Inshore/Gulf

Bay County Outdoors Inshore Fishing Report

By Capt. Nathan Chennaux
8/15/2017



Now that the rain has cleared out for the most part it’s back to fishing as usual.  Although the bay is stained the redfish and speckled trout are out chewing like crazy.  Look for the bigger speckled trout to be shallower, cruising right up near the shoreline, commonly following schools of redfish and big mullet. Early in the morning, or under cloudy conditions, top-water walking and popping plugs are hard to beat when it comes to getting big bites especially from big trout. Often enough it’s smaller plugs that really get crushed and the hook-up ratio is far better in my opinion.  



Usually by the time the top-waters stop getting there is enough light and just enough water clarity that you can still creep around shallow sandy banks and pitch jigs to cruising redfish. Since visibility is not fantastic you will have to get much closer to the fish before you spot them so keep extra quiet. Most of the fish I have caught sight fishing over the last couple days have been 20ft or less from the boat so the stealth is paramount.



If you want to do some more relaxing fishing you can always go catch a couple hundred pilchards and jump in the in the water and do some wade fishing. I like to fish areas that have at least 2 of 3 key components. A good mix of grass and sand, changes in depth, and varying currents.  If you can find one that has all of those then more often than not there will be fish hanging out there.  I like to cast up current at an angle and allow the bait to drift over sand holes, sand bars, drop offs, and other feature that hold fish.  Usually you are going to catch trout and redfish when fishing this way but it not uncommon to catch a wide variety of other fish species as well including jacks, spanish mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, mangrove snappers, flounder, and many others.  A good quality VMC circle hook will ensure you get plenty of hook ups without having many fish swallow the hook.

Good luck

If you have additional questions about what’s biting, how to catch them, or you would like to book a trip give me a call or shoot me an email.

Capt. Nathan Chennaux

850-258-7235

captainnate@baycountyoutdoors.com




Bay County Outdoors Inshore Fishing Report

By Capt. Nathan Chennaux

7/16/2017

When I think of the ideal conditions to catch a bunch of fish the first two things that come to mind are a little stain on the water and a good amount of tidal movement. That little bit of color in the water generally makes fish aggressive and far more inclined to strike lures without scrutinizing the looks of it. Top-water bites become increasingly ferocious and even though the fish can’t see the plug as well as they would in clear water they often times get a better grip on it first shot. I tend to lean towards darker colors in darker water however white is a killer color regardless of the state of the water.
​ 
In the shallows the speckled trout and redfish have been particularly willing to chase and eat top-waters in the early morning and later in the afternoon. Generally by about 9 am I have put the surface baits away and gone to a suspending plug or a jig however with the dirtier water the fish have been eating on the surface all the way up until lunchtime. This is not set in stone, and you will have to make this decision on the fly based on how the fish are reacting to your lure. If they start to just pop at the top-water but not eating it then you may need to make a minor adjustment to your offering in order to get good bites. Look for the redfish and the bigger speckled trout to be in shallower water say less than 2.5 feet and the slot trout in water from 2-5 feet.
I just can’t say enough about how good the bite is on the big redfish throughout the bay. Of course the bridges are great places to target them but there are other ways you can catch them in the middle of the bay. If you find schools of bait being harassed on the surface by birds or other fish there is a good chance that lurking down underneath the mayhem there a few big redfish waiting on scraps to fall down to them. Also anywhere that you find big crabs floating through on the tide there is a good chance that bull reds are cruising the surface looking for them. If you decide to target them at the bridge be considerate of others that may have gotten there before you. Not everyone who is out there fishes on the bottom right under their boat. Often times they are casting plugs so be cool and give people some room to fish.


Although it’s not something that I do very often I have found that there are far more legal red snapper in the bay than people might think that there are. Several pieces of bottom in the 25-35 ft of water range have been holding some quality fish up to 24”. I have tried a couple of different ways of catching them including live bait but the thing that seems to get the bigger fish is 5.5 inch DOA jerkbait on a 1/2oz jighead. Overall this is one of my favorite patterns for bull reds, inshore gag grouper, and bigger shallow water red snapper. Its thin body allows it to sink relatively quickly and its long profile gives it a bulky look in the water that the fish just cannot refuse.

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

Capt. Nathan Chennaux

850-258-7235

Captainnate@baycountyoutdoors.com




BCO Inshore Report
6/29/2017

By Capt. Nathan Chennaux




Despite recent rains and instability in the weather the fishing has been pretty good. On higher tides the flats are thick with trout and redfish as well as the occasional schools of jacks, ladyfish, bluefish, and big solo cruising spanish mackerel. Early and late top-waters are still getting some of the best action and some of the biggest fish. During the mid-morning hours jigs, suspending/sub-surface plugs, and live baits have proved to be most effective. Near the top of the tide look for the fish to be closer to shore and as the tide starts to drop look for them to stage up in front of bayou and creek mouths, and on shallow points where the water will be moving slightly faster and baitfish tend to congregate.


