THE FISHING REPORT IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY ROY LEDBETTER AND LOCAL FISHERMEN LIKE YOURSELF, SO KEEP THE REPORTS COMING IN.
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LOCAL SALTWATER BOAT RAMPS
MONTHLY FISHING CALENDER
BOAT AND BEACH FORECAST
SALTWATER FISH ID
FRESHWATER FISH ID
FISHING AND HUNTING LICENSES
Non Resident - license required for bank or boat fishing unless on charter boat or licensed pier!
Resident - License required for bank or boat!
Exemptions- Under 16 years old and Over 65 resident. (Look at state regs others)
Destin and Offshore
Offshore and Near are very productive now with large king mackerel. Some as large as 25-30 lbs. Black Fin tuna on wrecks 7-10 miles out. Plenty of large triggerfish biting right now. Red Snappers are hard to keep off the baits right now. Lots of fish lost due to dolphins and sharks. Lots of wind on the water like last year. Pompano and Red Drum still good at East Pass Jetties and on the beaches in cuts and holes. The Pier is doing good but not just on and off daily.
Fort Walton Beach and Choctawatchee Bay
The Bay is doing very well especially with large live bait shrimp from Salty Bass. Free-line them or use them under corks
If you don't know how to bait them up, come down to shop and we will show you. Night fishing under lights has been very good and will continue to get better when things calm down. The Grass beds are heating up with trout and Redfish.
Shalimar Bridge and Cinco Bayou bridge have been very good with large reds. Black snapper, which happen to taste as good as red snapper, have been abundant. Get some steel leader because Spanish and Blues have been going nuts. Some blues have been 5 to 8 lbs. Witnesses have even seen 10 lbs Spanish. Fly line shrimp or use bubble rigs and gotcha's.
Rivers are high and murky with good bass and brim. Some trout and reds have been reported there too.
Santa Rosa Sound
Santa Rosa Sound from Fort Walton Beach at Brooks Bridge all the way to Midway at Navarre has been very productive on live bait all spring. Large Trout and Reds are really good around the docks and around the islands on north and south side. Plan your trips around the tides. Our tides are only about 1 1\2 feet all year in 12 hour cycles. Black Drum are plentiful from the mouth of sound at Elliots Point to Liza Jackson park. However black drum over 30 inches have very tough meat and typically full of worms. Limits on black drum are 14-24 inches at 4 a day with one over the slot allowed. They live up to 60 years if released.
no current reports
The mornings have been improving as the winds are usually low till about 10 am. Reds and trout all over the flats as well as Spanish and Blue Runners. A few ladyfish, blues and jacks have been reported on the flats as well. Live bait is king right now. Large live shrimp tearing up the reds. Gold spoons and plastics are working fair. Plan your trip with a thought in mind of pop up thunderstorms. So plan your trip around the weather. Eric Anderson Caught a 28 inch speckled trout and released it last week along with a 37 inch red which also was released. All caught on live bait and ultra-lite tackle in the grass beds in areas less than 18 inches of water. He sure loves circle hooks. Never yank a circle hook or they don't work. Plus circle hooks usually fair hook in the lip instead of swallowing them. Preservation is key.
Salty Bass Final Comments
Salty Bass Lands his 1st and only trout 4.5 pounds this year on top water which was released unharmed. Dale from Dales Towing SVC, a longtime Salty Bass customer, got his largest trout ever. It was a massive 6.25 caught on live shrimp during the night under the lights out of his new kayak. Dan Bork from Denmark, also a long time friend of the Salty Bass Family, went fishing with Roy several times while he was on TDY and leave. He finally got his dream of landing a very nice redfish with 7 spots. They also lost several monster reds around the docks as they wrapped around the pillings. There is always another day.
Bay temp is now 73 degrees and climbing. Water is clearing. Bring tons of sunscreen and protective uvp clothing as its getting hot and bright out there. Expect a lifelong fishing adventure- experience while you visit the emerald coast waters.
An Old Fisherman Once Said.....
"All Fishermen Tell Tall Tales except you and me..
but I'm not so sure about you sometimes."