logo

icon bottomfishing icon camping icon archery icon hiking icon kayaking 

Panhandle Fishing Forecasts

MARCH 2014

March is a month of transition for both inshore and offshore fisherman in our area. Pelagic species that have been gone all winter will start to show up as the water temperature begins to rise and inshore species will begin to transition out of the river and deeper bayous and canals onto the grass flats. 

No one sees this transition more than the inshore fisherman. The first half of the month the sound and bays will see little change, but as the temperature begins to climb so will the Trout and Redfish activity. Redfish will begin to move on to flats in Escambia and Blackwater Bays as well as around the deeper structure in the sound. The Sheepshead bite will be in full swing this month and can be found around almost any structure in the bays and sound. Most other species will remain in the rivers where the water remains a little warmer, but as the water temperature begins to rise to around 66 to 68 degrees and the baitfish start to show up, this will signal the beginnings of the Spring migration. 

For surf and pier fishermen, the water temperature is the key to how good the fishing will be. However, Pompano, Bluefish, Bonita, Whiting, Sheepshead, Black Drum, and Redfish should be available. The second half of the month is normally a lot warmer; as the temperature improves so should the fishing. During the latter half of the month pelagic species will start to show up such as Spanish mackerel, and maybe even a Cobia or two.

Offshore Reds, Scamp, and Snowy Grouper as well as Amberjack, Blackfin, and Yellowfin tuna will be the hottest bites around. The largest Amberjacks will be in and around 200 feet of water over deep water wrecks as well as closer in around the edge. Top baits will be live hard tails, pinfish and red porgies, however Shimano’s Butterrfly Centre vortex or Slidend, Bomber’s Vamp or Darter, and Williamson Abyss or Benthos jigs all work very well on the AJ’s. The bite should remain good further offshore with the Nipple and the Spur, and Steps good places to start. All locations are proven areas with Wahoo, Blackfin and Yellowfin tuna being the main targets. February brings the best bite bar none for Tuna and Wahoo will be out around the oil rigs.

February 2014

FEBRUARY FISHING FORECAST 2014

February will be much like January for the how and when to fish. A few exceptions to

species is late in the month there could be a few spanish and people will be preparing to

catch cobia which start in March. I do not know of anyone actually catching a cobia in

February even though the full pull did have a chance at one they spotted on February

27th several years ago when we have a very mild winter.

Fishing in winter months especially January can be very weather dependent, look to fish

on the days just before a weather front comes in. Lets say we are supposed to have a

rain event on a Thursday and cold temps rolling in Thursday night after the rain. In that

scenario tuesday and Wednesday should have the warmer temps and a southerly flow

of wind making them the better fishing days. Normally those days leading up to the

passage of a front have warmer moist temps with a south to southeast wind. This is

especially true for surf fishing and bay fishing. If I was looking to go bottom fishing for

Amberkack and Mingo Snapper normally the days after a front seem to be better

because od sea conditions. In our earlier scenario of w weather front on a Thursday

most likely Friday would be very windy and rough but starting on Saturday the winds

would start to diminish and Saturday, Sunday and Monday should in most cases be cool

but have relatively calm sea conditions making for some nice days to get offshore and

find some bottom fish

Pompano

Throw jigs, sand fleas or shrimp from the jetties or pier. Bottom fish with sand fleas,

shrimp or fiddler crabs from the surf.

Whiting

Bottom fish the pier or surf with small hooks and fresh peeled shrimp in the shallows.

Flounder

Fish the pier, harbor and bay with grubs, Berkerly gulp and live bull minnows. For boat

fishing in the fall use bull minnows or live shrimp fished on the lee side or reefs or

wrecks, around the sea bouy and just outside the pass.

Speckled Trout

Use live shrimp under a popping cork drifted across the flats.

Try a live shrimp free lined with just a split shot around boat docks.

