Georgia-Florida Fishing Report - Fishing Tips, Trips, Tricks and Techniques

Carrabelle and Lanark Village, FL Fishing Tips and Techniques

Here comes the good stuff in my mind from The Georgia-Florida Fishing Report. How can we catch some fish in this beautiful, basically untouched area of the Big Bend at Carrabelle and Lanark Village, Florida?  

If you don't believe that this area produces fish, check out some of the trip photos here!

Photos taken on Lanark Village/Carrabelle, FL fishing trips.

Bet this will make a believer out of you. All of these fish were caught at Dog Island Reef and/or Bird Island which is also called Lanark Reef.  This unspoiled area of Florida has yielded some unbelievable catches for us over the years.

This photo was taken on one of our first trips to Lanark Village/Carrabelle, FL and it was a good one as you can tell.  Showing off our catch for the day is my Dad (Dewey Richardson) and Uncle Ben Lindsey, Sr.

Another productive trip to Lanark Village/Carrabelle, FL taken with my Dad again and father-in-law, Albert Hudson (right) of Mt. Airy, GA in Habersham County, GA.  Here are the guys showing off some nice spotted sea trout.

That's me at the top and Dad with little bro, TE in the background fighting fish at Dog Island Reef.  Dog Island is a small inhabited island only accessible by boat or airplane.  It is part of the barrier islands common to this part of Florida.  Dog Island is a little East of St. George Island and Dog Island Reef is just East of Dog Island.

A truckload of fish taken by 8 fishermen including myself, Taylor Richardson, Troy Davis, John Ellenberg, Dewey Richardson, Ben Lindsey, Sr., James Bratcher, and Terry Richardson.

Photo of Dad and I.  What happens on a fishing trip stays on a fishing trip.

A much younger nephew, Taylor Richardson showing off a 5 gallon bucket full of some pretty Lanark Village/Carrabelle, FL trout

Little brother TE is shown here with a very nice spotted sea trout.

Another nephew of mine, Grant Richardson, and his best friend showing off some beautiful sea trout on their first ever saltwater fishing trip to Lanark Village/Carrabelle, FL

Dad (left), Me (middle), Terry (right) with the day's catch.

A rowdy crowd fishing at Lanark Village, FL.  From L to R:  Ben Lindsey, Sr., Dewey Richardson, James Bratcher, Ben Lindsey, Jr., Alvin Richardson, Terry Richardson, and Taylor Richardson

Now that's a redfish!!!  Little brother TE took this trophy almost at dark on a Gulp Shrimp.  The seas were smooth as glass.  Great way to end the day.

Those photos make me want to go fishing at Carrabelle/Lanark Village, FL

Let me start by telling you what I will try to cover on this page. I will go into more detail about each, but let me first give you some highly useful website links for you to peruse through and we'll talk more about each of these as we continue to work on this page.

Carrabelle/Lanark Fishing Tips and Techniques.

This is an online link to the interactive NOAA map of the area around and including Carrabelle and Lanark Village. Zoom in to see the depths and different landmarks and reefs located in this great fishing location.

When using the map of the area, look for these hot spots where we have had some tremendous success over the years.  Dog Island, Dog Island Reef, Lanark Reef (called Bird Island), Turkey Point, Alligator Bay, Ochlochonee Shoals, and Lighthouse Point to name a few.

This link will take you to the Lanark Market Facebook page.  It is a great place to launch your boat and also talk to the owner, Carson, to see what's on the menu for supper.  He has been a huge help to us on our recent trips. Cost is $10 per day to launch and it is tricky the first few times getting out

Exactly what it sounds like it is.
This is's website

           A.  Solunar table 2

           B.  Solunar table 3
All 3 of these links will give you some of the best fishing tides and solunar/lunar tables for fishing the area around Lanark Village and Carrabelle, FL.  Good to know when the best times are supposed to occur.

5. Local Bait shops-Lanark Village Market  also called Lanark Mart.
Same as above with boat ramp and most anything you need to fill your cooler with fish, food, ice, and drinks.  Also has fuel.

We usually stop here on our way in to pick up necessary tackle, but the info you can get from the owners and locals is invaluable.

We sometimes will stop here going into Panacea and Lanark Village/Carrabelle, FL to get licenses and other tackle we know we might need from the get-go.

Sometimes the best information comes from those salties that live in the area. Most of these bait shops will shoot you straight if you spend some time and a little cash in their store.

6.  Most effective baits to use for some of the species you will encounter.  I really don't have any links to help you with this except to go to the bait shops listed earlier.  I will talk about these baits as the Georgia-Florida Fishing Report posts more tips and techniques for the Big Bend.  You can see photos of these toward the end of the page as well.

One bait of choice for us at Carrabelle and Lanark Village, FL has been Gulp Shrimp in various colors, but anything with white, pink, or green as well as the original color.  Bass Assassins in the same color patterns with some preferring to go straight jigging while others use a popping cork. Another great bait for Spanish has been the olive green XRap suspending plug.  Here's a couple of photos of these baits:

Bass assassin colors chart seen here with one of my favorites at the top right.

Bass assassin green and pink paddletail has been highly effective at Dog Island and Bird Island Reefs.

Bass assassins rigged and shown with jigs of different colors.  I like the white or red head jigs personally.

Thought this was worth throwing in.  I've never used this setup but it does look enticing for spotted seatrout or redfish on the Big Bend Area around Carrabelle and Lanark Village, FL.

Go-to bait for Spanish Mackerel has been the olive green Xrap.  I believe this is the XR8 suspending bait that we use.  It is a saltwater bait with stainless steel hooks.

If you aren't checking the weather before every trip several days in advance, you are making a huge mistake.  We have had to cancel trips due to weather on several occasions, but it's better than spending all that money and not having a fun, fish-slaying trip.

Stay tuned into the weather on channel the local channel-usually 1.  It doesn't take but one mistake to lose your life!  NOAA is usually pretty accurate.

             A.  Tide Table 2 for the area
Obviously fish feed at certain tides.  
These two tide tables will help you figure out prime times to really be getting after them. However, when we travel to fish we don't worry too much about the tides as we will fish throughout the day and catch most of the good water movement.

Know the best times to fish and when the tide will be moving as most predatory fish will feed either on the outgoing or incoming tide or both more voraciously.

I found this website several years ago and use it for all parts of Florida (especially if it's a new area).  Do your homework and you will be rewarded for it!!

Good resource for knowing where to locate these areas with your GPS for trolling, drifting, or bottom fishing (especially if you are new to the area).

Can't say enough about this website as I have been a member of the forum for many years.  It is by far the best informational website around the Big Bend and folks on there are very helpful.  I hope to have someone say that about the Georgia-Florida Fishing Report as time passes.  I want to include a forum style here as well, but the host I'm using does not support it.  I'll probably be changing to a new host as I get closer to completion which will be some time.

Good weekend forecast for the areas from the Big Bend to Panama City Beach, FL

If you are going to fish the Big Bend area of Florida, you really do need to check out this website.  The forum is highly informational and covers a vast area.  The members are very helpful and will answer most questions you have unless you start asking for specific spots or lat/long GPS coordinates.  General information is given out routinely and it is definitely worth your time and good reading with some wonderful photos posted by the members.

Gives the regs for the Gulf and Atlantic. State waters on the gulf extend out 9 nautical miles and on the Atlantic to 3 nautical miles.

As you probably already know, the state and federal regulations are not always the same and can change quickly.  If you're wanting to Snapper or Gag Grouper fish, you better be on your "A" game.

This covers the federal rules and species beyond the 3 or 9 nautical mile line.

Don't even get me started with the Feds.  I doubt that anyone involved in the Red Snapper regulations has a clue about fishing, much less what a reasonable limit would be.  

Invaluable info for finding that magic number you are looking for.

This can be very helpful when you are looking for pelagic species and for the ideal temperatures of the fall and spring startup.

You can actually order online, get your license at bait shops, or call the toll-free number to get a 3 day, 7 day or yearly license.  Prices vary from $17 for a 3 day and $47 for a yearly.

15.  Fishing tips and techniques

Earlier on this page I mentioned the main baits we use.  If you are not familiar with these, here are a couple of photos and tips for rigging these baits:

Basically we use only 3 baits.  Gulp Shrimp, Bass Assassins, and Xraps suspending/slash baits.  We have caught everything from flounder to pompano and sea trout to redfish on these baits.  We have also hauled in blue fish, Spanish Mackerel, sharks, and trash fish with the above-mentioned baits.

This is a photo of a Gulp Shrimp New Penny color.  Lots of folks swear by other colors, but I seem to catch more fish on the New Penny.  White is a great color as well and variations with pink/green work, too.
This photo shows the Pearl White color and Molting or Natural color Gulp Shrimp.  My buddy, Dan Pritchard, chartered a guide in November out of Steinhatchee, FL and the white is all they used.  He said they slew them that day.

Photo showing how to rig up the Gulp Shrimp.  I prefer the red jigheads myself from 1/8 to 3/4 oz. depending on the conditions.

Here's the New Penny color on a white jighead showing the correct positioning of the hook through the body.  These can be fished either on a straight jig or a jig underneath a popping cork.

These popping corks are similar to the ones we use.  Very effective with the sound of a fish hitting bait on the surface.  

Here's the basic rig we use when fishing under a popping cork.  Barrel swivel to your main line followed by fluorocarbon leader followed by jighead and Gulp Shrimp or bass assassin.

The following are photos of different Bass Assassins and their rigging.  The only thing I don't like about using them is that pinfish will definitely tear them up quicker than a Gulp Shrimp. However, they are much cheaper.

You can see here that they come in a myriad of colors.  At the top right is one of my favorites.

You can see here the rigging of these baits is identical to the rigging of the Gulp Shrimp.

I have personally never tried running a Bass Assassin on a spinnerbait, but I thought I'd include this photo as it has the paddle tail pink and green that we really like to use at Carrabelle/Lanark Village when we are targeting Spotted Sea Trout.

The other bait we like to throw or troll is the Xrap suspending or slash bait.  We are usually fishing or trolling at either Dog Island Reef which is shallow or in shallow grass flats behind (shore side) Lanark Reef/Bird Island.

I really can't explain it, but we have had the best luck on the Olive Green color.

This is the olive green saltwater lure we use.  Notice that it does not have feathers on the tail hooks.

This is the freshwater version.  It does not have stainless steel hooks but it does have the feathers on the tail hooks.  We prefer the first Xrap, obviously, with stainless hooks made for saltwater fishing.

Many times we are targeting Spanish Mackerel with the Xraps when we troll around Dog Island Reef, but we have caught trout while trolling these plugs both at the reef and behind Lanark Reef close to shore.  Speed of the troll doesn't seem to matter that much as we have caught Spanish Mackerel at 3 mph and up to 8-10 mph.

I truly hope that this information will help you.  If you've never fished in the area around Lanark Village and Carrabelle, FL. you owe it to yourself to load up and go. It is a wonderful place that surrounds you with Florida's natural beauty and yields some great catches of fish.  

If you have any questions about this area just give me a shout by using our contact form, e-mailing me directly at, or calling me at 678-227-2481.  Thanks and get out there and catch a big 'un.

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