Posts Tagged ‘Perdido Key’

Thursday off from work meant early morning fishing

Thursday off from work meant early morning fishing

Choppy gulf waters murky as sweet tea

Choppy gulf waters murky as sweet tea

We ended up catching 16 catfish including this big one.

We ended up catching 16 catfish including this big one.

We also caught this sea turtle

We also caught this sea turtle

We had a chat while I got the hook out

We had a chat while I got the hook out

Looks like Crush from Finding Nemo!

Looks like Crush from Finding Nemo!

We caught a second one right before we left

We caught a second one right before we left

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My wife and I went out to the beach for some shark fishing

My wife and I went out to the beach for some shark fishing

Recently my wife and I went out to the beach (Perdido Key Public Beach Access #2) for an afternoon of shark fishing. Well, I went for shark fishing and my wife came in support of me. Our friends David and Sara Sewell joined us. By shark fishing, I mean catching small fish

Sewell's pointing out dolphins

Sewell’s pointing out dolphins

from shore with shrimp, rigging the fish up on big hooks, kayaking them out well past the first sand bar into the gulf, and returning to the shore to wait for a shark to hit.
At first we didn’t catch much of anything with shrimp, so I used a frozen Lady Fish I had from a previous fishing trip as shark bait. Something hit but quickly dropped it. When we brought in the bait we saw teeth marks gashed in the fish, but of course away from the hook.

Fishing with shrimp for shark bait

Returning from kayaking out sting ray bait

Eventually, we caught live bait – a sting ray small enough to fit in my hand. I hooked it up for shark bait (monofilament leader with a circle hook the size of my index finger bent) and paddled it out. Sting ray has traditionally been prime time shark bait.

Reeling in sting ray shark pole at dusk

Minutes turned into half hours and then hours with no sharks. David and Sara left. Sunset came calling. Becki and I decided to leave the shark pole out while simultaneously packing up. Nothing. So, I dejectedly began to real in the sting ray shark pole. Darkness was beginning to replace the sunset so I quickened my reeling. I imagine the sting ray was zipping through the water.

Then, it happened. Something large hammered my sting ray. The drag began to release and scream. I set the hook with a yank. Shark on! Becki came down from taking a load to the van and aided with her iPhone light. The shark fought hard and ran up and down the beach. After half an hour’s fight we landed the shark, a four and a half foot blacktip!

We snapped pictures. I picked up the shark by the tail for one picture and looked down in time to see it bending its body and nearly taking a chunk out of my calf. “Wow!” I exclaimed while quickly pulling it away from my leg. After the pictures I released the shark back into the water. What an unexpectedly great way to end a fishing trip!

Fighting the shark

Fighting the shark

Shark fin in the water

Shark fin in the water

"Wow"

“Wow”

Hugging the shark

Hugging the shark

4.5 Foot Blacktip Shark

4.5 Foot Blacktip Shark

On Thursday I read in the Hook Line and Sinker Section of the Pensacola News Journal that Pompanos and whiting are being caught early morning in the surf.  My wife had to be up early for work on Saturday morning, like well-before-the-sun-dethrones the-moon-from-reigning-over-the-landscape early.  So, I decided to get up when she did and head to Perdido Key for some beach surf fishing action.

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Three of my four fishing poles set up

I got to the beach and was greeted by a warm morning (overnight low was only in the 50’s) and a gulf with choppy waves (probably two to three feet) and a strong current (from the light east breeze and waves I’m guessing).  I got three of my four poles set up and the lines in the water but the current was just too strong to effectively fish.  One of my lines started straight out in front of me, was picked up by the current, and placed back on the beach!  I did catch one little whiting purely by accident!

I decided to move down the beach and then moved down even farther, hoping to get out of the current and not wanting to waste my trip to the beach .  I finally found my spot a little after daybreak.

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Sunrise at the beach

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My four poles set up

Once I got set up the fish started rolling in . . .

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16 inch Pompano

My peeled shrimp on a double drop leader also produced a nice sized Whiting, the biggest I’ve personally caught before, measuring in around 20 inches.

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My second Pompano, around 15 inches

I also brought in a monster-for-me catfish, big (well over 16 inches), fat and ugly!  I’ve heard old wives tales that it’s not a good idea to eat catfish out of the gulf so I released it.  I need to do some research and find out if that’s true so I don’t waste potential meat in the future.

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My fishing companion (waiting for my scraps)

My final catch of the day was the oddest.  A group of seagulls flew over and one of them got tangled in my fishing line.  I dropped the pole to the ground to give it slack and allow the gull to free itself.  It couldn’t.  I watched as a wave pummeled the helpless seagull into the surf.  So, I quickly pulled it up on shore by me.  It lay docilely there waiting to be helped.  I stroked its wing and went to work.  The fishing line had wrapped itself in a knot around its wing and for good measure back around the gull’s whole body.  I freed it and it happily flew away.

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Poor seagull all tied up

For what started out as a seemingly awful fishing trip, I had a wonderful time and came home to my wife with six filets from three nice-sized fish!

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My catches

Sunday, July 15th Fishing Trip begins at the Letter J Walkover at Johnson’s Beach (I choose letter J because it’s the last walkover and the closest one to the Pensacola Pass at the end of the beach – which is miles down but the closer I can get to it the better fishing in my mind)

I get my fish pole baited up with shrimp and in the water.  I move on to setting up my second pole and before I can finish my fishing pole is dancing with one of these Ladyfish/Skip Jack hooked.  I can’t keep my poles in the water and end up with these three fish quickly.

I also catch this lil’ ground mullet, aka southern kingfish.

And then the seaweed picks up 😦

My final catch, a Seaweed Shark.  It is just too much seaweed to continue fishing.  So . . .

  

I resort to some body surfing, aka body boarding! 🙂