Panama City is one of the fishing destinations you should know about if you have not yet. Located in the central part of the Florida Panhandle just east of Destin and Pensacola, Panama City is definitely an angler’s paradise. There is excellent fishing inshore, nearshore and offshore. No matter your skill level, there is something for everyone here. And there are plenty of professional Panama City Fishing Charters to take you out for a memorable day on the water.
The city is surrounded by bays and is a gateway to the Gulf of Mexico. This means that there is a wide variety of fish, from Redfish to Red Snapper to really big Marlin. Panama City has fishing year-round, so the most challenging part of fishing here in Panama City is deciding what type or types of fish you want to target on your day out.
Inshore is the St. Andrew Bay complex. This is a collection of bays, including Saint Andrew Bay, the East Bay, North Bay, and West Bay, plus the many creeks and bayous. Here in the complex is the most extensive seagrass bed system on the Emerald Coast. Located between North Bay, West Bay, and St. Andrews Bay is the Grand Lagoon, also known as the “Gateway to the Gulf.” In this vast complex are huge Bull Reds, Seatrout, Flounder, Pompano, Mackerel, Cobia, Snapper and Grouper. Fishing inshore is sure to please a family outing or a serious group of anglers looking for the big ones. Tarpon, “The Silver King,” also make their way inshore in the Summer months.
Along with the St. Andrew Bay Complex inshore is a large natural and artificial reef system off the coast. You can fish in 90 to 100 feet of water for bottom fish like Snapper, Grouper, Seabass and Triggerfish and roaming the reefs are Cobia, Mackerel, Amberjacks, and Ladyfish. Again your best bet is to charter one of the many fishing charters to take you to all of the hotspots.
On the way out to the deep blue, you can troll for King Mackerel, Mahi, Grouper, Tuna, Spanish Mackerel, Amberjack and Cobia. Once they get out to the open water of the Gulf, they can find true monsters of the deep.
Giant Marlin, swift Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, extra-large Tuna, and Wahoo can be hooked and reeled in. You need to charter a boat for at least 10 hours (some stay a few days out at sea) to be able to get out to the fishing grounds and back. But the thrill and exhilaration of landing a Marlin or other trophy fish are like no other and worth all the time spent getting out.
Florida has special seasons for many fish, including Red Snapper, Grouper, Triggerfish, Amberjacks, and more. It would help if you took these into consideration when planning your trip to the city. But no matter what season you come, you will be put on the fish and hooked up wherever you go.
Panama City Fishing Seasons
Winter Fishing Season
As winter arrives in Panama City, the fishing action heats up. Inshore anglers can target popular fish such as Speckled Trout, Redfish, and Flounder, which seek shelter in the warmer backwaters and estuaries. These areas provide a consistent food source and protection from the cooler temperatures. Offshore fishing enthusiasts can target Amberjack, Grouper, and Snapper near the artificial reefs and wrecks.
Spring Fishing Season
With the arrival of spring, Panama City’s waters come alive with an abundance of fish. Inshore anglers can experience the thrill of targeting Speckled Trout, Redfish, and Flounder as they become more active with the rising temperatures. The shallow flats, grassy areas, and oyster bars are ideal fishing grounds during this season. Offshore adventures can lead to encounters with Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, and Cobia near the nearshore reefs and structures.
Summer Fishing Season
Panama City’s summer fishing season is a paradise for anglers seeking thrilling saltwater fishing experiences. Inshore fishing enthusiasts can target Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder as they thrive in the warm shallows, seagrass beds, and marshes. Panama City is also famous for its outstanding Tarpon fishing during the summer months, attracting anglers from far and wide. Offshore adventures offer opportunities to catch Snapper, Grouper, and Mahi Mahi near the offshore reefs and structures. The nearshore waters are bustling with Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, and Sharks, providing an extra dose of excitement.
