First Light Charters

Panama City Beach, Florida - (850) 866-0802


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"All species targeted in inshore and bay waters."


We catch these mighty Silver Kings in several different inshore areas along the West Coast. The large Tarpon show up in March. These fish move throughout the inshore fishing area all summer long, leaving sometime in October. On our fishing charters, we catch these fish several different ways. These techniques include sight fishing with artificial lures to live bait fishing with thread-fins and blue crabs. During cooler months, juvenile Tarpon can be caught in local rivers and residential canals. These fish range from 10 to 40 pounds. When using 8 to 10 pound test tackle these fish are real "tackle busters".

Late fisherman still flock to the well known inshore fishing areas where Tarpon congregate on a seasonal basis. Fisherman still want to experience the unique trill Tarpon provide. Tarpon fishing has turned into an obsession with anglers who plan their whole year's schedule around the tarpon season and Tarpon runs. It is easy to see why Tarpon fishing is so addictive.

Tarpon grow very large and are plentiful and take a wide variety of baits, lures and flies. The fight of a hooked Tarpon is one truly awesome experience in the world of sport fishing. Tarpon are known for their initial jumps and powerful runs. Even with modern gear Tarpon are strong adversaries and are not easily taken. They are legendary for their ability to throw hooks because of their bony mouths make hook setting difficult. Hooking a Tarpon is like trying to penetrate steel. Combine this with violent head thrashing jumps some as high as 10 feet. It becomes very clear why Tarpon are able to not only throw hooks but break lines and leaders. A technique which is a lean toward the tarpon when it is ready to break surface known as "a bow to the king" creates a slack in the line to help keep the tarpon from throwing the hook. In spite of the many challenging traits Tarpon have catching a world class tarpon still remains a highlight of many anglers.


Here in the Panama City area, we have great fishing for a wide variety of species including Trout, Redfish, Tarpon, Mackerel, Pompano, Grouper, and Snapper.

However, there is only one species here that we have the best in the world and that is Cobia fishing.

All the Cobia world records are set in the Florida Panhandle. This is the only place that Cobia come to the surface and float west in our prevalent westerly current.

All Cobia fishing is sight fishing, done from a tower on top of the boat. Cobia are big fish, weighing anywhere from 25 to 100 lbs. Cobia is hard fighting and excellent table fare.

The Cobia migration starts in mid March going through early May, with peak fishing all of April.


Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, and Skipjack

Targeting these species usually results in large numbers of fish caught and some excellent light tackle action. Most fish are targeted by carrying several hundred live baits. We chum with the live bait heavily to get these fish in a feeding frenzy. Most fish are targeted in clear water where you see the explosive bites on the surface. Spanish mackerel, bluefish, and skipjack make for excellent light tackle action and great fun.


SHARK FISHING - There are 2 distinctively different ways we fish for Shark. Shark fishing by sight fishing is very exciting. These Sharks cruise along our beautiful inshore barrier islands just east of Panama City in 2 to 6 feet of crystal clear water. Most of these Sharks are Black Tip Sharks in the 30 to 70 lb. class. These Sharks fight hard fast with 1 out of 4 making magnificent jumps. These Sharks are also excellent table fare. The other way we Shark fish is the more traditional way. We anchor up and put out frozen block chum and cut fish. This kind of fishing takes patience, but can be very rewarding with a wide variety of sharks, including the Black Tip, Hammer Head Shark, Bull Shark, Mako Shark, Dusky Shark, and the ever present Sand Shark.

All of our shark fishing is done in daylight hours.



Trout and Redfish - Trout and Redfish are targeted year round. Trout fishing is done in the bay with 6 or 8 lb. tackle. Most trout are caught in relatively shallow water, 3 to 6 feet using live bait and light spinning tackle. Redfish are also caught while targeting trout. Most Redfish are caught around slightly deeper docks, using a small lead and live bait. We use 10 to 15 lb. tackle, due to the redfish's nature to run back in the structure. October offers the largest Redfish of the year. The big spawning female fish congregate in our pass leading from the bay into the gulf. These Redfish are targeted drift fishing in 30 to 50 feet of water. The average size of Redfish are 15 to 40 lbs.


Target Species