A 5,000-acre impoundment located 7 miles north of Panama City off US 231 and SR 77 at Southport. Deer Point Lake is fed by natural freshwater streams and supplies more than 760 million gallons of fresh water daily to Panama City and the surrounding areas. The lake can be accessed by taking US 231 north from Panama City (6 miles) to C2321 west (1.5 miles); turn right on C2311 (3.5 miles); the ramp (Highpoint) is on the left. There are also boat ramps located on C2321on either side of the dam. A fishing pier is located near the boat ramp on the west side of the dam. This lake is best known for its shellcracker (Redear Sunfish) fishing during the spring (April through June) using earthworms as live bait. Fly fishing for shellcracker during the spring can also be productive when fishing early morning, late afternoon, and evening. Bream (Bluegill) fishing is also good in the spring using crickets and earthworms. Largemouth Bass fishing is best in the spring to early summer and again in the fall using plastic worms and crankbaits. Broken-back minnow lures are also effective for bass when fished near the shoreline.
Tharp's Camp (off Resota Beach Road, 850-265-2330); 4405 Huckleberry Lane, Panama City, FL 32409.
Anglers should be aware that a drawdown of Deer Point Lake tentatively scheduled to occur between December 2015 and March 2016 so access during the winter months may be limited. The boat ramp on the West side of the dam should provide access for boats needing a deep water ramp. Anglers should also take caution when navigating through northern sections of the lake due to the many snags and stumps. Largemouth Bass fishing should be very good during the drawdown because the fish will be drawn back from the shallows and concentrated along the edge of the remaining vegetation. The fishing for Largemouth Bass should pick up again when the water begins to warm up during mid-February and March. Try fishing for bass in the old river channels of Bear, Cedar, and Bayou George using diving crankbaits or rattletraps. Spring bass anglers should fish the shallow weedy areas of the lake and along stumps and snags with artificial worms and lizards. Three bass over 8 pounds caught from Deer Point Lake have been certified in Florida’s TrophyCatch program since the program was established during October 2012. Redear Sunfish (shellcracker) and Bluegill (bream) fishing should be fair during the winter and pickup in the spring. Try fishing the weed-lines and brush throughout the lake. Best baits include beetlespins, worms and crickets. Historically, there have been reports of excellent Crappie catches during the winter months on Deer Point, and this trend should remain through the winter into the spring. Try fishing the deep river channels in Bayou George and Cedar Creek with live minnows on a jig head. Catfish can be found in the deep waters by the dam. Best baits include chicken livers and worms. Don’t forget to fish the four new brush fish attractors that were installed spring 2015 around the power lines. These fish attractors are marked with white and orange buoys.