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Nov. and Dec. in Pensacola Bay, Florida   by : Captain Scotty Gerdine

Good Catch at Pensacola Bay. Florida  

November and December have been outstanding with many schools of Bull Redfish running in the Pensacola Bay area. Sheepshead and Black Drums are out feeding. The fish are getting ready for the cold winter months coming.  Making for a great time of the year to get out there a catch some fish here on the Gulf Coast.


Every year thousands of Big Monster Redfish feed on bait migrating into Pensacola Bay.  Sight fishing is the name of the game. You are looking for the birds diving. When you find the Redfish. It is a sight you will never forget.   You can literally see Redfish thrashing the top of the water.  Cast out and hang on to that pole these Redfish are hungry and will bite just about every time. I have ran many trips this month. There are many double, triple and quad hook ups. It makes for some nonstop action.

Just remember these guys are all over slot which means they are catch and release. Please try to support the fish with both hands underneath and release as quick as you can.  So in other words get that picture of a lifetime and get him back in the water.

Rigging For the Bulls

I like to use a Spro Buck Tail Jig with a 1 1/2 to 2 ounce weight to maximize my casting distance.  Tie that with 40lb fluorocarbon leader and 15 mono mainline with a surgeon knot with no swivel. "Tip" Swivel just gets in the way when casting out and reeling in.

The reel size I use is a 5000 to 6000 series with a medium to heavy action rod.  You can use lighter if you like. Just get ready for a fight when you do


Sheepshead is a fish you can keep and eat this time of the year. These guys hang around Rock Piles, Bridges, and Dock areas. They love to eat fiddler crabs, live shrimp, and oysters. They like the cold weather and north east winds Pensacola gets in this area.  Once you find one you will find more.  Stay in that area and work it.  "Tip" Chum for Sheepshead by scraping barnacles off with a shovel or scraper. These guys are known to steal your bait.  There nickname is the convict fish for a reason.  One they have stripes like a convict. Two they are great bait stealers. Make sure to bring plenty of bait with you.

Rigging for the Sheepshead

Use a Carolina rig with 20 to 15 pound fluorocarbon leader about 18 inches long.  A 1o to 2o circle hook with a 1 to 2 ounce egg weight depending on the current and wind conditions.

Black Drum

Black Drums love the cold weather and north east winds also.  Don't be surprised to hook into a "Aka" Big Ugly while you are Sheepshead fishing.  These guys like to sit in deep channels facing into the current waiting for a bait to drift by. Black Drums love blue crabs, live shrimp, and fiddler crabs.  They tend to fight hard right away and give up just as quick.


large pensacola bay black drum

Rigging for Black Drum

Carolina rig with 20 to 30 pound fluorocarbon leader with a 2/o to 3/o circle hook depending on bait size you may need to step up if you got some nice blue crabs. Use 1 to 2 ounce egg weight depending on the current.  4000 to 5000 series reel with 12 to 15 lb main line on a light to medium action rod.

A lot of people think its time to put the fishing gear away this time of the year.  I am here to tell you that here in Pensacola, Florida. It is the time of the year to get out there and fish.  November and December are one of my favorite times of the year. Hope everyone has a great holiday and gets a lot of time out on the water.


Author:  I am Captain Scotty Gerdine from Fish Time Fishing Charters in Gulf Breeze, Pensacola and Navarre Florida area. Specializing in Inshore fishing here in the Panhandle region for over 20 years now. Born and Raised here with the passion for fishing since I was a young teen.  My father gave me the skills and love for fishing on his boat.  He got me hooked with my first fish. Now I am living the dream to be on the water to share that experience with you. Check out my website at





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