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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

July 29 - 31

This end-of-summer heat has made fishing a bit tough this week. Slow days on the water make you appreciate the good ones that much more.


big jack crevalle with angler
Capt. Justin with High Tide Chartets has been on the jack bite this week!

I am still sticking with mangrove snapper as they seem to be the only guarantee right now in Choctawhatchee Bay. I like the incoming tide on bridges, docks,  and jetties. The jetties have been producing most of my bigger snappers, 14 inches and up. Live greenies, Small sardines, and small pinfish have all been working great. The main thing with the black snapper, especially around the jetties and bridges is that you need some water flow. They don’t bite nearly as good in a slack tide so make sure when you’re doing your pre-fish planning the day before that you keep the tides in mind when choosing which spots to go to and when. 

Bull redfish on the outgoing tide have been hit or miss on both the bridges and the jetties. If you can get some croaker‘s or lives cigar minnows your chances of getting a bite go up significantly but some days they just have not been biting at all. However, if you have a good outgoing tide it is definitely worth a try. East of the mid bay bridge there has been a lot of big schools of bull reds and jack crevalle busting baits on the surface. Always keep an eye out and have a heavier rod rigged and ready to throw when you spot the birds diving and surface chaos.


kid with tripletail fish
Maddox with a bonus tripletail this week caught while snapper fishing.

It’s the last week it’s snapper season and it feels that way, the bite has been very hit or miss. One day you can get on a good bite and limit out in an hour and the next day you’ve tried every bait in the live well and every honey hole you have and only come home with one snapper. That’s just the name of the game late in the season, they’ve been picked over so if you hit the wrong spot first you’re going to have to work hard to get a bite.

Mahi mahi have still been everywhere, if you see anything floating, trash, A buoy, a tree branch, anything really, it’s worth investigating. I like to keep a light rod rigged up with a small 3-inch soft plastic so when I see the mahi I’m ready to cast. The king mackerel bite has been picking up as well. Troll live bait or diving plugs around bait schools, large wrecks or any FADs.

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

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