Cast Yozuri Crystal minnows, Crystal Shrimp or live Target Pinfhish and Mullet lures on

flats, deep water docks and mouth of bayous. Berkeley Gulp work as a good sub for live

shrimp.

White Trout

Bottom fish with shrimp, Berkeley Gulp, or grubs around bridges, bayous and harbor.

Sheepshead

Fish live shrimp, fiddler crabs and oysters on a fish finder rig around bridge pilings,

jetties, pier and docks.

Redfish

Use live shrimp or menhaden to bottom fish around bridges, jetties, bayous and docks.

Cast hard baits, grubs and Berkeley Gulps in the harbor, bayous around docks and

flats. Also jig 2oz spoons in the pass and around the Destin and Midbay bridge.

Vermillion Snapper (aka Mingo Snapper )

Use a 2 hook bottom rig with small circle hooks about the size of a nickel and one

ounce of lead for every 10 feet of water. Fish reefs, wrecks and natural bottom with cut

squid, cut northern mackerel or fish bites.

Trigger Fish

Use a 2 hook bottom rig with small circle hooks about the size of a nickel and one

ounce of lead for every 10 feet of water. Fish reefs, wrecks and natural bottom with cut

squid, cut northern mackerel or fish bites.

White Snapper

Use a 2 hook bottom rig with small circle hooks about the size of a nickel and one

ounce of lead for every 10 feet of water. Fish reefs, wrecks and natural bottom with cut

squid, cut northern mackerel or fish bites.

Amberjack

For you rig us a circle hook about the size of a half dollar on a 5ft 80lb leader and a egg

lead one ounce for every 10ft of water. Fish reefs, wrecks and natural bottom mostly in

water 125 to 400ft depths. Best spots are on the southwest edge or just beyond. As for

bait live and frozen cigar minnows, herring, threadfin herring, northern mackerel and

hardtails. Butterfly jigs are a great option.

Red Grouper

For you rig us a circle hook about the size of a half dollar on a 5ft 80lb leader and a egg

lead one ounce for every 10ft of water. Fish reefs, wrecks and natural bottom mostly in

water 125 to 400ft depths. Best spots are on the southwest edge or just beyond. As for

bait live and frozen cigar minnows, herring, threadfin herring, and northern mackerel.

Butterfly jigs are a great option.

Yellowfin Tuna

Troll small Islanders and Soft heads with or without ballyhoo, Zuker feathers, cedar

plugs and Yozuri plugs. Fish the spur, squiggles, steps and rigs. Jigging with butterfly

jigs works good around rigs and chunking at night while chumming on the spur also

does good. Fishing the rigs will be the most productive during the winter months.

Sharks

You can catch them from the surf or boat, using a 5ft or longer steel leader with a large

circle hook. The best baits are northern mackerel, cut ladyfish, bonita chunks or

bluefish.

March Forecast

Pompano should arrive in full swing this month. There are several ways to target these fish, however the most common ways are to fish a 2-hook rig with fluorocarbon leaders and a piece of fresh shrimp on one hook and a sand flea on the other. The other way to have success is to bounce a pompano jig along the surf.

Spanish mackerel will also show this month and can be caught on straw rigs and Got-Cha spoons.

Pier fishing should be great in March. Along with the pompano and Spanish mackerel, the cobia will show towards the middle to end of the month. Most pier fishermen will fish for cobia with a 2oz cobia jig in their favorite color or a live eel fished on a 25lb class spinning outfit and about a 7/0 Owner bait hook.

Large redfish will still be a favorite for the jetty fishermen this month. In addition, when the Spanish mackerel do show up it will be easy to catch a limit using a straw rig or Got-Cha plug.

When the cobia arrive they can also be caught at the end of the jetty using a jig or a live eel.

Grouper can still be found around structure in 100 feet of water; however the larger ones will be found around the natural bottom and structure in 150+ feet of water.

