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Panama City Beach Weekly Fishing Reports

04/15/2014

IMG958532OFFSHORE AND INSHORE
If you have been waiting for conditions to get “right” and fish to show up, you’re there. Cobia are pushing through our area in pretty good numbers and there have even been a few Kings caught! Last look at water temps showed low seventies and with this warm water we are getting some live bait showing up. Speedos, Herring and a few Cigar minnows were around as of a few days ago. AJ’s and Trigger fishare present and accounted for over the bridge spans. On the bottom Red grouper, Pogies, Bee liners and the occasional Scamp.   

SURF 
Pompano are coming through the area in large schools. Spanish mackerel and Blues are out there too so bring along extra rigs to replace what they cut off. Bull reds are cruising the beach, usually too big to keep but a real blast to catch in the surf. And who knows you may even luck out and hook a Cobia, it has happened.  

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
There is still a lot of brackish water in the bay but that has not slowed the action. Sheep head are still trying to chew the bridge pilings in two. Redfish, Mangrove snapper and Black drum are there too, differing techniques are recommended though.  Speckled trout have been a little harder to find lately, but if you find some of the LY’s that have begun to show up you likely have found them. Spanish mackerel are pushing their way up into the bay. Early around Deep Water Point has been pretty good, and further in towards Courtney Point as the tide flows in.

04/03/2014

80lb cobia IMG959546OFFSHORE AND INSHORE
Water temps are approaching the upper sixties finally. A few cobia have been caught in our area and with each day the chances get better. An 80lb cobia was caught on the county pier just yesterday! Amberjack are your best bet for the offshore bite, and down on the bottom you have red grouper, scamp, trigger fish, black sea bass, bee liners, pogies, and more. Not much around yet for live bait as far as cigar minnows and the like, probably need about four or five more degrees of water temperature.   

SURF 
Pompano, spanish, bluefish and some whiting have all done their part to make your trip worthwhile. Also there have been a few bull reds hunting their next meal, like some of the squid that have been coming though. Parameters like that will make you wonder what rig to use. 

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Recent rains have us fishing in stained water again but fish are biting. Speckled trout and redfish are working that middle of the day high tide we have been experiencing.  Spanish mackerel are up in the bay despite the fresh water influx. Shortly after daybreak has produced the best bite however once the green water pushes up into the bay round two has begun. Sheephead are chewing anywhere there are barnacles, they are extremely good at stealing bait so be prepared to feed more than you catch. That’s not a bad thing, after all this is their spawning season. Keep that in mind when figuring how many to keep, the next generation is counting on us.

03/24/2014

PANAMA CITY BEACH OFFSHORE AND INSHORE
Spring has sprung and the fish are here to prove it. AJ’s so big you’ll think you have a nuclear sub on. Triggers, beeliners, black sea bass, black and white snapper and red grouper are all getting hauled in. The squid run is in full force so it stands to reason the predators are close behind.   

SURF 
Surf fishing is picking up nicely. Pompano are not yet here in real big numbers but it’s likely to find some. Squid are coming through in waves, and gangs of reds and spanish mackerel are hot on their heels. Also, we have had cobia sightings in our area; some have been caught to the west of us, as is typically the case early in the season. Have no fear, they will be here soon!

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Sheepshead, bull reds, black sea bass, and black drum are all good bets around the bridges and the pass. Falling tide has been preferred flow, but you can still find them otherwise. Speckled trout are up in the grassy areas especially at dusk lately, some tailing reds too. Spanish mackerel have followed the squid up into the bay system and you can pretty well spot them by watching the bird action. For more info stop in and see us. Don’t forget to send us a few pictures of your catch. We’ll post them on our site and you’ll be 'world famous'.

03/14/2014

OFFSHORE AND INSHORE
The weather is getting a little warmer and with it the fishing is improving a little each day. Super clear water but still hovering in the low sixties. You may have to lighten up on the size of your leader, and fluorocarbon can really be the difference between success and failure. Amberjack are very plentiful and very hungry. Be sure your rod and reel is up to the task, don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. Trigger fish, and bee liners will do their part to help you fill the box. Red grouper and black snapper too. For all of these species placement, type of bait and terminal tackle are all key and we can help you rig for success.  Even if you are catching fish, hearing what is working for others and what’s new can be useful.  

SURF 
Surf fishing is still a little slow, however we are starting to see a few pompano getting caught. And believe it or not even a few spanish mackerel have been picked off too. Must be the scouts coming up the coast to see what the conditions are. It won’t be long now, time to prepare for the onslaught.  

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Yes the bay water is also still fluctuating just above sixty but you can find schools of redfish working the grass flats. There are a lot of new artificial baits to throw, both hard and soft. Super realistic and effective. Speckled trout are out there too and the early morning has yielded a few fish over five pounds. Here the new top water type plugs really shine, slow retrieve coupled with its lifelike appearance has worked really well. Sheep head are gathering and have begun to feed pre spawn. Mangrove snapper, black sea bass and a few flounder have showed up at the local cleaning tables too. If you are not rigged correctly here, you might as well try fishing in your bath tub. Hook choice, type of leader, main line and how you are holding your lip all play a part. For more on all of this, come see us. We will be happy to show you what is working and help you to increase your odds.

03/02/2014

OFFSHORE AND INSHORE
Fishing here has improved slightly as we move into a more spring like pattern. Flounder are beginning to eat again; some hefty fish have been picked off the close to shore wrecks and reefs to the west. Bull minnows or live shrimp have done the job nicely. Use a short leader on a Carolina rig to with enough weight to get it to the bottom and keep it there. Further out from shore Amberjack and Trigger fish are getting caught in good numbers, some nice keepers were caught over the Dupont and Red sea tug sites. Red grouper, Scamp and Bee liners are worthwhile targeting too. Natural bottom and reefs along a depth change will be where you’ll want to give it a try. Frozen squid is a good go to bait, but for Scamp a small pin fish is hard to beat. 

