Our Rental, Tackle and Bait shop has all the items you need to catch the fish we have below.
We also offer friendly instruction and tips for the asking. In addition, next season we hope to start mini classes in the morning sponsored by Reel Eazy Charters here on Pensacola Beach.
At this time we are catching the following species - King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Bonito, Cobia, Pompano. We are still catching some Flounder and Redfish.
King & Spanish Mackerel, Bonito, Mahi Mahi
These species can be caught regularly (although Mahi Mahi are rare catches) from 3/4 to the end of the pier and 24Hrs a Day. Hot times are Daybreak and Sunset for these fish. A good casting rod with a treble hook/ Light 3 ft Steel Leader/ Swivel rig is used to prevent the fish from cutting the line. If renting a pole and you want to fish for these species, request a "King Rig". Common baits are Cigar minnows and bait fish caught around the pier such as hard tails. Popular means of fishing is casting and floating your bait. Some fisherman cast on the fish. This year, we even caught a sailfish fishing for kings at the end of the pie.
Cobia Or Ling
Cobia or Ling are caught in the Spring during their migration. After which they move offshore to the wrecks. To catch one of these fish which can get to over 100lbs you have to be prepared. They take eels (Very Good Bait), live Bait and jigs. In many cases you will fish a monofilament or steel leader about 3ft with a sinker above the swivel to sink the bait. Many fisherman do not use a sinker at all. With Jigs an additional weight is not required. To catch this fish they are spotted on the sand bars and casted on. This is called "site casting". It is better to cast beyond or near them then directly above to prevent scaring the school or the fish.
This is a tricky species and there are a couple ways to catch them. Sand Fleas, sold at the bait store or caught on the beach in the sand by the water. Fishing with a bottom weight and your sand flea on a side leader cast anywhere in the surf line fishing 1/10 to 2/3 down the pier. Live Shrimp or dead on a light line leader with a sinker above the hook and bait. Pompano Jig, in this case you will spot the fish and site cast them. Be sure to cast beyond the fish to prevent spooking them. The best places to fish for pompano are about 1/4 pier to 2/3 pier along the sand bars and between them.
Redfish are caught mostly in the late fall and winter. They can be caught all along the pier from 1/3 pier out. The rig should be a peramid weight tied above the bait to allow your bait to free float around the bottom. The best baits are cut baits and menhaden are the most popular. Cut mullet makes an effective bait as well.
Flounder are caught on the bottom and along the entire length of the pier. Fishing evening night and morning are best for this species. They are caught on light tackle best with a number 2 live bait hook. With a light sinker 2 ft above the hook you want to cast and bring your bait in slowly, very slow. Flounder will not come to your bait. Also, if possible casting along the pier gets good results. Best live baits are shrimp and small minnows. Fishing artificial, a red lead head, white grub with a red tail using a small piece of shrimp on the tail works good.
These species can be caught from 3/4 to the end of the pier and 24Hrs a Day. A good casting rod with a treble hook/ Light 3 ft Steel Leader/ Swivel rig is used to prevent the fish from cutting the line. Common baits are Cigar minnows and bait fish caught around the pier. Popular means of fishing is casting and floating your bait. Some fisherman cast on the fish. Tarpon prefer live bait and it is better to cast near the school and bring your bait by them.
Black Drum / Sheepshead
There are many ways to catch Black Drum or Sheepshead. Black Drum or Sheepshead as they are known in our area are caught at the pier mainly in the winter months when the water is cold. During this time, they come into the bays, frequent bridge pilings and close to shore to wrecks and of course the pilings at the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier. Sheepshead like barnacles, small crabs and crustaceans. They will eat small shrimp, preferably live and small fiddler crabs which can be purchased at Gulf Breeze Bait and Tackle just off the beach. For these fish, you want small crabs about the size of a quarter, they like the tiny ones. These fish are very strong fighters and having strong jaws and sharp teeth you will want to have the right tackle. For this, a good spinning rod that has strength in the back of the rod, but a sensitive or fast tip is best. For hooks, you will want to use a smaller long shank hook that is thick since these fish can but a hook in two if too thin. The presentation is gentle for these fish, light weight above the hook on a swivel lowered down the piling slowly. In lots of cases here at the pier you can watch the action unfold. Sheepshead are known for their soft bite, so be very attentive and especially watch for your line going slack which means they are swimming up toward you. Good Luck, these excellent fish are great to eat and fun to catch!