Panama City/Panama City Beach Fishing Report: Sept. 2014


Panama City Backcountry / Bay / Inshore

This is the best time of the year to be fishing this area of the panhandle. The big crowds are gone and prices are down for everything from gas to tackle. In the bays, the Speckled trout are feeding early in the mornings and late in the afternoons. If you are using artificial lures, try to use top water lures from daylight to around 8:00 a.m. Zaraspooks in pearl or white with a redhead have been working well if you can “walk the dog”, but if it is too technical, just go with your favorite lure.

For soft plastics, use a Berkley Gulp shrimp or a DOA shrimp. A new one out to try is the Voodoo shrimp. It can take a beating without having to replace them as often as other soft plastics. The redfish can be found in the same areas around the bayous and grass flats and will eat the same baits. They will also readily eat a spoon like Capt. Mikes Spoons in gold and red. The good news is that some of the better live baits like menhaden or greenbacks (pilchards ) are starting to show up. If you can get a live well full of them, you will be in business.

Bluefish, Spanish mackerel, flounder, Mangrove snapper, and sheepshead are also being caught in the bays and in the pass using anything from live shrimp on the bottom to trolling rigs to artificial lures. On the beaches, there are some big King mackerel being caught. Free line a live cigar minnow or herring with wire leader and that should be all you need. There have been some good ones caught in the pass at the jetties and the piers. Big redfish are also being caught up and down the beach. If you have the tackle and patience for it, the tarpon are still cruising the beaches and working the bay. Blue crabs, ladyfish, mullet and herring are some of the better baits for a big tarpon.

Panama City Offshore

The Gag grouper have been eating very well with lots of big fish being caught. Live cigar minnows or a Spanish mackerel head will get you the bigger ones if you can get the bait past all of the “endangered” Red snapper. Some very large amberjack are being hauled in and will bite anything from live or cut bait to jigs bouncing on the bottom. Triggerfish are also biting well and are very good to eat. All the regular suspects are there as well. Beeliners, White snapper, Black snapper, sheepshead, and bonita will all liven up a slow trip. Count on the sharks cruising the wrecks and reeling in a few fish heads, and the other fish thief that is active right now are the Goliath grouper (Jewfish). You will think you are hung on the bottom or that you just hooked a dump truck! Either way you won’t be reeling the big boys up to the boat as they can weigh over 400 pounds easy. There is also some good sized cobia being caught on the wrecks as well.


Get out and enjoy the water and catch some dinner with friends and family. It won’t be long before we are sitting in a tree stand wishing for spring to get here!