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Old 07-19-2018, 09:52 PM   #1
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Question New to Fishing Panama City Beach Area

Hey guys! I was wondering if you could give me any tips or tricks to fishing the Panama City Beach Area. I am staying the weekend in St. Andrews state park and am planning to do a bunch of fishing. I know with the heat, the early mornings and late evenings will be my best times.

I have a couple different reels spooled up with 25lb test, but I was wondering if I needed to purchase any leader. If so how heavy?

I want to hit both the bay and the surf, so I really want to target everything from pompano and whiting in the surf to redfish speckled trout, flounder, sheepshead, and even maybe some mangrove snapper if im lucky. Are any of these really an option?

I already got a couple of lures like a gotcha plug and a couple different spoons. I also got some gulp shrimp and swimming mullet that I plan on putting behind a popping cork. I recently bought a mirrodine mirrolure but im not sure exactly how to use it!

Any help you can give is greatly appreciated!

Best of luck and tight lines!

Last edited by Ryan98720; 07-19-2018 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:57 AM   #2
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You'd be lucky to get a pompano in the surf, plan on catching 500 hardheads per pompano. Use a pompano rig with fishbites for whiting, and still plan on catching a bunch of undesirables for every keeper. Mangroves should be around the jetties, small pinfish will be your best bet on bait for them. Sheeps are pretty much not gonna happen this time of year. reds, specs, and flounder can all be caught by wade fishing. Flounder will be on the sand between patches of grass, drag that swimming mullet slowly on the edges of the grass. reds and specks aren't really my thing, so someone else will have to direct you on those.
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:21 AM   #3
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Many people seem to think that they need really heavy line and (wire) leader to fish saltwater. You don't for most species, including the ones you names. You will only need a leader if you're trying for small sharks or king mackerel.

I would suggest spooling it with 12-15 pound test at the most if it is monofilament. You should be able to land just about anything with that size line.
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:19 PM   #4
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If the bay pier is still there, good fishing at night when park closes. Also, we used to slowly drive around the park at night looking for deer, big racks in there.
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:19 PM   #5
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Okay! Thanks for the replies!
@Rickpcfl- Coming from mainly fishing freshwater I really get caught up in thinking that I need to go super thick and heavy when it comes to saltwater fishing line! I really don't have the money to change out a bunch of line right now. It is braid, so its a bit thinner than mono. Will it work, or do you think it is a must that I change out the lines.

@ArenB- Thank you so much for the advice! Like I said, I really dont know much about fishing PCB this time of year, so advice like this is really helpful! I was really just naming off the only species I know are good to eat! I don't have a cast net, do you think I could catch the pinfish of a sabiki rig? Another question I have, is how long can fish keep on ice? We will be camping for 2 nights in St. Andrews park, so I wont have access to a freezer. Will the fish keep for this long? Should I fillet them right away and put them in ziplock or would it be best to just gut them and leave them whole until I get back home?
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:22 PM   #6
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Thanks @Kanaka! I will definitely have to check both of those things out while I'm there! I figured the best thing about fishing in the park is that it is generally closed off to the public during the times I want to fish, so hopefully it will be less crowded than the main pier down town, which I have fished a couple times with minimal luck!
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:59 PM   #7
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Ryan,

There are a couple of options.

Do you have another reel that you can wind the braid on so you can keep it? If so, I'd do that and then go to Walmart and buy a $6 spool of Trilene BigGame in 12 pound test. Use it and then respool it with the braid if you want. Or, you could use the FG knot (look on youtube for video) to tie some mono to the braid and then wind on as much line as your reel can take if it isn't already full.

If you reel is pretty much full, just make a mono or flourocarbon leader that is 4-6 feet long.

As to keeping the fish. Definitely filet them when you get back to your campsite. Filets will take up less space in an ice chest. I wouldn't do that while you're fishing because the game wardens will probably want you to keep fish in whole condition while you're fishing so they can make sure of species and size.
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:22 PM   #8
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Stop by Howell Tackle or Half Hitch for info and last minute terminal tackle too!

Have fun, we always enjoyed our camping stays there. Nothing like getting a hot pizza while camping for a 15 min round trip.
Beware!!!! The racoons will rip you off big time. I'd get a tiedown strap to secure cooler.

I remember the wife jumping up and down when we were fishing the bay pier at night and she's pointing at a 8 point deer standing in the parking lot backlit with the lights staring at us.

Last edited by kanaka; 07-20-2018 at 06:30 PM.
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