IntraCoastal eXperience News

The Destin Nearshore Gulf has been on fire!

Posted by Capt LW

Destin Nearshore Fishing
Destin Red Snapper fishing has been very consistent. As a Destin Charter Fishing Guide my clients have consistently landed limits of big red snapper topping 20 pounds! Great baits are live cigar minnows or the preferred bait of Destin Charter Fishing Guides, dead cigar minnows.

The King Mackerel bite is also very good! Just out the Destin Pass and around the sea buoy has produced reliable numbers of kings. The large bait schools are also a great place to look for Kings. As a Destin Charter Fishing Guide, I look for the broken bottom to target the Smoker Kings.

On July 1, Gag Grouper opened and as of this writing the ICX Destin Charter Fishing Boat has not done any grouper charters. However that didn’t stop us from catching them and releasing. Fish broken bottom both natural and artificial with a live pin fish, and be ready for the thump and reel hard to pull these bottom dwellers out of their holes!
Destin Nearshore Fishing

Last but not least, the Silver King, Tarpon will be traveling down our beaches for their mid summer migration. Have a 8 – 12 inch mullet on the ready either free-lined or under a cork and be positioned in between the first and second sandbars during the morning. Only thing now is be ready to bow to the king when he makes his acrobatic leaps!

Capt LW’s Destin Nearshore Gulf Tip of the Month:

Destin Nearshore Gulf Fishing

King Mackerel love live cigar minnows, however when the live cigar minnows are running scared and you can’t catchem, a frozen cigar minnow will get it done. You can troll it just like a live one, and if a duster is what you like, that works well with frozen cigs too!

Until next Destin Nearshore Gulf Fishing Report,

Go Catch’em Up!

Capt LW

Red Snapper season is in full swing and ICX clients are catching them

Posted by Capt LW

Capt LW’s Destin Nearshore Gulf Charter Fishing Guide Tip of the Month: Red Snapper season is in full swing and ICX clients are catching them! As a Destin Inshore Bay and Flats Charter Fishing Guide as well as a Destin Nearshore Gulf Charter Fishing Guide it gives me great pleasure to combine my Destin Inshore Bay Charter Fishing Trips with my Destin Nearshore Gulf Charter Fishing Trips. Why? Because as a Destin Charter Fishing Guide, we are able to combine great Destin Inshore Charter Fishing Trips and Destin Nearshore Gulf Charter Fishing Trips year-round upon client request! However during this time of the year, Red Snapper Season opens, and I can have my clients experience Destin Inshore Fishing catching limits of redfish, speckled trout and flounder the first half of the morning, and then shift gears, take a quick run for some great Destin Nearshore Gulf Fishing, catching in season Red Snapper in the 8 – 20 pound range on light tackle just minutes out the Destin Pass! Destin Nearshore Red Snapper fishingAll this while filling their ice chests with some tasty inshore redfish, trout, flounder and Destin Nearshore Gulf Red Snapper filets and be back to their Destin Resorts by lunchtime. And on July 1, you can add Gag Grouper to your ICX Destin Inshore Bay Guided Charter Fishing and Nearshore Gulf Guided Charter Fishing eXperience.

Their are typically year-round opportunities to target any given resident species of fish in and around the Destin Nearshore Gulf. Remember, just because a particular Destin Nearshore Gulf species may not be in season, it doesn’t prevent a client from practicing catch and release of the out of season species. If you have a question about what’s in season, please don’t hesitate to contact Capt LW at (850) 585-7173 or fill out the contact form on the Book a Trip page on www.destinfishing-icx.com.

Red Snapper: The Red Snapper bite is very good! We have gotten our Red Snapper limits on every ICX Destin Nearshore Gulf Charter Fishing trip. They are holding on the Destin Nearshore Gulf Fishing areas like the Bridge Rubble directly south of the Destin Pass and the Pole Spot area southwest of the Destin Pass. Destin Nearshore King MackerelDestin Charter Fishing Guides seem to differ in their bait of choice, I prefer frozen cigar minnows. Simple and as easy as an angler can get! Even a Top Destin Charter Fishing Guide can’t deny the power and versatility of a frozen cigar minnow in his or her arsenal of baits.

King Mackerel: The big “Smoker King Mackerel,” have pushed in very close to the Destin Nearshore Gulf beaches. There are a lot of fish in the 15 – 30 pound range being landed. Try trolling a big live cigar minnow or Threadfin Herring about 2 – 4 knots on top or down riggered about 20 feet down. Also we catch plenty of nice King Mackerel on our ICX Destin Nearshore Gulf Guided Charter Fishing Trips, by simply hanging a free lined live bait out the back of the boat while targeting Red Snapper, Grouper and Amberjack within a mile or so of the beaches!

