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Any advice for fishing in PCB?

South East Oklahoma
Level Contributor
184 posts
10 reviews
30 helpful votes
Any advice for fishing in PCB?

We're experienced fishers here in Oklahoma on farm ponds and lakes. But saltwater fishing...that's another thing. Don't have a lot of time (or money for that matter) to spare this trip. What's our best option. We found a couple of fishing charters that take large groups at a time ($50/person). Capt Anderson's Marina and Jubilee fishing. Any other recommendations? Or is there a cheap place to rent tackle and fish off the jetties or piers?

orlando burb
Level Contributor
1,200 posts
51 reviews
15 helpful votes
1. Re: Any advice for fishing in PCB?

if you don't want to go out on a boat you could fish the pier or the jetties at st andrews state park, the old county pier, or the new county pier....you could also fish at the foot of the hathaway bridge, unless the road construction did away with that...or go to st andrews marina or the city marina downtown

somesmaller charter boats (smaller than the big group charters) are looking for 3 or 4 people to fill out the charter...last summer i looked into it and it can get pretty pricey for 1/2 day or full day trips...check out the boats at captain andersons or the treasure ship

as far as renting tackle goes, you could try the concession stand at the state park or half hitch tackle on thomas drive

here is their website

http://www.halfhitch.com/

and the state park

http://www.floridastateparks.org/standrews/

for freshwater, you could go to deer point lake and fish off the dam

South East Oklahoma
Level Contributor
184 posts
10 reviews
30 helpful votes
2. Re: Any advice for fishing in PCB?

Thanks for the advice!

Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
62 posts
3. Re: Any advice for fishing in PCB?

Good day Soonerborn&bred,

jtborl is correct, the small half and full day charters can get a little expensive, plus the cost of processing large fish if you choose to do that. There are two piers, the City Pier and the Dan Russell Pier. Dan Russell is at the Western side of the beach, and the City is more central. Earlier this year the City Pier was closed for construction, but it may be open now. It's free to fish. The Dan Russell will cost you $5 for the day, or you can get a multiple day license for less cost. Also there is a Half Hitch tackle shop on the Dan Russell, and they rent poles for a reasonable fee. You're right, a light pole with a Zebco 202 is a little underpowered for saltwater. But a Zebco 808 or an Alpha Spinner and a good catfish pole with 20 pound line would be sufficient. If he breaks that, you would have never got him on the pier without a long net or gaff line anyhow and you can proudly mount the broken pole... <:o)

Fishing under the bridge takes a regular fishing license. License cost is included in the Pier fishing cost. You can get a 3 day regular out of state license (Pier or Walmart) for about $6 if you fish the bridge or other inland water.

Some people just go right out into the surf and fish. I've never done that, and always worried about being mistaken for bait. I believe you do need a license ($6) for surf fishing, too.

Another option is to rent a Pontoon boat for a half day or a day. Cost is around $175 for a half day and about $275 for 8 hour day. Not too bad when split among 3 or 4 guys. Several places rent them, I've had luck with Shell Island Boat Rentals. www.shellislandtours.com We fished in the bay and did pretty good for the weather.

Anyhow, good luck. I'm there next week. Will try to leave a fish or two for you....

Poppie

South East Oklahoma
Level Contributor
184 posts
10 reviews
30 helpful votes
4. Re: Any advice for fishing in PCB?

Thanks a lot for all of the great info. Our biggest concern is that we have no clue what bates or techniques to use for saltwater or how to even identify what we catch. If we can't find it in Oklahoma, we don't know what it is or if it's a keeper. Any recommendations on a site we can do some reading up on?

orlando burb
Level Contributor
1,200 posts
51 reviews
15 helpful votes
5. Re: Any advice for fishing in PCB?

