Fishing Reports   Camping   Archery and Hunting   Hiking   Kayaking

Half Hitch Tackle, Since 1975


Panhandle Fishing Forecasts

JANUARY Fishing Forecast


Jan-01 


The holidays are over and a new year has begun. Just because we are in the middle of winter doesn’t mean we have nothing to catch out there! We have an entire season of possibilities. Trout, reds, flounder, sheepshead, and black drum can all be caught in the bay. Along the coast and just off the piers, winter bonita are cruising just off the shore line and sand bars in the early mornings. Surf, pier, and jetty fishing produce pompano, whiting, redfish, and sheepshead. On the bottom, fisherman can catch amberjack, scamp, red grouper, triggerfish, and vermillion snapper. 

Read more: JANUARY Fishing Forecast

FEBRUARY Fishing Forecast


 

Feb2015-01

February is definitely our coldest month of the year, but the days can be very nice and the fishing can be really hot!! In the bay, you’ll find trout, redfish, black drum, flounder, white trout and some of the best sheepshead fishing of the year. Along the coast and off the piers, you’ll find winter bonita cruising just off the shore line and sand bars in the early mornings. Surf, pier and jetty fishing will produce some pompano, whiting, redfish and sheepshead. Bottom fisherman will enjoy catching amberjack, scamp, red grouper, triggerfish and vermillion snapper.

Read more: FEBRUARY Fishing Forecast

MARCH Fishing Forecast


March-01-CobiaCan you say Cobia! March is the unofficial start to the new fishing year! March brings a variety of new species to the mix as the weather is warming, but the one that really gets fisherman fired up is cobia! 

You will also see the first king mackerel, Spanish mackerel and jack crevalle of the year. Many of the early kings will be very good sized, over 40lbs. Over the last few years, the kings have shown up in great quantities. The piers have had 40 or 50 a day caught when the weather is right late in the month. 

Spanish will also invade the inshore areas, pompano numbers go up, and spring breakers fill the beaches. 

Read more: MARCH Fishing Forecast

APRIL Fishing Forecast


April 01 RealinscriptsThe weather is warming even more. Cobia tournaments are in full swing, including the month long Harbor Docks tournament and a two or three day tournaments held each weekend at different locations. 

Cobia should be here in good numbers. Kings will be available almost any day you want to go after the middle of the month. 

Make sure to bring plenty of sweat shirts, wind breakers and sweat pants for the early April mornings. Many days will start off in the 40’s and warm into the 70’s. Layers are the ticket to staying comfortable all day on the water. You’ll also need a good supply of sunscreen!

Read more: APRIL Fishing Forecast

MAY Fishing Forecast

May-14-dolphin-lr


May is when fishing for pelagic species really kicks off. King mackerel are in good numbers and steady fishing. Wahoo and dolphin push much closer in. Weed lines form offshore in the 10 to 80 mile range. What we call rips (big temperature breaks) form offshore in the 20 to 80 mile range as we transition from Spring weather to summer weather. 

The weather in May is flat out awesome. We are normally past the severe weather fronts of Spring. Spring breakers have headed back to school and the time period between the first of the month and Memorial Day is a perfect time to be in town. The crowds are light, seas are normally calm with light winds, and we have bright sunny skies.

Along with the influx of pelagic species there are a variety of other fish to catch. In the bay, trout and reds invade the flats. Bottom fishing for amberjack, red grouper, scamp, vermillion snapper and triggerfish is very good. Farther offshore, the blue and white marlin start to show up, and swordfish are biting along with yellowfin and black fin tuna!! It’s time to try your luck with some of the year’s best fishing!!

Read more: MAY Fishing Forecast

JUNE Fishing Forecast


June 01

June is the start of red snapper season! Snapper season should always open June 1 in federal waters. In some years, it opens in late May for state waters. Read more about snapper regulations at http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/snappers/.

Tarpon will be cruising the beach. Wahoo, dolphin, tuna and marlin will be biting offshore.

Kings and chicken dolphin will inhabit near shore reefs and wrecks. A few cobia will hang around all summer on near shore reefs, wrecks and FADs. (Note: A FAD is a fish aggregation device, a man-made object used to attract ocean going pelagic fish such as marlin, tuna and mahi-mahi. They usually consist of buoys or floats tethered to the ocean floor with concrete blocks.) Backcountry fishing will produce trout and reds will be active on the flats and deepwater docks.

