View Full Version : Fishing Port St. Joe Florida

The Principal
01-17-2006, 01:50 PM
Has anyone fished Port St. Joe ? If so, can you give any info or suggestions?
Thanking about a Kayak and wading fishing trip down there in Feb.

Byron Begley
01-17-2006, 07:09 PM
Principal, I've fished there twice. It is one of the most beautiful places on the Forgotten Coast. Fished there once with a friend and didn't do too well. We didn't know much about the area. Paula and I were there in August 05 and fished with Cpt. Gary Taylor who is a guide in the area. We caught several redfish and bonito. We stayed at the Port Inn which I highly recommend. Give me more specific questions and I'll try to help or put you in touch with someone who can. Byron

Byron Begley
01-17-2006, 07:15 PM
Principal, I've had some more thoughts. If you are going to us a kayak I would launch at the State Park on Cape San Blas. That way you could stay close to shore and the best shallow water fishing. For wade fishing I would also fish on the cape side.

01-18-2006, 01:11 PM
I used to fish in that area quite a bit. Byron is right the state park is a great access point and it has a couple of nice campgrounds with good facilities. Plus it could give you easy access to the bay or the Gulf if the wind is too strong on one side or the other. Definitely a cool area with nice clean water and good fishing.

Byron Begley
01-18-2006, 01:18 PM
Drew, welcome to the board. Those were some great photos you e-mailed me. Thanks also for the fishing report. For those who don't know Drew, he is a guide in Key West, Florida. See you buddy. Byron

The Principal
01-19-2006, 10:41 AM
Thanks for the info guys. Byron, what type flys would you use and what size
rigs? 6wt, 8wt or 10wts? What could we expect if anything besides Redfish
and bonita. We are beginners, and will probably feel better keeping the kayaks
inside closer to shore this trip.

Byron Begley
01-19-2006, 10:54 AM
I should have told you about this. In August we did very well on an FC Sandshrimp fishing for Redfish in clear water near the cape. This pattern is easy to tie and you can view it or buy it on the Feathercraft site or call them. Ed Story at Feathercraft loves to fish at Port St. Joe and he's a nice guy and very helpful. I have also caught reds on a small Puglisi Minnow. If you are fishing around Indian Pass near St. Vincent Island we've found the water to be turbid so I would have some spoonflies in gold to fish for reds. You can also expect to catch Speckled Trout and Spanish Mackerel. Paula fed a tarpon there in August. I would think they arrive there sometime in June depending on the water temperature. Byron

Byron Begley
01-19-2006, 11:10 AM
Sorry, I forgot the rod size. I like an 8 weight. Paula likes a 9. Byron

The Principal
01-19-2006, 11:34 AM
Thank you very much for the info. We are thanking about going in Feb. or March,
any ideas about this time of year?

01-25-2006, 12:00 PM
I lived & guided in St. Joe for 13 months last year. I've fished the area for over 8 years only in the summer prior to moving there. I found the the fishing in Feb., at least last year, to be very tedious and un-productive most days. The reds do not move up onto the flats untill the water temps rises to their liking...seemingly around the 75 degree mark and above. Hope this winter is warmer than last. The norm is that the fishing begins improving around Feb. 15th and just gets better and better. A couple of times last Feb. I was successful in finding some willing reds and was able to succesfully guide clients to them. For whatever reason they are some of the spookiest fish I've ever delt with. Look for schools of 100 to 200 fish visually. They hardly move about, push little water and the tale-tale nervous water usually only happens when you've spooked them! Train your eyes to look for the copper bodies....like a 50 ft. diamater copper penny. Then approach slowly and keep your distance. Being in a kayak or on foot will increase your chances. Cast only to the outer edge of the school and be prepared to cast 60-70 foot. This is not to discourage you but simply inform you and prepare you. I do this for a living....and I can't take people's money unless I think they have a resonably good chance of success. Based on what I saw all of last winter, and it was an odd one - colder than normal - I personally don't plan on being there permanently till later in the spring. If you go in Feb. you should fish the Cape side of the Bay if the wind is favorable and fish the falling tide if your blessed with both. If not fish the St. Joe side (just to the south of town). I find the incooming tide to be much better on this side. Good Luck and let us know how it worked out for you.

01-25-2006, 12:13 PM

Just so you know, there is a new outfitter store, blue water outfitters of something, right in town next to where the old piggly wiggly was, it behind the cvs. They were help full the last time i was there. Also i took a guide last time i can't remember his name for the life of me, but he operates out of the india pass camp ground store. He's not much into flyfishing but for sheer quantities of fish he's the man!! There is supposed to be a pair of brother out of Appalachicola that are excellent fly fishing guides. I recomend a day trip to Appalachicola while your in st. joe. Great old town, great food. Also the estuary tour is a great time for everyone.

Have a great trip


Byron Begley
01-25-2006, 02:01 PM
Cpt Gary, welcome to the board Big-un. How are you doing buddy. Paula and I will probably come down and fish with you this summer. Thanks for posting on the board. You have a lot of good information to share. For all you anglers out there, I've been fishing as a client with Gary for probably 20 years. Thumbs up. Byron ;D

Paula Begley
01-26-2006, 10:06 AM
BIG UN.......!!!!!! Hey, honey....Welcome to the Board....we luuuvvvv yew.....

(But not as much as we luv Ed Storey....) ;D

Hope to see you and Wonder Woman soon.


01-27-2006, 11:32 AM
I fish St. Joseph's Bay every summer, mostly for trout in May and June. Beautiful water, and have done very well with shad patterns for trout but moslty shrimp patterns. I take my 16ft flat bottom boat and fish everywhere on the Cape side of the bay. My sons fish with live shrimp and have a blast. The bay is fantastic for kayak or canoe.

The Principal
01-27-2006, 02:39 PM
Thanks for the information folks. Capt. Gary, sorry I missed you at the Rainbow City
Fly Fishing Club meeting. I was looking forward to talking to you.

The Principal
01-27-2006, 02:40 PM
Thanks for the information folks. Capt. Gary, sorry I missed you at the Rainbow City
Fly Fishing Club meeting. I was looking forward to talking to you.

02-17-2006, 04:43 AM
Hey Cap'n Gary,

Good to see you here, man they will let anybody on here ;) Just kidding.

I am going to plan a trip this summer with you down on the salt.

See you next Fri. hope we have a day like we had last month ;D


03-05-2006, 04:07 PM
Looking for a place to fish in late March. How would Port St. Joe be then? This will be our first crack at saltwater. We are new to fly fishing last year. Mainly fishing the Clinch and the Little River.

Byron Begley
03-10-2006, 11:15 AM

I'll try to get in touch with Gary Taylor right now and see if he can answer your question. I've never fished there that early.