Red Snapper season is now in the books for even the Best Destin Fishing Charters. We’ve entered the halfway point in our Destin Fishing Charter summertime fishery. During these times most anglers flock to the further offshore areas of the Destin Gulf. It’s also a common practice to abandon the Destin Inshore Bay for the relative ease of catching fish in the deeper waters of the Destin Gulf. But not to fear, the same Redfish and Speckled Trout are still as active as ever in the Destin Inshore Bay. The Destin Inshore Gulf also has plenty to offer within a stone’s throw of Destin’s White Sand Beaches. Red Snapper fishing can quickly transform into targeting other legal year round species of the Snapper Family and other legal species such as Mahi Mahi, Cobia, King Mackerel, Grouper and Amberjack. However, for this fishing report, we’ll focus on the other popular snapper species, Vermillion and Mangrove Snapper.
The Destin Inshore Gulf Fishery entering the midsummer has prompted us to place our focus on those legal species which can be harvested. Vermillion Snapper commonly top the list of our client’s most desired species for consistent action as well as excellent table fare. We’re typically finding our Vermillion Snapper on both natural bottom reefs and artificial reefs. When targeting Vermillion Snapper, our bait selections have varied from Boston Mackerel to live white baits as well as live shrimp. Having a variety of baits typically ensures a bite from the most finicky Vermillion Snapper. Another member of the Snapper Family we commonly target in summer is the Mangrove Snapper. Mangrove Snapper will frequent the same habitats as Vermillion Snapper. However once you’ve found Mangrove Snapper you’ll typically catch them one after the other.
The type of tackle we prefer to use when targeting both the Vermillion and Mangrove Snapper is a 24 – 36 inch length of fluorocarbon leader attached to a very small swivel and light wire hook. In addition, we prefer to use just enough weight to get your bait down to the bottom. We’ve noticed Mangrove Snapper prefer the bait to rest on the bottom, versus the Vermillion Snapper preferring the bait to be suspended 10 – 15 feet off the bottom. Once you’ve found either Snapper species, you can expect some consistent action as long as you continue to send baits down to the bottom.
The Florida Wildlife Commission, myfwc.com sets the legal guidelines for Vermillion Snapper at 10 per person with a minimum 10 inch length. The legal guidelines for Mangrove Snapper are 5 per person with a minimum 10 inch length. The Florida State Record for Mangrove Snapper was set on June 14, 1992 with a 17 pound trophy.
The summertime Inshore Bay fishery for Redfish and Speckled Trout presents more of a challenge for most, but those who are disciplined in their approach to follow fishing patterns are often rewarded to some exclusive fishing action. Summertime Destin Inshore Redfish and Speckled Trout quite often feed early in the morning. At first light we often find both species in the shallow water grass flats of the Destin Inshore Bay. It is our preference to target Redfish and Speckled in grass flats starting in 5 feet of water and progressively working toward water depths as shallow as 2 feet. We definitely like to match the hatch during summertime bait selections. Baits such as menhaden, pilchards and croakers top the list. Menhaden and Pilchards are our preferred summertime baits especially when fishing the shallow water grass flats. Keeping your terminal tackle as simple as possible will also ensure success. Free lining live baits is a favorite tactic when it comes to targeting summertime Redfish and Speckled Trout. Other methods used to target summertime Redfish, is the short Carolina Rig. Rigging with a half ounce slip lead and the same above-mentioned baits is also a great way to target Redfish and Speckled Trout that have taken refuge in deeper waters.
The Florida Wildlife Commission, myfwc.com sets the legal guidelines for Spotted Seatrout (Speckled Trout) at 5 per person with a minimum 15 inch length to include only one over 20 inch total length. The legal guidelines for Redfish are 1 per person with a minimum 18 – 27 inch sloth length. The Florida State Record for Speckled Trout was set on May 5, 1995 with a 17.7 ounce Behemoth. The Florida State Record for Redfish was set on February 24, 1996 with a 52 pound 5 ounce trophy. The summertime Inshore Bay fishery for Redfish and Speckled Trout presents more of a challenge for most, but those who are disciplined in their approach to follow fishing patterns are often rewarded to some exclusive fishing action.
