Destin, FL on the Florida Panhandle offers some of the best fishing experiences you can find in the Sunshine State. Its access to everything from shallow water fishing in a kayak to deep-sea angling for billfish and other pelagic species ensure that a Destin fishing charter can put you on the fish you want.
Sitting with the Gulf of Mexico on one side and Choctawhatchee Bay on the other, anglers can find plenty of fishing experiences to keep bringing them back. Charters range from fly fishing the shallows to deep water bottom fishing. No matter what your preferred technique is, you can likely use it to catch fish in Destin.
For the family members who don’t fish, Destin offers pristine beaches, excellent shopping and some of the best seafood restaurants you can ever hope to find. Since Destin is right on the water, you can expect the Catch of the Day was probably swimming that morning.
What interests you most? Trying to land a giant redfish on a fly over an oyster bed or heading out into the Gulf to wrestle with a monster grouper over a natural reef or one of the artificial reefs? A Destin fishing charter can tell you what’s biting and put you on those fish.
Destin’s mainstays for inshore fish are whiting, reds and speckled (or spotted) trout. These fish spend their entire lives in these waters, moving only to find seasonal prey.
If you are after plenty of fillets, think whiting. They are caught in shallows from boats and from the shore. Small hooks tipped with cut bait, shrimp or squid are ideal. Whiting are abundant, which makes them a perfect species to target when you are teaching kids to fish.
Reds and trout are aggressive fish responding to just about anything you throw at them. Soft body grub baits and lipless crankbaits like the Mirrolure are the top choices for the rod and reel crowd for reds and trout. Exactly what color works best is going to depend on the fish, the weather and the water. Pack an assortment with speckled greens, yellow body with a red-orange tail and white body with a pink tail being primary choices. Talk with local anglers and bait shops to find out what they are hitting best and stock up. Reds and trout shred soft body lures. Flyfishing for reds is becoming increasingly popular as well.
“This fish is looking for a meal, and it will eat just about anything it thinks it can fit in its mouth. I bump up to a 5- to 6-inch mostly synthetic yet very puffy white fly for the big bull reds. I know it works because the guides keep all my leftovers. The fly doesn’t really resemble anything specific, but it catches fish,” says Pat Ford in Sport Fishing Magazine.
The top-year round targets nearshore and offshore are amberjack, jack crevalle and barracuda.
The big amberjacks prefer deeper water which means bottom fishing or downrigger trolling. Bottom fishing is best with live bait or monster jigging spoons. Drop both all the way to the sea floor. Jig the spoon up all the way to the surface.
The Online Fisherman says amberjack are like reds, they love to eat. Good baits are “blue runner, cigar minnows, mullet, Spanish or scaled sardines, threadfin herrings, pinfish, and countless others. For frozen bait, cigar minnows, mullet, and squid are perhaps the best available and effective frozen baits” Live bait is better.
Going offshore means finding honey holes or things floating on the surface that attract fish like the dolphin (mahi mahi). The dolphin are constantly on the move so finding floating debris is critical. Grouper, as the name suggests, like to hang out with their cousins on all kinds of cover at the bottom. Grouper fishing out of Destin is good year-round while others like the mahi mahi can be more seasonal.
If you want mackerel, troll baits like ballyhoo or cigarfish behind the boat. If you can find a commercial shrimper hauling in his nets, that is a bonanza for mackerel fishing. Tie on a big bucktail and tip it with bait. Cast into the water where the bycatch is shoveled and hang on.
Chumming is also very effective as it creates a fish oil slick that attracts the mackerel.Find a Trip
Some of the fish you can find here will change with the seasons. The Silver Kings, tarpon, and king mackerel only get this far north when the water is warm. The dog days of summer are ideal. The bonito bite is best in cooler weather.
Some fish have seasons set by the Florida Marine Fisheries commission. You might catch a gag grouper or a red snapper in February; you cannot keep it. Come back in June, when the bite is really on, and take home some of the best fillets you can eat.
Destin is truly an angler’s heaven with endless opportunities for various fishing techniques. No matter what you prefer, Destin has it all. The most popular angling techniques in Destin are:
Destin is home to a plethora of fish species. And not only are these waters plentiful, but the fish here do not disappoint. As long as you head out with one of our experienced local fishing guides, you’ve got a great chance of reeling in a winner.
Destin fishing charters are one of the most popular options for an adventurous day out on the water. There is nothing better than cruising around these waters and enjoying the beautiful view.
Luckily, FishAnywhere has a wide choice of Destin professional fishing guides and you can book your next fishing trip online in a matter of minutes. All our charter captains and fishing guides are fully licensed with years of experience in the area.
Start your adventure today and book a Destin fishing charter now!
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