Panhandle Reef Fishing


Panhandle Reef Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Mickey Locke

We fished around 200 feet both days. The jacks wrecked us the first day but ended up with 3 nice fish and 18 groupers. The next day was a tough bite on the jacks for us but we ended up with 2 nice fish and limit of grouper.

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Panama City Bottom Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Stingwray

At the end of day we had a mixed box which included gag/red grouper, B-liners,Lane Snapper and a few Porgy’s. By the end of the day had five tired fishermen and captain/deckhand ready to see the dock.

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Panhandle Offshore Bite

Florida Sportsman member: Realtor

Forum member Realtor has been catching some nice fish offshore. Amberjacks, snapper and strong fighting sharks have been keeping the rods bent. Sweet!

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Short Trip, A lot of Fish

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

We couldn’t soak baits long enough for grouper due to snapper. After boxing about 20 beeliners, we moved offshore another mile. Given the time constraint and no other spots close, I made the decision to anchor on it right off the bat. Logic being, it’ll either produce or it won’t, but with only about 40 minutes to fish, we might as well make the most of it seeing as there were no other options within range.

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Destin Bottom Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Sea Monkey Too

We quickly started catching some really nice Red Snapper. Too bad we were in Federal Waters and had to release them. We caught about 6 all in the 15 pound range.

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Tuna Time in Venice

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

The larger of the two fish hit first (crashed a slow trolled live bait) and then a second rod went off fishing the same thing. I hopped on the smaller fish and boated it fairly quickly. We were then sitting on 6 fish. After a good fight (and a little bit of embarrassing rod-passing) we boated another real nice fish. This made 7 nice tunas and bonus fish number 2. We messed around for another 35 minutes or so and headed home.

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A Little Ling Success

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

Fish just eased counter clockwise and the big one stayed with him. I hollered to buddy 2 to come ahead and to starboard. He did, and the before you knew it within casting distance was my lazy fish with hook in mouth and the big one. Buddy on bow flipped his eel out, and the big one dove on it. Bam! We’re both hooked up. Somehow, lines got crossed a couple times but I was able to get them unwrapped once we both got down on deck. Finally! Two fish on.

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Panhandle Lings

Florida Sportsman member: 85okhai

Went 2 for 7 yesterday. First fish ate a grunt and second fish was pulled off of a school of 4. It ended up being the smallest of the school. Fish went 46 pounds gutted.

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Big Panhandle Aj’s

Florida Sportsman member: 85okhai

Could’ve moved around to a few more spots to try and catch the rest of our Aj limit but out backs were already hurting and the big one was more than enough so decided to call it a early day. Only picture worth taking the camera out for was the Amberjack so that was the only picture taken all day.

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Nice Snapper off Destin

Florida Sportsman member:janderson

Checked a spot about a mile off the beach and Megan managed to box her first fish on the new boat. She landed a few small fish that we tossed back and a couple of 28 inch amberjack that she swore must have weighed 100 pounds before she got them to the boat. The wind layed down beautifully around 10:30 and the gulf went slick. We moved further east and set up on a good sized wreck that had VERY cooperative snapper on it.

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“Red hot” Panhandle Bite

Florida Sportsman member:crcattypc

Once on the spot, it was on fire. Fish were big and biting well. As we had seven guys on the boat we had a fourteen boat limit. Got those with no problem. Also picked up two gags. One was the longest skinny guy your ever saw. After getting to the grounds, the ride was fine from there and it even laid down during the day for a very pleasant ride home.

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Panhandle Bottom Fishing

Florida Sportsman member:85okhai

We got a late start this morning didn’t leave til about 9. Found some cigars and pilchards then we were on our way, we headed 20 miles south east. Got to the spot and the bottom was lit up. Started catching small snappers on bottom and all of a sudden big snappers started coming over from our flat line rods. So I take my weight off and started pulling 10-15 pound snappers from 50 to 70 feet down. Left that spot with fish still biting. Second spot and we pulled up a few fish and decided to move to a third spot to try for some red grouper and finish our limit off. Got there and the fish finder screen lit up. No red grouper there, but there sure was some nice snappers. Even had two snapper follow my snapper up and the other guys started catching them on buck tails.
Total for the day: 22 snappers,3 or 4 kings, and had to watch 4 or 5 gags swim back to the bottom…

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Birthday Bites

Florida Sportsman member: Split Shot

Surprise party!