Summer is in full swing and it won’t be long until fall is here. The fish are biting on the Destin Inshore Gulf and Bay. As the water temperatures remain high, different strategies will be required to successfully target the various Destin Inshore Gulf and Bay species. IntraCoastal Experience is recognized as one of the Best Destin Fishing Charters who successfully target both the Destin Inshore Gulf and Bay. With a superior knowledge of fishing patterns along with a new fleet of well equipped and comfortable Hybrid Gulf/Bay Boats, IntraCoastal Experience is ready to provide your Family and Friends the Best Destin Fishing Charter Experience.
Until Next Time Let’s Go Catch’em Up!!!
Destin Inshore Fishing for Redfish conjures up the thoughts of hard fighting, bronze colored, spotted tail beauties. Well known up and down the southern gulf coast and the target of both recreational and tournament anglers, Destin’s Inshore Redfish is hands down the #1 most sought after inshore species of visitors to the Destin, Florida area. The Redfish is typically divided into two categories; slot sized and over slot sized which are often referred to as Bull Redfish. Both categories of Redfish follow a similar eating pattern yet differ in their desired respective inshore geographical locations.
The Redfish, commonly found in the Destin Inshore, are known as veracious inshore predators. They are defined by a broad-shouldered light silvery to bronze colored body with a very distinctive black dot located on both sides of its tail. It is said this black dot mimics a false eye to any apex predator such as a Shark or Dolphin while a Redfish is actively nose down feeding. The apex predator takes a bite at the Redfish’s tail as opposed to its head allowing the Redfish to swim away and live to feed another day. Redfish range in size from 12 inch up to 50 inches in length. Destin Slot Sized Redfish are 18 through 27 inches, while Over Slot Sized or Bull Redfish are any size over the Slot. Bull Redfish are considered breeder Redfish and are protected throughout the State of Florida from harvest. Destin Inshore Redfish can be caught year-round however their locations tend to vary by both times of year and by their respective size.
Destin Inshore Fishing for Redfish within the slot size limit requires getting down and dirty in the areas they want to feed. Slot sized Redfish prefer the comfort of oyster beds, bridge pilings and docks. These structures all serve to provide the necessary cover Redfish come to love due to the fact they all provide an ambush area to the prey Redfish desire. All of these structures typically hold numerous amounts of oysters and barnacles which ultimately attract the prey Redfish covet. Finding these structures in water depths in excess of five feet is premium especially when there is an adjacent shallow water area nearby. Shallow water near a deep drop off around structure allows a feeding Redfish to eat its prey and quickly return to the comfortable depths of the deeper structure.
As Destin Redfish progress into the over slot size (Bull Redfish) category, they tend to change their desired habitats. Bull Redfish are also attracted to deep water structures, however they are more commonly found around bridges or in large schools in deeper areas of the Destin Inshore Bay. However they can also be found in large schools congregating within yards of the shoreline in the Inshore Gulf. The Bull Redfish found in the Inshore Gulf can be easily located by standing on the bow of a boat or from the second tower helm of most customized sight fishing boats. They will be readily visible between the first and second sand bars of most Destin, Florida beaches. The Bull Redfish in the Destin Inshore Bay make themselves easily detectable as they move in large schools herding schools of minnows to the surface. When the Bull Redfish herd these minnows to the surface seabirds are often attracted to this feeding and quickly identify the location of Bull Redfish.
Once slot sized and Bull Redfish are found, all that’s left is present the appropriate baits to make both want to eat. Typically slot sized and Bull Redfish will eat the same baits. If you’re fishing around structures, Redfish are looking for crustaceans, such as shrimp and crabs. Most commonly, live shrimp or even fresh dead shrimp from a local fish market will get the job done. If you prefer to target Redfish with artificial bait, you can’t go wrong with any of the scented shrimp imitations. In the case of schooling Bull Redfish, a live bait offering such as a pinfish, finger mullet, menhaden or croaker will definitely close the deal. Artificial lures such as paddle tail swim baits, curly tail grubs or even deep diving trolling lures will also get you a hookup with a large Bull Redfish.
