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Florida Fishing Report for Panama City & Destin

Capt. James Pic
May 13, 2005
Panama City - Saltwater Fishing Report

Panama City, NW Florida

Looks like things are really starting to pick up around the bays.

I wanted to say something about the offshore....I don't spend to much time with the snapper and grouper because those fish are not as weather oriented as our bay systems. There are many, many good offshore boats out there willing to take a group fishing, and usually put folks on fish. If you want specific info about the offshore fishing, email me and I will be happy to answer and if I can't give you an answer will be happy to refer you to someone that can.

Nuff bout that. At the end of the report I'm going to touch on something concerning guides in the area, maybe I shouldn't but I believe the public should be informed.

As to the area's just off the beach and Crooked Island. There are plenty of pomapano along the beaches. Heading east to Crooked Island there are a lot of big schools of jacks, some sharks swimming along the beach, big spanish in the green reef. Tarpon should start showing up at Crooked Island in a few weeks and I would like to remind everyone that I am taking tarpon trips once again now that I'm not tied to a store. Full day of tarpon fishing is $400.

Up in the sound the grass flats are growing and the fish from the big bend area are starting to migrate in.

In our bays the first thing that jumps out is the amount of big jacks this year. Had fly fishermen within casting distance several times this week of 25 pound jacks. Most of the time they were "lined" which spooked the school. We are, however, having some success at catching them both on fly and conventional tackle. Another good thing this year is the bluefish. There are a lot of people that don't like to eat them but if you take the filets and soak them overnight in cold salty water they are actually very good fried. The reason I bring up the blues is because they seem to be a little bigger than usual this year. We have had a lot in the four and five pound range. Course those are caught in certain areas of the bay, with only a few people knowing about them or how to catch them. Blues are also a hoot on topwater. They will knock a plug five feet out of the water. I throw a hookless Yozuri to locate them for my flyfishermen. There are the normal spanish in the bay this year, nothing really big as of yet, biggest so far 26 inches at the fork caught by one of my fly fishermen.

Further up in the bays the trout are on the flats and hitting topwater in the morning, twitch and soft plastics later in the day. Anyone can catch them on live bait, well, almost anyone :). Starting to find schools of red and have been putting some in the boat.

Anything more specific than that, email me and I will try and steer you in the right direction.

Now, for the guides in the area. Still a couple that can't find fish. Look folks, if your running all over the bay looking for fish your guide isn't doing a very good job. Yes, there are some days when you have to look, but a good guide will not have to move you very far. I watched (and laughed) as a couple of them went from one end of the bay to the other Wednesday looking for fish. Watched them go by all morning, yes fishing was tough but you have to believe in your spots. We had a couple of reds, opportunity at some jacks, caught some blues and spanish and even a trout all within a mile or two of each other and all on two spots. Know what I mean? Some of those guys with the fancy boats just are not that good. Spend your money wisely.

OK, thats about it, check out my last report and read about "performance anxiety". Good luck on the water and do us all a favor--if you catch that big trout, take a picture and let him go.....there's no sense in killing them.

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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