Deep Sea Fishing in Panama City, FL
If you're ready to hook into the biggest game fish out there, get a load of the deep sea fishing Panama City, FL has in store. This offshore experience will take you somewhere between 30-100 miles into the Gulf of Mexico, where the Bluewater lies.
Out here, you’ll find a whole different breed of sport fishing. Whether you’re trolling for Marlin and Tuna, bottom fishing for Snapper, or deep dropping for Swordfish, the deep sea will make a hardcore angler out of you.
What to Catch and When to Target it
Deep sea fishing in the Gulf starts to pick up momentum in April, when Marlin (Blue and White), Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, Tuna, and trophy sized Sharks make their annual debut.
You can target these pelagic fish while trolling 45+ miles offshore, anytime from spring until November. Fishing so far from shore usually calls for an extended day trip (10-12 hours), though you can target some species like Mahi Mahi and Wahoo on a trip as short as 4-8 hours. An overnight charter could take you up to 100 miles offshore, where you’ll find Yellowfin Tuna in summer.
On the other hand, the deep sea offers excellent bottom fishing any time of year. You’ll find a wide variety of large Snapper, Grouper, and Triggerfish biting 30 miles offshore and beyond. Cobia and Spanish Mackerel make an appearance near the wrecks and reefs in spring, followed by large Amberjack. For a chance to catch really big fish, plan on a trip of 6 hours minimum.
If you make it up to 60 miles out or more, you can deep drop for Swordfish in water thousands of feet deep.
Of course, the weather is not always accommodating. Long treks offshore are best planned between May and September, when you can expect safe conditions on the water.
Bear in mind that some species are closed to harvest at certain times, most notably Red Snapper. Seasonal closures can change from year to year, so make sure you’re up to date on local fishing regulations ahead of time.
How to Fish
The majority of deep sea fishing in Panama City involves trolling and bottom fishing. You may also try your hand at deep dropping when targeting Swordfish or bottom fish in extreme depths. These methods allow you to target the deepest reaches of the ocean floor as well as fast, aggressive fish near the surface.
Trolling is the standard method of catching Marlin, Tuna, Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Sharks, and other high-speed pelagics in open water. Anglers use live bait as well as artificials, depending on the target species. You will also troll for Cobia and Spanish Mackerel near offshore wrecks and reefs.
This tactic will help you target a wide variety of bottom fish in the Gulf, including White Snapper, Vermillion Snapper, Lane Snapper, Black Snapper, Red Snapper, Black and Red Grouper, and Triggerfish. Depending on the species, a little jigging may also be involved. Live bait and cut bait such as sardines, mullets, pinfish, and frozen squid all prove effective.
Deep dropping is the main method used to catch Swordfish, usually between 500-1,000 feet below. Depending on your captain’s preference, you may rely on electric reels or conventional ones.
Top Targeted Deep Sea Fishing Species in Panama City
- Size 5 to 20lbs
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats Nearshore, Offshore, Reef, Wreck
What People Are Saying About Deep Sea Fishing in Panama City
"The best charter I have ever been on"
Capitan Troy was an awesome capitan. He realizes that we weren't professional deep sea angler's and helped us in every way possible. Really it was like fishing with one of my buddies Back home but better. You definitely get your money's worth on this fishing charter. And thanks for helping my son to have a great time on his first deep sea fishing trip.
"Fishing with Mark"
Had a great time on my first deep sea fishing trip. Quinten was great at giving encouragement and instruction. Sam was incredibly professional and so easy to work with. I am definitely booking my next trip with them.
"what an amazing trip!!!!! "
Captain Brandon and Chops were incredible!!! This was our first time deep sea fishing and they made it so fun and taught us a lot.... we will be booking another trip with them! highly recommend this charter!!!! We kept reeling them in today! Cant wait to get back and do it all again!