Read more: JUNE Fishing Forecast

JULY Fishing Forecast


july-01

Tarpon will be in full GET OUT THERE mode. Offshore, big game tournaments will be the focus. They should have great catches of wahoo, dolphin, tuna, swordfish and marlin. Kings, dolphin, bonita and a few spanish will be close to shore on wrecks, reefs and fads. Bottom fisherman will find good numbers or vermillion snapper, red snapper, gag grouper, red grouper, scamp and almaco jacks.

Read more: JULY Fishing Forecast

AUGUST Fishing Forecast


aug-02

Amberjack are popular in August, and open only in state waters this year, but blackfin tuna are out there almost year round. Blackfin begin to really show in late July, and the best action is from August to November.

White and blue marlin can be caught all summer, but August and September is when we get our best white marlin action of the year!! Sailfish will also move up on the beach for the next several months.

Read more: AUGUST Fishing Forecast

SEPTEMBER Fishing Forecast


Sept-01-webSeptember is definitely blackfin tuna season. For those who have not started exploring this untapped resource, you are missing the boat on this one. It has really caught on in Destin and the other coastal areas of the panhandle have the same fishery. Just need to GET OUT THERE and give it try. 

You don’t need to run way offshore to catch blackfin. Many are caught in the 1-3 mile range off the beach.

September also brings the best of the inshore sailfish action. 

Bottom fishing is excellent this month, the crowds of tourist drop considerably after Labor Day and it is a wonderful time of the year to be here as you can have almost any fishing spot to yourself.

Read more: SEPTEMBER Fishing Forecast

OCTOBER Fishing Forecast


OCT-01-webFishing, flounder and football... October has it all. There are events all along the coast whether you are fishing Port St Joe, Panama City, Destin or Navarre. The Destin Fishing Rodeo that is the entire month of October. The weather in October is awesome, normal lows in the 60’s and highs in the 80’s with much lower humidity. 

Near Shore Fishing

OCT-02-webBlackfin tuna will be on the move. You can catch them chumming over deepwater ledges and wrecks. Use live cigar minnows, herring, pinfish or chunk baits. You can also catch them butterfly jigging.

Closer to the beach in the 1 to 10 mile range you will find the tuna chasing schools of bait over natural bottom and wrecks. These tuna are mostly caught trolling live cigar minnows on fluorocarbon leaders, much like trolling for kings. When trolling for the tuna put out a couple birds and squid chains to attract them into your spread of baits.

They can also be caught chasing the busting fish and throwing topwater poppers. 

Read more: OCTOBER Fishing Forecast

NOVEMBER Fishing Forecast


NOV-01-webNovember is about flounder, redfish, trout, and mullet. Some of the best flounder fishing of the year happens this month in the bays and the near shore reefs and wrecks. Trout are strong on the flats taking topwater lures. Red in the bay are everywhere, rat reds will hang on docks and bridges. Big schools of bull reds will be in the pass and on the flats. Look for birds working the flats to locate the large schools of reds attacking bait.

NOV-02-webRoe mullet will be moving in the bayous, passes and along the beach. break out your cast net for some great fun and excellent eating.

Read more: NOVEMBER Fishing Forecast

DECEMBER Fishing Forecast


Dec-01-webHave fun this holiday season catching flounder, trout, redfish and black drum inshore. Try your hand at some bottom fishing for grouper, amberjack, vermillion snapper or scamp. Who needs ham or turkey when you can have fresh grilled fish for Christmas dinner! Fresh caught fillets make a great present!! 

Most kids will be on winter break and December is a good time to get them out on the water. Yes there are days that are cold, but there are plenty of days with highs in the 70's with a bright clear sunny sky.

Read more: DECEMBER Fishing Forecast

Current Conditions in Destin & Navarre

  • April 25, 2017 5:50 am CDT
    Location: 30.064N 87.551W
    Wind Direction: SSW (210°)
    Wind Speed: 1.9 knots
    Wind Gust: 1.9 knots
    Significant Wave Height: 0.7 ft
    Average Period: 3.9 sec
    Atmospheric Pressure: 29.79 in (1008.8 mb)
    Pressure Tendency: +0.00 in (+0.0 mb)
    Air Temperature: 67.8°F (19.9°C)
    Dew Point: 56.3°F (13.5°C)
    Water Temperature: 73.0°F (22.8°C)
    Read more...

                                                 

 Sign Up for our Email Newsletter

Email:

First Name:

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. 

Read about our newsletter policies here.

 Sign Up for our Email Newsletter

Email:

 Sign Up for our Email Newsletter

Email:

First Name:

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. 

Read about our newsletter policies here.

 Sign Up for our Email Newsletter

Email: