Nighttime Redfishing in the Panhandle

Yes it is cold and dark, but the water is deep and the fish are everywhere. The place is Philip Dane Beall, Sr., Memorial Bridge, (AKA 3 mile bridge) spanning across Pensacola bay connecting Gulf Breeze to Pensacola. The old fishing bridge next to it was damaged by hurricanes and some of it fell into the water creating nice bottom structure for everything from Pinfish to sharks to hang.

If you are going to fish make sure you dress appropriately, as the wind has been known to pick up quite a bite during the night, and be ready to paddle or peddle as the current does flow quickly. During the winter months though is when the best fishing will be had. The white trout are so thick that within minutes of putting your kayak in the water you will have as many as you like for the redfish to feed on. As the night proceeds you will find that you can fish anyway you choose, whether bumping the bottom with a jig, sight casting with a top water lure or just relaxing and letting the fresh trout you just caught swim off the bottom. The big Red drums are for sure to give you the action you are looking for. You may even be in for a treat, and a chase, as they have been known to bite that little 1/8 ounce jig on lite tackle that you were using to catch the trout on. Then it’s all you can do to keep them out of the pilings and snapping your line.

Fishing the lights is the key as each one will hold its share of fish, as we found out on the 19th of January; over 30 were caught that night ranging from 24 to 42 inches. Don’t forget a friend; you will need someone to take a good pic of you holding that trophy Red drum and share in the experience of a lifetime.

Eric Kaiser
OFR Pro Staff



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