If you haven’t had your head stuck in the sand for the last two to three weeks, you’ve heard the words "social distancing" many, many times.


Well folks, fishermen have been practicing social distancing for years on the water. I can recall times of social distancing with my brother Jerry down on the flats of the Apalachicola River or at Lake Talquin. Him on one end of the bass boat and me on the other, plenty of room in between, with a nice breeze blowing and waiting to feel that bump or tug on the line.



Here on the Emerald Coast, where we are practically surrounded by water with the Gulf of Mexico to the south and the Choctawhatchee Bay and rivers to the north, we are very blessed to be able to get out on the water and practice some of that social distancing.


If you own a boat and are able to get out on the bay, word is the trout and redfish are thick and biting pretty good right now.


I’ve heard reports that somebody caught a 27-inch trout in the bay using about a 6-inch mullet for bait. Usually if you want to catch a big one, you’ve got to use a bigger bait, and in this case, it paid off.


I’ve also seen photos of some nice catches of Spanish mackerel in recent days.


Pete Wright of The Ships Chandler said the Spanish have been showing up right in the harbor behind their business. The Spanish are also showing up along the beach and near the Destin Coast Guard Station on an incoming tide. So get out there and practice a little social distancing and troll a spoon or two.


Triggerfish season is open through May 1 and is still plentiful.


As for amberjack, it doesn’t open until May 1.


But the amberjack is still fun to hook up with and right now they are showing up on a lot of the structures in close.


And although the cobia tournaments for this year have been canceled, nobody informed the cobia and they are still making their run.


As a matter of fact, I saw on Facebook where one was caught off the pier in recent days.


With the weather getting increasingly better as the week goes on, so should the outlook for cobia.


So even though we can’t load up with a bunch of folks on a boat and go, we can take a few in number and spread out. Practice safety and social distance.