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Thread: Port St. Joe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    knoxville
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    432

    Default Port St. Joe

    We have finally settled on a destination for our fall family vacation. The previous posts about locations were made at a time of desperation before a trip that was cancelled at the last minute.

    Now that we have things straightened out I am starting to get geared up to go. Paula helped with the flies and what materials I needed along with a bloody demonstration of how to tie one.
    There are now about 2 doz. flies between 4 patterns

    The main question in this thread would be how to fish the flies in saltwater.
    The majority of my fishing will be from the beach while wading in only a couple of feet. Paula mentioned using a floating line which I have, but what stripping method should I use?
    Am I trying to move the fly fast to get a reaction bite, or do I have to finesse the fly?
    Do you cast parallel with the waves and fish in between them, or are you casting straight out from the beach?
    I tied some copperheads in gold, chartruese/white and Red/white clousers and another fly that Byron recommended. All the flies have bead eyes and are on a 1/0 or 1 size hook.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    174

    Default

    As far as stripping methods, a (strip,pause,strip,pause) method works just about all the time. Try using this method in various speeds and stripping lengths until you find what works. When wading in the surf, fan casting is a good way to cover some ground if you are not sight casting. Look for cuts (channels) in the sandbar formed by rips (rip currents) that hold fish. You can spot the rips by watching where the waves break and where they dont break, and other various ways such as choppy or foamy water. Dont stand in the rip though! Fish the troughs of the sandbar also.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2007
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    knoxville
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    TA-- Thanks for the help. I am going to try and find some of Lefty's casting video's on Youtube and see if I can pick up any pointers.

    As far as camping goes we are looking at the TH Stone state park which is more on the bay side.
    Does anyone know if the fishing is good all along the bay or is it better by the inlet that cuts into the backside of the peninsula?
    Has anyone been to this park before? It seems like a fantastic spot to camp, and I am curious to what other people think.
    We will most likely be going in Oct. either the 2nd or 3rd week. The crowds should be gone and the weather should be a little cooler.
    Hopefully the fish will be hungry!

    Thanks,
    Ben

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    fall creek falls state park
    Posts
    62

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    i am glad you started this thread i have been looking at the same campground for a possible fall or early spring trip. any info would be appreciated.
    All first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly-fishermen and John the favorite was a dry-fly fisherman. Norman Maclean

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Townsend, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,397

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    Flyfishjeep,

    I'm sorry I couldn't get away from the meeting to help you the other day. The Sand Shrimp pattern that Paula showed you has worked very well for us at Port St. Joe. As far as presentation goes you should try different stripping speeds and pauses. We were fishing with our friend and guide Gary Taylor on the point of Cape San Blas. The water was crystal clear. There was a huge school of redfish near the bank. Gary said he has trouble catching the reds there. The fish would follow the Sand Shrimp then turn off. Just for the heck of it when one turned off the fly I sped up the retrieve. The fish turned back on the fly. When he came up on it again I started stripping fast. He slammed the fly. We did this over and over and it worked every time. The lesson learned is when fish turn away from your fly, change your retrieve. On the other hand, I've had saltwater fish, many different species, take the sand shrimp when I was using a slow retrieve. The real name for that fly is the FC Sand Shrimp. The FC stands for Feather-Craft. The shop's founder, Ed Storey recommends that fly specifically for Port St. Joe. He told me he didn't come up with the pattern but uses it often. It has worked for us all over the Florida Panhandle. I even caught a big Sheephead on one. They say that is almost impossible. He ran about three feet to eat it. Have fun.

    Byron

  6. #6
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    Jan 2006
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    Townsend, Tennessee
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    I forgot to tell you about the park. There is a long underwater shoal that you will see about 1/2 mile from the marina. You can wade out pretty far there and still be in shallow water. Also, facing the marina from the water to the left is some great wading water. All along the bay side of the park is excellent wading. But like I told you, shuffle your feet or you run the risk of stepping on a ray. Slide your feet along and they will get out of your way. I won't wade deep there any more. You will see other people do it. They don't know what is out there. The bay is full of huge bull sharks. However, Paula and I have snorkled in 6 foot deep water gathering scallops. I think the fishing will be better for you at the point of Cape San Blas and on the bay side. Fly fishing in the surf has been hard for me but I have not given it much of a chance. The park is beautiful and the beach on both sides is one of the finest you will ever see. You might want to rent a kayak for a day and try that.

    Byron

  7. #7
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    Location
    knoxville
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    Byron,
    Thanks for the help.
    We are looking forward to the trip more than any other vacation we have taken before.
    How many flies do you think I should make before going.
    I have about
    10 fc sand shrimp
    9 chartreuse (sp) clousers
    6 red clousers
    9 gold colored flies that Paula recommend ( name escapes me)
    I don't know how much fishing I will get to do since the kids are with us and we are camping at a new place. If all goes well we will spend the majority of our time on the beach near the campground on the bay side.
    Thanks again for the help!
    -Ben

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Alcoa, TN
    Posts
    506

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyfishjeep View Post
    9 gold colored flies that Paula recommend ( name escapes me)

    -Ben
    Well, I was going to say BARBIE BUGS until you mentioned gold! I can't help you with much anything else in the salt, but I can wish you the best of luck...With Paula and Byron on your side your bound to catch something! Hope you stick a pig!

    ~Brett

  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
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    Townsend, Tennessee
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    Ben,

    You should be in good shape but you never know. Always better to have too many flies (sales pitch). The gold flies are called Copperheads. They work just as good as a spoonfly but are much easier to tie. I would use them if you encounter some dirty water. I have caught speckled trout, lady fish, Spanish Macs and other species on them in clear water. One thing you might want to add to the list is some poppers since you have plenty of time. I can show you how to make them. You also might want to buy a couple of Todd's Wiggle Minnows. I haven't learned how to make those yet. I make Crease Flies and they work well. Poppers are essential for fishing for tailing redfish on oyster beds. Everything else get's caught in the oysters. You won't see any oyster beds in Port St. Joe but if you venture over to St. Vincent Island and Indian Pass there are plenty. I always have some Puglisi Pinfish too. They are a lot of trouble to tie and you might want to wait until your next trip to learn to tie those.

    Byron

  10. #10
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    Jan 2007
    Location
    knoxville
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    Byron,
    My wife is getting a little mad at me for buying soooooo much tying supplies. I on the other hand love tying new flies and getting new materials is like Christmas morning.

    Another question that I have is, what do I do with my leader/tippet.
    I have a tapered leader on their now, but do I need a shock leader.

    I more than likely will be only fishing from the beach. I have 10, 12 and 20 lb line to add on my tippet if needed.
    What else should I have?

    Thanks for the help so far. It makes October seem so far away and I will be drooling once September roll around.

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