Reel in the catch of the day with a fishing trip in Panama City Beach! The clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay are packed with fish of all types. Fishing is available year-round in Panama City Beach, but spring and fall offer the best angling opportunities. Whether you decide to fish St. Andrews Bay, troll the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico for a Regal Blue Marlin, or play tug-of-war with a feisty Red Snapper in one of the area’s numerous wrecks and artificial reefs, there is a spot to cast your line.
There are also hundreds of acres of wade-able flats and three fishing piers extending into the Gulf of Mexico where you can rent poles, buy bait, and enjoy the great fishing in Panama City Beach!
During March, Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish can be found in the bay. Trout, Redfish, and Ladyfish are also found feeding in the grassy areas. Pompano and Cobia run along the beaches.
Due to light winter fishing pressure, the wrecks and reefs are allowed to restock with bottom species including Snapper, Grouper, Triggerfish, and Amberjack.
During the spring and fall, saltwater fish migrate in early April. Panama City Beach charter boats pursue blue water trophies like Tuna, Sailfish, Barracuda, Tarpon, Amberjack, Wahoo, Marlin, Bonita, and Dolphin. Seasoned captains and crews man the blue water charters.
The summer months are prime for Trout and Redfish in the bay, especially early in the morning and late in the day. Surf fishing will yield catches of Pompano, Whiting, and Ladyfish. Inshore fishing enthusiasts will find King Mackerel, Mahi-Mahi, and Bonita. Offshore excursions can yield Wahoo, Yellow Fin Tuna, Sailfish, and Marlin. Schools of Tarpon can be spotted without even leaving the beach.
In the fall months, the water temperature starts to cool, triggering an urgency to feed. Trout will aggressively attack top water baits. Flounder begins a migration to the Gulf and stack up on inshore structure. Pompano will again school along the beach. Mahi-mahi are still around and Black Fin Tuna will be found under the schools of Bonita. Inshore bottom fishing continues with Cobia added to the catch while offshore fishing begins to slow.
During winter, Trout and Redfish move into deeper holes in the bay with excursions to the flats on warm afternoons. Beach fishing yields an occasional Whiting and bottom fishing can be great on the right days. Larger fish move to inshore structure during the winter.
For more info, visit Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.