Newbie to saltwater in need of help... - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 04-28-2013, 11:13 AM   #1
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Default Newbie to saltwater in need of help...

Hello everyone,

I'm stationed here, originally from CO, and I'm really struggling with this whole saltwater fishing scene. I was decent at freshwater fishing and do ok with bass here, but am entirely frustrated with saltwater. I have read books, browsed forums, and gone to tackle shops. I've fished real shrimp. artificial shrimp, Mirrolures, Spoons, soft plastics, Carolina rigs, texas rigs, double drop leader rigs, jigs, pompano rigs, spent hours with my books and google maps finding likely surf spots, on and on and on and on. What's more is, in all the time I've spent out on the surf, (Mostly at Johnsons) I'ver never seen anyone else catch anything other than a stingray and a catfish. I'm beginning to be under the impression that saltwater shore fishing is more for people who just enjoy wasting a day at the beach than actually catching fish.

Here was my big catch on my gold spoon yesterday.

Anyway, I'd love to catch some fish and not just spend my weekends killing shrimp and blowing money hoping something else will entice a bite someday. If someone successful would at least give me some pointers, or if I could maybe just come watch you fish for a couple hours, I'd appreciate it. I just don't understand what I'm doing here I guess. I don't have much interest in spending a bunch of money on heavy duty surf tackle if I'm going to spend my day burning to a crisp watching 4 or 5 poles do nothing like everyone else I've seen.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:21 AM   #2
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Hey man sorry to hear about the bad luck streak its like that sometimes. what base are you stationed at? I do alot of flats fishing with lures and live bait. I agree with you that fishing from shore/banks isn't too much fun but actually getting in the water and wading around can be really succesful. If you are near eglin air force base i would be more than happy to take you to any of my 3 spots right here on the base where you can wade-fish plenty of area and catch a decent variety of fish. mostly speckled trout and redfish though with the occasional spanish mackerel bluefish ladyfish and even more rare a flounder. If you aren't near eglin no worries im sure there is a nice grass flat area nearby just find a place that is fairly shallow say 2-4 feet deep that has plenty of grass and access to deeper water such as a channel running nearby fish the grass beds and the edges of grass beds where it meets the sand. also if you see mullet jumping they usually aren't alone.

surf fishing is really a waiting game sometimes and it can be rough if you get bored easily as with any sort of bottom fishing. the reason i wade is because i feel more active in the fishing process and even if i don't catch something on a particular day not a minute of my time was spend waiting around watching rods (when im working lures)

Last edited by Tcheeks38; 04-28-2013 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
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Hey Tcheeks38, Thanks for the offer, Im at NAS Pensacola, and I may take you up on that soon. I'm just pretty unused to how slow it really is. I'm used to freshwater where if you can match the hatch so to speak you are probably hooking up as long as the fish are active and you have the right time of day. I was just sitting at Johnsons yesterday for like 3 hours and just watching the couple dozen poles I could see down the beach, I didnt see anyone with action. Lol, after my line overstressed and snapped on a cast and I watched my sinker and a couple DOA shrimp sail off to the horizon after several unproductive hours without even the encouragement of seeing other people catching, I was just thinking "why do people do this?" which is not something I ever thought about fishing before trying surf fishing LOL.

Aso, we have excellent grass flats here, I just cant figure out how to fish them succesfully either. I saw some people on here say that they used bobber to suspend shrimp above the grass, ever tried that?
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:06 PM   #4
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maybe i can help.....the secret to fishing is bait...if you get the right bait...u gonna get the fish....now here goes....go to joe pattis....or where ever...and buy a couple of mullett.....stay with me.....arrive at johnson beach about 630.....in the evening....cut mullett into inch square pieces....place on hook........dont forget 3 oz pyramid sinkers.....cast out lines....you wont wait long.....does it work all the time? no......but most of the time.got 4 blues and a huge red last week.....341 4271...john
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:11 PM   #5
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i have been having great success on the flats with jerk baits such as yo zuri 3d crystal minnow in the green color its the floating model and the rapala xrap 8 in green. i just slowly reel in while giving them 2 nice twitches to where you can feel the vibration through your rod from the lures that means they are wiggling as intended. those two lures are the only ones ive been using so far this year but they have been on fire so i havent had the need to switch. live bait under a cork works as well i have a cast net for that
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:07 AM   #6
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There's a lot of awesome grass beds around NAS. Wade out a little with a live or fresh dead shrimp about a foot or so under a popping cork bobber. Just chuck that sucker out there and pop it a few times. Lots of reds and specks running through there. I've caught several fishing like that, but it all really boils down to luck in the long run. If you're looking to fish the gulf side my buddies and I have been getting some nice pompano out of fort Pickens but that's a whole nother ball game. Welcome to tag along any time!
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:15 AM   #7
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Yup, you need to get the ol' balls wet lol. Wading the grass flats is definitely the way to go if ya just want to catch fish. There are plenty of places very close to NAS where you can find fish easily. Get out on the grass beds at Big Lagoon SP or at Johnson's Bch and just start walking/casting. Mirolure mirodines are a great choice, topwater plugs, soft plastics too. If I plan on wading the grass extensively, I'll wear an old pair of shoes for crab/shell protection.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:45 PM   #8
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I feel your pain. I've been having the same frustrations. I can hit the escambia river deltas and catch strippers and bass no problem. But I go to the beach and I haven't caught a single thing. I've lost plenty of Sand Fleas and peeled shrimp.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:41 PM   #9
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Hello Everyone!

Thank you for all the help! I finally bought myself a 12' surf pole and went out this evening with the sand flea rake. The freaking catfish were killing me, but I did catch some ladyfish which was fun. Hopefully this pole helps me out a little. Thanks for all the tips!
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:21 PM   #10
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@kebookman...I go out to J. beach quite often and usually do pretty well. I probably will be out there this Saturday if your interested in fishing. I can show you how I go about fishing from the shore. I'm not saying that what I do is better than anyone else on the forum but, it's easier to learn when you're doing it.
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