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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am a meteorologist for NOAA National Weather Service in Dodge City, KS. My second calling besides storm chasing is fishing. I am planning a trip for Pompano/Whiting fishing and perhaps Mackerel too in spring 2018. But I really just want to catch a few pompano to cook in the condo while we are on vacation. I prefer fresh fish, not frozen and I don't usually take fish home with me because I have found that they end up going to waste because they don't keep very long and they aren't that good after being in the freezer anyway. I would like to come down for 2 weeks. It looks like based on your reports that the best time is March 25 to May 15. I am thinking some time in April before the June grass sets in. If you had to choose a 2 week period what would it be?

Also, I need to decide whether to base out of the Pensacola-Navarre area or Gulf Shores-Orange Beach area. If I pick the west option I can sample the coast from Perdido Key to Fort Morgan from day to day and if I pick the east option I can scout from Fort Pickens to Destin. Which option would you choose? I want to hit the beaches and the piers. I want to use bottom rigs in the surf and silly willy jigs tied in a extra large loop knot with teaser on the piers.

Jonathan
 

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You'll have better luck getting fishing info if you don't say you work for NOAA, just saying.��

Check with Dustin at Top Gun Bait and Tackle in Orange Beach, he does a lot of surf fishing
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Well without NOAA you wouldn't have radar or satellite data or ocean temperature data. And you also wouldn't have watches and warnings.
I guarantee you that the private sector won't pay billions to keep up these data networks that people use every day, whether they know it or not. Just sayin....

You'll have better luck getting fishing info if you don't say you work for NOAA, just saying.��

Check with Dustin at Top Gun Bait and Tackle in Orange Beach, he does a lot of surf fishing
 

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Well it would all be guess work at this point. Heavy rains , late cold fronts, early warm weather. ....all of these could dramatically alter the prime time. Play it safe and go in the middle of the time frame mentioned above. East or west ? Make that decision based upon whatever else you wish to do while you are here. East will probably give you a greater chance of having cleaner water ,also it will give you two gulf piers to choose from. But hopefully East And West will both be good.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well it would all be guess work at this point. Heavy rains , late cold fronts, early warm weather. ....all of these could dramatically alter the prime time. Play it safe and go in the middle of the time frame mentioned above. East or west ? Make that decision based upon whatever else you wish to do while you are here. East will probably give you a greater chance of having cleaner water ,also it will give you two gulf piers to choose from. But hopefully East And West will both be good.
Thanks for the advice. Ive got a while to make up my mind.
 

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Welcome "hugehail".
I was a Geography major in college (UofSA), so I have a LOT of respect for the work done by NOAA employees :notworthy:

Compared to the ocean you will be able to get by with lighter tackle (both rod&reel and terminal).
Most of the time the Gulf is not nearly as rough as the Atlantic and the beach profile can be a bit steeper in places.

Mid-April is hard to beat for pompano here in Alabama, maybe a week or so earlier in the Panhandle.

2018 is a long way off so you have plenty of time to decide ;-)

BTW, the young fellow @ Top Gunn in OBch is Dusty Hayes. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the kind words and fishing advice. Ive fished the Atlantic
since the late 70s as a child (mainly Nags Head, NC). Last year I scouted the east coast of FL. Now I want to also try the Gulf Coast. I like to try new things. I also have a niece who goes to college at Pensacola Christian.

Welcome "hugehail".
I was a Geography major in college (UofSA), so I have a LOT of respect for the work done by NOAA employees :notworthy:

Compared to the ocean you will be able to get by with lighter tackle (both rod&reel and terminal).
Most of the time the Gulf is not nearly as rough as the Atlantic and the beach profile can be a bit steeper in places.

Mid-April is hard to beat for pompano here in Alabama, maybe a week or so earlier in the Panhandle.

2018 is a long way off so you have plenty of time to decide ;-)

BTW, the young fellow @ Top Gunn in OBch is Dusty Hayes. :thumbsup:
 

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I always use tax day (April 15) as a general rule of thumb when the pompano run and the other fish start showing up in force. Of course it varies every year but I would think April would be the best month. Looking for a water temp of 70 (+/-) Good site to watch is the Okaloosa pier site and you can see when the pompano are out and what other fish are hitting. (http://okaloosaislandpier.blogspot.com/)March is too early sometimes plus you are in the middle of Spring Break. Check to see when Spring Break is finished, I think usually after the first week in April.

I think the area between Pensacola and Navarre is some of the prettiest there is but access is limited due you have to park in designated parking areas. Perdido is nice too but has been years since I have been there.

Not sure of Alabama surf fishing rules but Florida does require a shore fishing license (Check FWC) I have never been checked on the beach.

Good luck
 

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Noaa

hugehail, The issue most folks around has with NOAA has nothing to do with the weather. NOAA oversees then agencies that set the fishing regs and lies about our catch rate, etc. You know: red snapper & triggerfish.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
hugehail, The issue most folks around has with NOAA has nothing to do with the weather. NOAA oversees then agencies that set the fishing regs and lies about our catch rate, etc. You know: red snapper & triggerfish.
Marine fisheries is just a small part of NOAA. I have nothing to do with marine fisheries. I forecast the weather and issue warnings. There are many other agencies in NOAA that have nothing to do with fisheries. I think marine fisheries takes up about 16% of the NOAA budget. Again, where it not for NWS, with its radar network, surface, upper air and ocean observation network, satellite network and modeling, then folks would be hurting for weather information.

So, I think the initial statement by you was unwarranted. Just because I am employed by the government doesn't mean I agree with everything government does--far from it actually. And even if I did work for fisheries, that wouldnt mean much because there are a lot of good people in fishers who arent responsible for setting and enforcing regulations.



3.1 National Weather Service
3.2 National Ocean Service
3.3 National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service
3.4 National Marine Fisheries Service
3.5 Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
3.6 National Geodetic Survey
3.7 National Integrated Drought Information System
3.8 Office of Program Planning and Integration
 

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You took it personal man, it was not a personal statement. Go ahead tell everyone you work for NOAA. You just have to understand, along the coast, well....
 
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