Destin High School fishing class goes fishing on three area charter boats
While most students were calculating math problems or studying geography on Tuesday, members of the Destin High School fishing class were baiting up hooks and reeling in fish.
As part of the fishing class, Florida’s first fishing class of its kind, 34 students along with a few adults, went on a six-hour fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday. The students were spread out across three Destin charter boats, the Relentless with Capt. Chris Michelson, the Destination with Capt. Stan Phillips and the DiscipleShip with Capt. Brandy Miles. Both the Relentless and Destination were built by the late Brant Kelly, who passed away recently.
The fishing trips were “generously” donated by the captains/or owners of the boats, said Capt. Mike Parker who teaches the class at Destin High.
“They all support the Destin High School fishing class and these young students 100%,” Parker said.
The students got to experience lessons in catching live bait, trolling, two hooking and slip leading. They also caught a variety of fish from mingo, grouper, red snapper and bonito to name a few.
Laurie Kelly, wife of the late Brant Kelly, met the kids on the docks before they left with hot Krispy Kreme donuts and boxed sandwich lunches and drinks for the outing.
And Kelly was back on the docks when the students came in at Heron Harbor.
More from the fishing class:Destin High Sharks get a taste of Destin history and fishing at the museum
“It was super fun to come and watch,” Kelly said as the students walked around and pointed out the fish they caught.
Ana Vizcarrondo, a ninth grader, caught the biggest red snapper on the DiscipleShip.
“I’ve been before, but this was fun,” she said.
Deshawn Ford, a 10th grader, said it was his first time to go fishing in the Gulf.
“It was good,” he said, noting he hooked an amberjack and some red snapper. The amberjack had to go back, due to the season ending at the end of October.
“I’d go again, of course,” said Ford, who was on the Destination.
After all the fish from the three boats were dumped on the dock it was apparent that the red snapper caught by sophomore Angelina Cooley was the largest, weighing in at 15-plus pounds.
“It was my first time … it was fun,” Cooley said who was on the Destination.
As for catching the snapper, Cooley said it was hard to reel in, noting it took a couple of minutes.
Matheus Barcelos, a sophomore, had the largest black snapper that weighed about 6 pounds.
“It was a good time,” Barcelos said, noting he goes fishing a lot. “It was a cool experience to be with all my friends.”
Jacob Benkosky, a ninth grader and first-time Gulf fisherman, had the largest mingo.
“It was really nice,” Benkosky said while showing off his bright red fish.
A lot of the fish from the trip was fileted, bagged and donated to the Harvest House as part of Filet for Friends.
So, not only was this part of a learning process for the students of the fishing class but a way for them to do community service as well, said Destin High Principal Christine Cruickshank, who was there to greet the boats as they came in.
This is the first of many outings planned for the fishing class at Destin High.