Saturday, November 13, 2010

Charter Fishing - Panama City, Florida

Up at dawn, knowing we had a beautiful warm sunny day ahead, heading to Panama City, Florida, about 130 miles away.  We decided to take our chances of finding a fishing charter without pre-arranging it.  Worst case scenario:  we stock up on oysters.
Most of Panama City is shut down because "the season" is over.  However, at Captain Anderson's pier, there was a line of charter fishing boats with phone numbers, so we started calling.  We met Bo, and his son, Will, who were also looking for a fishing trip, so with 6 people, we thought we could find a boat even on short notice.
We found Captain Mike just coming in from a morning charter, and made arrangements to go out at 1 p.m. local time.  It was a very good choice!  Captain Mike's Charters  
Ah, fishing again - it's been so long - for an avid fisherman like my step-dad, Dick, a day without fishing is too long.  He hasn't been fishing since they left Alaska to come to Georgia about three weeks ago.
Ron and I were just happy to be out in the fresh air and sunshine.  Bo and Will were more like Dick and Mom - happy to be fishing.
First stop - live bait barge

Captain Mike and helper, Corey, carefully counted out the "minnows" - which were each about 7-10" long 

Our catch begins to build.  Nice red snappers, mostly.  Ron caught a King Mackerel and Bo caught a big Grouper.  Mom caught the biggest snapper.  I caught one snapper and a couple of Grouper that were too small (not 18") and had to be thrown back.  I was much too busy during the fishing part to take pictures.  Good grief, this is a lot like WORK!  
It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. Captain Mike at the controls as we come back to port as the sun sets.