The mangrove snappers are plentiful throughout the bay around most of the shallow structures in water between 4-10 feet. When fishing around vertical structure the fish can be in much deeper water but are generally spend a good amount of time in the upper part of the water column. Free-lined live or cuts baits on small circle hooks are the best way to get them to chew. To make it more fun and ensure more bites use a medium to light action rod and small diameter fluorocarbon.
The bull redfish bite continues to be very good in around the bridges but also in other parts of the bays as well. The big bull reds can also be found underneath big schools of baitfish in the middle of the bay especially if the baitfish are being fed on by other types of fish like ladyfish, bluefish, or mackerel. The bull reds will hang out underneath the action and pick up baitfish that are killed but not eaten. Throwing heavy jigs into the school and allowing it to fall all the way down is the best way to get down to the redfish. At the bridges the redfish are still primarily feeding at the surface on crabs floating through with the tide. Targeting them with top-waters when they are on the surface feeding is my favorite way to target them but they will eat crabs, baitfish, or cut bait either flat-lined, or fished with lead on the bottom.


If you have additional questions about whats 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       

captainnate@baycountyoutdoors.com




Capt. Snapp's Summer Update
6/25/2017



Summer is here and fishing has been on fire! On the flats, off the beach, and nearshore has been producing some great action! Up on the flats the trout and redfish bite has been best in the morning and later in the day. My clients have been throwing top water and having a blast with explosive blowups. In addition to trout and reds, a mixed bag of ladyfish, blues, and huge Spanish Mackerel have been supplying tons of fun on light tackle. 




Later, as the sun comes up, reds and trout can be sight fished while they cruise across grass flats in one to two foot of water. Look for them moving across sandy areas and pot holes or laying up where the sand and grass meet. 




Off the beach and on the nearshore reefs jacks have been pounding live baits and 

artificial lures. Jack crevalle are a blast on spin and fly sight fished in the crystal clear water just off the beaches and the amber jack will provide all the exercise you can stand on the nearshore wrecks! The king mackerel bite has been good. Flatlining live or dead cigar minnows over wrecks or hard bottom and trolling a variety of artificial plugs have been producing some nice catches. 


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.



Captain Daniel Snapp

Grassy Flats Charters

“Sight Fishing the Emerald Coast”

(850) 832-4952




Capt. Todd Jones Gulf Update
6/8/2017


 

 

With the opening of State Water Snapper season, we have been able to put a lot of tasty fish in the box lately. The Snapper fishing has been very productive. Along with Red Snapper we are catching Vermillion and White Snapper.

 



These guys were lucky enough to come in with a few bonus Grouper as well. Speaking of bonus fish, we have also been fortunate to run across Mahi the last few trips out on our way to Snapper fish.



 

On the short trips, we are still catching lots of King Mackerel. I especially like to fish for King Mackerel on the late afternoon trips, they always seem to bite better in the late afternoon.

 

As you can tell by this report the fishing is outstanding right now. My advice is to get down here to Panama City and come catch some fish.

Thanks,

Capt. Todd Jones
850-819-5829
backbayadventures.com


Bay County Outdoors Inshore Fishing Report

By Capt. Nathan Chennaux
6/5/2017


Fishing has been very good of late especially early in the mornings and late in the afternoons. Early in the morning, when it’s still cool and light levels are low, the speckled trout have been feeding heavily on shallow grass and sand flats. The bigger fish seem to be relating to areas that have lots of sand with patchy grass and lots of changes in depth between 1-4 ft.


 The smaller slot fish are sticking more to thick grass flats in 3-5 ft of water with just a few potholes here and there. Top-water plugs, specifically the Rapala Skitter V, have been producing the bulk of the bigger fish as well as good numbers of medium slot fish. Once the sun gets up the DOA shrimp in near clear and the 4-inch shad tail in pearl white has been lethal.






In addition to the healthy amount of trout on the flats there are a ton of redfish out in the shallows feasting on everything from marsh eels to crabs, shrimp, and all form of baitfish. The redfish have also been very receptive to surface lures early as well as spoons and other semi quick moving lures. As the sun gets up mid-morning, the clean water has made for some fantastic sight fishing. Since it has been high tide in the later hours of the morning most of the redfish have been very close to shore and in places way up in the reeds and marshes. Jigs work great when throwing to fish in open water but it’s hard to beat a weed-less spoon when throwing at fish way up in the reeds.


 If big fish are your thing then you want to make your way over to one of the bridges on a falling tide and start looking for fish busting the surface. These fish are primarily eating crabs, shrimp, and eels for but they will also eat fish pattern lures. Top-waters, soft plastic jerk-baits, and rattle traps are all good choices to get hooked up.


