With red snapper season coming to a close Saturday, there was a new change in the landscape along the docks on Monday.
There were still splashes of red on the racks, but on a smaller scale.
The red that now prevails on the racks is the vermillion snapper, known locally as a mingo or beeliner.
The mingo is part of the snapper family and resembles the red snapper in color, however it is much smaller. The average size is less than a pound, but some of the ones that hit the docks in Destin reach the 3 to 4 pound mark.
On Monday, Capt. Mike Graef and his group from Nebraska and Kansas on the Huntress loaded up on some of those 2-plus-pound mingo. They also had a couple of Almaco Jack and a lane snapper.
The good thing about mingo is the limit is 10 per angler, as opposed to the two per angler for red snapper.
Capt. Eddie Dykes and his Indiana group on the Shamrock II brought in several mingo, a Spanish mackerel and a small Atlantic sharpnose shark — after all it is Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. The Atlantic sharpnose was maybe 2 feet long, which is about average for this type of shark.
Arkansas anglers on the Kitchen Pass with Capt. Travis Ream pulled in several mingo and a black snapper.
South Carolina anglers on the 100 Proof with Capt. Allen Staples came in with a king mackerel, several mingo and white snapper.
Alabama and Mississippi anglers on the Mighty Fine with Capt. Bud Miller stayed busy on Monday.
“It was non-stop fishing,” one of the anglers said.
The group of anglers loaded up on mingo and white snapper.
In addition to the mingo, Miller said they caught and released what would have been a two-day limit on red snapper and triggerfish.
Illinois anglers on the Blue Runner II with Capt. Tommy Carter backed in with a king mackerel, mingo and white snapper.
Carter said they hooked and released a lot of triggerfish as well.
“The kids were catching two at the time,” Carter said of the triggerfish.
Indiana angler on the Outta Line with Capt. Trey Windes pulled in three king mackerel, several mingo and white snapper on Monday, while anglers on the High Cotton with Capt. TJ George filled the racks with mingo and white snapper.
Capt. Kirk Reynolds on the Sea Fix and his group of Mississippi anglers brought in a mix of black snapper, mingo, white snapper, king mackerel and three bonito.
Word on the docks is that triggerfish may be opening on Aug. 1, however, I can’t seem to get a clear answer on the matter.
Even Capt. Jim Green’s correspondence with the Southeast Regional Office was confusing and vague.
So stay tuned, hopefully we will know something definite soon.
One thing we do know for sure is that amberjack will open back up on Aug. 1. The limit on amberjack is one per person and must measure 34 inches to keep. Amberjack are supposed to be open through Oct. 31.
In the meantime, there are still several fish on the catch list from mingo, mackerel to grouper on those longer trips.
See you at the docks.