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Panama City Beach Fishing Report September 2023*

Panama City Beach Fishing Report September 2023*

Welcome back Gulf Coast Sportsmen for another fishing report for September 2023 in Panama City Beach, FL. The time has come, and Amberjack is now open along the gulf coast! The season is now open from September 1 – October 31. There are some new rules and things could change over the course of the next two months as catches are reported. Anglers should be sure to keep up with FWC’s Informational page to keep up to date throughout the season for bag limits and other resources. If you book a charter guide, expect your captain to target these fish. Daily weather events have proven difficult but there is still a lot of action to be had in the Panama City Beach area. 


In Panama City Beach, inshore anglers in September can looks to catch predominantly black snapper, redfish and trout.  Black snapper have mainly been around the bridges especially the Grand Lagoon Bridge. Free line live shrimp around the bridge structure to entice black snapper to come up and bite.  They are rather finnicky and chumming some cut up shrimp can be beneficial. Trout have been biting on the grass flats on live bait, top water lures, and a variety of swim baits like Mirrolures. Redfish have been great around dock lights at night with live bait and some soft plastics. Be sure to keep your bait and lures out of the middle of the light source for the best bet. 

Nearshore and Offshore

Due to varying weather, offshore conditions have been variable.  On good days, King Mackerel have been caught trolling. Use deep diver lures and planers to get the lure down deeper in the water column. Anglers will want the lure at least twenty feet down or more. For bottom fishing, vermillion and mangrove snapper have been caught on cut and live bait but most of the action has been in deeper water. Anglers will want a 20-40lb leader on their line to handle the mangroves mixed in. As mentioned above, Amberjack is in so expect more reports of amberjack as the month goes on. Bigger live bait such as hardtails and mullet are required on at least six feet of leader will be best. Additionally, to get the bait down, you need a 6–12-ounce weight to get down to the bottom. Due to increased shark activity in the Panama City Beach area, anglers will need to make sure they have plenty of gear rigged and ready to get fishing when sharks inevitably hit while you fight. 

Beaches and Piers

On the Panama City Beach pier, most catches have been hardtails and Spanish mackerel. Tried and true lures are Gotcha lures and spoons. A wire leader can be used due to the mackerel’s teeth but also a 40-50lb fluorocarbon leader can also stand up to the punishment and provides a stealthier presentation than the wire leaders.  Some king mackerel have been reported as well.  Surf fishing has been lackluster with mainly lady fish, few reds, and a small amount of pompano have been seen. Additionally, fishing the beach at night is a good bet if you want to target sharks.

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