Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine VOL 40 No 2 SPRING 2016 - Page 18

Gulf Coast Closeup (Continued from page 11.) dunes occupying 1,962 acres of sandy coves, salt marshes, shady pines and oak forests. One of the best kept secrets about Florida’s “Forgotten Coast”, is just how much there is to see and do on the water. Just across the bay from Apalachicola are two uninhabited islands, Little St. George and St. Vincent, where you can go shelling, swimming, hiking, birding and, of course, fishing. Cap’ Charles says, “One of the nicest trips is to tour the Apalachicola waterfront from Scipio Creek down the river, under the bridge and out Two Mile Channel. You can have your tour timed to include sunset and take pictures to treasure of our Old Florida working waterfront.” Apalach - Then and Now Once upon a time, Apalachicola was accidentally left off a Florida map that was sent to tourists asking for information about the area. Naturally, the local Chamber of Commerce put their positive spin on the omission and “The Forgotten Coast” was christened. In my experience, Apalach is 2.5 square miles of Historic District with more than 200 historically and architecturally significant structures, bed and breakfast inns and the biggest, sweetest oysters I’ve ever tasted, is anything but forgettable. Apalachicola has about 2,500 residents and sits midway between Panama City and Tallahassee where the Apalachicola River ends its long voyage from the Appalachian Mountains in northeast Georgia to empty into the seafood-rich waters of the Apalachicola Bay. The connection between the 80,000acre Apalachicola Bay Aquatic Preserve and the rivers that feed it an average of 16 billion gallons of fresh water daily, is crucially important to countless small organisms that create one of the most productive ecosystems in the northern hemisphere. Oysters were Apalachicola’s first big catch and oystermen still harvest the shellfish using long-handled, scissorshaped tongs with metal baskets on the ends. The tongs dip into the oyster beds, rake around to loosen the oysters and then lift them onto shallow-draft skiffs. Sold locally as early as 1836, Apalachicola eventually supplied 90 percent of Florida’s oysters and 10 percent of the nation’s. It takes three years for an oyster to grow about three inches long and attain N O R T H G U L F S t. J o s e p h P o i n t, FL to S h i p S h o a l L i g h t, LA Wells Fishing Forecast Adjustment Times St. Joseph Point Panama City Destin/East Pass Pensacola Bay Entrance Alabama Point Mobile Point Horn Island Pass Pascagoula Pass Chandeleur Light -:60 -1.20 -:40 -:30 -:20 -:15 Same -:10 -:15 Long Point/Lake Borgne Bay St. Louis Rigolets South Pass/Delta Empire Jetty Barataria Pass Cat Island Pass Pointe Au Fer Isle +:20 +:20 +:35 +:20 +:45 +:55 .+1:10 To adjust for your fishing area, add (+) or subtract (-) hours and minutes shown above for the area you plan to fish from the Forecast time. No attempt should be made to compare the time of high or low tide, shown below, to the times of current presented in theWells Fishing Forecast. Tide Table Adjustment Times HIGH LOW Port St. Joe -0:24 -0:51 St. Andrew Bay Channel -1:31 -2:02 Panama City -0:43 -0:44 Parker -0:05 -0:22 Laird Bayou, E. Bay +0:26 +0:40 Farmdale, E. Bay +0:35 +0:55 Wetappo Crk, E. Bay +1:01 +1:40 Lynn Haven, N