We were blessed Sat morning by great friends and a fun trip delivered by Seminole Wind Billy Archer. Dave was the guest of honor as we celebrated his 60th birthday. Dave you a one lucky man is all I have to say! Conditions were a bit tough with the winds and currents but we managed just fine even if we didn’t catch a fish it was a time etched into memories!

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Reds: Slow and Lethargic

Florida Sportsman member: Redhunter

Got to fish Sunday Morning. Still a little windy and choppy right off the bat. Wife hooked this one within fifteen minutes of fishing and I had 3 of the same caliber follow mine right to the boat. I just could not get the transaction completed. So I got skunked by the wife again. Wind laid down some then the wife got cold, so back to the landing. Kind of glad to because once I got everything cleaned up the bottom dropped out. This one was 29 inches and around 9 pounds.

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Tails, Schools and Low-water Lock-jaw

Florida Sportsman member: BottomLine25

Dunked the boat around 7:30, light WNW wind and still cold. About an hour and a half, 6 rounds of heave-ho and 4 numb feet later we got our lines wet. Low water would be an understatement. The area we were headed to had No-water, I mean birds feet were dry. We had no choice but to fish short of our destination. To our great pleasure we started to spot some reds. Some singles, some groups, some tails and some schools. The fish were skiddish and seemed to have lock jaw. We changed tactics a few times and finally got em hooked up. We boated 2 bottom of the slot fish and broke off 2 nicer ones. All in all we saw somewhere between 50-60 fish by noon. We were pleased.

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Pensacola Bay Reds

Florida Sportsman member: lighttackle2fun

Pensacola bay has been on fire. I love this time of year. Big schools of monster red fish, fun and gun fishing. Fun times with over 30 fish to the boat on this trip. Flat worn out after a day of some serious battles[...]

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Reds at the Pass

Florida Sportsman member: 85okhai

I got bored so I decided to go fish the pass. I was planning on going out there to just mess with the blue fish, so all I had was two live baits and a bag full of artificials. As soon as I got out there I went towards the channel to see what I could pick up on those two live baits drifting and instantly hooked up to two reds [...]

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Grouper Troopers

Florida Sportsman member: upinthewater

As the sun rose, we began to load the bait well, but we lost two comrades. High expectations, but they found the beanbags more favorable than an awesome bite! After finishing up with about 100 baits, we headed offshore for some deep water fishing. We left them there a few weeks ago penned up and wanted to make sure there were no holes in the fencing! As we rolled up on the first stop, nothing but a smile rolled over my face [...]

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Quality PCB Reds

Florida Sportsman member: Whalercrazy

Planned a trip down to PCB for this past weekend. The trip was planned over a month ago to take my new boss. He has fished backwater but has never been deep sea fishing. Day one we started out trolling but we were only able to troll up one small king. Decided to head west and fish some numbers that did very well last month. We managed lots of small red snapper, but managed to come home with a nice triggerfish, a porgy, and the one king. The next day I wanted to prospect some new hard bottom [...]

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Panama City Offshore Report

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

Well, the plan was to leave the dock around 1:00 p.m. so that we’d have enough daylight to hit a couple spots before anchoring up on a big area where I like to spend the night and catch black snapper, kings, tuna, wahoo and who knows, maybe even a billfish. On our last trip we left around 1:00 and stopped at one spot about 49nm from the pass as the sun set. In a matter of about 90 minutes we had 12 very nice gags and three or four red grouper in the boat [...]

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Panhandle Bottom Fishing on Fire

Florida Sportsman member: Reeltight9

Went out with some buddies, my son and one newbie to offshore fishing on Friday. Left the dock at 6:00 a.m. with one baitwell full of chofers and stopped by the bait barge and filled the other with cigar minnows. Headed on out the pass and it was smooth as glass, ran 40 m.p.h. the entire 52 miles [...]

