Friday, March 13, 2009

Panhandle Fishing Report 3-13-09

Report for 03/12/2009 Salt Water

We are waiting for 68-degree water temperature and with the days getting longer and good weather, we are closing in on springtime fishing season. When we maintain 68 degrees, we should see the Spanish start to arrive followed by everything else. We received a few reports of productive bottom fishing last week in 150’ of water using northern mackerel and jigging over the hard bottoms southeast of Cape San Blas. The search has started for the early arriving cobia, as the Destin area has already had a catch or two, be sure to have a cobia jig at the ready when you do go out.

The flounder are arriving and catches are steadily increasing in the St Joseph Bay, and intercostals waterway. Fish the deepest holes you can find near the head of the bay and around Black’s island. They should start heading for the entrances to the bayous and canals soon if not already. The bait of choice right now is dark color grubs in the morning and lighter colors in the afternoon. Live shrimp on a jig head slowly dragged along the bottom will work too. Bull minnows by far will be the best bait when the flounder settle into the area. The Trout bite continues this week in the gulf canal and in the PSJ marina late in the afternoon.

The Black and Gag Grouper season is closed now until Mar. 31st. Red Grouper is closed Feb. 15th through Mar. 15th.

Lots of big AJ’s are being caught around the 100 foot mark over bridge spans and large wrecks.

A few Spanish Mackerel have shown up and with consistent high temperatures should be real good this coming week. Sheepshead are biting better at the jetties now. Live Shrimp or Fiddler Crabs are the ticket. Some small schools of redfish have been found on the flats in West Bay; while Bull Reds are still being caught with live shrimp and pin fish around the jetties. Trout have started to move onto the flats with the higher temperatures.

Game On !!!! First cobia caught on Tuesday March 10 on the Full Pull. See Picture and Newspaper Report Below:

“Story from the Destin Log”

“Angler Shane Atkinson, of the boat Full Pull from Destin weighed in the first cobia to kick off the 2009 HarborWalk Marina Destin Cobia Tournament. The boat, captained by Chris Wagner, reeled in the 42.0 lb. cobia in Navarre Beach and weighed it in at HarborWalk Marina around 4:45 p.m. on March 10, 2009. Atkinson received $300 for his catch with over $37,000 guaranteed cash and prizes being awarded during this year's tournament.

Fishermen both novice and professional interested in competing can find entry forms at HarborWalk Marina and online at”

Fishing is starting to get full on. We have reports of quite a few pompano and a 12 lb permit being caught in the back of the harbor. Also the pompano bite is getting much better in the surf along with some reds and black drum. On e customer reported on Saturday that he caught 3 pompano and 5 reds close to the Elmatador condo on Okaloosa Island.

In the bay the trout are moving around Indian and Jones bayou. We have reports of some small Spanish and lots of bait near the Shalimar bridge.

Our pier has a water temp of 63. They have not spotted a cobia at our pier yet but are likely to see and catch one any day. They did see some tripletails and sturgeon at our pier on Monday. The Pensacola pier saw at least 2 cobia Tuesday and may have seen as many as 4 as reports are still coming in. On Wednesday morning Obie caught the first cobia from the Pensacola pier, it weighted 37lbs.

Now that we have had good fog we are only a few days away for some good Spanish fishing all along the coast. We normally get good runs of Spanish after the second good fog so as this front passes this weekend and then it warms for the second time it should be full on.

Fresh Water
Sorry No Report This Week!

Half Hitch Tackle
2206 Thomas Dr
Panama City, FL 32408

Fishing Report prepared by Half Hitch Tackle Staff.

The Captains Corner Fishing Report is provided by local charter captains and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Half Hitch Tackle.

This report is dedicated to the memory of Al Hubbard.
Al Hubbard was a field editor for Florida Sportsman magazine, an outdoor writer for the News Herald and a board member of the Florida Outdoor Writer's Association.
Mr. Hubbard was also the owner of Al's Outdoors Outfitting Services.

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