What better way to start the week than hauling in a great catch on calm seas under sunny skies.

Such was the case for three of Destin’s party boats that ventured out on Monday.

The Swoop with Capt. Nick Price was the first to come in Monday. His fishermen had several stringers filled with mingo, white snapper, a couple red grouper, Almaco Jack, scamp and rock salmon.

“We got close to our limit on mingo,” Price said.

That limit on mingo is 10 per person and they had 18 folks aboard the boat so that’s a lot of fish.

One of the anglers said it was so nice out, that she actually got hot and had to shed her jacket.

It wasn’t long after that Capt. Dennis Kendricks on the Destiny backed in. They loaded up several stringers with mingo, white snapper, Almaco Jack and a few scamp.

As the deckhands were unloading the fish, one of the fishermen thanked the captain for a great trip and said he could check another item off his “bucket list.”

The thankful angler was Jeff VanHorn of Fort Walton Beach, who caught a couple of amberjack, one that was 25 pounds or better. Of course they both had to go back, but he was excited and worn out nonetheless. For him, the amberjack was the fish he could check off his “bucket list.”

The next fish on VanHorn’s list is to land a 40-pound king mackerel, he said. So far the largest he’s caught has been a 13-pounder. He admitted, however, he’d be happy with a 30 pounder.

Roger Olson and Rod Helland of Minnesota proudly held up their stringer filled with mingo and more. The two guys said they’ve been coming to Destin to fish for the past 13 years and they had a great time on Monday.

“It was one of the prettiest days I’ve seen in a while,” said Capt. Hendricks.

“It was slick calm … the calm before the storm,” he added, noting the cold and rain that was forecasted for Tuesday.

The Sweet Jody with Capt. Cliff Cox at the helm backed in around 3 o’clock.

I watched as the deckhand’s unloaded stringer after stringer with many of them including an Almaco Jack.

“It was so much fun … that was a blast,” said Shelly Marshall of Lexington, Kentucky, as she held up her stringer with an Almaco Jack attached.

Fishing is good, let’s just hope it remains good after the rain and freezing temps.

See you at the docks.