Destin Inshore Fishing is now in its mid season pattern and the Redfish are biting quite well. Being armed with the appropriate bait and tackle for any possible scenario is a must. Booking a Destin Inshore Fishing trip with one of our experienced fishing guides is one way to ensure your success in hooking your dream Redfish. However if you’re a local and/or a do it yourself visitor to our area, your next move should be to hit your favorite local bait shop for some live shrimp and/or artificial lures. In my case you can’t go wrong with the great folks over at The SALTY BASS BAIT & TACKLE SHOP. They are the “Hands Down Choice” for the liveliest shrimp and best artificial bait and tackle selection which have consistently caught me and my clients some of the best quality Redfish. Not to mention the owner/operator, Roy Ledbetter, can provide you with over 50 years of the best firsthand knowledge of what’s biting and how to catch your trophy!
Until Next Time Let’s Go Catch’em Up!!!
IntraCoastal Experience Guided Fishing Charters
Destin, Florida has a vast array of options when it comes to great fishing. There’s the Destin Inshore Gulf and Destin Offshore Gulf. Both offer quality fishing. The decision to choose one over the other is a challenge that faces many visitors to Destin when deciding to hire a Destin Fishing Charter Service. A lot of folks would love to select a Destin Fishing Charter which will allow them to venture a short distance into the Gulf. By choosing Destin inshore fishing, you’ll experience shorter travel times and a minimal sacrifice to quality fishing. IntraCoastal Experience Guided Fishing Charters provides just this service. Our clients and their families are able to choose a short distance Destin Inshore Gulf Charter and still target and consistently catch some of the best quality fish that inhabit Destin’s Gulf of Mexico. Destin Inshore Gulf Fishing Charters are not deep sea fishing trips. However, fishing inshore should not be thought of as a compromise on the quality or quantity of fish caught.
The Destin Inshore Gulf refers to waters within the State of Florida’s regulated boundaries which extend up to nine miles from the shoreline. There are a host of natural and artificial reef sites located within theses nine miles of Destin’s Emerald Coast. The natural and artificial reefs host a great bounty of Destin inshore gulf species and can often be reached in minutes by the best Destin fishing charters. Fishing inshore allows a lot more time fishing and less time running out into the further offshore reaches of the Gulf of Mexico. IntraCoastal Experience Guided Fishing Charters prides itself on getting more fishing accomplished within a shorter amount of travel distance and time, while providing clients the same catch opportunities as other Destin Offshore Fishing Charters.
Destin inshore gulf fishing charters provide access to a number of gulf species. Predatory species such as King and Spanish Mackerel, Cobia and Tarpon can be landed literally within yards of the Destin Inshore Gulf beaches. Other popular species such as Amberjack, Mahi-Mahi, Blackfin Tuna and Bonita are all common targets of the Best Destin Fishing Charters who fish the Destin Inshore Gulf. If you’re looking for year-round Destin Inshore Gulf species, then a full range of snapper species can be targeted and caught within a couple miles of the Destin’s Emerald Coast line. Vermillion, Black, Lane and White Snappers all offer some of the best catch opportunities within the Destin Inshore Gulf and allow the Best Destin Fishing Charters a year-round harvest option. One of the most popular Destin Inshore Gulf snapper species is the much sought after Red Snapper. Red Snapper ranging in sizes from three through thirty pounds can be caught readily on many Inshore Gulf Reefs within a mile from the shoreline.
One other popular species commonly targeted and caught by the Best Destin Fishing Charters is the vast array of Sharks which call the Destin Inshore Gulf home. These shark species include Black Tips, Spinners, Hammer Heads, Bulls and Mako. All of these top of the line Alpha Predators can be targeted and caught in numerous locations. Most sharks are commonly found on the assorted Destin Inshore Gulf natural and artificial reefs. On most of IntraCoastal Experience’s Destin Inshore Gulf Charters many shark species are located while clients are bottom fishing. Many catches are literally chopped in half by sharks while being reeled up by an unsuspecting client. The Best Destin Fishing Charters will then employ a shark rig and immediately send down bait to target the culprit. In most instances the unsuspecting client now has the upper hand, So Hold On Tight! The methods used by the best Destin Fishing Charters to target both Destin Inshore Gulf and Offshore Gulf species is typically the same. Most reef dwelling species are targeted with bottom fishing equipment, while most pelagic species (non-bottom dwellers) are targeted by trolling either live or artificial baits.
