Fishing the Panama City Area
Mahi in our area are a summertime treat, they usually show up here in June
and are around until the water cools in the fall. As weed lines form over the
summer, the chances of adding one to the box also goes up, we keep a pitch pole
ready at all times because you just never know when one will swim up to the boat.
Black Grouper is one of our main target species. Found locally on our many artificial
reefs and hard bottom areas, they provide not only a good fight, but better yet,
a great meal. As table fare, the Black Grouper is second too none. Our 10 hour
trips are best to target these fish, as the water warms to summer temperatures
the distance we run offshore increases, normally we will run 25 - 40 miles offshore
on these trips in the warmer months.
For those that enjoy a cold windy day in the late fall and winter, we can target
these fish on our 6 hour trip. These winter trips can be fun with non stop action,
but be prepared, it's cold out there and is not recommended for those that are
prone to sea sickness.
The 2009 season opens April 1st and remains open until mid February 2010.
The Red Grouper is another of the grouper family that we will target on our
bottom fishing trips.
Found mostly on hard bottom areas their tendency to take natural dead baits
sometimes makes them an easier target than the black grouper. At this time, the
limit is one per person per day.
Either caught by trolling or drifting live baits, these fish are really fun
Known for their drag screaming runs they have become a popular target throughout
the Gulf of Mexico. Our run of Kings show in late spring / early summer and are
around until the water cools. We also catch kings while flat lining baits on our
bottom fishing trips.
We mostly catch scamp while fishing for Snapper and Grouper, the Scamp is one
of the smaller Groupers we catch. What they lack in size they make up for it with
the way they taste on the plate.
Red Snapper is by far one of the most popular fish in the Gulf's panhandle region.
State and Federal seasons are now in place and limit the open season for Red Snapper.
The State season (out to 9 nm) is open from June 1st through September 31st with a limit of two fish, per day, per person. Federal waters (beyond 9 nm) are open from June 1st with closure dependant upon the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) with also a bag limit of two per person. These fish can be caught
on both the 6 and 10 hour trips. Once the federal waters close, we will downsize
the tackle and fish the artificial reefs and hard bottom areas in state waters
only on both the 6 and 10 hour trips.
Even though we'll only be allowed to fish out to 9 nm, we will use the additional
time on the 10 hour trip to fish multiple areas. Once the Federal waters open,
with most clients, we run out early to deeper water to target our Grouper and
other species then return to State waters to try to fill our Snapper bag limit.
We'll be happy to customize your trip to fit whatever type of fishing you would
like to do.
Wahoo in our area are another summertime treat Not a fish that we normally
target, it is possible to target these with good success when conditions are right.
This 72 pounder was caught by Nick Sherry and Stephen Parris on a personal
trip with friends in June while bottom fishing 20 miles out.
Known locally as "Beeliner" or "Mingo" these small Snapper
are abundant on our reefs and wrecks. Though not one of panhandles "glamour"
species they are easy to catch and a lot of fun on light tackle. Prepared "Caribbean"
style when fresh they also make a nice meal.
Caught on wrecks and reefs all along the Gulf coast they have a well deserved
reputation for being one of the toughest fish in these waters. Nicknamed "reef
donkeys," they inhabit our coastal waters from inshore out to 300 feet and
sometimes deeper. It usually takes only one big one for most to say "that's
enough for me".
also offer night time flounder gigging trips(May-October). These trips are arranged
by the tides,depending on the day you'd like to go we'll use the tide tables to
decide the best time. These trips normally run 9pm-2am or if the tides run later
we'll start at midnight and flounder till daylight. We also have a great winter
time flounder fishery offshore during the cold months, these fish can be targeted
with great success in winter by fishing the near shore wrecks and artificial reefs.
Other reef species we catch; Mangrove Snapper locally known as Black Snapper,
Grey Triggerfish and Lane Snapper.
The Speckled Trout is one of the most sought after fish in the St. Andrews’ Bay system. Our bay system offers large areas of grass flats and deep water holes in which to target these fish. Our flats fishing trips for these fish are done with light tackle using both artificial and live bait, for those who enjoy the thrill of the early morning top water bites, fishing the flats right before daylight can be a real treat.
St. Andrews Bay holds a population of Redfish year round. Whether it be throwing artificial to feeding fish on the grass and mud flats or drifting live bait in the pass, these fish are another one of the main targets on our bay trips.
Redfish in the bay system come in all sizes and can be caught by many different methods. Sight fishing tailing Reds on the shallow water flats can be very exciting, not much compares to being able to watch them turn and take a properly presented bait or lure.
Starting in mid March, the Cobia migration of the panhandle waters is known worldwide. On our near shore trips we'll ride the gulf beach and sight fish for these fish as they make their move to the summer grounds.
Known for their power and determined fight they are one of the most prized catches along the gulf beach. Being curious in nature with no fear of boats they lend themselves to be the tops of sightfishing targets.
With Cobia being the main target on our near shore charters they are not the only game in town, as we cruise the gulf beach we'll also take time to throw jigs and lures to the often abundant schools of other game fish that roam the beach.
Along the worlds most beautiful beaches around Panama City, Pompano show up each spring. Caught both in the bay and gulf, both by accident and sight fishing, Pompano are highly prized for their food value.
Pompano can be caught along the beaches by sight fishing with special jigs. They are great fighters and some days will readily eat anything you throw at them. There are also a lot of accidental catches in the bays being caught on anything from live shrimp to artificial jigs. No matter how you land one of these fish you can bet they will put a smile on all who come to dinner.
Two fish that migrate through our area each year are Spanish Mackerels and Bluefish. The Spanish migration which normally starts the last ten days of March or the first few days of April normally kicks off the fishing season. There are many ways to catch Spanish; from trolling spoons to throwing small jigs to using a bubble rig. Spanish are willing to hit just about anything you can throw at them, putting up a great fight on light tackle.
With the Spanish come the Bluefish. Some “Blues” as they are called, stay in the waters around Panama City, Florida year round but many new fish arrive about the same time as the Spanish. Blues will be caught on the same rigs as the Spanish and are known for the ferocious hits and good fight.
The table fair for both of these fish is good although the Blues are a little oily and not as desired as other species.