Apalachacola Fl 6/7-6/10

Yeah we know Don, the only time you post anything anymore is when you go catch yellowfin in Venice. DUH.
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Derek Clegg
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Apalachacola Fl 6/7-6/10

Post by Derek Clegg » June 12th, 2013, 6:55 pm

Water temp:78-80 degrees
Wind: from the southwest 10-25mph
Water clarity: clear 20-30ft visabiliy
Techs: downlines(on bottom or half way up), Freelines, Slow trolling
Seas:2-5ft
Bait: Pilchards, Blue runners, and cut squid and cigar minnows

Had the opportunity to head down to Florida this past weekend so I jumped on it. When I looked at he forecast I wasn't so sure we would be fishing at all being as though the tropical storm directly hit St. George's Island area. Well we went any way hoping for the best. The weather turned out to be pretty descent(it got pretty sketchy on Sunday) but the storm had pushed the majority of the resident fish way offshore. We went offshore three days and the first two were very slow, a lot of little lane and b liner snapper, a couple nice snappers, a boat load of sharks, and about a 20lb cobia. The last day turned out to be a different story. By the way we were fishing 15 miles out around some sunken barges but mostly tied up to a air force communications tower. When we got to the tower on Monday morning we immediately saw signs of life, big bait wads out in the distance getting drilled by mackerel, big sea turtle swimming around, and two of the biggest barracuda I have ever seen(7ft long) just hanging by the boat. Caught several fish including a short cobia off the bottom, a small amberjack, and a bunch of giant mangrove snappers(AKA grey snapper), a few keeper red snapper and a king mac. The grey snappers were the funnest and hardest fish to catch, they were suspended under the tower and I had to chum them out by throwing several pieces of small squid up near the tower and they would all come out and then very stealth like hide your hook inside a piece of squid and let it float back naturally. These fish were very leader shy for snappers and would not eat on anything more than 30lb so being so close to the structure in was hard to keep them out , you could see absolute monsters(15-20lbers) coming out eat every piece of chum and not touch you bait. We did manage to fool some of the smaller ones if you call small 10lbs. Also caught a 7 foot hammerhead on a down line pilchard. I also had two goliath groupers on that I couldn't stop. Overall a good trip but could have been better. Here are a few pics of the trip.

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MarcFloyd
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Re: Apalachacola Fl 6/7-6/10

Post by MarcFloyd » June 12th, 2013, 7:40 pm

Great photos and offshore is a blast. Is that C tower you were fishing at. My inlaws used to live on St George Island a while back(25 years) and I got to fish C tower a few times. I have a trip planned at the end of the month to the Stuart FL area and will be going after bull reds and large trout from what my brother in law says. Hope to have a report after the 4th. Thanks for the post and congrats on going on down there even when they were going to take a direct hit. Funny how those storms change on a dime.

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Mike Ward
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Re: Apalachacola Fl 6/7-6/10

Post by Mike Ward » June 12th, 2013, 8:04 pm

Cool stuff!
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Shawn McNew
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Re: Apalachacola Fl 6/7-6/10

Post by Shawn McNew » June 12th, 2013, 8:47 pm

That's awesome. Cobia are neat fish. I've never had a great saltwater experience personally. Wish I could get to do it more often, but I can't get my mind off these striped fish... :D :D
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Dirk Dial
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Re: Apalachacola Fl 6/7-6/10

Post by Dirk Dial » June 12th, 2013, 9:14 pm

Awesome, especially the big Cobia... Landing a Goliath Grouper is on my bucket list. I have a 6/0 Penn reel spooled with 120 lb test on a 6' tuna rod with roller eyes just waiting for an opportunity to wrestle with a Goliath.

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Russell Dobbs
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Re: Apalachacola Fl 6/7-6/10

Post by Russell Dobbs » June 13th, 2013, 8:22 am

Great job man,That looks like a lot of fun.I would love to hook into one of those big groupers just to say i got whopped by one. I just told the wife its time...ocean road trip.

