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Panama City in June

I am planning a family vacation/fishing trip for the Panama City Beach area in June. I have been to the Keys a few times but this will be my first trip to PCB. Looking for a list of "must do's" with the family when we are not out on the water. My kids are 13, 10, & 8. Any help would greatly be appreciated.
My rod and my reel, they comfort me..... St. Pete:12# Test

Replies

  • donald811donald811 Posts: 479 Deckhand
    Shipwreck Island.
    Life is a lot simpler when you plow around the stump.
  • machofleamachoflea Posts: 83 Deckhand
    If you are going to Panama City Beach, there are some great fishing opportunities both from boat and pier. Boat fishing on a head boat (open party boat) will be out Capt Andersons Marina and they have a variety of boats. They have 6, 8,10 and 12 hour boats. My recommendation would be the 10hr boat on the Capt Anderson, they have the more comfortable accommodations and is the newest of the fleet. The other boats are ok too, but luckily they all have pretty good deckhands if you need it. Everything is provided, from reels to rods to baits to terminal tackle. Just beware that it is very basic tackle. I always take my own and fish specifically for Grouper.
    Now from a pier, you have some amazing options. At that time of the year, the Cobia run should be about over, but some amy be lingering around. But the hot bite will the King Mackerel. Some hot days, over 50 hit the deck and you will likely tangle with one if you want to. Tons of Spanish Mackerel, maybe Bluefish, maybe Tarpon, some pushing 100lbs easy. Believe it or not, it is more normal to see and maybe hook into one than not. Kings and Spanish will be your best bet. Sometimes it's just wide open as hell on the pier, truly great fishing at times. I have also seen Mahi mahi from the pier, Blackfin Tuna (rare) and more.
    For your king set up, make sure to have a set-up with 12-15lb mono with at least 200 yds of line and LIGHT drag. 8' rods or comparable and a 8000 class reel (i have gotten away with 4000 class many a time) Wire leader, seven strand or single, its up to you, and a #2 or #4 Treble hook. You tie it directly to your main line with your wire leader connecting it with a barrel swivel. Then either catch bait using a bass rod with a sabiki bait set-up or buy some frozen cigar minnows, believe it or not, they both work equally well. NOT SQUID!!!
    Cast it out at the end of the pier, there are 2 to choose from. The City pier by Pier Park sometimes has more numbers, but the County to the East (5 minutes away) will hold the bigger ones up to 40+ lbs. And I have seen many come up per day, sometimes wide open losing count past 50 fish.
    Anyways, PM me if you have any questions, be glad to help. I usually fish the piers almost every weekend from spring-fall.
  • PerchguyPerchguy Posts: 166 Deckhand
    Thanks for the info! I am actually going to be hauling my own boat down so most of my fishing will be from a boat. Its only an 18' boat so I suspect most of my fishing will be in the Bay unless the weather gods are nice to me. If the winds don't allow me to get the boat out onto the gulf, I think I will have try fishing one of the piers at least once while I am there to try to tie into a King.
    My rod and my reel, they comfort me..... St. Pete:12# Test
  • SwampratSwamprat Posts: 1,058 Officer
    If the weather gods cooperate you can fish in and around the pass at St. Andrews and take a break and a short boat ride over to Shell Island. If the weather is not cooperating for offshore plenty of spots in the bays to get out of the wind and catch some fish.

    The good thing about the pier at Pier Park is you and the kids can fish and the wife and the kids if they prefer can walk across the road and shop and stroll around. Best of both worlds for the family. You also have the beach right there as well so you have 3 options all in one place.

    Lots of great places to eat but I suggest eating early cause some places will get pretty packed and have a long wait time. Not good with hungry sun burnt kids in tow.

    Have fun and if you need anymore help let us know.
    Jackson Cuda 12

    A wade fisherman is the most simplistic but the most adept for the quarry they are after. They are immersed in their challenger's habitat and are in tune with the subtle changes of current, temperature and bottom. In order to be successful at this noble and primal fishing form one must be submerged from their goobs to their boobs, anyone doing this outside of that boundary is either sunbathing or swimming. S.F. Stewart 2015
  • jimmys57jimmys57 Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    I think your family would enjoy Shell island. As far as places to eat we really like Dee's Hangout on Front Beach Rd. or you can go to restaurants at St. Andrews by boat (Uncle Ernies, Shrimp Boat, Hunts, etc.). There are 3 boat ramps on South Lagoon Drive that are free to launch at or you can launch at St. Andrews State Park (12 dollars or so). PM me if you need directions to the ramps or anything else.
  • Snapper SlapperSnapper Slapper Posts: 121 Deckhand
    All about the weather at that point in the year, specifically if you plan to leave the pass. Teenage kids and the wife will love pier park. If you dont mind driving an hour west there are outlet malls and a bass pro shop for you. St Andrews park is beautiful and you can have the beach all to yourself if you want. Also in the park the kids can swim in a crystal clear area called the kiddie pool. Would highly recommend this for snorkeling and such if you are not going to shell island. If you do go to shell island you can anchor on the backside and snorkel there as well. Not sure of the size of your boat but you can anchor up and spend an entire day on the backside of shell island. We enjoy eating at J Michaels and we always take a trip to dead eye **** for their buffet, comes with an entree but we always wind up taking the entree home because the bar is so good. If you want to eat in your condo I would also high recommend buddys seafood market. They will steam your shrimp, lobster, as well as sides to go, it is great! Obviously not for everyone, but there is also a dog track 30 minutes up the road at ebro. There is also a lighted par 3 course that is fun.

