IntraCoastal eXperience News

The ICX Summertime Destin Inshore Bay and Gulf Fishing Report

Posted by Capt LW
Red Snapper season in Destin FL

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.

Vermillion Snapper season in Destin FL

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.

Mangrove Snapper season in Destin FL

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.

Speckled Trout catch in Destin FL

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.

Redfish season in Destin FL

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!!!

Capt LW

IntraCoastal eXperience