Bay County Outdoors Inshore Fishing Report

By Capt. Nathan Chennaux

Despite the much cooler weather the fishing has been really good. Frequent cold fronts tend to have fish moving around the bay searching for food. This offers an advantage to anglers and can make for some action packed fishing. One of my favorite fish to target inshore late in the fall is gag grouper and as the water temp continues to drop you will see more and more of them coming inshore from the gulf. I typically do best on structures in 20-35 feet however I have caught big gags in water as shallow as about 8 feet. Usually when they are shallow they are sitting right on the edge of a drop off, or near the end of a dock with deep water close. With all the new debris scattered along the bottom from Hurricane Micheal, trolling a Rapala Mag Rap 25 a great way to cover water and find new structure. I keep a constant eye on my Humminbird Solix Side Imaging looking for good areas littered with debris that I can drift with DOA Swimming Mullet or drop big live baits on. Typical size for these fish will be between 20" and 30" and you can keep them through the end of the year.

Around the pass there has been a bunch Spanish Mackerel and bluefish to keep anglers busy. Small jigs and spoons fished at a medium to high rate of retrieval will get the job done and those fish pretty much always eat. If you are fishing close to the jetties, you can expect to catch some redfish, black drum, and I have even seen the occasional pompano being caught.

On the flats the fishing has been either really good or its been kind of tough. The fish are getting in bigger and bigger schools so catching fish depends a lot more on putting together solid patterns than it does just covering water. The speckled trout are much more plentiful in slightly deeper water between 3-7 feet deep but the better fish are still going to be caught in water less than 3 feet deep. I like a good mixture of grass and sand near a point, bayou, creek mouth or some other feature that can alter the current and give fish a place to hunt and or hide. While looking for big trout in shallow water I always keep an eye open for tailing redfish or schools of fish pushing a wake.  When I spot them, I slowly close to within casting distance and make a presentation near the school but not in the school. Its important not to spook the fish otherwise they will be gone and you will have to start the process all over again once they settle down. Small spoons and jigs that cast far and accurate while landing softly are preferred. 

Good luck and as always if you have additional questions about what's biting, how to catch them, or you would like to book a trip I encourage you to give me a call or shoot me an email. 

Capt. Nathan Chennaux

(850) 258-7235

Bay County Outdoors Inshore Fishing Report

By Capt. Nathan Chennaux

Flats fishing has been very good in many parts of the bay especially where the water is starting to clear up. Although it still has that tannic color to it the water clarity itself has improved tremendously making some sight fishing  possible. If you plan on sight fishing you definitely want to try do it on an incoming tide when you have clean gulf water pushing into the bay. Once the water starts to drop and the dirty water from up the bay near the intercostals start flushing out water clarity will get suffer. 

The speckled trout bite has been really good around points that get a good amount of tidal flow and where the bottom has some undulation. The bigger fish like to hang out in the slightly deeper spots in between sandbars or grass beds and ambush shrimp, mullet, and other baitfish like pilchards or glass minnows as they get swept around the point with the current. If you pull up very quietly on the boat, or on foot, often times you can see several large trout laid up together or in very close proximity to each other. I like to target them with shrimp patterns or weedless rigged swimbaits. Natural presentations are key to consistently getting the bigger fish to eat. When I get just within range I put down my Minn Kota Talons and make presentations up current allowing the lure to drift naturally through the area the fish are at. If you do it right and use the right lure they should eat because thats why they are there in the first place. 

The redfish bite continues to be really good for me. I have been targeting them a few different ways with a combination of live and artificial baits. When targeting schools in deeper sand I have been stopping the boat and live chumming with pilchards or menhaden to bring the school to me. Once you get the school to you and feeding it doesn't really matter what you use to catch them but you will catch more on the live bait than you will anything else. Not to say you wont catch bunch on lures because you can but the live bait is a sure thing. When targeting fish in the shallows along shorelines or on skinny grass flats I prefer to use the trolling to cover water and look for spots where fish should be at. Some examples would be areas of flooded marsh grass, points on the outside of a small ditch or creek, sandbars, potholes, areas or broken bottom, and any other transition points. I generally use top waters or soft plastics on a light lead when fishing these types of areas. 

