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Summer 2010 began with rapidly improving water conditions in the Gulf of Mexico and around Pensacola Pass. Favorable winds and currents coupled with a lot of hard work by the Vessels of Opportunity kept the oil spill out of the Pensacola Bay system, and by the end of July the Gulf waters were once again pristine and beautiful. The gloom and doom predicted by the press never happened. We never stopped fishing and ran trips with our clients and clients of the other guides who were working for BP. With virtually no fishing pressure the summer inshore fishing was the best in many years. Redfish, trout, red snappers, groupers...all the species were available in abundance. All those who "took a chance on the oil" and came to town were amazed at how beautiful it was. The pompano arrived in big numbers around the end of July providing terrific sight-fishing opportunities when Gulf conditions cooperated. In mid-September the biggest Spanish mackerel we've ever seen showed up in Santa Rosa Sound providing high-octane excitement for our light-tackle and fly anglers. And, of course, the redfishing was outstanding all summer. Here are photos from the 2010 summer season. For photos from previous seasons, check out these additional galleries: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. 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.

Charlie Forrest opens up the Summer 2010 gallery with this impressive gag grouper landed June 21. With very little fishing pressure due to the oil scare Pensacola Bay summertime grouper fishing was the best we've seen in years.
Sandy Loveless with an exotic spadefish on June 22. The water was clear and calm that day, and we could see spadefish cruising just below the surface over our grouper spot. Sandy had a ball on light spinning tackle "fly-lining" menhaden bits on small circle hook to the unsuspecting spadefish.
On June 25, it was mostly redfish for Erik Gunderson, Woodstock, GA, and his fishing buddy Wayne Donaldson. Here's Erik with a multiple-spot beauty.
Wayne Donaldson in front of his Santa Rosa Sound mansion.
Professional fly-tier Karl Elliott, St Joseph, MO, on a rainy July 1 with his first redfish on fly. Karl's Clouser minnows tied with Puglisi fibers have become our favorite redfish and speckled trout flies. Anyone interested in Karl's flies can contact Capt Baz. His flies are also available at Gulf Breeze Bait and Tackle.
Karl Elliott with his second redfish on fly July 1.

Karl was throwing one of his poppers around baitfish schools when this nice bluefish exploded on it. Surprising to have landed this fish with no bite tippet.

 

Josh Snow with a hefty speckled trout landed and released on July 2.
Now THAT's what I'm talking about! Greg Thompson and a fine Pensacola Bay grouper released to the cooler on a glassy-calm July 8.
Pop/R&B singer/songwriter Dey Gomez had her hands full with this red snapper on July 8. You can check out Dey and her twin sister Nite's music at www.deynite.com
This redfish was the "fish of the day" for Tate Rush on July 14.
Matthew Nowlin found this redfish in Pensacola Pass on July 18.
Matthew's dad HM Nowlin with a grouper en route to the grill on July 18. We use 40-80# class stand-up tackle with 50# mono and 60# leader to pull these fish from Pensacola Bay structure. The fish hit like freight trains, and run back into the structure. The battle is won or lost in the first five feet... or three seconds. Whichever comes first.
The redfish in the pass cooperated for Todd Overstreet on July 19 who was fishing with his father-in-law Malcolm Goodman.

And they continued to cooperate July 20 for brothers Jeff and Daron Nall from Nixa, MO. Jeff Nall with the biggest fish of the day...

 

Or was Daron Nall's fish bigger? We'll leave that argument for the Nall brothers to figure out. Good thing there's not much competition between them...

On July 21 Malcolm Goodman treated his son David and son-in-law Scott Berg to a red-hot day of fishing the inland waters. Here's Malcolm with the first of about 25 redfish landed in Santa Rosa Sound.

Scott Berg with his first redfish of the day.
A nice "double" by Malcolm and Scott.

This is a cool action shot of David Goodman netting a redfish for brother-in-law Scott Berg. Check out the spot on the tail.

After spending the morning in Santa Rosa Sound we moved out to Pensacola Pass and found the big redfish hungry and ready to eat. Malcolm Goodman with a bull redfish released unharmed.

