Keaton Report June 21-22 2019

joey phillips

joey phillips

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2898 Joey Phillips of Columbus, Ga. with a 23.5” trout caught June 15

Keaton report June 22,23 /19

Please don’t ask me about the scallops because I was fishing Saturday(opening day) and the folks I asked ( as they drove by in the canal) got some, but much less than they hoped. I hope it was better’n that for the rest of y’all but by now I would guess the hordes have zeroed in on them, found their range and are finding enough to stay in the water.

The Fishing Saturday, however, was Great! on board One More Cast, for Clint Burkhalter, now of Steinhatchee , his brother-in-law Joey Phillips and his nephew Drew Phillips both of Columbus, Ga. who caught their limit of trout and two nice reds including a first-ever redfish for 12-year-old Drew. His 27” red was a beauty and was the largest fish of the trip. We had two trout over 20” including Joey’s 23.5” Sow, his largest–to-date! We caught half of our trout in 5.5 – 6.6 feet of water, then moved in and caught the balance and the reds in 3.5 – 4 ft. of water. All our fish came in on live pinfish fished 32” under a Back Bay Thunder.

That’s it this week except to say:

Be Careful out there and FLY YOUR DIVE FLAGS! It’s the LAW!

Keaton Report June 8,9-2019

Keaton Report June 7-8 2019

It is with Great sadness that I write a report tonight as I just now found out today that Travis Beach , past owner operator of Keaton Beach marina from 1993 – 2014(?) passed away on May 20, 2019.

I had seen Travis in his golf cart in the ramp parking lot the week before; then decided to take him some trout fillets after a solo trip of scouting only to find him stoved up at Sandy’s house where upon he told me he had slipped, fallen and broken two ribs.

I haven’t spoken to any of the family as I have just heard of their loss and am devastated that I was unaware of Travis’s passing.

Travis had vision along with his daughter Sandy and they built a remarkable business despite getting knocked down just month’s after he purchased KBM, When the un-named Storm ( March ‘93) literally destroyed the entire Marina store, motel rooms, docks etc. and left only the boat lift erect and defiant. Travis never blinked. He and Faye just put up an American Flag and rebuilt the Marina complex and had a tremendous business, while establishing Keaton Beach as a fun Family atmosphere and the Speckled Trout Capital of Florida. Travis and I stood together at the Trout Wars with the Florida Marine Fisheries folks in the 90’s and I recall Travis’ speech to the commissioners as he beseeched them not to increase the out-of-state licenses and not to reduce the trout creel. The Beach family should be very proud to have created such a community of which I was proud to have belonged. Many folks caught their first trout inshore or their first grouper offshore after asking advice from them. Thank You for all you did for me as I struggled to establish my guide service. Your generosity and professionalism made it delightful to work from your establishment.

Fishing report: We continue to catch Outstanding limits of Trout and reds despite water temps in excess of 87 degrees. Billy Pillow and I caught ten trout to 24” and two reds to 26” in an hour and twenty minutes

May 31-June 1, 2019

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blake bass

blake bass

2855 Blake Bass( 5 Y.O.) with his first – ever speckled trout 5/28/19

Keaton Report May 31, June 1 2019

Trout fishing couldn’t get any better than last week as I had limits on all my charters despite Gulf water temps from 86 in the a.m to 88.5 degrees in the afternoons.

Saturday was the exceptional day with a limit of 20 trout for Zack Cook his brother Nick from Woodstock , Ga. and Nathan Alexander of Chattanooga, Tennessee. We caught 7 trout over 20” kept a 26”, 25”, 23.5” and a 22” trout.

We caught the two largest in 2.4 ft. of water 88.6 degrees HOT while looking for redfish. Zack took top honors with the 26” fish which weighed right at 6 pounds! Oh it only took 3 hours to land our 20 trout. We had 8 bsb which I mostly caught on Stinky Pink Sea Shads along with my trout. The crew used live pinfish under Back Bay Thunders to land the balance of trout in 5.5 – 6.5 feet of water.

