Author: Patrick Meek
Due to Covid-19, the beaches on the Florida Panhandle closed in late March to the public. The spring Pompano season was set to kick off in April, but unless you had access to a boat, the best month to fish for these "Silver Nuggets" were going to be lost. Landlocked like myself, I was very excited to hear the beach was opening back up May 1st.
When the beaches opened back up, I set out to the beach in hopes of finding the "Silver Treasure" that swims ghostly along the bars of the Gulf Coast. I arrived at the beach around 7 am and found a limited parking spot on the side of the road. I walked down to the beach with my cart and 4 surf rods and found a little spot in the middle of some other surf fishermen. I was very fortunate to find a spot because to the east of me looking towards Navarre, all I could see were surf rods set up in the sand as far as the eye could see. The same view was to the west towards Pensacola Beach - nothing but surf rods. It looked like every surf fishermen from Escambia and Santa Rosa County were just as excited as I was to finally be back on the beach.
"I was just happy to finally be back on the sand again after over a month's break."
While setting up, I thought "there's no way a Pompano or any fish in that matter is going to swim through this gauntlet to find my baits." The Gulf was very murky, flat and looked like chocolate milk, but I didn't care. I was just happy to finally be back on the sand again after over a month's break. The sun started getting higher and the water started clearing up. I was fishing with fresh dead peeled shrimp tipped with pink shrimp flavored Fishbites and around 8:30 am I got my first bite. I wound up reeling in a large Ladyfish and tossed it back in the surf. At 9:00 am the Pompano bite started and didn't disappoint and by 10:30 am I had caught my 6 Pompano daily limit.
The Pompano bite stayed plentiful for the next week or so and it wasn't uncommon to find some Redfish and Spanish Mackerel cruising the beach, but It wasn't long until the yearly "June Grass" started rolling in making it difficult to keep a line in the water.
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When the June Grass rolls in, you're limited to where you can fish. I usually spend a morning scouting out different locations to find where the grass is light or nonexistent. On one such day, I found a spot that was light and took full advantage of the location for the next few days away from the beach goers.
Until next time...
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