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Half Hitch Tackle, Since 1975


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Q: Where are the piers located?

A: Dan Russell Pier (City pier) is on the gulf side of Pier Park Shopping Center at 16201 Front Beach Rd. Panama City Beach.  M.B. Miller Pier (County pier) is one block from Shipwreck Island Water Park on the gulf side at 12213 Front Beach Rd. Panama City.


Q: What are your store hours at the piers?

A: In the summertime we are open 24 hours.


Q: How much does it cost to rent a rod and reel?

A: It is $12.00 for up to 6 hours or $25.00 for 24 hours It comes rigged with 20 lb. monofilament line, a 40 lb. monofilament leader, a 1 ounce weight, and a size 1 “J” hook. Rods may be modified to accommodate your fishing needs.


Q: What is a pier cart and how much is it to rent?

A: A pier cart is a two wheeled, aluminum pull behind cart that comes equipped with a bait cutting station and a Igloo ice chest for cooling drinks or preserving your fresh catch. It rents for $10.00 for 6 hours or $15.00 for 24 hours.


Q: What form of I.D. do I need to rent pier carts and rods?

A: A state ID and youcan pay with cash, credit card or debit card.


Q: When is the best time to fish?

A: At dawn (6 a.m.) and at dusk (6:30 p.m.)


Q: Do I need a fishing license to fish from the pier?

A: No, it is covered in the price of your pier admission.


Q: When is the best time to shark fish?

A: There is no day time shark fishing permitted. Shark begin feeding at dark when the water cools and they can comfortably enjoy their evening meals. Be sure to check your fishing guide to see which species are protected.


Q: What happens if I lose or break my rod and reel?

A: Breakage due to normal wear and tear will not be charged to you. However, if you lose your rod or it is found that the rod has been used in a fashion for which it was not intended, you will be responsible for repairs or replacements according to the terms of the rental agreement.


Q: May I continue to use my rented rod and reel after you have closed?

A: Yes, there are two ways to do this. You may rent your rod at 11:00 p.m. and return it at 5:00 a.m. or rods can be rented for a 24 hour period for your convenience.


Q: What do I do if my line breaks?

A: Bring it back to us and we will rig it again free of charge.


Q: What types of fish are caught off the pier?

A: There are over 80 species of fish, most of which are pelagic, that are caught off the piers including King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Sheepshead, Black Snapper, Bonefish, Bonita, Barracuda, Flounder, Bluefish, Redfish, Catfish, Lady fish, Tarpon, Drum along with various bait fish and hard tails. *Other sea life: Black Tip shark, Hammerhead shark, Sand shark, and Stingrays.


Q: What works best to catch mackerel?

A: King and Spanish Mackerel love “Gotcha” lures, especially those with red heads and silver bodies, with or without the tail. They find them impossible to resist. Mackerel also enjoy bubble rigs and the occasional spoon. Their choice in bait fish are frozen cigar minnows, and mullet in addition to live bait caught by you right here at the pier.


Q: What can you tell me about the piers?

A: The length of the City and County piers is approximately 1500 feet. The height of the piers from the surface of the water is 25-30 feet depending on the tides. The depth of the water off the ends of the piers is approximately 30 feet, again this depends on the tides.  The piers have turtle friendly lighting for night time fishing. The County pier has a restroom facility on the pier as well as restrooms on shore. The City location has only one restroom on the shore. There are benches on both piers and you may bring one bench or camping chair per fisherman. Both piers offer handicap parking and are wheel chair accessible. There are no alcoholic beverages permitted on the piers, but you may bring water, soft drinks, and snacks. Pets are not permitted on the piers for their own safety, however, there is a dog friendly beach to the immediate right of the city pier where you can hang out with your best friend. Be vigilant in watching your pet in the water.


Q: Are small children allowed to fish from the pier?

A: Absolutely! We are a family friendly recreational area, and we encourage you to bring the whole family.


Q: Where do I pay pier admission and how much is it?

A: At the base of each pier. It is $6.00 to fish, $3.00 for seniors, $3.00 to walk, and children under the age of six are free. NOTE: This is not included in the price of your rod and reel rentals. It is paid to the City or County respectively.