We had a keeper cobia Tuesday for Clark Bass with our 20 trout again all on live pinfish under Back Bay Thunders.

here is a report sent to me via email from Mark Moneyhan of Perry, Florida. :

Mark Moneyhan and his grandson Mark Alan Bray of Perry fished Monday between Bird Isle and Fish Creek Bird Rack in a 9 t. deep hole . “At 10:00 a.m. top of the hi tide we caught 7 keeper trout 16” –19“ & 4 black Sea Bass and released 6 short trout. When we cleaned the fish we found a seahorse in one of the bsb’s stomach. All the fish were caught on a Gulp New Penny 3” crawfish on a 1/6 oz. Redlead head jighead. You could title this report { “Grandfather and Grandson catch Seahorse on a Crawfish”}

I don’t see any reason why the deeper water patterns will change in the next few months as summer is obviously here. I had reports from several boats who caught trout in 8 –10 feet of water with a variety of methods including but not only; live shrimp, Gulp bounced, Assassin plastic bounced, Z-man bounced, and ‘Jigs under Corks” So if you are still in 3-5 feet .......Move out.

keaton report May 18-19 2019

Keaton Beach report 5/18,19/19

Trout continue to be cooperative , at least for my One More Cast charters, as we had a limit of trout for Cecil and Lynn Stalnaker of Ft. White , Florida Friday while fishing live pinfish under Back Bay Thunders. Lynn bested a 24” trout late in the day from 3.5 feet of water. Mostly though, we have been plying 5.5 – 6.5 ft. depths lately under that old Bermuda High pressure we were under last week. Shame we missed out on all that rain?

I am still catching some quality trout on Assassin’s Stinky Pink Sea Shads bounced on a chartreuse Flash 1/8 oz. jighead.

Here is a report from David Bosch of Tifton, Ga. who fished with his long-time friend Bil Gburek of Pennsylvania.”Fished from the 5th to the 10th with Bil Gburek from PA and a few other folks that joined us for a few days. Fishing was good, with periods of excellence. We picked up a number of nice trout to 24" and several nice reds to 29". Our best trout bite came toward late in the trip the mornings of the 9th and 10th on the falling tide in 3.5' of water. We were throwing a number of things, but had some very good luck on the 3.5” FishBites Fight Club Fight’n Shrimp in Beat Down color that you gave me at your seminar in Valdosta. Thanks for reminding me to pull it out and give it a try. I picked up a couple of nice 23" trout on the 2nd and 4th cast with that bait. We also caught fish on some of the sea shad ( Butt Kicker paddle tails) variety of the Fight Clubs. ( Dave told me he caught 20 keepers on the Fight’n Shrimp in less than two hours while Bil stubbornly tried other artificials and got his butt handed to him) Bil had good success with Z-man trout tricks in sexy mullet , We picked up a number of reds on red fish magic spinner baits with dark plastics. Water temps stayed pretty steady all week from 77 to 81. It was a great trip!”

Hey Don’t Forget this Saturday, May 18th is the Fishing For Vision charity Tournament from Sea Hag Marina in Steinhatchee.

Entry Fee $50.00 per angler with prizes of 1rst place $1,250, 2nd place $500 and 3rd place $250 paid for top 3 Trout and Top 3 Redfish!

Junior anglers 15 and under fish for top place $500 and 2nd place $250 for Trout and Redfish

This is a New tourney with proceeds going to the Kids Sight Foundation. For tickets contact Sea Hag Marina: 352-498-3008

lynn stalnaker of ft. white, fl.

lynn stalnaker of ft. white, fl.

keaton report May 10-11/ 2019

Keaton Beach Report May 10 –11 – 19

Trout were jumping in the boat Friday last when we had 19 trout and 8 bsb from 4.5 – 5.5 ft. then Saturday we had 15 trout and 9 bsb for Steven Cook, Daniel Cook and Matt Williams of Dallas , Ga . We had a 24.5 inch trout which hit an Assassin Sea Shad in the Stinky Pink pattern. Most of the trout ate live pinfish under Back Bay Thunders; while I had 3 other keeper trout on Stinky Pink Sea Shads on Saturday.

Billy Pillow and I had 10 trout , 3 on Stinky Pink Sea Shads and the balance on live pinfish from 6.5 – 7 feet of water Tuesday.

This week we had 15 trout, Wednesday, with a 25” 5.1 pound trout for Jake Spikes of Alapaha, Ga. his largest –to –date. His Dad, Mike Spikes and hi great grand Dad Troy Griner fished live pinfish to land their fish Wednesday from 5.5 – 6.6 feet of water.

David Bosch of Tifton and Bil Gburek of North Carolina caught their limit of trout Tuesday and Wednesday fishing with plugs and live pinfish from 4 –6 feet of water. David said he also had a limit of reds Tuesday on jig spinners..

Peng and his son Calvin Chee of Tifton, Ga. had their limit of trout Tuesday fishing with a mix of plastic, plugs and live pinfish.

Saturday, May 18th is the Fishing For Vision charity Tournament from Sea Hag Marina in Steinhatchee.

Entry Fee $50.00 per angler with prizes of 1rst place $1,250, 2nd place $500 and 3rd place $250 paid for top 3 Trout and Top 3 Redfish!

Junior anglers 15 and under fish for top place $500 and 2nd place $250 for Trout and Redfish

This is a New tourney with proceeds going to the Kids Sight Foundation. For tickets contact Sea Hag Marina: 352-498-3008

keaton report May 3,4 2019

editors sorry this is so late but had a busy day in Havana a the MFC commission meeting where the commissioners decided to postpone any action on the rule changes and are prepared to split the Northwest region into two parts with Pensacola to either Cape San Blas or Apalachicola as one and from the split to crystal river or perhaps Anclote the other. we will work with them to get this down and their staff was instructed to have public workshops as part of the process. their will most likely be some future rule changes but not as sever as the ones proposed by their staff today. It was a GOOD day! I have never been in front of a fisheries commission or council which were as attenative and fair as this MFC I commend them for their patience, diligence, and appreciation of the testimony which was presented to them by 20 different folks today. I look forward to the opportunity to work with their staff in any way which we can to help or provide information in the future.

Keaton Beach report

Last Sunday we had a Great day on the water with a limit of trout five bsb a nice 16” flounder and a 25” redfish. We caught all our fish in 4.5 – 5.5 feet of water with live pinfish under Back Bay Thunders.

Hey, this Saturday is the 28th Annual Perry Optimist Club Saltwater Tournament with cash and prizes Galore including $3,000 for the top Trout $1,000 for 2nd and $250 for 3rd place . Redfish pays $1,000 for 1rst and $500 for 2nd Place. $500 for the heaviest Cobia. Weigh-ins at Econfina, Keaton Beach and Steinhatchee. Entry fee is $50.00 per boat.Go to for more info.

keaton report April 26 2019

Keaton Beach Report April 26 –27 2019

Trout were better the first of the week when hi tides were mid-day and as the tide moved up into the afternoon the bite moved with it.

Sunday I limited out while scouting from 1:08 to 2:02 catching a 19”, 2- 18” and 2 - 17” trout and a 15 inch flounder. By Tuesday that bite had moved to 4:30 – 5:00 p.m.

We managed our limit Monday and another flounder catching only 3 trout until 3 p.m. then bringing in a limit by 4:30. We are fishing live pinfish under Back Bay Thunders in 3.5 – 4 feet of water.

here Is a report from David Bosch of Tifton, Ga.

“Fished Saturday 4/20 with Peng (Chee) and Nelson, also from Tifton. The weather was about what we expected, lots of wind, but more overcast than anticipated. The water was very stirred up, couldn't find any clean water anywhere. Still managed to pick up a limit of sea trout and an accidental red. The bite was sporadic through the rise, but we had a good bite at the last of the rise. All of our fish were caught in 3’-2' of water. Water temps started at 64 and bumped up a little bit to 66 by the end of the day. Had a wet ride in quartering the wind.”s

daniel cook, steven cook and matt williams

daniel cook, steven cook and matt williams

keaton report April 19 2019

Keaton Report April 19- 20

Trout fishing was great last weekend , if you could get away from the maddening crowds...Yikes most of these folks have no idea how to fish for Speckled Trout.

They simply don’t “get it” that you can’t drive a boat on top of trout and then expect them to bite. I counted 82 boats doing a full panoramic count around the boat

and then cranked up and got away from them with only 5 trout in the boat. We came in with our limit, 20 trout with three over 20”. We fished live pinfish under Back Bay Thunders

for Mike Norris, Cole Kent and James Brinson of Macon, Ga. 4.5 – 5.5 ft. was the ticket. We caught the majority of these fish on the falling tide as the “traffic” ruined the incoming.

Spoke to a half dozen boats who landed their limits Saturday also on the falling tide in the afternoon on various baits including but not limited to Assassin plastic, Cordell Redfins,

Z-Man plastic , Gulp and a few on live shrimp under Cajuns.

This weekend looks like a wash until Sunday; but trout should continue to please as water temps, which were around 75 degrees Tuesday, will keep them happy and feeding up.

