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Boats for fishing the Destin, Santa Rosa beach, Panama City area

HHFLYHHFLY Posts: 23 Greenhorn
My wife and I just bought a house in Santa Rosa beach. I was hoping for some insught about the fishing in the area and about what kind of boat I should consider for the area. Thanks for any help!

Replies

  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    HHFLY wrote: »
    My wife and I just bought a house in Santa Rosa beach. I was hoping for some insight about the fishing in the area and about what kind of boat I should consider for the area. Thanks for any help!

    Be more specific, what are you looking to do with this boat? Inshore, offshore, nearshore? Trolling , bottom fishing, jigging. What species are you trying to catch?
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • mustang190mustang190 Posts: 10,104 AG
    If your in Santa Rosa your better off with a bayboat. It's a long haul to the gulf from there.
  • HHFLYHHFLY Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    mustang190 wrote: »
    If your in Santa Rosa your better off with a bayboat. It's a long haul to the gulf from there.

    Thanks! Do you have any length recommendations? Want to be big enough to fish ocean side as well as the bays!
  • HHFLYHHFLY Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    New to the area...not sure what is around (close) and fishable. I just know there is great fishing around and want to be able to maximize my time when I'm there!
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,012 Moderator
    Copied to the Panhandle Forum. Keep an eye in this topic on that board too
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    mustang190 wrote: »
    If your in Santa Rosa your better off with a bay boat. It's a long haul to the gulf from there.

    Ba humbug. They make trailers for boats too. So it honestly depends what he wants to do. That said there are guys who launch smaller cc's off the beach down there as well.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • HHFLYHHFLY Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    I'm leaning towards a 20-22ft CC, is there enough fishing close that a boat of that size will safely get me to?
  • Cryinsham30Cryinsham30 Posts: 125 Officer
    a 20-22 would be fine, if your going to be a "general fisherman", the rule of thumb for the gulf is 1 foot of depth per mile out. So you can be 15 miles offshore and still in 20 feet of water. Whats more important is safety, the gulf can get snotty real quick so pay good attention to the weather. Other than that, there are plenty of folks on the p.cola forum that go out 40+ miles in a 22ft cc. and hit the oil rigs for tuna etc.
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,339 Moderator
    a 20-22 would be fine, if your going to be a "general fisherman", the rule of thumb for the gulf is 1 foot of depth per mile out. So you can be 15 miles offshore and still in 20 feet of water. Whats more important is safety, the gulf can get snotty real quick so pay good attention to the weather. Other than that, there are plenty of folks on the p.cola forum that go out 40+ miles in a 22ft cc. and hit the oil rigs for tuna etc.


    only way to be in 20' after 15 miles here is if you are literally running down the beach... as in cobis fishing, or closer. 15 miles more like a minimum of 75' up to 100'.

    And I wouldn't suggest he run a 22' boat to rigs for tuna from Pensacola.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • HHFLYHHFLY Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the info! Is there enough inshore or near shore fishing in the area, or should I be looking for a bigger boat to run out further! Was planning to hire a boat to go off shore for tuna ect!
  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,347 Admiral
    HHFLY wrote: »
    Thanks for the info! Is there enough inshore or near shore fishing in the area, or should I be looking for a bigger boat to run out further! Was planning to hire a boat to go off shore for tuna etc!

    There is plenty of fish to be caught here even if you only have a jon boat. So again you need to figure out what you want to target and then go from there. If you don't plan on running offshore much a bay boat will be the ticket for you. So if you prefer running offshore and catching Snapper, Grouper, Amberjacks and maybe some trolling for Dolphin then get a Deep-V Center Console in the 21' to 25' range. If Trout and Redfish will float your boat then get a 20 ish bay boat along the lines of a Key West or similar.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.



  • mustang190mustang190 Posts: 10,104 AG
    HHFLY wrote: »
    Thanks for the info! Is there enough inshore or near shore fishing in the area, or should I be looking for a bigger boat to run out further! Was planning to hire a boat to go off shore for tuna ect!

