October is all about opportunity. It offers some of the best fishing for the Emerald Coast. Particularly in Panama City Beach, where the inshore bite tends to be described as ferocious. Those beautiful pumpkin colored red drum and big flattie flounder will be photographed often and posted to the gram or Facebook. Live shrimp under a Precision Tackle Pop N Cork tossed in the bay, or its backwaters, will entice about any fish within the area including the large slotted red fish. The flounder will be looking up to those bull minnows for a nice meal. Be sure to stop by your local bait and tackle shop to get the best in live bait.
Notable mentions for offshore include the chance to still harvest a few more grey triggerfish. The season for triggerfish will remain open until October 26th. October always brings the anticipation of a few more additional days for Red Snapper to be added to the boat cooler. No additional announcement has been made by Florida Wildlife Commission regarding Red Snapper, but anglers can continue to have hope that a special bulletin will be posted the first of October.
As an angler, October is your opportunity month regardless of your experience. With plenty of tournaments available you have the opportunity to show off your skill or simply catch that ‘lucky’ one. Navarre Beach & Destin will both hold fishing rodeos in October. Check for registration requirements and tournament rules online.
Locally, you can register for the Smoker King of the Pier & Yak Tournament. This tournament is held by Sea Worthy Baits based in Panama City. The host shop for this tournament is Bay Breeze Bait & Tackle on the West End of Panama City Beach. There are more than a dozen sponsors for this tournament to include local companies such as: Howell Tackle, Sun Jammers, Half Hitch Tackle, Gulf Marine, Diego’s Burrito Factory. The tournament will run the entire month of October, have daily weigh ins, and have a pier and kayak division. The three fish categories will be King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, and Bonita. Be sure to stock up on those cigar minnows, flat line rigs, dusters, and X-raps.
For the gear focus, let’s give the kayak some attention. A kayak will give you the opportunity to be mobile in the waters, exploring different spots, and the ability to reach fish you just cannot get to from shore. If a budget is what is holding you back from getting out to fish look into renting a rig from a local shop. When reaching out to these shops be sure to ask if they have any ‘fishing’ kayaks.
Hobie is one of the most respected names in the kayak fishing industry and they manufacture a stable, solid fishing platform. There are several local retail shops in SoWal & Panama City Beach listed as Hobie dealers. Stop by and have a conversation with them. One of the newest yaks to enter the market is based in Florida. Vanhunks manufactures fishing kayaks from 9’ – 13’. They use premium grade components, are designed with plenty of room for your gear, and provide an exceptional fishing platform.
Opportunity is only enjoyed if you are willing to use it. October offers many opportunities for any skill level of angler so get outdoors and enjoy all that October has to offer. Catch on!