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Morning...


I grew up in FWB so I am fairly well versed in fishing that area but I recently moved to Milton near Ward Basin. I put my boat in at the park by the bridge in Milton. Went down river just North of the i10 bridge to try my luck. Drifted around the tall grass and threw a gulp shrimp with a split shot but nothing. Tried jigging a 1/4 OZ jig with same. Nothing. Threw a large beetle spin around some structure and grass. Nothing.


Am I targeting the right areas? Very shallow where I was. Just looking for some pointers on how to fish the area from Ward Basin to south of the i10 bridge..


thanks for any tips!!
 

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Try a little further south. Still pretty fresh up by the I 10 bridge. There are some big catfish basin and little catfish basin just on the east side of the bay, South of the yellow river. Also in August, East Bay will blow up with big bull reds and Jack's that are chasing the mullet and lys. Just run the Northern shore where escambino point is and wait for the action. Great mullet fishing in that area as well.
 

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The area you are in is great during winter months. Blackwater bay is good during spring and fall. When the water warms you have to head towards the Garcon area.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
 

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Check Google maps and you'll see Mae Lane that runs from Ward Basin Rd west to Ward Basin. I haven't looked recently, but there was a ramp at the end of Mae Ln. Save a trip to Russell Harbor Landing in Milton.

Launch and head south under the I-10 Bridge. About a mile south of the bridge and at the entrance to Ward Basin, the river turns right or directly south. Look to the west bank and you'll see a small island and some hugh concrete bolders. This is Bay Point and it's where Black Water Bay actually begins. Be at Bay Point prior to sun-up on a calm morning and fish top water around the island and the shallower water at the concrete bolders. After sun-up, fish 17MR suspending baits. You should hit a few Specs, Reds, Sail Cat, and Lady Fish. Schools of Jack Crevalle roam the flats just south of the bolders. ALWAYS look for schools of menhaden (not alewifes or LYs) and birds. Rig a fresh, live, Lady Fish and drift it around the island for a possible Bull Shark.

Exercise caution for a 15' alligator that resides in the area and normally can be seen after Dolphin feed in the area. A friend almost jumped outa my boat when 2 dolphin surfaced 3' from my boat.

Water runs quite swift around the island during falling tides. On those mornings that the tide peaks just before sun-up, prepare to catch fish.

TIGHT LINES...
 

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This issue comes up a lot.

Here's a post asking essentially the same question (https://www.pensacolafishingforum.com/f28/inshore-help-santa-rosa-sound-910826/#post7864806 ), and I'll copy and paste my comment...

Pensacola Fishing – Inshore 101
Familiarization:
• Download some type of GPS software to complement the GPS on your boat. I’m cheap and simple, so I’ve chosen to use Garmin Base Camp software and it’s compatible with most, if not all, Garmin GPS hardware. I have my Garmin GPSMap 78 series hand held device with me pretty much everywhere I go – on the water, in the field, and on the road.
• Study the area on Google Earth or Google Maps – look at areas where you see drop-offs (places where there is a dramatic change in water depth), creek mouths, points, or other hidden and submerged areas.
• Make some basic “study points” in your GPS to help you find the area when you’re on the water (HINT: things will look different when you’re on your water versus when you’re sitting in front of the computer.)
• Turn breadcrumb trails on in your GPS and routinely download the GPS data into your computer to study it later.
Tides:
• Incoming tides push bait into shallower areas and into tidal creeks – setup in shallow water and cast into deeper water and drag your baits into the shallow water.
• Outgoing tides suck bait out of shallow areas and tidal creeks – setup in deeper water and cast into shallow water and drag your baits into the deeper water.
• Fish shallow on a high slack tide and fish deep on low slack tide.

Baits & Rigging (NOTE: I solely use artificial baits and I have very little experience fishing live bait inshore.)
• Whether you use braided line or monofilament, you’ll probably benefit from using a fluorocarbon leader. I typically use 10# - 12# braided line tied to 15# fluorocarbon.
• Tie the leader to the mainline using a uni-uni knot or an Albright. Whatever you use, learn to tie it well.
• Tie the lure to the leader using a Rapala (loop) knot or a uni knot. Learn to tie the knot well.
• Baits:
o Topwater – something like a skitterwalk, badonkadonk, spook jr, or the like. Get a few that are white, or bone, colored and some that are dark.
o Suspending – there are others, but a mirrodine just can’t be beat. Get a few that are light/bright colored and some that are dark colored.
o Soft Plastics on a Jig Head – Don’t rule out simple lures like DOA CAL Shads, Mirrolure Provokers (Lil’ John XL) but others work well too. Once again, get something bright like white or chartreuse and something dark like avocado. The Hank Brown hook-up jig heads are my personal favorite – I prefer red or white in 1/8 oz or ¼ oz.
• Presentation – topwater during low light, suspending lures during the transition, and soft plastics when the sun is high. THAT SAID: if your presenting lures to an area where you see fish and they’re not eating your lure, then try something different. Don’t be afraid to try something different if they’re not eating.

Log Book
• Keeping a log book is probably the single most important thing you can do.
• Write down notes about every trip, even the failures.
• Be as thorough or as brief as you need to be, but try and capture things that are relevant to you: tides, time of day, air temp, water temp, what you fished with, and where you fished.
• Before too long, you should start seeing patterns.

Lastly, don’t rule out hiring a guide. Use a couple or three different guides in different areas and in different times of the year. A guide has built a business doing all of the things I mentioned earlier – proper guide selection will exponentially reduce your learning curve.
 
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