The amberjack will still be thick around the bridge spans in around 100 feet of water. Live baits and 2oz glow jigs should provide all the action you want.

A trolled mackerel tree/clark spoon combo will provide great action when the Spanish mackerel arrive this month. The typical trolling rod/reel for Spanish mackerel is a larger sized spinning or bait casting outfit loaded with 15-20lb test line. Above the mackerel tree rig, you will want to place a 1-2 oz trolling weight to get your rig down a bit. Troll this rig at about 4 or 5 knots along the sand bars and you should have some great action

.When the Spanish mackerel arrive, they will be the main excitement in the bays this month. Either site-cast a spoon or Got-Cha plug to them or troll around the main part of the bay with a mackerel tree rig and you should have a lot of excitement. This is a great fishery to start the young ones out at.

The trout will be moving out of the bayous and canals and can be caught on the flats or the mouths of the creeks and canals. Once on the flats, top water plugs should provide good action early in the mornings and late in the afternoons. Live shrimp is also a great bait of choice for trout.


 

February Forecast

While most people are doing other things such as hunting or working on their honey-do's this month they are missing out on some fabulous near shore fishing. The cooler water temperatures bring the amberjack closer to shore - not to mention all the flounder stacked-up on the inshore wrecks.

Fishing on structure, even the public numbers, within 10 miles of the shoreline should provide you with some of the best near shore bottom fishing of the year. Drop a live pinfish, dead cigar minnow or a jig around these wrecks and it shouldn't be too long before you are getting bit by an amberjack. Drop smaller baits such as strips of squid or cut bait for some great triggerfish and beeliner action. A live bull minnow rigged on a 2/0 Khale style hook and a 1-2oz egg lead on light (10-15#) spinning tackle should put you in the flounder zone.

If you like to fish in the pass or on the jetties you can expect to catch sheepshead, bluefish and bull redfish this month. Try baiting your hook with a fiddler crab or small live shrimp for sheepshead. Redfish will take everything from a 3oz jig to live pinfish or shrimp. Bluefish are not picky and will take just about anything you want to offer them.  You will also find the larger amberjack hanging over the wrecks offshore as well as plenty of scamp, triggerfish and beeliners.

February is typically a very decent month for fishing in our local bay system. You can expect to catch trout, redfish, bluefish, sheepshead and a few flounder. Where you will locate the fish, especially the trout, will depend on the water temperatures. Trout don't take to the real cold water too well so they will generally be where the water is the warmest. This usually means along an area in the bay that has a dark, rather than sandy bottom. You will usually find these areas in the residential canals and in the bayous. Another great place for trout fishing is Warren Bayou, or locally known as the "Steam Plant Canal". You will need a boat that is capable of navigating in some pretty shallow water to get there and it is strictly catch & release fishing there this time of year. Redfish are not as intolerable to the cold water temperatures and you will find them along the flats this month. You can also find the redfish in the bayous around oyster beds as well as around boat docks and other structure. Live shrimp or various plastic grubs are great baits to use for both trout and redfish. Bluefish will be in the main part of the bay as well as up in some of the bayous. They will hit just about anything you toss to them, including live shrimp, chunk bait, silver spoons and plastic grubs. Be careful when handling bluefish as they have very sharp teeth and a strong jaw.

Sheepshead can be found around most structure throughout the bay this month. They will feed on small live shrimp as well as fiddler crabs. Fishing around boat docks, bridge pilings and oyster beds with 10-15# tackle and a small but strong hook should yield you a nice mess of fish.

Most of the flounder have migrated out of the bay and into the Gulf by now, however, you can still pick a few up by fishing a live bull minnow or plastic grub in the sandy areas around the pass.


January Forecast

While most people are doing other things such as hunting or working on their honey-do's this month they are missing out on some fabulous near shore fishing this month. The cooler water temperatures bring the grouper and amberjack closer to shore - not to mention all the flounder stacked-up on the inshore wrecks.