Tournament Alert:

Hey there are a bunch of Tournaments coming up in the next few weeks including the 27th Annual Perry Optimist Club Saltwater Tournament , Saturday May 5, 2019,

with 3 weigh–In sites: Econfina River, Keaton Beach and Steinhatchee. Top Prizes include Trout $3,000, Redfish $1,000, and Cobia $500.

for more info on the tourney contact:

Saturday, May 18th is the Fishing For Vision charity Tournament from Sea Hag Marina in Steinhatchee.

Entry Fee $50.00 per angler with prizes of 1rst place $1,250, 2nd place $500 and 3rd place $250 paid for top 3 Trout and Top 3 Redfsh!

Junior anglers 15 and under fish for top place $500 and 2nd place $250 for Trout and Redfish

This is a New tourney with proceeds going to the Kids Sight Foundation. For tickets contact Sea Hag Marina: 352-498-3008

james brinson of Macon, Ga.

james brinson of Macon, Ga.

steven cook of dallas ,ga/

steven cook of dallas ,ga/

matt williams of dallas, ga.

matt williams of dallas, ga.

Keaton Report April 12 –13

Well as predicted, the fishing just got better and better as the water warmed up. Thursday last the water temp in the Gulf was 70 degrees in the morning when we went out. We caught limits each day with trout to 23” for Steven Cook of Dallus Ga. with Matt Williams and his son Steve from South Carolina. We brought back 19 Saturday with three over 20” . The FOG was tough all morning and we managed 9 trout then had 3 hours with out a bite. at 4:01 we caught a good trout maybe 18”, the next was Steven’s 23” sow . Well, we caught 8 more, for ten total, in an hour and 8 minutes . Quit at 5:09 p.m.

We fished live pinfish under Back Bay Thunders all week in 3.5 – 4.0 ft. while I caught some good trout myself on Assassin’s Sea Shads in Stinky Pink, and Glow /Chartreuse tail.

Jonathon Sisson and his wife continued to limit out Thursday and Friday and caught a 24” trout on a She Dog Friday a.m. ( daylight) and had 10 –15 more keepers after they limited out on a 7M MirrOlure. He said it was the most fun they’d had on the water in a long time.

Doug and Janine Garwood of Dalton, Ga. continued to throw ole Walmart plugs at the trout and had their limit each day Thursday through Monday of this week. Doug said the w-i-n-d Monday made for the best trip with several over 20” including a 24” and two 23” trout.

I expect it will just continue to be good if the weather will set things up rather than knock them down. Water temps were back up around 73 degrees Monday evening.

Keaton report April 5 – 6 2019

Up and down up and down so goes the yo-yo so goes the trout bite.

Sunday Billy and I caught a limit of trout in under an hour . Monday my charter struggled against the w-i-n-d and rain to get 3 keeper trout in the boat .cold cold cold.’

Tuesday Morning still cold and the water temps had dropped to 63 degrees down from 73 degrees Sunday afternoon. Yikes but after 4 + hours we had only two trout and a flounder in the boast ...but when the water hit 55 degrees that afternoon ( 4:00 p.m.) the trout turned on for us all. We brought in 16 trout in under an hour and a half . We caught 12 on plugs and Assassin Sea Shads under a Cajun Thunder with four on live pinfish under a Back Bay. Here are two more quick reports which happened the same day.

first, from Jonathon Sisson, down from Gainesville Ga. fishing with his wife( sorry forgotten her name) “ We went out at 10 a.m. At 2 had 4 keepers. Came in, had lunch and took a break. Went out at 4 finished our limit by 6. Top fish 22.5” “

from Doug and Janine Garwood of Dalton, Ga. “ we finished our limit around 4:30 caught a few in 4.5 ft. on BBB early, after the tide flopped we decided to move in shallow and in no time had a limit once the water got 64.5 (degrees) in 2.7 feet of water.”

Wednesday was altogether different with too little breeze and we struggled to land 12 keepers for 7+ hours all on live pins under Back Bays with one fish on a plug.

Keaton Report 3/22,23/19

What a difference a few days make?

Well, I fished Monday, mostly to catch the first pinfish of the year, for my trip Tuesday, as I have been using plugs and plastic or shrimp in some cases.

I caught about 75 then decided that I needed to go throw a plug a while.The water temperature of the Gulf had dropped ten degrees down to 62 from 71 degrees over the weekend.