Amberjack: There are huge schools of these hard fighting fish being landed very close to the beach. Destin Nearshore FishingThey are very willing to take any live white bait or an artificial lure such as Topwater plug or Suspending type lure. These fish will fight you from start to finish, so make sure you drink your coffee or energy drink before you come aboard for an ICX Destin Nearshore Gulf Guided Charter Fishing Trip : )

Go Catch’em Up!

Top Destin Inshore Bay Flats artificial fishing baits

Posted by Capt LW

Speckled Trout and RedfishSpeckled Trout: Crack of dawn and late afternoon bite are excellent! Live shrimp, finger mullet, very small pin fish and croaker are all great bait choices for the Destin Inshore Bay and Flats. Top Destin Inshore Bay Flats artificial fishing baits: Rapala Skitterwalk, Mirrorlure Top Dog and MirroDine XL.

Redfish: All day long is the best bet for those 18 – 27 inch slot reds on the Destin Inshore Bay Flats. As a Destin Inshore Charter Fishing Guide, I make it my business to know where these redfish like to be all throughout the day, because if you’re able to locate them, you can usually get them to eat anytime of the day. The best live baits are the same as for the Speckled Trout. Go to artificial bait choices are the Berkley Gulp shrimp, Jerk Bait and Gold Spoon. Fish docks in excess of 3 feet, and it doesn’t hurt to fish the ones that have an adjacent grass flat nearby.
Red Fish FishingFlounder: The Destin Inshore Bay and Flats flounder fishing has picked up quite well with the flounder fully returning from the Destin Nearshore Gulf to their usual haunts in and around the Destin Inshore Bay and Flats. Early on the Destin Bay Grass Flats have been holding fish. Also try docks and other pilings. The more broken up and snag ridden structure, the better for the flatties. Both high and low moving tides are good. Bull minnows and finger mullet carolina or knocker rigged, along with any curly tail grub, usually get the job done.

Gator Trout Fishing
Capt LW’s Destin Inshore Fishing Charter Guide Tip of the Month:

As a Destin Inshore Charter Fishing Guide, I make it my business to know where redfish schools like to be all throughout the day. Unlike certain Destin Inshore Bay and Flats sport fish, if you’re able to locate a school of redfish, no matter the time of day, you can usually get them to eat a bait. So do your scouting ahead of time, because those schools of redfish typically hold to the same general area for a week before moving on.

GO CATCH’EM UP!

Destin Near Shore Gulf Fishing in May

Posted by Capt LW

Fishing the Destin Near Shore Gulf continues to be productive. Strong Easterly Winds have been great for the Destin Cobia migration, however cloudy skies have been greatly reducing the required visibility to see the great fish. During a recent IntraCoastal Experience Destin Charter Fishing trip, my clients Matt and Rob reeled in two respectable Cobia (See Picture), on what would be considered not an ideal day to be Cobia Fishing. But Matt and Rob had a great “Can Do” attitude, and made the absolute most of this challenging day of Cobia fishing on the Destin Near Shore Gulf. Entering May, the Destin Cobia Run will start to slow down, but with that stated, don’t forget to visit the Destin Near Shore Gulf wrecks. It is very common for these Cobia to stage up on these wrecks near the end of the Destin Cobia migration.

Matt and Rob made it happen on a Challenging Day!Charles First Cobia!The Destin Near Shore Gulf continues to heat up with King Mackerel now arriving to compete with the Spanish Mackerel for the numerous schools of bait now actively showing up in and around the Destin Near Shore Gulf and Destin Inshore Fishing areas within the Bay and Flats. My clients Maurice, his wife and father-in-law, experienced a great Destin Inshore Fishing trip and caught several nice Spanish Mackerel up to 4 pounds while fishing on the Destin Inshore Flats. Break out the Gotcha Plugs and Diamond Jigs for the Spanish Mackerel and a live large Cigar Minnow, Pogie (Menhaden) or Threadfin, will get it done with the King Mackerel. Trolling works for both the Spanish and King Mackerel, but free-lining a bait works too.

