Panama City Beach is legendary for its white sandy beaches, emerald green waters, breathtaking underwater scenery, exceptional culinary variety and some of northwest Florida’s best shopping…and yet, there is so much more! July 31, 2016Key West Fishing ReportFishing Reports for Key West, Florida - Dream Catcher Charters - Capt. After 20 years of professional guiding for tarpon and hours of discussion on the matter – many of my anglers have wanted me to write an article about Chumming for tarpon in Key West harbor. Once the captains arrive in the spot that works for the tide that is present they toss anchor.
The process of chumming is taking these fish from the bye catch bushel (gets messy) and cut them into pieces. As the angler drops back the dead cut bait it will pass through the fed up tarpon and usually game on. Without a doubt chumming is the best way to catch the most tarpon in a tide change here in the Key West harbor for anglers.
When booking a Chumming for tarpon trip note that this is what you will be doing, your whole trip. Here at Dream Catcher Charters We will run the trip sometimes but most of the time we recommend a fishing guide that offers that sort of fishing day in and day out for the angler to gain the best advantage.
The costs for these tarp0n fishing charters are a bit pricey for the distance traveled but not for the reward. We still run some chum trips on our 32′ Yellowfin center console and are happy to get you out there. But the gorgeous beaches and weather that draw college students in the spring are there all year round and if you are considering a Florida vacation, staying near the beach in Panama City Beach is a great choice. Panama City Beach Florida offers every kind of fun imaginable, so you can surround yourself with emerald waters, white sand beaches, temperate weather and have the time of your life! With spectacular events, predictably sunny weather and sun-soaked excitement for all ages, the welcome mat is always extended! This is where Key West captains use a 27 – 35 ft center console boat that can comfortably carry up to 6 anglers on the water for a day of Key West tarpon fishing.


Most of the time these tarpon chum boats will set up right next to one another within talking distance, many times 10 across. The pieces are tossed into the water to drift back and attract tarpon and whatever else likes them.
The bait used is a dead fish or piece of dead fish from the chum on a hook usually with no weight. Chumming for tarpon brings a captive audience and turns the tarpon ON to eat with tasty treats. I have heard many theories about the excess of chum on the bottom, even the changing of migrational patterns of tarpon coming through Key West. There may be some by catch such as a cobia, permit, shark or jack but when you book this sort of trip these boats stick with the plan till its time to go in.
With state of the art boats built by Yellowfin Yachts and powered by Mercury Marine we use nothing but the best in equipment from DAIWA, Orvis, Owner Hooks, Fins Braid, MirrorLure and AFTCO. No matter who you are or what you enjoy, you’ll find your kind of fun in Panama City Beach. Andrews Bay, you’ll discover Panama City Beach provides a genuine vacation experience in a relaxed, inclusive setting, enticing visitors to come back, time and time again. Because we book all types of tarpon fishing charters (as long as they are ethical) I decided to go ahead and write this piece to help  anglers chose for themselves when they call us to book a Key West Tarpon Trip. These captains take off from their dock near the harbor and head out with their anglers about 1-3 miles away. There they will sit till the tide changes, and sometimes sit just till its time to go in trying to bring the fish to the back of the boat. After a little while of this method the tarpon start to lock on to the scent (especially if there are 10 boats side by side doing it) and move to behind the boats. Much like tuna chunking or yellowtail snapper fishing except that tarpon are not food fish. Once the angler is firmly hooked up the captain then drops his anchor to be floated by a ball to save his spot to pull the tarpon from the pack and out in the open away from the other boats.


In my opinion not the most sporting way to catch tarpon but, can be very productive, for the anglers that call my shop and ask, How Many Tarpon Am I Going To Catch? In contrast to that, the bay boat fishing we do is more versatile to changing it up and doing other stuff. Best thing to do is give us a call and see what the rates are for the boats that may be available. We are very good at it and our anglers learn even more about finding fish, techniques and fishing itself. We have them listed by proximity to the beach with a couple of hotels we especially recommend. The run is about 4 minutes and burns very little fuel, this lowers the cost of running this charter for these captains to make more at the end of the day, since they did not have to go out to the reef to fish the areas that these boats are capable of fishing. Its a time game, you have to put your time in to make it happen just like any other form of chum fishing. A great method for getting a tarpons attention as they are opportunity feeders and not real picky. This is when the battle will ensue for the angler standing on the bow of the center console fighting his trophy. The way these captains fish with chum is totally harmless to the fishery and in fact, because they use such heavy tackle most of the time, the tarpon is whipped faster therefore released before total exhaustion occurs. As long as the guide does not lift the larger fish out of the water or use a gaff to put holes in the fish this method of catching a tarpon is fine. Here are some additional maps and pictures of Panama City Beach and the surrounding area as well. Once the fish is landed the captains try and get a head lifted photo for the anglers and the fish is released.



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