I had a Northeast kick of 12 – 15 K and so I just ran in as shallow as I dared and started throwing the old GS (Walmart) Renegade ( marketed as a magnum lazer minnow)

My third cast I had a 19” trout; then three cast later an 18 incher. I finished with five trout including another 19’' fish, a 21” and a 16” to spoil the average. This took just an hour and ten minutes. it took longer to idle back up to the starting point than to drift and catch the fish.

Well, I had a trip Tuesday and when we pulled around the jetty the water was 59.6 degrees with a promise of “Mostly Sunny”. I don’t know who “Mostly” is but he didn’t show.

The Northeast 12 – 15 Knot breeze saw to it we couldn’t drift ; so we just crabbed sideways most of the day and as the tide was neutralized by that opposing w-i-n-d the fish were missing their oxygen mask .

Did I mention the w-i-n-d held the tide back so that we couldn’t get near an oyster bar, rock pile or a creek. That combined with the lack of sunlight and it was 3:00 p.m. before the water made it up to 61 degrees.

If I need any more excuses let’s just say the keeper trout out on the Gulf just didn’t want to bite. We managed 7 trout, six on live shrimp under Back Bay Thunders and the balance, despite I threw a bunch of different plugs and plastic; just one keeper on the same renegade which I caught them on the day before. 8 hours, 7 trout, long day. Yeah we threw back a couple dozen shorts maybe more I never count shorts anyway.

here’s a report from David Bosch of Tifton, Ga.

“Fished 3/16-3/17 with Chris and Carter Norman of Tifton and a crew of his family from Columbus, GA. Chris's uncle has a new boat and we were trying to familiarize him with the area. Had a good day on 3/16 catching fish from 9 am until around 2 pm through the rise and the first of the fall. That day we picked up fish in 3-5', with the most action in 3.5-4. 3/17 was slower with a later tide and a drop in the water temps. Again, most of our fish were in 3.5-4. The water temps held steady at 67 on 3/16 but dropped down to 62 on 3/17. All in all a great trip. We caught the sea trout on shrimp, pin fish, plastics, and a few on plugs.”

Quick Note: The South Georgia Saltwater Seminars were well received. We had 32 attendees in Thomasville last weekend and from the comments and emails it seemed folks enjoyed the talks and learned a bunch. Mike and I appreciate all the attendees and also want to thank all our sponsors. Bass Assassin, TrikFish, STAR Rods, MirrOlure, Cajun Thunder, Fish Bites, Flying Fisherman, Mikes Marine Supply, American Angler, Woods ‘N Water Magazine, Lure Lock
Big Bend Marine , & Sea Tow.

Keaton beach fishing report march 15 –16

Doesn’t get any better’n this folks!

Doug Garwood and Joe Duncan of Dalton, Ga. were down at Keaton for the entire week Wednesday to Wednesday and they caught their limit of trout each day with an redfish here and there for good measure. This pair caught their fish on the Walmart magnum lazer minnows ( Renegades we call them) which are out of production. This hard lipped jerkbait is just one plug folks used to catch a limit of reds on. Mark Casteel of Sylvester, Ga. was down fro Sunday last to this Sunday and he caught his limit each day on a few different plugs including but no only on Bite-A-Bait fighters, MirrOlure’s NEW “Skins” MirrOdines, and a few on Topwater stickbaits as well. Mark had a few reds each day and one day had a limit of trout for five on board!

The trout have been most cooperative during the last hour of the incoming tide and the first hour of the flop. 2.5 – 3 feet seemed to have produced the most fish while some have caught them in less. During our trips this past week I found fish on Paul Brown Devils , Assassin 5” shads fished un-weighted on a Daiichi 5/0 offset worm hook, in several colors, and on Bite–A-Bait Gold fighters. We also fished the ole Renegades to pick up a limit one day.

This weekend will have late morning High tides and the bite will probably wrap that Hi. there isn’t much range in the tide so patience will out and I wouldn’t expect as active a bite as we had on last week’s new Moon tides.

DON’T Forget! our 2nd South Georgia Saltwater Fishing Seminar is Saturday, at the Best Western 133 Liberty Street in Thomasville, Ga. at 10:00 a.m – 2:00 p.m.

Come Learn more about fishing the Big Bend Coast from me and Captain Mike McNamara of St. Mark’s Outfitters. $50.00 per person

Captains Mike McNamara and Pat McGriff Present:
South Ga. Saltwater Fishing Seminar Series
$50.00* per person: incudes: 4 Hours of Instruction,
Lunch, Captain’s Bags and Door Prizes Galore
10:00 a.m. til 2:00 p.m.