SURF 
Surf fishing has been kind of slow lately most likely due to water temps. Some Bull redfish were caught late in the day by some persistent snow birds out in the Laguna Beach area using cut mullet. Also out to the west near Phillips Inlet schools of Bluefish were found using surf rigs with cut shrimp.  

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Despite the relatively cold bay water, some fish are getting caught. You will have to be patient and work an area over. Use chum if you can, and or go with a type of bait that releases a scent trail. You really have to do all you can to wake them up. We are still hearing of schools of Redfish being spotted up in the grass on bright sunny days, pretty spooky but a nice reward if you can hook up. We are see sawing back and forth with cool nights and warmer days so the water seems to be holding in the upper fifties. Until we start seeing low to mid sixties the Trout will be content to hide out in more protected areas. The Intra Coastal water way has been fair along with deeper creeks and bayous. Sheep head, Mangrove snapper, Black sea bass, Black drum and large Redfish are all good bets still in the pass and around Tyndall or Hathaway bridges. They are slow to eat so be sure to rig as invisibly as you can and use small but strong hooks. The Sheep head have been especially finicky and has caused some locals to go old school. Take an oyster and hook it up on a leader you will use, put the oyster with the hook in it and put it in an old egg carton, then freeze the oysters. When you go fishing take the carton of frozen oysters and put in your cooler to keep them frozen until ready to use. If the Sheep head pass on an oyster you may as well give up!

2/10/2014

OFFSHORE AND INSHORE

Well that was a blast of winter I could have done without. It has been a long time since we had to close bridges due to ice, and local schools had what amounted to snow days! Offshore water temps are still trying to recover, even thirty miles out the surface temps are in the upper fifties to sixty degrees. Hopefully we will start to get into a more spring like pattern soon and a more southerly wind will prevail which will push both air and water temps up. Dependent upon who you ask, somewhere around sixty five degrees is the magic number where you start to see good numbers of Spanish mackerel, and begin looking for cobia. Now all that being said there are fish getting caught in the here and now. It does however require a bit of a different approach when you are dealing with fish whose metabolism has slowed to snail’s pace. Amberjack, Trigger fish and Red grouper have been the biggest contributors to the fish box. Black snapper and Bee liners are around too but fewer and further between. If the Flounder are around still, not many anglers have been able to coax them into biting. Bonita have also left the building, but if we get some more days like the last few, we may start to see them again.

 

SURF 

There for a while the surf was not holding much of anything, but the last few days have improved. Whiting have begun to show up again, and the occasional Redfish will surprise you. Crab meat is a premium bait to be sure, but it has yielded some nice Reds. 

 

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

We are still experiencing a low tide in the morning and will continue to throughout this month. So hitting the water early is not necessarily the best plan, might as well let the sun get up overhead and wait until the tide turns. Some large schools of Redfish are being sighted up on grass beds seemingly warming themselves, however they are very good at staying out of casting range. Approach with the wind at your back and quietly. Choose the rod and reel you can get the longest cast out of and try to anticipate where they are headed. There is not much out there for them to eat. So if you can make them believe they have indeed found something to eat that seemingly has no strings attached, and has nothing to do with that big white hull floating some fifty yards away you stand a good chance of getting bit. Speckled trout are sticking tighter to the bayous and creeks still, and will likely stay there for a while longer as they are even more timid when it comes to cold. Sheep head, Mangrove snapper, Black sea bass, Black drum and large Redfish are all good bets still around deeper water with any kind of structure. Use Fiddler crabs (if you can find them) or live shrimp for the Sheepies and Mangroves. And if you really want to attract a Black or Red drum cut a blue crab in two for an irresistible offering. Don’t snatch on the first sign of a bite, let them have it for a few seconds or you will be snatching it out of their mouth. They take a little longer to process a bait that large. Hope to see you soon, and you may want to beat the rush we generally get in April for rod and reel repairs. Drop them off now and you will get them back sooner rather than later.

1/27/2014

PANAMA CITY BEACH OFFSHORE AND INSHORE

If you get the chance to go out, gear up for Amberjack. They are by far the best bet out there right now. Live squirrel fish are a favorite and large pinfish a close second, but I have also had them inhale a lizard fish. So don’t be so quick to get rid of the little nuisances, throw them in the live well just in case. Right now over a wreck it is hard to even get past the AJ’s to try to fish the bottom. And where you find Amberjack you are also likely to find Trigger fish which is what we are hearing. A size four circle form Owner is about the most popular hook for them and a chunk of squid will do the trick for bait. If you do want to bottom fish I would suggest you do so over a reef or natural bottom rather than a larger wreck for reasons stated above. Red grouper, Scamp, Black snapper and Bee liners are around but can be slow to strike. If the current isn’t too swift bomb the area with some form of chum to wake them up (maybe chopped up lizard fish). If you are fortunate enough to have live bait to work with you may consider cutting off the tail to provide a scent trail, they will live long enough to get the job done. Then you will have the best of both worlds, the scent qualities of dead bait and the wiggle of live. Scamp and Red grouper have been reported in as little as seventy feet of water, not that strange for the reds but Scamp are usually found in deeper water. And yes we are still hearing of Flounder on the inshore stuff and Bonita a mile or so from the beach.

SURF

You can pretty much count on catching something from the beach, the question is what today? One day the Whiting are there and the next day it’s the Bull reds. Then you show up hoping to duplicate your last trip and find that Flounder are the catch of the day. Granted most days the bite is slow, but if you hang in there long enough with the idea that they have to eat sometime you will be rewarded. You can also expect to find some Bluefish, and maybe a few Pompano, especially when we get a more southerly or onshore wind.