it's been so long ago for me, but here goes and anyone can correct me if i am wrong

if you pier fish, most folks are casting into schools of fish that go by...normally spanish mackeral (if they are running).....or you could bottom fish for flounder....other fish caught off the piers are pompano, whiting, ling, king mackeral, croakers (trash fish), jack, blues, etc....maybe one of the best things to do is just walk out onto the pier and strike up conversation with whoever is fishing, see what they are using and what they are catching....most folks who pier fish are pretty nice....you can do that at the city or st andrews marina as well

in the bay, you could go for speckled trout (might not want to eat them though cause in the summer they can get worms), flounder, sheephead, sting ray, i would say mullet but most folks cast net for them

bait....frozen shrimp, live shrimp, cut up bait fish, squid, lures, jigs....depends on what you are going for

try florida fish and wild life site

research.myfwc.com/features/default.asp…

another site

panamacitybeachonline.com/panamacitybeachfis…

whatever you fish for, unlike some freshwater fish, you don't want to put your fingers in their mouths....most have very sharp teeth...watch out for the fins too

South East Oklahoma
Level Contributor
184 posts
10 reviews
30 helpful votes
6. Re: Any advice for fishing in PCB?

you guys are the best!!!

Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
62 posts
7. Re: Any advice for fishing in PCB?

Thanks for the web site, JTBORL. Good info on the Fla fish.

At the local Wal Mart I purchased a card with pictures and names of saltwater fish on it. Think it was a couple of bucks. Put it in my tackle box and like a gringo, have to use it all the time.

Good luck, Sooners..

Poppie

orlando burb
Level Contributor
1,200 posts
51 reviews
15 helpful votes
8. Re: Any advice for fishing in PCB?

you are both welcome

i grew up there but haven't been fishing there in a long time...a few years back, my bro in law took my son to pier at st andrews and he almost got a flounder but it dropped off b4 he could get him on the pier...he was so excited, yet disappointed...he was prolly about 8 at the time.....

here is part of the fwc site that i just found...you may want to check it out

research.myfwc.com/gallery/view_category.asp…

the guys at half hitch are pretty nice...they have been there for years..if you do decide to go on the piers, like i said above, you may want to go there 1st and talk to some people (without you fishing), then develop a plan of action....the downtown and st andrews marina are okay too....

good luck and most of all, have fun

South East Oklahoma
Level Contributor
184 posts
10 reviews
30 helpful votes
9. Re: Any advice for fishing in PCB?

Poppie, I've been trying to find one of those cards with no luck. The Walmart stores around here carry those cards for all of the freshwater fish, but, naturally, not saltwater. I thought I could find somebody with one online for sale, but no luck there either....not even Ebay! I'll have to grab one once I get down there. Or maybe my sis-in-law can mail one to me if they have them around San Antonio...it's closer to the gulf.

After careful consideration of all of our options, we've decided to cancel our Jet Ski tour and reserve a boat for a day instead. Only a little bit more for the whole day instead of the 2 hours on Jet Ski. I think we'll have more fun doing things at our own pace and style. They've told us that it's easy to get over to shell island, so I'm sure I can find the snorkel spots on my own. Might be a good way to fish too. But I definitely think you're right to talk to the "Pier Rats" (as I saw them called on one website) first to see what's working for them.

orlando burb
Level Contributor
1,200 posts
51 reviews
15 helpful votes
10. Re: Any advice for fishing in PCB?

if you rent a boat and go on the west side of thomas drive in grand lagoon, be careful cause the channel makes some weird turns

you can snorkel by the rocks in the cove at shell island....also not a bad place to beach anchor your boat and it's not as far a walk to the gulf compared to other spots on the back of the island...do not snorkel in the pass....do not snorkel or swim where grand lagoon meets the bay(lots of boat traffic and normally sharks there)...if the pass is somewhat rough, depending on your boat size, do not go out into the gulf (especially if in a pontoon boat).....there are rattlesnakes on shell island, so don't go running thru any palmetto stands....also watch out for stinging nettles aka itchie b***hes...small green plants with white flowers

the back side of the island between the channel markers and the island is pretty shallow so keep an eye on your motor depth....we used to snorkel and scallop there, but not sure if you can still scallop or if it is season for them

you can fish the flats on the back side of the island, or around the western side of the bay all the way past the bridge

if you have any specific questions, send me a message thru TA and i will e mail you and or i will contact one of my best friends who still lives there (and fishes) to get you some more info

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