Aside from award-winning views, fun festivals and small town charm, there’s no denying that many visitors to Gulf County are looking to hit the water with some friends for some good old fashioned fishing.
We’ve gathered five locations that licensed anglers may want to visit in their quest for reeling in the big one.
1. Tip of Cape San Blas. Those looking to pull in some Spanish or King Mackerel should pilot boats to the buoy line off Cape San Blas where many bites are being reported. Spanish mackerel are a pelagic, fast-swimming fish prevalent throughout Florida’s coastal waters when water temperatures exceed 70 degrees. Legal gear includes beach or haul seine, cast net, hook and line and spears.
2. Beach-side. Want to a great view with your fishing? Flounder, a flat bottom-dwelling fish frequents shallow sandy flats along the Forgotten Coast’s beaches. Be sure to pay attention as the flounder's bite can be very subtle, almost a gentle tapping. Resist the urge to set the hook as soon as you feel the bite, letting the fish take the bait. County to 10 as the fish swallows the bait and set the hook.
3. Waters of Indian Pass. Those in the mood for some near-shore action will enjoy Indian Pass where tripletail reports are high. Tripletails spend much of their time in bays and estuaries. Catching tripletail is considered to be something of an art which requires skill and patience. Finding the fish and choosing the right bait and tackle are the keys to success. Try live shrimp on very light tackle with little or no lead.
4. St. Joseph Bay. Planning for a day on the bay? Keep an eye out for red drums, also known as redfish. One of Florida’s most popular sport fish, red drum are named after the "drumming" sound made during spawning and when taken out of the water. Use a hook and line or cast nets, but be aware that red drum in Florida can reach lengths of 45 inches and weigh up to 51 pounds.
5. Under the bridge. Anglers without a specific target in mind may enjoy the water beneath the George Tapper Bridge for a hodgepodge of species just waiting to be taken. Those wanting to introduce children to fishing should visit the waters, accessed by land from the Highland View boat ramp, for a fun and picturesque location that will guarantee and unforgettable experience.