So far, it’s another great month of fishing here in Panama City Beach. Clear water and lots of fish are a recipe for success and you can increase your odds by fishing the low light periods of the day as well as peak tide times.
Early morning topwaters on the flats are still yielding lots of action from speckled trout and redfish. Most of the redfish are either in small schools or single fish cruising along the shoreline or laying up in sandy potholes. Larger groups have been in a little deeper water (3’-10’) and a lot of schools have been holed up under docks, tucked tightly underneath whatever shade the dock provides. You can usually catch redfish around docks with soft plastic jigs but if they are picky, then a medium-sized pinfish with a light split shot will usually do the trick.
If you want to catch the big bull reds, then target the bridges on the bottom half of a strong outgoing tide. You can also catch them on the bottom in the St. Andrews pass around points or over submerged rocks.
Look for speckled trout in 2’-5’ of water around grass flats, points, the mouths of creeks and bayous, oyster bars and other similar features that give them cover and a place to feed. Artificial shrimp, jigs, surface lures and all kinds of live baits work well on specks.
There are still lots of mangrove snappers around all different types of structures. Inshore, I like to target them in about 5’-10’ of water; however, some of the better fish have been close to deep water. I’m usually looking for drop offs with good current and some type of structure. If you have pilchards, try throwing a few free baits out to see if anyone is home but have one ready to toss if you see fish busting the chum or coming to the surface.
Even though I haven’t been targeting Spanish mackerel, I’ve been catching some nice ones (up to four pounds!) while looking for redfish on drop-offs in about 10 feet of water. I’ve had success using jigs and also when using a fast retrieve with other lures.
If you have questions about what's biting, how to catch them or would like to book a trip of your own, then give me a call or shoot me an email. Tight lines!