As with most fisheries, both Destin Inshore and Offshore Gulf fishing is highly regulated. The types of species you can actually harvest is the only limiting factor. However, all Destin Gulf species can be caught and released anytime of the year.
One final factor most people find attractive while fishing the Destin Inshore Gulf is the ability to visually see land the entire trip. Many of our clients have stated how seeing land has kept them from feeling motion sickness while fishing on the Destin Inshore Gulf. As a precaution, it is always advised to take a motion sickness pill the morning before your trip if you’re susceptible to motion sickness. Another effective way of minimizing the effects of motion sickness while fishing in the Destin Inshore Gulf is to minimize the intake of dairy products and alcohol the evening before and the morning of your trip. In the absolute worst case scenario when a client does get sick, the boat ride back to shore is often less than 15 minutes away.
Springtime is here and summer is just weeks away. The fish are biting on the Destin Inshore Gulf and as the water temperatures continue to heat up so will the appetites of even more Destin Inshore Gulf species. IntraCoastal Experience is recognized as one of the Best Destin Fishing Charters who target the Destin Inshore Gulf. With a new fleet of well equipped and comfortable Hybrid Gulf/Bay Boats, IntraCoastal Experience is ready to provide your Family and Friends the Best Destin Fishing Charter Experience.
Until Next Time Let’s Go Catch’em Up!!!
Posted on 15 April 2019
Nothing brings on more excitement and anticipation than the advent of the first catches of the Springtime Speckled Trout in the Greater Destin Inshore Bay Fishing areas. The Speckled Trout is known for its aggressive bite and ability to challenge the most seasoned anglers. The challenge lies with attempting not only to get it to accept a bait but also land this Destin Inshore sport fish. But where are these elusive Destin Inshore Fish in Springtime? Just what does it typically take to catch even the smaller ones versus the much sought after Gator-Sized Speckled Trout? To answer these questions, you must understand not only the Speckled Trout itself but also understand how the water temperature and geography of land affects its movements, what prompts these Destin Inshore Sport fish to come out of their Destin Bay hideouts, and finally, what they really want to eat once they are active in their Destin Inshore Fishing areas.
The Speckled Trout is known for its aggressive nature which appeals to anglers all around the world. It has a very muscular build and is similar in size and shape to many of its freshwater cousins such as the Brown and Rainbow Trout. Destin Inshore Speckled Trout range in size from 10 to 32 inches in length. Speckled Trout have a distinct coloring pattern with a dark black back and shoulder area accompanied by a dominant silver body and purple hue along with their signature black dots arranged all over their bodies. They are known to return to the same shallow water grass flats within the Destin Inshore Bay in which they were spawned.
The movement of Destin Inshore Speckled Trout typically coincides with water temperatures. Many tried and true Speckled Trout Anglers will tell you the magic number which signals the movement of Speckled Trout within the Destin Florida Inshore Bay area is seventy degrees. At seventy degrees a number of things happen which prompts the Speckled Trout to feed. The first factor is the deep water holes Speckled Trout favor over a cold winter are no longer able to provide the same warmth as the shallow Destin Inshore Bay Flats, which now hold heat much better and stimulate more aggression within the Speckled Trout. Water temperature is such a big factor with Speckled Trout, that it is said for every one degree of water temperature change on a Speckled Trout is like eight degrees of water temperature change on a human body. With the water temperature at its desired level, Spring time Speckled Trout will look for the areas which will consistently hold these desired water temperatures.
The most common areas Speckled Trout seek for consistent desirable water temperatures are dark muddy bottom bayous which can capture and hold the warmth of the sun better than most of the other Destin Inshore locations. Speckled Trout loiter along the bottom of these muddy bottom bayous in anticipation of a quick ambushed meal and then quickly return to the warmth of the muddy bayou bottom. Another desirable Springtime Destin Inshore area which holds the warmth necessary for a Destin Speckled Trout to thrive is the shallow sandy grass flats which also heat up quite quickly as the day progresses. Finding and catching Speckled Trout in these areas lends itself to some great Speckled Trout fishing even later in the day when the sun is at its highest point.