Q: Do I need a fishing license to fish from the beach?

A: Yes, you need a Florida Fishing License to fish from our beaches. You may obtain your license at our Thomas Dr. location at 2206 Thomas Dr. Panama City Beach. License costs are as follows:

Non-Residents

3 day license $17.50

7 day license $30.50

Annual license $ 47.50 *Best deal if you fish in Florida two or more times a year.

Licenses can also be purchased on line at license.myfwc.com.


Q: If I want to fish from the beach, do you have sand spikes?

A: Yes, we stock 22” sand spikes by Sea Striker.


Q: Do you have ice?

A: Yes, we have 7-10 lb. bags for $2.69


Q: Do you sell live bait?

A: No, we stock frozen cigar minnows, squid, shrimp, finger mullet, mullet chunks, and sand fleas along with chicken necks for the crabbers. Prices range from $4.50 - $4.99. Most bait is in a 1 lb. container. Live bait can be purchased at our main store located at 2206 Thomas Dr. at the East end of the beach. We also have rigs for catching your own bait fish which are plentiful around the pier. Rigs are by Sabiki, Haybusa, and Chaeil.


Q: What kind of tackle do I need to fish the pier locations?

A: Basic saltwater gear. A sturdy rod and reel with 20 lb. monofilament line fitted with a 40 lb. monofilament leader or steel leader for your more aggressive, sharp toothed fish, 1-3oz. weight, and a size 1 or 2 “J” hook or circle hook. Many of our fishermen use “Gotcha” lures with much success. Always have a pair of needle nosed pliers for hook removal, a bait knife on hand, and a measuring instrument to make sure you have a legal catch.  Optional items include a pier gaff or pier net to get larger fish onto the pier safely. We have all you need in stock at both piers for one stop shopping.


Q: Do I get to keep the fish I catch?

A: Yes, as long as the fish are in season and within legal limits. NOTE: Most fish are measured from the tip of the nose to the “fork” of the tail. All unwanted fish, under sized fish, and protected marine life must be gently returned to the water with hooks removed if possible.


Q: Can I clean my fish on the pier?

A: No, you may gut your fish on the piers but the head and tail must remain intact in the event that a Florida Fish and Wildlife officer checks your catch. There is a hefty fine for undersized  fish, so make sure yours are all keepers.


Q: Do the pier stores carry apparel?

A: Yes, We have a large selection of clothing for men, women, and children by Salt Life, Calcutta, PFG, and Guy Harvey. Additionally we stock Buff UV protective headwear, polarized sunglasses, and a full line of Panama Jack sun block to shield you from the harsh Florida sun.


Q: Do you sell snacks and drinks?

A: Yes, we have a variety of chips, crackers, candy bars, ice cream, water, and Pepsi products available for you to take on the piers with you. We also carry ice chests and ice to keep your drinks or your fresh catch cold.


Q: Do you sell beer?

A: No, since there are no alcoholic beverages permitted on the pier, we do not stock it. We also do not sell tobacco products.


Q: Do you sell rod and reels at the pier locations?

A: Yes, we have combos by Penn and Shakespeare ranging in price from $29.00 to $109.00. We also sell children’s rod and reel combos for small, junior fishermen.


Q: Do you have fish identification materials?

A: Yes, we have several fish identification books in color that include fish measurements, seasons, limits, etc… Many are waterproof, easy to carry guides that fit in your back pocket for on the spot reference. Come in and we will show you our favorites.


Q: Do you sell crab traps, nets, and bait?

A: Yes, we have a variety to choose from. Our choice bait is chicken necks. The crabs love them.


Q: Can I trap crabs from the pier and surrounding areas?

A: Yes, there are plenty out there for all.

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M.B. Miller Pier Cam

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Last Name:

 By signing up for the Half Hitch newsletter, you'll stay informed about what's going on with outdoor activities around the Panhandle, and receive notification of special buys, seminars and tournament information. Your personal information will never be given, sold or in any other way transferred to any other party or used for any other purpose than providing Half Hitch with a means of communicating with you. We also honor your request to opt out at any time, however you will miss out on important fishing tips, information and specials. 

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