photos are combined with the fall season for this year.
I hope you enjoy the pics and stories. Double
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JB Shireman got out of the boat
and snuck up on this redfish on July 16. Hard to beat summertime
wade fishing to beat the heat!
A beauty for Joe Young on July 22. Redfish
hammered an EP finger mullet.
Nice shot of Riley Cummings with his first-ever redfish
on fly. This fish turned out to be the biggest of the month. Fine
job by the young man from Idaho.
We had to get in the water on August 6 to get close to the fish.
This is Chuck Horan having a blast wading the marshlands.
second redfish of the morning ate an EP baitfish. That blue-tipped
tail is a pretty thing...matches his shirt
Petruzzi on August 10. The redfish were not at all interested
in anything in my box. It didn't take Peter long to pull out
a "special" little clouser minnow tied by our friend
Sam Lewis, and the fish ate it up. I tied up something similar
and tried it a few
days later, but the redfish ran from it. That Sam Lewis is a fly-tying
wizard for sure...
15 was a red-letter day for Megan Nellen...her first redfish
on fly. We were at the end of a tough day and found
a single fish sitting on a shallow sand flat in a foot and a half
of water. The redfish had been refusing our flies all day, but
when Megan landed a grey/white EP baitfish softly in front of this
fish it swam over to investigate. One long strip and the redfish
accelerated and ate it. It was a thrilling end to the day. Way to
didn't land a jack crevalle all month until the magic finally
happened on September 21. Ken and Helen Smith and
I were drifting the outgoing tide along the beach S of the Ft
McRee rock jetty. It was very peaceful. Ken was
casually blind-casting a streamer for ladyfish and Helen was
watching all the birds, and then we collided with
an unsuspecting school of 500 jacks at Caucas Point. Ken had
just made a long cast with his 9wt when I saw the jacks and thrust
the rigged-and-ready 10wt toward him. We're talking
about some serious high-velocity chaos here, folks. The
jacks were crashing all around the boat. Ken quickly handed Helen
his 9wt, and she started cranking it in. Then he
began frantically false-casting the big popper trying to work
out some line. I was screaming "just get it
in the water" and dodging
the big, barbed fly as it flew all around the boat. And
that's about the time I heard Helen screaming "What do I
do?? What do I do??" A jack had grabbed the
ladyfish streamer as she was reeling in Ken's line, and right
about then Ken's popper finally landed in the water and another big jack crushed it. Dammit,
man, where's that Go Pro when you need it! Fifteen
seconds later it was over. The barbless ladyfish streamer fell
out of Helen's fish and Ken somehow got cut off.
His 40# leader was shredded. I looked up in time to see the jacks
disappearing to the west, and that was that. Yet another fruitless
jack crevalle adventure. We were all shell-shocked.
They were elated; I was disappointed. But we weren't through
with those fish. For the next half
hour we hunted for them. We ran out on the shoal and
to the west down Johnson Beach. Nothing. We came back to the
point and idled north past the rock jetty and on toward the steel jetty.
Ken and I were watching toward shore when Helen yelled"
There they are!". A couple fish were chasing bait out toward
the channel. I picked up the spinning rod and heaved
the big hookless teaser plug in their direction
and started raking it across the surface back to
the boat. The water erupted as hundreds of jacks attacked the
plug. It was a mind-blowing visual for a trout fisherman from Oklahoma,
and Ken dropped the popper right on target hooking up immediately.
A half hour later we got this killer photo.
22 was a Project Healing Waters trip with Dave Handley and Russ
Shields on board. Here's Dave with the first fall Spanish mackerel.
Russ Shields with the biggest Spanish of the
day. Both fish released unharmed to fight another day.
Ken Smith was back on September 23 for some redfish sight-fishing.
The fish were spooky so we dropped down to a smaller fly...EP Perfect
second redfish was bigger. The rope coming over the fish's tail
is actually the strap on my camera... Photographer loses 1
redfish in the Big Lagoon got so picky we couldn't get them to
eat, so we ran east in the Intracoastal Waterway on October
3 to try some new water. Al Rudnick coaxed this fish to eat a perfect
We ran back to the same area a couple days later, and Clifton McRoy
landed this beauty...his best-ever redfish on fly.
It just doesn't get much prettier than this. Gin-clear water, bright
sunshine, light southerly breeze, and redfish cruising on a sand
flat! Rusty Denson with his first fish
on October 14.
clients Tim Reischman and Ken Hutchison lucked into some beautiful
weather for their October trip. Here's Tim with the fish of
the day on October 19.
We tried some new water the following day, and Hutch was first
to score. The fish were skittish at first, but after we changed to
chartreuse it was game on! To quote Lefty "If it ain't chartreuse
it ain't no use"
We had a blast with these fish. We were poling over white sandy
bottom in water a foot deep...exactly like Bahamas bonefishing. Tim
with a pretty redfish caught on his own chartreuse creation.
in the day we moved off the flats to the Spanish mackerel hunting
grounds. Watch out for those teeth!
The next day on October 21 Hutch got us going with this blue-tailed
and Tim was quick to follow suit
October there were lots of very aggressive pompano on the inside
flats. The pompano like to travel with schools of redfish and
will beat them to the fly almost every time. This pompano
snatched Tim's EP mullet away from a charging 15# redfish!
October 24 Jesse Ifland from Feather-craft landed two pompano
while casting to redfish. It just wasn't his day for redfish.
