Where to Fish in Panama City Beach
Finding a place to fish in Panama City Beach is easy, there are world class fishing opportunities for every angler. Well known for deep sea fishing, the area also offers inshore and even freshwater fishing locations. You can rent or charter a boat or fish from the shore, jetty or pier.
Saltwater Piers and Jetties
There are two saltwater fishing piers in Panama City Beach. Over 60 species of fish can be caught off the piers and jetties with basic saltwater gear including mackerel, sheesphead, flounder, redfish and drum as well as bait fish.
Over 1,500 feet long, Russel Fields City Pier at 16201 Front Beach Road, across from Pier Park, is the longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico. The pier is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. No fishing license is required. Rates for a day pass are $7 for age 7 and over, $3 for active duty military, disabled persons or seniors.
Just down the road MB Miller County Pier at 12213 Front Beach Road offers another choice for pier fishing. Rates for a day pass are $6 for age 7 and over, $3 for active duty military, disabled persons or seniors.
The East and West Jetties at St. Andrew’s State Park are popular spots for jetty fishing. Fees to enter the park are $8/vehicle, $4/single occupant vehicle, $2 pedestrian, bike or annual pass holder. The West Jetty is accessible through the park, the East Jetty, on Shell Island, is only accessible by boat. Shuttle services are available from the park or from Panama City Beach in the spring and summer.
You can surf fish almost anywhere along the Emerald Coast but some locals swear by their favorite spots. With a surf rod and reel you can cast out past the breakers to catch lots of species including pompano, redfish, drum, whiting, mackerel, sheepshead, and even sharks. Sunrise, sunset or nighttime are usually the best times to fish and please be aware of other people swimming and enjoying the beach around you.
You can rent or charter a boat for deep sea fishing in the gulf of Mexico off of Panama City Beach and go after trophy fish like yellowfin tuna, swordfish, sailfish, mahi mahi and marlin. You can privately charter a boat for your crew or join with others on group charters and party boats. Your captain and crew will have all the gear you need and information on seasons and limits. Be sure pack all the gear you need for a day out in the sun.
To the north of Panama City Beach the estuary environments of St. Andrew’s Bay and Grand Lagoon offer up their own unique fishing experiences. Rent or charter a boat to go after trout, mackerel, cobia, flounder and more. You can also access Panama City Beach’s inshore fishing from the Grand Lagoon Fishing Pier at St. Andrew’s State Park.
A little further to the north, at Deer Point Lake, you can find true freshwater fishing conditions and fish for sunfish, bluegills and large mouth bass. You can fish the shoreline or boat rentals and charters are available. For younger anglers, Frank Brown Park’s youth fishing lake offers freshwater fishing right in town for anyone age 16 or younger and adults accompanying them.
Licenses and Regulations
A fishing license is required for anyone over the age of 16 (except at Russel Fields City Pier). There are licenses for both freshwater and saltwater fishing so be sure you are getting the right one or both if necessary.
Saltwater or Freshwater Fishing Licenses for non-residents are $17 for 3 days, $30 for 7 days or $47 for a year or $17 for a year for residents. Shoreline only saltwater licenses are available to Florida residents only at no cost and Florida residents over 65 years do not require a license.
There are also several license free days each year when a fishing license is not required for either residents or non-residents. In 2020 those days are April 4-5 and June 13-14 for freshwater and June 6-7, September 5 and November 28 for saltwater.