Surf and Pier Fishing
Surf fishermen have cleared some summer beaches by (some would say impolitely) catching and releasing the sharks that swim just offshore. Surf anglers more typically target the whiting, pompano and redfish that feed along the surf. Pier fishermen frequently seek the sea trout, flounder, mackerel and snapper along the piers and bridges of the panhandle.
The oyster bars, grass beds and patches of sand in the bays will produce action with many fish, including redfish, flounder, sea trout and jacks.
The gradual slope of the bottom along the Gulf Coast of Florida requires offshore fisherman to travel far to reach deep blue water, where half-ton blue marlin, tuna and even wahoo are among the rewards. The wrecks and artificial reefs dotting the bottom allow anglers to add grouper and cobia to their hit list.
Sea trout, snapper and shark are among the saltwater species that can be found far upstream in the rivers and creeks that feed into the bays along the Panhandle. The combination of freshwater and saltwater action in these rivers warrants the purchase of both freshwater and saltwater fishing licenses.
The 10-week season for bay scallops is restricted to the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County down the peninsula to the Pasco-Hernando County line. They are most abundant in waters four to eight feet deep but can be found at much shallower depths. A pint of meat, the daily limit, makes a tasty addition to the dinner table after a enjoying a day on the Gulf in late summer.
Article Written By David Chandler
David Chandler has been a freelance writer since 2006 whose work has appeared in various print and online publications. A former reconnaissance Marine, he is an active hiker, diver, kayaker, sailor and angler. He has traveled extensively and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida where he was educated in international studies and microbiology.