Best Deep Sea Fishing Charters in Panama City

Top Deep Sea Fishing Charters in Panama City

Deep Sea Fishing in Panama City

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.
Bottom Fishing
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 for Swordfish
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.
While you can catch Swordfish by day, it’s typical to fish for this trophy at night, often using customized blinker or strobe lights to attract your target. Mullet, squid, and other live or cut bait are all effective depending on the depth you intend to fish.
Some fishermen also slow troll (2 or 3 knots) for Swordfish at night, using a downrigger to set their bait 150-300 feet below. For this approach, attach a light stick 15-20 feet in front of your bait.


Panama City

Based on 19,656 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

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Reviews of Fishing in Deep Sea Fishing in Panama City

"Half day trip"

Keith Moree fished with Reel Deal Charters – Deep Water on July 15, 2020

This was my second time fishing with Reel Deal on Deep Water. True professionals who do their best to put you on fish. Great experience both times. Will definitely use them in the future.

"6-Hour Bottom Fishing & Trolling With Capt. Mark"

Dean Argo fished with Reel Deal Charters – Deep Water on September 4, 2018

My son, best friend and I booked a six-hour charter with Capt. Mark, Uncle Sam and Logan aboard the Deep Water, a 35-foot Bertram. Even though it was the end of season and the big ones were hard to find, we had a blast. Capt. Mark was quick to put us on the fish and Deck-hand Logan was helpful, personable, and always attentive. When in PCB, I highly recommend Reel Deal Charters.

Top Targeted Deep Sea Fishing Species in Panama City

Snapper (Red)

Snapper (Red)



Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)