Welcome back all of you Gulf Coast Sportsmen, it’s nearing the beginning of summer and therefore some of the prime fishing of the year in the Panama City Beach area. Conditions have been rather rough with lots of wind and heavy current the past few weeks but there have been plenty of good water days and should continue to have more in the coming weeks. Of top note at this time of the year is to make sure that while anglers are fishing for black snapper, trigger, and Mingo snapper, you will pull up some mixtures of red snapper and grouper. Ensure you release these fish safely to for the upcoming openings for these fish. Now, let’s get to it.
In the Panama City Beach area, there has been an increase in catches of red fish and trout. The fish are consistent around dock and bridge structure around the Highway 98 and North Bay bridge areas, but a lot of the action is happening out on the flats and should continue to do so. Redfish and trout have been consistent on top water plugs in the early morning and evening hours. Any grass flats around small islands in the bay are excellent spots to start. Catch rates have reportedly been high, but the numbers of keepers in the slots are low. Be sure to keep up to date with MyFWC to know the size and bag limits.
Nearshore and Offshore
Across the majority of the Gulf Coast and Panama City Beach included, the end of May and June has the arrival of Sargassum grass near shore and on the beaches. While this is unsightly to many beach goers, Gulf Coast Sportsmen should see this as a great opportunity for good numbers of Mahi Mahi. Anglers should find the grass lines nearshore and pitch Sea Striker Spoons, or a variety of other hard retrieval lures to kick up a feeding frenzy. Mahi have been ranging from small “chicken” dolphin to others over thirty pounds. It’s also possible to find some blackfin tuna, wahoo, and tripletail lingering around the grass lines as well. BE sure to book a charter trip to get out there and catch some of these fish.
Piers and Beaches
In Panama City Beach, the last few weeks have seen some rather rough surf conditions near the beaches and piers. There have been some reports of lingering cobia between Panama City Beach and Gulf Shores, but the main catch has been Pompano and whiting. Using your normal pompano rigs with either cut up fish gum, shrimp, or sand fleas will continue to produce fish. Anglers must note, that the amount of Sargassum in the area can affect fishing in the surf. Look for more open areas from the beach with less grass to get better results. Additionally, due to the rougher surf conditions make sure you rig your pompano rigs with weight that digs in to the sand for a better anchor for the bait.