Florida Panhandle

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Fishing in Florida Panhandle

You’ve probably already heard about the excellent angling action the “Sunshine State” has to offer. But did you know that one of the best ways to experience it is through a Florida Panhandle fishing adventure? From shallow flats to deep offshore waters, this northwestern region has something to whet the appetite of any visitor. 
 
Hit the Apalachee Bay’s flats, the Apalachicola Bay’s oyster beds, or the Choctawhatchee Bay’s brackish waters and there’s no end to what you can catch. Go after Bull Redfish, Spotted Seatrout, and delicious Mackerel, Snappers, Flounder, and Sheephead, along with tough-fighting beasts such as Tarpon, when the season hits. With trips lasting anywhere from two to ten hours, there’s something for everybody. 
 
But no Florida Panhandle fishing trip would be complete without a visit to the Gulf. All along the coast, charters are waiting to take you to the reefs and deep waters beyond to get your hands on some true trophies. Groupers, Cobia, Amberjack, Red Snapper, Wahoo, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Marlin, Sailfish – you name it, these waters have it. Make the most of these incredible fishing grounds and spend up to a few days on the water. 
 
Nicknamed the “Luckiest Fishing Village in the World,” Destin is your go-to stop for an offshore voyage. Meanwhile, you can head on an inshore trip from anywhere along the coast. If you’re looking to hit the reefs, then Panama City and Port St. Joe are your best bets but, wherever you are, you can’t go wrong!

 

Rules & Regulations

Fishing with a Florida Panhandle fishing charter means that your license is covered, so that’s one less thing to worry about. Going out with a professional guide will also make sure you’re fishing within the law, such as practicing catch and release on Tarpon, or only targeting Red Snapper during its short season. 
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Florida Panhandle Fishing Seasons

Start your year off in the right way by experiencing some Panhandle angling action! Explore the reefs for Snapper and Grouper, or hook Redfish and Trout in one of the many bays.

This is the perfect time to target Bull Redfish and have some of the Gulf’s most productive inshore waters all to yourself! If you prefer bottom fishing, the reefs are swarming with Snapper.

It’s still too cold for pelagic fishing, but if you’re looking to test your stamina, you can target the first Cobia around the Gulf’s reefs. Inshore, you can hook Redfish and Trout in the bays.

If you’re targeting Speckled Trout and Redfish, April sees even more of these species flocking to the Panhandle’s bays and shallow coastal waters. Cobia appear by the reefs in full force, too.

Pelagic species start arriving offshore, and huge Groupers can be hooked around the reefs. Inshore fishing for Bull Redfish and Trout remains as strong as ever, and Cobia are still putting up a fight.

Tarpon season is well and truly here! Come bow to the “Silver King” along the Gulf’s shallow coastal waters. Big game fishing more your thing? Troll offshore for hard-fighting Mahi Mahi.
 

If you’ve got your sights set on inshore fishing, head to one of the Panhandle’s numerous bays, which are still full of fish. Offshore enthusiasts can chase Mahi Mahi, Marlin, Tuna, and more in the deep.

Red Snapper can be found around the Panhandle’s reefs, if the season still allows, while huge Redfish and Flounder are in the bays’ deeper waters. Offshore, troll for Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Sharks, and more.

The weather is still warm and the Panhandle’s fishing is red hot. Hook Redfish and Trout in the bays, fish the reefs for Grouper and Snapper, or target big game species offshore. You’re spoiled for choice!

October means one thing when it comes to inshore fishing – huge Bull Reds! Hit the bays to get your fill, or you can head to the reefs to find some Grouper Snapper species. It's all about filling the freezer!

Flats fishing in the bays and along the Gulf’s coast takes center stage in November, with this being the time to hook tasty Flounder. Bring along a cooler, as the chances are that you’ll fill it to the brim.

Why not round off the year with some exciting fishing? Although the temperature is cooler, Speckled Trout and Redfish fishing inshore is still hot, while you can also sink your hok into the last of the Flounders.

Florida Panhandle Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in Florida Panhandle

Snapper (Red)

Snapper (Red)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

King Mackerel (Kingfish)

Cobia

Cobia

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel

Redfish

Redfish

Grouper (Gag)

Grouper (Gag)

Triggerfish (Gray)

Triggerfish (Gray)