Thomasville: March 16, BEST WESTERN 133 Liberty Street

Contact Capt. Mike 850-510-7919
to register early, limited seating
* no refunds unless seminars are cancelled or re-scheduled
Sponsors; Bass Assassin, TrikFish, STAR rods, MirrOlure
Cajun Thunder, Fish Bites, Flying Fisherman, Mikes Marine Supply
American Angler, Woods ‘N Water Magazine, Lure Lock
Big Bend Marine , & Sea Tow


Keaton Report March 8,9 2019

Trout were eating it up before this front and hampered a might with the turbid water after the w-i-n-d had Howled such as Monday we were taken back from limits each trip to 5 keeper trout and one nice 27” red for Pat Meyerin of Perry, Fl. and her brother Joe of Jacksonville, Fl. Pat got the big red ( her largest to date) We fished around the bars and got two of our trout and caught a slew of short reds and then on bar number five she caught the beauty. We caught quite a few shorts in 2.5 -3 feet out off the bars as the water didn’t want to come in against the North wind after the negative tide early Monday morning. Gulf water temps had only dropped to 69 degrees down from 72 last week.

Last Friday we had easy limits of trout for Billy Pillow of Perry and Tim Wassberg ( an Outdoor videographer here to develop Tourism for Taylor County) Billy was killing ‘em on the old Walmart Renegades in Golden Shiner while I had Tim fishing a live shrimp under a Back Bay Thunder. We stayed in 3 – 3.5 feet of water finding fish outside and inside the bars. I caught a couple of nice trout on MirrOlure’s Catch 2000 in the Series III Electric Chicken pattern.

I would expect water temps to drop back down to 60 or just below for Friday a.m. then creep back up as we warm back up with 70’s for our Hi’s Saturday and Sunday. Plan to s-l-o-w back down by choosing MirrOdines , Soft-Dines, and other suspending baits instead of expecting strikes from trout on topwater and floating hard jerkbaits.

Hey, DON”T FORGET Capt. Mike McNamara of St. Marks Outfitters and I are having the first of our South Georgia Saltwater Seminar Series, this Saturday, March 9th,

in Valdosta, Ga. at the Holiday Inn exit #16 1805 W. Hill Ave. 10 a.m. til 2 p.m. $50.00 per person includes: 4 hours of Instruction, Captains Bags, Lunch and Door Prizes Galore!

Call Mike @ 850.510.7919 to reserve your spot. See You Saturday!

editors , here is the info on this and next weekends Seminars

Captains Mike McNamara and Pat McGriff Present:
South Ga. Saltwater Fishing Seminar Series
$50.00* per person: incudes: 4 Hours of Instruction,
Lunch, Captain’s Bags and Door Prizes Galore
10:00 a.m. til 2:00 p.m.
Valdosta: March 9th, Holiday Inn Exit 16, 1805 W. Hill Avenue
Contact Capt. Mike 850-510-7919
to register early, limited seating
* no refunds unless seminars are cancelled or re-scheduled
Sponsors; Bass Assassin, TrikFish, STAR rods, MirrOlure
Cajun Thunder, Fish Bites, Flying Fisherman, Mikes Marine Supply
American Angler, Woods ‘N Water Magazine, Lure Lock
Big Bend Marine, Manns' Bait Co.
and more to come onboard!

Keaton Beach Report March 1 – 2

Trout fishing doesn’t get much better’n this! Certainly not in February! I had limits for my charters six out of seven days from Saturday to Saturday.( oh yeah, I didn’t go Thursday last week) Friday we had two over 20” including a 24”, 4+ pound trout in the creel for Sam Shaw of Homerville, Ga. Saturday my crew of Charles and Allen Dodd of Quitman, Ga. caught their limit in an hour and two minutes, from 12:24 ‘til 1:26 p.m. This was 9 y.o. Allen’s first-ever trip to the Gulf for trout and reds and he caught both on live shrimp under Back Bay Thunders from 2.5 – 3.5 feet of water. We also took a slew of shorts. We also caught trout on Assassin’s Stinky Pink and Glow /green tail Sea Shads both bounced and fished under the Original Cajun Thunders.

I spoke to several boats who limited out including one couple from Jacksonville, Fl. who caught their fish on MirrOlure’s Top Dog Juniors (Clear/Gold) including a 26” fish for their best of the day! Many folks fished Catch 2000”s, MirrODines , Soft Dines, Cordell Redfins, and a myriad of Assassin plastic including Butt Naked, Pink Ghost, Limetreuse Ghost; to name but a few. Hard jerkbaits were also taking trout.