Fishing on structure, even the public numbers, within 10 miles of the shoreline should provide you with some of the best near shore bottom fishing of the year.

Drop a live pinfish, dead cigar minnow or a jig around these wrecks and it shouldn't be too long before you are getting bit by an amberjack or grouper. Drop smaller baits such as strips of squid or cut bait for some great triggerfish and beeliner action. A live bull minnow rigged on a 2/0 Khale style hook and about a 1-2oz egg lead on light (10-15#) spinning tackle should put you in the flounder zone.

If you like to fish in the pass or on the jetties you can expect to catch sheepshead, bluefish and bull redfish this month. Try baiting your hook with a fiddler crab or small live shrimp for sheepshead.

Redfish will take everything from a 3oz jig to live pinfish or shrimp. Bluefish are not picky and will take just about anything you want to offer them.

Pier fishing will vary day by day this month. Typically you can expect to catch whiting, flounder, bluefish, redfish and bonita off the pier during January. Target the whiting using a 2-hook surf rig tipped with a piece of shrimp for bait. Many times you will catch a passing by redfish on this same rig. Use a live bull minnow fished on a flounder rig or Carolina rig for flounder. Bluefish and bonita will hit a straw rig or silver spoon.

There isn't too much going on offshore in January with the exception of bottom fishing. January is a great month to fish in water around 200' deep with heavy tackle and large baits in search of that "copper-belly" grouper. They too come in from the deep during the winter months and now is a great time to target them.

You will also find the larger amberjack hanging over the wrecks offshore as well as plenty of scamp, triggerfish and beeliners.

January is typically a very decent month for fishing in our local bay system. You can expect to catch trout, redfish, bluefish, sheepshead and a few flounder. Where you will locate the fish, especially the trout, will depend on the water temperatures. Trout don't take to the real cold water too well so they will generally be where the water is the warmest. This usually means along an area in the bay that has a dark, rather than sandy bottom. You will usually find these areas in the residential canals and in the bayous. Another great place for trout fishing is Warren Bayou, or locally known as the Steam Plant Canal. You will need a boat that is capable of navigating in some pretty shallow water to get there and it is strictly catch & release fishing there this time of year.

Redfish are not as intolerable to the cold water temperatures and you will find them along the flats this month. You can also find the redfish in the bayous around oyster beds as well as around boat docks and other structure. Live shrimp or various plastic grubs are great baits to use for both trout and redfish.

Bluefish will be in the main part of the bay as well as up in some of the bayous. They will hit just about anything you toss to them, including live shrimp, chunk bait, silver spoons and plastic grubs. Be careful when handling bluefish as they have very sharp teeth and a strong jaw.

Sheepshead can be found around most structure throughout the bay this month. They will feed on small live shrimp as well as fiddler crabs. Fishing around boat docks, bridge pilings and oyster beds with 10-15# tackle and a small but strong hook should yield you a nice mess of fish.

Most of the flounder have migrated out of the bay and into the Gulf by now, however you can still pick a few up by fishing a live bull minnow or plastic grub in the sandy areas around the pass.


 

December Forecast

The big bull redfish will be running in full swing on the beaches this month. Most anglers will be using live bull minnows or small pinfish. Try using a basic Carolina rig but instead of an egg sinker use a pyramid type, which will allow the weight to stay put. Attach live bait to a 3/0 Owner mutu-light circle hook with no more than 30 pound leader. Putting your rod into a sand spike will allow you to fish multiple rods at once.

Cooling gulf water combined with the warmer water pushing out of the bays this month bring spanish mackerel to the jetties in huge schools. Try using bubble and straw rigs early into the morning and switch to Gotcha plugs as the day warms up. Most experienced spanish mackerel fishermen will fish a #1 Clark spoon with 3 feet of 50 pound mono behind a 2 ounce casting weight. By letting the spoon fall to the bottom after the cast and rapidly retrieving it back you will catch more than you can eat.