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Derek Clegg
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Re: Apalachacola Fl 6/7-6/10

Post by Derek Clegg » June 13th, 2013, 9:55 am

Thanks guys, yes Marc it is the C tower 15 miles south of sikes cut. When the bait and fish are there it can be amazing. Chumming for those snappers was awesome how often do you get to catch snappers on freelines and see them if you could get past the school of spades. Which don't under estimate a spade those thing put up a very good fight too.

Dirk I have the same setup but that one never got hit. I needed to put one of those big snappers on for bait but I worked to hard to get those I wanted them for dinner. What was crazy was when we were catching pilchards in the bay by some docks a guy waved us over and he had a heavy rod bent over asking what kind of fish he had on he said he was going for a big shark of the dock turned out to be a 200lb goliath in 5ft of water! They had no idea what it was and his whole family was standing there amazed, after we informed them that you could not keep it they were a little disappointed, so I gaffed it through the bottom lip and pulled the hook and with one beat of it's tail it took off like nothing had happen. Pretty cool stuff. Forgot to mention that I was very impressed with the Nautico 20' catamaran, very stable in rough sees and very wide, lots of room on deck.
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Jim Burch
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Re: Apalachacola Fl 6/7-6/10

Post by Jim Burch » June 14th, 2013, 1:00 pm

Nice cobia and I like the looks of that Cat. Someday in the future I'm planning on consolidating boats and a catamaran is worth a look. Glad to hear you say it was stable. One problem I've heard of with them is they are a rough drift in a beam sea, tend to pop up the lead sponson as the wave passes through it. Kind of like a kid jumping on the opposite side of a trampoline. Thought about a panga also but they are way too narrow to get enough gear onboard, plus the bows sit too high for a trolling motor.....Looks like my Riptide would sit perfectly on the bow of that catamaran!
Tight lines and screaming drags to all!

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John Weir
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Re: Apalachacola Fl 6/7-6/10

Post by John Weir » June 14th, 2013, 4:47 pm

I've fished those Air Force towers in the past and had very good luck around them. I want to say there are 3 or more within a reasonable distance from St. George Island. I will be staying in Apalachicola on July 6th and 7th. We are going to fish the bay if the wind/storms stay down and in the river if the weather looks sketchy. The tarpon should be moving in soon and I would like to finally hook into one of those beasts. You can catch them with some regularity in the West Pass on larger menhaden...almost like fishing big gizz for Stripers. I have also seen Tarpon up in the river around an area called "the Pinhook". There is a hole over 100ft in a sharp bend in the river that hold all kinds of big fish.

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Derek Clegg
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Re: Apalachacola Fl 6/7-6/10

Post by Derek Clegg » June 18th, 2013, 12:44 pm

John,

The tarpon are there I saw a few launch out of the water right in the middle of the cut on an outgoing tide. There are schools of pogeys(menhaden) by the thousands and they are big(8-15") very easy to throw a net on and everyday we had a tank slap full of pilchards. We stayed at bay city lodge up the river a couple miles and had heard about that tarpon hole up river but we were just ichin to head offshore everyday. Good luck to you when you go I have never landed a tarpon(had two on for a few seconds years ago) and am looking to get one this year. I am headed down to Sanibel-captiva area in 3 weeks and should have some opportunities. Look foreword to your report.

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Mike Ward
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Re: Apalachacola Fl 6/7-6/10

Post by Mike Ward » June 18th, 2013, 6:06 pm

We have a blast down in the Sanibel / Ft. Myers area a couple of summer's ago on a inshore trip. Inshore Slams for both my son and I. I need to get back down to FL for some fishing as well...... this dang work thing cramps my fishing style :lol:
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Steve Hightower
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Re: Apalachacola Fl 6/7-6/10

Post by Steve Hightower » June 18th, 2013, 9:19 pm

Most awesome!! I'll be in that area for a week in July with my old lady...no boat fishing but beach and pier action. :D
My Grandpa's favorite fishing phrase...."Come on baby... Hit me one more time Loretta!!"

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