Breaking Down The Emerald Coast
For the purpose of LocalAngler, we’ve defined the Emerald Coast region as the following counties: Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, Okaloosa County, Walton County, Holmes County, Washington County, and Bay County. The beautiful emerald water makes it super clear to see why this is a tourism hot spot for many in the state, as well as those near-by in neighboring states. Dubbed “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”, Destin, FL earned this by supplying a ridiculous amount of saltwater world records. Why wouldn’t you want to get over here? With a plethora of highly-rated seafood restaurants, fishing guides and beautiful fisheries, both near-shore and inland, what’s not to love?
Home to some beautiful Gulf waters, you’d be surprised to know that this county is also home to the 4th largest river in the state, called the Escambia River. 54 miles of this river are found in Florida, while the remaining portion and headwaters lie in Alabama. So, while you can get your fix on redfish, trout, bluefin tuna, and many offshore game species, you can also get your largemouth bite on, along with a crazy amount of unique panfish.
Santa Rosa County
Sharing a portion of the Escambia River, and having it’s own Blackwater River (stocked by FWC with Striped Bass), you can definitely find a great freshwater bite, however, in this particular area, I’d really focus on Navarre. Know for being home to the longest fishing pier in Florida, you’ll be able to catch an awesome array of salty species, practically from land.
Quite a few cool freshwater lake and impoundment options, but the point of interest here is absolutely Destin. Known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” you can’t go wrong wetting a line in the water. Just do it. Bluefin Tuna. Who doesn’t want that? Seriously.
Just because they didn’t get Destin, doesn’t mean that they are chopped liver. Juniper Lake is a great option for a freshwater fishery, as is Kings Lake and Holly Lake. From the saltwater front, Miramar Beach is the place to be. Choctawhatchee Bay and River such a great influx of different species, due to the water exchange that happens twice a day.
Holmes County is bordering Alabama and you’d think that would be a bummer, as there’s not a lot of saltwater fishing you can do from here, unless you can cast 20-30 miles… might be tough. But! You’re in luck! The Choctowhatchee River runs right through it, along with tons of chain-style lakes throughout the county. Be careful on the Choctowhatchee, however, as the level changes pretty regularly. Don’t want to get stranded out there.
If I were visiting this area, I’d probably head to the Econfina Creek Management area, for a wide variety of small lakes and some good creek fishing. Can’t go wrong with some pond-hoppin’ styled fishing and a quality largemouth bass and black crappie population.
Back to saltwater… Thank the Lord! What’s in the middle of the West Bay and the East Bay? Panama City. Get there. You won’t regret it. Unless you don’t fish. Deer Point Lake is an interesting fishery and one you need to go to if you’re into panfish, such as Shell Cracker. Fed by a number of freshwater sources, there’s a ton of water that moves through here, into the Northern Bay in Panama City.
What We’re Looking For
LocalAngler is looking for Anglers and Bait Shop business owners in this region to become contributors. If you’d like more information for that, please, contact Andrew@NextFish.Co.
We’re also looking for businesses that would like a fresh, new way to advertise in the area, with the ability to not only reach an audience but to visually see the engagements. Let’s get to work getting you more business through your doors. That’s the whole goal here and we’re more than happy to answer any questions. Contact Robwil@NextFish.Co for any advertisement questions.
LocalAngler is a brand new digital publication, based on 14 Regions throughout the state of Florida. It’s designed to help target local areas with local readers to help promote local traffic. Mapped beautifully, there’s reach not only locally, but statewide and nationally, to help produce a plan for future trips for anglers from all around the country and it doesn’t have to stop here. We’re happy to get you more information.