    Enjoy
  • PerchguyPerchguy Posts: 166 Deckhand
    Sounds like some great ideas! We will be staying at the Venture Out Resort so we will be right next to St. Andrews Park. Definitely will spend some time at Pier Park and Shell island. My kids love to snorkel so Shell Island should be a good time. Our boat is an 18 foot Fish & Ski style of boat with a 150 hp outboard. A bit deeper draft than your average bass boat but certainly not an off-shore rig. Should work very well in the bay. We will only venture out into the Gulf if weather is nice. A post further up mentioned some restaurants that you can boat to. Anyone have a personal favorite?
    My rod and my reel, they comfort me..... St. Pete:12# Test
  • SwampratSwamprat Posts: 1,058 Officer
    Uncle Ernies, but that is my preference.
    Jackson Cuda 12

    A wade fisherman is the most simplistic but the most adept for the quarry they are after. They are immersed in their challenger's habitat and are in tune with the subtle changes of current, temperature and bottom. In order to be successful at this noble and primal fishing form one must be submerged from their goobs to their boobs, anyone doing this outside of that boundary is either sunbathing or swimming. S.F. Stewart 2015
  • Snapper SlapperSnapper Slapper Posts: 121 Deckhand
    I am only familiar with the grand lagoon, but you can tie up at the boatyard and enjoy lunch and I would assume dinner. They have seating overlooking the bay so pretty cool setting. Right behind venture out is a place called tacky jacks that you can either ride your cart to or I would assume you could tie up. Even have a pool if the kids want to swim and the adults hang out for a cocktail. If you are planning on fishing then stop in half hitch tackle shop and they can give you any advise and info needed. It is only a mile or so from venture out on Thomas Drive.

    The pass can be very treacherous at that point in the year according to wind, tide, and weather so use caution. Also the conditions can change at the drop of a hat at that point of the year, so returning can be a totally different animal than leaving if things turn. Not trying to be over dramatic and it is usually ok, but just want to make sure you understand the area. Have fun!
  • Split ShotSplit Shot Posts: 6,190 Admiral
    You can make the hop over to St. Andrews' and dock at the Shrimpboat or Uncle Ernies and walk the village. In addition you have Los Rancheros, Capt's Table, Hunt's Oyster Bar, and Enzo's among others. If you need fresh shrimp for fishing or eats then visit the shrimp lady on the marina fresh off the boats.
  • PerchguyPerchguy Posts: 166 Deckhand
    Thanks for the advice on the Pass. I had been doing some research and saw that mentioned several times. Sounds like the worst conditions occur with an outgoing tide and an onshore wind. How long of a window does there tend to be during high or low tide before the water starts moving again?
    My rod and my reel, they comfort me..... St. Pete:12# Test
  • WhalercrazyWhalercrazy Posts: 51 Deckhand
    I believe Tacky Jacks closed up
  • SwampratSwamprat Posts: 1,058 Officer
    A lot of times you will only see two tide changes in a day versus the Atlantic where you have four. Also not much of a height difference between low and high. I am sure some of the seasoned boaters who run the pass will chime in.

    Like most said....keep an eye on the weather and winds. In June you really don't have a huge buildup of summer storms but it can happen and have seen days where rain just hugs the coastline but be sunny and dry just a few miles inland.

    But with your boat you have plenty of options in the bay system if out the pass is a no go.
    Jackson Cuda 12

    A wade fisherman is the most simplistic but the most adept for the quarry they are after. They are immersed in their challenger's habitat and are in tune with the subtle changes of current, temperature and bottom. In order to be successful at this noble and primal fishing form one must be submerged from their goobs to their boobs, anyone doing this outside of that boundary is either sunbathing or swimming. S.F. Stewart 2015
  • Snapper SlapperSnapper Slapper Posts: 121 Deckhand
    Swamprat wrote: »
    A lot of times you will only see two tide changes in a day versus the Atlantic where you have four. Also not much of a height difference between low and high. I am sure some of the seasoned boaters who run the pass will chime in.

    Like most said....keep an eye on the weather and winds. In June you really don't have a huge buildup of summer storms but it can happen and have seen days where rain just hugs the coastline but be sunny and dry just a few miles inland.

    But with your boat you have plenty of options in the bay system if out the pass is a no go.

    Not the norm but last year there were very few fishable days in June as the weather was just miserable with thunderstorm after thunderstorm. Hopefully we are paid back this year with overcast and glass the whole month:crossed
  • Split ShotSplit Shot Posts: 6,190 Admiral
    Not the norm but last year there were very few fishable days in June as the weather was just miserable with thunderstorm after thunderstorm. Hopefully we are paid back this year with overcast and glass the whole month:crossed
    No kiddin!

    IMG_0284.jpg
  • red010480red010480 Posts: 304 Deckhand
    PC is a wonderful place to relax as well as fish. Lots to do for sure. Fishing is my favorite though. A little overlooked place to eat, but my favorite is pier 77 on Thomas dr. As for the pass...... That thing can go from no problems to down right unnerving. Trust me I know. I once lost steering due to a blown line just as I started coming inside of the pass, NOT FUN!!!
  • deepcdiverdeepcdiver Posts: 248 Deckhand
    There is a free public boat ramp on Dolphin Drive just around the corner from where you are staying and Busters Beer and Bait has free trailer parking as well as live bait and a fish cleaning station. They also have a full liqour store and a nice bar with 12 cold craft beers on tap. For the kids, they will have kayaks and paddle boards for rent. Cheap ice and bulk ice to fill your cooler. Check it out on facebook at Busters Beer and Bait.
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