If you are just looking for action there is a pile of bait out in the middle of the bay and any one of those bait balls could have a ton of hungry fish on it. It pays to stop and throw a few different lures into the school a few time and see what happens. I would start with small shiny spoons or plugs worked very fast for the more aggressive fish and probably also toss a bigger jig through to see if any bigger fish like bull reds or tarpon were hanging out underneath them.

Good Luck and as always if you have additional questions about what's biting, how to catch them, or you would like to book a trip I encourage you to give me a call or shoot me an email. 

Capt. Nathan Chennaux

(850) 258 7235

Capt. Snapp's July Update

Wow, what an exiting summer so far. I have been extremely busy. Locals and vacationers are enjoying what the beautiful Panama City area has to offer and it seems like everyone wants to go fishing! I have had numerous calls and instant messages on Facebook inquiring about the area and how to target specific fish. I appreciate the questions and enjoy talking to everyone and of course listening to all of the fishing stories. 

Up on the flats, the red fish and trout bite has been either on or off for a lot of anglers from what I’m hearing. Hopefully you have been one of the lucky ones and have been able to find and stay on fish. This time of year can be difficult due to the heat, however, if you get an early start or fish late in the afternoon you can increase your odds of catching some fish. If you have a problem with artificial lures you may want to try live bait. The bait has been thick in a lot of the bayous and out around some of the points throughout the bays. Get a livewell full and fish them on the bottom, under a popping cork, or simply just free line them over a grass flat or drop off. If needed, throw some out into the water to turn the bite on. 

Off the beaches there are several species to target this time of year. Tarpon, Sharks, Jacks, Kings, and Bonita all will make for a great day on the water. These fish can be targeted with live bait, artificial lures, and my personnel favorite, fly fishing! For details on rigging, give me a call or stop by a local tackle store for everything you will need. 

It should go without saying, but this time of year you need to stay hydrated. Take in plenty of fluids throughout the day.  

Good luck! 

As always, I encourage you to give me a call if you have questions about fishing in the 

Panhandle at (850) 832-4952 or for additional information about Grassy Flats Charters, please visit 

In addition, checkout “Grassy Flats Charters” on Facebook for the most recent pictures and video’s along with “Grassy Flats Charters” on Youtube and Instagram. 

Would you like to be a part of Bay County Outdoors? Have a cool fish story or picture? 
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Boat Ramps:
Panama City Beach

St. Andrews State Park 4607 State Park Lane (850) 233-5140
Lake Powell Boat Ramp 23104 Lake Powell Rd
Dolphin Boat Ramp Dolphin Dr 
Bay Point Marina 3824 Hatteras Lane (850) 235-6911
Lighthouse Marina 5325 North Lagoon Dr (850) 234-5609
Pirate's Cove Marina 3901 Thomas Drive (850) 234-3939
Treasure Island Marina 3605 Thomas Drive (850) 234-6533
Bayside Marina 6325 Big Daddy Dr (850) 234-7650

Panama City
Carl Gray Boat Ramp Collegiate Dr
Panama City Marina 1 Harrison Ave  (850) 872-7272
St. Andrews Marina  3151 West 10th St (850) 872-7240
Sun Harbour Marina 5505 Sun Harbor Rd. (850) 785-8268
Bob George Park 154 N Church Ave
Burnt Mill Creek Burnt Mill Creek Rd
Cook Bayou Marina 11722 Bay Vista Rd (850)874-8300
Donaldson Point 1562 Dover Road
Earl Gilbert Park 6511 Oakshore Dr
McCall-Everett Park County Road 2321
Safari Street Boat Ramp Safari St
Shoreline Cirle Boat Ramp 3718 Shorline Circle

Lynn Haven
Leslie Porter Wayside Park Ramp Hwy 77 Bridge 

Donald Penny Boat Ramp Bridge St
McKenzie Boat Ramp 1501 McKenzie Road 

Gore Park Boat Ramp Beulah Ave (south end)


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