Call it beginners luck or skill, either way several first-time anglers pulled in some pretty nice catches this week while fishing aboard Destin charters.
The Urbine family of Texas was first-timers all the way around. It was their first time to fish for redfish and their first time in Destin. The Texans were fishing aboard the Inshore Angler with Capt. Justin Brantley. They pulled in a rack full of redfish and sheepshead.
"We threw back about as many as we kept," Brantley said.
"We didn't think we could eat them all," one of the Urbine's said.
"But we're loving it … and we're coming back for Thanksgiving," someone in the group said.
The party boat Destin Princess with Capt. Reid Phillips at the helm backed in with 32 angles and a pile of fish including, triggerfish, mingo, white snapper, red snapper, triggerfish, red grouper and lane snapper.
"It was choppy with four- to five-footers, but it got nice as the day went on," Phillips said.
"The bite was on and off and the current was screaming," he said, which is always a challenge with that many lines in the water.
Nevertheless, his anglers pulled in some pretty good fish.
Travis Casper and Lacey Pettibone of Columbus, Ohio were all excited about their stringer of mingo, red snapper and white snapper.
"It was awesome," Casper said.
"It was my first time to go. It was a blast," Pettibone said. "This is as authentic as it gets. I like to eat fresh food."
"It was my first of everything," said Becky Barrett of Nashville as she held up her red snapper for a photo opportunity. "It's my first time to fish and my first fish. My kids will be proud."
Bill Hughson of Niagara Falls, also a first-timer to deep sea fishing, pulled a in a stringer full of mingo, red snapper and lane snapper. "I enjoyed it," Hughson said.
Capt. James Botelho pulled in on the Inshore Angler with a nice catch from the bay. His grouper from Hattiesburg, Miss. filled the racks with redfish, pompano and sheepshead. Captain Botelho said they were fishing around near Indian Bayou.
Capt. Brandon Wright of Destin Bay Charters and his group pulled in a good catch. They had a limit of redfish and two sheepshead. The limit on redfish is two per person and they have to be no less than 18 inches and no bigger than 27 inches.
The Gentle Winds with Capt. Greg Marler at the helm came in from a six-hour trip with a several amberine and a pile of white snapper.
"We were catching white snapper two at the time," Marler said.
"It was a little sporty going out. That storm front had them biting slow, but when they decided to bite … they did," Marler said.
The Special K with anglers from Seattle, Wash., and Tallahassee came in from a five-hour trip with a nice rack of triggerfish, mingo and white snapper.
Texas anglers on the Fish 'N Teem with Capt. Billy Teems pulled in several white snapper. Captain Teems said they threw back several red snapper and triggerfish.
Capt. Dennis Hendricks on the Finest Kind came in with a good catch triggerfish, mingo and white snapper.
Fishing is starting to pick up. So don't let inexperience hold you back.
See you at the docks.