Redfish have eaten Gold and Copper HEX spoons, on board One More Cast this past week as well.

Gulf water temps went from 59 degrees last Saturday to 71 degrees this week! It’s on! Hope you get a chance to go.

HEY! Don’t Forget to come by and catch one of my free seminars: Saturday, March 2 at the Tallahassee Regional Boat Show, at the fairgrounds. I will be speaking at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Coastal Angler Tent. Come by and pick up some tips or learn more about fishing on the Big Bend Gulf coast for trout and reds.

Keaton Report Feb 22

Trout have recovered nicely over the last week as we had our limits Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with larger fish showing up in the creel once the water temps returned to 66 degrees by late Tuesday afternoon up from 59 degrees early Sunday. We fished live shrimp under Back Bay Thunders each day, throwing back 50 –70 shorts on the way to limits Sunday and Monday, while Tuesday our ratio of shorts to keepers improve to 2 : 1 so we didn’t have nearly the throw backs.

3.5 to 4 feet has been the magic for my charters and everything has come in over grass. Can’t seem to get those rock eating devils to feed and have caught less than 4 trout while up around the rocks while looking for reds. 3/4 of our Keepers were coming in on the incoming tides then the balance took the first hour of the fall. Then Tuesday, we had our limit in under four hours all during the incoming; but the extreme low combined with a 15 knot east w-i-n-d delayed our start ‘til 10:00 a.m. we were done by 2:00 p.m.

We also caught a few fish on Assassin’s 5” in the Limetreuse and Arkansas patterns earlier in the week, while Tuesday saw a couple of trout taken on plugs.

This weekend should be specktacular with predictions of 80+ degrees Highs look for plug action to improve and more of the larger trout to warm back up and become active like they were a week ago.

DON”T Forget to come by and see me at the Tallahassee Regional Boat Show , Tallahassee Fairgrounds, ( March 1 –3 ) I will be giving Trout and Redfish seminars at the Coastal Angler Tent Saturday, March 2 at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Keaton Report February 1 , 2 2019

Well, it is February and wouldn’t you know it it is cold as February.

last Saturday folks who went caught fish late in the last few hours of the day .

The Griggs boys were down from Phenix City, Alabama and caught their limits in less than an hour on Paul Brown originals in 2 ft . of water.

Where?...... well I guess you’d have to ask them. David Parker down from Columbus, Ga. also found trout but all of them were over the slot. David was in less than 2 ft. of water south.

That’s all I have except to announce that captain Mike McNamara and I will be giving a 4 hour seminar series starting with March 9th in Valdosta, Ga at Holiday Inn exit 16 10:00 a.m. til 2:00 p.m.

$50 per person. includes lunch, Captain;s Bags and Plenty of Door Prizes.

Check out February’s Woods ‘N Water ad with complete info on the seminars

or call Captain Mike:850.510.7919 to reserve your seat.

Stay tuned to Big Bend Coastal Angler Facebook page for complete info soon.

Keaton Report December 21 –22

Short and sweet!

Trout are biting, Water temps are 60 – 62 degrees this past weekend and first of the week.

Trout are responding to lipped hard jerkbaits, suspending baits , Candy Corn Sea Shads by Assassin and a few on shrimp under Cajuns.

The forecast of ever-warming air temperatures; mid 70’s through Christmas and beyond, looks like a fantastic time to go fishing.

Here is a report from Bob Pennington who fished with Jack Turner , both from Warner Robins, Ga. Saturday through Monday.

“Fish Report yesterday..water temp 62! ( Sunday now) Started fishing at 12:30, limit in 1 hr. in 2.5 to 3 ft. All on Redfins above Dekle. Caught a lot of fish above Dekle until 1 hr. before dark.”

”Fished 3 days, cleaned limit each day with 2 over 20” each day. 80 keepers over 16" on clicker. Last 2 released this morning was a 19" and 25". Most on Redfin, others on candy corn grubs. Fish scattered so had to stay at it. Caught from 8 am to 4 pm so any tide in 2 - 3.5 ft. “

Folks can’t be any easier than that so Let’s Go Fishing!

Keaton Report December 8 –9 2018

55 degrees is tough to fish when it is the first time they have been that cold since last winter.

