Deer Point Lake
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.
Water levels are high right now but should come down in the next month. Bass fishing should pick up during October and November as water temperatures cool. Try fishing in early morning or late afternoon along the weedlines of the old creek channels in Bear, Econfina, and Cedar Creeks. Top spots include the shoal in Bayou George or the shoreline north of Tharp’s Fish Camp. Another option is to try fishing near docks in the main lake or in the evening near the four fish attractors (sunken brush piles installed in spring 2015) near the powerlines which are marked with white and orange buoys. Try topwater baits like buzzbaits, and topwater frogs around vegetation early in the morning and late in the evening. Try fishing for bass with dark colored artificial worms, live shiners, and weedless lures once the sun gets up. Try fishing for Redear Sunfish (shellcracker) along the weedlines of the old river channels and near structure with worms. Bluegill can also be found in these areas fishing with worms or crickets. Catfish and butter cats (bullhead) can be found in the deep waters by the dam and the main body of the lake. Best baits include chicken livers and worms.
TrophyCatch is FWC's citizen-science program that rewards anglers for documenting and releasing trophy bass 8 pounds or larger. The following TrophyCatch bass have been submitted from Deer Point Lake:
Lunker Club (8 – 9.9 pounds): 4
Trophy Club (10 - 12.9 pounds): 2