There are seven piers within 50 miles of Destin where you can wet your line in the ocean and have a chance to catch some trophy saltwater
fish. Each has its own character and following of local anglers and can be a source of many relaxing moments catching fish and tasting the
saltwater air.

Okaloosa Island Pier

Pensacola Beach Pier

A wide variety of fish may be caught from the piers.
With lengths from 1200 to 1500' out into the ocean,
just about any of the saltwater fish in this area except
the big game fish can be caught there. One of the
major factors in catching fish there is the time of year
due to migration patterns of the various fish. Here is a
general idea by the time of year.

JANUARY:                  Redfish, Flounder, Bonito

FEBRUARY:               Redfish, Bonito

MARCH:                     Redfish, Bluefish, Pompano,
Cobia, Spanish Mackerel

APRIL:                        Redfish, Sheepshead,
Bluefish, Pompano, Spanish Mackerel, King
Mackerel, Cobia. Baitfish also start showing up.

MAY:                           Redfish, Bluefish, Pompano,
Spanish Mackerel, King Mackerel, Cobia, Ladyfish,

JUNE:                         Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel,
King Mackerel, Bonito, Ladyfish, and baitfish.

JULY:                          Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel,
King Mackerel, Lady Fish, Bonito and baitfish.

AUGUST:                    Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel,
King Mackerel, Ladyfish, Bonito and baitfish.

SEPTEMBER:             Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel,
King Mackerel, Ladyfish, Bonito and baitfish.

OCTOBER:                 Redfish, Bluefish, Spanish
Mackerel, King Mackerel, Flounder, Last of the
          baitfish for the season.

NOVEMBER:              Redfish, Bluefish, Flounder.
Baitfish are pretty much gone by now.

DECEMBER:              Redfish, Flounder, Bonito
What you take depends on a lot of factors, ie, what fish you are targeting, time
of the year, your preference. This is just a guide to start with and is not the
final answer.

1.  Three rod & reels

a. Light weight rod/reel/line for catching bait, throwing Pompano jig, Gotchas,

- ROD: 7' Light action
- REEL: Light weight spinning or bait casting reel
- LINE:  8 to 12# test, monofilament or braid

b. Medium weight rod/reel/line rigged for free-lining for
King Mackerel and other larger predators.

- ROD: 8-9' Medium action
- REEL:  Medium action spinning reel, ie Penn 750ssm
- LINE:  20 TO 30# test, monofilament
c. Medium weight rod/reel/line rigged for throwing lures to
Spanish Mackerel, Cobia, etc.

- ROD: 8 - 9' Medium action
- REEL: Medium action spinning reel, ie Penn 750ssm
- LINE: 20 to 30 # test, monofilament

2.   Pier Cart to carry your tackle, cooler, etc. Let's face it, you have to walk a
long way with a lot of stuff. If you are just going to fish the pier a few times a
year, borrow a kid's wagon and pull all your stuff in it. If you think you will be
going more often, invest in one of the wheeled fishing carts made for this.
They sell them at Walmart and the tackle stores.

3.  Tackle box or tackle bag with your terminal tackle and lures:

a. 3 - 4 Gotchas, rigged with 2-3' 40# fluorocarbon leader or wire leader.  
Chrome/red, Chrome/Green, White/Red

b.   3 - 4 Pompano jigs, your choice. White head with pink tail always a good
one. Tied directly to your main line, no leader required.

c.   3 - 4 Wire King Mackerel rigs for free lining live bait. Most people around
here use a 2 treble hook rig on Malin wire. They also sell these at the pier.

d. Chicken (Dropper) rigs or Pompano bait rigs: There are not many types of
fish to catch on a bottom rig at the pier except for bait, hardtails, and catfish.
No grouper or snapper. But
your young kids will love catching things on them. You can catch
Pompano and Whiting just outside the surf line using a smaller version
of a Chicken rig tipped with a piece of freshly peeled shrimp.

They sell these at the Pier also.

e. Egg sinkers, 2, 4, 6 oz

f. Pyramid sinkers, 2, 4, 6 oz

Pompano Rig

g. Circle hooks, 2/0, 4/0, 6/0 as needed

h. Swivels, 80#

i. 3- 4 Bubble rigs (Rigged with Gotchas, McDonald straws, etc as desired.)

j. Bait as desired (Squid, shrimp, etc)

k. Needle nose pliars

l. Dehooker

m. Knife

n.  Three to four packages of # 6 or # 8 hook Sabiki rigs if you plan to catch
live bait

LEFT: Sometimes it helps
                                                              to bait the sabiki hooks
                                                              small pieces of squid.

RIGHT: Sabiki hook rigs

4.  Back pack or shoulder bag to carry everything in.
5.  Hat

6.  Polarized sunglasses

7.  Water and other beverage of choice

8.  Sun Block

9.  Flashlight for night fishing

10.  Cooler with ice. Very important to keep your fish iced to keep it fresh. If
possible, use a different cooler for your drinks and food. If you have to use the
same one as your fish, put your drinks and food in a plastic bag, but they will
still probably smell like fish.

11. Bridge/pier gaff with rope or hoop net.  For the large fish. You will not be
able to pull up a large fish on just your fishing line. Most times someone on the
pier will have one and will help your,
but you can not depend on it. If you have none, you will just have to
walk the fish down the length of the pier to the beach, or break him off.

LEFT: Hoop Net

RIGHT: Bridge/Pier Gaff

12. Food as desired

13. Towel for holding fish, wiping hands.

14. Measuring stick. The Florida Sportsman magazine produces a
measuring  stick, called the Law Stick, that is stamped with the
appropriate size limits for Florida's saltwater fish and is real handy.
These are sold at Walmart, Bass Pro,  and other tackle and bait stores.
Half Hitch Tackle also has their own version.

16. Copy of Florida Fishing regulations with size limits, etc. You can pick
up at copy at Walmart, other sporting stores, or by ordering/printing from the
FWC online at:  


NOTE: Fishing regulations change often. Check the FWCs Hot Topics site
for the latest:

To print a Pier checklist, click here:  PIER FISHING CHECKLIST
Gotcha Lures
Make your own
King rigs


You do not need any type of license to fish any of the panhandle piers as they pier furnishes that to everyone. You do need to
follow all the appropriate state's fishing regulations on size and limits.  If you are fishing the Alabama Gulf State Park pier, you
will need to purchase an Alabama Fishing License.  For more information on Alabama licenses, go to:
State of Alabama Fishing Regulations

View PANHANDLE FISHING PIERS in a larger map

the piers
Fishing Destin Guide©

Destin Area Piers

A local's guide to fishing around Destin and the Florida Panhandle    

Navarre Pier

Russell-Fields (City) Pier - Panama City Beach

St Andrews State Park Pier - Panama City

MB Miller (County) Pier - Panama City

Gulf State Park Pier - Gulf Shores, AL

Types of Fish that can be caught from the piers

What do I take with me?

This web site is updated as I have time from other things going on. As there are a 1000 + different ways to do things, this is only
my way of fishing, nothing else,  and it is not the last word in fishing the area. I am by no means an expert but if you would like my opinion on something related to fishing the area,
please email me at  It may take a few days before I get to it, so be patient. Thanks.....

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