ST. ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

Not much change here from the last few reports, cold weather, wind and even the tidal conditions have remained pretty much the same. Find warmer water, just few degrees can make a difference. If you can, fish ahead of the front or a few days after and you’ll find they bite better. Trout, Reds, Sheep head, Mangrove snapper, Black sea bass and Black drum have all been reported. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, chum can really help this time of year, bridges, seawalls and dock pilings are prime for Mangroves, Sheep head and drum, and back waters for Trout and smaller reds. Go scent heavy with artificial bait if possible (it certainly won’t hurt) and if using live bait consider cutting off the tail or the dorsal fins to provide a scent trail. Let us know how you do if you get a chance to go, we can always use more intel. You don’t have to get too specific, we understand when exact locations are withheld. Just hearing what kind of luck you had is really all that is needed.

1/14/2014

PANAMA CITY BEACH OFFSHORE AND INSHORE

I can't say I have very many reports from what I would consider offshore. The weather is still holding most of us back, but there were a couple days that allowed the trip. Speaking to a few of those groups that managed to get out there, they did say it was worthwhile even though Gag grouper and Red snapper are closed. They hit some natural bottom spots to target Red grouper and then went to their favorite bridge span for some Amberjack action and there is plenty of that to go around. This time of year is prime for A J's and if you are headed offshore, be sure to bring a jigging outfit, plenty of jigs, and something to chum with. They can be a little slow to realize you are there.

On some of the closer to shore wrecks and reefs Flounder, Black sea bass, and Bee liners can be found. The Flounder action is pretty dependable, so you will want to have smaller tackle and live bull minnows, if possible. They will work for sea bass and the Bee liners too. Oh, can't forget to mention all of the Bonita out there, it is best to have a medium sized spinner with a Gotcha or buck tail rigged and ready or you will have to give chase while someone does the rigging.  

SURF

You can still count on Whiting in the surf, they have really been front and center for the last few weeks. Flounder, Redfish, Bluefish and Pompano are also being reported. Certain areas of the beach also seem to have the ability to hold Sheepshead. I am not sure why but I believe there is either some sort of wreck or debris in the area. Maybe just a large concentration of shells is enough to interest them for a while. 

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

Speckled trout and puppy Reds are looking for warmer waters and the reports are good from those that have braved the cold and wind to go after them. There is really no need to be out there at daybreak, waiting for the sun to get up and lately the tide to be on the move is wise. Artificial baits work great this time of year, but the live shrimp and minnows can still have an advantage most days. In more open waters popping corks and artificial baits with internal rattles can help them find you, but if you are way back in a tight area you may have to "pump the brakes" on the noise, you may spook them. Go as light as you can weight wise and let it lay for a while before giving it a twitch.

Redfish, Sheepshead, Mangrove snapper, and Black drum are being found around bridges and larger docks still. The bite is often slow due to the cold temps but they are still hungry. Days like these can really benefit from some chum. There are all kinds of recipes for making your own but sometimes finding the ingredients this time of year can be hard. It can also require some planning, a lot of the mixtures require soaking overnight. Oatmeal, sand and Menhaden oil is one. Even the size of the mesh in the chum bag you choose can be critical as it plays a role in how long the chum will last, but with a few trial runs you should be able to dial it in. It can really save the day or just serve to speed the action up enough to keep your crew interested. All you have to do is watch the marine and weather forecasts a week in advance, figure in the tides, and learn to think like a fish! Get Out There, you can't catch them from the couch.

 

 

1/1/2014

PANAMA CITYBEACH OFFSHORE AND INSHORE

About the only recent reports we have are from those who have gone out to some of the inshore wrecks or hard bottom to the west. The weather just has not been conducive to any kind of long runs, and Christmas took front stage. But we do know there are still plenty of Flounder on the close in stuff and Bonita can be seen working their way up the coast. If you do get the chance and the weather permits, you should be able to find plenty of action at the bridge spans. The Amberjack have been there in good numbers and were willing to eat just about anything you put in front of them. Reports from those that have targeted Red grouper, Bee liners and other desirable bottom dwellers that you can currently keep have been few and far between. So I guess I will wait to get more current information and then pass it along to you. Surely Santa brought you something that you will have to take out and get wet, and when you do stop in and share your story (and bring pictures).

SURF

We are still hearing that the Whiting are a pretty good bet. Flounder and Pompano can also be found in the mix every now and then. Really you just don’t know what you may get into lately, certain species will come through in spurts, one minute you are catching Whiting then nothing for a little while… then all of a sudden you hook into a nice sized Redfish. Shortly after that you notice someone down the beach appears to have done the same. Then nothing for a while until a school of Bluefish and Spanish mackerel come through and clip off your rig, no problem you had another pole rigged with a Gotcha and fifty pound mono for leader. After you catch a couple of them they are gone as fast as they arrived. It makes for some head scratching when trying to figure out what to take out there with you and what to leave behind but hey it beats not getting bit at all!

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

Speckled trout are getting caught in their usual winter haunts, deeper protected and warmer waters like those in the local canal systems are prime. Watson Bayou and others like it are also good as well as the Intra Coastal waterway. Most have been small or shorts, but if you persist you should be able to find some that are ice worthy. When the tide is moving at a good pace, fishing around docks and bridges is producing Redfish, Sheep head, Mangrove snapper, and Black drum. They like warmer water too so keep this in mind when choosing a spot to fish and even when to go. An afternoon falling tide after a bright sunny morning can bring warmer waters to places like the Hathaway and Tyndall bridge channels, while a rising tide early in the morning after a cold night will do the opposite. Personally, I am counting the days till spring but for now we have to do what it takes to find fish.

