Welcome back Gulf Coast Sportsmen for another fishing report for August 2022 in Panama City Beach, FL. The big news this month is that Red Snapper season is over except for a few open weekends in a few weeks. Additionally, amberjack is now closed until September which significantly shortens the open season. This by no means is the end of good fishing as there are still plenty of species that are open and on the bite in the Panama City Beach Area.
Redfish has been the name of the game in the Panama City Beach area. To produce the best results, live shrimp from local tackle shops on a leader under a popping cork just over the grass flats. For keeper redfish, the key is fishing structure around high tide. Again, live shrimp works well but also, cast netting some finger mullet and using those in place of the shrimp have been rather productive. Early and late high tides have shown the most success. If you find the trout, they will hit these baits as well. Be sure to book an inshore charter guide to get out on the Panama City Beach waterways.
Nearshore and Offshore
As mentioned in the introduction, Red Snapper season is over, and Amberjack is closed for the area until September. However, triggerfish is now open and there have been plenty of mingo (vermillion), and black snapper have been plentiful. Hit your local bait shop for frozen cigar minnows, bonita, and squid. Cut them in to chunks and drop them down on two hook drop rigs, you will more than likely have a fish on before hitting the bottom. Please note, more success has been found in deeper water due to recent rise in water temperatures. If live or frozen bait is difficult to find, you can also try flat fall drop jigs. Chumming the water column is also a great tactic for getting black snapper hungry and ready to bite. Fun fact, many people prefer the taste of Black and Mingo snapper over the Red Snapper.
Beaches and Piers
On the Panama City Beach pier, king mackerel has been consistent on live baits and Rapala X-Raps. Surprisingly, this month has shown a large number of cobia caught. This has mostly been on live baits free lined on the farthest sections of the piers. Unfortunately, not many have been big enough to keep but there have been a few keepers mixed in. Sharks have been consistent surf fishing, but the grass issue is still causing problems with finding clear places to get bait in the water. Best results are still happening with pompano rigs with fish bites, sand fleas, or small pieces of shrimp. Main catches have been whiting and redfish, but there are still some pompano in the area. As weather conditions improve and the grass moves out of the Panama City Beach area, surf fishing should greatly improve in the coming weeks.