5 Best Fishing Spots in the Florida Panhandle

Florida - Panhandle - Fishing
Florida - Panhandle - Fishing

Parts of the Florida Panhandle have been referred to as the Forgotten Coast, but it’s anything but that when you’re talking about fishing. Fishing along the Florida Panhandle is quite an experience for any fisherman.  

The Panhandle has some of the whitest beaches and shallow grass flats that make it the perfect place to fish or simple to visit. Let’s unpack the 5 Best Fishing Spots in the Florida Panhandle. 

#1 St. George Island 

20 miles east of Port St. Joe is Apalachicola, Florida. It’s a small town located where Apalachicola River feeds into a large bay. Apalachicola Bay is peppered with several small islands and is a protected area so the fishing here is superb.  

One of these barrier islands is St. George Island, bordered to the south by the Gulf of Mexico. It is considered one of the best fishing areas on Florida’s West Coast with fish populations of redfish, trout, black drum, and sheepshead. 

#2 Panacea 

Located about 50 miles northeast of St. George Island, Panacea is a secluded and quiet place to nab some fish. Bordering Ochlocknee Bay, Panacea also features several terrains from small islands to grass flats and marshes. 

The mouth of Ochlocknee Bay is a great spot for catching tarpon in June and July. Also, heading east, fishing around Piney Island puts you in front of a lot of large redfish, breeder-size black drum, and some of the best trout in the state. However, if you want to visit the area, it’s probably advisable to hire a guide unless you’re already familiar with the surroundings.  

Related:  Can You Swim During Red Tide in the Florida Panhandle?

#3 Panama City Beach

Closer to the Alabama border, the population ticks up a bit. However, Panama City Beach is known for some of the more gorgeous beaches in the state. 

If you’re not fishing alone and you’ve brought friends or family along who might want something more from their vacay, Panama City is the place to go. It has a great beach and nightlife as well as amazing fishing opportunities.  

Florida - Panhandle - Fishing

#4 Mexico Beach  

Located between Port St. Joe and Panama City sits Mexico Beach. Mexico Beach was nearly wiped out by the category 5 hurricane, Michael, in 2018 but they’ve since made great progress at rebuilding. It’s a great place to enjoy white sandy beaches in relative peace and quiet.  

Inside the beaches surrounding the area, you’ll find redfish, trout, black drum, and jack crevalle. Along the beaches, cobia can be found in Spring, and tarpon fishing is good in the summer months. 

#5 Pensacola Beach 

About a 90-mile drive from Panama City Beach is Pensacola Beach. Pensacola is also known for some of the most incredible beaches and is the last major city before passing into Alabama.  

That said, the large bay systems that surround the area house some giant redfish. Also, fishing off the Pensacola Bay bridge offers easy access to bull redfish, large black drum, and tarpon. 

Be sure and stay up to speed on all the hot spots and sweet destinations in Florida.

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