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Panama Beach Offshore Success

Florida Sportsman member: KayakMacGyver

My girlfriend caught this fish yesterday out of Panama City in about 110 feet of water. She baited her hook, cast the line and reeled the fish in all on her own, so she was pretty proud (as was I). The fish hit a live sardine flat lined about 50 feet behind the boat. Got kind of lucky because when I first saw color, about 50 feet down, I said “aw darn, it’s a jack” and put the gaff away [...]

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Panhandle Grouper Haul

Florida Sportsman member: upinthewater

It started with a clear radar for a change, and a crew that was pumped to go. First order of buisness – bait, and lots of it. Spent about hour catching it, great mix of rubies and some deep water choffers, then headed off to bounce around and see if we couldn’t get a repeat of last weekend. What a better way then to start then to try one on the way [...]

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Going the Distance out of PC

Florida Sportsman member: LilOrange

Although I’ve been following the forum and reading the posts for a few months now, I just registered and got a username a few days ago. So, this is my first post. Living in Tennessee, I only get to come down to fish 6 or 7 times a year. I fish with my buddy who lives in Opelika, AL. We go out of PC. We’ve been saltwater fishing for several years now and just get more and more into it every year. It’s really addictive. Until this year we’ve only fished public numbers of popular wrecks and reefs [...]

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Seagrove Beach Sailfish

Florida Sportsman member: CHM

My 12 year old son, CJ, caught a 7-8 foot long sailfish this week during a family vacation to Seagrove Beach. The attached pic shows the fish. He and I were pulling a needlefish om 80# fluoro leader behind our kayaks about 3/4 mile offshore of Seagrove beach when the fish hit. After fighting it for about 20 minutes out of the kayak, we paddled back to the beach to land it [...]

Check out the YouTube video here.

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Panama City Bottom Bouncin’

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

Kind of a late report, but it’s darn sure a good one. I know the folks that bailed (including my dad) last minute wish they’d kept their spots on the boat. No big deal, though. We had a very competent crew and everybody fished hard, which I love to see! [...]

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PC Offshore Trip Success

Florida Sportsman member: brentsum

This is our annual trip with Capt. Leveral on the the Best Bet. It was an awesome day, we limited out in about two hours stopping at about four spots. Also a nice dual cobia hookup at one spot (my 14 year old son and 16 year old daughter had them hooked up at the same time on light spiining gear – a sight to see!). We also got a nice Wahoo on the way out [...]

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Two Days of Bottom Droppin’

Florida Sportsman member: stingwray

After Tropical Storm Debbie was looking forward to getting back on the water. Had a group that wanted to go and do a little fishing. Seas were good and ran off the hill for a day of fishing. Everybody was looking forward to catching a few red snapper.Went to one area and spent the day and then finished off the trip and ran back to the hill in time to have dinner with my mom and dad [...]

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Stingwray Offshore

Florida Sportsman member: stingwray

So waited for the best opportunity to carry them out. Forecast for the day was 2 to 4 foot seas with 10 to 15 mph SE winds. Met up with everybody at the dock around 6:30 and headed out. Seas were a little better than anticipated but still a little bumpy. Got to the first spot made a few drops and picked up some fish. At that point seas began to build so decided to run back to the 25 mile mark and finished off the day. The young crew hung in tight with the bumpy seas and managed to have a good time.

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Panama City Reds

Florida Sportsman member: jdubb247

Took a day off from work hoping the Gulf would cooperate. We fought solid 3-4′ seas all day. Couldn’t get out to the better spots until later in the day. Once were able to get to a good spot, the dolphins ran us off. We threw back several legal snapper hoping we could find bigger fish. We ended up with 5 snapper, 1 shy of our limit. Could have been much worse given the sea conditions.

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Opening Weekend Report

Florida Sportsman member: Hutch316

Hit the water early and the boys were itching to catch a fish. Seas were tollerable but knew we would be sore buy the end of the day. Went out to an area that produced good numbers of fish last year but the fish didn’t want to cooperate. Fish marked well but just didn’t seem to be interested.  Still caught a mess but had to work to get em’ [...]