12/19/2013

PANAMA CITYBEACH OFFSHORE AND INSHORE

Looking back, last week had a few days nice enough to ease out to one of the bridge spans or Dupont sites. We are still getting plenty of chatter about Flounder and Amberjack all over these “inshore” spots. Large schools of Bonita are working their way along our coast and though they are sorely lacking in the table fare category, they more than make up for it in the strong runs they are capable of when hooked. Small white buck tails cast ahead of them are deadly, use a fast retrieve and have the drag set a little loose or they will break the line. They make great bait for just about anything that swims. A few Black fin tuna have been reported in with the Bonita so you could get a nice surprise while seemingly messing around catching bait. Red grouper, Scamp, Grunts and Black snapper are also getting caught, so for those who think it’s not worth the trip I say think again. Way offshore there are still Wahoo and Mahi to be found, but you have to get far enough out find the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream. With one front after another rolling our way not many have been able to make a trip like that, calm waters and blue skies are pretty much necessary and definitely preferred.

SURF

Big Bluefish, Flounder, Whiting and Pompano have all been present and accounted for. Whiting having the largest head count. A few Redfish, even fewer Spanish, and some Jacks have also been picked up. A surf rig with squid, shrimp or artificial bait like Fish Bites has worked great for the Whiting and Pompano. For the rest of the gang a jig head rigged with your favorite soft plastic or a gold spoon will do the job. The full moon has made for a good evening bite and northerly winds have kept the surf laid down. Put that together with one of our gorgeous winter sunsets and you can’t help but find yourself in a good mood.   

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

Speckled trout are working their way up into some of your canals and up in the creeks again especially when the temperatures drop into the low forties overnight. But when you get one of those warmer sunny days you can find them over a grass bed or mud flat in two or three feet of water. They are responding well to Mirro dines and Gulp! baits but nothing beats a live shrimp. Redfish, Sheep head, Mangrove snapper and Black drum have put a smile on more than a few faces. They are more likely to be found in a little deeper water around something that holds barnacles or oysters. All manner of live and dead bait works for red and black drum, but live shrimp or small crabs are key for the snapper and sheepies. Encourage everyone to dress in layers and figure it to be colder on the water than it is in on land. You don’t want to have to cut the trip short because your blue lipped crew is contemplating mutiny.

12/19/2013

PANAMA CITYBEACH OFFSHORE AND INSHORE

Looking back, last week had a few days nice enough to ease out to one of the bridge spans or Dupont sites. We are still getting plenty of chatter about Flounder and Amberjack all over these “inshore” spots. Large schools of Bonita are working their way along our coast and though they are sorely lacking in the table fare category, they more than make up for it in the strong runs they are capable of when hooked. Small white buck tails cast ahead of them are deadly, use a fast retrieve and have the drag set a little loose or they will break the line. They make great bait for just about anything that swims. A few Black fin tuna have been reported in with the Bonita so you could get a nice surprise while seemingly messing around catching bait. Red grouper, Scamp, Grunts and Black snapper are also getting caught, so for those who think it’s not worth the trip I say think again. Way offshore there are still Wahoo and Mahi to be found, but you have to get far enough out find the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream. With one front after another rolling our way not many have been able to make a trip like that, calm waters and blue skies are pretty much necessary and definitely preferred.

SURF

Big Bluefish, Flounder, Whiting and Pompano have all been present and accounted for. Whiting having the largest head count. A few Redfish, even fewer Spanish, and some Jacks have also been picked up. A surf rig with squid, shrimp or artificial bait like Fish Bites has worked great for the Whiting and Pompano. For the rest of the gang a jig head rigged with your favorite soft plastic or a gold spoon will do the job. The full moon has made for a good evening bite and northerly winds have kept the surf laid down. Put that together with one of our gorgeous winter sunsets and you can’t help but find yourself in a good mood.   

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

Speckled trout are working their way up into some of your canals and up in the creeks again especially when the temperatures drop into the low forties overnight. But when you get one of those warmer sunny days you can find them over a grass bed or mud flat in two or three feet of water. They are responding well to Mirro dines and Gulp! baits but nothing beats a live shrimp. Redfish, Sheep head, Mangrove snapper and Black drum have put a smile on more than a few faces. They are more likely to be found in a little deeper water around something that holds barnacles or oysters. All manner of live and dead bait works for red and black drum, but live shrimp or small crabs are key for the snapper and sheepies. Encourage everyone to dress in layers and figure it to be colder on the water than it is in on land. You don’t want to have to cut the trip short because your blue lipped crew is contemplating mutiny.

12/10/2013

PANAMA CITYBEACH OFFSHORE

Bottom fishing is definitely limited lately with Gag grouper and Red snapper closed. This is when you either don’t try to fish the bottom, or change tactics until you find the best combination of bait and rigging to target the particular species you are after. Using a jig head with live bait Flounder fishing instead of a plain hook, or using a stringer rig with multiple hooks for Bee liners and Trigger fish are two examples. There are some nice Red grouper, Scamp, and Vermillion snapper getting caught amongst the closed species and it is likely the type of rig, the bait used, and how it was presented that played a role in what was caught. Closer to the surface and over a larger wreck or bridge span, Amberjack rule the roost. So if all the above seems too complicated hit the easy button. Buck tail jigs, Butterfly jigs or simply Carolina rigging a live bait will work just fine. Don’t drop it all the way to the bottom, about two thirds is good. If you are jigging, work it fast with a jigging motion all the way back to the surface. And if you are using live bait just hold it there and be ready. They hit like a freight train and are nearly as hard to stop. On your inshore wrecks in say anywhere from forty to eighty feet of water are Flounder by the cooler full. Soft plastics can work here but you have to keep contact with the bottom for them to work, live bull minnows, shrimp or other typical live baits will work the best. If the drift is too fast, anchoring may be necessary so you can drag your bait on the bottom, nice and slow.

SURF

Not a lot has changed here since last week, Whiting and Pompano are a pretty good bet. Bluefish and Jack crevalle are coming through in spurts. Redfish and Flounder are also a possibility. Right around and after dusk the bite was hot, but that will change with the tides. This coming week high tide will coincide with sunset for a few days and we will have to see how that affects their appetite.  

