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Panama City - Surf, Pier, Jetty Fishing?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm heading to Panama City Beach this Sat for a week's vacation with the family and wonder if it would be worth it to pack some fishing gear for some surf/pier/jetty fishing? Anything biting this time of year? And if the answer to that is yes, any recommendations would be very greatly appreciated. Thanks All!
post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 
just so you all know, I'm not asking anyone to give up any local secret local honeyholes...just some basic recommendations on suggested tackle to bring, methods, tides, etc.
post #3 of 23
There are Spanish mackerel running at piers now. They range from 2 to 10 lbs. Dress accordingly as far as equipment is concerned. There might be some pompano from the surf along with Redfish. Late in the evening, its all about the sharks. And you'd better bring a broomstick with a large reel!

Pier fishing has been an early morning bite. I mean, sun up to noon. After that, you can play with the bait fish if you have your kids. Sabiki rigs are fun for that. In my opinion, nothing beats "Gotcha" jigs and bubble rigs. As tourist as they may be, I keep many in my bag as the go to stuff on slow days. Hands down, they catch fish. Frozen cigar minnows drifted alone from the pier is great for king mackerel. Just use a wire leader and a treble hook. Cast from the pier and twitch it occasionally. If I had to choose between pier/surf or jetty, I'd go to a pier. The water is warm and surf fishing is slow now.

Hope that helps. If not...ask away...
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks a bunch. When you say a bubble rig you mean the clear plastic float set up with a straw/treble trailing behind?

Can you make a recommendation of a good tackle shop (preferably one close to a pier)?

Really appreciate the help.
post #5 of 23
That's a bubble rig! By the way, Burger King straws are better than McD's. One more thing about the bubble. Use bb's instead of water. The rattling drives them nuts. Fill enough to cast with but leave room for it to still float. Then glue it shut.

Try Half Hitch B&T. They are very reputable.

Good Luck and send a report!
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks a million for the info.

I'll post a report when I get back!
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

Well, I'm back and had a blast.

I wound up fishing mostly off the St. Andrews jetty....never made it to the city pier.

It was excellent though. I caught quite a few spanish mackerel, mostly pretty small, on gotcha jigs mostly.

Then Friday morning, I had an absolute had rained the night before and wind was blowing hard from the west. The baitfish were stacked up on the beach side (west side of the jetty), and there was a school of BIG redfish gorging themselves near the end of it. I hooked up 3 times on some gold spoons, got broken off twice and landed one that was WELL over the slot limit (safely released). Those things pull hard! They are very strong fish.

The spanish were in there pretty good as well. You guys have it pretty good down there in Florida! I'm looking forward to our next trip, hopefully soon!

Thanks for the help.
post #8 of 23
How cool is that?

Great report. Sounds like you had a blast...
Yea, we are pretty lucky to have the fishery that we have.
Next time your down, plan a charter! Just add an extra day to recover from the effects of the pain. Our offshore fish are brutal.
post #9 of 23

I went to Panama City a few weeks ago.  I fished the jetties with live bait but only caught one fish, a grunt.  I did better on a party boat,  I got several red snappers, a grouper, and some bee liners.  I plan to go back next year and fish off of a peir in lieu of the jetties.

post #10 of 23
(*edited - why ask someone an off topic question and derail a discussion? We don't lock threads here so people can respond to them whenever they want - TimS)
post #11 of 23
Will snapper and grouper be in or out of season in September and October?
post #12 of 23
Originally Posted by kyjake View Post

Will snapper and grouper be in or out of season in September and October?

Gags will be closed but red grouper and black grouper should be open ,as snapper..The best advice I can give you is if your planning a trip with charter boat or captain, reserve your spot as soon as you can , I see people come down all of the time and except to just jump on the next boat headed out , it doesn't work like most of the good captains and charters are booked months in advanced.

Here's the regs if you want to check them out.
post #13 of 23
Thanks for the link.Present snapper - grouper regulations,season daily limit are a joke.If they are really endangered they should close season on them,both commercial and recreational until they recover.
post #14 of 23



I read your advice to another tourist fisherman about pier fishing. It was the info I was looking for. You are right about suggesting him to book a charter next time. For the last 7 years we have used Capt. B.J. Burkett of Hook'em Up Charters based out of PCB. EVERY time he has taken us to spots that have resulted in Amberjack, Grouper, Red Snapper and many of the others. We have always taken our limit. The four of us that usually go bring back 100lbs of fish! As far as the "pain" goes.....the fishing is so intense and continuous that my hands LOCK UP into fists. I have to pry my hands open just to grab the rod for the next drop. My family and I live for the next yearly vacation and the chance to go offshore again.

post #15 of 23
Terogator, You still with Sherif's dept or have you retired yet. Had cabin resereved at PC Navy Base, truck repair cancelled that trip, ok go next month, Tax person of many years died ,new tax person, not real up to speed on small home business and 1500 more to IRS this year cancelled that trip.Now looking at fall before cobia head south,health,weather and other issues kept me on shore more than i wanted how ever still on the green side of the grass, good to see you on forum again Al
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