August's Best Bets

We all know there is a problem with the oil in a large portion of the Gulf of Mexico, however we do not have any reported oil within 130 miles of Mexico Beach and Port Saint Joe. What we do have is the NMFS, NOAA, and certain environmental groups who are using every trick and chance to put the fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico out of business and stop all fishing by the individual as well. NOAA has closed the Gulf to the state boundary which is nine miles from shore all the way to south of Cape San Blast. And from there they have moved restricted fishing area to the south southwest which has eliminated 3/4 of our normal offshore fishing grounds. We cannot go to our offshore normal trolling areas for sailfish, wahoo, marlin or yellowfin tuna as all of those areas are within the emergency closed area.

In the small areas we can still fish for grouper, snapper and amberjack and all of the other offshore fish there seems to be an abundance of fish just waiting to grab your bait. We have had some exceptional catches of kings, red snapper and grouper in the past month. And at this point I don't see that changing very much even though we have all of the recreational fishing boats and a few remaining charter boats that are having to fish in this one small area. The large king mackerel and wahoo are coming on real strong and if you're lucky a big 'ole black fin tuna will take your bait. Inshore fishing within the state borders is as good as I have seen it in recent times. The kings and spanish are really coming on strong while the red fish and speckled trout are just larger than usual and appear to be real hungry even though there is plenty of bait fish available. There are a lot of large flounder being brought to the dock and even though the whiting and pompano are leaving us because of the water temp the triple tails are just now showing up around the buoys and other structures in St. Joe Bay, Indian Pass and St. Vincent's Island.

I wish I could give you a definite answer as to what August will hold for all of our fisherman but at this point that question is more answerable by the government (NOAA) than it is by BP. If you have an opportunity to contact your congressmen please do so in the name of less government control over the fishing in the Gulf based on false information.

Don’t forget to file a float plan, and let somebody know when you are going to return.

Be safe. Good fishing and good luck.