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Florida Panhandle Forecast

Florida Panhandle Forecast
Captain Gabrielle Mercado with a chunky trigger caught in the Panhandle.

Perdido Key to Cape San Blas

Capt. Gabrielle Barnes discusses fishing from Perdido Key to Cape San Blas, including Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Panama City and Port St. Joe

May 20 - 22

May is my favorite month to fish and if you have been lately, you know why! The weather is great and the fishing is even better. This weekend we are going to get some wind and rain but inshore and pier fishing will still be good!


panhandle fishing forecast

Capt. Jason on a good trout bite in the Choctawhatchee Bay.

Speckled trout from St. Joe Bay to Pensacola have been biting really good on the grass flats. The influx of bait into the bait systems combined with the upcoming spawn has these fish fired up. Now is time to stop paying the bait shop a daily visit and dust off your cast net. Pilchards and small pinfish will be my go-to bait for the next month or two. To catch them you will need a 1/4 “ mesh net and I like from 8-12 feet depending on how in shape I am! For the pilchards you want to get out at first light and look for them flicking the top of the water and for the pinfish, they will be on all your shallow grass flats. Depending on the spot you're fishing I will use a Carolina rig, popping cork, or free line them. Also if you happen to catch a few glass minnows on your cast, use them for black snapper, they love them.


panhandle fishing forecast
Capt. Adam Peeples with a 145 lb yellowfin caught this past week.

The action is just as hot nearshore, the wrecks are fired up with tons of action but be on your toes because where there are fish, there are also big sharks!  If your losing fish to sharks on a spot, consider beefing up your tackle to really crank those fish in, if that doesn’t work, leave to another spot so you don’t ruin your honey hole by feeding all the fish to the sharks. The king mackerel bite has been slow but

The bottom fishing for vermillion and triggerfish is great. Amberjack are still open, you just might have to be more patient to find a keeper in all the small ones nearshore.

On these calm days the sargassum gets patched up or forms a good weed line and chicken mahi have been all over them. The blue water bite has been great, the water is gorgeous and swordfish, Mahi, wahoo and tuna have been hitting the docks regularly as of late.


panhandle fishing forecast

Mother and daughter crew from Texas got a surprise jack crevalle while red fishing with Capt. Lionel James.

It’s that time of year when the pompano bite dies down and the beach is littered with lady fish and blue fish. The June grass has started to make its way to the beach which is going to make fishing difficult. But for now it’s still fishable and the bull redfish and jack crevalle have been stealing the beach show! Huge schools of redfish are happily cruising the beach but always have a popper ready for when a group of hungry jacks come swimming your way!

Capt. Gabrielle Barnes
Lady Luck Adventure LLC
Marler Park Fort Walton Beach, FL

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