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Panama City – Offshore Bottom Fishing

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

Well, we did pretty good. The grouper gods were not as kind to us this past Saturday as they were a week ago. We fished the same area where we boated our 20 grouper in less than an hour, but we did not have as much luck. The bottom marked well, but the fish did not want chew…like at all. Full moon maybe? I don’t know [...]

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Serious Offshore Haul

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

Went ahead and made a sizable move offshore to the area that I thought would be holding red grouper. We didn’t mark a whole lot, but the trigger rigs produced quickly, and the machine came to life so we decided to get situated on that spot and soak some baits. Probably 45 minutes later we’d boated 14 addtional red gropuper, a pair of kings, probably ten schoolie+ sized dolphin (for in close of NW Florida), 4 or 5 more triggers and a beeliner or two.

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Hometown Crew

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Mickey Locke

Took a crew out from the hometown and boy did they have a good day. Made short work of 25 hardtails and 50 cigar minnows and headed out a midst the chop. Got to the first spot, 2 rods down, 2 jacks on this went on for about 30 minutes and we had a decent limit of jacks from 21 to 26 lbs. Headed over and beat up some hard bottom areas I haven’t fished in a while. Lots of short gags, reds and triggers [...]

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Panhandle Dolphin Catching

Florida Sportsman member: crcattypc

About that time, a nice sized cow fin swims up to the boat by herself. She was smelling the chum but not eating it. I tossed her a chunck of fresh threadfin and she turned her nose. (probably the 60 lb leader) Then take out the light spinner with 17 flouro and a yellow bucktail. After several casts to get pissed she ate the jig and was on. Took a little doing to get her boatside with the light tackle, but was a very fun fight. She was about a 12 lb-er, very large for this area in close (90 feet) [...]

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Broke in the New Rig

Florida Sportsman member: Hutch316

Came down for spring break with the wife and kids and was able to take the new rig out a few of they days we were there. Doubling my horsepower also doubled the fuel consumption. Ouchh, but thats not going to slow me down, yet!! We found Beeliners less than 8 miles from the beach the first day but they dissapeared that close in all the other days [...]

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Personal Best Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: KayakMacGyver

The turkeys have kicked my butt this year. Between the birds and trespassing 4 wheel riders on my lease, my post-deer season success has been null. Decided to forgo the last day of my quota hunt and try hunting for a Cobia along the beach. It was forecast to be flat calm, so I figured I might be able to rig something for height and not have to worry about the waves knocking me off. Saturday was spent building our ‘tower;’ A 6 foot fiberglass ladder zip tied to the deck of the boat. Deck space is very limited on our small 19 footer, but we made do.

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Panama City Cobia

Florida Sportsman member: Capt. Mickey Locke

Headed west out of PC with a crew. Made it a little past Grayton Beach with no fish insight. Turned around and made it just shy of Pier Parks Pier and spotted one right on the color change. Got turned on him and pitched an eel and he slammed it. Went 1-1 with a 45 pounder.

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A Better Fisherman

Florida Sportsman member: Panhandler80

Yesterday morning – we get somewhat of a late start yesterday. At around 9:30 we pull away form the dock and we were headed to the marina for some live shrimp. Our plan was to sheepshead fish for a little while for some guaranteed dinner, and then go look for a cobia while casting to spanish and tossing them in a brine. Well, we get our shrimp and head to a spot on the rocks for some sheepies. As we’re trying to find a spot to anchor we watch a couple come over the rail and I figure that this won’t take long [...]

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  • trynhooker

    Looks like you guys have had some great luck this season. I am heading down Saturday from AL, heading to Tyndall AFB. Going to fish a few days, bringing my boat down…Trying to figure out what I need to use for bait..

    • LilOrange

      we always try to catch some pinfish at the dock with a cast net and usually buy some live cigar minnows at the bait boat; live bait usually does best for us & the bigger the bait the bigger the fish we hook up; if you can find some patches of weeds you can usually catch a few hardtails also; we also have frozen squid on hand and catch quite a few fih on it……….especially triggers & beeliners

      Good luck!

  • Kenny McGill

    Great trip, Blair. Great write up.