December 1, 2020
Panama City Beach is part of Florida’s Emerald Coast. And while every vacation spot along the coast has its own moniker, Panama City Beach sticks to the basics. Their claim to fame is “The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches.” There are a few other places that could come up with an argument on that, but when you are on the beach looking at the water, who has time to argue.
And speaking of the water, the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico right offshore from Panama City Beach offer outstanding options for anglers, not only for species, but for ways to catch fish. The beaches may be beautiful, but the fishing is fantastic.
On land, Panama City Beach has plenty to do. There are hundreds of resorts, hotels, rental units and places to stay. The variety of eating places is even more expanded and, of course, seafood dishes rule the day.
In the outdoors, there is the St. Andrews State Park and its hiking trails and fishing piers. Nearby Pier Park is a center of activity for the beach area offering shopping and numerous entertainment events.
The fishing piers and rock jetties in the St. Andrews park offer catches of Spanish mackerel, red fish, flounder and sea trout, along with occasional bluefish and bonito. There are also numerous walking trails and bird watching here is an ever-changing adventure. There is also fishing off the M.B. Miller County Pier. This pier does charge a nominal fee for fishing, but it is 1,500 feet long and offers a huge variety of catches. Fish like King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, redfish, flounder, hardtails and blues are caught here with regularity in season. You can even rent a rod and reel and pick up bait as well.
But for the serious angler, it is a boat ride to the water offshore that beckons the angler’s attention. There are at least 60 fishing charter providers available that offer just about any kind of fishing that an angler could want. If you are planning a trip here, do your homework and match up with the perfect one for you. A good place to start is checking out the charters available at FishAnywhere.com and you’ll find the best. A charter not only puts you on the fish, but they do all the work so you can enjoy yourself.
A good place to start your planning is for a trip to the offshore wrecks and reefs for grouper, snapper. Man-made reefs and wrecks in this area are numerous, and are made out of everything from scrapped fighter jets and construction steel to bundles of tires and piles of concrete. There are approximately 160 named reefs within an easy boat ride. There are also natural reefs in 90-100 feet of water not far offshore from this area. They all hold fish and offer just what you want to catch. Fishing starts peaking in March for cobia, black drum, Spanish Mackerel and grouper. By late spring and early summer, the list has grown to include amberjack, bluefish, Mahi Mahi, Jack Crevalle, King Mackerel, and Wahoo. The summer months start bringing in the big boys of deep sea fishing like Marlin and both Blackfin and Yellowfin tuna.
One of the most popular ways to fish here is bottom fishing, where you will be rigged up with a heavy weight to get your bait like live shrimp, squid or Cigar minnows down to the fish. There are also lots of jigs that can catch fish here, too. The technique is fairly easy as you just drop down your bait, reel it up off the bottom a few reels and wait to feel a tug on your line.
If you want to go after a huge, elusive fish like the Warsaw Grouper or Longtail Sea Bass, you’ll be taking a trip further offshore and fishing in 400 feet or more of water. It’s so dark where some of these fish hang out, your captain will even add glow-in-the-dark beads or some sort of light above your bait to help get the fish’s attention. This kind of fishing can be productive, but the action isn’t nearly as fast as bottom fishing.
A third and very popular way to fish the deep sea in the Gulf is to troll. Trolling involves motoring around a fishing area with lines out in the water. You can spot these kinds of spots on your boat’s electronics, or look for natural signs like flocks of birds or weedlines. Your captain will have a wide variety of squid or shrimp imitation lures that you can troll with success. Current breaks are also great spots to troll live bait or jigs for Mahi Mahi, wahoo, King Mackerel or even marlin.
And there are lots more options. You can pursue a certain type of fishing or just leave it to your captain and let him put you on what’s hot at the moment. Either way, you can have a ball catching fish and even bring some home for dinner as well. Check out our Panama City Deep Sea Fishing Charters today.
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