Now determining what prompts Destin Inshore Springtime Speckled Trout to eat is a challenging but yet predictable proposition if you just pay a little attention to what inhabits the areas you’re likely to find Springtime Speckled Trout. One of the best ways to determine what Springtime Speckled Trout are eating is to take a look at these areas, and observe whether there are small minnows, crabs or shrimp in any sizable number in the area. In my experience some of the first baits foraged by Destin Inshore Speckled Trout are Live Shrimp. A live shrimp will inhabit Destin Inshore Bay areas all year long and is a quick and easy target for a Speckled Trout. Another great Springtime bait for Destin Inshore Speckled Trout are the small menhaden (Pogies) that typically inhabit the back bayous by the thousands and make a quick and easy meal for Destin Inshore Springtime Speckled Trout. Knowing what Destin Inshore Speckled Trout are eating at any given time also allows you to mimic the live bait option with an artificial lure which represents these same live baits with great success.
Springtime has now hit the Destin Florida Inshore Fishing area and water temperatures are within a few degrees of hitting the seventy degree magic number in which Speckled Trout flourish. Your next move should be to hit your favorite local bait shop for some live shrimp. In my case you can’t go wrong with the great folks over at The SALTY BASS BAIT & TACKLE SHOP. It is the “Hands Down Choice” for the liveliest and best maintained shrimp. These shrimp have consistently caught me and my clients some of the best quality Speckled Trout.
Until Next Time Let’s Go Catch’em Up!!!
Winter has arrived and as the seasons change, so have the fish we target and how we target them. Flounder and Sheepshead are targeted now along with some Redfish action. Nice catches of all three species have been accomplished by our Clients.
With the cooler Destin Inshore water temperatures comes the signal to the Flounder to move out of the Destin Inshore Bays and out to the Destin Inshore Gulf areas. Flounder can be targeted within 200 yards and up to 3 miles off the beach. Flounder migrate in response to cooler water temperatures and also spawn during this time. On our Destin Inshore Fishing Charters, we have an average catch of 20 Flounder. Catching Flounder is not only fun but can be quickly learned by even the most novice beginners of all ages. In my opinion, Flounder is one of the best tasting fish on the Destin Inshore. Flounder are great both fried or baked and can really stimulate your senses when stuffed and baked with a seafood dressing, Yummy!
Another wintertime fish we target is the Sheepshead. During the colder months on the Destin Inshore, Sheepshead become more active and start eating a lot more. Sheepshead forage around bridges, pylons and jetties looking for various Destin Inshore crustaceans such as crabs, shrimp and barnacles. On our Destin Inshore Charters, we typically like to use live shrimp to target the Sheepshead. The Sheepshead is a clever fish at stealing your bait, which in turn requires your full attention to detect their very subtle bite. However, once you feel the bite of the Sheepshead and actually hook one, hang on because they are as feisty as they come!
Last but not least is the Redfish. During the winter months, the Redfish inhabits the Destin Inshore Bay around docks, bridges and jetties. The Bull Redfish can be found cruising the Destin Inshore Gulf Beaches in larger schools of 200 or more. We typically target the Destin Inshore Bay Redfish with live shrimp in the wintertime and target the Destin Inshore Gulf Bull Reds by sight fishing them with artificial bait.
Our wintertime Destin Inshore Fishing typically starts in November and runs through March. We are truly blessed we have great Inshore Fishing Opportunities year-round. Please don’t hesitate to pickup the phone and call, text or email me personally regarding the latest fishing report or if you’d like to book me or one of our highly experienced Destin Inshore Fishing Guides.
Let’s Go Catch’em Up!
The Destin Inshore Bay and Flats fishing has arrived in a big way. The Redfish bite has turned on really nice on the Destin Inshore Bay and Flats. The reds are around the deeper water docks in excess of 5 feet but are also on the Destin Inshore Bay and Flats. Also if you’re seeing mullet in this same environment, it’s a sure bet that the redfish are lying underneath them. Live baits of choice for these redfish have been live shrimp, pinfish and finger mullet. On the artificial side of things, Jerk Baits have been slaying the reds in the greater Destin Inshore Fishing area.
