fishing was outstanding with warming water temperatures and great visibility. Our annual tarpon migration arrived early and in full force, schools of false albacore provided explosive surface action, jack crevalle cruised the beach, and there were plenty of ladyfish and Spanish mackerel close to shore. The king mackerel bite was picking up speed, and then everything came to a halt on July 5. For the first time in memory a plume of cooler, silty water from the flooded Mississippi River invaded our waters and shut down the tarpon, false albacore, king mackerel and jack crevalle fishing. We were forced to look elsewhere and discovered an outstanding summer run of giant redfish. In addition to the big redfish, the inshore waters produced mangrove snappers, slot redfish, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and flounder. Pompano started showing up in late-August and September which bodes well for a productive fall. We had a lot of happy anglers this summer, and here are pictures of some of them. For photos from previous seasons, check out these additional galleries: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.

The false albacore were plentiful and hungry on June 24 when Charles Ruston, Spring, TX, came to town to fish with brother-in-law Bob Gipson.
The catch of the week belonged to Bob Gipson for the first jack crevalle of the summer season. Bob battled this 26 pounder for 58 minutes on a Sage 10wt. The fish ate a 2/0 Umpqua "pearly popper".
This is another shot of Bob with a fine "little football" caught on a #6 clear gummy minnow.
Is life good or what! Here's local ER doc Del Ferguson with his first false albacore landed June 25 on light tackle using an Acme "sidewinder" spoon.
Kevin Maxey, Atlanta, GA, and the last false albacore before they disappeared for three months. June 27 turned out to be the drop dead date . Excellent timing, Kevin.
The albies got scarce, so we came inside and poled the flats. Kevin landed this slot redfish on a #2 tan/white Clouser minnow. Check out the blue in the fish's tail.
Matthew Baer, Jackson, MS, was fishing with his buddy Robert Palmer when this huge Spanish mackerel exploded on a chartreuse "chug bug".
Barry Edwards had the hot hand early in the day July 3 while fishing with Kirk Rucker.
Kirk Rucker, Greensboro, NC, responded by landing this monster redfish about 15 minutes later.
Later in the day we set up on a sandbar on outgoing water to hunt for jack crevalle. Kirk formally "knows Jack" after landing this brute on a Sage Xi2, Tibor Gulfstream, and 2/0 "pearly popper."
We were looking for false albacore about a mile offshore July 4 when a huge yellowish mass appeared just below the surface. It was a school of jacks, and Fiske Hopkins, Athens, GA, hooked into one on a 12wt Sage Xi2.The result was this outstanding photo which appeared in Florida Sportfishing.
July 7 had been a slow morning for sight-fishing, and we were ready to leave when a lone jack crevalle came across the bar. Jay Pippen dropped the chug bug in it's path, and the jack nailed it. This was the last jack we saw all summer.
Daniel Walters caught the fish of the day on July 11 while fishing with brother Ben and dad Dave.
Ken Michaels brought his family down from NJ for some fun in the sun on July 14. This fine mangrove snapper was one of many caught and released that day in addition to numerous slot redfish, grouper, and bluefish. Pucker up, Buttercup.
This is Larry Sessions of Gulf Breeze on a beautiful July 24 morning.
It just doesn't get much better than this! Stuart Gilly landed this trophy redfish on July 25.
Happy LSU fan Mark Goodson got a good workout on July 25.
The Speer family of Pensacola enjoyed the hot redfish action on July 27. This is Alex Speer with his biggest fish of the day.
Brother Carl Speer added this fine specimen to the morning's tally.
Brett Tomlinson and son Reed made some family memories on July 29.
Rocky Tasse from Fort Walton, FL, brought three of his buddies over for a redfish rodeo the morning of August 2. We landed and released 11 fish of this quality using medium weight spinning gear and live pinfish.
Charlie Tripis having some fun on August 2.
Over thirty spots on this redfish caught by Rocky's friend Tom Scott on August 2.
Pete Smith, Crestview, FL, with his rodeo entry on August 2. All the fish landed on August 2 were released unharmed.
Jeffrey and Allison Morris, Austin, TX, enjoyed a glassy calm day of fly-fishing on August 9. Here's Jeff with a slab sided, soon-to-be-released, Spanish mackerel. The main identifying feature of the Spanish mackerel (vs. cero and king mackerel) is the "sooty black" dorsal fin.
Allison Morris is preparing to drop the fly into an approaching school of ladyfish.
A great shot of Jeff and Allison Morris in the afterglow of a fun filled day with the fly rods.
Well there's an unusual catch! Lynne Wooddy, Fresno, CA, with a spiny little friend on August 16.
Lynne's friend Bob McLeod with his first bluefish. Bob learned to cast and work a top-water plug that day and was rewarded with some explosive strikes from bluefish and ladyfish. Let the good times roll, Bro Bob.
We hadn't landed a slot redfish in weeks until August 22 when Danny Coffman pulled this beauty out from under a dock in Santa Rosa Sound.
It was another spectacular day with the fly rods on August 27, and the ladyfish were turned on for Todd Opsal, Madison, WI.
This is Marty Pantaze with a rare late-summer pompano landed August 30. At least we thought it was rare until Marty landed a second pompano ten minutes later. Nathan Ray in the background is trying hard to put another one in the box.
Marty also landed the all-time boat record ladyfish. This fish weighed over 4 pounds.
On September 5 we found a school of about fifty redfish on a shallow flat, and Rob Angus landed two on a tan/white Clouser minnow. This fish was just outside the slot and weighed about ten pounds.
Jay Walters, Opelika, AL, landed this totally cool juvenile African pompano on September 13. It's our "most unusual" catch to date.
This wasn't Paul Houston's biggest redfish on Sept 13, but it was the most interesting.
This flat little fellow ate a tan/white Clouser minnow on September 15 for Kevin Maxey, Atlanta, who was taking a break from opening a new restaurant...craft in Buckhead
What a way to start the day! Mark Brainard from Birmingham landed this 39 1/2 inch redfish on his first cast September 16. The fish had a girth of 25" which put its weight at around thirty pounds. Not bad on light spinning tackle with 15# PowerPro.
Mark proved his versatility by picking up the 9wt and catching this toothy Spanish mackerel on a Clouser minnow.

 

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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