Showing up in full force on most of the inshore structures is the tasty mangrove snapper. They can be found in widely varying water depths throughout the bay and you can target them either down on the bottom or up on the surface. I generally like to target them in shallower water less that 15ft or if in deeper water around vertical structures like bridge pylons that let the fish hold up near the surface. I like to toss flat-lined shrimp, pilchards, glass minnows, or small pinfish slightly up current of the structure and let it drift back naturally with the tide. When mangroves strike it is very quick, so I find it best to leave your bail open and wait until the fish grabs your bait and runs off a second before closing the bail and coming tight on it. Good luck.

If you have any additional questions about what’s biting, how to catch them, or you would like to book a trip give me a call or shoot me an email.

Capt. Nathan Chennaux

(850)258-7235

captainnate@baycountyoutdoors.com



Capt. Jones Gulf Update
5/22/2017


 

The fishing has been fantastic the last couple weeks. All the key players have made their way to this part of the Gulf. The bait is all along the beaches, nearshore wrecks, and reefs. Thankfully the Bait Barges are loaded with all the bait you could possible need. This itself makes life a lot easier for all of us.

Now on to the important part the FISH. For those that are looking more for a light tackle sport fishing adventure, look no farther than the mighty Jacks we have prowling the beaches and wrecks. Giant schools of Jack Crevalle are on the beaches and the notorious Reef Donkeys (Amberjack) are patrolling just about every wreck within 3 miles of the beach.

 

For those that want to both catch great fighting fish and have a few to eat the King Mackerel are a great choice. I like to do late afternoon trips for the Kings, they always seem to bite better in the late afternoon and evening. We hooked a couple Sailfish and caught several gaffer Mahi while doing this the last few trips.

For a longer combo trip, we can do all the above, plus add in some reef fishing for a variety of snapper and other tasty reef fish. While doing this we have also been catching lots of Mahi the last few weeks.

 

Thanks,

Capt. Todd Jones

850-819-5829

backbayadventures.com





Capt. Snapp's May Update
5/15/2017


May is a beautiful month here in Panama City, the temperature’s haven’t heated up to summer time high’s so you can stay out on the water all day fishing or just kickback and enjoy the sunshine and the beaches! 


The bait has arrived in the bays and off the beach and the bite nearshore and off the pier has been getting better everyday. If you enjoy using live bait now is the time to throw a net and load up that livewell. All species are moving in to take advantage of the bait fish. Everything from Kings, Sharks and Tarpon off the beach and inshore spots, to the Spanish, Ladyfish, Blues, Trout and Reds up in the bays.


Using live bait is pretty straight forward, try free-lining them by themselves or create a chum line by throwing out a few and then fish your bait back in the chum line for a chance to catch any number of different species. If you are targeting trout and reds, try fishing your live bait under a popping cork while working your way across a grass flat. Be sure to keep your bait suspended just above the grass and don’t forget to work the edges where the sand meets the grass. 


If you want more of a challenge and live bait is not your thing, tie on an artificial and get going. May is a great month for top water action for reds and trout. When using top water vary the retrieval of the plugs until you find what’s working. You may even have to change the lure size and type of action to fine tune your presentation but it’s worth it when the bite turns on. Later in the day switch over to your favorite swim or jerk bait or gold spoon and work the grass lines and pot holes for Reds and Trout. Be sure and stop by one of the local tackle shops and they will be happy to show you what’s working best this time of year. 


If your’e not into flats fishing, find a good point near some deeper water in the bay and look for diving birds, this is usually a good indicator that fish are feeding. In most cases, it will be 

Spanish, Blues and Lady fish. These fish can be targeted with live or artificial baits. Gotcha’s, spoons, and assorted jigs will work and when caught on light tackle they are a blast and will provide a lot of fun for the whole family! 


Fly fishing off the beach or up in the flats is always a blast. In May, so many different fish provide plenty of targets to pick from. Shark, Jacks, Pompano, Spanish, and Bull Reds are generally targeted off the beaches and Speckled Trout and Reds are sight fished up on the grass flats! If you find yourself in town without your fly gear and want to experience the incredible fishing and fly opportunities in Panama City Beach don’t worry, I have everything you need to have a great day on the water.


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 


http://grassyflatscharters.com



Captain Daniel Snapp

Grassy Flats Charters

“Sight Fishing the Emerald Coast”

(850) 832-4952



Full House in Panama City Beach, FL
5/11/2017




Jacks and Kings that is. The water temps are just about perfect now and the bait is everywhere. We are catching King Mackerel just about every possible way you can do it. From slow trolling, live cigar minnows to throwing Rapala Surface plugs the Kings are chewing them up.


For those that want a day of catch and release for hard fighting, drag pulling fish you can’t beat the action on the Amberjack fishing. 




If you want a little of both we can do a great combo trip of bottom fishing with light tackle for Vermillion and White Snapper followed by some Amberjacks and Kings.



Thanks,

Capt. Todd Jones

850-819-5829

panamacityinshore.com

backbayadventures.com









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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 

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

Callaway
Gore Park Boat Ramp Beulah Ave (south end)



                                             



                                              
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