Panama City Beach: The Florida Fishing Mecca
Millions of anglers come to Florida each year to experience some of the world’s best freshwater and saltwater fishing. You can bring your tackle, rods and bait here to catch numerous different types of fish like trout, flounder, mackerel, snapper, grouper and tarpon.
Get yourself a three- or seven-day fishing license or spend $6 a day to cast your hook at Russell-Fields Pier (850-233-5080) or M.B. Miller Pier (850-236-3035).
If you’re in an adventurous mood, you can choose from dozens of charter companies that can take you on a fishing expedition you won’t soon forget. Here are some of the top charters that will take you out into the emerald Gulf waters:
Back Atcha Sport Fishing, (850) 866-1657; panamacitysportfishing.com; email@example.com
Back Atcha takes small groups on half- and full-day trips aboard a 24-foot center console that is fueled by diesel.
Born to Boogie Hot Rods Charters, (877) 332-4691
Try to catch the big one in one of Born to Boogie’s fast charter boats. They can carry up to six passengers on their game fish, trolling and reef fishing expeditions.
Captain Linda’s Kayak Fishing, (850) 235-2281; www.captlinda.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Tackle a new kind of challenge with Captain Linda – fishing in a kayak. Your guide will provide all the gear and tackle for you to fish from a Hobie kayak that is leg propelled.
Cast-A-Way Charters, (850) 814-3690
Cast-A-Way offers light tackle fishing in the gulf and bay waters on a 21-foot boat. Captain Boyd “Buckey” Weaver welcomes all levels of anglers for trips where you’ll try to catch fish like cobia, sheepshead and triple tail, among many others.
Capt. Davy Jones Charters, (850) 234-5979; www.davyjonescharters.com; email@example.com
Located at Capt. Anderson’s Marina, Davy Jones Charters takes up to 18 passengers out on a 52-foot custom sport fishing vessel affectionately known as the “Lady B”. The six- to 12-hour trips involve bottom fishing, trolling or a combination of both.
Gotta Believe Charters, (850) 234-9409; www.gottabelievecharters.com
Gotta Believe specializes in group- and family-oriented fishing trips for fish species like amberjack, red snapper and dolphin. The 39-foot Striker boat can carry up to six passengers on trips ranging from four hours to two days.
McGowan Charters, (850) 235-2781; firstname.lastname@example.org
McGowan offers half-day and full-day custom sport fishing charters for up to six passengers. This family owned company will take you out on a 35-foot boat known as “Maggi”.
Osprey Charters, (850) 233-1959; www.fishosprey.com; email@example.com
Captain Greg Burnett takes anglers out on the “Osprey,” a 22-foot skiff, for light tackle and inshore fishing. You’ll try your luck at catching fish like jack crevalle, pompano and bluefish.
Showtime Sportfishing, (850) 774-6526; www.showtimefishingcharters.com
Showtime takes one to six passengers on deep sea expeditions. Captain Harry Ivy commandeers the 38-foot sportfishing yacht on bay fishing, bottom fishing, shark fishing and trolling trips.
Tomcat Fishing Charters, (850) 303-2210; www.tomcatfishingcharters.com
Saltwater fishing expeditions by Tomcat range from four hours to two days or more.
More Florida fishing resources:
Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation: http://www.takemefishing.org/state/page/overview/state/FL
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: