IntraCoastal eXperience News

Early Spring and the Sheepshead bite is really on!

Posted by Capt LW

Redfish - Destin Fishing Report

This past weekend, Destin Inshore Bay/ Flats/ Backcountry and Nearshore Gulf was absolutely gorgeous. Sheepshead was by far the most consistent bite within the Destin Inshore Bay. The Sheepshead fishermen were in full force at the Destin Bridge. And the bite was really on! Live shrimp, fiddler crabs, and of course the good old raw oyster are all premium baits for sheepshead. One good indicator that the Sheepshead bite is on in and around the Destin Inshore Bay fishing area, is to simply observe whether the anglers either fishing from atop the pylons or from their boats are actually attempting to set hooks. Typically there are more missed strikes than positive hooksets, however if you’re seeing this action, then there’s probably sheepshead biting and living up to their nickname as the “Convict Fish.”

As a Destin fishing guide, I tend to target the Mid-Bay Bridge as the amount of boat traffic is substantially less and the sheepshead seem to be much larger. The Destin Inshore Bay Redfish bite has been a little hit and miss, but the usual big structure spots, bridges and deepwater docks seemed to hold some fish. Live shrimp, croaker, pinfish and finger mullet seem to be quite effective baits. On a recent trip, two of my clients, Geri and Al of Ogden, Utah managed to catch a nice healthy 26.75 inch Redfish – talk about a tournament fish! This was Al’s first Redfish and man was he happy (See Photo).

Speckled Trout bringing a great Flats show!

Speckled Trout are starting to come out of their deep water Destin Bay holes and showing up on or near the flats, which get heated up pretty quickly as the day moves along. Channels that intersect grass flats are prime areas to fish this time of year. Live shrimp seem to work well with the speckled trout, but don’t overlook artificial baits like the Mirrodine, DOA shrimp and Berkely Gulp shrimp. If you’re unable to access some of these Destin Inshore Bay and Flats fishing areas, give Capt LW a call to receive a Destin Inshore Bay Guided Charter fishing trip aboard the ICX Destin Charter Fishing Boat.

Destin Nearshore Gulf Fishing – Flounder is making a presence!

Venturing pass the Destin bridge and out into the Destin Nearshore Gulf, numerous pods of bait schools are starting to make their presence known. This much bait is always good for Destin Nearshore Gulf fishing, as the predator fish are sure to be here soon. During this time of year some of the Nearshore Gulf species we like to target aren’t available until early spring/summer, due to state closure or migration patterns, but not to worry, filling the cooler with some fresh fish can still be easily accomplished within a half mile to 6 miles off the beach. Not to mention that you don’t have to burn up a whole lot of fuel running offshore. Flounder are definitely still making their presence known to any fisherman who targets the Destin nearshore gulf structure in 55 – 75 foot of water, the Bridge Rubble, Pole Spot and Ms Louise are some very good spots to fish. Bull minnows and finger mullet will claim their share of your 10 flounder limit in a hurry. But don’t overlook using the same soft plastics utilized to catch these flounder in the Destin Inshore Bay, Flats and Backcountry during the summer. My clients and I have been consistently catching our 10 flounder limit per angler since early December. However we’ve also started by-catching more and more triggerfish and red snapper, fun to catch, tasty, yet out of season for red snapper, but when the other species start showing up, they can make it very tricky for the flounder to get your bait and it won’t be long and the flounder will be migrating back to the Destin Inshore Bay. Just a little further out, the mingo snapper catch is also very good on steel structure like the Liberty Ship.

Catch’in Up the Finickiest Cobia

The annual Destin Cobia Run is quickly approaching, and the first Cobia was caught while I was pre-fishing for clients, Friday, March 15, 2013 by a fisherman out of Shalimar. Congratulations! Every year with the Cobia Run has been different when it comes to which bait is the go-to bait. But one thing is for sure, the ICX Destin Charter Fishing Boat, will have every possible bait you can throw in anticipation of the finickiest Cobia. Live Eels, Full-Sized Mullet, Catfish, Croaker, Pinfish, Cobia jigs and even a very large dead squid. No kidding, during the 2012 Cobia run an 86 pounder would not eat any of the usual baits until a Destin Charter Fishing Boat crew hooked up and sight cast a dead squid, and the fight was on! I just rigged up two more Cobia rods and we’re looking forward to entering the boat for the Harbor Docks Cobia World Championships. I’ve already booked a handful of Cobia Trips for the months of April and May, and we’re looking forward to taking our customers to the weigh scales to hopefully weigh in the winning Cobia! Please feel free to contact Capt LW if you’re interested in booking a Destin Nearshore Gulf Charter Fishing trip to experience this world class sight fishing opportunity. Destin Inshore Bay Flats Charter Fishing trips can be combined with Destin Nearshore Gulf Fishing Charter trips to provide the ultimate Destin Inshore Bay and Destin Nearshore Gulf Guided Charter Fishing eXperience.

Until next report,

Catch’em Up!

Capt LW

IntraCoastal eXperience