Emerald Coast Fishing Calendar

Emerald Coast Fishing Calendar

MonthWhat’s Happening!
JanuaryThere’s a phenomenon that happens this time of the year here along the panhandle. Us rednecks call it Pensacola Bone fishing. What I’m talking about is the winter False Albacore. These fish are extremely hungry and they’ll run the beaches real close to the shore, I’ve seen them so close to the beach that their backs would be out of the water. So listen up, if you want to have some fun sight fishing in this crystal clear water, it just doesn’t get any better than this! These football-shaped speedsters are easy to spot and look like giants against the white sand.

Fly-fishermen have really picked up on this and hence we came up with the Pensacola Bone fish deal. Just ask anybody that has had a chance to give it a try and they’ll testify that it compares to south Florida Bone fishing in a big way. It’s not just for fly-fishermen either; the spin casters can get in on this action as well. Put a six pound Bo-Bo on the end of an eight pound test spinning outfit and you better have an ample amount of line or you’ll lose it all!

FebruaryA great time for sight fishing along the beaches. The days with little to no cloud cover and a light north wind are what we look for. These days are perfect for running the beach looking for the Bull Red fish and False Albacore. There is very little fishing pressure this time of the year and most likely we will be the only boat out there. What a peaceful way to spend a day away from the rat race.
MarchThe first Cobia of Spring is always caught around the 20th of March, but the biggest push of fish is on into April. Just for fun, we’ll lay bets on what day the first fish will be caught each spring; my guess is always March 20th. We will also be catching Sheepshead around the bridges and structure around the bays as they start their migration towards the passes. Sheepshead is very good table fare and better than that they are great fun to catch. This is a great experience for youngsters, fishermen and women of all ages to get into. Once you locate the fish, it’s catching one after another – its awesome fun!
AprilThe Speckled Trout and Slot Red Fish bite to start picking up. If we have a decent spring it will be early in April and if Mother Nature isn’t nice this year it will be late April before we start catching them on a regular basis. The Sheepshead will also be at the top of the list for at the first part of April. But as I mentioned earlier, the most popular thing to be doing in April is sight fishing for the Cobia. I know people that take the whole month off work and fish every day. There are also lots of tournaments along the panhandle that make it even more exciting.
MayAlways a good month; in fact May and June are two of my favorite months for early summer time fishing. The weather is getting more and more consistent, the water is warming up and the fish are hungry! Lots of Speckled Trout fishing along with chasing the Bull Red fish out on the beaches. The slot Red Fish will be doing good inshore and all over the bays.
JuneProbably the best month for Summer fishing. It hasn’t got real hot yet and for the fishing, all you have to do is name your tune. Red Snapper season opens June 1st and 90% of the fishing I’ll be doing is in the Gulf of Mexico. Towards the end of the month it will be the near shore King Mackerel run. As the bait starts to show up in April and May the Kings will follow it up the coast and will here in big numbers by the end of the month. Talk about a light tackle adventure, get you one of those twenty five pound kings on a fifteen pound spinning outfit and hold on!! Spanish, Kings, Snapper, Amberjacks, Jack Crevalle, Slot Red Fish, Pompano, Sharks, Tarpon and who knows just what else we might run across.
JulyThe inshore fishing will drop off a lot and 95% of the fishing will be in the Gulf of Mexico. That’s not a bad thing, that’s where the big ones live anyway. There is still a lot of fishing to do in the Bays; slot Red Fish will be at the top of the list of things to do in the summer time, we will also be having a lot of fun with the sharks. There’ll be a lot of big ones here by then.
AugustHOT! Can you say dog days? We catch lots of fish in August though, inshore and offshore. Inshore there will be lots of Spanish, Lady Fish, Blue Fish and Kings still around the passes. In the deeper waters inshore we’ll find the Red Fish and Flounder, you will also catch Red Snapper and Grouper around the same deep structure.
SeptemberHOTTER! And it will be a lot of the same as August. Lots of the garbage can slams along with a nice summer time Pompano every now and then and a box full of nice Spanish.
OctoberWe’ll be back into the Bull Red Fishing bonanza, large time, knockdown, drag out Bull Red fishing at its best! Early October brings good Speckled Trout and slot Red fishing, the fish will be feeding up for the winter months ahead. Early morning top water action is as good as it gets. Live bait for Red Fish around the docks and deep water structure will be productive.
NovemberFor the flat fish fishermen; it’s time. The Flounder migration will be under full swing by now. If catching yourself a limit of Flounder is what you like then don’t waste your time until now. These fish head out to the Gulf and meet up with the big females to perform their spawning duties. Find out where they are and it’s a blast catching, not fishing.
DecemberFlounder will still be happening, but slowing down. December we’ll be chasing after the mighty Bull Red Fish.
Captain Ed,

Thanks again for the trip this past Sunday. Parker, Bud and I enjoyed it so much. I have never seen so many Bull Reds in the waters around the boat, hundreds of them at one time! It also was exciting to have three monster Bull's on lines at the same time. What an experience!

You are a true fisherman and it's so great to see you doing something you really love.

We are already planning our next trip! Keep the boat gassed up, we are on our way!


I wanted to thank you for the great time we had. You were awesome and I really appreciated the time you took up with my 10 year old son. Catching the big amberjacks was a lot of fun and I will plan a fall trip for the red fish.

Thanks again. Just wanted to stop in and say again thanks for everything had a great time and looking forward to the next time. Captain Eddie is the man.

Capt Eddie,

My friend Scott Hansen and I fished with you back in January and I wanted to tell you what a great time we had. As I told you onboard, I am a full-time fishing and hunting guide myself and had never been on a paid guided trip in my life. When Scott generously asked me along for the Florida trip, I was excited to have "the shoes on the other feet" for a change. My first guide couldn't have pleased me anymore. Like I’ve always said - you never really know a client until the fishing goes south. I think you could say the same for a captain. Despite slower than normal fishing and record-breaking sucky weather, you maintained perfectly. I appreciate that. I’m proud of my profession despite the fact that there are more and more 'captains' and 'guides' that challenge that notion. Keep setting the bar high captain and thanks again for my first redfish!

Capt. Josh Dickinson

Recent Fishing Reports


February Inshore Fishing from Pensacola to Destin


January Fishing on the Emerald Coast


December’s Best Bet = Bull Redfishing in Pensacola Bay


October’s Best Bet is as always – THE RUNNING of THE BULL REDS!