Great Gouper and Amberjack! Destin Near Shore Gulf Topwater Red SnapperThe Destin Near Shore Gulf is is alive and just gets better as the warmer weather arrives. I’ve been knocking on doors, to make sure the Red Snapper are home and let me tell you they are there. I’ve seen several Red Snapper in the 8 – 20 pound range, just waiting for a bait to be thrown in the water. At ICX we like to catch them on topwater, and to see these big snapper come up to eat your bait is truly a sight to see. Along with the Red Snapper, schools of amberjack have shown up as well. Red Snapper season kicks off June 1 through July 14. If you’re interested in taking advantage of great Destin Nearshore Gulf Fishing with Destin Charter Fishing Guide Capt LW of IntraCoastal eXperience Guided Fishing Charters, give me a call for the latest fishing report and reserve a fishing adventure for you and your group.

The Destin Inshore Bay and Flats Redfish Bite is ON!

Posted by Capt LW

The Destin Inshore Bay and Flats fishing has arrived in a big way. The redfish bite has 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. On a recent Destin Inshore Fishing Trip, my client Ray just had his way with the Redfish, hooking and landing a total of 6 really nice Redfish and 3 Speckled Trout (See Picture).  I am very proud to report that my little guy cast to and landed his first legal redfish, all by himself (See Picture).  He’s pretty much taken advantage of the great Destin Inshore Bay and Flats fishing and can now add this legal slot redfish to his resume of Speckled Trout, Flounder, Sheepshead and Catfish.  Can’t wait to have him as a tournament partner one day.

Nice Rack of 22 through 24 inch Redfish along with Speckled Trout.

Nice Rack of 22 through 24 inch Redfish along with Speckled Trout.

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.

As a Destin Inshore Charter Fishing Guide, I tend to be very picky with my live shrimp, and I look for bait shops that keep their live shrimp in natural saltwater.  These type of shrimp are very hardy and tend to live much longer, even living in excess of two weeks in a simple aerated live well at my residence. An added bonus, is you can introduce Bay or Gulf natural saltwater on these shrimp without it placing them in shock. The Salty Bass Bait and Tackle store is one of the local area bait shops, that sells and maintains their live shrimp utilizing natural Gulf saltwater.  No need to risk the bait shop running out on you or spending too much of your hard earned dollars buying new shrimp when you can keep the extra ones alive for your next trip.  If you’re interested in taking advantage of great Destin Inshore Bay and Flats Fishing with IntraCoastal eXperience Guided Fishing Charters, give us a call for the latest report and reserve a fishing adventure for you and your group.

Springtime Temps are sure to Light Off a Stellar Trout and Redfish Bite

Posted by Capt LW

The Speckled Trout bite in and around Mobile Bay has been up and down says Mobile Bay Fishing Guide Capt LW. This past weekend, the Alabama Coastal Fishing Association (AFCA) held their Monthly Club Tournament. There were a few speckled trout weighed in over 6 pounds with some 5 plus pounders rounding it all out. There has been a lot of anticipation of warmer springtime temperatures which are sure to light off a stellar trout and redfish bite. Also an increased salinity level in Mobile Bay feeder canal waters should have all the inshore species in a friskier feeding mood. The Alabama Inshore Slam Tournament Series kicks off its 2013 tournament season on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

Until Next Report,
Go Catchem Up!
Capt LW

IntraCoastal eXperience’s Clients placed second on Destin’s Cobia World Championships leader board

Posted by Capt LW

Pratt Family - RedfishFishing the Destin Near Shore Gulf since my last report has been really productive with the presence of North winds which make the Destin Near Shore Gulf as calm as a Lake. During a recent IntraCoastal eXperince Charter trip, my clients reeled in a host of different species during their 5 hour adventure on the IntraCoastal eXperince Charter Boat. Rob, Ellen, William, Becka and Luke were kept quite busy as the Destin Near Shore Gulf provided them with a mixed bag of tasty offerings. Young Luke tricked a sheepshead into taking his bait and reeled him in all the the way to the boat. Big Brother William landed a very nice Bull Red during this trip, and not to be out done, his mom Ellen, reeled in a nice red snapper. But before the trip was over the family as a whole had reeled in 12 nice flounder to take home as a truly scrumptious souvenir of their memorable Destin Fishing experience. Great Job Guys! Nothing but smiles from ear to ear!

Rob, Ellen, William, Becka and Luke all caught’em up big on the Destin Near Shore Gulf!

The Near Shore Gulf is really lighting up and our resident species such as Red Snapper, Grouper, King Mackerel and many more, will be keeping my clients super busy reeling them in. The Spanish Mackerel made a big time appearance this past week. They were very hungry, and it only took about a half hour to catch a limit of 15 fish. The baits of choice seemed to be Gotcha Plugs and Diamond Jigs.

