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Fishing is King in Destin!

by Charlie Peay on April 16th, 2022
Destin fishing boat going out through the East Pass to the Gulf of Mexico

Destin fishing boat going out through the East Pass to the Gulf of Mexico

Destin is not known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” for nothing! The fishing action in Destin can be hot and heavy inshore, offshore, and from beach piers and jetties. All of you do-it-yourselfers will be happy to know that you don’t need a boat to enjoy an excellent day of fishing in Destin. Many species of sport fish can be caught right from the shore including pompano, whiting, sheepshead, bluefish, cobia, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel & jack crevalle. This type of fishing is best between April and October, during the peak pompano runs. Live bait, frozen bait, and

Men fishing from the Destin Jetties

Fishing from the Destin Jetties

artificial baits are all effective when fishing from the shore, depending on the tide and weather conditions.

Inshore fishing on Choctawhatchee Bay and its bayous is good year-round! You can expect to catch diverse species of fish including speckled trout, sheepshead, white trout, redfish, channel bass, and flounder. Of course, blue crabs are a favorite in this area and can be found in abundance along the shores of the bay. During the warm summer months from June through August, blue crabs move into the shallow bay and beach areas and can be netted by novices and serious crabbers alike.

The inshore trolling season runs from March through November and normally begins with the cobia run in the spring. The most popular and successful method for catching cobia is by sight casting from aDestin fishing charter boat, either to a single fish or to a school. Once you’ve hooked a 100lb cobia on light spinning tackle, believe me, it’s not an experience that you will soon forget! Inshore trolling can also produce great catches of Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, bonito, amberjack, and schooling dolphin. Inshore charter fishing trips are available for full day or half day excursions.

Types of Fish To Catch in Destin

Most of Destin’s renowned fishing fleet specializes in deep sea bottom fishing for half day, full day or overnight trips. The favorite targets of these deep sea bottom fishermen are primarily red snapper, grouper, amberjack, scamp, triggerfish, and cobia, which are all highly prized fish for the dinner table. Destin maintains a large fleet of party boats for deep sea bottom fishing which can accommodate from 25 up to 100 persons. Party boats are available for full day or half

Red snapper caught during a Destin Fishing Rodeo

Red snapper caught during a Destin Fishing Rodeo

day fishing trips, and can be reserved for large groups.

Most offshore “blue water” trolling takes place beyond the 50 fathom curve (300 foot depth), from 25 to 50 miles out. This method of fishing has proven to be very productive for Destin anglers who want to go after white marlin, blue marlin,

sailfish, dolphin and wahoo. Billfish may be caught from April to December, but August through October is normally the most productive fishing period for this type of fishing.

Each year, the Destin Fishing Rodeo in October is the ultimate fishing tournament in Northwest Florida. More than 30,000 anglers compete during the month of October for over $100,000 in prizes! There are prizes given for men’s, women’s, and junior fishing categories and virtually every type of game fish is recognized with awards during the Rodeo. Best of all, it’s free for

Prize tuna caught during a Destin Fishing Rodeo

Tuna caught during the Destin Fishing Rodeo

anglers to fish aboard any of the boats which have been registered for the Rodeo, so make plans to come on down during the month of October and join in the fun!

Planning Your Destin Fishing Trip

For help in planning your visit, check out this list of Destin Vacation Rentals. If you want to bring your boat and stay on the harbor, but with beach access and beach views, look at Sandpiper Cove and Harbor Landing. Both properties offer fully furnished condos with beach access and also boat launches and harbor access. If you’re staying at a beachfront condo in Destin and want to bring your boat, consider renting a Destin boat slip by the day or week. If you don’t need to be right on the beach, but want to stay near the fishing action and other boating attractions in Destin Harbor, Emerald Grande or Inn on Destin Harbor. Both are waterfront and provide easy access to all the fun things to do in Destin.

This article was originally written by Charlie Peay before 2019, and updated by BeachGuide editors in 2022.

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