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I've been lurking on the forum, after finding out about this site from Georgia Outdoor News Forums, and have seen a wealth of information here! I have read a ton of info here but still have a few questions that i wondered if you might could help me out with. I'm taking my family down to Navarre beach in a few weeks, staying west of the bridge in a house between the beach and Santa Rosa sound/intracoastal. I'm bringing a 17 ft flats boat, and really want to put my kids on some fish. We plan on doing some surf fishing on the beach, and using the boat in the sound/intracoastal to target reds, trout, whatever bites. I'm not looking for any exact locations, coordinates, or favorite spots by all means - just some general advice. Bringing 7ft rods with Penns, 15 lb braid, spoons, DOAs, poppers, etc. For surf fishing - i'm assuming pompano rigs with peeled shrimp, fish bites thrown out around the first trough would work? Inshore - follow the grass lines on the edges and hit docks with artificials? Also - anyone ever taken a flats boat out of one of the passes to fish the beach line on a clear day? I see a boat launch at the Navarre bridge and was planning to use that - unless you suggest something different? Any advice is truly appreciated - thanks! Lastly - looking to take the kids to crab island, drive the boat or launch closer? Yamaha 130 with 25 gallon tank.
 

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Jiggin Finatic
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I am on GON also, and can not speak to surf fishing. Not my forte', but sound fishing is awesome. Top water bite is great early, and twitch baits and jerk baits will slay some fish too. Jig heads and matrix shad work well also. Fish the entire side of the sound you are launching on and locate some good reds and trout. fish fast and locate fish. Then concentrate on the area better.
 

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Easy drive from there to crab island In the sound. No need to trailer. Fish the sound. Look for grass bottom 3 to 6 foot deep. Get live shrimp or throw poppers / top water lures at dawn and dusk. Pensacola bay is also a spot for bigger fish.
 

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I've been lurking on the forum, after finding out about this site from Georgia Outdoor News Forums, and have seen a wealth of information here! I have read a ton of info here but still have a few questions that i wondered if you might could help me out with. I'm taking my family down to Navarre beach in a few weeks, staying west of the bridge in a house between the beach and Santa Rosa sound/intracoastal. I'm bringing a 17 ft flats boat, and really want to put my kids on some fish. We plan on doing some surf fishing on the beach, and using the boat in the sound/intracoastal to target reds, trout, whatever bites. I'm not looking for any exact locations, coordinates, or favorite spots by all means - just some general advice. Bringing 7ft rods with Penns, 15 lb braid, spoons, DOAs, poppers, etc. For surf fishing - i'm assuming pompano rigs with peeled shrimp, fish bites thrown out around the first trough would work? Inshore - follow the grass lines on the edges and hit docks with artificials? Also - anyone ever taken a flats boat out of one of the passes to fish the beach line on a clear day? I see a boat launch at the Navarre bridge and was planning to use that - unless you suggest something different? Any advice is truly appreciated - thanks! Lastly - looking to take the kids to crab island, drive the boat or launch closer? Yamaha 130 with 25 gallon tank.
I don't surf fish, but for the sound side you have the right plan. I second the advice on the grass lines - shallow at dawn and dusk, and the 3 to 5 foot line where the shelf starts to drop. Don't hesitate to throw a weedlessly rigged swimbait like Zman, MoneyMinnow, or Matrix on a lightly belly-weighted hook and let it fall into the dark spots (the 'holes') on the grass beds and then swim it out... about the time you pick it up is usually when the trout will nail it. Reds are just where you find them as far as I can tell, but they should be around.
 

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Fish the north side of the sound at daybreak around the docks and anywhere you're in the grass. Watch for sandbars, especially west of the causeway around William's Creek. If I have kids or rookies with me, I'll have them throw a silver sidewinder spoon or a soft bait under a popping cork. Gulf shoreline fishing is a lot of fun for kids too. Lots of ladyfish and skipjacks on spoons or anything worked fast as long as there isn't June grass or seaweed in the water. Have a great time, and pictures or it didn't happen.
 
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