Opening day for red snapper on June 1 didn’t disappoint with most every charter boat in the Destin fleet bringing in their share of snapper at least once, if not twice.
Red snapper for federally permitted charter boats, which is the majority of Destin’s fleet, kicked off June 1 and will go through July 22. The limit is two red snapper per person and the fish must measure 16 inches to keep.
On Friday some of the boats had doubles, either two six-hour trips or a four-hour and a six-hour. And the weekend was more of the same. Fish, eat, sleep — then repeat.
And Monday didn’t disappoint either.
The chase for the red snapper was red hot on Monday as well.
Just before noon, Capt. Steve Lathi on the Lucky Lina and his group backed in with their red snapper, along with Spanish mackerel, mingo and white snapper.
Capt. Casey Weldon on the Fish N Fool brought in their share of red snapper, amberine and mingo and the Vengeance had a rack full of red snapper as well.
Capt. Eric Thrasher and his group from Louisiana aboard the Game On had filled the rack with red snapper and mingo by noon.
Indiana and Jacksonville anglers on the Sea Fix filled the nails with red snapper, a black snapper and mingo.
Capt. Phillip Blackburn, easing into the captain slot on the Backdown 2, came in with some big red snapper, a black snapper and three king mackerel. His anglers were from Tallahassee and Alabama. The long-time captain of the Backdown 2, Capt. Gary Jarvis, is stepping down and selling the boat. Look for more on this in an upcoming issue of The Destin Log.
Missouri and Mississippi anglers on the Mary Lou with Capt. Rusty Gilbert caught their red snapper. They also had a gag grouper on the board along with mingo and white snapper. Gag grouper also opened up on June 1 and will remain open until Dec. 31. The gag has to measure 24 inches to keep.
The party boat Swoop II came in with a tub of red snapper, along with mingo and white snapper.
Capt. Jim Green of the party boat New Florida Girl’s American Spirit came in with 100 red snapper and several stringers filled with mingo as well.
“Fishing is good, just hard to find a parking space,” Green said, noting there are a lot of boats on the water.
Nevertheless they got their fish.
Kentucky anglers on the Destination with Capt. Stan Phillips brought in a smorgasbord. They had their red snapper, a cobia, three king mackerel, mingo and a couple of Almaco Jack.
A group of local guys had a big time on the Kitchen Pass with Capt. Travis Ream. They pulled in their red snapper, mingo and amberine.
St. Louis anglers aboard the Only Way with Capt. Curt Gwin filled the rack with red snapper and mingo.
Capt. Bill Watson and his anglers on the Sweet William III came in with their red snapper, mingo and a gag grouper for that center nail on the racks.
Tennessee anglers on the Silver King with Capt. Alex Hare had one of the bigger catches of the morning. Just before 2 p.m. they came in with a couple of cobia, king mackerel, some huge red snapper (one weighing about 25 pounds), plus some white snapper. Word is they also broke off a shark. Not bad for a morning of fishing.
Fishing is red hot. So come on down and get in on the red snapper and gag grouper fishing while you can.
See you at the docks.