Zeke's Landing Marina, (USA)
Destin is one of the best sport fishing destinations in Florida, and for a good reason: it has it all! Its waters provide spectacular opportunities to catch...
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Destin is one of the best sport fishing destinations in Florida, and for a good reason: it has it all! Its waters provide spectacular opportunities to catch a wide variety of saltwater fish. In the inshore waters of the Choctawhatchee Bay you can hook redfish, trout, jack crevalle and tarpon.
In the Gulf you'll find red snapper, cobia, amberjack and grouper near reefs and wrecks. Pelagic species such as mahi mahi, tuna, sailfish, marlin, wahoo will chase your lures off shore. It's not surprising so many tourists and locals enjoy sport fishing in Destin.
Destin fishing charters can take you on a short inshore trip or an offshore trip. These are just some of the most popular fish species in the Mexican Gulf.
If you're after Redfish, these can be found in inshore waters. During the fall and winter months redfish cruise the beaches in huge schools making them the perfect sight fishing target. They will attack artificials such as soft-plastic shrimp, poppers, jerk bait or jigs. Of course, live bait such as shrimp is a killer for redfish.
Red snapper can be caught fishing over the reefs and wrecks off Destin. Best bait for red snapper is pogy, cigar minnow or squid. The best time to fish for red snapper is May, June, July, September & October.
Some of the best speckeled trout fishing can be done in shallow waters on the western side of the peninsula near Destin. Speckled trout feed on shrimp, crustaceans and small fish. They can be targeted with live bait, plugs, mirror lures, jigs. The popping cork is another great way to attract and catch speckled trout in grassy areas.
Destin's waters are known for their Shark population. There is a wide range variety of sharks in these waters, including Bull Sharks, Mako Sharks, Black Tips, Sandbar Sharks, Hammer Head Sharks, Spinner Sharks and Tiger Sharks. A majority of these sharks are protected making these Destin trips mainly catch and release excursions.
The best time to catch cobia in Destin is April. July through to October is also good to hunt for cobia.
Cobia fishing is different to other techniques because anglers fish on sight. They use to swim at the surface near the coast.
Most of the time they will be close to sting ray, sea turtles, bull sharks, etc. Anglers spot cobia and then start fishing chumming or with live bait. The most exciting way to catch these predators is sight casting using a bucktail or a live eel. Make sure you don't get too close to the cobia because you can spook the fish. Try to catch them throwing the jig or the live bait 10-15 feet in front of the fish. Cobia up to 150 pounds have been caught in these waters.
Spring is a great time to fish in Destin since most species are getting active after the winter months. Spring is cobia time in Destin. Reef fishing is also great this time of the year. It's also a popular time for several tournaments. Towards May the cobia frenzy dies down, so this is when you should head out for pelagic species or bottom and reef fish like grouper.
During the summer months it get HOT in Destin. Red snapper is caught on the reef offshore. Trolling offshore you'll find plenty of pelagic species too: mahi mahi, yellowfin tuna, marlin...
In autumn there's a ton of fishing competitions in Desting. Tuna and sailfish tend to move closer to shore. Fill your freezer with other pelagics such as kingfish, spanish mackerel and mahi mahi. Cobia fishing is on fire. Also, in this season, Snapper, Grouper, Shark and Amberjack fishing over the reefs.
Winter is great for bay fishing for speckled trout and redfish, and reef fishing for snapper, amberjack, grouper etc.
Destin is generally a good place to fish year-round due to the average water temperature of 73°F. Don't forget about the annual Seafood Festival held every October in Destin to celebrate all things seafood!
There are plenty of other activities to enjoy in Destin when you're not out on the water. To start, check out some local events, including the Seafood Festival, Fantasy of Flight Grand Opening Weekend, and "Destin Beach Baseball" in July.
If you want to learn more about Destin's history, be sure to check out the Destin Log & The Museum of Coastal History.
Other Destin attractions include the Beach Bums' House of Golf, Casino Beach Boardwalk, Martinair Destin Skate Park, and Big Kahuna's Water & Adventure Park.
The list is practically endless, so you'll never tire of this place!
Whether you're a seasoned fisherman or just starting, there are always opportunities for you to fish in Destin. So next time you're planning a trip to this area, be sure to pack up your gear and head out there to see what the waters have in store for you!
Although anglers need a fishing license for their Destin fishing trips, licenses are covered if you go fishing with a licensed fishing charter.
The State of Florida gives residents, tourists and seasoned anglers a variety of fishing licenses to choose from, ranging from short-term to annual ones.
You can get a Florida fishing license through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission website. You can also buy one from authorized resellers or at local tackle shop in Destin.
No saltwater Florida Fishing license is required if you are a non-resident who fishes from a vessel whose operator has a fishing license. This means that if you go fishing with a fishing charter in Destin, no fishing license is required.
In order to protect the local fish stocks, the State of Florida has strict rules on bag limits. For each species there are minimum sizes and daily recreation bag limits. Check the rules before you drop a line in the water in Destin.