October brings a wide variety of species into the piers. Spanish will be caught all day long on bubble and straw rig and Gotcha plugs. Kings will show strong runs early mornings and late afternoons, try fishing live baits caught on the pier pilings with stinger rigs. Flounder will be caught using heavy grubs and live bull minnows fished right along the base of the pilings.

The first of the pompano and whiting will also start to show towards the end of the month.The fall run of large wahoo will be here in good numbers in the middle of the month. Try trolling large Yo-Zuri bonita lures in purple or black and orange. Many locals also like pulling locally made Marlin Man heavy head panhandler lures because they have found that they can troll these at a bit faster pace (up to 13 knots) and cover more water this way. Whichever bait you use, be sure to check your drags frequently as the initial strike will be a rod bending, drag- screaming affair.

Trout fishermen are finding some nice gator-size fish working the flats hard in the early morning hours. Try throwing floating Mirro-lure plugs for the first few hours of daylight.

Big bull reds will be caught around the pass using cut bait and large topwater plugs. On an outgoing tide try the areas just off the points of both jetties. Flounder will also start the migration towards the mouth of the pass to move offshore where they will spawn. Try fishing 1/4 ounce jigheads with root beer colored jig bodies around deepwater point and the kiddie pool.


 

October Forecast

The big bull redfish will be running in full swing on the beaches this month. Most anglers will be using live bull minnows or small pinfish. Try using a basic Carolina rig but instead of an egg sinker use a pyramid type, which will allow the weight to stay put. Attach live bait to a 3/0 Owner mutu-light circle hook with no more than 30 pound leader. Putting your rod into a sand spike will allow you to fish multiple rods at once. Cooling gulf water combined with the warmer water pushing out of the bays this month bring spanish mackerel to the jetties in huge schools. Try using bubble and straw rigs early into the morning and switch to Gotcha plugs as the day warms up. Most experienced spanish mackerel fishermen will fish a #1 Clark spoon with 3 feet of 50 pound mono behind a 2 ounce casting weight. By letting the spoon fall to the bottom after the cast and rapidly retrieving it back you will catch more than you can eat.October brings a wide variety of species into the piers. Spanish will be caught all day long on bubble and straw rig and Gotcha plugs. Kings will show strong runs early mornings and late afternoons, try fishing live baits caught on the pier pilings with stinger rigs. Flounder will be caught using heavy grubs and live bull minnows fished right along the base of the pilings. The first of the pompano and whiting will also start to show towards the end of the month.The fall run of large wahoo will be here in good numbers in the middle of the month. Try trolling large Yo-Zuri bonita lures in purple or black and orange. Many locals also like pulling locally made Marlin Man heavy head panhandler lures because they have found that they can troll these at a bit faster pace (up to 13 knots) and cover more water this way. Whichever bait you use, be sure to check your drags frequently as the initial strike will be a rod bending, drag- screaming affair.Trout fishermen are finding some nice gator-size fish working the flats hard in the early morning hours. Try throwing floating Mirro-lure plugs for the first few hours of daylight. Big bull reds will be caught around the pass using cut bait and large topwater plugs. On an outgoing tide try the areas just off the points of both jetties. Flounder will also start the migration towards the mouth of the pass to move offshore where they will spawn. Try fishing 1/4 ounce jigheads with root beer colored jig bodies around deepwater point and the kiddie pool.

September Forecast

SURF
The king mackerel will be the hottest bite near shore this month. Troll lipped plugs or cigar minnow/duster combos for best results. Find the bait clusters and you will find the kings. Mahi-Mahi dolphin will still be in the area around weed lines and patches. Usually September is the last month you will find them in our inshore waters, as they will migrate to warmer waters for the winter. Usually in September we see the red snapper bite turn on a bit as well.

OFFSHORE
The water temps offshore should still be warm enough this month to still hold plenty of Wahoo, Dolphin, marlin (white & blue) and swordfish. The offshore bottom fishing generally picks up this month as well.

