Anglers all over the Panama City Beach and Destin area are baffled at the recent wave of sailfish being caught in close proximity to our white sandy shoreline. Talking to Brad Stephens from Sunjammers, he was telling me that nobody has ever known sailfish of any kind to be so close to shore. “They’ve been hitting 4 and 5 a day out at the new pier,” Stephens said on the phone earlier.
Brad owns Sunjammers, a kayak store on Highway 79 in Panama City Beach. I had lunch with him today and upon checking out his web site when I got back to the office, I found videos of kayakers catching sailfish with condos in the backdrop. I immediately had to give him a call back and ask about it.
Not sure why all of a sudden so many sailfish were playing so close to shore, Brad explained that some of the kayakers that have landed these beautiful fish are on his fishing team Team Sunjammers. Trolling Ballyhoo behind their kayak just a couple thousand feet off shore, anglers have attracted small sailfish that often end up giving them quite a ride in their little boat. I say small, but they are really quite large, especially for fishing from a 13 foot kayak: the one in the video below was probably around 7 feet and weighed around 70 lbs.
This brings up an interesting topic, fishing in Panama City Beach. I’ve been told this is one of the best places to go, and frankly, this is something I have no experience in. So, upon asking, Brad consented to take me on a two part fishing adventure: first, to explore the protected waterways and familiarize myself with the gear; and second, go into the Gulf of Mexico and troll for King Mackerel. Our adventure is planned to start one week from tomorrow. Thanks Brad!