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Florida Fishing Report for Panama City & Destin

Capt. James Pic
April 24, 2005
Panama City - Saltwater Fishing Report

Panama City, NW Florida

Today, boys and girls, we are going to talk about and ponder something we have all encountered in our lifetime in one form or another. Performance Anxiety or PA as I like to call it. No, were not talking about sex so get your mind out of the gutter. We are going to talk about the "big one" that got away and away and away. I recently had a very good client in for three days of fly fishing. Great guy, married to his third cousin (they're from Kentucky, no what I mean????) who is a lovely and intelligent woman. Each year he comes down to Panama and fishes with me for several days. Last year I found some nice bonita for him to catch, this year I had scoped out a school of 25 pound jacks. Every morning these jacks would swim the same bank at about the same time. Now, a few weeks back I had some kids from Alabama (go figure) and when confronted with the opportunity to catch these fish, well the came through. No PA on the boat that day. One spooled the reel, one broke off and another was put in the boat after a 35 minute fight on 12 lb test. So.....getting back to the story, "Ken" (from "Ken"tucky) was faced with the opportunity to catch a big jack on his first day. He is a beautiful fly caster, as good as any I take, in fact he had caught a five pound spanish earlier that morning. I watched these fish moving through the shallows, crashing bait, sticking thier dorsal a full six inches out of the water. Yes, later, he would finally agree that he would have been better off jumping out of the boat onto the back of the closest one since he couldn't get his fly that far out!!!! What is it with guys falling apart with the fly rod when a big jack or tarpon swims by?????? Next day, Ken and I went back to the spot. As he sat and practiced, waiting for the fish to arrive, he was making beautiful 60 and 70 foot cast's. Little did we know that he should have been practicing 10 foot cast's. When they came through the first time, well, we'll just say that the accuracy went all to hell. When they came through the second time, well, it all went to hell. We gave up on the jacks and decided to go after reds the last day. Make a long story short--big school of reds, twice, can't hit em at thirty feet. Good thing I brought the dynamite that day, cause that was the only way one of those fish was coming into the boat. So what's the moral of this story???????? If you come down to fish, it doesn't matter how good you are, there are things you need to do so you don't get PA. Ken says, "don't have sex the night before. It's like abstaining before the superbowl, helps you focus". I don't know about all that since most of he guys I'm taking fishing are married which means they only get it on vacation. I say, take your medication so your calm, but more than anything remember you can't catch the fish unless you put the fly in front of them. Catching big fish is a frame of mind, your mind has to be ready for them.

Moving on. The water is clearing and the fishing is getting good. Even though we had very few days of spanish crashing the water this year, they have moved in. We have been catching a lot of big blues, some up to five pounds. That's a big blue for around here. Further up in the "bays" the trout are on the flats and aggresively feedind and getting ready for the spring spawn. We happened on four big schools of rat reds this winter. One was desimated up in Bayside Trailer park by a couple who I watched keep about 20 illegal fish. Wish I would have had my cell that day.

Around Warren Bayou there are some schools of big ladyfish for the fly rodder along with jacks. Along the beach the pompano are starting to show but that water has been dirty also.

Offshore snapper and grouper are strong.

One last thing. If you book a trip with me or any other guide for that matter, make sure your on time. Don't be late and then have to leave early cause you made a reservation at the Red Bar in Grayton Beach. I've eaten there, the food was average and cold when served and it was overpriced. Always make sure your guide comes first. Most of us, not all but most, work hard so you can catch fish.

See you on the water Capt. James Pic

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Sight casting fly and spinning for reds, trout, bonita, spanish, jacks and many other species. Live bait trips available as well as hot topwater action in the bay around Panama City, Florida. Depending on the time of the year I can normally put you on legal grouper in the bay, monster speckled trout, lot's of fly fishing action and just about everything else that swims and good tablefare.

Contact Info:

James Pic
Phone: 850-215-5578
Alt. Phone: 850-319-7855
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