BAY
September is typically a very good month to be fishing in the bays. The water is starting to cool off just a bit and you can generally catch nicer fish throughout the day. Live shrimp and finger mullet or small pinfish should be great bait for both the trout and redfish. Spanish mackerel will still be caught in the bay this month, but if you want them, this will likely be the last month of the year you can find them in our waters, as they will begin to migrate out of our area. Speaking of migrating, towards the middle to the end of the month the flounder will begin their fall migration out of the bay and into the gulf to spawn for the winter. This is an excellent time to target them around most sandy areas of the bay using a live bull minnow or plastic grub for bait.

August Forecast

Surf
The king mackerel bite will be hot this month. Near shore, you will see a lot of boats trolling for them around the whistle buoy, which is approximately 4 miles out of the St. Andrews Pass. This area holds a lot of bait, thus draws the kings. Be prepared for anything while fishing this area. Every year some very large wahoo and a few sailfish are hooked by people either trolling or flat lining baits for kings. Bottom fishing near shore will be slow, as the areas have been hit hard all summer. You will be best off traveling down the coast a bit then heading off a few miles, where there are a lot of natural bottom areas. Mahi-mahi dolphin will be caught near shore around weed patches.


Pier
Pier fishing should be pretty good this month. Most of the action will come from king mackerel and Spanish mackerel. If you visit the pier at night, you will see some of our hard-core shark fishermen out there all night. If you haven't seen these guys fight a large shark from the pier, it is well worth the trip out there.


Bottom Fishing
Red Snapper will still be open until the 10th.  They can be caught over a variety of bottom structures using live pinfish, cigar minnows, herring and frozen sardines, cigar minnows and squid.  Black and Gag Grouper open on the 1st.  Large live pinfish, squirrel fish and grunts make great baits.  Most grouper will be caught from natural live bottom areas.  Amberjack is closed.


Offshore
Blue marlin, white marlin, wahoo, swordfish and dolphin should all be caught offshore this month. Fish the areas around the Point or the Squiggles for the pelagics. It is a little further, but if you have the fuel capacity to take you there, the Desoto Canyon is another excellent spot to troll - or set-up for a night drift and a chance to catch some swordfish. Offshore bottom fishing should also be good this month in 200+ feet of water. Keep a flat-line out for Mr. Wahoo when he comes by.


Bay
If you are fishing for trout up in the bays, you will want to be out there right at daybreak and fish a top-water plug over the flats. This technique will usually work good for the first couple hours in the morning and then just prior to sunset. During the day, you will be best off fishing live bait such as LY's or shrimp either under a popping cork or fished right on the bottom on a jig-head. Redfish can be caught in the same manner in the same areas you are finding the trout. Mangrove snapper will be around most bay structure and can be caught on light tackle and small live shrimp. Spanish mackerel will be available, but they will be spread out throughout the bay. Flounder will be caught throughout the bay as well. Live bull minnows or plastic grubs fished in the sandy holes of the bay should produce a bite.

July Forecast

Pier
This is one of the best months for pier fishermen. Bonita will be caught on bubble and straw rigs along with Spanish mackerel and a few blue runners. Those targeting Spanish will be throwing a #1 Clark spoon two to three feet behind a one ounce sinker. The big draw at the pier this month will be the kings. The die-hards will be there one hour before sunrise catching live baits, then rigging them on a stinger rig for the kings.

 

Bottom Fishing
Red Snapper will still be open until the 14th in state waters They can be caught over a variety of bottom structures using live pinfish, cigar minnows, herring and frozen sardines, cigar minnows and squid. Black and Gag Grouper open on the 1st. Large live pinfish, squirrel fish and grunts make great baits. Grouper opens July 1st.  Most grouper will be caught from natural live bottom areas. Amberjack is closed.

