From the looks of the fish that have been hitting the docks this week, it appears as if the fishermen in Destin are already blessed.
Thursday afternoon, Destin’s charter boat fleet participated in the 61st annual Blessing of the Fleet where boats and their crew were blessed for a safe and prosperous year on the water.
However, from the looks of the big fish on the racks the last couple of days, Destin captains are already living the blessed life.
Capt. Chip Godwin and his group of anglers from Ohio and Indiana on the Reel Legend were blessed with a big catch of amberjack, triggerfish, mingo, lane snapper and a couple of Almaco Jack. An Almaco Jack is very similar to an amberjack. One of the big difference is the dorsal fin is longer on an Almaco.
Missouri anglers on the Screamn Drag with Capt. Brian Kelley came in from a half-day trip with a little bit of everything. They had a couple of amberjack, a king mackerel, triggerfish, mingo and white snapper.
“It was absolutely gorgeous out there today,” Kelley said as his deckhand hung up the catch. “It was 1-foot or less (seas on the Gulf)," he said.
Capt. John Gibson on the Gulf Breeze backed in Wednesday with a massive catch. He took 29 anglers out and brought back 391 fish of which 290 were mingo. The limit on mingo is 10 per angler and they were blessed to get them all … plus several white snapper, triggerfish and three lane snapper.
“Fishing has been good,” Gibson said.
Capt. Dennis Kendricks on the party boat Destiny came in with a big catch of fish as well. They had several mingo, triggerfish, amberine and Almaco Jack.
Capt. Kendricks said they also brought in an amberjack head.
“The shark wanted the rest of it more than we did I guess,” Kendricks said. “And it would have been a keeper.”
Amberjack have to be at least 34 inches to keep, which makes for a good size fish and lots of fish sandwiches.
A local group of anglers came in on the No Alibi with Capt. Chris Schofield with three amberjack, triggerfish, mingo and a mahi mahi. Word is they lost a 15- to 20-pound mahi.
Missouri and Mossy Head anglers on the Un Reel with Capt. Justin Destin were blessed with a big time catch. They had eight big amberjack on the racks and a limit of triggerfish as well (one per person, 15 inch minimum). They also pulled in four scamp, some big mingo and big white snapper.
“It was go big or go home,” Capt. Destin said.
“It was the best day ever,” added one of the anglers as deckhand Jan-Michael Garcia hung up the catch.
Not long after, the First Light with Capt. Steve Hauesler came in with a massive catch as well. His group of Georgia anglers pulled in some big amberjack, triggerfish, mingo and white snapper.
“Fishing was good,” captain said.
Fishing was good and has been good … and this was all before the Blessing of the Fleet. One can only imagine what it will be like in days to come.
See you at the docks.