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January 27, 2009

Pensacola, Navarre, Perdido Key, Inshore Report

The white trout bite is red hot in Pensacola Bay and in the back country near black water bay the redfish bite is going strong.

With a break in the cold weather, I was finally able to get out and do some fishing. My clients Bob and Randy from Canada were here for a couple of weeks, but were unable to get out the first week they were here, because it was too cold, well, at least too cold for me and the fish. It was ranging between 22 - 28 degrees for a few mornings. Of course, Bob said when he left Canada, his hometown got down to a negative 45 degrees! What are we complaining about?

Getting back to the fishing report, Friday was a great day on the water with temperatures reaching the middle to upper 60s. I was ready to get out on the Mega-Bite for some January fishing. Our first stop was in the pass near a few of the jetties. The bite was kind of slow, however, we hooked up a nice under-sized gag grouper around 17", took a quick photo and tossed him back. After that, we hooked in to what I was sure was a redfish, but it took us around some rocks and broke us off, so we spent a little more time fishing the jetties trying for some black snapper, but they just weren't in the mood to eat. The bait I was using was frozen shrimp, since the bait shop was out of fresh. Black snapper seem to bite better on live shrimp than the frozen, but frozen will do in a pinch. Another bait I like to throw is Berkley's Gulp Alive in the jars and a few of the other types in the zip lock packaging. Since it was overcast, we used the frozen shrimp and also gave the Gulp a try in the 3"New Penny Shrimp and 5" Jerk shad in the mullet pattern.
Not ready to throw in the towel, we headed into the bay where I've had some luck with the trout lately, and it turned out to be a good move, as the bite was on fire. Randy boated over 30+ white trout and hooked up with a nice redfish that again was lost on debris. The bait of choice was Berkley's Gulp Alive curly tail grub in white on a ¼ oz jig head in red or chartreuse.

Bob also hooked up around 20+ trout and lost what we thought was a red on the pilings. Along with trout we boated some nice whiting. The whiting were in the 1-½ lb range, and if you have not eaten whiting, be sure to give it a try; you won't be disappointed. It was a great day on the water, and I enjoyed the good company and great weather. We just couldn't get a red in the boat, but were happy with the catches we made.

I'll be on the water again this week fishing for some reds up in the backcountry, so I'll give a report in a few days.
Here's wishing you tight lines.

Capt. John Rivers
Mega-Bite Inshore Charters
850-341-9816
Mega-Bite Inshore Charters

Thanks to my sponsors:
Mann's Lures, SPRO Fishing Tackle
Gamakatsu Hooks, Pure Fishing - Berkley
ABU Garcia, Quantum