News Details

Panama City Beach Inshore Fishing Report



Event Start Date: 2021/05/17


The redfish fishing around the bay has been very good lately with fish inhabiting most parts of the bay. You can find plenty of slot and over-slot fish around the rocks in the pass as well as around most of the bridges in town. You can fish them with live baits on bottom rigs or you can use jigs, heavy spoons of other subsurface baits like rattle traps and crank-baits. Soon the crabs, shrimp, and eels will be flushing out much heavier than they are right now and you will be able to target the big bulls on surface baits. In the shallows there are good sized schools of slot fish hanging out in all the usual places. Near big points, around bayou mouths, marshes, and creeks. Pretty much anywhere that water goes in and out with the tide that can hold food for them. With the heavy presence of finger mullet running around the top-water bite has gotten much better especially in the earlier hours of the morning or later in the afternoon. During the times of higher sun gold weedless spoons, and jigs reign supreme. 



The speckled trout bite is also going strong on shallow grass flats with lots of potholes, sandbars, and/or a good transition from shallow grass to deeper sand.  The majority of the slot sized fish have been schooling in slightly deeper water ranging anywhere from 3-8 ft. The bigger sows, as is usually the case tend to hang out in shallower water and often cruise the shoreline in waters less than 2 feet deep. Sometime during the heat of the day however you will find the bigger fish laid up in slightly deeper potholes where the water tends to be a little cooler. Soft plastics and suspending hard baits have done a great job getting fish to the boat but when they are schooled up like they are now live pinfish, glass minnows, pilchards, or shrimp is the best way to put a hurting on them.

On the beaches the pompano bite has been steadily improving. You can target them in many ways by boat, at one of the piers, or from the beach. Regardless the platform from which you choose the tactics are pretty much the same. Use either sand fleas or shrimp on a 2 hook pompano rig or you can use heavy compact jigs fished right on the bottom. Since pompano come through in schools you tend to do far better by having a couple live bait rods out soaking, then fish a jig on an extra rod that way when they come through you have a chance at multiple hook ups. 




Also along the beaches, in the pass, and in the bays are hordes of Spanish Mackerel.  Spanish mackerel are another popular game fish that can be caught in a variety of ways. The most common way you see most people targeting them is trolling either mackerel tree rigs, straw rigs, and small shiny spoons. While those are all effective I feel it is much more exciting to run and gun schools of fish feeding on the surface and throwing either small topwaters, spoons, or plugs into them. The action is fast paced and they are a great fight on light tackle. Be sure to add a small piece of light wire when specifically targeting them to avoid being cut off. 

Good luck and as always if you have additional questions about what's biting, how to catch them, or you would like to book a trip I encourage you to give me a call or shoot me an email.

Capt. Nathan Chennaux