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

There were quite a few reports of Speckled trout found feeding up in the grass flats along with some Redfish. Most of the trout were running small but the Reds were within the slot. The early morning bite was not good, too little water due to a strong low tide. Once the sun got overhead and the water began to flow again they showed up and were ready to eat. You can fool them with artificial or give them what they really want, a live bait seemingly waiting just for them. Some Spanish mackerel, Bluefish and Jack crevalle have been reported behind the Island, they will be there in force for a few minutes then they are gone. Flounder, Sheep head, Black drum and Mangrove snapper are also reported catches. They are getting picked up around most of your larger docks, bridges and seawalls.  

12/02/2013

PANAMA CITY BEACH OFFSHORE

Well if you haven’t gotten a chance to go out after Gag Grouper lately, you had better hurry. In our neck of the woods Gag Grouper closes in Federal waters on December second at midnight, and in State waters on the third at midnight. There have been quite a few nice fish landed. Amberjack are pretty much everywhere; even your smaller wrecks have fish on them. Bait being kind of scarce has them ready to pounce on just about whatever you offer them. I even fed one a Lizard fish out of curiosity and it was inhaled just like it was their favorite meal. If you want keeper size fish you will end up in or near Federal waters. The closer in spots has predominately 26 to 28 inch fish. Good fun, and once they are turned on try a strong top water plug or cast a large buck tail into the fray and just try to keep from getting bit. The Flounder bite is really turning on, with the warmer weather predicted you really should try to get out there after them. They are hungry and we have many reports of limits being caught in just a couple hours. Live bait works great here but a soft plastic properly presented has fooled plenty of these guys into a strike. Wrecks and natural bottom will hold fish, and don’t be surprised if you get into some Bee liners, Porgies or Black sea bass while searching for Flounder. If there have been any Wahoo or Dolphin caught lately we have not heard the details.

SURF

Whiting are getting caught in large numbers and not far behind them are Pompano. Grab your sand spike, surf rod, some shrimp and sand fleas and find yourself a cut in the sand bar. You could also find yourself fighting a Redfish or dragging in a Flounder. Speaking to some locals and a few snowbirds, the evening bite has been best probably due to the low tides we have had in the AM.

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

We are experiencing water temperatures in the low fifties in most parts of the bay, shallower waters back in the protected bayous you can find temps in the low sixties. These kinds of conditions can really slow the fish down and make them harder to find, and harder to entice. And when we have a forty degree swing in air temps from one day to the next I’m not sure the fish even know which way to go. Topsy-turvy weather like this is when you have to be ready to think on your feet. On warmer sunny days once the sun gets up and without too much wind, it is generally a good plan to look for Trout and Reds up in the grass. When these conditions exist, bait fish will move out of deeper waters they spent the night in and gravitate towards the protection the grass provides. On not so warm sunny days you may have to lean more towards a protected bayou with a muddy bottom that does not cool down as suddenly as the open waters do and warms a little once the sun gets overhead. Cold, windy, cloudy days for sure find the warmest conditions you can and hope for the best. Pay attention to your bottom machine’s water temperature readings and like always look for the presence of bait. Lately there are Speckled trout and Redfish being found during the day feeding on pinfish and finger mullet up on the grass flats. It is not and early bite, best to wait for the tide to come up and a good dose of sunshine helps too. A few Sheep head are getting caught back in places like Watson bayou and up in WestBay at the bridge. They are feeding around pilings and oyster beds on barnacles and small crabs but will not turn down a live shrimp. The pass is still holding some Bull reds, most are too big to keep but there are some slot size fish in the mix. Speaking of the pass, there are quite a few reports of Pompano coming up in on the incoming tide. Also before I forget to mention the channels under the Hathaway and Tyndall bridges have had Flounder, Black sea bass and a few large Black drum caught. Drop in and share your fish story with us or check us out on Facebook.

Garyspic
One of Molly's Sheephead Watson Bayou day after Thanksgiving
 
 
capt.scottpic

Capt. Scott of Mad Fish Charters-Red Grouper

 

 
 
 
 

12/03/2013

PANAMA CITYBEACH OFFSHORE

Well if you haven’t gotten a chance to go out after Grouper lately, you had better hurry. In our neck of the woods Grouper closes in Federal waters on December second at midnight, and in State waters on the third at midnight. There have been quite a few nice fish landed. Amberjack are pretty much everywhere; even your smaller wrecks have fish on them. Bait being kind of scarce has them ready to pounce on just about whatever you offer them. I even fed one a Lizard fish out of curiosity and it was inhaled just like it was their favorite meal. If you want keeper size fish you will end up in or near Federal waters. The closer in spots has predominately 26 to 28 inch fish. Good fun, and once they are turned on try a strong top water plug or cast a large buck tail into the fray and just try to keep from getting bit. The Flounder bite is really turning on, with the warmer weather predicted you really should try to get out there after them. They are hungry and we have many reports of limits being caught in just a couple hours. Live bait works great here but a soft plastic properly presented has fooled plenty of these guys into a strike. Wrecks and natural bottom will hold fish, and don’t be surprised if you get into some Bee liners, Porgies or Black sea bass while searching for Flounder. If there have been any Wahoo or Dolphin caught lately we have not heard the details.

SURF

Whiting are getting caught in large numbers and not far behind them are Pompano. Grab your sand spike, surf rod, some shrimp and sand fleas and find yourself a cut in the sand bar. You could also find yourself fighting a Redfish or dragging in a Flounder. Speaking to some locals and a few snowbirds, the evening bite has been best probably due to the low tides we have had in the AM.

