Fishing or scalloping- your choice.

Report Date: July 4, 2012

My wife Allison and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Alaska. Alaska is one of the most beautiful states I have ever seen! The scenery there is breathtaking. Although we didn't get to use our flyrods for trout or grayling while there, we did go out on a halibut charter out of Ninilchik. This was very different for me. For once I was on the end of the rod reeling instead of baiting hooks. It was also odd for me to be fishing in 150 feet of water when I am used to fishing the flats of 3-10 feet.

Even though halibut aren't the most spectacular fighters, just reeling then in to the boat from that depth will tire out the most seasoned veteran anglers. I can't wait to cook some of the fillets we brought home.

Gulf coast fishing picked up this week when the wind allowed us to get out. The sea trout bite is good and now is the time of year you can catch 50-100 fish a day. However, you will have to work through lots of small fish to get a bunch of large ones. The best catches are coming from the deeper flats of at least seven feet by anglers throwing jigs.

We also caught more bluefish this week than we have been over the spring. As usual with blues, once they are located, they are not hard to catch and will eat almost anything thrown their way. Jigs and spoons are preferred as they can be cast long distances and cover the most water.

Don't forget, scallop season opened on July 1st this year. Early reports by scallopers give the appearance of the beginning of a good season. I am booked more for fishing than scalloping for the next couple of weeks so haven't had a chance to see first hand.

Paul Hein and Vernon Brooks had a good morning of fishing out of Crystal River. They picked up a few trout, a redfish and some jacks. Then, Vernon had something larger inhale his Mirrorlure Little John. After a lengthy battle, Vernon boated a nice snook of about 14 pounds. Not to be outdone, Paul finished our morning with a drag screaming fight with a tarpon that I estimate was between 80-100 pounds. The big fish left us slack jawed and amazed when it broke the line on the fourth jump.

"Holi" Holiman treated his 17 year old niece Kristen Van De Voorde who was visiting from Louisiana, to a day of saltwater fishing in the gulf. Holi's goal was to have Kristen hook a fish that she couldn't easily turn. This happened shortly after the trip began when she hooked and landed a nice bluefish. After landing several trout and ladyfish, Kristen hooked a good size jack crevalle which took her around the boat twice before she expertly landed it. Holi has done a great job not only teaching a young person to fish but also teaching the practice of catch and release.

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