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  Apalachicola, FL - tips for a greenhorn??

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Author Topic:   Apalachicola, FL - tips for a greenhorn??
kingfish posted 03-17-2003 10:53 AM ET (US)   Profile for kingfish   Send Email to kingfish  
I guess this post falls under the portion of the heading entitled, "Trips..."-

It looks like I will tow my Outrage 22 down to the Appalachicola area for a long week, 3/20 thru 3/28. Never been anywhere in the panhandle before...I hope to spend about every minute of daylight aboard the boat, fishing inshore and offshore, as conditions permit, and cruising/exploring.

So to the point of my post: Are there any tips from locals, or from those who have boated and fished in the area, as to things or spots not to miss? Or things or spots to be sure to miss? Any and all comments welcome and appreciated-


Bigshot posted 03-17-2003 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
If ya hit Panama Beach, Dusty's has the best and cheapest Oysters and cold beer. Right on the beach, ask anyone in Panama.
kingfish posted 03-17-2003 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Thanks, Bigshot-

Love those oysters, though the Apalachicola oysters will be new to me - I have developed a taste for oysters served in New Orleans which I understand to come generally from the Mississippi delta, so I'm looking forward to these.

Sorry my timing is such that I can't slide down and make Boatweek - I'll be on the highway heading back North...

Bigshot posted 03-17-2003 03:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
These probably come from N'orleans as well but they may be local. Like $2.50/doz until 7pm I think. Last time I was there I slammed like 6-7 doz to my head.
David Jenkins posted 03-19-2003 09:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins     
Can I tell you my oyster story or is that too much off topic?
jameso posted 03-20-2003 10:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
Hope this is not too late,
Bay City lodge, only place to stay! Great old fishing camp with good dockage and resturant. Old Appalach is a good place for the brews too.
Enjoy, Jim Armstrong
Bigshot posted 03-20-2003 01:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
David......for you nothing is off topic :)
gunnelgrabber posted 03-20-2003 10:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for gunnelgrabber  Send Email to gunnelgrabber     
Some more ideas...there is a nice public ramp/dock there under the big bridge going into Apalach, you can do a tour of the town from it very easily.Bay City Lodge is a great place to explore Apalachicola River,Lake Wimico and points west on ICW.
Out front of Apalachicola,Sykes Cut is always interesting,as are Little St.George and St. Vincent's island.They are all different and interesting.
You really need to trailer the short distance around the corner to Port St.Joe and go explore that Bay and long peninsula (north of the campground at the end of the road).It goes for miles and it's fantastic!...the water and sand and solitude look like those "It's better in the Bahamas "ads . Have a good trip!...lm
David Jenkins posted 03-23-2003 08:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins     
Four years ago in Oxford, MD I met an oyster boat at the dock and bought enough fresh oysters to fill an ice chest. I then covered the oysters with ice and drove to Durham. We had oyster this and oyster that but on the third day we still had oysters left. So I sat out on the back porch and set to work shucking them. (They had remained covered with ice the entire time.) One of the oysters opened relatively easily and inside I found a small fish rather than an oyster. My daughter looked at it and said, "daddy, I just saw it move!" So we dropped the 1.5"-long fish in a glass of water and it started swimming around. It lived about half of an hour. After being in an oyster shell on ice for three days!

So then I started paying more attention to what was inside the shells. We got to looking very closely at the oysters themselves and we noticed small worms swimming in the oyster juice. In every oyster shell! Since then, I have given up eating them raw and have taken to dropping them in boiling oil.

kingfish posted 05-18-2003 08:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I was just snooping around this morning and came across some posts to this thread that I didn't know had been made, or I would have responded sooner. They apparently came in after I had packed and left for the trip, and I never looked back at the thread after I got home. Sorry...

Anyway, thanks to all who posted, and for those of you who mentioned Bay City Lodge, all I can say is, Right On! Clark Roberts had recommended Bay City Lodge to me in an earlier e-mail, and my son and I had reservations there already, before I posted my initial questions. It was perfect, and in fact I hesitate to recommend it to others, because it seems like such a wonderfully undiscovered secret.

I can tell you we were the only "yankees" around (my word, not theirs), but the "rednecks" (their word, not mine) took Chris and me under their wings like we were family. The guys that run the place, Jim who owns it, his sister who runs the restaurant and everyone we met, showed us what Southern hospitality must be intended to mean.

We left the boat slipped right there and went out all day every day but two (on those days there was some rain and we only went out a half day). Through "Bear"'s instructions we got onto the tide patterns on St. Vincent point (the "bar") and got to catching reds (and spots and black drum) when some guides weren't doing any good. We went out to a fishing spot my charts showed that turned out to be a pile of rubble from the old causeway a couple times, about 25 miles, and had some luck but on the second time there I hooked something on the bottom that took my bait (a filet from a grunt I had caught earlier) and simply left the scene. It ran off a couple of hundred yards of 50# line from my 4/0 Penn rig bent over double before it broke or chewed the 80# grouper leader and kept right on leaving. Might have been a nurse shark (or a submarine).

We accompanied a couple of guys on another day, us with Outre' and them with about a 25' cat, about 35 miles out to an old Exxon template that rose about 40' up from 100 feet of depth, and caught a bunch of modest grouper and snapper. We were fishing frozen squid, but the guys in the cat had live bait and got into some really nice amberjack.

We also ran up the ICW on another day to St. Joseph Bay and, marking fish, we dropped lines over right in the channel about 3/4 mile out from the mouth of the Gulf County Canal. We caught a bunch of nice spanish mackerel and a 36", 20# redfish! I was using my light tackle that I fish smallmouth and northerns back home, 12# line, and it took 40 minutes to get him in with Chris at the helm keeping us close to our work while I tired him out.

We were rednecks too, by the time we had to pack up and go home (and red ears and red noses, etc.). We can't wait to go back again, when the fishing isn't so slow (their words, not mine!).

Thanks again-


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