Midnight bullfight!

Thread starter #1

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
Headed out into Pensacola Bay last night around 9pm in less than perfect conditions. Targeted bull reds under a little known, tiny bridge there (ha!).
I was able to put these two in the boat and got broken off by one more. One of my fishing partners had one break off and another break a jig hook...
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The fish were actually sightfished at night under the bridge lights! The outgoing current and the bridge lights bring a lot of bait to the surface, which in turn bring the red fish up into the lights and shadowlines. No lights=No sights! The water is too murky during the day to see the fish. I got to see the first fish turn and eat a white Yamamoto heart tail shad on a 3/8 ounce jig head. The second fish was caught blind casting into the light.
Good thing the bridge was so small it made it obvious where the fish were holding.:rofl: Not!
The southeast wind gusting to 20 eventually turned eastward and made us pretty miserable with trying to control the boat. My spotlock was working good but even with my TM shaft all the way down in the water, the nose of the boat was riding the bigger chop high enough to cavitate the motor which scared the fish from our set ups.
Even though the fish were released after photos, I woke up with this little momento this morning...
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Looking forward to more adventures soon! This was my first splash in Pensacola in a few years, but plan on spending a lot of time down here in the near future.
 
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Good Job !
Them big Reds sure fight good. Not very good to eat unless you do a Chowder but their great for that.
 

Browning Slayer

Official GON Forum Meme Poster
Heck yeah! I showed Logan those pics this weekend and his eyes got huge! Hopefully I'll get him a few Reds in a couple weeks!
 

Rabun

Senior Member
Those are some true bullies there! Nice job 1eye! Have you been on the beaches looking for pompano and cobia yet? Hopefully the winds lay down for you. Congrats!
 
Thread starter #10

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
Those are some true bullies there! Nice job 1eye! Have you been on the beaches looking for pompano and cobia yet? Hopefully the winds lay down for you. Congrats!
Thanks!
No I haven't been able to hit the beach yet. We've had a big blow associated with that front that came through over the weekend. Seas 6 to 9 ft, solid 5 to 6 ft surf on the sandbar and the beach... I'm hoping this North wind will lay all that down pretty good. The wind is supposed to lay by tomorrow morning. Hoping for some good beachfront time on Tuesday and/or Wednesday. Today I think I will head to Santa Rosa sound to fish the north bank on today's north wind around 10 mph...
 
Thread starter #11

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
Switched it up today for some eating fish. All these plus one more sheepshead IMG_20190415_163138.jpg from one single spotl0ck in the bay!
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Of course, I didn't get to keep the snapper!
 
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dwhee87

Senior Member
Triggerfish & flounder...that'll make a nice fish fry.
 

Rabun

Senior Member
Some fine eating there! How close in did you get the trigger and snapper? Can't wait to get back over some reefs come June!
 
Thread starter #14

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
I was finally able to make it out on the beachfront today... Got out late morning and fish through late afternoon. Caught three pompano on the beach. then I came back into the same piece of bay structure as yesterday and added two Mangrove snapper, one of them of the large variety...
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Rabun, answer to your question is 'closer than close in'.
Today after pompano fishing, I went back inside the bay to the same exact same spotlock saved on my electronics from yesterday. It is over some structure near the Navy base.
Between yesterday and today I have caught red snapper, triggerfish, sheepshead, flounder, and mangrove snapper there directly below the boat. I don't even make a cast, just drop down on the structure... Word has it that other structure inside the bay holds huge grouper and snapper...
By the way, I had quite the show on the beach today. The
Blue Angels we're acting up like crazy for a couple hours while I fished the beach. Videos or photos wouldn't do it justice. It was just incredible.
Also, a large pot of dolphins came by and had a feeding frenzy that turned into horse play, and then some serious squeezin and rubbin...
Which reminds me, I'm going to take a break during Thursday and Friday's blow and get back home for 2 days before my wife goes to Dallas for a week. Then back here for another week, and then home for a week, and then back here for another week...After that it'll be time to fish some more!
It's a tough job but I'm just a man for it! :bounce:
 

Rabun

Senior Member
You are living the dream for sure! Those look like some bull pompano you got there. I've never fished for them from a boat...always been beach, point or jetties. Did you spot cast to them or just kinda work the bars with flea, shrimp, etc.? I'm salivating here behind the desk BTW :p
 

Browning Slayer

Official GON Forum Meme Poster
You are living the dream for sure! Those look like some bull pompano you got there. I've never fished for them from a boat...always been beach, point or jetties. Did you spot cast to them or just kinda work the bars with flea, shrimp, etc.? I'm salivating here behind the desk BTW :p

He's got me salivating too! Although, I'll be heading back to St Marks next week with my boat!:rockon:
 
Thread starter #20

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
Scnappahs and solarcaine!
The pomps weren't happening in the surf today, so I came back inside to my structure on the Navy base where the catching has been consistent even if it is all kinds of different species... I spent the first hour trying to get past the red snappers! They were swarming my bait and coming up boat side and hitting my jigs just as I was about to pull them out of the water. I could see multiple fish chasing my bait and chasing their hooked brothers. 4 or 5 of the larger ones took drag down to the structure and lock me up and broke me off before I had any fish to keep. After re-rigging 4 or 5 rods and stepping up a grade in tackle, I started getting a handle on the mangrove snappers. The smallest one pictured here by my size 14s is 11". The two biggest ones were 17".
IMG_20190417_174544.jpg


I also picked up this 22-in black drum, but tossed it back as I was no longer that desperate for meat! IMG_20190417_142415_1.jpg
Sorry I didn't get to measurement in the picture but in the bright and sunny and bouncing boat, I could barely see what I was photographing!


After fishing out most of my live shrimp supply, headed back to the bayou where I'd launched. I stopped in the mouth at a Rock pile where I had caught plenty of fish before. I set out a few lines and hooked up with a monster black drum. I had to clear the other lines and then start following it around the entrance channel on my trolling motor. A couple of incoming boats saw what was going on and stopped to watch for a while. I'd seen it come up once and it was the size of a baby manatee. Probably about 40 lb... After dancing around a couple of incoming spectating boats, it finally broke off. Bummer! It would have been my largest had I landed it.
So I came on in and back to my fish camp/trailer and noticed my nearly blistered face! I dumped on a bunch of solarciane and aloecaine... Screenshot_20190418-171628.png


So, I never imagined that coming down to Florida with my boat and fishing all day everyday by myself would be so tough! I'm about wore out from this week's fishing. The midnight bullfight left me feeling like somebody would hit me in the head with a brick for a day or two... I'm an old man and need my sleep! The past 3 days in a row has been all I can do. There is a big blow coming with another front, so I'll get to give it a rest on Thursday and Friday. I think I'll come home to Mama and head back down here on Saturday or Sunday.
My planned trip on Thursday to Apalachicola has been canceled due to the incoming weather. So when the blow is over, I'll be back here for another week or more, because Mama is going to be out of town all next week!
Somebody come to Pensacola and help me fish!
I might also need some help eating fish!
 
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