Panama City

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Top Fishing Charters in Panama City

Fishing in Panama City

Panama City fishing, as they say, is all about the kids always smiling and the fish always biting. It’s hard to imagine a day when there is no-one on the shore. Each angler, be it a veteran or a seasonal fisherman or a local guide, has their own favorite Panama City marina. You would always find a boat in the water, be it on a mild winter or a hot summer afternoon. But what makes this part of the sunny Florida paradise along the Emerald Coast so popular? 

Known For

Panama City is surrounded on three sides by North Bay, Saint Andrew Bay, and the historic Grand Lagoon, each of which has its own unique fishing potential. And once you make the short trip out of the inlet, you have all the Gulf of Mexico to enjoy!

Panama City inshore fishing is nothing short of excellent. What else could you expect when you have the perfect combination of grass beds and large tides that constantly clean the bay system? The flats and deep water channels are abundant with a myriad of potential catches. Schools of Jack Crevalle can always become an exciting catch just a stone’s throw from the shore, as well as Trout and Bonito. While some cruise the beach looking for Pompano, others sight fish for Tarpon and Redfish. Fly fishing in Panama City is also one of the many things that can get even a hard-core fly fisherman excited.

Nearshore fishing in Panama City is hot even when it’s cold outside. The notorious Amberjack a.k.a. Reef Donkeys patrol what seems like every wreck in and around the beach, which makes them an ideal target for any fishing enthusiast. Fishing for Jacks and evening trips for King Mackerel are also a great idea for those who want to get the dinner sorted out.

Panama City deep sea fishing is a real draw. White Snapper, Vermillion Snapper, Black Snapper, Lane Snapper, and the renowned Red Snapper can be caught soon after you go out of the shore to the Gulf. The Snapper family make just excellent eating! Red Grouper, Black Grouper, Mahi-Mahi, and even Sailfish make it to the list of “the catch of the day”, which, to be perfectly honest, doesn’t surprise anyone in Panama City Beach. Great catches are simply a routine for the local captains!

Overlooking the Panama City fishing opportunities, there is always that type of fishing that will suit any angler’s specific needs. Being home to over 3000 species of fish, birds, and other wildlife, Panama City has something to fish for, look at, and brag about for years to come. It is as simple as that!

Rules & Regulations

A fishing license is not required for anglers fishing aboard a guided boat or a for-hire charter, as long as the vessel has a valid charter captain or charter boat permit.

Types of Fishing

If you don’t want to get too far out, get the waters close to the shore all to yourself. Sight fish along the beaches for Tarpon and Cobia or go to the back bays for some Redfish action. Take your friends and family out and target Shark at night. Troll or cast from the shore for some Spanish Mackerel. Or simply book a full-day charter and bottom fish for Grouper and Snapper, troll for Tuna, Wahoo, and Mahi-Mahi. Go jigging for Amberjack, head to the piers and jetties for Bluefish. Chase Cobia and King Mackerel with live bait. You can even enjoy kite fishing for Sailfish and Mahi-Mahi. There are plenty of productive methods to land the local species. You just only need to have the desire to catch them!

Panama City
Based on 15414 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Panama City Fishing Seasons

The mid-winter holds Trout and smaller Redfish in the grass flats. Inshore fishing can be productive, while offshore is all about Flounder and Triggerish. 

Bait is showing up with Spanish Mackerel right with them. If you manage to get up early or stay up late, Trout can be found. Redfish are biting on the flats. 

The spring is here with plenty of Spanish Mackerel to be reeled in. Mangrove Snapper and Sheepshead are around, along with a few Cobia. The bite is also good off the shore.

King Mackerel have showed up, all ready for some flats living and trolling action offshore. Spanish Mackerel and Pompano offer a good bite as well. 

May brings the weekends of the State Waters Red Snapper season. Plus the Lionfish Tournament is on! Also, good things are happening close to the shore. King Mackerel are in good numbers.

Long-range trips are a must in the beginning of summer. Go for Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi, Bonito, King Mackerel, and even Sailfish. Because why not?

Fishing is so hot right now! Chum up Black Snapper at night and end it with a good morning Trout bite, but only to go on chasing anything you can possibly think of during the day! 

Redfish are patrolling trough while Tarpon and Jacks are hiding in the secret spots. It is also a good idea to get another shot at Red Snapper Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 

The fall is here and the weather is amazing. The Wahoo bite is just great. Redfish are cruising the beach with Pompano, Ladyfish, Flounder, and Spanish Mackerel to top the list. 

Winds can hold you close to the shore, but your last chance of getting a nice weekend Snapper trip can’t be missed! Inshore, the most common catches are Redfish, Trout, and Mangrove Snapper. 

Pelagics are moving out so now It is all about Flounder, Trout, and Redfish in the bay. Sheepshead are plentiful off the pier, jetties, and bridges. The waters are not crowded, so it's time to go fishing!

It’s the holiday season so fishing is the best idea right now. And if you don’t agree, you should probably change the hobby! The days are cold, but the sky is clear and sunny. 

Panama City Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Panama City

"5 hours with captain Eric"

Steve F. fished with Too Hot 2 Handle Charters on March 1, 2020

Check to see what kind of fish you can keep / or in season

"October fishing trip"

Paul M. fished with Reel Deal Charters – Deep Water on October 9, 2019

Don’t eat left over shrimp and grits for breakfast before getting on boat!

"4 hour trolling trip"

Brian P. fished with Reel Deal Charters – Deep Water on August 8, 2019

Can get hot, so make sure to bring light fishing shirts and sunscreen

"Fishing with Brian"

Sarah S. fished with Capt. Sully Charters on August 6, 2019

No need for dramamine for inshore fishing. If you want the big fish you need to do offshore, needs to probably be in the morning so water is not as rough. Good luck out there and remember it's as fun as you make it to be! Go in with the right mindset.

What would you recommend to anglers fishing in Panama City, Florida for the first time?

Top Types of Fishing in Panama City

  1. Offshore Fishing
  2. Inshore Fishing

Top Fishing Techniques in Panama City

  1. Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Panama City

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Snapper (Red)

Snapper (Red)



Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Grouper (Gag)

Grouper (Gag)

Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel





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