Back after 30 years

This is where you can find the Pier fishing reports, Pier photos of those huge fish, and other information. This is a beautiful place to walk along the Pier and shoot memory photos of the Pier and Navarre Beach. Bring your camera and post your Pier photos here!
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Tom-TN
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Sun May 05, 2013 11:19 am

Hello All,
I am new to this forum, and really look forward to absorbing some of the great info I have been reading. I use to fish the panhandle piers during spring breaks while in high school back in the late 70's and a couple years after graduating before getting married and enlisting into the Army. After 30 years, we returned for a vacation to Navarre last year and I fell in love with the panhandle piers again. I was shocked (in a good way) at the condition and length of the Navarre pier, what a monster. I currently live and work near Nashville, Tennessee. We have decided to travel back for some spring pier fishing and hope to do this every year. This year we will be staying in Navarre from May 18th to the 22nd, and I hope the cobia are still running. I also plan a day trip to the Pensacola and Okaloosa piers. I still have some of my old gear (Penn 704z and a 712z), and look forward to using them again for the purpose of what they were bought for. I also have some older style Penn "SS" series, 1- 8500, 1- 7500, 2- 6500, and a 4500. I have upgraded all but one rod, and I think I have all the tackle I need. I look forward to fishing again, and having some good conversations like in the past while watching the distant water for those dark shadows. I hope my eyes can still spy a cobia a couple hundred yards out. If anything has changed, or new rules have been revised, please let me know. Thanks, take care and I will see ya'll in a couple weeks.................Tom
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AngelGirl
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Sun May 05, 2013 1:27 pm

Welcome back home, Tom of Tennessee! (BTW We have friends at Franklin! They love it there, too, although from Gulf Breeze.)

Enjoy the fishin'!

Blessings,
A.G.
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Once again, Jesus spoke to the people and said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12 BSB
Tom-TN
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Tue May 07, 2013 6:56 pm

Thanks Angelgirl. I can't wait to be back on that pier in a couple weeks.........
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bjrichus
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Wed May 08, 2013 7:02 am

Thirty years?

WOW... and welcome back to the coast.

I've been to Navarre twice this year so far and am just about ready to start planning a third trip in the fall sometime. Once the kids have all gone back to school perhaps?

I'm missing not being able to walk along the beach... :?
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PensacolaKid
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Wed May 08, 2013 11:31 am

Tom,

Welcome back. Frankly I am shocked that Navarre could enter your spirit 30 years ago and it has taken you this long to return. However, we are glad to have you and I am sure Navarre will be glad to accept your dollar bills.

I do have a suggestion for you, skip the Okaloosa and Pensacola Piers. The longest one on the Gulf and probably in the top three nationally is the Navarre Beach Pier. You need not visit any place else. You will catch the same fish. Two weeks ago, I actually walked out on the Pensacola Pier for old time's sake. Trust me, very good pier but does not hold a candle to Navarre.

As for Cobia...there will always be a chance but you will probably be a bit too late. The Kings and Spanish and Pompano will be running and who knows, maybe a few Mahi and even Sailfish. Yes, a handful of Sails have been taken off the Navarre Pier.

Just across the bridge on the mainland and about a 1/4 mile to the east is Half Hitch Bait and Tackle. They can set you up with anything and everything.

Enjoy your stay and I wish you great memories and tight lines.
Tom-TN
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Wed May 08, 2013 8:20 pm

Thanks everyone for the warm welcomes. I am so excited to be back on the panhandle and fish the piers again. I hope to meet some of you and have great conversations while there. If you see a black silverado with a Tennessee (Army tag) on the rear , and a veterans tag on the front, I will be on the pier. I will have a green 4 wheel cart with 6 rod holders on it. Please come by and say hello. Also, thanks for the info on the tackle shop. I will be sure to stop by. I am always looking for new gear, maybe a custom cobia rod. I currently have a Bass Pro Cobia Special which I really like, but I really want a nice second rod. Take care.............Tom
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PensacolaKid
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Thu May 09, 2013 8:01 am

And thank you for your service to this country!
Tom-TN
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Sun May 12, 2013 9:26 pm

