Last week’s charters started with a couple early morning solo scouting missions in Pensacola Bay.
On both trips I found what I was looking for.
Next on tap was 3 days with my crew from the Mid West. Our 3 day journey began with an evening hunting Bull Reds at 3MB. We worked hard through a slow bite & managed to land 3 nice fish with 5 other battles that ended in big smiles & worn out anglers.
The next evening it was all about the fly rods. Another slow bite resulted in miles of searching to finally find the fish.
The evening ended with a triple of Reds all on the fly & yes that silly look on my face is the look of a sleep deprived, but very happy guide.
The next morning arrived quick & we were blessed with perfect conditions. The goal for the day was what I refer to this time of year as the Pensacola Bay “Vann Slam”. Big Trout, Big Redfish & Big Red Snapper.
On the way to our first spot I explained the plan of attack to the guys & that we would have about an hour before we would need to move to deeper water. I also explained that it might be difficult to leave the spot I was about to introduce them to, but to achieve our goal it would be imperative.
On arrival at our first stop we were greeted with trout busting bait & tailing reds. On all 3 guys first cast we were hooked up with solid fish on top water! Exactly what I had dreamed of during my 2 hours of brief sleep just a short while ago.
Luckily I had anticipated this happening & gave Carl my back up net at the launch. Because, as you can see in the next 2 photos I had my hands & net full of exactly what we came for. Over 50″ of spot & dots!
After landing & taking some pictures of our first go round, I told the guys “well… it might be hard to top that.”
After an action packed hour of feeding fish One Knockers it was off to deeper water. On our way I gave my normal pep talk to try to ready my guys for the battle they were about to engage in. It can be difficult to prepare people for just how determined & powerful these Bay Red Snapper are. It didn’t take long for them to all be drenched in sweat with rods in their lap needing to be re rigged. I could tell by the look on their faces it was time for another pep talk, change in strategy & some strong encouragement.
They were amazed at the fight from these spunky little pink fish. I kept telling them, “don’t worry there are much bigger ones & I have a plan.”
Carl just couldn’t stay away from the sharks & they kept him busy for about 45 minutes while the others worked on the target species.
Finally we got Carl in the game & he was stoked!
After repositioning & another pep talk I had the guys all jacked up. Like most people, nothing I said could’ve prepared them for their next battle.
Not one but two stud kayak Bay Snappers! A perfect way to achieve our goal for the day & complete the Pensacola Bay “Vann Slam!”
The fishing inshore & offshore has been outstanding this year. With just 4 1/2 weeks of Red Snapper season left & all but one weekend spoken for, now is the time to call & book a trip.