Author: Patrick Meek
Our first cold snap of the season finally showed up in the Florida Panhandle and we hit the beach to take advantage of the cooler weather.
The water surf temp has cooled off to 74-75 degrees and our first freeze warning encouraged my wife and I hit the sand in search of some Pompano. We had been fishing the week prior to the cold snap, but were only able to manage juvenile Pompano (<11" FL) and way too many Whiting to keep count.
With the sudden cold snap, I figured that would push some of the Bull Red's out of the bay into the surf. A few hours had passed and all we had caught were more Whiting. I was using some cut mullet for bait on my rod that I had designated for cut bait using a 50# Bullbuster fluorocarbon double drop leader with 5/0 circle hooks. I decided to swap out the cut mullet for some fresh Whiting strips. Just after sunset, I look over and my surf rod gets slammed! I was pretty sure what was on the other end of the line and once I got my fish about 25 yards to the beach, I saw it surface it's tail. Once I got my Red Fish on the hill, I measured it at 33" and quickly released it.
I casted out another strip of Whiting and within 15 minutes I was hooked up again, this time to another Bull Red that measured at 36".
The next day was my wife's birthday and I told her we could do anything she wanted to do on her special day. Her reply was "I wanna go fishing." Who was I to say "no?"
We got back out to the beach and got set up. My wife casted out her Van Staal 150X loaded with 30# Hi-Vis Yellow Bullbuster braid baited with fresh dead peeled shrimp and within 10 minutes, birthday girl had landed a nice 19" Black Drum to go on the grill! Once she got her line baited and back out, 5 minutes later she landed a very nice Bluefish. We continued fishing that afternoon / evening only to catch more Whiting and Bluefish. No Pompano or Reds that day, but still a very successful day on the sand and a very happy birthday wife and proud husband.
Until next time...
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