You can cast your line at the county pier or here at the city pier, but fishermen seem to be hooked on their favorite one.
"Pier Park pier is a lot better has a lot more bait," says Panama City Beach resident Mattieu Harper. Another Panama City Beach resident and fisherman, Louis Walker says considering he got the biggest pompano fish off this pier, he favors this one.
Panama City Beach Councilman Rick Russell says it's a little deeper off the end of the pier, "so the better quality fish are known to be caught off our pier and our fish are known to taste better." He says they also run a pound bigger than the other pier. Russell says the pier also stretches farther out into the Gulf. "Our pier is exactly 1/4 inch longer than the county pier and I know this for a fact because the engineer that designed the pier told me so."
But for those fishermen who prefer the county pier, they have a different fish tale. "This pier is a hundred, or a thousand percent cleaner than the city pier," says Mike Wilyard who lives in Tennessee but has come to visit and fish in Panama City Beach every year for the past 29 years. Ken McFarland who is from Georgia says he prefers this pier over the one because "this is the one we catch more fish at. We never have had any luck at the other one."
Bay County Commissioner Mike Thomas says, "We throw bait out every morning before the people get here and try to fix it so the people can get more fish." And that's something he assures the city does not do.
Regardless of which one is better or longer, tourists, locals, adults, and children can all take part in the Fall Fishing Challenge at either one. Each weekend, the piers will award 4 cash prizes for the heaviest fish in each of the four categories. There's also a winner for the heaviest fish between both piers.
The Fall Fishing Challenge or tournament ends the first weekend in November. There's no registration fee for the tournament, but you will have to pay the pier fishing fee.