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Discussion Starter #1
First full year with my 12 ft Pescador (paddle) kayak, and hoping to bring in some Red Snapper. I have been told that there are snapper in Pensacola Bay. Would the bay or offshore be a better option. Not interested in going to far out in the Gulf, but have been out in 50 to 60 feet of water with not problem. Also, what rig would be best for snapper? Thanks for any tips or suggestions.
 

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They exist in the bay- I have caught them underneath of 3MB. People are fiercely protective of their bay spots though so I wouldn't expect anyone to give them up. If you want to cut to the chase, grab the StrikeLines Bay Chart. Otherwise, start trolling between public offshore numbers and watch your FF and you will turn up private spots. There is no real easy solution, I've found.
 

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You're kind of asking for a lot with close in Snapper spots. Maybe someone will offer something, but I wouldn't count on it. You could try drifting the pass, but that's very risky with the boat traffic and currents. Simple Carolina rig with 50lb floro and whatever bait you choose will work. 50lb may be overkill depend on how deep you are. Good luck and be safe - my advice is to start smaller... flats, docks, etc... then move to the Gulf
 

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Buy the StrikeLines bay chart and you'll have no problem getting on them in the bay. I would stay out of the pass. It's dangerous in a kayak. My personal preference would be for a dropper rig using 60lb flouro. Bay snapper are pressured and will run you into structure in an instant, so flouro and heavy.


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There are some deep holes with ledges that hold snapper from time to time near Ft pickens. Get a fish finder and use lightest leader you can get away with. Use yozuri flourocarbon (the pink stuff).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies, I am not looking for numbers, just whether it is worth the time searching the bay for spots. I am not interested in trying the pass in a kayak, I have fished here many years from boats and I know how crazy it can be. I am interested in how close in the Gulf anyone has found any red snapper. Jut an idea how far out one has to go. Thanks again.
 

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I have caught them 1/2 mile to 3 miles off shore very regularly. Hard to find the spots, but put some time in and they will produce. Launch form the first parking lot in the National Seashore from Navarre, get out and watch your bottom machine. Sometimes, you can catch a group and usually, they are willing to add a friendly paddler. We have a longer season this year so enjoy and good luck.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Pro tip: there are great snapper spots off of every single public access point from Portofino to Navarre. Why every now launches from the same two access points now blows my mind.
Thanks, this is good information. I launch just west of Portofino from the beach (I am just one block from the beach so I don't haul the kayak). Would Portofino to the Pensacola fishing pier be just as productive?
 

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Pro tip: there are great snapper spots off of every single public access point from Portofino to Navarre. Why every now launches from the same two access points now blows my mind.
I've found this out the hard way after seeing someone else's bottom machine in spots I've been to: if your fish finder is DSI only it can be A LOT harder to see bottom differences (regarding what the hardness, natural/live bottom) than conventional sonar. *grumble* If your unit can do both, use sonar to be able to distinguish better what the bottom is made of out in the gulf.
 

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I would also add that it is NOT common practice to approach groups or even single kayaks that are bottom fishing unless you are for CERTAIN you know them & they are ok with your approach. Many of us have spent years out in the Gulf trolling & finding spots. They don't come easy & really putting in your time is the only way to reap the reward. Good luck this season!
 

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I agree i wouldn't approach anyone bottom fishing or trolling. Give people space while on the water and show some respect. There are plenty of public numbers off pensacola and destin!
 

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Buddy and I were 2 miles out on a private spot, some ass comes rolling through within 10 ft, "Just ignore me, just trolling" :whistling: Then precedes to ask how we doing and if the bite was on for us... And then I heard beep beep....

Needless to say, we were pretty upset, as its taken us a while to actually find us a good spot of our own. Maybe I just have to much attachment....
 

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I keep my head on a swivel. If anyone gets with in a quarter mile of me Im moving!

Like Mvann said, the guys that have been doing this for years have put in hundreds and hundreds of miles to find a few spots and now that the word is out you have guys that give them away like its nothing. There is a reason why the ones that consistently bring in the best and biggest snapper are the ones that fish alone or with a select gsmall group of people. A small chicken coop will hold maybe 10-20 snapper. When they are gone, they are gone. It doesnt take long to fish out a coop! When you find one...KEEP IT TO YOURSELF if you actually want to fish it year in and year out.
 

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I keep my head on a swivel. If anyone gets with in a quarter mile of me Im moving!

Like Mvann said, the guys that have been doing this for years have put in hundreds and hundreds of miles to find a few spots and now that the word is out you have guys that give them away like its nothing. There is a reason why the ones that consistently bring in the best and biggest snapper are the ones that fish alone or with a select group of fish. A small chicken coop will hold maybe 10-20 snapper. When they are gone, they are gone. It doesnt take long to fish out a coop! When you find one...KEEP IT TO YOURSELF if you actually want to fish it year in and year out.
So now that Ginzus bro in law is my neighbor... Does this make me part of the small secret group ... :thumbsup: just messing, after pedaling as much as we have, i completely agree to keeping shit a secret.
 

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Buddy and I were 2 miles out on a private spot, some ass comes rolling through within 10 ft, "Just ignore me, just trolling" :whistling: Then precedes to ask how we doing and if the bite was on for us... And then I heard beep beep....

Needless to say, we were pretty upset, as its taken us a while to actually find us a good spot of our own. Maybe I just have to much attachment....
I would have had some SERIOUS words with that guy. I dont/cant put up with that BS anymore. :mad:

I treat my clients well and my small group of buddies well (we bounce info off each other its not just one way). But if you know me and we are cool but not like that dont be upset if I politely tell you to back off. If I dont know you at all you better back off and its not going to be polite! LoL, no, as I said earlier, you arent going to get that close to me with out me drifting off! ;)
 

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So now that Ginzus bro in law is my neighbor... Does this make me part of the small secret group ... :thumbsup: just messing, after pedaling as much as we have, i completely agree to keeping shit a secret.
Im glad you understand. For the ones that work for it like you and I have, WE know how frustrating it is when we see guys just throwing numbers around like it aint a thing. Its funny as really they are only ruining the reef for themselves!

Im sure youll be seeing us around every now and then at Mikes place. :thumbup:
 
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