Earlier in the trip a redfish in the 20 pound range charged
his fly, but a doggone 12" mangrove snapper ate it
first! Not fair at all... Here's a nice shot of Jesse with his first
Running of the Bulls started in earnest on Tuesday, November
2. It was my day off. I'd worked the day before and
was fishing the same client the following day. My brother Capt
Dave took this photo in front of Battery Langdon at
0930 and texted me. My client was staying in town having
breakfast when my text with Dave's photo arrived. Twenty five
minutes later he was running out my dock where I eagerly awaited
in the Mako with the motor running. We ran at top speed
to the Gulf, turned east looking for my brother, but he
was gone. I called him and found out the fish were moving southeast
and were already well past the Ranger Station. Through
binoculars I could see his boat, and off we went again. As we
got closer we could see a huge flock of circling and diving pelicans,
the redfish were exploding everywhere, and Dave's spin-fishing
client was hooked up. I killed the engine as we slid into the
school. There were fish on the surface all around the boat, but my
client was experiencing the dreaded RTS... "response
By the time he got line off the reel and made a cast the
fish were gone. The pelicans started floating around waiting for something
to happen, and we drifted with them. Some time later a small group
of redfish popped up and we ran over to them, but once
again RTS struck. The fish disappeared
before the fly hit the water, and with that the ball game was over.
good client and friend Tim English from New Orleans was on the
boat November 8. We started at 0800 and circumnavigated Pensacola
Nada. So we ran to the Gulf and got out the binoculars.
There was nothing to the east, but I could see 3-4
guide boats to the west past the Caucas Shoal. We cruised over
there and sure enough a couple spin-fishing anglers were hooked up. There were no birds or any surface activity, and we assumed
the fish were deep. But then I saw some reddish-brown water
a couple hundred feet away which turned out to be hundreds of
redfish swimming in tight formation a foot below the surface. Tim
had his 8wt and chartreuse/white EP "peanut butter" loaded
in the LineTamer tube, made the cast, and the redfish fought for
it. It took him 30 minutes to
land his first fish. During
that time the guide boat flotilla expanded to 10 boats, and they
pummeling the school with lead jigs until the redfish went down
and disappeared. By the time we took this photo and resuscitated Tim's fish all
the boats were 2 miles to the west presumably following the school of redfish.
ran in their direction for a mile before turning back to our
original spot hoping there might be a few stragglers left behind.
We arrived, killed the engine,
and drifted. It was only a few minutes before the reddish-brown school came to
the surface again, and we quietly idled over to them. It was miraculous. We had
them all to ourselves for the next hour, and Tim landed two and lost a couple
more. Numerous guide boats shot by us running hard to the west to catch up with
their buddies, but not one of them noticed we were hooked up. I sat casually
on the poling platform eating an apple, and Tim pointed his tip directly at the
fish to keep the bend out of his fly rod. To the casual observer we looked like
a couple guys drifting around taking a break. Hard to describe how much fun that
was... Finally the guide boats worked their way back close enough to see we were
fighting a fish. When they descended upon us we
decided to leave.
was close to the end of our 6hr trip, so we headed back toward
the dock making a big turn through the bay from Buoy 22 to Town
Point and then toward Deer Point. As we got close to Deer Point
I spotted some white water close to shore. From a distance it
looked like confused boat wakes, but
as we got closer it was obviously redfish blowing up in a school of menhaden.
Tim was already false casting as I slid into the school, and this redfish crushed
his fly as
soon as it hit the water. Once again it took him almost a half hour to land the
bright orange beauty on his 8wt while we watched hundreds of redfish on the surface
all the way across
Santa Rosa Sound toward Chicken Bone Beach. Bright sunshine, glassy-calm water,
and we were the only boat...a dream come true.
a nice shot of Tim's final
redfish reflecting the 3 o'clock sun.
After hard back-to-back cold fronts we were finally able to get
back out in the Gulf on November 14. Carl Huhnke was here
from Wyoming and we spent a couple cold, rough, fruitless hours out there before retreating back to Pensacola
Bay. After lunch the wind died, the water turned to glass, and we
saw the birds at Deadman's Island from a mile away.
We arrived to fish busting menhaden all
around us and a few other boats casually idling around as though
it had been going on for some time. Carl was rigged and ready with an 11wt, and it blew his mind watching the bulls go
berserk after his big popper.
He landed these two fish
and had a couple misses before the action stopped.
Running of the Bulls was over by Thanksgiving, but there were
still lots of redfish and
big trout on the flats. We found plenty of fish everywhere we
went on November 27, and Vail snowboard instructor/god
Sando" landed his first redfish in 5 years.
off the year with a return trip to Costa Rica's Jungle Tarpon
Reserve. Tom Enderlin runs the program down there, and it's
extreme tarpon fishing at it's best. Imagine fishing for tarpon
up to 200 pounds in a river the size of a Western trout stream.
huge fish live in Lake Nicaragua and swim up the Rio Frio during
the rainy season to feast on tiny minnows. We find the fish feeding
along the bank and cast 2/0 baitfish patterns to them. It's insane.
Here's my good buddy the Rocketman hooked into a fish estimated
at 140 pounds. Lost it at the boat...
Managed to get another pic of the fish in the
air. We use 11 or 12wt tackle and intermediate "slime" lines. Short
5' leaders with a 2' section off 100# bite tippet. Various EP 2/0
Yours truly with an
80 pounder that jumped all the way over the boat during the fight.
Clipped me in the left
knee as it flew by, and I'm still wearing a knee brace two months
later... The guide said if he'd had the GoPro going we'd
have 5 million hits on Instagram! Oh well.
If you want to learn more about this fishing contact Tom Enderlin
That's it for 2022.
Thanks to everyone who came to fish with me this year. See you
next time. Capt Baz
a great day on the water with Gulf Breeze Guide Service!
Breeze Guide Service
P.O. Box 251
Gulf Breeze, Florida 32562-0251 (USA)
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