    To go out to the Spur or **** your better of chartering. Unless you plan on going several times a month and have the money to own and maintain a 40 plus footer.
    I have a 22' bayboat(Pathfinder and it works perfectly here both inshore and offshore when the conditions are good. The most I run is about 20-25 miles from the mouth of the pass. Or I trailer to St.Joe, Carabelle etc.
    But as others have said, the northern gulf can really kick up when a squall blows thru.
  • HHFLYHHFLY Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the info! It's been helpful!!

    Spineyman wrote: »
    There is plenty of fish to be caught here even if you only have a jon boat. So again you need to figure out what you want to target and then go from there. If you don't plan on running offshore much a bay boat will be the ticket for you. So if you prefer running offshore and catching Snapper, Grouper, Amberjacks and maybe some trolling for Dolphin then get a Deep-V Center Console in the 21' to 25' range. If Trout and Redfish will float your boat then get a 20 ish bay boat along the lines of a Key West or similar.
  • HHFLYHHFLY Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the help!!
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    I think spineyman gave good advise in that you need to know what it is *you really want to do*....before you pick the tool to do this.
    I would say do a few local charters first...find out the type and style you really like...then make an informed decision.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • swampmonsterswampmonster Posts: 323 Deckhand
    Its a matter of preference as to space when it comes to bay boats, some have large raised forward and aft decks with very little lower deck walking area.The wife and I like more lower area which eliminates a lot of models.
  • HHFLYHHFLY Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    Thanks, that is the plan, I'm a trout and Bass guide here in Maryland and when I go to a new area I always hire a guide to help figure out the fishery!
  • HHFLYHHFLY Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    What boat do you like Swampmonster? Looking for a boat that I can comfortably fly fish from, as well as conventional fishing.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    HHFLY wrote: »
    Thanks, that is the plan, I'm a trout and Bass guide here in Maryland and when I go to a new area I always hire a guide to help figure out the fishery!

    What is your bass rig....??

    Removing carpet and replacing with Sea deck or Hydro turf....and change out any non stainless hardware is an option if you do the inshore thing for Trout & Reds...

    Go with a couple local guides...look at their stuff...see if your current stuff won't do that same job.
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    HHFLY wrote: »
    Thanks, that is the plan, I'm a trout and Bass guide here in Maryland and when I go to a new area I always hire a guide to help figure out the fishery!

    PS...Where in MD? ....I will be up in Odenton ( Ft Meade) the beginning of May...
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • HHFLYHHFLY Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    I fish out of a raft here... river fishing, I'm the motor, lol!
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,928 AG
    HHFLY wrote: »
    I fish out of a raft here... river fishing, I'm the motor, lol!

    You must have 2....or a big enough one for a client to sit on one end.... :wink:grin
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • swampmonsterswampmonster Posts: 323 Deckhand
    HHFLY wrote: »
    What boat do you like Swampmonster? Looking for a boat that I can comfortably fly fish from, as well as conventional fishing.

    Maybe something like a Key West 203, although I can not attest to the quality or ride of that boat.
    When you look at a Shearwater it seems like there not as much lower deck
  • HHFLYHHFLY Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    I live and fish out of Oakland, MD about 3 hours west of Meade!
  • HHFLYHHFLY Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    13 footer, seats at both ends me in the middle!
  • HHFLYHHFLY Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    Thanks Swampmonster!!
  • Reel MusselReel Mussel Posts: 308 Deckhand
    I fish inshore and off, out of a 19' Cape Horn, made right there in the Florida panhandle. Gets the job done, however I would like to move up to a 24 because we inshore fish from kayaks now...

    Greg,

    2017 Cape Horn 24OS


  • Bubba110Bubba110 Posts: 16 Greenhorn
    In Atlantic waters, yes that's true, over in Santa Rosa and destin and Panama City areas of the gulf the one foot per mile is a good rule of thumb (not accurate to the T of course). Look at any chart and for the most part the gulf coast follows that rule, especially in the big bend area, closer to destin though that might start to change.
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