The panhandle of Florida is only a three-hour drive from Southeast Louisiana, but the fishing patterns and techniques of the two places are about as similar as a wagyu steak and fast-food hamburger. Though each destination has its strong points, they differ significantly.
Fishing is excellent in Southeast Louisiana, but since the area has been inundated with fresh water from a bursting Mississippi River, trophy speckled trout have been harder to find than clean streets in California cities. Speckled trout will spawn only in water with enough salinity to allow their eggs to float and drift into the fresher marshlands with the tides.
So my son Joel and I headed east for a few days last weekend, setting up headquarters at a beautiful bayside condo near the Florida/Alabama state line. We knew the Sunshine State couldn’t compete with Louisiana in numbers of fish, but we had true trophies on our minds.
Although we had fished Florida once before — in July 2017 — we had brought only kayaks then, and didn’t get a chance to really explore the area and see what we could do.
This time, we trailered our boat down I-10, and stored it in a slip behind the condo. Having it along with us greatly expanded our options.
Still, though, we went in mostly blind and faced a significant learning curve as we tried to figure out which patterns would be most productive. Our knowledge grew with each day, and now, we can’t wait to get back.
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