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Port Saint Joe - delayed post

Started by ARontheFly, December 28, 2018, 16:06:01 pm

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ARontheFly

The girlfriends family always does a summer trip to Panama City or Destin. I used to take along the kayak but with a baby this year we needed extra luggage room and I stumbled into a used Towee months previous. So being the good guy I am I hooked up the boat to be sure we could take every baby contraption known to man along and maybe do some fishing. I was notified during the vacation that I fished too much, debatable.

Day 1 I dropped off the family at the Panama City Condo and headed to meet a friend for a Saturday evening and Sunday morning exploration of Port Saint Joe.



The water in this bay is so clear my friend from Jacksonville compared it to the Keys as he is used to the murky low country of east FL.



My buddy chasing salt troot with his spinner rod. Slow fishing Saturday evening, I think he got 1 sea trout in 2 hrs. Fish were active but we were doing something wrong. He got lots of eats but had an undersized hook for his gulp shrimp setup.



Too damn beautiful and the beers were too cold to be upset about poor fishing. I never grow tired of exploring new waters without a guide DIY style. Reminds me of being younger and always dreaming of the big smallmouth around that far bend in the creek that I had yet to explore.

So we dropped in at the only late night bar and eatery on the peninsula. The restaurant was dead and we ended up taking several shots on the house with the staff upon closing time, phenomenal customer service IMO. We then headed to the state park for tequila and to set camp.



We decided there wasn't any sense in setting up the tent just to take it down the next morning. Tequila really streamlines my reasoning.

Water was a little choppier Sunday morning but not bad. My friend kept missing fish with his piss ant sized hook on his gulp set up but did get a few.
I laid into several fish with an unweighted white feather fly.

Lots of these which I thought were permit at the time, I don't get out of the fresh water state much...



After maybe a dozen pompano I got some other species..



Got my limit of sea trout and more. I do eat some fish, mostly just stockers, sea trout and catfish.

Then hit five of these in 10 casts. Blue fish, I think they are?



My spin rod buddy caught this. No idea, species I.D. Anyone?



No picture of it but we had to run back to the state park ramp from blacks island with a storm on our ass, essentially across the entire bay.

I had my trusty Garmin 64st handheld gps with me, loaded with bathymetric maps so if weather got rough we could just hug the edge of the bay 100 yds off shore and ride the 3ft depth waters to safety. Unfortunately I had never updated my gps to fix a bug that I was not aware existed. The gps batteries had died and it wouldn't power up with fresh batteries until plugging it into the truck USB.

So I decided instead of risking running aground we would just straight shot it across the bay to the state park. We had been using this route but not in 3 foot swells. It was a little hairy for me as my experience is all small freshwater boating. The towee did fine, only a few waves broke over the bow. Unlike my old Gheenoe the boat does not really nose way up which made my asshole pucker hitting the big waves toppling the bow. I had installed two oversized bilge pumps wired to my outboard battery pre trip just in case. It was a little sketchy, someone with more experience may have not blinked an eye. I will say there were several larger 18-22 foot boats sitting at the state park waiting to cross back to their ramp across the bay that were saying there was no way in hell they were crossing in that storm. Running the Towee in that I did go about 60% throttle as the spacing of the swells at that speed allowed the boat to surf along the swell opposed to jumping waves a lot which would have caused more bow dives into the swell waves. Anyone with experience got any advice on that?

Was not in trouble with the girlfriend when I returned Sunday evening as everyone preferred my seatrout over all the store bought fish they had.





Love the Russo knife and techniques.



For the remainder of the week I spent every other day waking at 3am to drive to fish Port St joe. Did good most days. Never got a redfish but seriously needed weedless flies for those fellas as they were only feeding in the heaviest grass.

Absolutely beautiful scenery...



She's good to me.





Near the end of the week I finally got my girlfriends nephews to go fishing. We talked about them going all week but they had been chasing a different kind of tale. We just ran over to east bay of Panama City and they gulp shrimped with popping corks. Only 2 large fish but they did catch almost 100 sea trout in 2 hours on the water. Made me look like a super hero. Mostly this size...



With the nephews I spent the entire time sitting on the cooler unhooking and re rigging. Just as much fun as fishing myself. I'm only 30 but the older I get the more I enjoy putting people on fish.

This was the week before the big hurricane. I read online the state park which encapsulates the furthest half of the peninsula now has two channels running from the bay to the ocean caused by the storm. Hopefully it will be back up and running for future trips. Nice RV campground on the inland side which may re open and the you can dock your boat next to your campsite, but it is a clear cut RV site 20-30 mins from the beach.

Meant to post this months and months ago but my prescription happy pills have been fucking with my memory. Thought I had posted. Time to get off the pills and back to my running shoes and gym maybe haha.

Hope y'all enjoy the pics, should have taken more photos but that's always my line. Take a trip here sometime, great BandB deals pre hurricane. Hopefully the local area recovers quickly from hurricane Michael.







Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
"We don't whitewash it either, Morty. I mean, the pirates are really rapey."

Dougfish

Well, shit. Somebody else fishes.
'c;  -0-
Well played.
I'll try my hand further west on Bama coast in Feb. It will not be epic.
"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change? " <br />-Oddball, 1970

BRFFF

 Congrats all the way around !


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driver

December 28, 2018, 23:18:05 pm #3 Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 08:45:45 am by driver
First unidentified fish = Ladyfish aka poor man's tarpon
Second unidentified fish = pufferfish aka blow toad
That trip was probably about the same time I last went fishing.... fml


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