Thanks PensacolaKid. This is going to be a long week at work. I am so excited. My wife says I am crazy. I have been working on my gear for a couple weeks now. I have my cart prepacked and fine tuned. Should be a lot more comfortable using a cart, then it was 30 years ago when I carried everything out in my hands and over my shoulders. Take care, and hope to meet some of ya'll in a week. I should start fishing next Sunday morning.........Tom
Tom-TN
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Tue May 28, 2013 9:24 pm

Just got back to Tennessee after our trip to the coast. I fished 4 days on the Navarre pier (except for a morning of cigar minnow fishing at Okaloosa), and had a absolutely great time. I met some great people and enjoyed every conversation I had. I caught hardtails, skipjack, remora, bluefish, spanish, redfish, sharks and had 4 king runs. I had a solid (25/30 pound class) king hook up, and flipper decided he wanted him for dinner. At the advise of another angler, I opened the bail and let him try to outrun flipper (which he did). However, when I was down to approximately 40 yards of line, I had no choice but to close the bail. It didn't take but a few second for flipper to get him. He made his way close to the pier once, and I was able to recover all of my line. Some of the guys fired their cobia jigs, trying to scare flipper in hopes of him dropping my king, no luck, and he took off for Ft Walton. When I was almost spooled again, I grabbed the spool and broke him off. Even though I was disappointed for loosing my first king after returning after 30 years, it was a great experience. Will I return, HECK YES! I plan to travel back to Navarre in early April next year, in hopes of seeing and hooking up with some cobia. Thanks for all the hospitality. Take care..............Tom
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PensacolaKid
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Wed May 29, 2013 7:25 am

Tom, so glad you made it home safely and that you have some sweet memories to carry you through till next April. Although, you know TN is not that far of a drive to come down for a long weekend. That King hookup will be with you for ever, won't it. I know I can still feel just about every King hit I have ever had. Spanish too! I have even caught 2 Mahi-Mahi off the pier and both were bigger than chicken dolphin. Both caught on a bubble rig. It is a memory maker isn't it? Anyway, glad you had a super time. It is tough to leave isn't it.

Did you make it over to Half Hitch Bait & Tackle?
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lvthebch
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Wed May 29, 2013 6:53 pm

Tom-TN wrote:Just got back to Tennessee after our trip to the coast. I fished 4 days on the Navarre pier (except for a morning of cigar minnow fishing at Okaloosa), and had a absolutely great time. I met some great people and enjoyed every conversation I had. I caught hardtails, skipjack, remora, bluefish, spanish, redfish, sharks and had 4 king runs. I had a solid (25/30 pound class) king hook up, and flipper decided he wanted him for dinner. At the advise of another angler, I opened the bail and let him try to outrun flipper (which he did). However, when I was down to approximately 40 yards of line, I had no choice but to close the bail. It didn't take but a few second for flipper to get him. He made his way close to the pier once, and I was able to recover all of my line. Some of the guys fired their cobia jigs, trying to scare flipper in hopes of him dropping my king, no luck, and he took off for Ft Walton. When I was almost spooled again, I grabbed the spool and broke him off. Even though I was disappointed for loosing my first king after returning after 30 years, it was a great experience. Will I return, HECK YES! I plan to travel back to Navarre in early April next year, in hopes of seeing and hooking up with some cobia. Thanks for all the hospitality. Take care..............Tom
So glad you had a good time...fun to read your fishing stories!



Tom-TN
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Wed May 29, 2013 9:54 pm

PK, yes, I visited the Half Hitch a couple times. First thing I did was buy one of their 8 foot king rods. I wanted to replace a 7 footer I had. That was the rod I caught all my large fish and sharks with. It performed very well and I will be buying another to replace the other 7 footer I have. I also plan to purchase one of the heavier cobia rods too, to go along with my BPS Cobia Special. I stocked up on hooks and single strand wire leader material for kings. I also purchased a some shirts, a couple bubble rigs (something new to me), a couple Got-cha's and a couple more cobia jigs to go with the 40 I already have. It was nice seeing a fully stocked tackle shop in Navarre. This allowed me more fishing time, as it saved me from taking a couple trips to BPS in Destin. Overall, my wife and I were really surprised to see how much the Panhandle has changed in 30 years as we drove around. We also found some good food too. I really wish I could have stayed for a couple more weeks, but I only have 3 weeks vacation for now. I really hate wishing my life away, but it's going to be a long year waiting for next spring. Take care.......Tom
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