 

Trolling
Those trolling for kings will find that the bite will usually be much deeper this month than others. The more successful fishermen will be using downriggers with their baits fished around the 40 foot range in 60 to 80 feet of water. In such depths the darker color duster skirts seem to produce better. July also brings those wonderful weed patches that hold all of our mahi-mahi (dolphin). If you run across one of these weed clumps pull to the upwind side and kill the motors. Start chumming with small pieces of squid or cut minnows. Once the feeding frenzy has begun simply hide a small 1/0 hook into pieces of bait. Remember to keep one fished hooked by the boat and in the water at all times to keep the school near.

 

Offshore
Blue marlin, white marlin, Wahoo, swordfish and dolphin can all be caught offshore this month. Fish the areas around the Point or the Squiggles for the pelagics. It is a little further, but if you have the fuel capacity to take you there, the Desoto Canyon is another excellent spot to troll - or set-up for a night drift and a chance to catch some swordfish. Offshore bottom fishing should also be good this month in 200+ feet of water. Keep a flat-line out for Mr. Wahoo when he comes by.

 

Bay
Flounder fishermen should have good luck fishing ¼ ounce jig-heads with root beer or white colored grub tail bodies throughout the bay. The back bayous and creeks will be holding good numbers of flounder. Trout fishermen will have their best luck fishing alewives, finger mullet and live shrimp along the deep edges of the grass flats. Redfish will be caught in these same areas. Good numbers of small black tip sharks will be seen around the camel back and Spanish shanty areas as well. Anchor-up and start a chum slick and the black-tips should show up.


 

June Forecast

King mackerel will be the main target for near shore fishermen this month. Slow trolled duster/cigar minnow combos or lipped plugs should catch the fish. Don't be surprised if a wahoo grabs your offering, as this is how a good many wahoo are caught each year.

 

There will also be a good number of chicken dolphin inshore this month around weed patches. The easiest way to catch them is on a light action-spinning rod with a piece of squid or chunk bait on a hook.

 

 

June is a great month for offshore trolling. You will have the opportunity to catch Wahoo, Dolphin, Marlin and Swordfish. The closest deep water to us is the Squiggles. Most people will start trolling around the point, which draws a lot of bait, then head towards the Squiggles.

 

 

Red Snapper opens on the 1st and there should be no problem catching your limit. Fish any of the inshore structures or offshore hard bottom areas for plenty of action. Use a 5/0 circle hook with cut squid, cigar minnows, northern mackerel or spanish sardines. Live baits; such as pin fish, herring, sardines, and cigar minnows will draw the bigger snapper and a 6/0 sized circle hook will do the trick.

 

 

Amberjack will be over most of the bridge spans and other structure and can be caught on jigs and live baits. Most bottom fishermen will fish a flat-lined cigar minnow for a chance at a wahoo, black-fin tuna or king mackerel.

 

 

June is usually a very good month for fishing our bays. The flats will be holding plenty of trout, redfish and flounder. The larger trout will be holding in deeper waters such as channels and can be caught on various artificial baits as well as live pinfish, shrimp and LY'S.

 

 

Flounder should have migrated back into the bays and can be caught on plastic grubs as well as on bull minnows rigged Carolina style. Spanish mackerel will be plentiful in the bay and can be caught trolling mackerel tree rigs and casting Got-Cha plugs.


 

May Forecast

INSHORE
Everything is pretty much in full swing during May.  You can expect to catch beeliners, triggerfish and amberjack over wrecks and reefs. King mackerel will make their presence known during this month. People will generally slow-troll a lipped lure like a Mann's stretch 30, or a duster/cigar minnow combination for the kings. Another very popular and effective way to catch king mackerel is flat-lining a live cigar minnow. Spanish mackerel will be caught along the sand bars as well.
 