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

We are experiencing water temperatures in the low fifties in most parts of the bay, shallower waters back in the protected bayous you can find temps in the low sixties. These kinds of conditions can really slow the fish down and make them harder to find, and harder to entice. And when we have a forty degree swing in air temps from one day to the next I’m not sure the fish even know which way to go. Topsy-turvy weather like this is when you have to be ready to think on your feet. On warmer sunny days once the sun gets up and without too much wind, it is generally a good plan to look for Trout and Reds up in the grass. When these conditions exist, bait fish will move out of deeper waters they spent the night in and gravitate towards the protection the grass provides. On not so warm sunny days you may have to lean more towards a protected bayou with a muddy bottom that does not cool down as suddenly as the open waters do and warms a little once the sun gets overhead. Cold, windy, cloudy days for sure find the warmest conditions you can and hope for the best. Pay attention to your bottom machine’s water temperature readings and like always look for the presence of bait. Lately there are Speckled trout and Redfish being found during the day feeding on pinfish and finger mullet up on the grass flats. It is not and early bite, best to wait for the tide to come up and a good dose of sunshine helps too. A few Sheep head are getting caught back in places like Watson bayou and up in WestBay at the bridge. They are feeding around pilings and oyster beds on barnacles and small crabs but will not turn down a live shrimp. The pass is still holding some Bull reds, most are too big to keep but there are some slot size fish in the mix. Speaking of the pass, there are quite a few reports of Pompano coming up in on the incoming tide. Also before I forget to mention the channels under the Hathaway and Tyndall bridges have had Flounder, Black sea bass and a few large Black drum caught. Drop in and share your fish story with us or check us out on Facebook.

12/02/2013

PANAMA CITYBEACH OFFSHORE

Well if you haven’t gotten a chance to go out after Grouper lately, you had better hurry. In our neck of the woods Grouper closes in Federal waters on December second at midnight, and in State waters on the third at midnight. There have been quite a few nice fish landed. Amberjack are pretty much everywhere; even your smaller wrecks have fish on them. Bait being kind of scarce has them ready to pounce on just about whatever you offer them. I even fed one a Lizard fish out of curiosity and it was inhaled just like it was their favorite meal. If you want keeper size fish you will end up in or near Federal waters. The closer in spots has predominately 26 to 28 inch fish. Good fun, and once they are turned on try a strong top water plug or cast a large buck tail into the fray and just try to keep from getting bit. The Flounder bite is really turning on, with the warmer weather predicted you really should try to get out there after them. They are hungry and we have many reports of limits being caught in just a couple hours. Live bait works great here but a soft plastic properly presented has fooled plenty of these guys into a strike. Wrecks and natural bottom will hold fish, and don’t be surprised if you get into some Bee liners, Porgies or Black sea bass while searching for Flounder. If there have been any Wahoo or Dolphin caught lately we have not heard the details.

SURF

Whiting are getting caught in large numbers and not far behind them are Pompano. Grab your sand spike, surf rod, some shrimp and sand fleas and find yourself a cut in the sand bar. You could also find yourself fighting a Redfish or dragging in a Flounder. Speaking to some locals and a few snowbirds, the evening bite has been best probably due to the low tides we have had in the AM.

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

We are experiencing water temperatures in the low fifties in most parts of the bay, shallower waters back in the protected bayous you can find temps in the low sixties. These kinds of conditions can really slow the fish down and make them harder to find, and harder to entice. And when we have a forty degree swing in air temps from one day to the next I’m not sure the fish even know which way to go. Topsy-turvy weather like this is when you have to be ready to think on your feet. On warmer sunny days once the sun gets up and without too much wind, it is generally a good plan to look for Trout and Reds up in the grass. When these conditions exist, bait fish will move out of deeper waters they spent the night in and gravitate towards the protection the grass provides. On not so warm sunny days you may have to lean more towards a protected bayou with a muddy bottom that does not cool down as suddenly as the open waters do and warms a little once the sun gets overhead. Cold, windy, cloudy days for sure find the warmest conditions you can and hope for the best. Pay attention to your bottom machine’s water temperature readings and like always look for the presence of bait. Lately there are Speckled trout and Redfish being found during the day feeding on pinfish and finger mullet up on the grass flats. It is not and early bite, best to wait for the tide to come up and a good dose of sunshine helps too. A few Sheep head are getting caught back in places like Watson bayou and up in WestBay at the bridge. They are feeding around pilings and oyster beds on barnacles and small crabs but will not turn down a live shrimp. The pass is still holding some Bull reds, most are too big to keep but there are some slot size fish in the mix. Speaking of the pass, there are quite a few reports of Pompano coming up in on the incoming tide. Also before I forget to mention the channels under the Hathaway and Tyndall bridges have had Flounder, Black sea bass and a few large Black drum caught. Drop in and share your fish story with us or check us out on Facebook.

11/25/2013

PANAMA CITY BEACH OFFSHORE

Grouper fishing has been pretty dependable, heavy weights to get past the Red snapper and larger live baits are the key to success for Gag grouper. Red grouper and Scamp won’t take larger baits so you have to size down accordingly. I say live baits because they seem to produce a strike from fish that are becoming a little lazy as the water cools down. Then again sometimes it takes fresh cut bait to turn them on so it’s always a good strategy to have both available. Flounder, Black sea bass, Bee liners and White snapper round out what you can expect from dragging bottom. It’s definitely worth planning a trip to one of the wrecks or reefs in State waters when weather permits. This coming week does not look good though, a lot of wind in our forecast. If you get a chance to go and you are just going out after Flounder, bring along both your lighter tackle and some heavier stuff too because you may hang into a school of jacks while trying for Flounder. There have been plenty of Amberjack and Trigger fish around, and they have been in places you wouldn’t normally find them like over a low lying wreck in seventy feet of water. Most of them are short but they can be fun for a little while, and you may even luck into a keeper. Not many if any Kings around, a few reports of some Black fin tuna out in Federal waters but not much else.

SURF

Fishing the surf has been pretty good lately. Pompano, Whiting, Redfish, Flounder, and even a few surprise Sheep head have all been seen coming up and over local beach walks. With the winds coming from a more northerly and or easterly direction, the surf has been flat for the most part. Cooler water temperatures have pretty much run Spanish and Blues off and with the weather we have coming you can figure they are headed south for warmer waters.

