The Florida Panhandle in general is a world-renowned destination for saltwater gamefish, and the Forgotten Coast, anchored by the St. Joseph Peninsula. St. Joe Bay, and Cape San Blas, can boast some of the very best of the region’s sportfishing. You’re spoiled for choices when it comes to fishing charters out of Port St. Joe, one of the Forgotten Coast’s hubs, but certainly, Congo Charters ought to be among those under consideration.
Congo Charters is the one-man operation of U.S. Coast Guard-licensed Captain Earl Middleton, who also goes by “Doc.” Captain Middleton lays claim to some 25 years of experience fishing the productive waters of this gorgeous coastline, the fishing opportunities of which range from angling on St. Joseph Bay, St. Vincent Sound, and other inshore haunts to the deepwater pelagic realm of the open Gulf of Mexico.
Fishing trips with Congo Charters take place aboard Captain Middleton’s 25-foot-long Sea Pro, outfitted for both bottom fishing and bluewater trolling. On the inshore side of things, you can choose between four-hour and all-day bay angling after such prized gamefish as red drum, speckled trout, tarpon, flounder, and tripletail.
Or, if you’re drawn to the high-seas temptations of the Gulf itself, consider a Congo Charters offshore fishing trip of up to 10 hours duration, pursuing pelagic and deepwater legends such as wahoo, marlin, grouper, snapper, amberjack, tuna, and king mackerel.
As it happens, Congo Charters doesn’t restrict its offerings to hook-and-line adventures, either. Captain Middleton also offers customizable sightseeing trips taking in the ravishing coastal beauty of the Forgotten Coast, with its white-sand peninsulas, piney shorefronts, and smoldering Gulf of Mexico sunsets. You can also try your hand at the easy-going, beginner-friendly scalloping for which this region is justly celebrated via a guided outing with Congo Charters.
The lineup of top-tier gamefish and the year-round sportfishing opportunities that the Forgotten Coast offers is all well and good but even experienced saltwater anglers may not fully realize the potential of flying blind on a self-guided trip. There’s an awful lot to be said for taking advantage of the deep-rooted experience and insider savvy a local fishing guide has to offer, and that’s certainly what you land yourself with Congo Charters and Captain Earl Middleton!
Congo Charters also offers a waterfront studio for rent along St. Joseph Bay, in case you want to combine your fishing trip with overnight accommodations. The rental unit can accommodate up to three adults or a couple with up to two small children, and stands near a Cape San Blas outfitter shop where you can rent kayaks, bicycles, and other gear for coastal fun.