After walking the docks along Destin harbor this week, it’s definitely safe to say folks are here fishing. And not just fishing, they are catching, and catching some big ones at that.
Nine-year-old Shelton Hall of Montgomery, Alabama, landed one of those big fish. She pulled in a 31.8-pound red snapper while fishing aboard the Twilight with Capt. Robert Hill and deckhand Jordan Colson.
Colson said it took the young girl "15 minutes tops“ to land the fish.
Alabama folks had their limit of snapper plus several big grouper on the racks as well.
Capt. Alex Hare and his group aboard the Silver King came in from a morning trip with a limit of red snapper and a grouper.
“We had our snapper in about 15 minutes,” Hare said, noting they had no problems finding them.
Red snapper opened up on June 1 and will go through Aug. 1 for federally permitted boats. The limit is two per person and they must measure 16 inches to keep.
Capt. Trey Windes and his crew aboard the Outta Line got their limit of red snapper as well.
Ohio anglers on the Mighty Fine with Capt. Bud Miller filled the racks with red snapper, black snapper and grouper.
“We’re getting them located ... it’s better every day,” Miller said.
On Monday, Miller struggled a bit to find the snapper after trying to stay away from them for about 10 months. But he’s got their number now.
Tennessee anglers on the Just-B-Cause with Capt. Ken Bolden got their limit on the red snapper and few grouper.
Kansas City anglers on the Tradewinds brought in a smorgasbord of fish. They had red snapper, black snapper, king mackerel, mingo and grouper on the boards.
Birmingham anglers on the Blue Runner II with Capt. Tommy Carter backed in with red snapper, black snapper and a few amberine.
Capt. Steve Regan and his group from Tennessee pulled in a limit of red snapper, grouper, amberine and three king mackerel aboard the Wahoo.
Regan said they caught the mackerel on a little “fly pole action” while they were out there bottom fishing.
“Fishing is awesome ... it’s incredible,” Regan said, who had another trip that afternoon.
Capt. Justin Hall of the Maximus came in with a good catch of grouper, lane snapper, red snapper, and black snapper.
“It was really nice out there today ... one-footers,” Hall said while he cleaned up the catch from Wednesday morning.
“It was one of the prettiest days we’ve had,” added Capt. Tim Adams of the Double Time. “It got calmer as the day went on.”
Adams and his group Tennessee had a red grouper on the racks to go along with their red snapper and black snapper.
“It was a finicky bite ... but these guys persisted,” Adams said.
Capt. Stan Phillips and his fishermen from Tennessee filled the boards behind the Destination with some big red snapper, a pair of grouper and a couple of big Almaco Jack.
But the biggest fish of the day this reporter saw was a huge wahoo on the center nail of the rack behind the Fish-N-Teem with Capt. Paul Cox.
Capt. Cox said they caught the wahoo trolling on the way in.
“The way it blistered off line ... I pretty much knew it was a wahoo,” Cox said.
The young man on the rod was Aden Truitt of Missouri.
“It went straight down ... and kept going deeper,” Truitt said.
After about 20 minutes or more, Truitt got the fish to the boat.
In addition to the massive wahoo they had red snapper, Alamco Jack and scamp on the racks.
But the wahoo was the talk up and down the docks with several folks guessing the weight. I heard a lot of 60 and mid-60 guesses.
Cox loaded the wahoo up in a wheelbarrow and rolled it down to HarborWalk Marina to weigh it in. When it was all said and done, the wahoo weighed 71.2 pounds and Truitt was a tired young man.
However, before the Fish-N-Teem came in with their wahoo, Capt. Tyler Short and his group from Louisiana aboard the Reel Legend landed themselves a wahoo as well.
Short said they caught their wahoo on the way out. Their wahoo weighed about 40 pounds. They also had several red snapper and black snapper on the racks.
Capt. Buddy and Chip Godwin on the Mary Lou came in with a rack full of red snapper and Almaco Jack.
Colorado and Niceville anglers on the Lucky Lina with Capt. Steve Lathi came in with red snapper, black snapper and grouper.
Although it was calm on the Gulf on Wednesday, it’s supposed to be a little rough this weekend due to Cristobal that’s spinning around out there in the Gulf of Mexico.
Let’s just hope it doesn’t stir things up to much. Things have been stirred up enough for 2020. Let’s get to fishing.
See you at the docks.