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Old 11-25-2018, 09:05 AM   #1
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Cigar Minnow
 
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Hey all, just found out I'll be PCS'ing to Eglin next summer from North Carolina. I'm used to fishing skinny water for reds, trout and flounder, along the NC coast (and Chesapeake Bay in a previous assignment). I'm super excited to move to one of the best fisheries, but have a lot of homework to do. I assume I'll be living somewhere in vicinity of Eglin, but I'll be mobile (used to 2 hour trips to the coast now).

A couple quick questions.

- Is it fairly easy to find kayak launches, or at least get on the water early via ramps and get out of the way of the boats? I checked the newcomer sticky post, but it was focused on the beaches.
- To make sure I'm tracking, does inshore basically mean anything bayside of Okaloosa / Destin / barrier islands?
- I'd love to target snook and cobia inshore. Is that doable? They're on my bucket list.
- Are there any inshore groups in that area that meet up, or are they more BTB folks?

Thanks everyone. Can't wait to get down there.

Bilge
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:08 AM   #2
Jiggin Finatic
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It is ezpz to launch on Eglin. It is also a fantastic fishery, but it has been hit a bit just a month or so ago with bad red tide. Holler at me when you get here and I can show you where to launch and fish it!


Cobia are here but Snook don't come up this far, it gets too cold. There are a few that wander up here but no way to actually target them like we used to do down south.
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Last edited by lobsterman; 11-25-2018 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:13 AM   #3
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cobia is a seasonal, they run in April and May, and they get caught in the gulf near the beaches, much less so in the bays (but they do get in there and are caught in the passes). People mostly sight fish for cobia, which is hard from a kayak, so kayak cobia may be more incidental catches. Snook dont come this far north.
Inshore means the bays, nearshore means the gulf out to a mile or two from the beach. There is good inshore and nearshore fishing for kayakers. In late march the pompano arrive and people catch them on the beaches (or from a yak). Then cobia arrive with April, shortly after there are spanish makerel, then king makerel to be caught nearshore. There are lots of artificial reefs nearshore you can hit. Some specific fishing highlights are: Pompano run in April, Cobia run in April, pelagics mid april through October (mackerels but also the occasional mahi or even sailfish), flounder stacking up but bay outlets in early fall and on structure in the gulf in winter, bull reds at night in the bay (see three mile bridge posts), early morning topwater for trout and reds, and people lose their minds over red snapper during summer seasaon
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:11 PM   #4
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Guys, thanks for the great download. It helps me manage my snook and cobia expectations! I'll probably spend the first few weekends getting my flats addiction taken care of along the Eglin shorelines, and hopefully getting some sight fishing and topwater in, if the winds cooperate.

But guess I might look at getting a yak with pedals once I start checking out the nearshore scene. I've got a 14' Malibu X-factor, which I love (except when I'm putting it on top of my truck), but I'm thinking it'd be nice to work something other than my arms if I'm headed out any distance.

Do you guys have any recommendations for tackle shops in the Destin area?

Thanks again!
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:26 PM   #5
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Tackle shops- Yellowfin Ocean Sports, Half Hitch Tackle, Broxons Outdoors, and maybe something closer to Eglin I dont know about. There is also a Bass Pro in Destin. Half Hitch is the old standby in Destin and they are great.

You do not necessarily need a pedal yak. I paddled for years and now have a pedal yak but I still dont mind paddling. You also dont have to cover huge distances, even for the gulf. The only reason to go multiple miles out is to find certain artifical reefs that will hold "bottom fish" (snapper).
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Old 11-28-2018, 09:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilge View Post
Guys, thanks for the great download. It helps me manage my snook and cobia expectations! I'll probably spend the first few weekends getting my flats addiction taken care of along the Eglin shorelines, and hopefully getting some sight fishing and topwater in, if the winds cooperate.

But guess I might look at getting a yak with pedals once I start checking out the nearshore scene. I've got a 14' Malibu X-factor, which I love (except when I'm putting it on top of my truck), but I'm thinking it'd be nice to work something other than my arms if I'm headed out any distance.

Do you guys have any recommendations for tackle shops in the Destin area?

Thanks again!


Half Hitch Destin is where I go. Bass Pro used to be decent, but their prices stink and the have the big box store feel. Eglin flats has plenty of top water action for sure, and you will have a blast.


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Old 12-02-2018, 07:27 AM   #7
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So, one cheesy question for you guys. How much do you have to worry about gators when you're inshore, say Choctawhatchee Bay or Rocky/Boggy Bayou? I'm not too worried about sharks, since we have those in spades in NC/VA, but when I searched these forums I just kept getting gator hunting or trout threads. Just wasn't sure if they stayed brackish, or ever made you change your plans.

Thanks
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilge View Post
So, one cheesy question for you guys. How much do you have to worry about gators when you're inshore, say Choctawhatchee Bay or Rocky/Boggy Bayou? I'm not too worried about sharks, since we have those in spades in NC/VA, but when I searched these forums I just kept getting gator hunting or trout threads. Just wasn't sure if they stayed brackish, or ever made you change your plans.

Thanks
You won't have any problems with gators where you are mentioning. When you get up river mouths they are more likely to be there.You won't have to change any plans due to gators. Rain and storms might be another subject though.
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:05 PM   #9
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Used to be signs for gators in Lake Pippen but it's been a while since I used that launch.

Look this up + Google Earth. Gives you another place to launch and once you get out of that lake, the area there is pretty fishy.

https://www.lifeatthemax.us/mid-bay-shores/

ETA Looks like their map is terrible but if you squint hard enough on Google Earth, you'll see a road that goes under the mid-bay bridge and continues on to the lake. That's the launch area. Free admission if just using the launch but its a locked gate, gotta ring for entrance.

Last edited by kanaka; 12-02-2018 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:07 AM   #10
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Gators are a non issue. I'm not from gator country, they freak me out, but they aren't really a concern of mine anymore when I'm out.
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