David Goodman with his entry in the family fishing tournament.
We finished off the trip with a stop at some structure in Pensacola Bay, and Scott Berg put this beautiful red snapper in the cooler...two days before the season closed. Good job, Scott! Timing is everything.
A great family shot of Holly McCoy with her first redfish of the day flanked by sons Hunter and Woody. Peace, brothers and sisters...
Oh Yeah! Woody McCoy with the redfish of the day on July 22.
Dad Chad McCoy with a 4# flounder landed and released close to Pensacola Pass on July 22.
Even though the season was closed Howell and Joe Raines wanted to head out in the Gulf for some catch-and-release red snapper fishing on July 30. Here's Howell with a typical catch.
Joe Raines with another impressive snapper.
Fourteen miles out in the Gulf of Mexico and this barn swallow landed on Howell's shoulder. He was a grateful little guy who rested a while and then continued on his journey.
Bernie Smelstoys booked a family fishing trip July 31, and the conditions were perfect. This redfish was about 29" long and ate a live shrimp in 2-3' of water.
Bernie's son Bernie Smelstoys with another picture-perfect redfish in glassy water. This was Bernie's birthday, and he truly had the hot hand.
Bernie's son Bernie's son Bernie Smelstoys and a multi-spotted redfish. Three Bernies in one day was a record for Gulf Breeze Guide Service.
Bernie's grandson Victor Turek with his biggest redfish to date
Joseph Turek and another fine redfish on July 31.
The final angler aboard July 31 was Damien Papillo pictured with one of the biggest redfish of the morning.
After catching most of the redfish in Santa Rosa Sound we headed for the Gulf of Mexico. On the way out we stopped at some inside structure and Bernie Smelstoys put this gag grouper in the box.
But the birthday boy wasn't finished. We pulled in to shore for a swim and were surprised to find a steady stream of pompano coming along the beach. Bernie coaxed this fish to eat a SPRO bucktail jig and slid it into the cooler. It was a fitting end to a memorable birthday trip. Check out that water clarity! Perfection...
The false albacore arrived August 5 for the first time since the oil spill, but they were as finicky as we've ever seen them. Art deTonnancourt finally landed this fish after an 80' cast to an approaching school. This is the first FA landed since January.
We finally gave up on the doggone false albacore and moved in to the beach, where Art dropped the little yellow fly directly in front of this passing pompano... the first on fly of the season.
Bill Mobley booked a trip August 6 for daughter Allison and her friend Seth. We had perfect conditions and once again the fishing was outstanding. Here's Billy with the first redfish of the morning
Allison Mobley responded with a slightly larger redfish...
And then she landed (and released) this beautiful speckled trout.
Seth Forestier didn't land a photo-worthy redfish that morning but nailed this huge red snapper a little later in the day.
Billy landed another fine snapper on a piece of cut menhaden
A little later we drifted live bait through Pensacola Pass and Seth landed this pretty redfish.
We finished the trip sight-fishing for pompano along the edge of the Gulf. Seth enticed this fish to eat a SPRO bucktail jig.
Ryan and Brent Neck had a ball the morning of August 9 casting topwater plugs for redfish.
Around noon we moved to the pristine waters just outside of Pickens Point where Brent took a swim. You'd have to go to the Bahamas to find water more beautiful...
Ben Morris and his friend Suze with a fine Pensacola Bay grouper on August 12.
Luther Young with an over-slot redfish August 21 while fishing with sons Scott and Lance, and grandson Cody.
A little later, Luther did a great job wrestling this big red snapper out of structure in Pensacola Bay.

Scott Young and son Cody from Lillian, AL, with a nice redfish "double" on August 21. Hey, where's the spot on that redfish's tail, Cody?

When the sun hits a pompano just right it lights up like a mirror. August 23 was our best day ever for pompano sight-fishing, and Capt Baz (fishing solo) landed and released nine on fly. Here are some short videos from that day: Pompano Video 1, Pompano Video 2, Pompano Video 3

 

Matthew Vann with his first pompano on fly August 26. Matthew landed this fish on the "dreaded first cast" of the day.
Pensacola's David Butler with a very nice slot-sized redfish landed August 26 on one of Karl Elliott's Puglisi fiber Clouser minnows.
Jonas Magnusson and one of two false albacore landed September 3 on a #6 clear gummy minnow. The fish were feeding on something tiny, and Jonas made cast after cast after cast into the schooling fish, and finally got a couple to eat. Tough day.
Matthew Vann with his first false albacore on fly landed and released on September 3. Matthew's Nautilus reel performed flawlessly.
A very happy PJ Whitehurst with a perfect slot redfish on September 4.
PJ helped her dad Raleigh Whitehurst land this Pensacola Bay grouper and then got some assistance with the photo from pal Lauren.
Lauren Durkee and her mom Denise hauled this lovely gag grouper out of the structure and into the cooler on September 4.
Francis Crockard and a nice slot redfish taken on a topwater plug September 5.
Frank Vargo, Great Falls, MT, and the second largest redfish of the day September 7 while fishing with brother Joe and mom Patsy. Patsy landed the biggest fish of the day, but Capt Baz accidentally dropped it overboard before we could get a photo. It's hard to find a good guide these days...
Joe Vargo, Great Falls, MT, with another beautiful redfish on September 7.
Rob Angus, Birmingham, AL, with a bad-to-the-bone bluefish caught on a Gartside Gurgler. The bluefish and pompano "peacefully coexist" in the same pockets close to shore. Problem is the blues will bite through 15# fluoro in a heartbeat, and that's what you need for the pompano. Makes for some very interesting...and selective...sight-fishing.
Tim Yelverton, Ft Walton Beach, with another serious bluefish caught on a topwater plug. It was a full-day birthday trip for bro Tim. Happy 50th Timbo!
A lovely 24" speckled trout caught and released September 18 by Cindy Dorn. This fish sucked down a 4" live menhaden that Cindy was "fly-lining" over some grass beds in Santa Rosa Sound.
Walt Dorn with a 5# bluefish landed on the first cast the morning of September 18.
We found giant Spanish mackerel on the grass flats September 19, and Terry Brykczynski, from New York City, landed this beauty on his 8wt. These fish are all over 5#, hammer the fly, and take you a hundred yards into the backing. We use 60# monofilament bite tippet and hope for the best...
How about THIS for a Spanish mackerel! Rhad Hayden, Baton Rouge, with a 7 pounder landed on fly and released September 20. This is the all-time all-tackle boat record Spanish mackerel.
We were shocked when this big pompano took Rhad's Clouser minnow rigged with 60# mono. The fish looked like a small jack crevalle when it took the fly... Rhad received twelve style points for releasing this beautiful fish unharmed.
With this redfish Rhad had two legs of the elusive "Grand Slam". We moved to the Gulf of Mexico looking for jack crevalle (the third leg), and Rhad had one shot at a single fast-moving fish. But the magic didn't happen, and once again the slam faded into the future...

 

   

 

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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