PIER
Pompano, Spanish mackerel, Lady Fish, Blue Fish and King Mackerel will be easy to target from the piers this month.  Pompano can be caught using jigs tipped with shrimp, sand fleas, or fish bites strips; or use a two hook rig weighted with a pyramid sinker.  The Spanish, Lady Fish and Blue Fish can be caught using spoons and gotcha plugs.
 
OFFSHORE
As the warmer waters move inshore the tuna, dolphin and marlin become reachable. Watch the satellite temperature charts to see where the warm waters are to save time and money. Wahoo and dolphin will show up first with tuna right behind. Many people will troll high- speed lures, such as the panhandler, to find the fish or tide line then use natural or live bait to really focus on the fish. 

 
BAY
The speckled trout and redfish will return to the grassy flats. As the water gets nice and warm during this month the fish will become more active and start hitting top water baits. Live shrimp is still the preferred bait but top water plugs like Bomber Ba-Donk-A-Donk are lots of fun to use. Generally, the better tide to fish is the high tide and the first few hours of the outgoing tide. Bull redfish can be found along the jetties. Mangrove snapper will be around most structure in the bay as well as at the jetties. Spanish mackerel will be around all month, and it best to troll with a mackerel tree with a Clark spoon. Early in the month use a size 00 Clark spoon and change to a size 0 mid month as both the Spanish and the baitfish get bigger.



 

April Forecast

Everything is pretty much in full swing during April. Cobia will be migrating along the beaches. Blue Fish, Lady Fish, Pompano, Whiting, Jack Crevalle, and Spanish mackerel will be roaming the beaches.You can expect to catch beeliners, triggerfish and amberjack over wrecks and reefs. Amberjack will be hanging around the bridge spans and bigger wrecks. Red Snapper will be plentiful for some catch and release fun. Red Grouper and Scamp open Aril 1st and will be hungry.  King mackerel will make their presence later this month. People will generally slow-troll a lipped lure like a Mann's stretch 30, or a duster/cigar minnow combination for the kings. Another very popular and effective way to catch king mackerel is flat-lining a live cigar minnow. Spanish mackerel will be caught along the sand bars as well.The speckled trout and redfish will return to the grassy flats. As the water gets nice and warm during this month the fish will become more active and start hitting top water baits. Live shrimp is still the preferred bait but top water plugs like the Bomber Badonk-A-Donk are lots of fun to use. Generally, the better tide to fish is the high tide and the first few hours of the outgoing tide. Bull redfish can be found in the pass around the jetties on a moving tide. Mangrove snapper will be around most structure in the bay as well as at the jetties. Spanish mackerel will be around all month, and it best to troll with a mackerel tree with a Clark spoon. Early in the month use a size 00 Clark spoon and change to a size 0 mid month as both the Spanish and the baitfish get bigger.


 

Click for Panama City Beach, Florida Forecast

Current Conditions at Russell Fields Pier

This feed shows recent marine weather observations from Station PCBF1.
  • April 24, 2014 6:30 am EDT Location: 30.213N 85.88W Wind Direction: N (350°) Wind Speed: 4.1 knots Wind Gust: 4.1 knots Atmospheric Pressure: 29.94 in (1013.9 mb) Air Temperature: 66.6°F (19.2°C) Water Temperature: 66.2°F (19.0°C)

Current Conditions at Destin & Navarre

This feed shows recent marine weather observations from Station 42012.
  • April 24, 2014 4:50 am CDT Location: 30.065N 87.555W Wind Direction: SSW (200°) Wind Speed: 3.9 knots Wind Gust: 5.8 knots Significant Wave Height: 0.7 ft Average Period: 3.4 sec Atmospheric Pressure: 29.93 in (1013.4 mb) Pressure Tendency: +0.00 in (+0.0 mb) Air Temperature: 68.4°F (20.2°C) Dew Point: 68.4°F (20.2°C) Water Temperature: 70.9°F (21.6°C)

Panhandle Fishing Forecast

Panama City Weekly Fishing Reports

Login Form