Fall fishing in Panama City Beach, Florida can be very rewarding as the Gulf waters start to cool and fish begin to migrate from St. Andrews Bay through the pass between the various jetties.
Red snapper and amberjack can be found schooling around the deeper waters close to the shipwrecks and jetties. Tuna can still be found in the open water by trolling cigar fish during October, but the action away from shore tends to wane as the water cools. You can find group charter fishing boats in many of the marinas on Grand Lagoon, and smaller charter boats operate out of Grand Lagoon as well as the marinas across the bridge in Panama City and St. Andrews. Fishing gear, bait and licenses are typically included in the price of the trip.
What you can expect to find around the Piers and Jetties:
Spanish and king mackerel, pompano, redfish and flounder are among the prized game fish that can be found along the beach in the surf. The piers and jetties in St. Andrews State Park are also active as fish start to migrate through the pass from St. Andrews Bay into the Gulf of Mexico waters.
One can wade into the surf from the beach anywhere along the 27 miles of white sand in the area or drop line from the three piers along the coast in Panama City Beach.
Climb across the protective rocky jetties and search for migrating fish as they travel through the pass. Charter boats often troll the sandbars along the coast during October, sight fishing for running schools of fish from the captain’s perch in the tower. Use a variety of lures and bait from these locations. Try casting cut squid or live shrimp on a simple Carolina rig with a heavy weight from the beach, plant your pole, and enjoy the view while you wait for the action.
The expansive flats and channels of St. Andrews Bay hold active speckled trout during October. Head over to St. Andrews State Park and fish the bayside points near the pass to catch redfish, flounder and other migrating fish as they journey toward the Gulf.