Speckled Trout have fully turned on around the Destin Inshore Bay Flats. During early spring, I prefer to throw artificial bait imitations of the surrounding fingerlings that these trout are gorging themselves on. Mirrodine’s in your favorite color seem to elicit quick strikes from these hungry trout. I’ve also caught several nice trout with Topwater lures, which happens to be my personal favorite way to catch fish on the Destin Inshore Bay and Flats. Destin Inshore fishing with topwater lures is an early morning or late evening affair. Also if you like live bait, you can’t go wrong with live shrimp, either free-lined or as my clients seem to favor, under a popping cork. Either method will get you positive results.
Until Next Month,
C’Mon, Let’s Go Catch’em Up!
I would like to thank all my ICX Client/Friends for a great 2013 Destin Fishing Season. I would also like to recognize the following ICX Client/Friends for their efforts during this time honored fishing tournament:
Tim Tarpley – First Place Black Snapper
Brandi White – First Place Sheepshead – Second Place Flounder
Flounder: The Flounder bite has been exceptional with the cooler water temps. As a Destin Inshore Charter Fishing Guide, I look for at least two good cold fronts to push through the area in November, before I begin to target these fine eating flat fish. The cold fronts send the signal to the flounder that it’s time to move out of the bay. This is absolutely the best time of the year, to get your limit of 10 Flounder per angler. Baits of choice include live finger mullet and bull minnows. My preference for rigging these live baits is either Carolina Rig with a short 8 – 10 inch leader, or a half ounce jig head directly hooked to the live offering. With the Carolina Rig, make sure to allow the flounder enough time to grab your bait and turn it around in his gullet before setting the hook.
Sheepshead: The Sheepshead bite has turned on very nicely and as with Destin Inshore Fishing during this time of year, the movement of a couple of cold fronts typically signal these striped bait stealers to make their move toward the Mid-Bay Bridge and Destin Pass area. Baits of choice for these convict fish are live shrimp, fiddler crabs, and raw oyster. A Carolina or Texas rig will serve to help you claim your limit of 15 Sheepshead per angler.
Speckled Trout: The Speckled Trout bite has finally started to slow up a little, however, that simply means you must first take advantage of the sunrise or evening bite. You must also be willing to follow them to their deeper water wintertime hangouts, such as 15 foot plus water depths in muddy bottom bayous and creeks/rivers that feed the bay. Live baits such as live shrimp, finger mullet and pinfish will get the job done. The trout will become a little less active, so be sure to present your baits in a very slow manner. Artificial offerings like lead head jigs with a curly tail grub should be allowed to free fall to the bottom and slowly retrieved. As a Destin Inshore Charter Fishing Guide my first choice for artificial is the curly tail grub in Chartreuse color. The great thing about cold weather trout fishing, is that typically when you locate them, they will be in large groups, so be ready for the frenzy!
Redfish: The Reds have maintained their bite consistency throughout the Destin Inshore Bay and Flats. The slot reds have seemed to hold their positions on the Destin Inshore Bay Flats, with several Bull Reds being caught on those same Destin Inshore Flats. However, if Bull Reds are whatcha want, you just can’t beat the Destin Bridge and Destin Pass on an outgoing tide, for Bull reds in the 10 – 40 pound range. The slot redfish are eating the same live baits as the trout, and on some of my Destin Inshore Bay and Flats Charter Fishing trips my clients have knocked down some respectable redfish on Topwater lures.
While fishing with my clients for sheepshead, I like to call them in by ringing the dinner bell! Ringing the dinner bell is simply bringing a scraper or flat shovel to chum’em up by scraping the barnacles and oysters the sheepshead like to eat, off of the bridge/dock pylons. When you scrape the pylons, the sheepshead smell the fresh scrapings, and come a running to your area to eat. Once you get them eating, they will recklessly eat your bait without taking anytime to carefully examine it, and at this point just set that hook!
Until Next Month,
C’Mon, Let’s Go Catch’em Up!