Capt LW and Keith: Nearshore Gulf Cobia FishingThe Cobia Migration is also in full swing and only getting better. Look for a Southeast wind to blow these strong fighting fish within yards of the beaches. Eels, Mullet, and Cobia Jigs are a must have as far as baits are concerned. Team DestinFishing-icx.com (IntraCoastal eXperience’s Tournament Fishing Team) claimed its place on the Harbor Docks Cobia World Championships leader board this past weekend when my clients Keith and Christian hooked up and landed a nearly 70 pound Cobia during their Destin Charter Fishing trip aboard the IntraCoastal eXperience Charter Boat. It took Keith about 20 minutes to haul up this very respectable Cobia which was Keith’s first ever Cobia, but when it was all said and done at the weigh scales, his fish claimed second place on the Cobia World Championships leader board and was the largest fish weighed in during the tournament that day.

The Harbor Docks Cobia World Championships is a 6-week tournament which ends on May 5, 2013. If you’re interested in chartering the IntraCoastal eXperience Charter Boat for this great sight fishing experience and a chance at catching the winning Cobia, contact IntraCoastal eXperience Guided Fishing Charters. We love placing our clients in contention to winning some of Destin’s legendary Fishing Tournaments.

Until Next Report,
Go Catchem Up!
Capt LW

Fishing Tips for Redfish, Speckled Trout & Sheepshead

Posted by Capt LW

Destin Inshore Bay & Flats Fish Report:
Fishing Tips for Redfish, Speckled Trout & Sheepshead

The weather this past weekend was great. The fish have really started to show up in a big way. The redfish bite has turned on really nice on the Destin Inshore Bay. Prime spots to look for the redfish are around the deeper water docks in excess of 5 feet. Also if you’re seeing mullet in this same environment, it’s a sure bet that the redfish are lying underneath them. Baits of choice for these redfish have been live shrimp, pinfish and finger mullet.

Speckled Trout have also started to chew pretty aggressively around the Destin Inshore Bay Flats. Prime Speckled Trout areas seem to be where a freshwater source enters the Destin Inshore Bay and 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.

The sheepshead bite has remained super hot, but they are starting to migrate away from the Destin Inshore Bay bridges to their springtime breeding areas in the Destin Near Shore Gulf. The Destin Jetties have produced some of the best fishing action for sheepshead this past week. Same baits that have claimed their share in the Destin Inshore Bay will still work in the Destin Near Shore Gulf. Live Shrimp and Fiddler Crabs will still be highly attractive to the “Convict Fish.” The only change you’ll really need to make when fishing for the sheepshead as they move towards the Destin Near Shore Gulf, is switching to a 2 ounce slip lead as opposed to the 1 ounce slip lead you would utilized in Destin Inshore Bay, mainly due to current movement.

Speckled Trout Turn On – Mobile Bay Inshore Fishing

Posted by Capt LW

Recently, I made my twice a month expedition to guide some Mobile Bay Inshore Charter fishing trips. The weather was tough, windy and cold, which seemed to make the speckled trout fishing turn on! Yes, I said turn on! Mobile Bay area tournament angler, Trenny Woodham, had been scouting and fishing the days prior to my arrival with hit and miss success, yet he was quite optimistic about the bite turning on as a cold front quickly approached. The speckled trout were in their cold weather pattern, settling in water depths in excess of 30 feet, mainly because of the cold water temperatures and the influx of freshwater flowing from the Mobile River. However, once the speckled trout were located, it was game on!

TrennyGatorTrout

Live Finger Mullet, Croakers and Live Shrimp were the baits of choice. On the first Mobile Bay Inshore Charter fishing trip we managed to catch 14 speckled trout of which four exceeded 5 pounds with one weighing in at 7.52 pounds! (See Photo) A true gator-trout! (See Photo).

Redfish Are On Too!

28poundRedfish

In addition, the redfish bite proved to be good as well. On the second Mobile Bay Inshore Charter fishing trip, the speckled trout bite continued and the redfish made their appearance as well. One of the six redfish landed on light tackle gear weighed in at 28 pounds! (See Photo) Wintertime fishing this year in the Mobile Bay area has been challenging, however it looks like Spring is going to shape up to be a very hot bite.

If you’re looking to take advantage of an ICX Guided Mobile Bay Fishing Charter, please contact me as soon as you know your desired fishing dates.

Until the next report,

Go Catch’em Up!

Capt LW

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