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

Cooler weather is just beginning to push the Speckled trout into their winter haunts. And with the weather we have coming that will only be reinforced. Creeks, canals and Bayous will become the places to be. Keep in mind they feed prior to fronts coming in, and get a little finicky after the front has moved through. If you are out there post front bring you’re A game as it will take a little more to elicit a strike than it would otherwise. Bull Reds are all about heading out to spawn offshore so all of the places that concentrate fish on that route are loaded with them like under the bigger bridges and of course in the pass. Your lower slot and “puppy” size Redfish that stay the winter in the bay seem to be moving into a little deeper water lately too, probably following whatever food source they can find. Try docks and grassy areas in eight feet or more. Speaking of bait, it has gotten pretty hard to locate anything to throw a cast net on. Bait traps are still working well though. Also I need to mention some Sheep head were picked up around local bridges along with Mangrove snapper and some hefty Black drum. See you on the water!

11/25/2013

PANAMA CITY BEACH OFFSHORE

Grouper fishing has been pretty dependable, heavy weights to get past the Red snapper and larger live baits are the key to success for Gag grouper. Red grouper and Scamp won’t take larger baits so you have to size down accordingly. I say live baits because they seem to produce a strike from fish that are becoming a little lazy as the water cools down. Then again sometimes it takes fresh cut bait to turn them on so it’s always a good strategy to have both available. Flounder, Black sea bass, Bee liners and White snapper round out what you can expect from dragging bottom. It’s definitely worth planning a trip to one of the wrecks or reefs in State waters when weather permits. This coming week does not look good though, a lot of wind in our forecast. If you get a chance to go and you are just going out after Flounder, bring along both your lighter tackle and some heavier stuff too because you may hang into a school of jacks while trying for Flounder. There have been plenty of Amberjack and Trigger fish around, and they have been in places you wouldn’t normally find them like over a low lying wreck in seventy feet of water. Most of them are short but they can be fun for a little while, and you may even luck into a keeper. Not many if any Kings around, a few reports of some Black fin tuna out in Federal waters but not much else.

SURF

Fishing the surf has been pretty good lately. Pompano, Whiting, Redfish, Flounder, and even a few surprise Sheep head have all been seen coming up and over local beach walks. With the winds coming from a more northerly and or easterly direction, the surf has been flat for the most part. Cooler water temperatures have pretty much run Spanish and Blues off and with the weather we have coming you can figure they are headed south for warmer waters.

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM

Cooler weather is just beginning to push the Speckled trout into their winter haunts. And with the weather we have coming that will only be reinforced. Creeks, canals and Bayous will become the places to be. Keep in mind they feed prior to fronts coming in, and get a little finicky after the front has moved through. If you are out there post front bring you’re A game as it will take a little more to elicit a strike than it would otherwise. Bull Reds are all about heading out to spawn offshore so all of the places that concentrate fish on that route are loaded with them like under the bigger bridges and of course in the pass. Your lower slot and “puppy” size Redfish that stay the winter in the bay seem to be moving into a little deeper water lately too, probably following whatever food source they can find. Try docks and grassy areas in eight feet or more. Speaking of bait, it has gotten pretty hard to locate anything to throw a cast net on. Bait traps are still working well though. Also I need to mention some Sheep head were picked up around local bridges along with Mangrove snapper and some hefty Black drum. See you on the water!

11/10/2013

OFFSHORE
There was a lot of wind to deal with last week but if you did get to go wreck fishing, it was good and there were plenty of hard tails around for bait. Drop one of those about half way down to the bottom over a good sized wreck and you are sure to get the attention of an Amberjack or King mackerel. And if you can get a bait past the Red snapper you should find Red grouper, Bee liners and White or Black snapper. We have had a few reports of Lane snapper so keep the faith, you should be able to make your trip worthwhile. Wahoo, Black fin tuna and Bull dolphin are out there but it will be a run of at least thirty miles from shore to get in their territory. Still getting plenty of reports on Flounder, natural bottom and wrecks out to about sixty feet of water seem to be your best bet.

SURF
Reported catches this past week include Pompano, Whiting, Flounder, Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, Jack crevalle and Redfish. There is a lot of bait fish running the beach and plenty of predators following them.

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
If you are a Flounder aficionado, your time has come! From all the usual haunts up in the bay all the way out to the pass has produced fish. Seawalls, dock pilings, potholes, and edges of channels are all good places to hunt. Redfish are on the move too, gathering up in schools of twenty five, fifty or more they can be found fattening up on pinfish, pilchards and finger mullet. Find the bait and you should find fish, larger docks and any kind of rip rap are good bets. If you were back in East or West bay likely you found some Speckled trout. Both artificial and live baits were producing, daybreak was good but they were active well into the day. In the channel around the Hathaway bridge some Silver trout were reported. Cut squid, small Gulp baits and of course live shrimp will get their attention.


 

10/27/2013

PANAMA CITY BEACH OFFSHORE
Now that Red snapper are off the menu, I guess we will have to try our hand at targeting what we can keep offshore. That is not a short list, except for Trigger fish (Federal waters) and Red snapper (both State and Federal) being closed, everything else is currently open (in our neck of the woods). Bottom fishing for Grouper has paid off best for those fishing with live bait on natural bottom or reefs. Mostly Red grouper in these locations but the occasional Gag is picked up too. Yes you will find Red snapper here too but usually not as many as on a wreck. If you are fishing a wreck try using larger live baits as they tend to attract strikes from grouper more so than Red snapper. There has been a decent amount of Black snapper on local wrecks according to the local dive boats. Judging by the size of the ones they speared, they are worth going for. King mackerel have been a pretty dependable go to for local anglers but the changing weather has made finding them a little harder some days. Whether you are live baiting or trolling putting your offerings at different depths can help you dial in on where they are. There are plenty of hard tails around for live baiting and you are likely to find large schools of Bonita skipping along, have a buck tail handy to take advantage of the free bait. There are also a few Sailfish still around so be ready or be sorry. Amberjack are plentiful over the bridge spans and a live hard tail will get slammed. You may have to throw a few back to get a legal fish but there is plenty of action to be had. Wahoo and big Dolphin are a real good bet but you have to burn some fuel to get to them. Best reports have come in from fifty miles out (around Madison Swanson). In close the Flounder have begun to make their way offshore so bring along appropriate bait and tackle. Spinning rod and reel that can handle ten to fifteen pound line rigged Carolina style for live bait will do just fine. Or you can also use artificial baits provided you can get them to the bottom and keep them there.