Fall Fishing Season
As summer transitions to fall, Panama City continues to offer exceptional fishing. Inshore anglers can continue targeting Redfish, Speckled Trout, and Flounder as they remain active in the cooler months. The shallow flats, grassy areas, and oyster bars are prime fishing spots during this season. Offshore anglers can focus on Snapper, Grouper, and King Mackerel as they migrate closer to the shore.
Before heading out for your fishing adventure, it’s important to familiarize yourself with local fishing regulations and obtain the necessary licenses. Practicing responsible angling, such as adhering to catch and size limits, proper fish handling, and releasing undersized or protected species, helps preserve the marine ecosystem and ensures sustainable fishing in Panama City.
Whether you choose to fish from a boat, kayak, or the shoreline, saltwater fishing in Panama City promises an unforgettable experience. The diverse fishing seasons, coupled with the natural beauty of the area, make it a paradise for anglers seeking relaxation and thrills. So grab your fishing gear, soak in the breathtaking surroundings, and embark on a fishing journey in Panama City that will create lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the wonders of the sea.
Panama City Weather Conditions
Spring (March to May)During the spring months from March to May, Panama City Beach, Florida, experiences pleasant weather conditions for saltwater fishing. The temperatures range from 60°F to 80°F (15°C to 27°C), providing comfortable and enjoyable days on the water. The humidity remains moderate, making it an ideal time for anglers to explore the beautiful waterways. As spring progresses, the water temperatures rise, attracting a variety of fish species to the area. Inshore fishing becomes more rewarding with opportunities to catch redfish, speckled trout, and flounder. Offshore anglers can target species like king mackerel, snapper, and grouper.
Summer (June to August)Summer in Panama City Beach is marked by warm to hot weather, with temperatures ranging from 70°F to 90°F (21°C to 32°C). The summer months from June to August bring higher humidity levels, so anglers should be prepared for the heat. Despite the warm weather, it is an excellent time for saltwater fishing, offering opportunities to catch a wide range of species. Inshore fishing remains productive with redfish, speckled trout, and flounder being the primary targets. Offshore fishing becomes more exciting with the chance to reel in species like mahi-mahi, tuna, and sailfish.
Fall (September to November)Fall in Panama City Beach brings slightly cooler temperatures, ranging from 60°F to 80°F (15°C to 27°C). The humidity levels start to decrease, creating comfortable conditions for fishing. The months from September to November are considered one of the best times for angling, as many migratory species pass through the area. Offshore fishing offers the chance to catch king mackerel, cobia, and snapper, while inshore fishing remains productive with redfish, speckled trout, and flounder being the primary targets.
Winter (December to February)Winter in Panama City Beach is mild and inviting for saltwater fishing enthusiasts. The temperatures range from 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 21°C), providing a pleasant escape from colder climates. While winter is considered the low season for tourism, it doesn’t mean the fishing is any less exciting. Inshore fishing can yield catches of sheepshead, black drum, and redfish. Offshore opportunities exist for species like amberjack, grouper, and snapper. Additionally, this season offers a chance to target winter-specific species like pompano and flounder.
Frequently Asked Questions
The average prices vary depending on what you are looking for:Deep Sea Fishing
- 4 hr – $905 for 6 anglers
- 6 hr – $1325 for 6 anglers
- 8 hr – $1725 for 6 anglers
- 10 hr – $2272 for 6 anglers
- 12 hr – $2955 for 6 anglers
- Overnight – $6000
- 4 hr – $707 for 6 anglers
- 6 hr – $1076 for 6 anglers
- 8 hr – $1400 for 6 anglers
- 4 hr – $685 for 6 anglers
- 6 hr – $983 for 6 anglers
- 8 hr – $1250 for 6 anglers
- 4 hr – $720
- 6 hr – $975
- 8 hr – $1340
- 4 hr – $75/individual
- 6 hr – $82/individual
- 8 hr – $90/individual
- 10 hr – $120/individual