57 was the turning point , or should I say “turn on” point last Friday when I had the McCulloughs from Tennessee out and we fished 6 hours for three fish then in less than an hour we put 10 in the boat and threw back two dozen more. We couldn’t get a bite for three hours. tough... We caught our trout on MirrOdines, Catch 2000’s Assassin’s 5” un-weighted on a 5/0 Daiichi offset worm hook and some on live shrimp under a Back Bay Thunder. The afternoon bite was in 3 – 3.5 ft. of water and was triggered by the current of the incoming tide. All morning the w-i-n-d was opposing the outgoing tide and keeping the necessary oxygen out of the equation, then when the two got together it was on.

This midweek’s cold snap will further hamper the bite on the open gulf; but should move trout towards the larger spring–fed creeks . Paul Brown originals , Devils and Fat Boys will take trout now as will the Soft-Dines and MirrOdines. S-l-o-w is the key when water temps drop below 55 degrees.

Keaton Report November 30 December 1

Don’t say I didn’t tell you. I told you it was as good as it gets... well Everyone I talked to caught a limit Saturday

when the Southwest breeze came up for the first time in weeks the trout were just eating it up. Folks caught them on topwater, hard jerkbaits, suspending baits, live bait, soft plastic and plastic under an Original Cajun Thunder.

But Capt. David Malone and his son, Allen and I went Friday and caught six trout quick in the 15+ knot breeze around 8:30 to 9:00 a.m. five on a

Assassin 5” rigged on an offset 5/0 Daiichi worm hook un-weighted (Chartreuse Ghost) and one on a Renegade plug while fishing 2 – 2.5 feet of water.

Then when the tide finally pushed back against the w-i-n-d they quit as quickly as they started so we went looking for reds and released a 26” red and kept a 21” red.

After two trout mixed with the reds we moved out to 5.5 ft. and caught 7 nice keeper trout in as many casts on live shrimp under Back Bay Thunders.

Saturday, I had Jim, Zack and Kendall Bruchey of Moultrie, Ga. and we left the dock at 9:30 and we had 20 trout with three over 20” by 12:00 noon. We picked up four keeper red fish and came on in around 2:30 - 3:00 p.m.

We fished with live pinfish and shrimp under Back Bays in 3.0 – 3.5 feet of water.

This report from Dave Bosch of Tifton, Ga.

“Fished on 11/23 with Calvin and Peng Chee also of Tifton. Finished with a limit of SST( spotted Sea Trout) and reds with our 3 SST over 20. Caught the first half early in the rising tide on plugs. Calvin had great success with the Rapala X-rap. We also caught a few on Catch-2000's and Bite-a-baits. The Catch was red/white, the Bite-a-Bait in clown. Switched over later to shrimp when the sun came up higher and caught most of the balance and reds on those. We caught most of our fish in 2.5-3.0 before the tide came up and 4' later on. Great time on the water, water temps started out a cool 56 warming to 62.”

Cecil Stalnaker of Ft. White , Fl.

Cecil Stalnaker of Ft. White , Fl.

Photo Cutline:

2614 Donna and Wayne Walker of Gainesville, Florida with their catch from 11/8/18


2614 Donna with a 4+ lb. 23.5” trout taken 11/8/18

Keaton Report 11/15-16/18

Trout have been simply ‘off the chain’ as the kids would say before this latest Blow Saturday. We had six days of limits in a row for my charters. We had perhaps the heaviest box of fish, since the spring, last Thursday, for Donna and Wayne Walker of Gainesville, Florida. We had two trout over 23” and a 22” trout as well. Wayne lost a 7+ pound Spanish at the boat and we had a 5+ pound Spanish in the box . Wayne also caught two sand trout, while not so unusual, yet he caught them on live pinfish and the largest one was touching 17 inches! Six Black Sea Bass were also in the mix.

Water temps are coming back up and holding around 70 degrees; but will be going back down by time this is published. We were fishing mostly with live pinfish under Back Bay Thunders and the fish were cooperating in 3.5 feet all the way out to 6.5 feet of water just depending on which conditions you had either calm or breezy. We took good keeper trout each trip on Assassin’s 5” shads in Limetreuse Ghost and Arkansas Shiner. I have also caught a bunch of fish on Assassin’ NEW Chartreuse /White Sea Shad both bouncing and rigged up under an Original Cajun Thunder.

I would expect the colder weather this weekend to shift the live bait bite over to shrimp and if the water temps get below 65 degrees, we should see some suspending baits take trout in the shallows. I would try MirrOdines and Catch 2000’s.