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Panama City Fishing Suggestions

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Panama City Fishing Suggestions

Postby 4reels » August 30th, 2019, 9:18 am

Assuming Dorian turns North & doesn’t interfere with things, we’re headed to Panama City Beach Wednesday-Sunday.

I was thinking about taking my boat to try fishing in the bay, near-shore, or offshore (another assumption is my wife will let me).

I’ve never fished that area, but have been out of Mexico Beach in the past.

Any suggestions on fishing areas, tactics, boat ramps, etc? I will have kids, so looking to catch anything and have fun/stay safe while doing it. We’re staying in a house on Thomas Drive.

Thank you.


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Re: Panama City Fishing Suggestions

Postby leonreno » August 30th, 2019, 9:39 am

With kids I would target trout in the bays or Spanish mackerel in the bays or off the beaches.
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Panama City Fishing Suggestions

Postby bbb » August 30th, 2019, 12:42 pm

I think there are some pretty productive reefs just a few miles out of St Andrew Pass. On the Emerald Waters fishing show, he catches Red Snapper, Amberjacks within sight of the beach. Looks like he’s about 3-5 miles out. I think he’s fishing a sunk plane.

You can launch inside the park. If its too rough, you can still fish the grass flats in the bay or the Pass around the rocks.

Look online and they show all the public reefs off the beach.

3 miles off the beach puts you in 60-65’ of water. Lots of Hathaway Bridge rubble and other sites around the 3 mile mark.

https://www.floridagofishing.com/reefs/ ... ounty.html
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Re: Panama City Fishing Suggestions

Postby 4reels » August 30th, 2019, 2:28 pm

bbb wrote:I think there are some pretty productive reefs just a few miles out of St Andrew Pass. On the Emerald Waters fishing show, he catches Red Snapper, Amberjacks within sight of the beach. Looks like he’s about 3-5 miles out. I think he’s fishing a sunk plane.

You can launch inside the park. If its too rough, you can still fish the grass flats in the bay or the Pass around the rocks.

Look online and they show all the public reefs off the beach.

3 miles off the beach puts you in 60-65’ of water. Lots of Hathaway Bridge rubble and other sites around the 3 mile mark.

https://www.floridagofishing.com/reefs/ ... ounty.html


Awesome - thank you very much


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Re: Panama City Fishing Suggestions

Postby bbb » August 30th, 2019, 4:26 pm

Worse case, you can do like other boats did to me at Mexico Beach.

Just pull up and ask if they’re catching anything and if they mind sharing the spot.

Happened to me twice this year 12 miles off MB.
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Re: Panama City Fishing Suggestions

Postby 4reels » August 30th, 2019, 5:33 pm

bbb wrote:Worse case, you can do like other boats did to me at Mexico Beach.

Just pull up and ask if they’re catching anything and if they mind sharing the spot.

Happened to me twice this year 12 miles off MB.


That was you? LOL

No thanks . . . Don’t want to teach my kids bad habits!!


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Re: Panama City Fishing Suggestions

Postby Juan » August 30th, 2019, 6:31 pm

I fish PC regularly. I'll start with suggestions on boat ramps. Since your staying on Thomas Drive, St, Andrews State Park ramp will be the closest but there's a fee. The City marina is the best ramp in PC in my opinion but it's still closed due to storm damage. There's a great ramp that's 90% restored in Calloway on Buelah St. with a restroom. There's another great ramp at Pretty Bayou but parking is limited so you'll need to get there early. There's St Andrews Marina but I haven't launched there in years but I believe it's open and free but parking is again not ideal. If you happen to be military, the Navy base ramp on Thomas Drive is one of the best.. restrooms, store and much more. There are others but those are probably your best options imo.

For fishing... The public numbers offshore are always hit hard and get crowded at times. You really need to have some private numbers if you expect to keep anything worth keeping but if weather permits and you're willing to run 18 to 20 miles out, head toward the West and you'll find swiss cheese hard bottom that's "almost" always good for bee liners, snapper and the occasional grouper. If the weather sucks, troll the channel buoys for kings and maybe Spanish.

If I hadn't fished there before, I think I'd stick to the bays and fish for trout. West bay is pretty hot right now. Just fish in about 4' of water near any point and throw a swim bait or live shrimp if you like live bait. East Bay is badly stained right now but the trout are still there. A friend reported catching 92 yesterday where I only caught 47 in West Bay. The grass flats in Grand Lagoon will hold a few but nothing like the bays.
Good luck and tell us how you did if your wife lets you take the boat. :-D
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Re: Panama City Fishing Suggestions

Postby 4reels » August 30th, 2019, 8:19 pm

Juan wrote:I fish PC regularly. I'll start with suggestions on boat ramps. Since your staying on Thomas Drive, St, Andrews State Park ramp will be the closest but there's a fee. The City marina is the best ramp in PC in my opinion but it's still closed due to storm damage. There's a great ramp that's 90% restored in Calloway on Buelah St. with a restroom. There's another great ramp at Pretty Bayou but parking is limited so you'll need to get there early. There's St Andrews Marina but I haven't launched there in years but I believe it's open and free but parking is again not ideal. If you happen to be military, the Navy base ramp on Thomas Drive is one of the best.. restrooms, store and much more. There are others but those are probably your best options imo.

For fishing... The public numbers offshore are always hit hard and get crowded at times. You really need to have some private numbers if you expect to keep anything worth keeping but if weather permits and you're willing to run 18 to 20 miles out, head toward the West and you'll find swiss cheese hard bottom that's "almost" always good for bee liners, snapper and the occasional grouper. If the weather sucks, troll the channel buoys for kings and maybe Spanish.

If I hadn't fished there before, I think I'd stick to the bays and fish for trout. West bay is pretty hot right now. Just fish in about 4' of water near any point and throw a swim bait or live shrimp if you like live bait. East Bay is badly stained right now but the trout are still there. A friend reported catching 92 yesterday where I only caught 47 in West Bay. The grass flats in Grand Lagoon will hold a few but nothing like the bays.
Good luck and tell us how you did if your wife lets you take the boat. :-D


Thanks Juan - that is very helpful!!


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Re: Panama City Fishing Suggestions

Postby 4reels » September 6th, 2019, 9:25 pm

The wife let me bring the boat! Went out with a friend and our kids today.

Had to launch from St. Andrews Marina. It was free & ramp is in good shape. The state park was definitely closer, but doesn’t open until 8 am (9 EST) - we wanted to launch earlier. Made our way to the pass & were greeted by 4-5 footers outside of the entrance. Waves not so bad if you immediately turn West past the jetties and follow the beach. Chunked spoons and plastics at bait pods about 500 yards off the beach without luck. Ran offshore about 3 miles to 60-65 ft of water. Caught several nice snapper on the PCMI Reef - too bad they’re not in season. Also picked up several Bonita on a spoon 2-4 ft under the surface. Pretty neat for one person to pick up a snapper on the back of the boat & another pick a Bonita on the front. Wind and waves were almost too much. Made it back safe & sound. Never fished inside in the bay.

Always fun to try something new!

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Re: Panama City Fishing Suggestions

Postby Juan » September 7th, 2019, 7:52 am

Nice. Good job! I usually catch nothing but triggerfish on the PCMI :-D
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