Fishing Under The Grafitti Bridge! I love fishing on the beach! Whether I catch anything
or not, I enjoy myself. Today was one of those days when we weren't catching fish.
Normally by noon I would have had an ice chest with several good eating fish slumbering
inside, but except for a few catfish, which we threw back, there wasn't a keeper to be had.
My son and I had been fishing since early morning at Navarre Beach, just down the road
from Ocean Breeze, Florida. Not having any real luck, around noon we decided to pack
up our stuff and go home. My son Michael proudly served in the U.S. Navy, based at
Pensacola Air Station Hospital for several years. This gave me the opportunity to visit
him on many warm and sunny weekends that we spent on the beach fishing. I wouldn't
normally have had an excuse to go to that part of Florida, but it's a father's duty to visit
his son when he's in military service as often as you can. Pensacola is on the Gulf Coast
and if you're that close to a beach and do not fish; you have committed an unforgivable
sin. It says so in the Bible somewhere I'm sure! I try my best not to sin! As fishermen
will, we just had to try it somewhere else before we called it a day. As we crossed back
over the Three Mile Bridge going into Pensacola, we saw the little lagoon to our right.
The road beside it led under a railroad track bridge and was covered with graffiti from top
to bottom. The tide was coming in and the water was moving swiftly under the trestle.
Scraps of paper, drinking cups and other litter were evidence that others fished here quite
often. We'd seen the bridge many times on our way to other beaches, but this little cove
never seemed very inviting. It reminded me of when I was a kid and rode my bicycle to a
small bridge such as this to fish for sunfish for a couple of hours on sunny summer
mornings. This was that kind of place. There were a couple of teenaged boys fishing on
the other side, reminding me of how I once found adventure beneath an old bridge.
Maybe things haven't changed that much after all. There were still some sand fleas in the
bottom of our bait bucket so we used a few of these for bait. I rigged up my spinning rod
and reel with two 1/0 hooks, an egg sinker to keep the bait near the bottom and stuck one
of the fleas we had in our bucket on my hook. I was using 8 pound test line. The water
was moving around some of the rocks that were near the pilings of the railroad trestle. I
threw my bait about twenty yards to where the water was ebbing around the rocks and
pilings. I had barely set the bail on my reel when something almost jerked the rod out of
my hands. Immediately my reel began screaming as the drag was set and the fish pulled
line off my reel. I had no idea what I had on the end of my line! It could have been a
redfish, flounder, trout and even a shark, even though sharks rarely come up into a slough
such as this one. All I knew at that moment is that I had to get the fish away from the
rocks and pilings! I gradually won the fight and when I pulled the fish to shore, I saw that
it was a Sheepshead. It had wide vertical stripes on its body was shaped somewhat like a
fresh water bream. This could be the reason Sheepshead are called the Bream of the sea.
The record is 20 pounds. This one was about 3 pounds. My son Michael had a fish on his
line by the time I put mine on the stringer. His was a little larger than mine and fought
just as fiercely. The boys on the other side of the bridge came over to find out what we
were using as bait. We gave them a few of our sand fleas which are little crabs and soon
they had each caught a fish. Fishing anywhere is fun, but actually catching a fish makes
the trip memorable. Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, fishing and
leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at: