As a lifetime Perdido Key resident I could go on forever about all the things that this area has to offer. This blog will focus primarily on fishing and dining around Perdido Key. This area holds an abundance of inshore and offshore species and offers endless opportunities for both traditional anglers and spearfisherman.
Perdido key sits roughly 7 miles in between Pensacola Pass and Perdido Pass in Alabama. This allows easy access to the Gulf of Mexico. With a short run in the Gulf, anglers can have opportunities to catch giant Blue Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Wahoo. These are pelagic fish and live close to the surface. They can be caught nearly year-round but the best times are in the spring and fall. Traditionally, they are caught by trolling artificial baits behind a boat to mimic a school of fish. However, there are other ways of catching these fish. Including: chumming, and using live baits.
For people who like to stay closer to shore our Red Snapper fishing is second to none. snapper lives on the Gulf floor and can weigh in excess of 20 pounds. Summer usually marks the start of Snapper season in our area. Anglers are allowed 2 Red Snapper per person. There are several methods to catching Snapper but the general idea is to anchor your boat above a structure that is known to hold the fish. Then send a bait to the bottom and wait for them to bite. When conditions are right it doesn’t take long to get a strike, for this reason, Snapper has become a favorite for locals and visitors alike.
Inshore anglers will have no shortage of species to target. Inside our miles of national seashore offer some of the best Speckled trout, and Red fishing there is. There are no needs for a boat when fishing for these species. Anglers can wade out into our miles of grass flats and have plenty of opportunities at these fish. Trout and Red Fish can also be caught at night near dock lights. Live shrimp is usually the go-to bait for catching them, but artificial lures can be equally as effective.
Another inshore favorite is Flounder. Flounder is a delicious fish that live close to the bottom. The preferred bait is a live Bull minnow coupled with a fluorocarbon leader. Flounder can also be speared at night. This method of catching them is called “Gigging” It’s done by attaching lights to a shallow water boat and easing along the shoreline using the lights to locate the fish on the bottom. Then you use a spear to “gig” them. This method is a local favorite and a lot of fun.
The only thing better than catching all of these delicious fish is eating them! There are lots of amazing restaurants in Perdido Key and several within golf cart distance of Redfish Harbor. Two local favorites are Fisherman’s Corner and The Perdido Key Breakfast Club. Fishermans Corner is an outstanding restaurant located within golf cart range of Redfish Harbor and their fried grouper dinner is the best there is anywhere. If you’re looking to try some amazing seafood I would start here. However, my personal favorite restaurant is the Flora Bama yacht club.
The Flora Bama yacht club is located on the Florida/Alabama state line. Across the street from its big sister the Original Flora Bama. The “Yacht Club” (as locals refer to it) is more of a daytime/lunchtime hangout whereas the Original Flora Bama is more of a night orientated establishment. One of the things that makes the “yacht club” my favorite place is that you’re allowed to beach your boat directly in front of the restaurant and have the chef on duty prepare whatever catch you bring them! Some of my favorite memories are hanging out with my friends on the boat listening to live music while we have our days catch prepared for us.
If you would rather cook your own seafood than have someone else prepare it you won’t have to travel far. Perdido Bay Seafood is in golf cart range of Redfish Harbor and offers delicious fresh seafood. They’re also a great source of information for local charter boats and recipes. If you want to try seafood at home this is the place to go. If you’re new to cooking seafood at home I would start by cooking a piece of Tuna on an outdoor grill. Simply marinate a tuna steak in a zip lock bag and then cook it over medium heat until medium-rare.
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