 

SURF
Fishing from the beach this time of year can really be rewarding, some would say this is one of the better times of the year to go. Reports last week include Pompano, Whiting, Flounder, Bluefish, Ladyfish, Spanish mackerel and Redfish. If you are targeting Flounder, work your rig very slowly, even stopping now and then. And on the next cast, move slightly off to the left or right of the last. This way you are covering more ground and are more likely to put your bait in front of them. For Pompano and Whiting a two hook surf rig with shrimp, sand fleas or squid will do and just leave it where it lands. Blues, Ladys and Spanish will readily hit a bubble rig, casting spoon or buck tail. For Redfish a surf rig will work, but if the surf is not too sporty a Carolina rig with whatever live bait you can come up with is a good bet. If you are sight casting to them, a gold spoon heavy enough to provide a long cast works great.

 

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
Fishing the grass flats is really turning on, Speckled trout and slot reds can be found feeding up in two or three feet of water pushing up a wake. You will have to use your “inside voice” when you spot them or they will be gone. The old popping cork has drawn in plenty of fish but don’t place it too close or it will have the opposite effect. Top water and suspending baits are effective, as well as soft plastics. If you have not been able to pull the trigger on one of the new super life like artificial shrimp, you will not be disappointed. Yes they cost more per bait than some of the others but compare that to how much longer it lasts. The nylon weave in the new baits makes them so much tougher, you will be casting and catching while others are re rigging. We are really seeing a surge in the numbers of bull Reds and Flounder getting caught. This is when they head for the passes and offshore to spawn. Please keep this in mind when you are handling an oversize Red, you are responsible for making sure the fish survives the capture and release. A future generation is in your hands. The fact that we can now keep two slot reds per angler per day is proof that our conservation efforts are working. Black drum, Black sea bass and Mangrove snapper are hanging around deeper docks and channels. Cut bait will work for the drum and sea bass but for the Mangrove snapper live bait is most often much better.


10/17/2013

PANAMA CITY BEACH OFFSHORE
Well I have to say we have had a very nice fall Snapper season so far. Nice weather for the most part and Gag grouper open to boot. Do keep in mind that we are now restricted to State waters for Red snapper and for Trigger fish. October 14th at midnight Federal waters closed to harvest of both species and Oct. 21st State waters will close. However in what time is left, there are plenty of legal Red snapper within nine miles of shore, can’t say the same for Trigger fish, seems like they all run small within sight of land. Remember if you are going out past nine miles do your Red snapper and Trigger fish fishing on the way back in or risk getting in trouble with the man. Red and Gag grouper have been picked off wrecks and reefs in eighty plus feet. Bring along some live bait if you can because we have had a lot of reports they can be a little finicky towards frozen baits some days. If you are looking to pick a fight with keeper size Amberjack, head out to a wreck in 120 feet or more and try to pick one that hasn’t been hammered. Going the distance will make a difference. Trolling for Wahoo, Kings and Dolphin has also been best out of sight of land. You can definitely find Kings closer to shore but Wahoo and Dolphin have pretty much required a good run. We are still experiencing a run of Sailfish in our area, some within reach of piers and Kayakers. Have a fairly heavy spinning outfit rigged and ready, live cigar minnow pitched to them should do the trick nicely. Also don’t forget to try the outer edges of your inshore wrecks for Flounder, they are on the move and can make a nice addition to any fish box.


 

SURF
As the fall “cool “fronts start to come through our area we begin to see more and more Flounder, Redfish, Pompano and Whiting in the surf. And we are experiencing some of that now. With the prevailing winds coming from a northerly direction and laying down the surf, you can actually see schools of fish on the move. There is nothing better than throwing in front of moving fish and watching them eat. You can also expect to find Spanish mackerel, Bluefish, and Ladyfish not to mention lots of small sharks.


 

ST ANDREWS BAY SYSTEM
We are hearing of some good trips up in the northern reaches of the bay for Speckled trout and smaller Redfish. Live lining a large live shrimp, finger mullet or LY has produced some over slot trout. Larger bull Reds and Black drum can be found fishing deeper waters with good tidal flow. These same areas can also be holding Flounder, Black sea bass and Mangrove snapper. So size your terminal tackle accordingly, too large of a hook and you likely won’t be able to take advantage of the smaller sea bass and mangroves. And speaking of Flounder, they are coming into their spawning season and are in the mood to eat. Points of land to look for that concentrate fish, potholes in the grass flats and sandy ledges are all likely to hold them. Some nice sized fish have been caught lately and of course you will find plenty of just legal fish too. I find the just legal to be smaller than I want to keep personally, I guess I prefer not to have to pick through the bones (call me spoiled). Now you add a couple inches to that and you have a Flounder worth keeping in my book.


 

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  • April 18, 2014 1:00 am EDT Location: 30.213N 85.88W Wind Direction: ENE (70°) Wind Speed: 8.0 knots Wind Gust: 15.9 knots Atmospheric Pressure: 30.16 in (1021.4 mb) Pressure Tendency: +0.03 in (+0.9 mb) Air Temperature: 61.7°F (16.5°C) Water Temperature: 67.1°F (19.5°C)

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