Panama City Beach / West Bay – June 2019

Kinzie Harrington of PC with a rainy day redfish.
Kinzie Harrington of PC with a rainy day redfish.

BACKCOUNTRY / BAY / INSHORE:
This year has been a really good year for speckled trout. We’ve been catching large numbers of big trout over the slot. The L-wise are here early this year and as a result are bigger than usual for the start of summer. The most productive method for using live bait is to free line the bait with no weight. If you want your bait to swim on top of the water hook the bait in the tail, if you want them on the bottom hook them in the lip. If you are using larger bait fish, allow trout, redfish, etc., to run with your bait on a free spool, count to 3, reel in the slack, then set the hook. Redfish are being caught all over the bay. They are being found in schools on the grass flats and around docks, under the big bridges, and in the pass on an outgoing tide. Fish the pass with a small live blue crab and you won’t likely get any small enough to keep. So far, it’s been a good year for sheepshead as well; both numbers and size. Use a small bottom rig with a small shrimp fished near shallow structures, docks, and jetties; this goes for mangrove snapper too. The pompano are on the beach in the surf, and around the end of the rocks in the pass. A sand flea or small shrimp works best but a good pompano jig with a piece of shrimp on it will also produce. Don’t forget to bring your trolling gear for the Spanish mackerel that are everywhere in the bay and down the beach. Kings are being caught trolling as well. The tarpon are here and are feeding very well on live baits but are also giving larger white soft plastics a taste. Some really big schools (30+) have been seen cruising the beach. This year has been a really good year for speckled trout. We’ve been catching large numbers of big trout over the slot. The L-wise are here early this year and as a result are bigger than usual for the start of summer. The most productive method for using live bait is to free line the bait with no weight. If you want your bait to swim on top of the water hook the bait in the tail, if you want them on the bottom hook them in the lip. If you are using larger bait fish, allow trout, redfish, etc., to run with your bait on a free spool, count to 3, reel in the slack, then set the hook. Redfish are being caught all over the bay. They are being found in schools on the grass flats and around docks, under the big bridges, and in the pass on an outgoing tide. Fish the pass with a small live blue crab and you won’t likely get any small enough to keep. So far, it’s been a good year for sheepshead as well; both numbers and size. Use a small bottom rig with a small shrimp fished near shallow structures, docks, and jetties; this goes for mangrove snapper too. The pompano are on the beach in the surf, and around the end of the rocks in the pass. A sand flea or small shrimp works best but a good pompano jig with a piece of shrimp on it will also produce. Don’t forget to bring your trolling gear for the Spanish mackerel that are everywhere in the bay and down the beach. Kings are being caught trolling as well. The tarpon are here and are feeding very well on live baits but are also giving larger white soft plastics a taste. Some really big schools (30+) have been seen cruising the beach.

OFFSHORE: Gag grouper opens this month and there are plenty to be caught on the wrecks and structures. A live pinfish works great as well as live cigar minnows. Red snapper opens on June 11 and the set-up is the same. The trick is going to be getting your bait to the bottom before the trigger fish and amberjack get it. Don’t forget that trigger and amberjack seasons are closed. King mackerel can also be caught flat lining a live bait by the boat while bottom fishing. An occasional cobia may show up under the boat to so be ready.

Remember to check the always changing regulations before you go and remember to only keep what you need and preserve our incredible fishery. See you out there!

CAPT. DARYL SHUMATE
Liquid Native Charters
850-624-6968
Liquidnativecharters.com

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